31 October 2007

Found Item - Hansy's Place

 

My dad picked this can opener up at a flea market. The address 1250 Elm Street, would place it directly across from Music Hall, where Washington Park Elementary now sits. I have no idea if Hansy's Place was a beer hall or car repair shop.

30 October 2007

Found Poem

Just read and heartfelt poem about love and poverty. Found in Washington Park.

Washington Park Alternatives with Pool

The Cincinnati Park Board has been developing plans to expand Washington Park into the location of the current Washington Park Elementary. This is a project with immense potential, and I am very excited by it. However, I have posted many times about the importance of swimming pools in Over-the-Rhine, and feel that the existing pool should either remain or a new one be integrated into the design. The Park Board has developed a design for the park that they hope to present to the public sometime this fall. The presentation has been delayed apparently for the following reasons:
- Community Council request to add pool and basketball or similar recreation.
- Cincinnati Recreation Commission is finalizing their city-wide plan for pools in the city. When this is ready for public consumption, it may address the deepwater pool issue in OTR. However all indications are that CRC is proposing to remove all deepwater pools that are not part of a Community Center, and OTR's Community Center is landlocked and probably cannot fit an outdoor pool.
- Controversy over the proposed temporary parking lot to serve as staging for the SCPA and for temporary parking for Music Hall until an additional garage is built.

A group of Miami Architecture Students in collaboration with some Over-the-Rhine neighbors have been researching recreation options in the OTR parks. I am not part of this group, but I have been trying to keep abreast of their work. They have researched pool operating costs. They have compared new pool costs to rehabbing old pools and they have researched minimum sizes and attendance figures. They have also consulted with the Community Council about their desires for the parks.

In response to their research a petition has been started requesting that Washington Park be designed to have neighborhood recreation, including basketball and pools. I think they have over 400 signatures already on their petition.

The following is their statement and some presentation drawings.

The Cincinnati Park Board is in the process of redesigning Washington Park. We appreciate improvements to the park but the new design lacks play spaces for older children and teenagers. For the park design to be a successful family oriented park, it must accommodate diverse ages and interests. The current draft design removes the deep-water pool and basketball court.

With our design, we hope to illustrate how a deep-water pool and basketball court could fit into the future Washington Park plan.

B. Drapac, S. Palmer, M. Kirby, and L. Mettler
Miami University Center for Community Engagement
1300 Vine Street


Typical Drawing showing the Student Proposals:
 


Diagram of Proposed Park Design:
 


Drawing showing existing plan, and some proposed option with a full-sized pool:
 

What I think is interesting about the park plans is how little space the pool actually occupies in such a large park.

28 October 2007

View from Anderson Ferry

Day trip to the pumpkin patch:
 


He-man grill at park in KY, Rt 8.
 


View of Ohio from KY:
 

Biking in Washington Park

Burr Oak Photo

The unusual branching pattern of the Burr Oak, as seen on a 200 year old tree in Corryville.
 

Early Playground Photo

 

There was a movement 100 years ago to get children off the street and on to "safe" play structures like this.

26 October 2007

Halloween Movies on the Square

UPDATE: Several families have confirmed they plan on going. However the weatherman is predicting 40% chance of rain. I will go if it is cold, but not if it is raining. Hope to see you all.
 

I have talked with a few downtowner parents, and if the weather holds out, we plan on meeting on fountain square this Saturday for the Halloween movies. I plan on getting there by 6:30 so the kids can run around a bit before the movie. Join us and introduce yourself! The kids may be wearing costumes!

Saturday, October 27, 2007 from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM

Our summer movie nights were so popular, we decided to do it again for Halloween. Enjoy three family-friendly movies with a Halloween theme: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966, G); The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993, PG); and Beetlejuice (1988, PG).

It's the drive-in without the cars! Bring your chairs, blankets, sleeping bags, and pillows. Movie snacks, soft drinks, and adult beverages will be available.

