My internship has given me a serious case of wanderlust. Lexington is new to me. It’s different from my hometown in Maryland and it’s a big change compared to Daytona Beach. I’ve taken it upon myself to truly explore the area and surrounding cities. A week ago my boyfriend visited for Spring Break, and although we indulged in all things Kentucky, we made it our mission to see as much as we could of The Queen City.
Downtown Cincinnati has several art galleries, museums, and an aquarium all close by. In two days we saw it all. The first was the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Many of their exhibits were heart-wrenching to say the least. The center not only addresses slavery and racism, but sex trafficking of all kinds throughout the world. It was difficult to walk through at times, but it was eyeopening. Their most valued exhibit right now is a slave pen from the 1800s.
Recovered from Mason County, Kentucky, it housed slaves prior to auctions. The building was repaired and moved to the Freedom Center for display. Standing in its presence was truly haunting. The structure itself brought an eerie vibe to the room, but not as unsettling as it was to step inside. My boyfriend and I hesitantly walked inside. We were in awe. To step foot in what once housed hundreds upon hundreds of slaves, and to now be walking in and out freely, was significant.
Although it was our favorite, our visit to the Freedom Center was much more jarring than we had anticipated and decided to recover at the Cincinnati Art Museum. It was relaxing to roam among such amazing artworks. The visit was planned solely because of Undergrowth with Two Figures (1890) by Vincent Van Gogh.
His artwork has always been my favorite and certainly lightened the mood after our trip to the Freedom Center. I search for him in every city and was pleased to find him in The Queen City accompanied by Georgia O’Keefe, Georges Raoualt, Arshile Gorky, and many others.
We planned to visit galleries and museums, but we ended up visiting a new side to ourselves. Wanderlust unexpectedly accompanies internships, and embracing that is half of the excitement.