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Published: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
— Well, it’s officially spring. But unfortunately, we’re still waiting for consistent sunny days!
So for now, we will dream about these 7 things that signal springtime in Dayton!
1. A WALK IN THE PARK
There's no better way to welcome spring than with a beautiful hike through nature. The Dayton-area has an overabundance of scenic parks and trails, and they each offer something a little different. If you’re just interested in taking in some beautiful scenery, we recommend a walk through the paths at Cox Arboretum or a walk through the beautiful Charleston Falls. Looking for a more rigorous hike? Try the trails at John Bryan State Park in Yellow Springs.
>> RELATED: Where to take a nature hike in Dayton
>> RELATED: Best undiscovered playgrounds near Dayton
2. A DAY SHOPPING OUTDOORS
Sure, shopping is a year-round activity. But there’s nothing like the feeling of spending an afternoon at The Greene enjoying a bit of the outdoors while watching the fountains, sipping a beverage on one of many fantastic restaurant patios or just breezing in and out of your favorite stores. If you want a more unique shopping/dining experience, head to Yellow Springs instead. The village is known for its unique shops and dining destinations, including Ha Ha Pizza, The Winds Café, The Sunrise Café, Peach’s Grill and the Yellow Springs Brewery.
>> RELATED: 5 things to do in Yellow Springs
>> RELATED: 8 beers to try at Yellow Springs Brewery
3. ICE CREAM!!!
Sure, you can eat ice cream anytime you want. But ice cream can also be an experience. Especially if it’s at Young’s Dairy!! Spend the day at the dairy barn and see animals, impress your date by showing off your skills in the batting cages or take in a game of putt-putt golf. If you’re hungry, you can grab a casual lunch at The Dairy Store or some comfort food at the Golden Jersey Inn. End your day with a delicious ice cream treat with Young’s homemade ice cream. We recommend the Buckeye sundae. It’s a peanut butter and chocolate lover's dream.
>> RELATED: 7 great places to get frozen treats in Dayton
4. PATIO DRINKING AND DINING!!!
One of the best parts about spring is taking your dining and drinking experience outdoors. Dayton area bars and restaurants have some amazing patios to grab a quick drink or a full meal. Here are a few of our favorite patios: El Meson in West Carrollton, The Winds Café in Yellow Springs, The Trolley Stop and Lily’s Bistro in the Oregon District, Jimmie’s Ladder 11 in Dayton, Basil’s Dayton with a river view and The Dublin Pub in the Oregon District.
>> INTERACTIVE MAP: Best patio dining in Dayton
5. A DAY AT THE BALLPARK
A true sign of spring and warm weather is Dayton Dragons baseball. A Dragons game should be on everyone’s Dayton bucket list. Even if you aren’t into baseball, Dragons games offer a fun experience for all ages. It’s the perfect setting for a family outing, to enjoy a beer and baseball with friends or even a date. The Dragons’ home opener is set for April 6th.
>> RELATED: How to make the most out of a Dragons game
6. FOOD TRUCKS!!!!
Oh, sweet heavenly food trucks. A sure sign of spring is when you can get your paws on a Fat Cat Burger from McNasty’s, devour a bite-sized mac and cheese croquette from Hunger Paynes, or feast on a Pig Apple sandwich from PA’s Pork.
>> RELATED: Dayton food truck guide
7. A SCENIC BIKE RIDE
One of the best things about living in the Dayton area is a wonderful, interconnected system of bike paths that allow you the flexibility to take a short ride or basically bike across the entire Miami Valley. This is the perfect activity if you want some quiet reflection time while getting some great exercise, or something you can do alongside friends and family. Choose your own biking adventure with more than 300 miles of trails in the region.
>> RELATED: 10 things to know about Miami Valley bike trails
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 3:01 PM
— When you're trying to lose weight, you may not give much thought to what you drink, but those calories definitely add up! These "liquid calories" can sabotage your weight-loss efforts, and you may not feel as full as if you'd eaten the same number of calories. Many drinks also provide little to no nutrients and are often loaded with sugar, which can further hamper your weight loss.
These drinks – and their calories – may add up to more than you realize, even on a single day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offered a sample list of the drinks you may choose during a day in order to total the calories. They started with a morning coffee shop run with a 16-ounce café latte made with whole milk at 265 calories. A non-diet soda with lunch had 227 calories, and an afternoon sweetened lemon iced tea from the vending machine was 180 calories. A glass of non-diet ginger ale with dinner added 124 calories for a daily total of a whopping 796 calories!
