On the beat

It’s great ’n Dayton!

 By Jim Bucher

 Photo: The Deeds Carillon welcomes visitors at the south end of Dayton, courtesy of bikedayton.wordpress.com


I’m just as guilty as the next guy. It’s easy to take shots at the place we call home. To some, it’s just their nature, nothing will ever make them happy. For others, they complain because they see what could be and isn’t currently happening. For me, well, I’m in the middle somewhere and do my fare share of criticism, but this article will be all positive. I’ll do my best anyway.

So, what does make Dayton, the Gem City, a wonderful place to call home? You can’t think of anything either, right? OK, that was my only tongue-in-cheek negative comment. It’s time to look at our city with the glass-half-full analogy, as opposed to half empty.

Well, first we have wonderful arts and culture. Many cities are envious. When people move here for employment, arts and culture are most always at the top of the list.

Our cost of living is actually pretty good. Yes, we spend lots on gasoline and food, but compared to other cities, we’re a bargain.

Our downtown is morphing from a retail center to mini-neighborhoods full of apartments, condos, lofts and – most importantly – people. This was a pipe dream just a few short years ago. The naysayers said, “No one wants to live downtown anymore.” And you know what? They were wrong. Ask the people who live there, they love it. We need more.

The Pop Up Shops featuring everything from literally A to Z are “popping up” all over. (Wow, is that good writing or what?)

Does anyone remember the old Downtown Dayton Days? It was an event to promote the retail businesses downtown with Rike’s and Elder Beerman’s department stores leading the charge and plenty of charge accounts, too. (Again, writing that sings.) Well, with the loss of retail, DDD had to be re-imagined, so Urban Nights was born. A wonderful event that highlights the best downtown has to offer. I’ve been around from the beginning of this event, which grows in participation and crowds each time out.

So what does living in downtown have to offer? Well, I’m not quite there yet, maybe in a few years when the kids are out of the house a loft would be perfect for me.

Think about it.

We’re not spread out like Los Angeles. Everything in our center city is in walking distance or a nice bike ride. We have minor league baseball, plenty of really cool restaurants, a marvelous library. RiverScape is a great place to unwind after work during the summer, especially with music and the fountains. Life is good.

The Oregon District is another gem in our Gem City. The cool shops and ever-changing restaurants, Wiley’s Comedy Club – did you know inside that building at 101 Pine St. is the home for most of your favorite radio stations here in the Miami Valley, like Mix 107.7 and WTUE. There’s a wonderful Goodwill Store if you’re on a budget for clothes.

If you’re looking for eclectic foods, produce and more, there’s always the 2nd Street Public Market.

Moving around, we have the Peace Museum on Monument Avenue, which promotes the alternative to solving problems with violence.

You can catch a show at the Victoria or Schuster, a movie at the Neon or walk across the Third Street Bridge for a history lesson, exploring the great Daytonians from the past – The Wright Brothers and poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar. You know there are still people that don’t know we have a National Park celebrating their achievements?

By bike you can explore the many bikeways and spend an afternoon at Dayton History at Carillon Park to see just how much Dayton and it’s innovators and innovations changed the world. Don’t forget lunch at the tasty Culp’s Café while paying a visit.

There’s really so much to offer, but could we do more?

OK. No complaining, but a downtown grocery would be nice especially for us in the closer neighborhoods that have to drive to stock up on eats.

By car, think about it. Our airport is ten minutes away, Most times the rush hour traffic is just that – about an hour or so.

Our cost of living here is relatively cheap. Apartment rent is not bad or you could even rent or buy one of the stately homes in Grafton Hill and walk to work downtown.

How about a leisurely stroll through the Dayton Art Institute, which is one of the best museums of a city our size has to offer? Or the wonderful Dayton Visual Arts Center to explore our local artists’ talent? And our nightlife here offers music from all genres.

I’m sure I’ve missed more, but you, the readers, will of course inform me on what I’ve forgotten. Matter of fact, would love to hear from you and we’ll do a follow-up column on what you think makes it in great ’n Dayton.

That’s if my editor Kyle says it’s OK.

Oops, there I go complaining again.

As the late, great local newspaper columnist B.W. would sign off with at the end of his column, “See you around town, after dark of course.”




For more than 25 years, “Buch”  has been a local television icon. Known and loved by thousands in the Miami Valley, his followers describe him as trust-worthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and a role model. When it comes to promoting your business, Buch has the ability to grab your customer’s attention. Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.


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For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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