Although I’m sure I’ll try to assume a starring role in many of the upcoming scenes, this blog isn’t primarily about me but about a place. Because it’s close to a university, Clifton houses lots of undergrad and graduate college students who stay a few years and then move on, but there are also people who choose to live here because it’s a vibrant and colorful neighborhood that’s convenient and has cheap martinis on Friday nights. For the most part my life here has been sweetness and light, and I pretty much expected everything to float along in a sweet somnambulant haze until one day I walked past my friendly neighborhood grocery store and noticed that…gulp…gulp again…it was closed. Not for a day or two, either—more like permanently unless someone found a way to save it.
If you’re strong enough to handle it, I ask you to look at the photograph below. It’s a picture that was taken one day when a big mob of Cliftonites got together at a friendly neighborhood church to discuss how to save Kellers IGA. Do you see how serious everyone looked?
Although I didn’t show up in that picture, I was there that day, and I looked as serious as the rest of the crew. And at night I had nightmares about what would happen to Clifton without a grocery store. Images of empty storefronts and boarded-up windows besieged my subconscious as I slept at night, and I was almost afraid to walk up to Ludlow and see if my nightmare was becoming reality.
Strangely, though, it isn’t. Good things are happening on Ludlow and Clifton in general, and I’m here to tell you about them. The new grocery store, a new Goessling Markets, will be here soon, and when it does it’ll have lots of happy neighbors, some old, some new, all contributing in some way to making Clifton one of the best neighborhoods in Cincinnati.