TOLEDO: Old West End

30 Jun

west end 063 (1)

We are in Toledo, Ohio today for the 44th Annual Old West End Festival. Spread out over 25 blocks in the Old West End neighborhood, activities include historic home tours, garage sales, antiques, food trucks, music and an art fair. We pick a centrally located street in the neighborhood to park on, sidewalks are crowded with pedestrians in search of a great find or that ‘can’t live without’ item at one of the many garage sales. Small children have set up lemonade stands on the lawn, homeowners have relocated their grills to the front of the house and are selling hot dogs with all the fixings, I spot an ice cream truck parked up ahead, a band plays on a large front porch.

west end 018 (1)

west end 008 (1)west end 068 (1)

west end 011 (1)

  The houses in the neighborhood are an eclectic combination of architectural styles, very Toledo. We stroll by traditional Tudors with stucco, wood beams, leaded glass and large front porches. Queen Ann’s, Victorians, Romanesques, Arts and Crafts and Edwardian’s are well represented. I love the detail in the trim, doors and stone. Elaborate gardens and well maintained landscapes fill front lots, antique urns are spilling over with colorful flowers and vines. Graceful entryways are welcoming, window boxes are packed with annuals, wrought iron surrounds balconies and yards, many homes have sleeping porches. Built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries this is where the wealthy families of Toledo resided.

west end 073 (1)

west end 034 (1)

west end 030 (1)

Garage sales trail out onto driveways and lawns, tables lined end to end lead us to backyards; bottles of ice water are for sale at every stop. From the really old to the not-so-old, items range from furniture and clothing to antique hardware, sterling silver, souvenir spoons, housewares, glassware, kitsch and seasonal decorations. As we walk from house to house well-behaved dogs rest on shady porches, a pair of cars drive down the street draped in a fish costume, how fun is that? Artists display their wares hoping to sell them to passersby; framed paintings, stained glass, and bold, colorful, hand painted furniture get our attention. One house has gobs of vintage items for sale, the sides of their car have been covered in bamboo, a portable tiki bar follows behind. Down the street another art-car is covered in stones, car parts and toys in every color of the rainbow. The Freeman-Hirt home on Glenwood Ave is on the home tour, the line stretches down the block, I think it’s my favorite house in the neighborhood. Built in 1896 it’s a mix of architectural styles, conical towers, shingle and clapboard siding, concave gables, the witches hat dormers are awesome.

west end 040 (1)

west end 098 (1)west end 070 (1)

west end 083 (1)

Block after block we pass beautiful homes, ornate apartment buildings, lush green lawns, food stands and antiques. Did I mention the super cool phone booth for sale? On the side of a lovely old building an acrobat swings on a length of white silk, a young girl gives a hula-hoop a whirl. Music is being played in a neighborhood park, listeners sit at tables drinking cold beer. We make our way through the marketplace, art fair and a quick pass through the Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion, the air conditioning feels fantastic. We are done, time for lunch.

west end 111 (1)

west end 110 (1) - Copy (1)west end 079 (1)

west end 091 (1)

Tony Packo’s is a Toledo tradition, with two locations in town we choose Packo’s At The Park by Fifth Third Field where the Toledo Mud Hens play. The interior displays cool old neon signs, vintage black and white photos and baseball related items. Our server takes our order quickly and returns promptly with icy cold soft drinks; in no time at all lunch arrives. The Fried Pickle Salad is heaped onto the plate, piles of mixed greens and romaine are topped with blue cheese crumbles, bacon, grape tomatoes croutons and, you guessed it, Tony Packo’s fried pickles; served with house Italian dressing, it’s really good–hey, don’t knock it till you try it! The two-dog combination comes with two Hungarian hot dogs slathered in house hot dog sauce ( think chili), mustard and onion. I love that slight crunch when biting into the hot dogs. We choose the paprikas dumplings with gravy for our side and they are delicious as always, yum!

west end 131 (1)

west end 130 (1)

west end 124 (1)

Kris likes to drive around cities we visit and see what’s new, the Uptown District is beginning to come to life with Handmade Toledo leading the way. The 10,000 sq ft building from the 1930’s was originally a car dealership, through the years businesses came and went, today it is a combination maker shoppe, workshop space, gallery and event space. The Maker Shoppe’s main focus is the work of local and regional artists, makers and designers, all items are for sale. There are lots of Toledo-centric items such as T-shirts, coasters and mugs. The pieces are of high quality, paintings are eye-catching. A nice variety of jewelry is offered along with ceramics, candles and textiles; they even have beans from one of the local coffee roasters. Speaking of coffee……..

west end 132 (1)

west end 139 (1)

west end 145 (1)west end 136 (1)

west end 141 (1)

Before we hit the road and head north we stop in at Black Kite Coffee and Pies, a local coffee shop on Collingwood. A gorgeous mural covers an entire side of the building, a tribute to the street, neighborhood and city the shop is located in. Inside, a white tin ceiling adds character, pendant lights hang above the counter, a refrigerated case displays the days offerings; all food is made in house, from scratch. We each order a cold brew, and are immediately distracted by 4 large donuts on exhibit. Holey Toledough(great name!) creates handcrafted doughnuts in flavors like maple bacon, siracha honey sesame, pineapple macadamia and raspberry limoncello and sells them through local businesses and farmers markets. Unable to choose just one, we go for the raspberry and the pineapple, eat half and switch; both are very good. Coffee and doughnuts, not a bad combination…. It’s been a great day in Toledo, just a hop and a skip from Detroit, we’ll be back.

west end 148 (1)

west end 153 (1)

west end 152 (1)

7 Responses to “TOLEDO: Old West End”

  1. Your blog is fantastic on your recent experience at TOLEDO’s Old West End Festival, and the photography in incredible, beautiful eye! Come back soon!! The first “Burger Bash & Dash” of Northwest Ohio happens this Friday July 3, 2015 with local hamburger vendors competing for the best tasting burger in town. There will be live entertainment all in downtown Toledo’s Promenade Park beginning at 11am. An awesome fireworks display will celebrate July 4th in the evening but the fun starts at 2:00 in Promenade Park with live entertainment for all ages, food vendors & beverages…..just in case you are looking for some weekend fun. Thanks so much for visiting Toledo, visit again and often. I look forward to reading about your next fun adventure in Toledo and your other adventures on DETROITDVOTION. You rock!!

    • detroitdvotion July 2, 2015 at 3:08 pm #

      Thank You Gretchen!

      We enjoy all Toledo has to offer, it’s a short ride from Detroit so we visit often.

  2. Shelly July 2, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

    Thanks for showing some love to my neighborhood and hometown

  3. adamc0nley July 2, 2015 at 7:30 pm #

    Next time, visit the Original Tony Packo’s on the East Side! Tons of old world, Hungarian flair and signed buns by tons of famous actors and presidents who have been through town. Any of our Metroparks are also a great visit to see our awesome wildlife. Maumee Bay State Park has one of the biggest bird migrations in the country and people from all over the world come and see the rare birds in nature!

  4. Theresa Athaide-Victor July 2, 2015 at 10:12 pm #

    Loved your piece. Thanks for sharing some of the best of Toledo!

  5. Gary Lenhart July 6, 2015 at 5:22 pm #

    Thank you for including my stain glass work in your photo’s of the Old West End Festival in Toledo, Ohio. My company is Modern Ancient Art. Contact me at glenhart@bex.net for more information.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: