Showing posts from April, 2011

Daddy, daddy cool

On a dreary, dreary day, in a dreary, dreary place, we discovered this gem, Daddy Katz. We have to give credit to one of Jaco's coworkers who took us to lunch at an awesome little Greek place, and then pointed out the small building alone in the middle of nowhere.

As mentioned in my previous post, Trailers and tombstones , Daddy Katz sits between a trailer park and the closed GM plant.  It shares the space with a tattoo studio. And it makes sense. This place sells a kooky mix of tiki collectables, vintage 70s furniture, lamps and decorations, and hot rod rockabilly stuff. Yes, the owners love all of these things and jumbled them into one shop that just, well, works. Another area of interest is pinstiping. I have to admit I did not know about this art form before, but it is quite something. Basically you need a very steady hand, some special curvy brushes and enamel paint. You can pinstripe almost anything that will take the enamel paint and that you recon will look good with some …

Trailers and tombstones

What a dreary day it was when we woke up on Saturday. In fact, what a dreary couple of weeks. It has been raining for what seems like forever. Regardless, we couldn't just sit home on a weekend. Our itinerary: a kooky shop called Daddy Katz in Moraine, and then Traders World near Cincinnati. But first I need to share what we saw on our way there:

Just to give you some context, the City of Moraine is a more industrial and lower income area, very similar to say, Pretoria West. It is also home to the now deserted GM factory. This General Motors Assembly plant opened in 1951, originally as a Frigidaire appliance plant, and produced trucks for GM. From 2001-2008, it produced the GMT360 SUVs. It closed on December 23, 2008. At the time, the plant employed 2400 workers.

Right across from Daddy Katz we saw our first trailer park in America. We had to quickly cruise through, and it felt a bit like being on set of My name is Earl. These trailers are actually pretty big and I think they…

Veggie Ice Cream

Ha, gotcha. Sort of. On Sunday we decided it is now or never, we need to go plant our vegetable garden at the Foundation. They have this little high voltage fenced camp (to keep the evil deer and bunnies out), with plots of land that you can plant with whatever. And it is organic - no pesticides or fertilizers.

So we dug in. It was quite funny, us stadsjapies pretending to be farmers. But we turned the soil, broke apart the clumps, said hello to some earthworms and planted rows of beans, spinach, zucchini, lettuce, basil, onions, radishes and parsley. Now we hold thumbs, that our thumbs were at least a bit green.  

Naturally, after all our toiling in the sun, we had to go for ice cream. Hooray. Graeter's is  a home-made style establishment with only about 20 branches in the country. The still make their ice cream with the old French pot process, a very time consuming way. Their mixers are slow, as opposed to the modern methods that beat really fast, aerating the mixture, making i…

A secret garden

This weekend we discovered a hidden gem. In the middle of the posh suburb of Oakwood lies the Smith Memorial Gardens. It is basically a house with a beautiful garden that used to belong to a resident, but is now open for all who knows about it. It is filled with little park benches, think Notting Hill, tulips, daffodils and a pond filled with croaking frogs.

This particular afternoon was a very warm and sunny 28ºC, and everyone took advantage of this. There were grannies and babies and professional photographers photographing babies and pregnant girls. And there were this group of little girls in summer dresses catching frogs. Yes, forget the old rhyme that only boys are made of "frogs and snails and puppy dog tails". I had loads of fun snapping away.

After the kids was done playing "froggy high-jump" or something, I went and caught Mr. Frog (o.k, there were hundreds of frogs) singing his love song.

Hot dang! It's Daffodils.

There is one thing that makes up for Dayton's general lack of well, joie de vivre. But let me start at the beginning. Spring here arrives with a bang. One day it is cold and snowing, the next day 28ºC, and suddenly there are flowers everywhere. Blossoms on trees, little yellow flowers in the grass, and bulbs: tulips, muscari and daffodils. The daffodils are everywhere!

But wait, there's more. We all know things in America always need to be bigger and more extreme. I am very glad this particular homeowner lives by that philosophy:

Yes, this one front yard in the posh suburb of Oakwood. We can't figure out exactly what the deal is, if he plants them all by himself, or if the neighbours contribute. But it is spectacular. Thank you kind sir.