Lost Little Toledoan
For the first time since leaving Toledo, I was surrounded by people who weren't college students. A group of teenage girls, wearing outfits that looked like they had come off an Abercrombie display, stopped to buy brightly colored belly-dancing skirts from a store specializing in items from the Himalayas. Across the street, a couple dressed head to toe in black entered Selo/Shevel Gallery, quickly browsing through the collection of handcrafted glass and pottery before they continued down the street, the woman's high heels echoing in their wake.
As I watched them pass, my eyes fell upon Lena; its retro facade complete with pastel green walls reminded me of a diner where I had spent many mornings growing up. I wanted to absorb the street's buzzing energy. For a moment I was surrounded by the pure white clothes of a yoga class letting out, then the black leather of two passing bikers. Elmo's window was filled with bright neon T-shirts aimed at the passing tourists.
"Wait, sweetheart, mommy's over here," shouted a concerned father as his rambunctious toddler sprinted off, running as fast as her chubby legs would carry her. Further down the block, a man and his two sons sat eating their lunches. Dressed in black leather with a shaved head and goatee, he looked like he belonged in a motorcycle gang, and I avoided eye contact as I passed. But his mannerisms couldn't have been gentler as he wiped the younger boy's face.