I’m afraid there’s not much to say about Dayton, Ohio. Ohio is not one of my favorite states. I just don’t find anything to be very interesting about it. It feels depressed to me. But maybe that’s just me. At any rate, there isn’t a whole lot doing in downtown Dayton, so it was a fairly uneventful few days there.
It was quite a haul from Raleigh to Dayton, but as usual the sleeper bus was great because most of the trip was spent in slumber. The hotel, the Doubletree, was nice enough, and the theater, which has only been around since 2004, was nice as well – spacious and clean, and the crew was very friendly and welcoming. Load-in was fine, opening was fine. It was that kind of week. Fine.
Dayton, unfortunately, like Birmingham, is low on dining options. So, most of the week was spent trying to be creative in that department. It’s amazing that you can put a meal together with items bought at CVS. You learn to do such things on tour. It doesn’t mean we like it, though. Luckily there was a pretty good soul food place right by the theater that was open on Saturday and Sunday, and a Pizzeria Unos. Without those two places, we would have starved!
I spent much of the week in rehearsal – we have a new swing starting – Sarah Lin Johnson – she takes over for Piper at the end of this week. When I wasn’t at work, I did check out what there is to see in downtown Dayton. It’s a very industrial town, but there is evidence of an artistic side. There is a small part of town that is home to a lot of graphics and design businesses, and there are some cool murals on some of the buildings in that area. I took some snaps, as well as one in front of a mural at the 2nd Street Public Market, which strangely enough, never seemed to be open.
The one cool section of town, the Oregon District, had one street that was lined with restaurants, a cafe, some bars and music venues, and a few cool shops – a bookstore, a jewelry store, a record shop. Ryan and I ventured over there on Wednesday and ran into a bunch of the company, also obviously trying to find something to like about Dayton! I actually really loved the coffee shop there, which had amazing panini sandwiches, and the Thai restaurant was also quite good, as well as the cute Trolley Stop, a bar with a nice back garden, where you could sit outside and eat lunch.
We also walked around the neighboring streets and looked at a bunch of the old houses. The Oregon district is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Dayton, so there is some interesting architecture over there. My favorite building was that of an old church that had been converted into a climbing gym, but that still had all the stained glass windows and ceiling beams of the church. Very cool.
On Thursday Ryan and I went for a bike ride on a path down by the river. It was a couple of miles before the trail really took us by anything worth looking at when we ended up in a nice park, but it was a good ride nonetheless. We saw a map of the trail and realized that it encircled the state of Ohio and ran for 1200 miles! That would be quite a bike ride if you set out to do the whole thing!
One other redeeming factor about Dayton was J-Alan’s – the bar across from the stage door. It had a really nice staff, was open late, allowed us to order pizza in, and had live music every night. We heard some good musicians throughout the course of the week, and some of our own even got up to perform on open mic night.
The week culminated with the finale of the Battle of the Beards. Tony Pittsley was crowned the winner, and I have to say, he really deserved it, having grown out not only the hair on his face, but also the hair on his head. As we have all known Tony for over a year now to always have a freshly shaved pate, it was quite a transformation for him to actually have hair. Photos are over onJovon’s blog.
And there you have it. Dayton in a nutshell. We are now in Milwaukee, which seems to be a very fun town so far. Hopefully I will have more interesting things to write about next week!