A few months ago when I ran my GO URBAN campaign, I reached out to the authority of local blogging, Marty Wombacher, to see if he could help spread the good word. He obliged, and we set up a lunch date.
He featured our meal and some of my thoughts over on his blog Meanwhile Back In Peoria. If you’ve never stopped by and paid his site a visit, you’re missin’ out. Needless to say, Marty and his loyal readers helped the cause and threw some much appreciated change to my project, which has helped out as I near the finish line. I owed him some GO URBAN swag that I thought I would be getting to him sooner rather than later… but hey, we all get swept away in the summer.
Last Friday, we hooked up for another lunch rendezvous so I could get rid of some merch that has been lingering on my dresser. We met up again in the North Valley of Peoria, this time popping in at the Panaderia Ortiz Bakery.
Over the past months I have stopped in for some water or Gatorade while working on the house 2 streets over, but regrettably, I hadn’t been in to dabble with any of their food items.
Marty being Marty, beat me there to do some recon. I give the guy credit, within 5 minutes he has everyone eating from the palm of his hand. He met a fellow neighborhood and preservation advocate, Bill Ordaz inside. I saw Bill as he was heading out, and we caught up about a house that has been on the chopping block.
I think this gives a pretty real and accurate depiction of what’s happening on this side of town. There are some great new businesses like Panaderia Ortiz springing up, a few houses getting spruced up, some good folks scattered about, and yet, there is still a long way to go to bring things back to relevancy.
On the inside, Marty and I caught up about the months passed and we shared some crazy new ideas. He is as lively in person as depicted in his blog. The thing that strikes me is that while we were just 2 people talking in one place at one time, these little meetings are going on all throughout Peoria.
I think that is why his site is so fascinating. While you may only visit a place a couple of times, or it may even be your first time, you get the idea that you are experiencing Peoria through your own eyes. It’s the people and the places that create these shared experiences, and even if you’ve never been, you still feel like you were invited to the party with Marty.
Head over to Meanwhile Back In Peoria to see more of our lunch together, but you’ll want to check out Panaderia Ortiz Bakery for yourself. You can scope out their website and Like them on Facebook. Stop on by, they are located at 1404 NE Monroe in one of Peoria’s oldest and one of the most unique neighborhoods.