30 April 2011

Garfield Then and Now

Etching of Garfield Statue from 1890 City Directory

Garfield Today

29 April 2011

Friday Vid

28 April 2011

Free Gifts to Bloggers

Do any other bloggers here receive offers, discounts or tickets in trade for promotion of products on your website? I get email offers from time to time, but I have never been interested in doing this. I'm kinda anti-consumerist, so it goes against my nature to promote purchase of anything, especially more junk. However, yesterday I was made an offer that I could not refuse, tickets to Cirque du Soleil, and I have never been and don't even know much about it and am excited that blogging finally paid a single tangible reward.

Review next week.

27 April 2011

Million Dollar Bill

Found Item. One Million Dollar Bill. Handed to me by some anonymous stranger on Fountain Square. The message in small print is that money does not buy happiness, God does.

..son tried to spend it at several stores:

26 April 2011

Insincerity Quote

"There is, especially in the American media, a deep belief that insincerity is better than no sincerity at all."
-Christopher Hitchens

Night Terrors

Last night, I was up reading The Alaskan Bootlegging Bible and trying to imaging what wine made from milk whey would taste like. It was past midnight, it was deadly quiet, even with some windows open. Wife was working the late shift.

Suddenly my daughter stumbled out of bed and began walking around the house. No one in our house has ever slept walk that I know of. I went to her, and she came over and clung to me very tight. She was murmuring and crying and was in the middle of a terrible nightmare. She had a cold sweat and was extremely frightened and would only say "I wanna go home".

I laid her back down, but she soon got back up and clung tightly again. I held her for a long time, rocking her like she was a baby, and finally, I had to lay down with her to get her comforted and back to sleep. I say back to sleep, but really she never woke up. This was all an extended nightmare.

In the morning she was her cheery self again. I asked her if she remembered any dreams. She paused and got this dark look on her face. She said the nightmare was about everything around her growing really big or getting really small, while she stayed regular size. Doesn't seem scary to me, but maybe this dream is an insight into the deeper fears of a six-year old.

20 April 2011

Storm Hits Race Street

Uprooted street tree

Roof and masonry wall blown off above 3CDC's new offices. This renovation was just completed and the damage looks pretty severe. The roof structure was old, but parts of the 4th floor were removed to make lofts and the structure altered in the renovation. There was insulation all over Republic Street, and it looked like a lot of water got in and reached the occupied areas on the first floor. I'm sure someone will have better photos.

Lots of slate was blown off Nast Trinity Church, it was all over the sidewalk

Kids Crave Own Space

Kids making their own space under a table at "Just Crepes" last Sunday

19 April 2011

Whittling on Stoop

Couldn't get more all-American than this

I Wouldn't Live There If You Paid Me To

These words often enter my thoughts. Listen at your own risk.

18 April 2011

Old Addresses

In the 1890s the street numbering system in Cincinnati was changed. An ordinance was passed in 1891, but the implementation seems to have taken at least half of the decade. In the old method, addresses started at 1 on a street and just went up one number at a time, one for each building. In 1891 Council passed a resolution requiring that each lot or each 25 feet be designated a number, and that the numbering start at even 100s at each cross street. In the photo below, you can see that 1424 Republic Street was once 110 Republic Street. ...Except back then it was Bremen Street, but you get the idea:

1895 addresses on Bremen Street

By 1900 the addresses were much simpler:

Renumbering of the City notice in the 1895 Directory (click to enlarge if you want to read):

17 April 2011

Seen on Walk to Market

If a blogger doesn't blog, does he still exist?

Despite fewer posts, I am still living a full and rewarding life in OTR. I think I am sliding away from daily posting and moving closer to weekly posting...or maybe not. Hard to say. One thing is for sure, I need a camera. My good one has been busted for a while and the cell phone photos are such low quality.

Speaking of low quality pics, here are a few:




12 April 2011

Church Prays at Pump for Lower Prices

Only in America

Harry Appel Furs

Harry Appel Furs. Three locations including Vine and McMicken and 1200 Main.

11 April 2011

Gem of the Highlands

Did you know Norwood calls itself "Gem of the Highlands"? This is their logo at a little park in which my daughter has been assigned soccer games:

09 April 2011

The Case for Having Kids

Here's an interview with author of a new book “Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids”. Read the whole thing, but I agree with all these suggestions to make parenthood more enjoyable:

1. While parents often lose sleep for years, getting kids to sleep through the night is not hard. Real experiments confirm that the Ferber method — let your baby cry in his crib for 10 minutes, briefly comfort him, leave, repeat — works wonders.

