It's the same old story on repeat.
A young couple who's grown to love their lifestyle comes upon a crossroads: stay in the urban core or move to a suburb with a better school district. In most cases, the young professionals-turned-young couple decides to move out of the city and into a neighborhood with a solid school district. For the sake of this exercise, let's call the suburb Mason.
There, in our hypothetical otherworld, siblings Jack and Sally Applebaum (ages 7 and 3 respectively) will become best friends with the Westfield's kids, Nate and Rebecca. The kids will play soccer, take music lessons at School of Rock, and the moms will go from weekly Happy Hours at places like Teller's to book clubs with an affinity for wine and spa days at the Hand & Stone Massage & Facial Spa. It'll be a change from their previous world (à la brunch dates at Taste of Belgium and midnight concerts at MOTR), but it can be idyllic in its own right.
And then, maybe, when Jack and Sally have gone off to college, the Applebaum parents will be free to ditch the house in the burbs for a condo with a river view, returning(-ish) to their life pre-children and concerns over school districts. So that's the full aerial, lifecycle view of what it means to be a Cincinnatian from about age 27 to 55.
Now, we're gonna hone in on that time in Mason. Because other than a myriad of subdivisions, a killer rec center, and the Deerfield shopping complex, what does the City of Mason really have to offer? As it turns out, more than you think.
We're not gonna blow smoke here and suggest that everyone ditch the "OTR Is Awesome" bandwagon. All we're saying is that driving on 71 North can offer a nice respite from the usual bar hopping activities while still filling your explorative soul. A couple of Fridays ago we did just that. To be entirely honest, I've always thought of Mason as "suburban sprawl," completely unnavigable without a car. There's a hint (okay, maybe a handful) of truth to that, but if you head to Old Mason, it is quite possible to park your car and stretch your legs. I started at the Main Street Sweet shops and got my walk on.
This quaint part of Comet-land included all the staples you'd expect:
For fine dining, Wildflower Cafe
For your summertime brain freeze, Tucker's Whippy Dip
For the rumored-to-be-haunted building, Banana Leaf
For the smalltown giggle, Pleasure Inn
For the "One's man trash is another man's treasure," Dupriest Antiques
For the old school apothecary, Yost Pharmacy
For the Soprano's Sunday night family dinner, Pitrelli's
For the "Let's just grab a pizza after TJ's soccer game," Aponte's
And the list goes on.
Of course, that's only Old Mason. One of the best things about new Mason or regular Mason (or just plain Mason) is that it has just about anything you could need or want.Let's get real, though. The best thing about Mason is the fact that it houses the Western & Southern Open, a world class tennis tournament featuring the top men's and women's players each August. Be prepared for the woo girls (talking about myself here) to go crazy when Rafael Nadal's smoking hot Spanish body hits the court.
That's when trips up I-71 North are never more appealing. Vamos!