Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Remember When...

My dad recently sent me this picture on the occasion of the last space shuttle launch. One thing led to another and we began talking about how aviation has developed since he was a boy over 80 years ago. He remembered walking with his father to the "Flying Field" several blocks from his Chicago home. There, he saw his first airplanes...biplanes with wing-walkers...that surely must have been part of the barnstorming shows so popular in the 1920's.
Along these same lines, I continue to meet people at Findlay Market who tell me they haven't been to the market for years. Then they proceed to tell me how they used to come to the market with mom or dad, how they'd buy this or that at one stand, what business used to be on that corner...There are folks who remember Over-the-Rhine during Prohibition and others who remember the bustle of Union Terminal train station in the 1930's.
What's exciting is that these visitors have come back to Findlay Market...We've weathered the racial turmoil of 2001 and taken giant steps in the last few years to bring both locals and tourists to downtown Cincinnati. These visitors are finding out that history and progress go hand-in-hand in Over-the-Rhine, and they're flocking to the neighborhood to experience the market, take walking tours, or sip Christian Moerlein in a biergarten.
It certainly makes me wonder what the small children visiting Findlay Market today will remember when they are grown...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hot Fun in the Summertime

In 1969, Sly and the Family Stone had a hit single called "Hot Fun in the Summertime." It's one of those feel-good, lazy-listening kind of songs that takes me back a lot of years and reminds me of carefree summers days of no school, sleeping late, and hanging out.
When you're in the fresh produce business and operate a full-time stand at Findlay Market, summer is anything but lazy and carefree. Summer shouts, "Come to the market!" and customers have certainly been heeding the call lately. The last two weeks have been record-breakers as far as Findlay Market traffic, and we're definitely enjoying the influx of new faces and the return of old friends.
Summer also means heat and humidity in Cincinnati. If you're like I am, sometimes it seems too hot to eat much, and often the only thing that sounds good is something cool and refreshing. Fresh fruit and crisp vegetables fit the bill, and this week I've found a summer salsa to share with you as our Recipe of the Week. This Avocado, Tomato and Mango Salsa from is a perfect match for tortilla chips or can be served with seafood or chicken. Either way, it's kick back, relax, play a few tunes, and try a new recipe.
By the way, if you ask for Daisy's Deal, you'll get all the fresh produce needed to make our Recipe of the Week...and always at a special price. Now that's some "Hot Fun in the Summertime!"

Monday, July 4, 2011

Only in America

I grew up with Sunday School and scribbling on a church program while "listening" to the sermon in an un-air conditioned sanctuary. As an adult, while I'm a bit more spiritual, I often still find my mind wandering as the preacher winds his way to his eventual point. However, several years ago on America's Independence Day, our minister made a lasting impression on me. As he described the blessings God has bestowed on our nation, he spoke one simple sentence in everyday language that has stuck with me since that day. "Only in America," he said, "do we take 15 minutes to decide which of our 15 pairs of shoes we should wear that day." He went on to describe how most of the world is lucky to have shoes at all...and many of those who do certainly only have one pair and don't have the time to hesitate before putting them on to start the day.
Now I'm not a shoe connoisseur. I don't really care much about fashion. But that analogy has made me stop and think more than once since that Sunday morning sermon. Now I notice all the choices that we make day after day and minute after minute. Only in America, do I have to decide which of our 150 channels I should watch on tv. Only in America, do I pick one of 50 kinds of toothpaste at the store. Only in America, do I consider buying topsoil (aka dirt) to add to the garden. Only in America, do I turn the thermostat up or down because I'm a little uncomfortable. Only in America, do I decide what kind of business I want to operate or where I'd like to live or work. 
Americans have got it way too good. We often take our freedoms, our opportunities, and our choices for granted. Independence Day is a perfect time to slow down and appreciate all that we have.  The good Reverend was right...God has blessed America.
Go forth and celebrate...and be thankful.