OTM | OTR
One evening, a woman stopped who just happened to be walking by the mobile kiosk (where folks sign up for the walks), her eyes bright and her face lit up: “I’ve been looking for this! I heard about the walks! I want to sign up!” And that’s how it was, people gathered. A lot of people who hadn’t heard of On The Map yet stopped out of curiosity, and ended up signing up for a walk.
Reflections – walk guides and participants:
** As I listened to Sam talk about his life and the life of the neighborhood people I remember thinking…if only everyone in the city could get to know the neighborhood people in Over-the-Rhine, our city would be forever changed.
** I thought – how easily history can be rewritten.
Every storyteller has a different view.
There is such deep appreciation for the old historic buildings.
What about appreciation for the stories of the people?
No one questioned: what’s happening to the people who used to live here?
I felt ‘our story’ needs to get out there; how do we do that?
** There were other moments on the walk where we were getting inquisitive looks and people were even shouting things to us as we passed through certain parts of the neighborhood. Near one park an older man yelled at us ‘you all don’t know nothing about this down here’…. I absolutely understood where he was coming from and agreed with his sentiments!
** It was inspiring to see so many people come together to share their experiences and to build alternative narratives. I am emerging from the project with new relationships, connections, and energy to keep writing our people’s narrative.
**My love affair with O-t-R began 30 years ago. I discovered a place where I finally felt home. As I watch the neighborhood I know and love change from an island of misfit toys to Disneyland, one thought prevails: Misfits matter.