I spent a big portion of my Memorial Day Monday at the new Mercy Field watching the St. Johns Jesuit Titans baseball squad battle the Fremont Ross Little Giants in the first ever Three Rivers Athletic Conference championship. The Titans won in comeback fashion, scoring 5 in the bottom of the sixth. Good baseball game.
It was hot, 94 at one point according to my mobile. And hot isn't really the norm in Metro Toledo in May. But 2012 hasn't been normal weather wise, since before it was 2012. We'll take the early summer though. On Saturday, Flower Day at the Toledo Farmers' Market was great and there are no worries that all those tomato plants and flats of annuals will suffer from a cold snap this year.
Several Metro Toledo communities staged Memorial Day parades and the weather was perfect. It has been a terrific weekend to take a moment to honor our veterans. We are blessed to live in a place that is protected by such heroes.
Although the summer festival season kicked off a couple weeks back. Next weekend the 41st Old West End Festival will be a highlight. Hope to see you there.
It's still pretty quiet in the Marina District. I've been down there a few times this past year. Mostly what you hear is the gulls squawking. We only get occaisional word of exciting plans for the development of the site by its new Chinese owner/investors, Dashing Pacific.
I have faith that this development will happen. Too many good people - led by Mayor Mike Bell - have put too much on the line for this to be all smoke, no fire. It would be nice to actually see something though. And not just at Marina District. The restaurants at The Docks seem to be doing OK. And a different Chinese investor group has purchased one of our struggling dowtown hotels. Plans for business development of the hotel sound like good news too. Now we need some business to develope.
The Chinese still have some selling to do to the Metro Toledo community. People want to see something new from our new partners. Or even something old.
Almost 25 years ago, The Toledo Zoo had, on loan from the Wolong Natural Reserve in China, two Giant Pandas - Nan Nan and Le Le. Our zoo was one very few, worldwide, to have the privlege of housing China's precious Pandas. i remember the sense of community pride.
So there has been an international connection between Metro Toledo and China before. Nothing much happened with that after the Pandas left in November, 1988. But maybe, if things go well, we'll have a return of the Pandas someday. That would be very cool.
Whatta ya mean you're not a MyMetroToledo member yet?
I keel you!
Sorry, couldn't resist. Sunday I went with wife and friends to the Jeff Dunham show at the Huntington Center. Very funny stuff. Dunham is famous for his talent as a ventriloquist.
Jeff's characters, Walter, Peanut and Jose Jalapeno (on a stick) are the stars, but Dunham is a great story teller and stand up comic independent of the Dummies. And Achmed The Dead Terrorist is just wrong; good wrong, edgy wrong, push the envelope wrong but kinda patriotic wrong. Good stuff.
So the show was great and The Huntington looked about 95% full for the Sunday afternoon show. I have heard that the Hunt is grabbing these top shows by accommodating the schedules of major touring artists and "fitting in" their travel schedules. Hence a 5PM Sunday gig.
We'll take it.
My only complaint was when we left the show at about 7:30. We we walked the block to Pizzapapalis and had some dinner. They were packed - try the flatbread pizza. But too many downtown, destination restaurants were closed. The Blaney had a sign in the window stating, "Open Sundays for special events". I think the Dunham concert qualified.
I'm not blaming the businesses that are trying to make a go of downtown Metro Toledo. I know it's a balance, and you need bodies to make a business work profitably. But until we can have more after-event options open to visitors downtown, the draw will be limited. I think the Blarney, and others, missed an opportunity Sunday.
Today is opening day for gun Deer hunting in Michigan. Ohio archery deer season started in September and main white-tailed gun season opens November 28. 600,000 hunters are expected to take part in the Michigan hunt. I don't have numbers for Ohio, but the count will be high.
There is no shortage of white-tailed deer in either state. If you walk the Toledo area Metro Parks, as I do, you know there's no shortage in the heart of Metro Toledo either. It's a rare day when I don't see deer at Wildwood Preserve or Side Cut Park.
The easy, close access to wildlife makes for great photo opps. That cardinal in the pic was very cooperative last March. So was a red fox on that same day, though the picture I took didn't turn out well.
Anyway, take advantage of your Metro Toledo hunting opportunities. Choose your weapon.