31 May 2008

St Paulus Tower

It is deteriorating more lately:

30 May 2008

Cheap Store

Demolition at 12th and Elm for the SCPA. More photos later.

Give Up the Bat Cave

I think it is an inherently American desire to park your car in your house. This garage archetype is often made fantasy in movies with pod-bay doors, shuttle craft, and even the Bat Cave.

Now there are perfectly pragmatic reasons to want to keep your car under a roof. There may even be a reason to park it inside your house. But what I am talking about is the desire to see the world from behind a windshield, then immediately escape from the street directly into the hidden safety of the cave. In this situation, the front door, your door to the neighborhood is kept shut.

A few weeks ago, Krista Ramsey had a short article in the Enquirer about why she takes the bus, and it basically said that being outside for a couple blocks between work and the bus stop connected her better with the city. The shortest of walks and entering through the front doors of the office was much more rewarding than zooming directly from home to office. And I couldn't agree more.

If you move downtown, and have money, you can buy or rent a place with your own bat cave. But it is unnecessary in my opinion. Sometimes that walk from car or bus to your front door is a hassle. Sometimes someone asks your for change, or you may get wet in the rain. But the urban experience primarily happens on the sidewalk. Why avoid it? Why live in a city if you don't walk it?

You may step out your door tomorrow, and meet the mayor, or you may meet a guy dressed in a clown suit. Each day brings a new surprise, each walk is full of happenstance. That is why we live here.

29 May 2008

Digital TV

Just got my digital converter for my TV, and really like it. The reception is much better than analog airwaves, and to my surprise most of the channels run multiple programs concurrently. For example, UHF channel 14, which is a Kentucky channel that I never could pick up to well with my analog rabbit ears, come in crystal clear, and it broadcasts 5 different stations (14-1, 14-2, 14-3 etc...)! Last night, one had Charlie Rose, another had Deutsch World News, and the others had nature shows. WCET, channel 48 broadcasts 2 channels, and channel 54 broadcasts 5 also. Channels 5, 9, 12 and 19 each have 2, and the second one for each of these just seems to rerun the weather. But the important difference is that we now have 12 public TV stations, and that is nice.

If you are like me and do not use cable or satellite, then go to this website, and get a coupon from the government. Wait at least 4 weeks. Get your discount card in the mail. Then go to Radio Shack or some place that sells TVs and get your converter for $15 instead of $55.

Thanks to Axinar for making me aware of the coupon program.

Pools Open Saturday and a Party at Burnet Woods

School ended yesterday for CPS and summer activities are starting up this weekend. Several CRC pools open Saturday (Hanna and Concourse included). The rest seem to open on the 9th.

Also saw this event Saturday afternoon in Burnet Woods:
Burnet Woods, Trailside Nature Center
Saturday, May 31 1:00-4:00 pm
Nature Education Activities, Day Camp Sign-ups
Bucket BoyZ & Fairview German School Choir
Miss Joanie & Mr. Jason (children's music)
The Space Painter & Magician Bobby Maverick Frisch Marionettes Puppeteer
Funny Companie Clowns and many more surprises!

28 May 2008

Roundness in Northside

There's a lot more than these two:


Ivy Taking Over Northside


German Findlay Day

4th Annual German-American Celebration at the Market
Whether you are German or not, be sure to visit the Market on Saturday, May 31, 2008 to enjoy the 4th Annual German-American Citizens League cultural celebration at Findlay Market. The event begins at 11:00am and features a traditional German Societies costumed parade through the Market Square, led by accordionist Nick Galoscy, reading of official proclamations, music and German dance performances. Performers include:
Fairview German School Choir, under the direction of Fr. Katie Hofmann;Germania Jagdhorn Gruppe; Donauschwaben Youth Dance Group, under the direction of Debbie Tullius

27 May 2008

Gin Sitcoms and Free Time

Kind of interesting take on the development of interractive media vs the TV.:
...Starting with the Second World War a whole series of things happened--rising GDP per capita, rising educational attainment, rising life expectancy and, critically, a rising number of people who were working five-day work weeks. For the first time, society forced onto an enormous number of its citizens the requirement to manage something they had never had to manage before--free time.

And what did we do with that free time? Well, mostly we spent it watching TV.

...only now, as we're waking up from that collective bender, that we're starting to see the cognitive surplus as an asset rather than as a crisis. We're seeing things being designed to take advantage of that surplus, to deploy it in ways more engaging than just having a TV in everybody's basement.
People asking, "Where do they find the time?" when they're looking at things like Wikipedia don't understand how tiny that entire project is, as a carve-out of this asset that's finally being dragged into what Tim calls an architecture of participation.

...This is something that people in the media world don't understand. Media in the 20th century was run as a single race--consumption. How much can we produce? How much can you consume? Can we produce more and you'll consume more? And the answer to that question has generally been yes. But media is actually a triathlon, it 's three different events. People like to consume, but they also like to produce, and they like to share.

