Wednesday, October 14, 2009
DAYTON OH 10/11/09
DAYTON, CITY OF THE TIRE. The original settlers camp, Daytone, was founded in the late fifteenth century as a fur trading station. The area did not see any true growth until the late 1700's, when a group of enterprising Portuguese explorers, the so called rubber barons, bought large parcels of land from the native tribes (for several gallons of lamp oil and a block of field chalk, so the legend goes) to harvest the vast groves of rubber trees blanketing the area. Soon a booming industry developed as the demand for rubber musket clips exploded. Several years later the invention of the combustion engine and, subsequently the rubber auto tire ushered in a new era of prosperity, productivity and widespread latifundia during which scores of former field hands rose to become powerful robber barons.It was during this "golden age" that Dayton came to be known as "The City of the Tire". As the worldwide "hub" of the Tire industry, Each voyage of the Goodyear blimp began and ended in Dayton.
This growth and prosperity came to an abrupt end in the late 1990's, when a series of microbursts uprooted 97% of the rubber trees in the region. Many of the city's elite migrated South to Florida, establishing the expat colony of Daytona Beach. What remained of the city was a smoking husk of crime drugs and corruption. This scourge of misery and wasted lives has only recently abated due to a new cottage industry springing up in the region, The Pizza Venue. In these establishments, a seemingly innocuous Pizza Parlor, providing Neapolitan nourishment throughout the day, transforms into a cutting edge venue by evening, wherein musical explorers of every description ply their trade. We were lucky enough to experience one such an institution and let me tell you: the transition was seamless. You couldn't even tell.
See? Pizzas. Tubes. Circles. It is as though the spirit of the Tire has spun off into the Daytonian subconscious. Or even that the concept of an unending tire has resided here since time immemorial. Pancakes. We ate at this pancake place. I had Biscuits and gravy. It was delicious.