Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Oregon District

My favorite thing about the neighborhood where I live is that it's both eclectic and populated by some of the best people-watching subjects I have ever seen anywhere.    Dayton's Oregon District is a playground for the wealthy and ostentatious, the homeless and crazy, and the young and hip.  I choose to both live and play in this area and thus am surrounded by an outrageous cast of characters on a pretty regularly basis.   For this blog, I'm going to pull out some of this week's hi-lights, but by no means was this even a particularly weirdo-laden week.   Just keep that in mind.

Shopping at Kroger:
On monday when I went to the Wayne Ave. Kroger store in cut-off jean shorts with my ninja tattoo still very prominently on display, I attracted no awkward glances.   A gentleman in a wife-beater and a fitted cap standing out front even looked at my adorned inner thigh and nodded at me, as if to say, "I find that tattoo to be a good choice" and I feel like he didn't mean it ironically.   I love that I live in a place where I can be in Daisy Dukes displaying my ninja and still not be even close to the top-5 trashiest dressed.   I saw a woman in some bizarre angry bunny pajama pants.  Mind you, we're still in a heat wave so it was probably 90 degrees.   Whatever.  Also, some lady as I was driving back from Kroger gave me the "I'm watching you" eye and flipped me off, but I didn't commit any driving gaffe so I can only assume she saw my tattoo and wanted to challenge my ninja prowess.   Bring it, bitch, says I, standing in ninja posture and motioning to "come on" with my hand.

Friday at Trolley Stop:

Trolley Stop is one of my favorite bars of all time, and conveniently it's within walking (or stumbling) distance of my lovely apt.  It's sort of a Dayton landmark and it was a speak-easy during Prohibition and even survived the period when the Oregon District was called "Wine and Filth" (because it's at Wayne and Fifth) before it's grand rejuvenation in the 1970s.  It looks as you might expect from what I just told you--dark, dingy, and a little dangerous.  But the food and drinks are to die for and one never knows who they might run into.  Prime example, last night after work as I entered Trolley Stop, I was greeted by a tiny eldery black man, dressed in an antique-looking suit and vest, with no teeth.   As I sat down at the bar and started gabbing with Sam, he looked over at me, and said (hand to God) "What ever happened to Sigourney Weaver? I know she was in alien..."  Remember he was toothless.  So it was a struggled to make out "Sigourney Weaver" in that sentence.   He seemed to be lost in his own thoughts, until a few minutes later, after watching Shark Week on the small bar TV, asked Sam and I if we had heard about the threesome who got killed by the shark.  They were all in love with eachother and one guy died of a shark bite.   And the other two were, "all torn up".   I didn't get a chance to ask if he meant literally or figuratively because with raised eyebrows, both Sam and I decided to move locations and sit outside.

Outside on the patio, which is airy and open with iron-rod tables and chairs in stark contrast to the dingy, wooden inside, we picked a table and encountered even more ridiculous people watching.   A large group of 5 adults sat across from us, and I don't think I could even begin to pin-point how they all knew each other.  A short-haired earth-mother brunette in her forties, a biker in his 60s, a teased blonde barbie (fallen on hard times) in her sixties, and of course, a dead-ringer for Colonel Sanders in white pants with an elastic waist band.  At one point, the earth-mother knocked over her red wine and a splash or two hit the Colonel's immaculate white pants.   "Oh no, I'll pay for the dry-cleaning bill,"  she said, apologizing profusely.   Sam and I, exchanged looks.   Dry-cleaning bill?  For elastic waisted pants?  Then, this group was joined by a man with a deformed hand, which was small and shorted, like a T-rex hand.  Fair enough.  But what bothered me, is that he kept on grabbing things with his small, broken hand.  Ok, creepy-pete, way to illuminate your differently-abledness.

On the Street:
Just walking through the Oregon District is an adventure in itself.  Especially on a Friday night.    While distracted by a homeless man and the hot-dog stand which sets up on the weekends, I caught my heel in uneven pavement and fell ass over tea kettle.   I scrapped up my knees and elbows and I felt sheepish and pathetic, like a little kid falling off a bike because she's still not ready to be without training wheels.   It occurred to me though, people probably thought I was a drunken idiot and not a child, but embarrassing all the same.    Sam suggested we duck into a sex-shop for a moment of solace, but I nixed the idea, opting instead to truck along.  We moved on to Thai 9 to round out the evening.  But bonus on the street moment: on the way back from Thai 9 some fratty guys leered at us and slurred, "You two are hot" and Sam starting laughing so hard she almost pee'd a little.

Thai 9:

 Thai 9 is so much more than just delicious Thai food.   It's also the go-to, "I'm trying to impress you and show you my exotic side," date spot and the choice of stupid-girl birthdays/showers.  Again, amazing people-watching.   Sam and I got there about 10 last night so we were tucked away in a loft area and only a few other stragglers were in the building.   My friend Chris is a server there and he comped us some crab-rangoon and made us crazy cocktails while we regaled him with tales of coworker's dating woes.   Then, in a perfect end to the evening, one of Chris's coworkers started singing Unchained Melody so Sam and I joined (beautifully, may I add) and two asian business men chilling at the sushi bar clapped.  And asians KNOW good karaoke.

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