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Dear Downtown

By Maija Zummo · May 31st, 2012 · We, As Humans

You were a shit show this weekend and I straight up don’t appreciate it — in fact, I still get so irritated when I think about this weekend that my butt and calf muscles tense up into tiny little balls. I was too hot, too hungry and too dressed up to deal with whatever you were going through trying to figure out how to cram a thousand events into a single weekend. You want to schedule some gigantic street-shutting outdoor parties during an almost-record-breaking heat wave? Be my guest. But next time, sort your life out and figure out a plan so it doesn’t take me an hour and a half of stopped traffic and road rage to get from Central Parkway to U.S. Bank Arena.

Here’s the problem, Downtown: You keep enchanting me with the promise of a metropolitan lifestyle (two hour waits at restaurants that serve upscale street food, boutiques that carry clothing with interesting hemlines, craft cocktails concocted with homemade syrups and egg whites…) without the added benefit of figuring out how the hell you’re going to transport me down there. I want to embrace urban living, but if making my way to the urban core sucks so much that I’d rather rent Captain America from RedBox and drink chardonnay on my couch instead of putting in the hair-pulling effort of finding parking, what’s the difference?

What’s that you say? Parking is a first world problem? I don’t care. I have a car. I drive my car, especially when I need to get downtown. Why? Because buses kind of take forever and I don’t want to have to pee while riding one. You want to schedule a Reds game, Taste of Cincinnati set-up, Creflo Dollar Ministries, the MadLove Music Festival and a one-night-only Michael Jackson “The Immortal” World Tour Cirque du Soleil? I want to have time to eat dinner before I fork over $10 for a plastic cup of Bud Light at blah-be-de-blah arena. 

Cirque du Soleil started Friday at 8 p.m. My boyfriend and I left the house at 6 p.m.

Sure, I wasn’t delusional enough to think we’d make it to Senate in time for fancy hot dogs, but I thought, maybe, just maybe, we’d have enough time to down a couple happy hour cocktails and a pizza at Palomino’s bar before we were surrounded by MJ superfans in sparkly white gloves. Pipe dreams. I ended up eating an oxymoronically hard soft pretzel dipped in nacho cheese standing by a public restroom while a dude made fun of my sequins shorts. (If you can’t wear your sequins shorts to a Michael Jackson-inspired contortionist acrobatics show, where can you wear them?)

I mean, I’m all for the city making money, but, honestly, not at the cost of my convenience. After circling by Fountain Square trying to find parking for dinner, we realized Fifth Street was closed (and surrounded by U-Haul things trying to cram themselves onto one street to set up for Taste), so we tried to circle around and drive past the Duke Energy Center to hit Race and see if we couldn’t make it to the Moerlein Lager House in time to eat something, anything. Nope. 

The Creflo Dollar Ministries and their televangelical fans were not having it. So we waited in a snail’s line of vehicles and waited and waited, and looked at ladies in their big church hats, and waited. And finally got to the general U.S. Bank Arena area, after plowing our way through the Reds crowd at a glacial pace, at 7:15 p.m. Then we were surrounded by capitalist parking lot attendants taking innocent event goers for all they were worth. Haven’t these people paid enough already (figuratively and literally — the Cirque tickets in Dayton are $250 a pop) without forking over an additional $17 and $20 for parking?! 

We, as humans, drive because there isn’t a reasonable alternative in this city. At least respect that without robbing me of my puny salary to rent slivers of blacktop. 

So, basically, I hate you. Because, here’s the thing, if you don’t actually live downtown, it sucks to get there. Just because people decide they want to live in reclaimed lofts without yards doesn’t mean they get to drink all the sangria at Bakersfield. I like sangria, too. But I hate parking meltdowns. I was so scarred from Friday night that I didn’t even venture to patronize your establishments on Saturday. In fact, I headed out to the suburbs. Hyde Park has plenty of parking and beer flights for $8.

CONTACT MAIJA ZUMMO: letters@citybeat.com



05.31.2012 at 03:06 Reply

Well I certainly am sorry to hear about your rough weekend, but you sound just like another clueless suburbanite trying to find their way around. You do realize that the entire Banks project is built on top of parking garages? And that Newport and Covington are a short walk away when downtown is all jacked up? Ever think to park in NKY and take a cab from Newport on the Levee? Sorry this isn't a strip mall where you can park in front of Applebees and walk right in. You have to be patient and somewhat creative and especially not be afraid to walk. Your whiny rant about how too much was going on downtown this weekend is actually a compliment to the city leaders and event planners that worked very hard to make last weekend a very exciting and entertaining one for those of us who know how to navigate an urban environment. 


05.31.2012 at 03:58 Reply

Is this a serious editorial or satire? You probably picked the worst weekend out of the entire year to DRIVE and PARK downtown--the one weekend when the folks who only go downtown once a year, well, go downtown. You could have taken the bus, which is quite easy to navigate if you look at their routes online or use the transit feature in Google Maps. You could have taken a cab. This editorial could be summaried with the sentence, "No one goes Downtown, it's too crowded."


05.31.2012 at 04:31 Reply

Hey sweetie, stick to TGI O'Chilibee's next time and leave Downtown to the grownups.


05.31.2012 at 10:01

You're not supposed to call women sweetie, even if you live downtown and are super enlightened. 


05.31.2012 at 10:17

Don't get your panties in a bunch Jamie Sweetcheeks.