Archive for the ‘FestiveScenes’ Category

busy real-life weeks make for slow blogging weeks, but we do have a nice nugget for thursday. this evening at the oakley pub & grill, liz, avani, and lauren over at cincinnati imports are hosting the first-ever get-together and happy hour for, um, well, cincinnati imports.

as what you might call a mixed family (i was raised here, carole not so much not at all), we wondered whether we qualified, or whether i would be asked to stay home while carole mingled with a crew that didn’t care where she went to high school and didn’t get the whole east side/west side thing and thought that “cornhole” and “three-way” were terms not mentioned in polite company, and certainly not with the gusto and enthusiasm displayed by many queen cityites.

but we’ve been assured that all are most welcome, that being an import is as much a mindset as a geographic fact, that all it takes is a little curiosity about other people from other places. maybe we’ll see you there.

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with a clear winner in the “christmas” category and yet another in the “winter” category, we have decided to split the pot between our two favorite photo submissions. and the winners are…

the food hussy (aka heather) for “black santa” and jp pfister for “ice storm 2007.”  you’ll see heather’s photo for the rest of 2008, and jp’s photo for winter, 2009.

thanks to all who contributed, who considered contributing, and who put up with us while we sought contributors. we’d send you all a gift-pak of jeni’s ice cream if it wouldn’t bankrupt us.

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ooh, that’s bad. sorry. but i was tossing around ideas like “the know in oakley” or “oakley in the know,” and they just weren’t working for me — so i went for the groaner.

anyway, pun apologies aside: every wednesday kona bistro in oakley square has “community wednesday.” maybe not quite as sexy as their “martini monday,” but way more socially redeeming. this week (the 27th), they’ll proudly be serving as hosts to raise funds for the know theater. the event runs from 6-9 pm, and highlights include raffles of free tickets and subscriptions, as well as celebrity bartenders from the know. more details here, but really, all you need to know is this: it’ll be a good time supporting community theater at a community bistro. and on the heels of the know’s announcement of reduced ticket prices, it’s even more vital to offer support for alternative independent regional theater.

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OTR has to be one of the most fascinating neighborhoods in cincinnati. beautifully renovated facades stand next to squatter-ready boarded-up buildings; new businesses nestle in among long-standing neighborhood joints, and the promise of uncertainty beckons from every street corner. all of this can be yours any day of the week, of course, but it’s at its prime on the second sunday of every summer month.

OTR’s SSOM offers the perfect sunday pastime: strolling in the sunshine — sweetie, bff, handsome canine, or your own good mood in tow — while listening to urban grooves, sampling local wares, and taking in the show that is SSOM’s passersby.

shops stay open (our faves this week were urban eden (pictured right) and iris book cafe, opened as an honest-to-goodness coffee shop to replace the coffeeshop-turned-bar that is kaldis) and it’s loads of fun to poke your nose in to see what’s what in urban shopping.

but most of the fun is to be had on the street, where artists, craftsmen, and kids’-face-painting-volunteers are keeping the asphalt humming. if humming is too mellow to suit your sunday groove, stick around for the free citybeat stage, where you might pick up free salsa lessons, or be treated to one of the funkiest representations of global music found this side of the ohio.

when the afternoon starts winding down, catch the glitter of sun off the storefront windows and finish that christian moerlein OTR you’ve been sippin’, as you slowly ease yourself back into reality.

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\first fridays, second sundays, final fridays … folks in cincinnati like to get together, and they’ll invent any kind of reason to do it. fine with me — i always like a good get-together. in our neck of the woods, from april through september, oakley square opens its doors on the final friday of every month during the extended summer for a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood extravaganza.

for the kids, oakley has a great bookstore and a fun toy store, where on final fridays the first 50 kids get a free playmobile figure.free playmobil figures after 6 for the first 50 kids!

grown ups can browse all kinds of businesses, most of which stay open a couple hours late in honor of the event. we were especially fond of the ones that offered complimentary wine and cheese to potential patrons.

oakley after hours features several musical acts, and they’re usually spaced far enough apart that you can actually listen and enjoy the nearest one.

next one: last friday in june, a mere eight days away. the musical lineup this month includes 40 east, hunting agnes, and patrick ewing (in the fresh market parking lot, no less). come on down for that summertime feelin’.