When We Were Very Young

This book, written by A. A Milne in 1924, before he wrote Winnie the Pooh is a delightful book of poetry for children. I have been suprised that young children will sit and listen to poetry, even though I am certain they do not understand half of it. Just the souds rolling off the tongue, I suppose:
 

...The sea was galloping grey and white;
Christopher clutched his sixpence tight;
We clambered over the humping sand-
And Christopher held my hand.

We had sand in the eyes and the ears and the nose,
And sand in the hair and sand-between the toes.
Whenever a good nor' wester blows,
Christopher is certain of
Sand-between the toes.
...

25 October 2007

A Prospective Downtown Parent Asks Questions

A reader writes:
My husband and I are determined to make downtown living work once we have children. I think a lot of my friends and family are very skeptical. If you haven't already discussed it on your blog, It would be great to hear more about your living situation with kids. Do you live in a house, condo apartment? We are in a condo, so at times I'm concerned that a newborn baby crying would disturb the neighbors. One thing I always ask my friends with kids is: how much of that baby stuff do you really need? the bouncy seat, the changing table, the diaper genie, etc... Right now, we have a one-bedroom condo, so we're thinking we'll need a 2-bedroom condo sooner rather than later...


Eventually, yes you will need a two-bedroom, however I think you could easily go for a few years the baby in a crib and then in a small bed in the same room. We did it until the second child came, and it worked fine.

We live on the third floor of a six-unit apartment building, and we have 2 bedrooms, a guest room, and a balcony, but not private yard or anything like that. Why have a yard that you must maintain when you can use the parks for free? We use the parks a lot for everything from biking to soccer to swimming.

I have not talked on the blog much about baby accessories, diapering, etc. There are two reasons for this. One, it doesn't interest me too much. Secondly because there are other sites, not to mention hundreds of books that discuss that kind of stuff.

I wouldn't worry about a crying baby disturbing neighbors. They really aren't that loud. It just seems so to the mother. Now when the kids get to be 5yrs old and they have bouncing basketballs, music lessons or temper tantrums, yes I do worry about that a little, but it is manageable. It helps if other people in your building have children. Other parents are much more forgiving.

Bouncy seats and diaper genies were both a waste of space for us. We also didn't go for a full changing table, but just put a foam pad on our dresser, but in retrospect a changing table is handy the first year when they are squirmy. A crib and high-chair are the only essential furniture items, and some people out there don't even use the crib, preferring instead to have the family bed. Google Dr. Sears if you want to read about that kinda stuff. I say do what works for your family.

Thanks for writing. I hope to see you around town.

Wee Wednesdays at Art Museum


Wee Wednesdays
10–11:30 a.m. at Cincinnati Art Museum

Preschooler and parent open-house the last Wednesday of the month September through May offering story times, scavenger hunts, touchable objects, and snacks available for sale. Free, no reservations required, unable to accommodate school groups.

[Where: 953 Eden Park Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45202]

24 October 2007

New Testament Baptist Mission

 

The guy who posted this sign was the last tenant of the City-owned church at the southwest corner of 15th and Race. He was a solitary preacher, who stood on the corner and yelled the gospel amid jeers. He fought eviction when the building was condemned, but lost.

Optimash Prime

I don't care for this rehash of a classic toy:
 


I prefer the old toys:
 

School Board Candidates Forum

November 1, 2007, 6:30 pm
Peaslee Neighborhood Center, 215 E. 14th St.

All candidates have confirmed their attendance

Sponsored by: Contact Center & Peaslee Neighborhood Center,

Co-sponsored by: Over-the-Rhine Community Council, Sarah Center, A Small Group, Over-the-Rhine Community Housing, Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce

For more information call William Wallace, Voter Project Coordinator at the Contact Center, 381-4242.

Bay Horse - Photo

 

Photo of Mural, trolley?

 

23 October 2007

Sidewalk Trees

Regular Tree Grate, cut as it should be for a growing tree:
 


Fancy Tree Grate at Government Square:
 


Sycamores in the center of Court Street, grate removed:
 


OTR Community Council planting Locusts with volunteers in early 1990's:
 


The same tree today. I think it was planted crooked and thus it is bent:
 


A new lawn in OTR bounded by weed Mulberry trees where buildings once stood:
 

[where: 1505-15 Race Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202]

Photo - mural of grass?

 

[Where: 1410 Race Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202]

20 October 2007

Art Academy for Kids

 

The Art Academy offers very good programs for children.
The thing I like about the classes is that they are taught by serious artists, yet they are successful at teaching to the age of the children. Even for the youngest kids, they introduce theoretical concepts such as foreground, perspective, and contrast. Classes are typically on Saturday mornings during the school year, and in the summer they offer all day classes in Clifton.

Interior of the urban campus:
 

19 October 2007

Quote - how Robert Moses Got-r-Done

If ends justified means, and if the important thing in building a project was to get it started, then any means that got it started were justified. Furnishing misleading information about it was justfied; so was underestimating its costs.

Misleading and underestimating, in fact, might be the only way to get a project started...But what if you didn't tell the officials how much the projects would cost? What if you let the legislators know about only a fraction of what you knew would be the projects' ultimate expense?

Once they had authorized that small initial expenditure and you had spent it, they would not be able to avoid giving you the rest when you asked for it. How could they? If they refused to give you the rest of the money, what they had given you would be wasted, and that would make them look bad in the eyes of the public. And if they said you had misled them, well, they were not supposed to be misled. If they had been misled, that would mean that they hadn't investigated the projects thoroughly, and had therefore been derelict in their own duty...Once a Legislature gave you money to start a project, it would be virtually forced to give you the money to finish it.

-The Power Broker by Robert Caro, on Robert Moses
(via Andrew Sullivan)

Swimming Pool - Final Frontier for Black Athletes

Why does the US send no black swimmers to the olympics? Could it be that black children have little access to deepwater pools? An excellent article here.

Some excerpts:

.. Less than 2 percent of the 300,000 athletes registered with USA Swimming are black.

Slowly but surely, racial barriers in the other “country club” sports have fallen. .... no African American athlete has become a national face for minorities in swimming. And until that happens, the swimming pool remains the final frontier for minority athletes.

... Lack of exposure to swimming leads to drowning rates that are three times higher for minority children than for whites.
...
With the question of exposure comes the question of economics. Fees for private swimming clubs average between $50 and $100 per month. With nearly one-third of black children in the United States living below the poverty line — more than double that of white children — the cost of joining a private pool is not always a possibility.

Programs like Make a Splash and Swim for Life! are free to members of the Boys and Girls Club. Fees for City of Atlanta Dolphins, which is funded by the city of Atlanta, are $250 a year.

But Swim for Life! struggled ... Staffing — and retaining — qualified swimming instructors for the program was difficult, and coordinating lessons between pools has been a logistical nightmare.

...many of the pools were dilapidated and should have been shut down. Renovating and maintaining them was expensive. ...

The New SCPA Site and Washington Park

This is a somewhat convoluted post that I have been messing with for a couple weeks, but I thought I should post it after reading a summary of the OTR Foundation's concerns aobut CPS's plans around Washington Park on the Building Cincinnati Website. I agree with their concerns. I have attended meetings and read all I could about Washington Park, the new SCPA, and the proposed Music Hall Parking Garage, but never once was it mentioned that the north end of the park would be turned into a temporary gravel parking lot. Temporary in this context may mean 3-5 years.

First of all, I don't quite get placing a staging area for a construction site, one block away from the construction. It seems that there is plenty of room for that on the block of construction. Secondly, funding is not in place for the Music Hall Parking Garage. If the garage doesn't get built, does the parking lot stay indefinitely? Seems likely.

The southeast corner of Elm and 12th. Soon (?) to be demolished for the outdoor ampitheater for the new SCPA. Not too many people are rooting for these buildings, but shouldn't what is built new be even better than what is removed? Will an ampitheater work at this corner?
 

The significance of rowhouses, is the "urban fabric" they create when they fill a block. The rest of this block is already vacant and is now a big foundation hole.

I have only seen drawings of the south side of the new SCPA. This is such a very important site, connecting Music Hall, Washington Park and OTR to downtown. The building will face four streets, and two (Central Parkway and Washington Park/12th)are very significant. Because of budget concerns and State School requirements the important urban design issues may be lost.