The following four drinks are some that can sabotage your diet when you're trying to cut calories:
You may think that swapping out sugary sodas for fruit juices is good for your diet, but it may not be as good as you think. Fruit juices are concentrated sources of natural sugar, so they have more calories and don't fill you up as much as fresh, frozen or canned fruits do, according to the Mayo Clinic.
For example, a 20-ounce glass of 100 percent apple juice has 300 calories, and the same portion of 100 percent orange juice has 280, the CDC says.
A plain black cup of coffee isn't a calorie problem, according to the Mayo Clinic. It contains fewer than five calories and no fat, but most people need at least a few extras with their coffee, and these also add extra calories.
Although at-home add-ins like creamer and sugar raise the calorie count, a specialty coffee can make it soar. A grande (16-ounce) size of white chocolate mocha espresso at Starbucks has 360 calories. If you choose a venti (20 ounces), you'll be drinking 460 calories.
A few drinks after work with your friends or a couple of beers or glasses of wine with a meal can raise your calorie count.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously took a look at some of the calories contained in popular alcoholic beverages and found that five ounces of red wine has about 106 calories, and five ounces of white wine has 100 calories. A regular Budweiser beer comes in at 143 calories, and Bud Light isn't far behind at 110 calories. Cocktails like a four-ounce margarita up the calorie count even higher at 168 calories, and a 4.5-ounce Piña colada packs 245 calories. These counts could vary somewhat depending on the alcohol and sugar content of your specific drink.
Smoothies have a "health halo" that leads many people to believe they're harmless, Marisa Moore, a local dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told the AJC.
Serving size is important, she pointed out. For example, a 20-ounce Angel Food smoothie from Smoothie King containing 340 calories. If you order the 40-ounce mixture of strawberries, bananas, nonfat milk, vanilla and other natural flavors and turbinado sugar, you'll be getting a whopping 690 calories. You can save some calories by omitting the sugar, saving 90 calories on a 20-ounce Angel Food smoothie, but it's still fairly high in calories.
Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 6:00 AM
— After a blustery day of hiking at Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve, our jaws were more tired from dropping in awe than our legs were tired from the trek.
Clifton Gorge is a 268-acre preserve in Yellow Springs, protecting “one of the most spectacular dolomite and limestone gorges in the state,” according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Two miles of the Little Miami Scenic River runs parallel to the preserve’s hiking trails, cascading sharp waterfalls along the glacially carved route.
So far, 2018 temperatures have stayed put well-below freezing — stopping waterfalls in their tracks, covering foliage in glistening snow and creating a true winter wonderland. Check out these photos and see for yourself why your frozen cheeks are a worthy price to pay for these views:
WANT TO GO?
WHAT: Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve
WHERE: 2381 State Route 343, Yellow Springs (0.25 miles west of Clifton at the east end of John Bryan State Park)
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 2:53 PM
— Some are advising that in addition to the usual rules about getting your flu shot, washing your hands more often and getting enough sleep, you should also think about shifting your diet towards foods that may boost your immunity. As Fox reports, some nutritional experts suggest stocking up on foods that may help keep you healthy during the peak of flu season. Now, we all know that chicken noodle soup is a go-to elixir and not just for emotional reasons. It’s also a powerhouse of anti-inflammatory properties.
“When we’re sick, we don’t want to eat and don’t want to drink, but you need to continue to eat and give your body the nutrients and energy you need for the immune system to function properly,” Michael P. Angarone, D.O., assistant professor of infectious diseases and medical education at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine told Fox.
But here are some foods you may not have thought about in terms of helping shield you during what is being called a deadly flu season. Try increasing the probiotics in your menu, because that boosts the health and wellness of your gut, which may aid your immune system. It’s pretty easy to do, too. Why not have some Greek yogurt at breakfast and dress up your hot dog with sauerkraut?
“Probiotics are healthy microorganisms that can help support bacterial balance in the gut,” dietitian Jaime Mass, R.D.N., L.D. told Fox.
Another good immune booster is ginger tea, a zesty and soothing choice for cold weather. In a review published in the International Journal of Preventative Medicine, as Today noted, researchers found that ginger’s potent anti-inflammatory properties were key in the root’s power to combat a cold or flu.
