Please take the 2010 UrbanCincy Survey to weigh in on some big changes coming soon!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Taking out the trash

Today I was driving north along Jefferson, around 1:40pm, when I looked to my right and saw an overflowing city trash can at the NE corner of Charlton and Jefferson (GoogleMap). There was trash flowing over the edges of the can and spilled all around the ground next to it. At that time I remembered that just a couple weeks ago I saved the phone number for reporting such cases into my cell phone.

I called the number - 513.591.6000 - and reported the situation to a very friendly person on the other end. She asked the location and said she would enter it into the system and have a crew get to it as soon as possible. I later drove back by that trash can about 4 hours later and the problem was solved.

Not only was the trash can cleaned, but so was the previously trashed ground around the can. As a result I would like to thank/commend the City for such great service. It was prompt and thorough and is a service that everyone should take advantage of. City workers only have so many eyes, so a simple phone call to tip them off goes a long way.

Something I have seen and read about before are these solar powered trash cans that automatically compact trash, hold larger amounts and automatically alert workers when cans need to emptied. The Cincinnati Park Board already uses these cans in some of the City's parks, but it is something that should be examined for high traffic areas around the city. It's one of those situations where the upfront costs are higher, but is well worth it in the long run. They are attractive, hold more trash, automatically compact the trash (using solar power) and alert City workers when they are approaching a full state effectively preventing any messy situations from happening in the first place.

Lofts at Fountain Square offer space, convenience

I finally got my first look at the nearly complete Lofts at Fountain Square. We all know that the location is second to none as Fountain Square is essentially your front yard and you're within a stones throw of the region's most unique shopping, dining and entertainment.

In addition to the location the units are some of the most spacious I have seen in Downtown. The smallest unit starts at 725 square feet with the penthouse unit boasting 2,500 square feet of living space. Most of the units, however, are around 1,500 square feet with several offering skylights and french balconies overlooking Vine Street and Fountain Square. Almost 1/3 of the 18 units have already sold and will have their owners moving in shortly. The remaining units available range from $210,000 - $795,000 (penthouse).

All units come standard with 1 parking space across the street at the Westin Hotel, hardwood floors, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, storage spaces in building, high speed internet access and the always popular 10 year tax abatement.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Segway store coming to Over-the-Rhine

The Gateway Quarter has just signed their latest retail tenant. Segway will be opening up their 6th Ohio location and 2nd Cincinnati area store at 1150 Vine Street (directly across from Park+Vine).

The store will be selling the Segway Personal Transporter (PT) which generally cost around $5,000 - $6,000. The Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Device (EPAMD) is a "self-balancing, non-tandem, two-wheeled device that can turn in place, transports only one person, with an electric propulsion system averaging less than one horsepower, and travels less than 12.5 miles per hour." The 'green' transporters produce zero emissions and can travel up to 24 miles on a single charge.

Segways are treated the same as pedestrians and bicyclists and should not be taken on the road with vehicular traffic. You can currently find several police forces around the area using these devices. They generally fit through doorways and are great urban transporters.

The OTR store could be open in as little as 30 days since minor finishes are needed in the new retail spaces created by the Gateway Building. The store will also be renting Segways and offering rent-to-own programs for those looking to buy a Segway. Segway also offers tours with one Cincinnati area tour (PDF) operating in Eden Park. The opening on this OTR store could be the jumpstart for a Segway tour through historic Over-the-Rhine and/or Downtown - stay tuned.

Also be sure to check them out during the Downtown Tour of Living as Segway will have Segway PTs on display and available for test runs at the Gateway Quarter parking lot at 12th & Vine.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Music festivals plentiful as thousands of UC students start classes

Tomorrow tens of thousands of students will return to classes at the University of Cincinnati.  Some of those students have been on a three-month school hiatus possibly traveling, working, or even doing absolutely nothing at all.  Others might have been busy filing their transfer paperwork or readying their applications and social skills for their first introduction to college life.

Each year this week comes along and each year it seems to bring with it the endless possibilities of the academic year to come.  The frisbees come out, political demonstrations and engagement activities begin, and the first groans over the cost of textbooks are heard.  This year is no different, but in addition to this, the first week of classes is also well known for its host of social activities.

Tomorrow UC students will be greeted with the Launch Music Festival presented by Bearcast Radio and 51three (new Cincinnati urban lifestyle magazine).  The day-long Indie festival will feature a diverse collection of local and regional independent artists.  There will be different artists hourly from noon - 7pm, and will also have several artists that will also be performing at this week's MidPoint Music Festival.