I recenty read the July 31, 2006 minutes of the Historic Conservation Board, wherein the demolition of these buildings was discussed. It was illuminating to read how critical the Board Members were of the SCPA design. They all share my concern that the building turns it's back to Washington Park. They did not approve the design and voted to form a committee that would work with the architects to resolve their concerns.

The Historic Conservation Board quit posting their minutes online in 2006. How hard can it be to post a document to a website? Has the Historic Conservation Board Approved the demolition of the above buildings? I don't think so. Have they even given approval for the construction of SCPA, with it's back facing the park? I guess, they have, but after reading the minutes above, it is hard to see what could have been done (short of a complete redesign, which we know was not done) to win their approval.

18 October 2007

Noel's Plumbing Moving

Noel's plumbing supply, which has been a great resource in Over-the-Rhine and Downtown for as long as anyone can remember is moving today to Evendale.

Moving trucks at Noels:
 


Their existing site at 1200 Walnut has approximately 4,600 square feet and maybe a dozen parking spots. The existing parking and loading area is not fenced-in. Their new location at 2985 Glendale-Milford Road, near the intersection with Reading Road has a 10,000 square foot office, 3,000 square foot storage building and lots of fenced loading and parking space.

Where they are going:
 


I don't like it, but I suppose this is an expansion for them and means that business is good for them. I wish them well. Not sure if there is anyplace else closer to downtown than Evendale that sells parts for ancient sinks. Anyone know?

I hope the other hardware and plumbing supply stores we have stay. I suspect some of them are struggling:
-The newly expanded ACE on Main Street seems to do a lot of business.
-Doppes in Queensgate, the only place downtown that carries lumber. Kind of a relic.
-Hartke for keys and locks, at Brighton Corner, West End. Definitely a relic!
-My favorite: Rohs, 1403 Vine.

Aglamesis Ice Cream Parlor

I am always re-suprised at how heavy and creamy their real whipped cream is. I also like how they give you those two little sugar cookies with malts. And of course the ice-cream is the best. Their Site.
 

Sam Caldwell - Photo

 

[Where: 118 E. Ninth Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202]

17 October 2007

see saws allowed by CPSC

While researching another topic, I was surprised to see that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) which regulates playground equipment does not discourage see saws. Why then have they disappeared from every playground? Fear of lawsuits?
 

Support Local Jazz at Know Theater

Next Tuesday, October 23rd, please join Ed Moss and I (Pam Ross) at the Jackson Street Underground (aka The Know Theater) for our "From Mercer to Mancini" show. Ed and I will be joined by Mike Sharfe on bass and Jim Leslie on drums, one of the finest rhythm sections in or outside of town!

For those of you who haven't been to this new venue for us, we know you'll enjoy it... It's been described as having a hip, urban, vibe, and there are a variety of interesting shows offered at the Know Theater that you should check out as well. Here is a link to their site

So please join us next Tuesday! Your continued support is very much appreciated and needed to help us keep Jazz Alive.

Notes: The show starts around 8 pm and ends around 11. There is a $5 cover charge to cover cost of the band. And the drinks are extremely reasonably priced. Some of the best prices I've seen in town - without sacrificing quality.

Movies for Mommies

I've gotten a few emails about a new program that involves weekly Weds, 10am movies specifically for parents with little children. I don't think we will attend, but I thought I would throw this our there for others that may be interested.

The first event it this coming Weds Oct 24th. Event starts at 10am and movie starts at 10:30 am. Description at their website and below:

MFM is more than just a movie event, it is a "mom and baby" activity created to entertain moms in an environment where their babies can feel comfortable. It's a program that moms can call their own, but it's still baby friendly. Though we call it Movies for Mommies, we want to stress that Dads, Grandparents and Caregivers with babies are welcome as well. Before every movie screening, adults will have the opportunity to socialize with friends, old and new alike, and sample the best the city has to offer in terms of relevant products and services.

MFM shows movies that moms can enjoy; we do not show movies meant to entertain the kids. Please read our FAQ page for more information.

