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Gem City Gems

Dayton, Ohio.  Love it or hate it, but, of course, every city has its gems, and Gem City is no different.  These are a few of my favorite places around town:

1.  Ghostlight Coffee: Comfortable atmosphere, great coffee, good music on the weekends.  You pay on an iPad.  I dropped a credit card on the floor there once and received a Facebook message from the owner before I even realized it was listing.  In the summer, their iced blueberry rooibos tea is amazing (and this coming from a die-hard coffee drinker)!

2.  Press Coffee: Voted one of the hippest coffeehouses in America (really, top 10 list).  Has a bad rap for being “too hipster” and that the baristas aren’t friendly, but I disagree from my experiences.  The last time  I was there, I realized I forgot to bring cash (and it’s cash only).  I counted all the quarters I could come up with, and found I had about a buck 25.  I asked how much an iced coffee cost (it was at least in the upper 90s that day) and found out it was $2.50.  As I didn’t have enough, I said, “Oh, I’ll just have a cup of coffee then” (which is only a dollar).  The barista responded, “Oh, well, we’re having a one-day sale on iced coffee, and right now it’s only $1.25.”

3.  Trolley Stop: Good beer, great outdoor patio, live music.  What more do you need?

4.  Oregon Express:  Although Trolley Stop seems to have a larger selection of beers on tap, I prefer Oregon Express because of their second-story patio.  You can sit upstairs outside and watch people walking by on the street, see a bit of downtown, and watch as the train goes by on the nearby bridge.

5. Peace on Fifth: The only Slave-Free store in the world!  The owner of the store graciously came to speak to my class just this week, despite the students’ (high schoolers from Argentina and Peru) being only mildly interested.   Scarves are one of my downfalls so I’m going to have to get one before I leave town, knowing that I’ll be both supporting a local business and NOT paying for slave labor (learn more here) with my purchase.  If you find yourself in the Oregon District, definitely stop in; if you’re not near by, it’s worth the trip.

Adventures in Ohio


The last time I posted it was November of last year and I was writing from Žilina, Slovakia.

At that time, I had no idea where I was going to be come January 2012, but Dayton, Ohio was certainly the last place I expected to go.  (My thoughts were more along the lines of NYC, Boston, or DC … Especially DC).

Now, I’ve been in Dayton for seven months, and am getting ready to leave.  (Guess where I’m going)!

And I haven’t written a single post about Ohio… until now.

It’s been a difficult seven months – Dayton’s been a much harder place to get used to and to connect in than I ever expected it would be.  However, like most things in life, downs have ups, dark clouds have silver linings, and it’s the rain that makes rainbows possible.  (Does anyone have a better metaphor for that last one? It’s a bit too cheesy for my tastes O:) ).

I’m incredibly thankful to have had such a wonderful group of colleagues to work with here, a fantastic roommate (and a sweet dog and five pet chickens), and people who have been happy to share their friends with me.

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I’m looking forward to moving on to a place I think I’ll be able to stay in for a while.  DC will be my fifth “state” in the past ten years (what?? and that doesn’t even include being in Slovakia!), and I’m looking forward to being much closer to home, family, and friends.

Believe it or not though, I will miss Dayton, Ohio (at least a little), and am certain I’ve made (at least a few) lifelong friends here, and that I am thankful for.