Kate's Queen City Notes

Blundering through Cincinnati, laughing all the way

A Diversion: Midpoint Music Festival

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I will be digressing from my reading adventures for this post. This past weekend was Midpoint Music Festival, and I did very little reading but so much indie rock listening. It’s difficult to narrow down what to say about the festival because it was so fun, but I think the theme of this entry would be that there is no where else that I would have rather been on this planet than in Cincinnati for this weekend surrounded by these amazing people.

Thursday started out strong. I saw Pomegranates, Here We Go Magic, and Andrew Bird at Washington Park. Andrew Bird completely blew my mind; I will see him any chance I get in the future. I headed to Best Coast at Grammer’s tent after; it was too loud. This is really saying something considering the venue is outside and enormous. I rounded out the night with Dirty Projectors and Stepdad; The Emery Theater couldn’t have been a better indie rock venue if it tried.

Friday I saw Grizzly Bear, Dinosaur Jr, Bad Veins, and The Antlers. All were great, but Dinosaur Jr was the stand out of the evening. They go on my must see whenever possible list.

Saturday was epic and mostly prompted this blog entry. I started the day by leading a volunteer event at a daycare in Over-the-Rhine. The event went well considering that the location was hard to find and parking was tough to come by. After we completed the work we went over to the Findlay Market Biergarten for some beers on the United Way. The weather could not have been more perfect for this event. It was mild and sunny; the sky was a brilliant blue spattered with white,  puffy clouds. One of the volunteers happens to live in my building and had a flat tire on his bicycle; I gave him a ride home.

I stopped at home to rest for just a bit and just as I was headed to the festival my partner returned with one of our friends from Columbus. We headed to Memorial Hall first for some free beer. (My partner and I had VIP passes to the festival and free beer, food, and Vitamin Water at Memorial Hall was one of the perks.) There a couple of serendipitous things happened. I met the director of Art Works and discussed possible future volunteer events; I met the person who is planning The Pride Festival next year. More explanation will be needed for you, dear reader, to understand the significance of that second event.

My friends and I think the Pride parade is boring. We have been working over this problem for a couple of years. One of my friends has an idea to fix this problem, offer prizes to parade participants for the most creative floats. The incentives don’t need to be extravagant. People will do surprising things for a little booze. I was tasked with infiltrating the Pride planning committee and getting our idea adopted.

Apparently, the man who plans MPMF also plans Pride. While outside Memorial Hall we stumbled upon him and shared our idea for the Pride Parade. He thought it was a stellar idea and gave us his card. So maybe next year at Pride I will see a little creativity instead of waves of people carrying Pride flags? Dare to dream.

After these chance meetings, we headed to The Seedy Seeds show at the 4EG stage at Midpoint Midway. The show was awesome. We danced our pants off, and I sweat my pants off. Other people can fix cars or cook; I sweat. It’s just what I do. There was a creeper guy there who kept trying to touch any thing with a rack or long hair, as one of the guys was dismayed to learn. As all women who have regularly been to dance clubs, we were skilled in defensive dancing. So, he didn’t diminish my experience. It helped that he seemed not in his right mind. He inspired my inner mom to chastise him as opposed to my typical lecherous asshole response which would have generated swift elbow blows to his ribs.

After picking up more friends at The Seedy Seeds we headed to Main Street and ran across the Framester Photo Booth Truck, so this had to happen.

From here we pinged back and forth between Motr, Mr Pitiful’s, The Know Theater, and Japps. The bands were unremarkable, but Saturday was more about hanging out with friends than it was listening to music. By 230am we were at Motr were hanging out with one of our friends and a couple of folks we had just met that night. One of our new friends lived two doors down from Motr, so we headed there. She had an amazing loft on Main Street. It had all the trimmings of a typical loft apartment, hard wood floors, open floor plan, exposed brick, high ceilings and exposed duct work.

We discovered an area of her apartment building that is typically locked was open. This required exploring. Apparently there is a part of the building that wasn’t rehabbed. My best guess is that it was left due to none of the windows having an accessible fire escape, and hence the rooms can’t be used as a dwelling due to fire code.

The area consisted of three rooms and a stairway to nowhere. There were loads of wall murals and other miscellaneous art work. It was also clearly someone’s spot to shoot up. In one of the rooms, there was a ladder to a trap door. Clearly we had to see where it went. It lead to the roof and a panoramic view of Over-the Rhine. It was so beautiful it took my breath away. I enjoyed great conversation with amazing people and that gorgeous view while sipping a little whiskey until 530 in the morning. It was a night where my heart was so full of happiness that it made me wonder how I got so lucky to have such an amazing life with such great people in it.

Views from the roof:

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