i often have the urge to just wander. i’m talking about a city-wandering urge. i want to leisurely walk down a street or two, stopping to inspect interesting nooks & crannies, pop into a shop when the window display calls out to me, take a break to jot down some bit of inspiration while sipping an iced coffee. those days were easy to come by in chicago, los angeles, berkeley, san francisco, and santa cruz. but not so common in indiana. i have had this urge and found myself walking up and down kirkwood in bloomington, but it’s home, and it’s only one street…so that doesn’t always satisfy the itch. occasionally i have ventured to indianapolis to wander up and down mass ave. again, it’s just not the same. the shops are few and far between (though the ones that do exist are lovely). there’s just something about the feeling of wandering here that is so different from the feeling of bigger city wandering.
and so a week ago, while i was visiting family in cincinnati, i finally seized the opportunity to wander a neighborhood i have never been too. northside did not disappoint. northside is home of fabricate, a handmade gallery/shop full of local and regional artists i admire and often see at craft shows. fabricate was my initial stop, my reason for going to the area in the first place. i quickly realized though, that northside was also home to lots of other wonderful shops, restaurants, corners of peeling paint, art and all sorts of people. i spent hours wandering, inspecting, appreciating, and soaking in the seedy + lovely environment surrounding me.
wandering like that flips a switch in my head. i feel inspired and alive and invigorated in ways that surprise me. if you asked me where my dream home would be i would tell you “a little house with enough land to comfortably house dogs, chickens, goats, and kiddos. far enough out to feel free and unencumbered, but close enough to get my fill of people & community when i need it.” but…there’s this city girl in there too that longs to live within walking distance to shops, restaurants, parks, theaters, and people! it’s interesting how i can be equally (but differently) inspired by such opposite landscapes.