On Friday there will be the 7th annual Bearcat Live! concert.  This free concert starts at 7pm on UC's Sigma Sigma Commons will feature We the Living, July for Kings and headliner Blessid Union of Souls.  Both Launch Music Festival and Bearcat Live! are free events to the UC community.

Also starting on Thursday and running through Saturday is the highly anticipated MPMF that will feature three days of Indie music at a number of Downtown venues.  So while everyone is getting serious about their studies be sure to take advantage of the many music opportunities for you this week.

OTR - Blogger Tour of Living

This past Saturday UrbanCincy and the fine folks from the Gateway Quarter put together a second Blogger Tour of Living. The idea was to give some of the bloggers a taste for what is coming up on this weekend's Downtown Tour of Living, as well as, wet everyone's appetite for what is coming down the road.

The turnout was great, the weather was even better. Plus we had Oktoberfest going on just a few blocks to the south of us, and a Bearcat football game just a little bit to the north of us that night (would have been great to have been able to hop on the streetcar and go from spot to spot). A couple of the developers, real estate people and investors were also on hand to answer questions and meet some of Cincinnati's great bloggers.

We were able to go in to a couple of buildings (Good Fellows Hall, Trideca) that are putting on the finishing touches for this weekends big tour. We also got to see the City Home project on Pleasant, Trinity Flats at 14th & Vine, two projects at 13th & Republic, and another project on north Main Street. You can view/comment on all of my photos here, or simply let the slideshow roll through below.

The Downtown Tour of Living (brochure, 5mb) is Saturday, September 27th from noon to 5pm and will boast 15 sites throughout Downtown (8) and Over-the-Rhine (7). Tickets are $15 per person and are available in advance, as well as, on the day of the event at Fountain Square and Central Parkway & Vine Streets. You can also purchase tickets at any Downtown US Bank branch location.

Monday, September 22, 2008

PARK(ing) Day invades Cincinnati

First organized by the Trust for Public Land, PARK(ing) Day is a global event that lasts only one day but whose goal is one that is shared amongst many. Whereas some cities devote 70% of their public land to the automobile, PARK(ing) Day attempts to reclaim land from the automobile, to change how one perceives public space to be defined as, at least temporarily.

Activists, artists and ordinary citizens come together to transform metered parking spots in
to "PARK(ing) spaces," or what are essentially public parks. Some of these reclaimed spaces are more elaborate than others, with some laying out the sod and lawn chairs to give the appearance of an actual park. An act of civil disobedience in some locales, nothing more than a glance-over by the parking maids in others.

What's great about PA
RK(ing) Day is its simplicity. You choose a suitable location for the park, lay down some sod or shrubbery, add in some chairs or perhaps a bench, and other decorative elements that invite passerby's to come in and chat. Perhaps add in an umbrella to provide some shade. Oh, and don't forget to feed the meter.

For Cincinnati, there were seven PARK(ing) Day locations.
Coffee Emporium, City Roots, Park+Vine, Outside, Iris Book Cafe and Classical Glass all participated.

At Coffee Emporium's spot, one of the employees had kicked back in a chair and was catching up on a novel. At Park+Vine's, they were selling lemons for two cents and advice for one cent from a cardboard stand that was reminiscent of Lucy's "Pyschiatric Help" booth from the cartoon strip, Peanuts.

It wasn't all rosy, though. An impromptu spot along Walnut Street between Fourth and Fifth streets ran into a snafu after participants began playing cornhole outside of a Subway restaurant. The fast-food eatery, fearing a major loss of business during the lunch rush, called the police to complain and the PARK(ing) spot was removed.

PARK(ing) Day was still a fantastic event and a much bigger turnout than from the prior year. It'll be interesting to see what is planned for next year!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati bigger and better

The second largest Oktoberfest celebration in the world and "America's Oktoberfest" is this weekend in Downtown Cincinnati. The festival has been extended another block this year now encompassing six full city blocks (along 5th from Race to Broadway) to help accommodate the 500,000+ that come for the German beer, food, entertainment and fun.

What makes this year so much bigger and better than previous years are the new additions to the festival. There will now be five stages of entertainment plus the new Time Warner Cable Party Zelt will be the largest fest tent in the history of Oktoberfest. The tent will be equipped with flat screen televisions and wifi, and will be the place to watch the game or enjoy German musik.