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Here we are, on the far side of Cinco de Mayo (we had ground turkey tacos w/tomato, lettuce, avocado, cheese, and cilantro, and split a beer to celebrate, thanks very much), and I haven’t yet pointed out that May is officially Bike Month!

Hey folks! May is National Bike Month!

And thanks to a lot of good folks at (among others) Reser Bicycle Outfitters, the MoBo Coop, and Park + Vine, Cincinnati has a full slate of activities and events to celebrate all things velocipede. Check out the full listings over at Queen City Bike, and be sure to check back there for updates and more information.

Some of the highlights include:

Findlay Market Commuter Class (5/10 & 31) and Bike Maintenance Class (5/17 & 24) 10-11am. A series of free classes on getting started with commuting by bicycle (a fine idea with gas nearing $4/gallon) and keeping your bike running smoothly and safely.

May 15 – Confident City Cycling Workshop
6-8pm @ MoBo Bicycle Co-op, 1415 Knowlton Ave. Northside, 45223. Jim Coppock and Don Burrell –two esteemed long time cycling activists, instructors, and city planners who work to advocate for bicycling on a municipal level, present this workshop. Jim and Don will bring their years of experience to MoBo with this workshop focused around sharing the road, riding safe and riding smart.

May 21 – National Ride of Silence 6pm
The Ride of Silence led by the Cincinnati Cycle Club will convene at Fountain Square at 7:30 from three different locations. Visit queencitybike.com for complete details. For more information about the National Ride of Silence visit
www.rideofsilence.org. Free.

What’s the purpose of the ride of silence? (from www.rideofsilence.org)

  • To HONOR those who have been injured or killed
  • To RAISE AWARENESS that we are here
  • To ask that we all SHARE THE ROAD
  • ‘Nuff said.

    Now get on your bikes and ride!

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    …or joggin’, or walkin’, or supportin’, or even just watchin’ the flyin’ pig yesterday morning, we decided it would be a great day for a bike race — specifically, my first bike race in over a year.

    so we packed up the car and trundled out to a blip on the map named springboro near lebanon. that’s leh-buh-nin, by the way, not to be confused with the mideast nation leh-buh-nahn — you know, someone should compile a book of local pronunciation quirks (maybe someone has?). it would include versailles (don’t even bring your ver-saiy ’round here, it’s ver-sails), indiana, of course, as well as a little burg in minnesota named for the uruguayan capital montevideo (mon-ti-vi-DAY-o) and called, as near as i could ever figure, mon-nuh-VI-dee-o.

    but i digress. it’s lovely rolling country, and i was eager to test my legs over four laps on the 11+ mile course. alas, it was not to be, at least not all of it. in races like this, the field is split into skill-level and gender categories, and in two of the other fields first-lap crashes required ambulance visits. the organizers and the police there to help out with the race deemed the course unsafe and canceled the rest of it. it was disappointing for many riders, but probably the best call.

    it was, however, enough to re-ignite my bike-racing bug, and i’m looking forward to a summer dotted with the occasional foray into (very) amateur competition. one of the more spectator-friendly events on the summer schedule is the hyde park blast on June 28, a set of criterium races at hyde park square. the blast features kids’ events, and running race, and a block party in conjunction with a day at the races. less locally, but more imminent (May 16-18), is lexington’s own bike race celebration, fittingly called bike lexington. for my money, the spectating would be best at the saturday criterium in the heart of downtown.

    just one more note on the flying pig, or rather, the coverage of it by our local rag: it’s a great event, with around 12,000 runners finishing the half (7300+) and full (4700+) marathons. it’s a marathon for regular folk, who work hard and train hard to complete an arduous event. and it’s structured to encourage those regular folk to run in support of charities and other good causes. why then, does our fear-mongering excuse for local print coverage have a giant headline today that reads: DRAMA AT THE BACK OF THE PACK (I saw this in a newspaper box while walking the dogs, so i may have the exact wording wrong, but this is the gist of it), with a sub-head “CPR saves stricken runner”? i get that this story is news, and that it’s very important to bobby edwards and his loved ones. and i’m certainly not suggesting that the lead story on the pig should be “flying pig reveals that cincinnati is best city in the universe.” but why oh why must our media try so very hard to make us so very afraid? of everything?

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