Another easy pick is blueberries, which are bursting with antioxidants that may help treat and prevent coughs and colds, advised Today. According to research conducted by the University of Auckland, consuming flavonoids — the kind of antioxidants found in blueberries — made adults 33 percent less likely to catch a cold than those who did not eat flavonoid-rich foods. You can also tuck into some oranges with their famed Vitamin C, the traditional antioxidant.
You might also want to stock up on salmon, chicken, lamb, spinach, sesame seeds, lentils, and chickpeas, all of which have loads of zinc. While the jury is still out on how effective zinc is in terms of reducing cold symptoms, some studies have showed promise. As Today touted, the Journal of Family Practice published a study examining the effects of zinc on the common cold in children ages 1 to 10 years old.
Published: Friday, September 15, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 6:00 AM
UPDATED January 12, 2018
It is the end of the road for Crystal City, the epic, sprawling, ever-evolving art installation in downtown Dayton.
After a two year stint, the must-see art installation is ending its run at The Collaboratory, 33 N Main St.
Collaboratory founder Peter Benkendorf said the search is on for a home where artist Robert Blackstone, Crystal City’s creator, can continue his work.
A farewell reception will be held at The Collaboratory for the exhibition starting at 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26.
>> EARLIER REPORTING (Sept. 15, 2017):
After more than 25 years, it is still hard for Robert Blackstone to explain the project he began on his grandma’s dining room table at age 20 or so.
But there Crystal City is, in a space adjacent to The Collaboratory at 33 N Main St. in downtown Dayton.
“You have to come see it,” Blackstone said. “There are not enough words.”
Passersby can see it through the window of the space long ago occupied by an Elder-Beerman department store just off Courthouse Square.
Like any other city, Blackstone’s Crystal City is a work in progress.
“There is always construction,” he said.
The street artist’s animated, mixed-media installation started off as a hobby. Packed with whimsical found objects, it combines a list of hobbies that include music, games, trains, race tracks and video games.
“When I first started having kids, I wanted to show them something beautiful,” the father of four said. “It started out on one table and now it is on two tables and the whole floor.”
A painter, Blackstone credits his time at the Dayton Visual Arts Center with turning him into an artist. He found the arts organization by word of month.
From a 1994 Dayton Daily News article on a street art exhibit Blackstone participated in:
He had no portfolio, no slides, no resume. His formal education had ended after a year at Colonel White High School. He didn't know anything about traditional art making, but he felt compelled to create things.
Using discarded items he found on the street in his neighborhood or that he bought at nearby thrift stores, he re-formed used objects to reflect his vision of life around him. Sometimes the new pieces he created stood alone, sometimes they became part of elaborately structured miniature worlds.
DVAC not only accepted Blackstone in, but also encouraged his efforts.
Blackstone said DVAC Executive Director Eva Buttacavoli and Peter Benkendorf of The Dayton Collaboratory helped him find space for the latest version of Crystal City.
Benkendorf said the details found in Crystal City are even more intriguing when Blackstone takes you on a tour of the piece.
“You can spend an hour in there and come back the next day and see something completely different,” he said.
Want to see it?
Those who want to see it in person can contact The Collaboratory at 937-476-1535 or email@example.com to set up an appointment.
The piece includes grafitti by artist Simeon Oyeyemi.
The Playground Theater Company donated the platforms that Blackstone has built Crystal City on for the past 18 months.
Sometimes the artist worked such long hours that he only paused for naps in a cubby -- a move inspired by a story famed Dayton artist Bing Davis once told him about family members sleeping under a table due to cramped quarters.
Crystal City is thunders, whirls and flashes.
There are screens, a turntable, crabs, stuffed animals and bowling trophies that Blackstone transformed with paint and the heat of a welder’s torch.
An earlier version of Crystal City was part of an exhibit at the University of Dayton in 1994, said Blackstone, who is an independent construction contractor.
Crystal City is partly a reminder of war and a memorial to Blackstone’s late father, Robert Goodson, and grandmother, Aredia Goodson, as well as those who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
It includes monuments representing the Twin Towers, complete with a beacon inside of the Pentagon building.
Blackstone says Crystal City is also about love. Images of love can be found throughout the project.
He says he wants Crystal City’s vistors to use their imaginations, and called on the advice he gives to his youngest daughter.
“Hold onto your imagination for as long as you can,” he said.