Also new is the HYPE Haus Party: HYPE, the Chamber’s young professional initiative, will hold a party from 4 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20. The “party within a party” will include a lounge, food, music, beer sampling and appearances from Buster the Party Dawg.

Even the famous world's largest chicken dance is improving this year with the addition of Chicken Dance with the Stars. Local celebrities will be doing the chicken dance to get ready for Oktoberfest. Videos of local celebrities doing the Chicken Dance are posted online, and the community is invited to vote for the best Chicken Dancer. The winner will be unveiled as part of the annual highlight of Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati.

Sam Adams, brewed in Cincinnati, is the new beer sponsor for this year's festival and Cincinnati native and founder of the Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams' parent company) will tap the first keg at the Opening Ceremony.

Be sure to also check out Cincinnati's own German beer delight - Christian Moerlein - at their Christian Moerlein Bier Garten located in front of the Chemed Building. They will have Moerlien OTR, Lager House, Barbarossa and Fifth & Vine Oktoberfest Marzen available to drink.

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati (free admission)

Saturday (9/20): 11am - Midnight
Sunday (9/21): 11am - 10pm
Opening Ceremony (9/20): 11:30am
Gemuetlichkeit Games (9/17 - 9/18): Noon - 1pm

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Eclipse at Northside Tavern tonight

Northside Tavern's new backroom is open, and will be the spot to check out Eclipse tonight. There will be no cover and music will start around 10pm.

Listen to Eclipse here!

Northside Tavern is open until 2:30am everyday and is a great spot to catch local music and enjoy a few drinks. Northside Tavern has received accolades like 'Best new bar' (2003 - Cincinnati Enquirer), 'Best Public Living Room' (2004 - CityBeat Best of Cincinnati), 'Best Supporter of Local Music' and 'Best Bar/Nightclub' (both 2005 - CityBeat Best of Cincinnati). One of the other great things is that it is situated nicely in the heart of Northside.

Feel free to get there a little early and take advantage of their happy hour that runs from 5pm-8pm M-F. You can get $2.75 pints, $2.50 well, $3.00 call and $3.50 wine. Northside Tavern (GoogleMap) also has a huge outdoor patio if you care to enjoy the lovely weather or if you need to get out and smoke.

Photo by The Club Creatures

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Weigh in on Agenda 360's regional action plan survey

Agenda 360 is the regional action plan for the Cincinnati region that is being led by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.  It's goal is to, "transform Cincinnati USA, by the year 2020, into a leading metropolitan region for talent, jobs and economic opportunity for all who call our region home."

There is currently a survey asking for people to give their thoughts on how the action plan should develop from here and how it relates to your life within the Cincinnati region.  The survey takes around 10 minutes to complete, but will have a lasting impact on how our region moves forward.

The easiest way to take the online survey is by following this link and clicking on the survey.  It can be taken in either English or Spanish.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Scooters gaining speed in Cincinnati

Are you one of the many people riding around town on a scooter, moped, or motorcycle?  If you are then you're in luck.  The City of Cincinnati has taken note of the increased number of these smaller vehicles and is planning to introduce five parking locations, throughout the Downtown area, for these vehicles.

These will be 10-hour, dedicated, on-street parking options.  Each of the five locations will accomodate between 3-5 vehicles each.  The City plans to have these locations set up and in place by the end of October and wants your input on where they should be located throughout the Downtown area.

Take the survey here!Shop for scooters today!

The City is also strongly considering some other neighborhoods for this program, but would like your input on where it would be best suited.  Clifton, Northside, and others (you know who you are) this means you.  Tell City officials that you think it would be a great idea for this program to be extended to your neighborhood, and help make this initial program a success.

The beauty of this program is that it not only makes things better for those who currently ride around on scooters, mopeds, or motorcycles, but it also makes the city more inviting to those considering these smaller vehicles as an alternative to a car.

View Larger Map

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy Hour Cincinnati: Cock & Bull English Pub

Situated perfectly in Covington's Mainstrasse neighborhood, Cock & Bull is a great spot to grab a few pints of your favorite beer, enjoy live music, people watch from their outdoor seating, or just have a great time with a group of friends. It can be easily found on the SW corner of Main and 6th streets.

Cock & Bull English Pub was rated as having the 'Best Beer Selection' by America Online in 2006. You can choose from 25 beers on tap and roughly 70 overall. Beer not your thing? Cock & Bull also has 15 different wines to choose from and 10 different bourbons.