16 October 2007

Barack's Plea

The next month is absolutely critical for the presidential candidates. A donation at this time will have much, much more effect than your meaningless Ohio Primary vote next Spring.
Last night each of the presidential campaigns reported their third-quarter fundraising numbers.

The results are clear. We continue to build the largest grassroots movement in history, but Washington lobbyists and special interests rallied to help Hillary Clinton out-raise us for the first time.

If we want real change in this country, then we need to prove that together we are stronger than the lobbyist-driven money machine that has dominated Washington for too long.

The situation here is simple. We are $2.1 million behind. We must close that gap right now. I need you to make a donation of $250.

Hillary Clinton aggressively seeks money from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs. She's even said that these lobbyists represent real Americans.

She's wrong.

I think it's time to turn the page on that kind of politics, and that's why I have not accepted a dime from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs in this race. We rely on a network of more than 350,000 ordinary people to make us competitive -- more supporters than all the other Democratic candidates combined.

Washington lobbyists have chosen their candidate and are determined to provide her with an overwhelming advantage. But you can even up this contest.

In the face of the most entrenched political machine in Democratic politics, I believe a movement of ordinary Americans can change our country. And you can prove that right now.

I need you to make a donation to close the gap:

Barack

We're Done with Diapers!

While trying to stuff more things in the closet this weekend it hit me: Now that our daughter is potty trained, we are done with all the baby stuff. No more diapers, sippy cups, highchairs, pack-n-plays, baby beds, bouncy seats, plastic fencing etc etc.. It is all going. Time to clean house. Yay!

This seems like the ideal age for kids. They play together, feed themselves (kinda) and dress themselves (kinda), help around the house(I wish) and they are totally innocent and inquisitive. Being a dad just keeps getting better.

If you want baby stuff and are downtown, email me. It's free and I may deliver.

Play in Nippert

Found on sidewalk, a command to play:
 

15 October 2007

Contested Streets

Should our streets be safe for all types of vehicles and pedestrians, or should they be car sewers, with their only function to move as many cars as fast as possible? I would really like to see this movie. The trailer itself is a good watch.

14 October 2007

Lloyd Library Young Naturalist Club

SW corner of Court and Plum:
 

Lloyd Library has a new program for local kids 6-10 years old.

The program is called Young Naturalists Club, and meets on the second Saturday of each month 10am-11:30. The topics for the year:

October 13th: Growing Herbs and Plants
November 10th: Cornhusk weaving and plant dyes
December 8th: Holiday wreaths
January 12: Aromatherapy, candle making and potpourri
February 9th: Nature printing, Valentine cards
March 8th: Recyclable art, wind chimes
April 12th: Cooking with herbs
May 10th: Naturalist team survival game.

 

I think it is fantastic that this private research library is attempting outreach to the community. The program is just right for the budding naturalist on a lazy Saturday morning.

[Where: 917 Plum Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202]

Recap of Northside Porch Tour

We did not get to take the carriage ride, because the wait was too long. Jergens Park, at the SW corner of Hamiton and Bruce was full of kids playing to the sounds of jazz from a SCPA quintet, and the sidewalks were lined with candles. It was a beautiful cool evening with fires in a few yards for warmth.

Everyone waved from their porches, and everyone socialized as they passed on the sidewalks. An event like this demonstrates the importance of homeowners to the developent of civic pride. It was a great time in a great neighborhood.

13 October 2007

Pitiful Fountain

What banality and ugliness we willingly surround ourselves with! I can't stand it.
 

[Where: 7331 Kenwood Road, Cincinnati, OH 45236]
Thank God for downtown and our older neighborhoods.

Eat Grease Live Longer

"Doctors Say So"
 

Alabama Fish Bar, Liberty and Race Street, OTR.

I had food here again, against my better judgement. They offer 3 kinds of fish, Cod, Whiting, and Perch, all deep fried for 5.99 or 6.99. The "meal" includes fries and two slices of the cheapest white-bread. Plus they will pile on cooked onions and peppers if that is what you like. It is quick, local and tastes pretty good. But you won't be able to forget you ate there for the next day or so. Kinda sticks with you in the same way White Castle does.

