Toledo According To Emily Rippe Desmond

. November 6, 2018.

Years lived in Toledo: 10

Occupation: Marketing/Communications Director with
Balance Grille.

My story, in one sentence: Tiny Toledo transplant with a big heart and loud laugh.

One song lyric to describe my ideal self: “You can’t resist her, she’s in your bones / She is your marrow and your ride home / You can’t avoid her, she’s in the air / In between molecules of oxygen and carbon dioxide."

The best thing I’ve ever eaten in Toledo was: The Stromboli at Calvino’s. I recommend it to everyone.

The street I drive on/walk on most often is: Tie between Bancroft and Monroe Streets (Bancroft for driving and Monroe for walking, especially by the Toledo Museum of Art). Yes, I’m an Old West Ender.

The best time I ever had in Toledo: Can’t they all be “best times”? I love this dang town. I’m at my happiest during Old West End Festival, which I’ve now been attending for ten years. The first one was probably my favorite.

If I could change one thing about Toledo: I’m hard pressed to find a negative thing to say about T-Town, and consider myself a Toledo Ambassador. That being said, I would like it to be a more walkable city. You have to drive everywhere around here.

If I knew I could get away with it, I would: Run for office. I have a passion for politics and making a difference locally. I’m just not sure I’m financially and emotionally well enough to handle a grueling election campaign. Maybe someday, if enough people support this.

The best view in Toledo: Have you ever seen Scottwood or Robinwood in the Fall? Those trees and Victorian architecture are a sight for sore eyes.

When I’m craving BUBBLE TEA I go to Balance Grille! Obviously. Full disclosure, I work here and consider myself a tea connoisseur, both with and without boba.

The artists and musicians I love: Local musicians that make me happy: Hot Love/Dumb Easies/Matt Truman Ego Trip; Violent Bloom; Oliver Hazard. Local artists that inspire: Isaac Klunk; Erin Garber Pearson; Matt Taylor; Crystal Gale Phelps; Matthew Miller; Nick Army; and Yusuf Lateef (I have an original Yusuf mural in my home office!)

The Toledoan I most admire: Pat O’Connor forever and always. I want to be like Pat when I grow up. I miss him dearly every single day, and Toledo is not the same without him.




The reason I am most proud of myself right now: I used to be a huge people pleaser, often to the point of my own detriment. I’m pleased that I’ve stopped caring (as much) about what others think of me and have found peace with being my own authentic self, which people may or may not like. And that’s okay!

What makes me truly feel alive: Live concerts. It’s an expensive hobby to have, but there is no feeling in the world like being front and center during the live performances of your favorite bands and singers, making connections with the musicians as well as the super fans you meet at shows. I’ve had a couple of life-affirming concert experiences in recent months, including shows by Cat Power and Steven Page. Concerts are like a place of worship for me.

When I was in High School, I probably would have been described as: Weird and radical, but likable. I was one of two kids in my high school who bussed it to Washington D.C. to protest the second Iraq War. Today, I can be found at nearly every local rally or protest, so not much has changed!

What I’m listening to: Aimee Mann, Barenaked Ladies, Weezer… 1998 called, I suppose.

On a typical day, I wear: Well, since it’s Awesome Autumn, you can probably find me wearing skinny jeans (black or purple), with a sweater, scarf, and boots. Most of these items are likely lucky finds from House of Dow. I’m also really into lipstick these days.

My style icon: I don’t know if they’re “style icons” per say, but I don’t have a problem looking like a cross between Karen O. (of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and comedian Sarah Silverman. Some kind of rock/nerd hybrid.

My favorite social activity: For the past seven years, my trivia team, The Settlers of Catan, have dominated the local trivia scene (with Great Lakes Trivia, now Sporcle Live). Well, maybe dominate is a strong word, especially since we haven’t won any tournaments, except for one themed night that featured “Game of Thrones” questions. At any rate, bar trivia with my favorite MC, Calen, as well as Name That Tune with Dave and Melissa, make for some really fun evenings with friends. I tend to stick to the downtown locations, typically Black Cloister, The Blarney, and Downtown Johnny’s.

What I like most about Toledo: Hands down, the people. I’ve never lived in a city where everyone is so welcoming, creative, supportive, and downright lovely. The people are what make Toledo “home.”

Something that always makes me smile: Yarnbombs! I am infatuated with these beautiful, vibrant public pieces of art. They make me happy, and I have to hug them each time I pass one.

  • scottrose

    Very sweet!