Live music is a staple throughout the week, as is their 'Tap Time' from 4pm-7pm M-F where you can get 20oz pints for $3.50. After 7pm, on Fridays, you can you'll find DJ Special K and Ladies specials that include $2 domestics and $2 well drinks.

If you get hungry you should try their award winning Fish & Chips ($9 - $12), one of their 5 burgers ($8), or even their famous Fish Sandwich ($7.50). They also have plenty of appetizers and small plate options to choose from if you're just looking for something to munch on.

Cock & Bull English Pub
601 Main Street (GoogleMap)
Covington, KY 41011

Previous happy hour coverage on UrbanCincy:
Buddakhan --- Via Vite --- McCormick & Schmick's --- The Stand

Cock & Bull English Pub on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

MPMF 3 day passes

MidPoint Music Festival is right around the corner (Sept. 25-27). The music festival showcases independent local, regional, national and international artists throughout Downtown and Over-the-Rhine. This will be the 7th year for the annual festival and should be better than ever with new/more venues and tons of great acts.

One of the new features of this year's festival will be the Scion Streetcar route. The crossover vehicles will be made available to festival goers to travel between venues. This is also meant to introduce the Cincinnati Streetcar movement/proposal to a host of new people and get even more people excited about the project.

The best performances are sure to sell out, and quickly. Therefore, MPMF organizers recommend buying See It All 3 day passes in advance. The $29 See It All 3 day pass will allow festival attendees to access all 17 stages and concerts by all MidPoint bands. This is the best way to guarantee your access to the best shows by your favorites artists.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Gateway Quarter retail spaces filling up

The new residential units, in the Gateway Quarter, boast exposed brick walls, original support beams, hardwood floors (in some cases original), very unique floor plans, and a prime location in the heart of what will soon be Cincinnati's premier neighborhood. Well guess what, the retail spaces have all that too, and they are filling up quite nicely right along with their residential counterparts.

The area already has 11 unique retail establishments, the most notable being Park + Vine (a 'green' general store) and Lavomatic (urban wine bar by Jean Robert). Many of them have been there for over a year and are now about ready to be joined by three new additions.

The Little Mahatma (513-723-1287) is relocating its jewelry, art and artifacts store from its previous location, on Main Street behind the Aronoff Center, to 1205 Vine Street and will also be celebrating its 20th year in business. The Little Mahatma will be open M-F 11am-7pm, Saturday 11am-6pm and Sunday 12pm-4pm.

Switch (513-721-8100) is opening up at 1207 Vine Street and will have lighting fixtures for your home and office highlighting current designs from North and South America, Europe and Scandinavia. Hours for Switch will be M-F 11am-7pm, Saturday 12pm-6pm and by appointment.

Incredible Creations (513-961-4111) is the third establishment that will be opening up with the other two this Fall, and will be located at 1209 Vine Street. This upscale barbershop and beauty salon will offer a host of services and will be the first service related business to the Gateway Quarter. Hours for Incredible Creations will be T-Th 9am-8pm, Friday-Saturday 8am-7pm, closed Sunday and Monday.

All three are excited about their new locations echoing similar comments of one another that the neighborhood is becoming a magnet for unique retail options and that they want to be a part of the urban renaissance that is occuring in Cincinnati.

The new shops plan to be open for the Downtown Tour of Living on September 27th where the Gateway Quarter will once again be prominently featured. Official grand openings will be coming later, after the Tour, bu t those attending the Tour will be able to go through and check out the new places.

Park + Vine (a 'green' general store) in the Gateway Quarter

Rachel Z Trio at the Blue Wisp

This Friday (Sept. 12th) Cincinnati’s legendary Blue Wisp Jazz Club will welcome the world renowned pianist Rachel Nicolazzo (aka Rachel Z) and her trio. Rachel Z will be joined by bassist Maeve Royce and drummer Bobbie Raye.

The Manhattan-born pianist started classical training at age seven and eventually attended and graduated from the New England Conservatory. She released her first album, Trust the Universe, in 1993 with Columbia Records. Since that time she has released eight more albums with the most recent being the trio album entitled – Dept. of Good and Evil Featuring Rachel Z.

In this album Rachel Z shares the spotlight with her trio mates, but explores wonderful rhythms and harmonies with her many improvisations. The flow is tremendous and the improve keeps you guessing. Be sure to check out these well known songs done to the smooth sounds of the Rachel Z Trio:  Soul Meets Body (Death Cab for Cutie), Ain't No Sunshine (Bill Withers), Maps (The Yeah Yeah Yeahs), and King of Pain (Sting) to name a few.