Big Box Schools

Some of the problems we have in Ohio with State school requirements are also problems across the country according to this article:

When it comes to funding school projects, federal and state agencies are working at cross-purposes: They say they want to curb sprawl, but they promote policies that guarantee it by encouraging new construction over renovation. Federal funding is biased toward the construction of new "healthy, high-performance" schools that meet current energy-efficiency, health, and safety standards, leaving many noncompliant old buildings with little hope for help.

Some policies require schools to be sited on a minimum number of acres, or don't allow renovation of an existing school if it will cost more than a certain percentage-often two-thirds-of a comparable new one. Such rules often omit the hidden costs of new construction, such as land acquisition and infrastructure improvements. Also, school districts are usually barred from federal and state tax incentives for rehabilitating existing buildings.

Prince of Peace Inscription

I think it says "First Lutheran Trinity Church"? "Fr Lutherilch Dreitultighrits Kirche" (or something like that) This Fractur lettering is difficult to read.
[Where: 1522 Race Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202]

Lackman's Beer Ad

It says "The Beer Without A Peer, Serial No. 6604 Guaranteed, Lackman's Beer" [Where: 1237 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202] on the rear.

26 May 2008

New Fairview German Language Elementary

There was an Open House Sunday. The event was dampened by the sudden death Friday of a dear teacher, Mrs. English.

Front yard:

Typical Classroom: Chemistry Lab:
Old Carriage House in backyard, Clifton Cultural Arts Center is raising funds to rehab it:

Finishes inside are precast painted concrete.

A separate cafeteria, now they use the gym:
New gym and stage:

I have some reservations about the move, however the facilities are 100% improved over the current poorly maintained building (on Warner in Fairview). Unfortunately for us, the new school is another mile from downtown. I am not a fan of the style of the exterior, and the dumpster is located right on McAlpin, with some high, heavy duty black fencing, making it look like a prison yard. There is a landscaping committee that I am sure will be improving the severe landscaping. Same thing inside. It looks pretty severe, all hard surfaces, but will look great when covered with children's artwork etc... But it looks like it will function pretty well as intended. The interior layout is simple and manageable. The whole building seems conductive to cleanliness, order and learning. Overall, I would say a good job by the building committee and architects, especially given the constraints of State requirements, budgets etc...

Memorial Day Uncle Sam


25 May 2008

24 May 2008

Vine Street Kroger Going Upscale?

Not really. Not at all. They still have minimal produce selection, but they did add a small display of Honey, Kashi, Soy Nut Butter, and Power Bars which they never had before:
Sorry for the fuzzy photo. See previous post on this Krogers. By the way, the store at 1412 Vine, adjacent to Krogers has now closed. The old owners were stripping it last week, and it is padlocked and it looks like it is sold, probably to 3CDC.

Obama on Portland Transit

It’s time that the entire country learned from what’s happening right here in Portland with mass transit and bicycle lanes and funding alternative means of transportation.

Read More

Also, Obama is currently polling 8 points ahead of McCain in Ohio.

Patriotic Imigrants and Illegals

LA Times chronicles the California War Dead:

At 7, Victor H. Toledo-Pulido was smuggled across the border from Mexico through rugged mountains into California. He and another soldier were killed in May 2007 when a roadside bomb exploded near their vehicle southeast of Baghdad.

"They judge us, and they say we just come to take their jobs and positions, but we also make sacrifices. Victor worked since he was little, in the fields and in restaurants," his mother, Maria Gaspar, said after the 22-year-old Mexican was killed in Iraq. "He was Mexican, but he thought like an American. And he gave his life for this country."

Dozens more were the children of immigrants, including Bunny Long, 22, a Marine lance corporal whose parents came from Cambodia, where the Khmer Rouge imprisoned them for four years in a labor camp.

"This is our home," his father, Sim Long, said after his son died. "I'm very proud that Bunny was able to give back to his country. Our country."

23 May 2008

Krugman's Latest - Stranded in Suburbia

Paul Krugman in NY Times.

...consider where I am at the moment: in a pleasant, middle-class neighborhood consisting mainly of four- or five-story apartment buildings, with easy access to public transit and plenty of local shopping.

It’s the kind of neighborhood in which people don’t have to drive a lot, but it’s also a kind of neighborhood that barely exists in America, even in big metropolitan areas. Greater Atlanta has roughly the same population as Greater Berlin — but Berlin is a city of trains, buses and bikes, while Atlanta is a city of cars, cars and cars.

...Long after today’s S.U.V.’s have become antique collectors’ items, millions of people will still be living in subdivisions built when gas was $1.50 or less a gallon.

Infrastructure is another problem. Public transit, in particular, faces a chicken-and-egg problem: it’s hard to justify transit systems unless there’s sufficient population density, yet it’s hard to persuade people to live in denser neighborhoods unless they come with the advantage of transit access.

And there are, as always in America, the issues of race and class...

