This past weekend I stole away on a short trip south, into Fort Thomas, Kentucky. Just south of Cincinnati, this small but beautiful town is a short 10 minute drive from Newport on the Levee which has a multitude of its own attractions. While there, I spent the weekend with a longtime friend who recently relocated there after taking a full time position with a large company. We spent the weekend sight-seeing, exploring his new neighborhood, and taking in some great food!
Fort Thomas was actually originally a Civil War fort and training camp for Union soldiers. The area with the water tower and oldest fort buildings are now located in what is called Tower Park. We walked through the park while catching up on the the last few months. The park is full of older buildings, with some of the oldest houses renovated into private homes. There were other buildings, not quite as old but larger and more beautiful, that were sitting empty. On a secluded cul-de-sac in the back of the park, there must have been nearly a dozen large brick houses overgrown and rotting away. As a historic preservation buff with a passion for all old buildings, I couldn’t help but take a ton of photographs.
It actually felt kind of creepy; all these abandoned houses in the back of a park, I don’t think I saw any other people while we were walking there and taking photographs. I could easily see a horror movie being filmed there. This sign didn’t help me feel any more comfortable.
The building that originally served as the Fort’s mess hall has been preserved and now functions as a Community Center. As a banquet hall, it can seat over 680 people. Although we couldn’t take a look inside, judging by the exterior the inside must be a beautiful hall.
We also toured the history museum and learned more about the town’s military importance from its role during the Civil War to how it now houses a VA hospital for senior citizen veterans as well as a PTSD treatment center for recently returned veterans.
The following day we spent the latter part of the afternoon at Newport on the Levee before seeing a film at the cinema. One of the many shops and attractions was a small gallery of of work by local artists, ranging from photography, paintings, pottery, and jewelry. I spottted these early in the gallery, and walked through the rest of it knowing I wanted them.
A set of 4 plates (only 2 in the photograph) and small platter, made for sushi and wasabi. I enjoy a good sushi outing every now and then, but wouldn’t make something like that at home. Maybe for entertaining, for appetizers or hors d’oeuvres. I just saw these handmade plates and knew I had to have them. I love the two tone turquoise-gray background with multiple textures, the thickness of the glazing in some areas (lead-free so they are food safe), and the crazed surface of the plates.
They are almost flat, with slightly raised edges. I was excited when I bought them and like them even more now that I have them home. I could see myself designing an entire kitchen inspired just from these plates alone, I like them that much! The artist is Aaron “Wolf” Milavec, a local Cincinnati artist with an impressive art background.
They carry a whole assortment of these plush fabric toys, from veggies and fruits to breakfast and dessert. The best part is that they are entirely machine washable, so my sister can just pop them in the washing machine when they need cleaned. Although I do find much of IKEA’s inventory unappealing, I think their DUKTIG line of children’s toys are such a refreshing change of pace from the plastic trash that seems to be the new norm of Fisher Price and Mattel these days.
And I leave you with a photo of me and my Cincinnati friends, two of which had just graduated from UC the previous day, after a fun game of darts and a round of Killians Irish Red (further proof that I am some sort of giant):