Music starts at 8:30pm and will last around three hours until 11:30pm. There is a $12 cover to get through the doors for this top-notch performance. Drink prices are comparable to other bars/clubs around town and the Blue Wisp (GoogleMap) offers a variety of food offerings beyond the typical bar snacks.

Watch a live performance below, by the Rachel Z Trio, of the Dept. of Good and Evil track ESP (Miles Davis/Wayne Shorter).

Sunday, September 7, 2008

This and that

I've noticed a few things recently...One of the first things is that it seems every weekend, in Cincinnati, is another jam packed weekend of things to do.  This isn't much of a surprise to me, but I guess this is shocking to some.

Second thing.  In their first game the Bengals did more than confirm my fears that they weren't going to be any good this year and underperform for yet another year.  Obviously one game makes a football season not, but still...our offense couldn't score and our defense let a half-rate, first-time QB beat us.  Pathetic.

The final thing is this whole presidential election thing.  What originally promised to be a different election, by both candidates, seems to be heading down the same road of worthless bickering.  One worthless attack on patriotism, one worthless rebuttal to stay afloat.  It has me scratching my head and wondering if we will ever see substantive discussions and discourse in our politics again?  No matter which party you subscribe to, or who you support, no one wins when this nonsense takes hold, no one.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Downtown's image improving

Downtown Cincinnati Inc. (DCI) has recently kicked off a $1 million marketing campaign aimed at improving the image of Downtown Cincinnati. It seems to be already that the affects of new restaurants, shops, bars/clubs, and increased activity all over Downtown are improving the neighborhood's image.

In UrbanCincy's monthly poll for August 2008 the question was posed: "How have your perceptions of Downtown changed over recent months?" The results were clear and the message is loud and clear that the perception of Downtown is in fact improving. Nearly 350 votes were cast, with roughly 46% of the repsondents selecting the 'greatly improved' option. Another 39% said that their perception, of Downtown, was 'somewhat improved.'

I grouped the 5 selections into 3 categories for this chart

The efforts of political and community leaders have yielded great results thus far. Results that are starting to settle in with people across the region. There are those who still do not recognize the progress that has been made, and this is what DCI's marketing campaign will need to touch on. Those of us who know Downtown, know that things have improved significantly over the past 5 years. Things look like they are poised to continue to get better, and with time, perceptions will continue to change.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

VH1's Top 20 Video Countdown coming to Cincinnati

Almost two months ago UrbanCincy asked everyone to help bring VH1's Top 20 Video Countdown to Cincinnati. Well I have great news to relay - it is now being reported that VH1 will broadcast here in late September.

The two-hour program reaches an estimated 95 million households over three different time slots (6 hours of TV coverage). The Cincinnati Business Courier reports:

VH1’s Top 20 Video Countdown will tape from such local venues as the newly remodeled Fountain Square, The Ascent at Roebling’s Bridge, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, the Backstage District, Findlay Market, Union Terminal, Camp Washington and Northside. The initial air date is targeted for Saturday, Sept. 13, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The program is expected to repeat Sept. 14 and Sept. 16. The taping will occur to allow for a backstage interview with 3 Doors Down at Riverbend Music Center Sept. 6.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Grey Gardens at the Ensemble Theatre

The New York Times described Grey Gardens as "an experience no passionate theatregoer should miss." Luckily for Cincinnati, the Tony Award winning Grey Gardens is coming to the Ensemble Theatre during the month of September. Showing from 9/10 - 9/28, the musical will have 20 performances at the ETC. You can purchase tickets for as little as $35 for adults and $16 for children under the age of 12.

Due to extreme popularity a couple of dates have already been added. So be sure to get your tickets early for the performance of your choice. Shows at the Ensemble typically start around 7:30pm or 8pm. It makes for a great evening if you grab dinner/drinks at Jean Robert's Lavomatic that is literally just steps away from the entrance to the theatre.

You can purchase tickets online, by telephone (513-421-3555), or by visiting the box office at 1127 Vine Street (Google Map) in the heart of the Gateway Quarter.

From cult film to cult musical! Behind the closed doors of a dilapidated mansion, alongside fifty cats and piles of rubbish, live East Hampton’s most notorious recluses: two beautiful and delightfully eccentric women who just happen to be the cousins of a Kennedy. Nominated for ten Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, and based on the groundbreaking documentary by David and Albert Maysles, Grey Gardens features a book by Doug Wright, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of I Am My Own Wife.

Related Posts with Thumbnails