I started this blog almost exactly 7 years ago! Since then, I’ve published roughly 2,000 posts — 1,000 about Cincinnati and 600 specifically on our neighborhood of Over-the-Rhine. A lot has changed since then, and this blog has changed as well. More changes are in store this year.
7 years ago, I was busy exploring the city that was new to me and starting my future in this neighborhood. This blog was a way to meet people, stay up-to-date with neighborhood news that the media wasn’t reporting, and provided an outlet for sharing my local discoveries and day-to-day adventures. Over time, as our business took off, our studio news ended up here and, as we were able to travel more, here is where I recorded and reflected on those experiences.
At this point, Cincinnati is pretty familiar and, after watching the neighborhood change from the sidelines, I no longer feel all that connected to Over-the-Rhine. I have my friends and things that I enjoy doing, but getting away sustains me more than discovering this place does. In many ways, OTR is changing without us, while we watch.
I spend a lot of time online elsewhere — sharing daily adventures on Instagram, inspiration on Pinterest and VL news on Facebook. I want to spend more time offline as well, just being in the moment without distracting myself with how that experience is shared with others elsewhere.
When I started the blog, it emboldened my curiosity and forced me to be more observant. 7 years later, I worry that I’ve developed a kind of ADD — everything I do is potential social media content, and I’m depriving myself of both privacy and authentic experience. This blog isn’t my job and should never feel like an obligation. It started out fun but became regimented with a self-imposed schedule and balance of various types of posts. After a while, I worried about audience expectations and edited my thoughts and self-presentation to project the “right” image to the world. When I step back, it all seems a bit silly.
The older I get, the more I want to focus my energy on fewer things, even as [or maybe because] technology constantly offers more avenues for my attention. This blog needs to return to its origin as a fun outlet. Maybe I don’t always want to be a cheerleader for Cincinnati’s hidden treasures. Maybe I don’t always care that much about ghost signs. Maybe one day I’ll be so busy having fun that I’ll forget to take photos altogether.
I’m not sure what this will look like. I won’t worry about daily posts, and some weeks may be more quiet than others. I’ll share links when I have links to share. Sometimes they won’t have anything to do with Over-the-Rhine or Cincinnati, because sometimes my mind is elsewhere. I’m rambling, but that’s sort of the point — this blog needs to be a bit more free and unstructured so that maintaining it doesn’t feel like a chore.
There are about 9,500 subscribers and a ton of content archived here. Posts go viral for reasons I don’t always understand, and sometimes lengthy discussions break out. I’m always happy to revisit old posts, and I’ll continue to add new ones as my time and energy allow. Thank you for following along as I continue to explore the various nooks and crannies of wherever I happen to find myself, and please come back on Monday to see the most popular posts of 2014!