2. Improving kids’ behavior isn’t hard either. Experiments confirm that clear, consistent, mild discipline — like putting kids in the “Naughty Corner” — works even on difficult kids. The problem is that if parents stop imposing discipline, kids soon revert to their old tricks.

3. If neither you nor your child enjoys an extracurricular activity, stop doing it. If the alternative is a little more TV or Xbox, that’s O.K.

4. Supervise less. Lenore Skenazy’s Free-Range Kids makes the case better than I ever could.

08 April 2011

Riot Recollection

Ten years ago, my wife and I lived in a fourth floor walk-up at the corner of 12th and Race. Timothy Tomas was shot dead by Officer Roach right in our block on Republic Street. The morning afterwards, we began to hear about it. At that time, Republic Street was drug dealing dangerous, especially the corner at 13th Street, so we did not go back there much but would only pass quickly while going somewhere else. Over the next day or two, the shooting site became a shrine and attracted large crowds.

That day, I walked over to Rohs Hardware and could feel the tension rising fast. Instead of drug dealers on the corner, there seemed to be men posted at 13th Street to guard the shooting site, and in the hardware store all the guys were talking about the anger on the street. I remember one black man who was at the counter buying saw blades saying he didn’t know what all the anger was about because Timothy Thomas shouldn’t have run. Needless to say, this was not a common thought in OTR. The tension continued and then on Monday protestors took over council chambers and assembled around the police station behind Music Hall.

I may be wrong in my recollection, but it seems that the “riot” didn’t really start in earnest until the next day, which I guess was a Tuesday. On that morning for some reason, I was home with my wife and we heard a lot of yelling and cars honking. As we looked out our window, we saw cars driving from the shooting site, with guys hanging out the windows, yelling, holding beers in their hands and waving their shirts in the air. This crowd then went down and created a ruckus on Court Street and knocked over the hot dog stand. From there the rioting spread up through Over-the-Rhine and got much worse.

Our downstairs neighbor was Mrs. Young. She was an elderly white woman who was dying of cancer. She had lived most of her adult life here and raised her children at 12th and Race. In the hallway, she told me she was heartbroken that the police had “shot that poor kid.” But the riots soon affected her as rocks came through her window the next day.

That night and the following night the police did not come north of Central Parkway. We could see for example the ransacking of the 1132 Bar as it occurred. It was ransacked several times and all the liquor carried out, and each time, your could see police cars a block south, but they would not come up to 12th. Sirens, shouts and gunfire filled the night.

On the second day of rioting, in the morning while it was still quiet, a small group started to assemble across the street from our apartment, in Washington Park. One guy was getting up on the corner yelling “TEAR IT UP, RIP IT UP!” over and over again. I remember a similar guy trying to stir up action after the Rodney King verdict, and even wondered if it was the same guy. My wife went down to try to talk to the guys before he got the crowd got too big. She tried some reasoning like “your only making things worse for yourself” etc…, but they just told her to go away …or get hurt. Humorously, one guy who was very drunk was trying to protect her from the others. He was telling the others to leave her alone because she was visibly pregnant (9 months). It was the beginnings of a uncontrollable mob, and we retreated back inside.

I did gain respect for Bill Baum then. He was our landlord, and he came out the next day and replaced his broken storefront glass where the GI Joe Store had been with new glass. Other owners were putting up plywood even before it was broken, but Bill believed in keeping the glass, and I liked that about him.

When the curfew was implemented it hard for my wife to get to work, because she worked evenings. Eventually, I think on Friday, we escaped to spend a night at my dad’s house out in the country just for a bit of rest. We returned after one night away, and we continued our life in OTR, albeit more cautiously. A week or so later our son was born.

The riots were an ending ... an exclamation point ending of the half-century of decline in OTR and they were also a cry-out from the underclass in Cincinnati who had little to lose. But while the decline in OTR may have continued for a few years more, the political will to change the the neighborhood changed that week.

05 April 2011


...gets its name from the French word "brut", concrete, of which this rough-formed concrete is a prime example:
Photo taken at Hyatt Hotel, Columbus, OH. See Wikipedia article on Brutalism.

Posting will be minimal for the next couple days for Spring Break...