Saturday, February 27, 2016

Tale of two cities

Did something out of the norm last night and left the car at home. Since we're not in walkable distance of anything, we took the COTA bus downtown for dinner at a newer restaurant It's been a stressful time and this was a good opportunity to relax, have a good meal, a couple of drinks, and not have to worry about parking downtown or getting an OMVI on the way home.

I did not realize Salt and Pine took up most of the length of a city block. It does not go deep into the building, but the layout is very modern. Some tables are intimate and secluded, while others seem to be on public display. We got a window table with a view of High Street.

The service is excellent, though I could not help but notice our female servers had one button extra unbuttoned on their work shirts. The flank steak I had was outstanding, my wife had a pork cheek pasta that was very good. The cocktails were fresh and potent. I had my first taste of Pisco. Our fig pudding dessert was the one minus. It was too dry and needed a soaking in the sauce.

It is odd, paying an electric bill for dinner. What a few years ago would have been a serious luxury was not so this time. We can't afford to go there weekly, or even monthly, but this was a gift for my wife and I. Ten years ago this would have been impossible. Finances have improved. We're alright, not great, but better than ok.

On a day where the city of Columbus deemed that the short north was no longer a place for low income people to live, the ride home was an unsettling reality of the two cities in my city.

This is the route my wife takes, everyday, and she hears stories, sees things and they're not pleasant. At one stop, a good portion of the passengers got off and crossed over at West Mound. These people were all going to the homeless shelter on Harmon. Heaven help this city if there's another shelter for people in the inner core. We have to have them outside of downtown, out of sight, at a spot you can't access easily by foot. Where your journey to a cot for the night begins at an unlit bus stop.

I do not have any real answers, and I'm not going to be guilt tripped after having an expensive dinner. There's a gap though, between me in a warm room tapping this on my Macbook Pro in our underwater mortgaged house. There are changes coming for the better for my family. Others though, I wonder where there is hope.

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