I love Cincinnati dearly. I’ve been here all my life. I’ve helped support progress and have the utmost respect for those who also strive to see this city reach its true potential, whether it’s their lifelong or adopted home. I’ve been an advocate and preached the glory of the Queen City to all those who’ll listen, whether they be local naysayers, visitors, or people I meet while traveling. Every now and then though, I contemplate what it would be like to leave, go someplace else for awhile.
If I liked where I ended up, maybe that’d become home. Born in Cincinnati; buried in Chicago, New York, Boston, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Milwaukee, Seattle, or any other place. When I was in college, I rolled my eyes and internally groaned at the people who “couldn’t wait to leave” upon graduation. I’d come to see Cincinnati for what it can truly be. It annoyed me that others couldn’t see that potential too. Sometimes what you already have is truly worthwhile. As time has gone on though, the idea of being someplace else has grown appealing. I’m certainly not the first person to consider going someplace else, but these aren’t the feelings of a middle aged man on vacation at some South Carolina island. Even if you wear a shirt that says “life’s a beach,” it doesn’t change the fact that often, life’s a bitch. Deciding to live somewhere comes with the realization that life isn't always going to be like vacation. You won’t spend every evening beneath palm trees sucking down buckets of Coors while a Jimmy Buffet cover band pairs an acoustic guitar with steel drums. You have to find a place to exist, where you can make ends meet, and find purpose.
The last few years when traveling, I’ve tried to imagine what it would be like to live in certain places I’ve been. Wheeling, West Virginia and Louisville seemed too small, but Pittsburgh and Cleveland seemed fine. While recently in Boston, I really started to feel a pull that maybe there’s someplace out there worth being for awhile besides Cincinnati. It came to a head when we had lunch in a Boston restaurant. I found myself trying to make home sound so great in conversation, yet found myself having to insert “but” followed by a disclaimer after most statements. At a nearby table, a child wearing an FC Cincinnati hat recognized the same logo on my t-shirt. I talked with his family and it really set in just how small Cincinnati can often feel despite being a major American metropolitan area. When I returned home and went back to work, it felt like I could walk across Downtown in twenty minutes compared to the endless streets and alleyways of the city I had just been in.
So here’s some photographs from Boston, made with the intention of having a handful turned into postcards that I print and send to a few friends the past few years. There’s a few tourist spots in here and places that I’m most definitely not the first to see or document with a camera. However, as I shot them, the intent was not find way to tell a story of vacation. I was looking at a place and its details trying to imagine what it would be like to exist there. I love home and always will, but lately the allure of living elsewhere, not just visiting, has been creeping higher and higher.
|- Departing the subway's Red Line for a Commuter Rail station.|
|- George Washington statue in the Public Gardens.|
|- An apparently can't miss photo opportunity.|
|- Green Line subway.|
|- The landmark Citgo sign.|
|- Tow zone and sailboat.|
|- Green Line train transitioning from below ground to above ground running.|
|- Boston Public Library 1/4|
|- Boston Public Library 2/4|
|- Boston Public Library 3/4|
|- Boston Public Library 4/4|
|- Central station of the Red Line. Cincinnati's incomplete subway was based on this station.|
|- Laura and the Charles River.|
|- Passing by selfie-takers.|
|- Blue Line subway train bound for Wonderland. Wonderland was a greyhound racing park named after a former amusement park. The name isn't quite fitting.|