Hello! Welcome back!
If you’re new here, thanks for tuning in. I am VERY new to blogging so bear with me.
Most of what I write about will be Halcyon Creative and its happenings. I just got booked for three weddings, a baby’s first birthday and for a piece to hang in someone’s home. Things are BUSY.
BUT! As many of you know, I have a day job that I adore. I work as a Structural Engineer specializing in Bridge Design, Inspection, Rehabilitation and Scoping. I also have gotten to work on a bridge construction site and designing, rehabbing and inspecting dam structures! I’ve worked on teams to design vehicular and pedestrian bridges made of steel, reinforced concrete and timber. I also kayak under existing bridges to examine the condition of their surfaces not accessible from land. Yes, that tiny person below is me, in the kayak in the middle of winter.
If you are already lost, join the club. I can barely keep track day to day what I will be doing because as an engineer, it truly changes daily. If you’re thinking “Micah how do you balance a full time job and a side hustle?” Let me give you a completely honest answer – “Not well!”.. and God forbid, if you’re thinking “Micah you’re so smarrrrrrrrrrrt” let me ASSURE you I am not. But I am driven and eager to learn, and working to keep that mindset is a good start!
Now that THAT is out of the way, let me tell you something exciting! In January I got to spend 2 weeks in Cincinnati taking a course in Bridge Inspection. I was immediately nervous for what to expect being on a business trip for that long, and in a city I have never visited before.
As a native michigander, I have not heard many people lovingly talk about Ohio. Even my own dear brother refers to Ohio as the “armpit of the nation”. I have never understood the hatred, but I was unsure what to expect from Cinci.
You guys. I was BLOWN away.
Cincinnati is a thriving city with incredible personality and really stunning infrastructure. As a Bridge Engineer, I spend a lot of time looking at how locations choose to beautify their bridges. Most places don’t put much money or thought into it but Cincinnati, being located on the Ohio River and connecting to Covington KY had stunning examples of many different bridge types. If you are looking for stuff to do in Cincinnati, please keep reading. It is one of my favorite trips in recent memory.
1. Roebling BRidge
If you don’t immediately see the Roebling bridge when you enter Cinci, I feel bad for you son. I got 99 problems and ugly infrastructure AIN’T ONE. (Sorry, I laugh at my own jokes because somebody has too). When you see the bridge you may think “huh. That looks familiar” and you’d be RIGHT BECAUSE THE ROEBLING BRIDGE WAS THE PRECURSOR TO THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE. That’s right! Same designer. And Cincinnati was first! It opened for public use in 1867 and spans 1,057 feet. When I was in Cinci it was FREEZING outside so I spent a grand total of like 3 seconds on the steel grid bridge deck, but I sat in my car and stared for at least 20 minutes. Now almost 150 years old, the Roebling bridge serves pedestrian and vehicular needs connecting both the Cinci and Covington Riverfronts.
2. St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption
Yes, you read that right. There is a historical basilica in Covington, Kentucky… and I happened to find it by total accident while looking for a car wash… and it has the largest stained glass window in the WORLD. ISN’T THAT INSANE?! The cathedral was started in 1894 and completed in 1915. Now, if you aren’t catholic (where my protestants at?!) you may wonder what a basilica is – I sure did! The answer I found is basically “Someone of importance decides it is one.” In this case, Pope Pius XII elevated St. Mary’s to the distinction of Basilica in 1953. I spent probably an hour going from window to window, remembering the stories of my childhood of Jesus and his mercy. It was a really emotional experience for me. Whether you are religious or not, the architecture and historical significance of St. Mary’s Basilica of the Assumption can be enjoyed by all.
3. Findlay Market
I have no doubt if you google Cincinatti, Findlay Market comes up as an option for shopping, food, sightseeing and relaxation. I came for breakfast the Saturday I was in Cinci, and spent a couple hours looking at the stores surrounding the market itself. Findlay market is ALSO historic (surprise surprise!) and was founded in 1852. The market structure actually is steel framework, which is common today for structural engineering but was very new at that time. There are endless food options and a number of CUTE stores for shopping at nearby. I am desperately loyal to Eastern Market in my hometown, Detroit, but Findlay was SO nice too.
& MANY OTHER THINGS!
I could go on forEVER about the things to see and do in Cincinnati. Instead of writing paragraphs for each of them, there is a list below with a number of pictures I snapped on my adventures. I am endlessly thankful for the life I have and the adventures I have gotten to experience, and I can honestly say with full sincerity I LIKED my time in Ohio.
Additional highlights from my trip:
1. Sotto (Italian food that was INCREDIBLE)
2. Eli’s BBQ (classic barbeque, what else could you need)
3. Bakersfield OTR (there is a bakersfield in Detroit as well, and I LOVE it so it was nice to have it on my trip too!)
4. Maplewood Kitchen and Bar (this was close to my hotel and I ate there a couple times! Delicious.)
1. Cinci Botanical Gardens
2. Krohn Conservatory
3. Overlook Park
4. Observation deck
5. Cincinnati Art Museum
6. Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum