The Oregon District might finally fill up

The most important piece of economic development news in years:

Fifth Street Deli may get permit after all
On Friday, the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Liquor Control overruled the city’s objection and ordered the application process to continue. …

The ruling states that the city commission failed to show evidence that the applicant was unfit to sell alcoholic beverages or that the issuance of the permit would adversely impact the community.

Monica Snow, president of the Oregon Historic District Board of Trustees, said she has not discussed a course of action with other board members. “We’ve never been against any one business,” Snow said. “We’re just concerned about all the many challenges on Fifth Street.”

The main challenge has been raised by the Oregon Historic District Society and their rejection of progress: they fought the license on Pacchia, What You Eat (later to become the Blue Moon), Thai 9 and Coco’s Bistro. By doing so, they had artificially inflated the value of a liquor license to a price that stopped all but the most committed entrepreneurs from attempting to open.

They also guaranteed that the trouble spots were “protected” from competition- keeping them in business.

With this hurdle almost behind us- all that needs to happen next is relaxing of zoning and building codes to allow full occupancy of all buildings- and a realistic parking solution (build a garage)- and the Oregon District will finally become a finished destination.

One must note that the OHDS has continually failed to demonstrate their “pain” from the liquor licenses that have been approved. Since Pacchia opened in 1995- property values in the Oregon District have skyrocketed.

Best of luck to the 5th Street Wine and Deli.

From the ashes?

Dayton Politics went AWOL about a month ago- after it was offered to the public.

Today- I stumbled upon a new site- www.daytonwatchdog.com, which seems dedicated to bashing Congressman Mike Turner.

From their about page:

Watchdog » About
Watchdog journalism refers to forms of activist journalism aimed at holding accountable public personalities and institutions whose functions impact on the social and political life. The term lapdog journalism is sometimes used as a conceptual opposite to watchdog journalism.

Time will tell if this site picks up any steam- or is going to have the readership. Either way, it’s yet another addition to the pool of sites trying to fill in the blanks that the Dayton Daily News leaves for us daily.

South Park will be the next big thing.

I sit here, on the eve of entering my 21st year in South Park. It was Jan 28th 2006 that I bought my home. Never did I think that 20 years later, I would still be here.

While I’ve seen, and been a part of an amazing transformation of this neighborhood- the e-mail that arrived today foreshadows even greater things to come:

Historic South Park Inc.(HSPI) has just learned that we have been selected to receive the AIA 150 Grant (American Institute of Architects 150 year anniversary). This represents an unparalleled opportunity for the revitalization of our community!

HSPI responded to a multi-county call for entries in mid-December, made the “final four”, and participated in an interview on January 10th.
Yesterday we learned of our selection from AIA President Will Kaly.

As part of the AIA 150 year anniversary grant, they are offering complete design services to a community for revitalization. The services of over 30 architects from multiple disciplines and firms will be at the neighborhood’s disposal. HPSI’s application included streetscape designs for Wayne Ave, Wyoming St., and Brown Warren. In addition, we have requested design services for a housing component to include historically appropriate infill designs and existing structure designs, and design services for all of our public spaces.

With the impending demolition of the Cliburn Manor public housing project, sky-rocketing costs of homes in the Oregon District, the future new Krogers, the investment in the Fairgrounds neighborhood and along the Brown Warren Corridor- South Park is set for terrific growth and its completion as a walkable, live/work community.

The best part of the AIA program- is the involvement of the community in the design process. There is nothing like living in a home before renovating to learn the nuances of a house- and the same goes for a neighborhood. South Park is already blessed with an abundance of beautiful public spaces- now, we will be able to fully illustrate the plan for the future.

An opportunity for someone?

The Golden Nugget on Keowee had a sign in the door that they will close on Jan 28, 2007 due to family health issues.

It’s one of the places people meet for business breakfasts in Dayton- and will be sorely missed. Of course, the Golden Nugget at S. Dixie and Woodman Dr. in Kettering will be back open so, you won’t have to drive too far for the amazing blintzs, pancakes and omelettes that we’ve all grown to love.

So- maybe one of you wants to takeover a successful location? Or begin serving breakfast in your existing restaurant (hint, hint).

Letter to the Editor: Act of protest seems to be lost art

Today’s paper had a shortened version of what I sent in- here are both versions:

Know what to do if person has a seizure; Learning trades should be option; Death penalty needs re-examination; Act of protest seems to be lost art
Act of protest seems to be lost art

Re “Theater audiences are free to accept, reject plays ideas,” Dec. 26: In a country that was forged through a dumping of tea in Boston Harbor and cauterized by a lone black woman refusing to move to the back of the bus, our citizens have grown indifferent to challenges to the status quo.

Our recent protest against smoking on stage was greeted with disdain by a few, indifference by some, inaction by many, and was mostly ignored by the press until long after the play Moonlight & Magnolias closed, and the public voted to ban smoking in public places.

Did we “win” the protest?

If you read the “Other Voices” column by Marsha Hanna — no, we did not. She was the victor and we were driving a stake through the heart of her organization by simply questioning why an actor had to light a cigarette and burn it as opposed to just pretending to smoke.

She cast herself as the protector of artistic freedom, and us as Fascist dictators trying to censor art, which is far from the truth. Our protest wasnt an attack on the Human Race Theater Company; it was an attempt to bring attention to an issue that has been destroying lives for too long.

But it seems that our society and Hanna has a hard time accepting protest as an art form. Its not a win/lose proposition. There is no score keeping — at least not like what we are used to in politics or baseball.

Protests are won when an issue moves from the shadows into the light, or onto the opinion pages of this paper.

David Esrati

Dayton

A lost art: Protest

In a country that was forged through a dumping of tea in Boston Harbor and cauterized by a lone black woman refusing to move to the back of the bus, our citizens have grown indifferent to challenges to the status quo.

Our recent protest against smoking on stage was greeted with disdain by a few, indifference by some, inaction by many, and was mostly ignored by the press until long after the play closed and the public voted overwhelmingly to ban smoking in public places.

Did we “win” the protest? If you read the “Other Voices” column by Marsha Hanna- no, we did not. She was the victor and we were driving a stake through the heart of her organization by simply questioning why an actor had to light a cigarette and burn it (as opposed to just holding it and pretending to smoke).

She cast herself as the protector of artistic freedom- and us as Fascist dictators trying to censor art, which is as far from the truth as the idea that “smoking is glamorous” – an idea that was foisted upon our country by the peddlers of death who advertised smoking as healthy for years.

Until November 7, Ohio allowed smoking in bars and restaurants and on stage at the Human Race. Some bar owners are ignoring the law now, and protesting in their own way, to the glee of many smokers (who will later lie on their deathbeds cursing their years of self abuse).

Ms. Hanna can try to wrap herself up as some freedom-loving protector of the arts- yet, when push comes to shove she admits she will comply with the law. How then is she not betraying the art? In the same way that they don’t really shoot people on stage, or drink real booze (both things we mentioned on our flyer). She will ask the audience to use their imagination to fill in the blanks.

What we asked, was for people to consider that smoking, even for 15 seconds on stage, doesn’t have to happen just because a playwright penned it, or the director thought they had to stick to the script.

Our protest did involve calling sponsors and questioning their support of a needless lighting of a cigarette on stage, and one even came out and protested with us. It wasn’t an attack on the Human Race Theater Company, it was an attempt to bring attention to an issue that has been destroying lives without question for too long.

But it seems that our society (and Ms. Hanna) has a hard time accepting protest as an art form. It’s not a win/lose proposition. There is no score keeping- at least not like what we are used to in politics or baseball. Protests are won when an issue moves from the shadows into the light, or onto the opinion pages of this paper.

Think of all the freedoms you enjoy because someone stopped to protest instead of accepting the status quo. It’s as American as can be- an art form far more important than smoking on stage.

David Esrati

So- be warned- your letter may be shortened-

and to those of you who tire of my anti-smoking tirades on this site, save it.

French toast from a French girl- oh, la, la

Just got back from the Second Street Public Market ( 600 E. 2nd Street) and had some yummy French toast at Crepes Boheme. All the ingredients were from the market, the bread from Big Sky Bread Company, eggs from local farmers, maple syrup from one of the booths- you get the picture. $3.50 for a serving.
The French girl, Sabine Grand, explained that in France, they don’t call it French toast- the translation is “Lost” bread- it’s what you do with the bread that’s ready to pitch.

Sabine doesn’t make a lot of noise about her food- she’s right across from The Flower Man- who makes enough noise, but if you are looking for some fine French toast in Dayton OH on a Saturday morning- tell her David sent you.

Ziggy’s Ritz- YOU SUCK.

We went to Ziggy’s Ritz. 5670 Springboro Pike, Dayton OH at 9pm tonight- the doors were open- and the smell of smoke still greeted us before we got through the doors.
I asked the girl at the door why I smelled smoke- and she said “Cause they’re not enforcing the law in bars for 6 months”-
I told her she was breaking the law- and she said they weren’t.
I was there to see my 17 year old employee be the DJ- he doesn’t smoke- but after less than 3 minutes in the place- our clothes stank.
Please take away their liquor license- if they can’t follow something as simple as a non-smoking law- they probably can’t ID properly- or collect taxes.
They didn’t have the required sign posted on the door either.

Heads should roll- or why Econ dev isn’t the answer

The Dayton Business Journal doesn’t always get it right- but, Tim Tresslar has a bit about Harmon Cadillac on N. Main having wheels stolen off new cars three consecutive Sunday nights.

“Dayton Police officials did not return calls seeking comment” – it’s this kind of disconnect that makes businesses think twice about moving to Dayton. Harmon has land in Vandalia already- here are 45 jobs that we aren’t protecting.

Basic services must come before ball park villages, or luring new business. Customer service is a big part of this, so when a reporter calls- respond.

Gelato comes to the Oregon District

[Updated/ 12/07] When I was 16 my parents took me to Europe. We flew into Zagreb- in what was once the very Communist country of Yugoslavia, then to Northern Italy, Austria and finally a week at a resort on the Adriatic.

I fell in love twice on that trip- once with the gelato they sold on the streets of Trieste, and the second time with Elizabeth Wiltschegg- the most beautiful woman in the world. Elizabeth and I corresponded daily for two years- and then the realization of distance and cultures had us go our separate ways.

But, my love of gelato has never left me, and until tonight, my love has been unrequited- but, thanks to a college friend, Eric Opperman, and his wife Jules- I got to fall in love all over again- Dolcessa has come to Dayton- and they make gelato- wonderfully, smooth, creamy, tasty Italian style ice cream.

The melt in your mouth, silky smooth gelato is worth the trip- but they are also serving Panini sandwiches and gourmet coffee.

Their website isn’t up yet {15 Mar 07 it’s up} , www.dolcessa.com so here is what you need to know:

510 E. 5th Street, just to the West of the old Blue Moon location. Open Mon through Thursday 11am to 7pm [hours in February] and later on Friday and Saturdays. Closed on Sundays. Phone is 937-654-5855. They don’t take plastic- so bring cash, or prepare to walk over to the Trolley Stop to use their ATM.

They are moving to Brown Street- across from Burger King. It will be March 08 before they reopen. 

Prices for the gelato are $3.25 for two flavors, $3.75 for 3 and $4.25 for 4. Paninis are $5.99 [Prices  now  range between $5.49 and $6.99]

Eric and Jules are living and working downtown- and doing their part to make Dayton a great place to live. Go in and try some of their gelato- and find out what it’s like to fall in love at first bite.

If you stop in- tell them you read about them here. It’s a small experiment.

Wacko mail

Photo of Wacko Mail addressed to David EsratiFor years I’ve gotten bizzaro mail from someone who likes to pose as other people. The same bad handwriting, odd, ransom note type cut and paste jobs, often mailed with a Cincinnati cancellation on the stamp.

Most of the time there isn’t a return address, but on occasion it’s someone I know, or someone I’ve heard of. Sometimes it has newspaper clippings in the envelope- sometimes there are things taped on the back from a newspaper… it varies. One time he even sent me a dollar- I’d like more of those please.
None of it makes sense, is funny, or even cute. Sometimes the messages border on hate mail. The Postal inspectors don’t want to give you the time of day- unless there is an overt threat.

None of this bothers me. What bothers me, is that he sometimes sends other people mail with my name as the return address- and that the people who get it- actually think I have time to write crap like this.

At the Greek fest this year, I ran into someone from my home town (she knows who she is) who thought I’d been sending her mail. I told her I had a ton of it- and planned to write something about it on this site (so, I procrastinated a bit- don’t shoot me) and see if we can collectively figure out who this wack job is.

If you’ve gotten mail from me- and it’s not on my Next Wave letterhead- contact me.

I know that both the Mayor and the Downtown Dayton Partnership have received mailings (both replied to me). There are probably others.

To whoever it is that’s doing this- get a life. And, I dare you to print this out and send it to me- and sign your name.