By Maha Kashani
Happy New Year Daytonians!! My 2011 has taken off with a bang since returning from Iran. I had an amazing time visiting with family, reconnecting with my roots and being immersed in Persian culture. I’d love to share my journey with you, so please check out the photos from my trip on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/MMATC
February is the shortest, but still one of the most noteworthy months of the year. Not only will we celebrate black history all month long, but we will stalk groundhogs on the 2nd, “Wear Red” to raise awareness for heart disease on the 4th, get all dolled up for our Valentine’s Day dates on the 14th, and yours truly is training to dance tango in the Dancing with Dayton’s Stars competition on the 18th. Stay tuned for my feature piece on this event in the Feb. 16th issue.
Did you know? Young Professionals are stepping up to the plate! The Downtown Dayton Partnership is teaming up with Generation Dayton & UpDayton in an effort to reactivate our vacant downtown spaces. The Vacant Storefront/Spaces effort is a new addition to the Greater Downtown Plan to revitalize first floor vacant space in the Central Business District. Broken into 3 different areas of focus: A “Street Level” team will create visual displays in vacant storefront windows to be enjoyed from outside the space, team “Activate Space” is sparking short term projects, attractions, events, etc. to draw people inside the vacant spaces and the “Open for Business” army (my team) will fill vacant spaces with great businesses that enhance our downtown. The goal is to launch phase 1 in time for Urban Nights on May 13. More to come. To learn about the Greater Downtown Plan, visit www.DowntownDayton.org
Miss Maha’s “Best Bets” in February to:
Make a lasting impression on your Valentine
Chocolate Covered Strawberries by Winans
The Villages of the Dayton Mall & North Dayton on Miller Lane.
I’d LOVE for someone to get me a box. Hint, hint. These gourmet treats are unforgettable. Now “that’s amore,” my friends!
Cost: Tell them Miss Maha sent you and pick up a pound for just $17.95 (regularly $21.95).
A Street Car Named Desire
Thursday, Feb. 10 through Sunday, Feb. 13 at Victoria Theatre
Heat up your Valentine’s weekend with a steamy and sultry dose of culture delivered by our own Dayton Ballet. You won’t be disappointed with this top-ranked drama about the sensual desire and passion of lovers. Don’t have a date? This is the perfect option for a ladies night. Did I mention the dancers are gorgeous?
Cost: Tickets starting at $20.
Experience Arts & Culture:
Visual Voices Art Exhibit: Dayton Skyscrapers 2011
All month long, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Schuster Center
Back by popular demand. These are not actual skyscraper buildings, but local works of art representing the men and women who stand tall in Dayton’s African-American community. Stop by on your lunch break or make a special trip downtown to check out this unique exhibit.
For more information, call (937) 228-7591
Meet Young & Vibrant Professionals
Thirsty Thursday & “Jump into Theatre”
Thursday, Feb. 10, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at De’Lish Café & The Loft Theatre
Check out downtown’s newest hot spot, De’Lish Cafe (formerly Gregory’s Piano Bar), for Generation Dayton’s monthly happy hour and welcome our special guests, jumpstART. At 7:30 p.m., we will move the party across the street to the Loft Theatre for a unique opportunity to “Jump” into The Human Race Theatre Co. performance of Shakespeare’s classic comedy, “Twelfth Night.” Meet new friends while exploring Dayton’s rich arts and culture scene. Now that’s a knock-out combo. www.GenerationDayton.org
Cost: Thirsty Thursday, Free. Performance: Young professionals: $17.50, General Admission: $35
Get Down to Business
Women in Business Networking “Koffee Talk”
Friday, Feb. 11, 8:30 a.m. at Miami Valley South
“Generations in the Workplace: How to bridge the gap” is the topic for this WiBN Koffee Talk that I am facilitating. Join me for an engaging conversation with local business women about bridging the communication gap between the baby boomers and generation X. www.WomenInBusinessNetworking.com
Miss Maha’s “Can’t Miss it” pick of the month:
6th Annual Valentines Dance & Original Dancing with Dayton’s Stars competition – Friday, Feb. 18, 6 p.m. at the Schuster Center
Have you ever tried to tango? Just FYI, it can be painful. My poor knees and hips have never been so sore, but Miss Maha is in it to win it. I’m thrilled to be involved in this year’s fundraiser to benefit A Special Wish Foundation. The event will be emceed by Lite 99.9‘s Kim Faris and the celebrity dancers include Dr. David Roer, Bryan Bucklew, Phil Parker, Pam Morris, Rita Beck and yours truly. If you can’t make it out, please consider supporting the event by purchasing raffle tickets for a 7-day Caribbean cruise for two including airfare. One for only $5 or 5 for $20, by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cost: $50/ticket for Generation Dayton Members, $75/ticket fore the general public
The last tip I will leave you with for Valentine’s Day: Be original! Try a romantic independent restaurant like Coco’s Bistro in the Oregon District, explore a free local world-class attraction like the Dayton Art Institute and don’t forget your Winans chocolate-covered strawberries.
As always, find me on Facebook, Facebook.com/MMATC and follow me on Twitter @MissMaha to keep up with what’s happening around the Dayton region.
Reach DCP freelance writer Maha Kashani at MissMaha@daytoncitypaper.com