I forswear this place for at least the next year.

[where: 1601 Race Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202]

New Urbanism and Slow Food

A connection is made between the two movements of slow food and new urbanism:
Slow Urbanism encourages people to create whole neighborhoods; to celebrate local community building traditions; and to take time—this is the important (and fun part) -to enjoy community life with family and friends.”

History of Adoption in Cincinnati

Dan Hurley has a great article today in the Post, about the history and importance of adoption. I have relatives that work in the adoptions for Hamilton County, and I know that the need for adoptive and foster parents is great.


In the 1990s, I wrote a history of the Children's Home of Cincinnati published as "One Child at a Time," which I still consider one of the most important projects that I have done as a historian. In an age when photography was not much older than the Internet is today, the Children's Home used its power to help place children in good homes.
...
After taking responsibility for a child, the Home's managers consciously contrasted their approach with the Cincinnati Orphan Asylum, founded in 1832. That institution tended to hold the children so long that the children began to regard the asylum as "home." Because the Children's Home believed that the "Divine plan is to set mankind in families not in institutions," the managers sought to "scatter them abroad in good homes" as rapidly as possible.

In the late 1880s and 1890s, the average stay in the headquarters at Ninth and Plum streets was just 41 days. The ideal was placement in a Christian home in the countryside. Reflecting Jeffersonian prejudices, the Home's leaders believed that in city streets and alleys poor children learned idleness and vice, whereas on farms operated by good Christian families, the "wheels were kept moving by the oil of industry and love."

Very early, the Home recognized the power of photography in furthering its work. Its agents traveled with stacks of photos of children available for placement and its publications were filled with photographs of vulnerable, but hopeful, children, each accompanied by a paragraph describing the child's personality.

Perhaps the most dramatic use of photography occurred in 1901 when workers took a photograph of a desperate mother surrounded by her five children on the day she decided to turn over the four older children to the Home. The children are shoeless and dressed in filthy clothes. Their hair is matted and their expressions are blank, barely masking a sense of sadness and fear. A second photo taken 20 days later shows the same children well fed, spotlessly clean and wearing new shoes. The girls are dressed in beautiful striped dresses and the boys sport bows under starched lace collars.

The goal of employing photographs of specific children was the same in 1880 as it is in 2007. Those responsible for finding children a stable home are trying to move beyond tables of statistics that appeal to the mind and touch the hearts of prospective parents.
...
Sensitive to potential abuses, the Home insisted that the children had to be fed, clothed and educated as if they were biological members of the family. During his travels, Green repeatedly visited homes where he had placed children to observe the dynamics, and while he placed 1,244 children between 1888 and 1897, he also removed and re-placed 316 children.

In 2007, the adoption and foster-care systems have been strengthened to protect the interests of all involved, but the words of Meigs Crouse, superintendent of the Children's Home of Cincinnati in 1893, remain surprisingly fresh: "In saving 'your child,' 'our children,' we are saving ourselves also."
...

12 October 2007

11 October 2007

Park + Vine Oct 27

Oct. 27 - Join cincyMOMS.com for a demonstration on the “Basics of Cloth Diapering and Baby Wearing” 10 to 11 a.m. Oct. 27 at Park + Vine. Supervised activities and healthy snacks for kids will be provided. Space is limited. RSVP to info [at] parkandvine [dot] com or call (513) 721-7275 before Oct. 26.

Pendery at Findlay Market

Jim Pendery, local artist has an exhibit in Findlay Market:
 

Internet CafĂ© Art Exhibit: October Artist –
Maya Mix – Decorative Motifs from MesoAmerican Ceramics
The Show: Although these paintings are derived from ancient Mexican pottery images, they are not historically accurate, nor do they legitimately represent the archaeological record. Rather, this show is a fanciful blend of indigenous iconography and third millennium weirdness. Designs were taken from the Olmec, Maya, Toltec and Aztec cultures and mixed with my own unique concepts. I have an Anthropology degree from the University of Cincinnati, so multi-culturalism has always been a natural focus of my art. My intention for this show is to create a pleasing and stimulating visual atmosphere for Findlay Market this fall season. I have more Mayan-based work showing currently at Pathways Gallery on Ludlow Ave. in Clifton.


