31 December 2009

Poseidon Adventure New Years

Hope your new year goes better than this:

I saw this as a kid at the drive-in and nightmares about it.

Wendell Berry, Wes Jackson and Gene Lodgson

This is a few months away, but think it is pretty significant to get these 3 guys together in one place:

Wendell Berry and Wes Jackson and Gene Logsdon
Sunday, April 11, 2010, 7:00 pm
“An Informal Conversation”
Co-sponsored by the UC's President's Advisory Council on Environment and Sustainability and the Brueggeman Center for Dialogue

Wendell Berry is a Kentucky farmer and writer, described by the New York Review of Books as “perhaps the great moral essayist of our day.” He is the author of more than forty novels, anthologies of essays, and books of poetry that use his intimate knowledge of his Kentucky River farm home as the starting point for eloquent and penetrating critiques of the modern agricultural system and its consequences for communities, families, and politics. Wes Jackson is the President and co-founder of the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas, a research and demonstration center dedicated to developing polyculture perennial grains as an alternative to our current annual grain monocultures. Gene Logsdon farms in northern Ohio and has written numerous books and magazine articles on the subject of small farms, rural living, cottage farming, homesteading, alternative farming practices, organic gardening, composting, aquaculture, and other types of alternative agriculture.

All lectures are held in the Cintas Center and are free and open to the public.

More Carnage with Cars or Terrorists

Trying to add a little perspective to the terrorist threat:
In 2008 there were 34,017 deaths (and nearly 100,000 major injuries) related to automobile accidents in the United States. Terrorists would have to blow up 113 Boeing 777-200s each year in order to kill that many people! That is, they'd have to blow up all but six of the 777-200's (which hold 301 people in a 3-tier international setup) currently owned by American Airlines, United Airlines and Continental Airlines (together they own 119 777-200s) and would have to do so every single year, which is probably faster than they can be built...

More along this line of reasoning from Yglesias.

30 December 2009

High Cost of Ignoring Beauty

....People need beauty. They need the sense of being at home in their world, and being in communication with other souls. In so many areas of modern life—in pop music, in television and cinema, in language and literature—beauty is being displaced by raucous and attention-grabbing clichés. We are being torn out of ourselves by the loud and insolent gestures of people who want to seize our attention but to give nothing in return for it. Although this is not the place to argue the point it should perhaps be said that this loss of beauty, and contempt for the pursuit of it, is one step on the way to a new form of human life, in which taking replaces giving, and vague lusts replace real loves. -Roger Scruton

29 December 2009

Urban Sketchers

This site Urban Sketchers is so inspirational to me. I hope to do more sketching this next year, so I'm going to stop by Suder's and buy a small watercolor packet.
..Urban Sketchers is...dedicated to raising the artistic, storytelling and educational value of location drawing, promoting its practice and connecting people around the world who draw on location where they live and travel...

This one by Rene Fijten showing a glowing City hall in Aachen reminded me that I wanted to make a post about how night lighting changes the city, especially at this time of year:

The posted sketches are very good. A couple I particularly noticed were Bill Dennis and Sharon Frost

Sign of the Times

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27 December 2009

Mumford Quote of the Day

Forget the damned motor car and build the cities for lovers and friends.
-Lewis Mumford

26 December 2009

Cincy Stadium Woes in NY Times

In case you missed the Christmas day article in the NY Times, the financial train wreck over the lopsided Bengal's Stadium was explained:
...the gap between expected and actual sales taxes continues to grow, something the county administration had been warning for years. In August, the administrator predicted not only a $14 million shortfall next year, but also a $94 million gap in 2014, a year after interest payments on the stadium bonds rise 44 percent. By then, the Reds will no longer be paying rent.

Last month, two of the three commissioners voted against cutting the property tax rebate, fearing a voter backlash. Raising the sales tax again was not proposed for the same reason.

“It can’t be 100 percent on the backs of taxpayers,” said Greg Hartmann, the lone Republican commissioner. “We gave away too much to keep the Bengals in Cincinnati. There has to be some middle ground.”

Hartmann and Portune want to introduce a tobacco tax, but lawmakers in Columbus, the state capital, may be unwilling to approve it.

So they have ordered more cuts in basic county administrative services, something that creates a slippery slope, said David Pepper, the commissioner who voted against the proposal.

“It’s like the movie where the blob keeps growing and eating away at other elements of county government,” Pepper said. “We’re beginning to cross a line in the sand by taking money from the general fund to pay for the stadiums. Once you put that money in jeopardy, you put the whole county at risk.”

23 December 2009

22 December 2009

Don't Call Me a Starchitect

"Urban planning is dead in the US."
-Frank Gehry

21 December 2009

Sheep in OTR

What are sheep, goats and donkeys doing in the heart of OTR? They are part of the live nativity at St Fancis Seraph at the corner of Liberty and Vine. They are open every day until January 6th, 1-7pm:


St Francis started the Nativity Creche tradition in 1220 AD:

20 December 2009

Urban Planning Cartoon 1948

Related to the post last week: documenting the dirty dangerous cities and advocating clean suburbs:

18 December 2009

Model Train Display

Been having a great time this season downtown, especially skating. Here are a couple of shots from the CG&E (Duke Energy) Train display:

model railroad 2 

Know Theater South Mural

I didn't even see this until this week. Probably been up for months. Just don't walk up Jackson Street much I guess.

17 December 2009

Mumford Quote of the Day

Today, the degradation of the inner life is symbolized by the fact that the only place sacred from interruption is the private toilet.
-Lewis Mumford

16 December 2009

Light Fixtures at SCPA

I wonder if these new light fixtures along the sidewalk of the new SCPA will be durable enough. Seems like someone could damage the polycarbonate part pretty easily. BTW, I think those are permanent security cameras mounted on the brick behind:

Vine Street Print Party Saturday

Our neighbors, Mike and Maya, also known as Visualingual, have produced a print that represents the 1200 block of Vine Street. Sale of this print will benefit the Contact Center, which is located at 1225 Vine (closeup of this building shown above). This Saturday 6-9pm at MiCA 12/v, there is a reception/launch party for the print. I am very fond of this block and think the print is excellent. I will be there, hope to see you.

Some Metropole Residents

The Metropole Is Our Home from Barbara Wolf on Vimeo.

15 December 2009

Lego: "A Different Toy Every Day"

Something to keep in mind during the gift-giving season.

High Tech Composting

Findlay Market just installed these large composting bins. This is some major composting equipment. There is a sign on the side warning people not to stick their arms into the bin as the mixer may chop it off:

Findlay Market Begins Composting Food Waste
To help cut the amount of waste it sends to the landfill by half, Findlay Market has begun composting food waste. The market is using a small “in-vessel” system that contains the compost in an insulated tub that has an air filtration system to control odors. The contents are stirred regularly by turning the lid of the tub, under which an electrically powered auger is mounted. This is the first composting system of its kind in southwest Ohio. The market has two tubs and hopes to be able to compost continuously. Eventually, shredded cardboard that cannot be recycled will be used as a bulking agent for making compost. The finished compost will be used on trees and flowers around the market. A waste stream audit conducted in 2008 suggested that the market produces more than 300 tons of compostable waste annually which, in theory, could produce about forty tons of finished compost each year. Findlay Market’s in-vessel composting equipment was purchased with grant funding from the Hamilton County Solid Waste Management District and from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farmers Market Promotional Program. For more information about the Findlay Market food waste composting program, contact info@findlaymarket.org.

Santa Lies

When my five year old looked up at me with big eyes and says sincerely "Daddy, does Santa really come down the chimney?" was I right to answer with a simple "yes"? She is figuring that our fireplace is pretty small, and Santa is pretty big...

14 December 2009

Passage Lounge

601 Main doesn't seem like the most likely spot for a new bar IMO, but coming soon:

13 December 2009

A Film - The City - 1939

I found this old film through James Howard Kunstler's website. The words to the film were apparently written by Lewis Mumford. The first few minutes showing farm life aren't that interesting, but the scenes of the city and the actual living conditions of a city which appears to be Pittsburgh are fascinating, as are the huge traffic jams filmed in the 1930s. These are a pretty interesting demonstration of the way people saw the problem of the American city in the early 20th century.

Clip 1, from bucolic farms complete with basket making and loom weaving to sooty dangerous factories:

Clip 2, The fast city:

Clip 3, cities going crazy, traffic jams and crowds:

Part 4, the planned alternative, the suburbs (with magically no cars):

If you are interested, you can watch these videos overlaid with a running commentary by Jim Kunstler here.

07 December 2009

Silky Slim

I see this sign in a window on upper Race often. I have no idea what it is. I don't interpret, I just report:

I can see her fishing with the guys plus ...

"She's a down to earth person who will fight against the government," Millage said. "I can see her out there fishing with the guys. Plus, she's hot."

AP Report on Palin in Iowa

Family Enrichment Center December

All classes held at the Cincinnati Family Enrichment Center, located at 4244 Hamilton Ave., Cinti. OH 45223. To register, visit website or call 513-591-2332.
The Flu and You - Fight the Flu thru Natural Immunity
Seasonal flu got you down? H1N1 giving you fears? How are vaccines made? Are there side effects? How can I build up my immunity naturally? What can I add to my current routine to make me stronger? Dr. Michael Nichols will answer all your questions about the flu and what you have the ability to do about it.
Saturday, December 12th @ 12:15

Fund Raiser for the CFEC
Baked goods, arts and crafts and a good ol time with the family. Donations accepted
December 12th @ 10:00am

You’ve made it through the birth - now what?! Where can you turn to for support, encouragement, understanding, and answers to your “new mom” questions? The CFEC! We’re here for you. Join us monthly for as long as you need the companionship of other new parents struggling with the same issues as you. We understand; we’ve been there. Free!
Thursdays (Dec. 3rd-17th) @ 10:30 & Sat., Dec. 19th @ 11:30

Happiest Baby on the Block!
Learn how to turn on your newborn’s Calming Reflex – the extraordinary “off-switch” for crying all babies are born with!
New babies are such a blessing, but they can also bring with them sleepless nights, crying, & sometimes quite a bit of stress! In this 2-hour innovative workshop you will be taught step-by-step how to help your newborn sleep better & how to soothe even the fussiest baby in minutes! Magic? A miracle? No, it’s a reflex!
The Dec. 14th, 6:45pm workshop, is held at Good Sam Hospital, 375 Dixmyth Ave.,45220
Fee is $50.00, which includes a Parent Kit containing the HBOB dvd.
To register, please call TriHealth at 475-4500. Class is from 6:45-8:45pm.

Circle of Life - Belly Dancing
Belly dancing has a long history of exercising the muscles that are used during childbirth and to strengthen and maintain muscle tone as we mature. Taking cues from Tribal Fusion Belly Dance, a combination of Middle Eastern Belly Dance, Flamenco, Classical Indian dances, North African and Salsa dances, this fun alternative exercise option teaches how to connect to the feminine aspects of strength, power and confidence along with connecting to a child that grows inside you. Join us as we prepare our bodies for the journey of childbirth and revel in our motherhood! Women at all stages of life welcomed
Saturdays (Dec. 5, 12 & 19) 11:30-12:15pm. $50/5-class package or $13/class.

Strange Car Seen Around Town


06 December 2009

Face Fountain

Interactive public art in Chicago:

05 December 2009

Buddy Guy - First Time I Met The Blues

I was thinking as I watched this video how the things in this video were once common in Cincinnati too (blues music, and the general scene).

A friend of mine sent me this video because of the 1970's shots of Chicago's South Side, especially the "Wall of Respect" which was a public art project that people he knows contributed too. Plus the music rocks:

04 December 2009


I did not play sports much growing up. Well, that's not entirely true, as we played lots of neighborhood baseball and stuff like that. There was a summer or two where we played baseball almost every day. But as far as organized sports I only endured soccer for a couple years, and no other sports. It just didn't interest me, and my parents gave me the choice. Plus I wasn't very good.

But despite my lack of athletic abilities, I remember fondly my two soccer coaches. One was Mr E. I don't think he knew much about soccer, but he was a good man, who gave a lot of his time. He wore cut-off jeans and his son played with us. The other coach, Mr V, was an immigrant who obviously knew the sport well. He had a mentally handicapped son, who was about my age, and the son would help with the equipment etc.. Mr. V was an exceptionally kind man. I remember one particular instance, in which one kid on our team who was overweight was being harangued by the rest of us for taking so long to do his laps, and Mr. V had a talk with us about it. And I am sure that he wanted to be coaching his son, not a bunch of stranger's kids, but his son was not able to play, so he treated us as his own.

I am remembering all this as I sit and watch my son being coached at wrestling. Now this is a sport that until last month, I had never even seen, much less participated in. But my son is much more into this stuff than I ever was, and he asked about wrestling, and it seemed like a good fit. But I sit here and watch these men come in 3 nights a week and organize a whole wrestling program completely as volunteers including Sunday tournaments. And what reminded me of my childhood coaches was when I saw one of the wrestling coaches coming into practice holding a daughter with Down's Syndrome. And he started the coaching session holding her until his wife could get there. And I remembered my soccer coach from 30 years ago, kindly holding his son's hand while he coached other parent's kids.

Why do they do it? They seem to take the responsibility as a fact of life. Whatever the reasons, I really appreciate it. Thanks guys.

03 December 2009

Schwartz's Point New Website

Check out their new website. This is a great place to go when it gets cold...

The Way We Were

Here was a great find. The grandson of photographer Nelson Ronsheim revisited a dozen of his grandfather's pictures taken between 1939 and 1941 and replicated the shots. He has put the set of pictures up in a Flickr set called 70 Years Later. Thanks to drew-o-rama at design cincinnati for the heads up.

Here is one sample taken on Eggleston:

I spent quite a bit of time last night wandering through some of the other sets. He has 94 shots in his Nelson Ronsheim - Favorites set, there is a Planes and Trains set, some pictures from the Cincinnati Flood of 1937, and also a set of Nelson Ronsheim - other Cincinnati Photos.

It's a great collection of old (and new) pictures. Many of the pictures have some great background comments on the photos and locations.

01 December 2009

Take the Cake

OK, posts are slowing to a trickle here at CityKin for the holidays, but I had to make a post about Take the Cake. I had a post a few months ago about their new diggs in Northside.

Take the Cake started on Main Street many years ago, up near Liberty Street. They moved to Northside and now moved again, closer to Knowlton's Corner, into their own, larger space at 4035 Hamilton Avenue. Frankly, I had never visited the place before, because it is not that often that I need a cake, and I never even thought about entering. However I learned through Twitter, that last month, they began serving lunches and brunches. On a whim, I took the family to visit Sunday, and we were served this:


I'll let my wife describe:

Everything was quite delicious and well done. The biscuits and gravy had a spicy little kick to it. The fritatta was unbelievably creamy and fluffy and the potatoes were excellent. The French toast bread pudding was not at all dense and heavy as many tend to be and it was topped with lots of berries and whipped cream. The only thing I didn't try was the steak and eggs cuz I was stuffed but it looked great. Best brunch I've been to in the city!

Now, my wife is a very tough restaurant critic. When she says best brunch, you better believe it. The entrees were priced at about $7, and there are two large communal tables and counter seating. The items are listed on a blackboard and erased as they sell out. The value and quality are unsurpassed. The chefs here are the owners, and they are truly talented. You gotta try this.