Posts tagged mercantile library
An Evening With Min Jin Lee

I plowed through Pachinko earlier this year and loved it. It was one of those books I couldn't put down and would read deep into the night.

I was very excited when I found out that the Mercantile was hosting an evening with Pachinko's author Min Jin Lee. 

After reading a short section from Pachinko, Min Jin Lee fielded questions from the crowd. I could have listened to her all night (like I had with her book). Her thoughts on the importance of fiction, why writing should feel like a passionate affair (otherwise why do it?), mans purpose (to protect and provide) and keeping a low overhead as a writer (or creatives in general) stuck with me the most.

I should also note that I was one the only men in the room. In this particular week that was a more common occurrence. It's not super surprising since Min Jin Lee is a female author and the other events were also female-led (soul collage and an Enneagram class). However, it is somewhat sad considering how much we men can learn from our brilliant sisters around the world.

Moleskine Hunt

I like Saturdays in Cincinnati. The day starts with a bus ride downtown to 7:00 am mass at St. Xavier Church with a close friend. The priest, Father Bob Ross, is pretty straightforward and always delivers a moving word. My friend and I hang out after mass to meditate in the sanctuary, and then we go to Einstein’s for bagels and a chat.

Ideally, I go from there to the Mercantile Library to read and prepare the course I’m teaching in the fall. Before that could happen, on this particular Saturday, I was on the hunt for a Moleskine Pocket Calendar


My first stop was the 21C Museum Hotel. The gift shop came up blank, but I did get to enjoy their current exhibition including this sewn Volkswagen bug. 

Meg reminded me via text that next-door at the CAC the Swoon exhibit is in its final weekend. 


I’m glad I went, and I’m sad if you didn't get a chance. It was compelling. Certainly one of the most magnificent museum exhibits I’ve experienced. That said, the CAC gift shop also came up blank on the Moleskine. 

My next stop was the Booksellers at Fountain Square. I found what I was looking for and at 60% off the original price. As I made purchased my purchase, the cashier asked “are you going to The Banks to take photos of the flood,” since my camera hung over my shoulder. I wasn’t. However, I decided it was worth a quick ride via Red Bike to see what the commotion was all about. 


All of Cincinnati was at the riverfront. The flooding was impressive and surprisingly audible. The rapids made a constant hum as they moved powerfully around lamp posts and fencing. The waters rose even higher later that day and into the following day as you can see here

By this point it was 1:00 pm and I still hadn’t made it to the Mercantile. Meg gave me the okay to stay downtown even longer. She was at home immersed in her own adventure baking sourdough bread. Speaking of food, I started to get hungry. Having never been to Currito, I ordered a Teriyaki burrito and chips to go. 


I walked from the Currito, burrito in tow, through the Mercantile Center to the Mercantile Library. For such a gray day all was bright and modern inside the corridor between the buildings.

After eating my burrito and reading for an hour or so at the Mercantile, I began the journey home. We left Meg’s car parked overnight near her office, so I Red Biked from downtown to Findlay Market to pick up Tux (her car).


Along the way, I saw this guy.

I had initially planned to work on my class or maybe even do my taxes. I did neither. Why did I go off script? Because and I had to find that Moleskine. But it was everything else that Cincinnati had to unexpectedly offer along the way that made this particular Saturday so great. 

The Mercantile

I spent the morning at The Mercantile Library in Downtown Cincinnati. It's indeed an incredible place. What a joy to be surrounded by so much diverse printed material. I hope to use the Mercantile on Saturday mornings to learn and prepare for my fall course at DAAP. 

Side note: Membership is ridiculously cheap. Go sign up.