I like it.

10 October 2007

Construction Play, Men at Work

One of the things that gave me the best childhood memories, was playing in the woods near our house. We cut trails, built forts and made tree houses.

On the other hand, one thing I missed growing up, was seeing grown men build things at their work. We lived, like most Americans amongst lots of other houses, and no businesses nearby. My glimpses of the work world were things like the mailman and garbage man.

My son is so fortunate to see men at work everywhere he looks. I think this is important. However, I would also like him to have the opportunity to play at construction, like I did in the woods. We have talked about building a tree house for example at his grandpa's house. We have also had the idea of surreptitiously constructing play spaces in the public park. During our walks in several city parks we have come upon things like this built by other kids. There are bike trails and ramps in the woods at Ault Park, and we have found rope swings and play forts in other city parks.

There is a movement to build playgrounds where kids can play at construction. They are called Adventure Playgrounds and apparently they are popular in Europe, but are rare in the US because of liability concerns.

I suppose the illegal playhouses built in the backwoods of city parks are eventually removed by park employees, but at least these woods will always be here, unlike the ones I grew up playing in, which were bulldozed long ago.

Big 8 Urban School Districts Show Improvement

Ohio 8 is an unusual alliance made up of school superintendents and teacher union representatives of the eight largest school districts in Ohio. They are meeting now to tout their success in improving urban schools:


..the big urbans have gained 19 percentage points since 2000-2001. Schools overall in Ohio have gained 13.4 percentage points over that same period.

During the 1999-2000 school year, Ohio's eight big-city districts -- Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Youngstown, Toledo, Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton -- were all foundering in academic emergency, the lowest of five state ratings. Today, none has that dubious distinction.

... the number of students in the eight districts has dropped from 280,000 in 2001 to 230,000 today.

09 October 2007

Found Items - Windshield

Things left on my windshield this week:
 


 

I also had a Vote Winburn flyer, again. This guy never stops.

08 October 2007

Playground Litter

Good thing we got that rubberized play surface so kids don't bruise themselves:
 

07 October 2007

Rules Rules Rules

 

I've seen worse signs, but this is pretty bad. Who writes this stuff, and who ever reads it?

Closed Up Tight

 

Interesting building next to the Findlay Market parking lot, with what appears to be the original shutters, always kept closed.
[where: 1708 Logan Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202]

Found Item: Detective Sign

 

[where: 1135 Vine Streeet, Cincinnati, OH 45202]

06 October 2007

Not Happy

 

College Hill Fall Festival.

05 October 2007

Suggeestion to Donabedian

Play the movies on the square into October. I just read in the paper that other communities do the free "movies in the park" though September and the first week of October.

By the way, I was checking out the Fountain Square calender for later this month and I am looking forward to the Halloween events. However, November looks like a bad month on the square because setup of the skating rink takes up so much time.

Bus Stop Sculpture

 

These sculptures fit well in front of the Federal Building, and they make a nice photo. The soft curves are appealing. From looking at them I thought they were made like most public sculpture, out of steel. However, I was suprised when touching them that they feel hollow and plastic. More dissapointing the closer you get. I also wonder about the long term durability of this material in an outdoor pedestrian environment.

Free Lunch and a Bible Tract

 

Church groups come regularly to Washington Park to hand out lunches, and sometimes to hand out used clothing. They now hand-out on the sidewalk after apparently being asked to leave the park by city officials.

04 October 2007

Northside Porch Tour 2007

6-9pm Saturday, October 13th
Over 150 porches and homes (circa 1900-1920) will be featured in this 1-mile tour showcasing northside’s unique architectural heritage. During the tour, there will be two 20-person horse-drawn carriages, architectural interpretations of porches, candle-lit streetscapes, and music, food, and beverages in Jergens Park. carriage ride tickets can be purchased at Jergens Park (corner of Bruce & Hamilton) on the day of the event for a small fee.
 

Two random shots of Northside from yesterday evening: