Cincinnati Photo Diary

by Joey deVilla on July 3, 2008

Cast of \"WKRP in Cincinnati\"
Having grown up in the late 70s and early 80s, this is forever linked in my mind with Cincinnati.

Last weekend, the Ginger Ninja and I went to Cincinnati to attend a wedding. Cincinnati was her home for just under a year when she took her first job there; for me, its state, Ohio, is my ancestral home state (I have blond-haired, blue-eyed blood relatives in Dayton).

Mustang!

The wedding was in an area outside the city, so a car rental was necessary. We’d booked a mid-sized car at Avis, and when we arrived at their rental lot, they offered some upgrades.

“You’re booked for a mid-size,” said the rep behind the counter. “Would you like an upgrade? Maybe an SUV?”

“No thanks,” we said.

“For four dollars extra per day, we can put you in a Mustang…”

I hit Wendy with my best “puppy-dog eyes” look.

“What the hell, let’s take the Mustang!” she said.

Joey deVilla and the silver Mustang

Upon entering the car, I dialed up a classic rock station, said “Let’s hit the fuckin’ road!” in my best Dennis Hopper voice and punched it onto the Kentucky roads (while Cincinnati is in Ohio, its airport is in Kentucky.)

The ‘Stang is a pretty sweet ride with solid handling and plenty of power on tap. My muscle car driving has been relegated to Grand Theft Auto IV; it was pretty nice to be behind the wheel of the real thing. Now if I had an SMG and some chumps who needed some perforating…

The only way the experience could’ve been improved would be if I’d had a CD of Ministry’s Jesus Built My Hotrod to put into the player.

Why Couldn’t They Just Have Called It “Fifteenth Bank”?

Fifth Third Bank building

Actually, it has that name because it’s the result of merging the Third National Bank and the Fifth National Bank. They didn’t go with “Third Fifth Bank” because of the reference to alcohol, which wouldn’t have been popular at the time — prohibitionist ideas were taking hold back then. (The Straight Dope has more about the bank’s name.)

Good Hygiene Advice

Sign: \"Employees must wash hands before returning to work. Customers too.\"

This is a sign in the bathroom at the Potbelly Sandwich Works near Fountain Square. They make a tasty sandwich, and provided us with the last real vegetables we had until the wedding.

The Montgomery Inn

Montgomery Inn

Wendy’s parents, who were also there for the wedding, took us out to dinner at the Montgomery Inn, and we all ate the restaurant specialty: ribs. I had the ribs and pork chop combo, which was pig-licious!

American Grocery Stores are Infinitely Fascinating

We had to stop at a grocery store to pick up some distilled water (grumble grumble CPAP grumble). Luckily, we had a GPS, and it led us to Kroger.

While there are grocery stores all over the world with great selections, there is nothing quite like an American grocery store. We may have choices, but when it comes to processed food, our neighbour to the south has mega-choices. For starters, who knew that there were so many types of cheese crackers? Who knew that there were so many types of Cheez-It brand crackers?

Joey deVilla in the Cheez-It aisle

Old Yeller…Dog Food?

Here’s something else I found at Kroger:

Bag of \"Old Yeller\" brand dog food

Really? Old Yeller brand dog food? Old Yeller chunk style dog food?

A little Googling led me to Kroger’s news release about the stuff:

Inspired by one of the most beloved movie classics of all time, The Kroger Co. today introduced Disney’s Old Yeller, a chunk style dog food now available at more than 2,500 stores around the country.

Released in 1957, Walt Disney’s Old Yeller was the quintessential tale of a boy’s love for his dog. Set amid the landscape of 1860s Texas, a young boy named Travis wants nothing to do with the lop-eared stray. But Old Yeller quickly proves himself a loyal friend, protecting the family and saving Travis’ life. They soon become inseparable pals, sharing joyous experiences and learning valuable lessons about growing up.

I’m a dog lover and had two dogs as a teenager, but when it comes to Old Yeller, it’s not the “boy and his dog” bonding that sticks out in my mind. It’s the ending, where Travis has to shoot his beloved dog because he gets rabies (or, as they say in the movie, “hydrophoby”).

When most people think of Old Yeller, it’s something like this clip, titled Old Yeller in Five Seconds:

It’s a cultural meme that’s found its way into a lot of comedy routines, including this one by the Kids in the Hall:

…and this follow-up sketch:

I’ll leave the final word on Old Yeller Dog Food to James Norton at Flak Magazine.

Fast Food Heaven

Ooh! White Castle! The holiest of holies!

Joey deVilla standing in front of a White Castle

Cincinnati is supposedly famous for chili, but I have yet to meet anyone who likes it:

Skyline Chili sign: \"Extreme cheese is back & it\'s hot\"

“Three-way” in Cincinnati does not means the same thing as “three-way” does here in Accordion City [safe for work], believe you me, nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more…

Waffle House! Whoo!

After all these years, I finally got eat at Waffle House!

Waffle House

I had the All-Star Breakfast: two eggs, two sausage patties, toast, biscuits smothered in sausage gravy, all washed down with a chocolate milk. I’d better go hit the gym.

Cracker Barrel! Double Whoo!

Front of Cracker Barrel restaurant

Cracker Barrel is a great place for down-home cookin’. You have to respect a place that lists macaroni and cheese as a vegetable (Mama Dip’s in Chapel Hill does the same thing).

They’ve got lots of rocking chairs on their porch:

Rocking chairs on the porch of Cracker Barrel

Here’s a photo of what I had for dinner:

Chicken and dumplings with hashbrown casserole, biscuits, fried breaded okra and turnip greens

From left to right, that’s: hash brown casserole, biscuits, chicken and dumplings, deep-fried breaded okra and turnip greens. Wendy had meat loaf with mac and cheese as one of her vegetables. The meal should come with a free defibrillator.

One Last Mustang Picture

Here I am with the ‘Stang after the wedding, wearing my barong (in fact, it’s the barong I wore at my wedding). No, it wasn’t a Filipino wedding — it was a Jewish one, in fact — but it’s light and cool, making it perfect formal wear for hot, muggy weather.

Joey deVilla in a \"barong tagalog\" beside a silver Mustang

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan Davidovic July 3, 2008 at 3:14 pm

Looks like you missed out on Kroger’s hamburger recall.

Tom July 3, 2008 at 3:37 pm

Your comment about Cincinnati chili is funny precisely because we enjoyed some canned Skyline for dinner last night, and after licking our bowls, my wife looked at me and said in the most earnest of tones, “How could anyone NOT like this stuff”.

Jordan Running July 3, 2008 at 4:45 pm

Haha, Third Fifth. I used to have a car loan through 5/3 but never made that leap.

Krista Neher July 3, 2008 at 4:50 pm

Did we discuss this while I was at the B5 offices? How did I not remember that you were coming to Cincinnati??? More importantly, what do I have to do to get you to start posting your photos on Photrade?

…. seems like you had a good time here 🙂

5chw4r7z July 8, 2008 at 9:06 am

I always wondered about 5th 3rd. I had assumed there were 4 previous 3rd Banks so therefore…

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