Saturday in CinCity

Our local grocery store is closed due to financial troubles and, though it sounds a bit melodramatic, I am heartbroken. Our entire neighborhood has been taken by surprise and the effect is more than the loss of a convenience. Many neighbors here don't drive so a local grocer is a necessity for them. We have two blind neighbors in Clifton. They could call ahead with their orders. At times the food was delivered or ready for pickup or an employee would walk with them through the store picking out items.

More than that for me, I would see my neighbors there and find out the scuttlebutt of the week, solve the political problems of the city, see old friends from the days when my grrrls were in grade school and on soccer teams, and talk to the firefighters from the station house next door. Sold our pickup truck to police officer Wilson, who moonlighted there, and admired Detective Meyers' grandbaby photos--his daughter worked in my unit at BigFatTeaching Hospital. We've been to a funeral of an employee there, CollegeGrrrl has been to weddings and baby showers from her stint as a cashier, she even stopped in before senior prom because they wanted to see her dress.

And, we can no longer run up to the grocery store multiple times

in a day to buy whatever it is that I forgot to get on the last trip. That has been a huge kick in the pants. If I have to drive out to Surry Square or go to that horrible Krogers on Spring Grove you can damn well bet this chickadee is not going to be forgetting anything on the grocery list. Maybe that's a good thing, but still I miss MarkieMark coming up to me in the produce section asking me what my recipe is for tonight's dinner.

Translation for Chaka Khan's verse--"pull up the big girl pants." Sounds prettier in French...

I Have Lived This Way for Years and Do Not Wish to Change

by Michael Blumenthal

I hope you'll forgive the black paint
on my windows, the smell of cat litter
in the kitchen. Guests complain sometimes
that my collection of Minoan cadavers spoils
their appetite, or that having the shower
in the living room creates too much moisture,
but I think you'll grow used to it
if we get to be friends.

Yes, it is kind of inconvenient
having the bed strapped to the ceiling,
but I've grown so accustomed to the view
of my Max Ernst carpet that I hardly think
I could sleep with gravity anymore.

Why thank you, it was a gift from my lover's husband
after our honeymoon in Cincinnati. I do think
it goes well with the orange bedroom set, the burgundy curtain.

See, you're feeling quite at home already.
Don't be shy.
Help yourself to the jellyfish, the goose down,
the chocolate-covered cotton balls.

For something a bit more thoughtful, please visit my friend, Lydia. That's a poem to keep in my pocket.

please note: photo art by Tamaleshuck on Flickr


  1. Thank you for sharing this. It is something that, sadly, is happening everywhere, and as you say it is way beyond losing a convenience. It is losing the center of a community (no mean feat, in a city), a way of life. I am sorry (for the owners and their customers).

  2. I cannot believe the synchronicity of a kind of mourning we both have right now. I absolutely understand that you are heartbroken, and I feel exactly that here in Silverton, Oregon, where this week our local family dairy closed its operation. It was in the same family since begun in 1954 and was the best, creamiest (even the low-fat) milk and whipping cream. I drove there earlier in the week and saw the last of the cows. The fine herd was sold to a dairy in Texas, and the first of two shipments left on the 17th, followed by the remainder this week. They are all gone now. We have one gallon left in the fridge that we will drink as if communion. I have saved two empty gallon jugs with the label just for memory sake...

    I have been wanting to write about it in my blog but have actually been too depressed about it. So your post meant the world to me, and I may just find the right words to write about Mallorie's Dairy. I'll link to this poem if I do. And thanks for the shout out to my blog.

  3. I struggle with change.....but bore easily....what is that all about?....thank you for a few minutes of lovely Ms Chaka Khan! What a voice.......smiles.

  4. A real shame to see local community oriented businesses going bust in favor of mass market mindless profit at any cost driven corporations. This cannot be a good thing for us. We need more community contact, not less.

    Truly lovely smile on the young lady in the apron. And I just noticed, but is that a magpie or a crow picking at corn in the header there ? Or even a starling ?

  5. Thanks for the commiseration. When we Cliftonites try to describe our sorrow at losing a neighborhood institution we're confronted with blank stares. So many folks I work with live in the suburbs and don't have the same relationship with a local store or the store's workers. It's not that way here where kids of friends are working in the shops along Ludlow Ave. and we've all seen each other for years.

    Owen, I believe that is a magpie by Charlie Harper, and you pick out the smile on the young, blonde cashier--howzabout the guy with the halter top??!! Who doesn't want to shop in a grocery with all that goin' on??!! :>)

  6. I finally posted about losing our local dairy, and remembered this post. :)


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Hey, thanks for your thoughts and your time:>)

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