New Colored Awnings


Trying to spruce the place up...

Unusual All-Stone House


In East Price Hill, Academy Ave. I've been spending lots of time in Price Hill lately for work, and I love it.

22 May 2008

Wired - Urban Living is Greener

The first myth in a list of 10 about rethinking what it means to be green: Article in Wired.

21 May 2008

Katie Laur at Rinks

Katie Laur Album, Black Tie, Recorded in 1982 at Octev Records, 5825 Vine Street, 45216. Recording Engineer: Larry Nager. Sold at Rinks for $6.99:
Octav Records was in Elmwood Place, near or perhaps the same place as Vernon McIntyre's Old Time Music (now moved to Wapokaneta, OH) and before that was it Jimmie Skinner Music Center, at 1300 Vine and before that at 222 E. Fifth Street?)

Rinks, now a Flea Mercado:

[Where: 9651 Hamilton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45231] at Meredith Drive

Jitneys, Dying or Filling a Transit Void?

From the Miami Herald. My take is that they could make sense in sprawling areas for people who do not have cars, however, they are not car competitive, because the ride is so unpleasant. Also, since they run on gasoline, their prices may soon be rising:

The jitney, the common name for a shared taxi, is appealing to some for several reasons. Unlike the bus, which has a fixed schedule, jitneys zoom by seemingly every five minutes. They have routes throughout the county, will make stops anytime you ask, and only cost $1 -- a third cheaper than Metrobus.

And thanks to their size -- slightly bigger than a van but smaller and quicker than the bus -- jitneys can slip in and out of traffic, slicing the commute.
Miami Metro Bus is one of 13 carriers certified to run jitney service in the county.
The term ''jitney'' came into the vernacular in the early part of the 20th century. The word was commonly used as the name for a five-cent piece -- the cost to catch a ride on the vehicle that was bigger than a taxi but smaller than a full-sized bus...

...The system has been regulated by the county since the 1980s. Jitneys are only allowed on certain streets, the vehicles are regularly inspected and drivers must obtain a chauffeur registration and pass background checks.

Community Band Festival Sunday!

I'm not a big fan of the Taste of Cincinnati, which is THE big event this weekend in Downtown Cincinnati. There are a few festival type rides for the kids, but the whole walking while eating and negotiating a crowd, just doesn't sound like fun to me.

My idea of an enjoyable Memorial Day Sunday would be sitting in the lawn at Sawyer Point, P&G Pavillion, by the river, listening to Concert Band Music, while the kids play on the adjacent playground. Event starts at 2pm, is free and will include over 200 musicians playing marches and other concert music.

Bean Haus at Findlay Market

The newest business to make Findlay Market its home is the Bean Haus. Tim Eversole, owner of the Covington, KY specialty coffee shop, has opened an additional business in the former location of First Alarm Coffee Shop in the center tower of the Market House. His motto is “Where beans are not just brewed but indulged!!! Tim features a diverse menu of espresso, coffee and tea drinks, smoothies, frappes and an assortment of cookies, pastries, bagels and candies.

20 May 2008

Leaning Column


St Paulus Kirche

Kevin, at Building Cincinnati, reports today that the City is considering an ordinance to transfer this church, among other properties to 3CDC. Over the past few months parts of the tower have been falling off. Will 3CDC save the oldest standing Protestant church in the city? It had roof repairs ten years ago to stave off demolition, but has sat crumbling since.


[Where 1419 Race Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202]

UPDATE: Some additional photos:
Here is a historic postcard type photo that I got from some parishioners at St Peter and Paul Church (at Ferguson and Queen City, Westwood). St Peter and St Paul church apparently merged and moved to Westwood in 1948. St Peter, which was near Rothenberg has long since been demolished.

The Parsonage, 1417 Race, which was demolished by the City in 2006, after the rear wall collapsed:

And from the Cincinnati Public Library Memory Project comes this photo of St Peters:
That is the corner of Main and McMicken, and Rothenberg would be located right behind it. What a great building at a great location.

19 May 2008

First Concrete at 14th and Vine

This is what it is supposed to look like next year:

It is to be called 14th and Vine Lofts, and will contain 11 condos with garage parking and 1250 SF of retail. By Model Co. See my previous post on the buildings that were demolished here.

[Where: 1331 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202]


Nast Trinity sponsors this event every May. Kids dribble around Washington Park, get a free basketball and meet some sports heroes. This time they were meeting UC football players.

There was a dribbling parade, with Withrow band leading the way. Jeff Berding was here. I see him at a lot of events like this with his kids. Seems too low-key to be much of a politician:

We had a great time. The Withrow Band was rocking, and my son dribbled his first basketball, and he loved it.

18 May 2008

Starbuck Logo Controversy


Stupid, and not relevant, but whatever: Logo of naked mermaid offends those easily offended. And I was worried I wouldn't have a Starbucks post this week...

17 May 2008

Life Improvement Event