The Cincinnati Enquirer ran two articles yesterday and today highlighting a new drive against the Streetcar System by the NAACP, Citizens Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST), WeDemandAVote and others. I'm not sure why the Enquirer felt it necessary to run two articles about this on two separate days, but it makes you wonder who they are looking out for.
Article 1 December 23, 2008
Aritlce 2 December 24, 2008
Regardless, the articles point out that these organizations are the same groups who were successful in blocking other city projects that they did not agree with in the past. They feel that the Streetcars are a waste of money and refer to them as "Choo-Choo Trains". They are trying to start a petition demanding that this issue be placed on the Nov. 2009 ballot so that it can be decided by popular vote.
We can not let this happen!
We already know that Hamilton county voters as a whole are against spending money on rail transit (Remember the Metro Moves Campaign?) because many of them are conservative, suburban dwelling people who have no interest in improving our City's urban core. Most of the opposition is ignorantly minded and overlooks all of the actual facts regarding the benefits of rail transit.
The streetcars are an investment in our city's urban core and are ESSENTIAL for making Cincinnati competitive for jobs, residents and new businesses. Our city's future well being depends on making the streetcars a reality.
Please take the time this week and next to send emails to our council members reminding them of how important the streetcar system is for our city and tell them how strongly you support their efforts to bring rail transit to Cincinnati.
Just copy and paste the links below to your email address book and start sending letters.
Our voices can have a HUGE impact on keeping the Streetcar Plan "on track."
Thank you for your cooperation!
City Council Emails:
City Manager Email:
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
The Cincinnati Enquirer ran two articles yesterday and today highlighting a new drive against the Streetcar System by the NAACP, Citizens Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST), WeDemandAVote and others. I'm not sure why the Enquirer felt it necessary to run two articles about this on two separate days, but it makes you wonder who they are looking out for.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Just wanted to point out what looks to be a really nice event happening tomorrow evening on Fountain Square. "The festivities begin on the Square at 6:30 pm with a performance by “Team Cincinnati,” winner of NBC’s 2007 Clash of the Choirs, and culminate with the tree lighting at 7 pm. Our mystery host “St. Nick" will keep the crowd entertained.."
I hope to make it down there for this. I think its an exciting way to start off the holiday season and celebrate a more lively and growing downtown Cincinnati.
If you're not doing anything or if you're already planning on coming downtown tomorrow, be sure to stop by fountain square!
More Info Here
Thursday, November 20, 2008
On November 22, locally-owned businesses across Greater Cincinnati are urging area residents support the city's vibrant independent businesses by shopping locally-only. Taking part in Cincinnati Unchained, a shop local event throughout Greater Cincinnati that day, the businesses are offering promotions to help shoppers unchain themselves from big-box retailers and citizens reengage with their business community.
More than 35 businesses are participating, all offering either in-store specials or donating to a local charity. In College Hill, the College Hill Coffee Co. is offering a gift with purchase and discounts on select items. In Over-the-Rhine, new lighting store Switch will give 20 percent off select lighting fixtures. With mention of "Cincinnati Unchained," O'Bryonville's indigenous will donate 10 percent of your purchase to O'Bryonville Animal Rescue.
Local web magazine BuyCincy is producing the event with media sponsorship by CityBeat. 2008 marks the 2nd year of this annual event, which is organized with the intention of bringing the positive benefits of locally-owned businesses to the forefront of residents' minds this holiday
"Locally-owned businesses are vital to the success of our region. Not only do existing independent businesses help to stimulate our local economy, they serve as community pillars – unique places where a neighborhood's individuality shines and citizens can experience a sense of place," said Sean Fisher, BuyCincy's co-Founder and Creative Director. "By supporting our local businesses we can keep that neighborhood vibrancy alive, while promoting the American spirit of entrepreneurialism."
Kurt Myers, co-Founder and Business Director of BuyCincy: "Local businesses are often our friends and neighbors. Ultimately, they are what make Greater Cincinnati a unique place to live. Our hope is that the success of Cincinnati Unchained will encourage people to shop locally throughout the year, helping the strengthen our economy and local neighborhoods."
According to Jennifer Rockne, Director of AMIBA,"Studies from small towns in Maine to sizeable cities like Austin, Texas found that locally-owned independent businesses create about three and a half times the local economic activity as chains do. Why? Because our independent businesses pay local employees, use the goods and services of other local independent businesses and give back to community institutions far more than chains."
Please visit www.buycincy.com/unchained for details.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
It appears the City of Cincinnati is continuing to move forward with the Streetcar Project as planned. Check out this article on Soapbox Media's website. It highlights the city's plan in the upcoming month's to select a builder and operator for the system and it talks about the city's recent visit to Portland, Oregon to tour and gather more information on their already established and very successful streetcar system.
Also, check out this article from UrbanCincy highlighting some more info on the streetcar progress and some cool pictures.
I'm very happy to see that the City of Cincinnati is continuing to stay focused on this very important project. The future success and strengthening of our urban core depends heavily on this system being built. I believe our city leaders understand this and I hope they continue to work hard to make it a reality.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I found this article kind of interesting so I thought I would point it out. First, I find it very interesting that Peter Frampton actually lives in Cincinnati and even more interesting that he choses to live in Indian Hill where his political views are obviously not shared with his neighbors. Indian Hill residents hosted a fundraiser with Sarah Palin a couple of weeks ago with a minimun donation of $2500 required for attendance. Obviously the McCain/Palin campaign caters mostly to the type of people/income level that resides in Indian Hill. So, I guess Peter Frampton shouldn't be surprised by this opposition. I say good job to Mr. Frampton for standing up for what he believes in even when he's surrounded by so much opposition.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
I guess its better late than never. Here are some pictures I snapped of Natalie Portman while she was in town for the Vote Early Rock Late event on Fountain Square. She was kind enough to stand around back stage after speaking to let people take pictures and chat. She seemed very laid back and nice. She's definitely as beautiful in real life as she appears in movies!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Tonight fountain square is hosting the "Vote Early Rock Late" event from 5-9pm. There will be FREE performances by The Breeders and The National. There will be shuttles running all evening from fountain square to the board of elections to allow people to get their votes in early. Avoid the lines on election day and get your voting done TONIGHT!
Also, a very special guest will be speaking at 7pm that you do not want to miss!
Let me give you a couple of hints:
Her first name starts with an N and her last name starts with a P.
She's an actress!
Yeah, I'm serious, she's going to be there!
Monday, October 6, 2008
This past Saturday Cincinnati was very fortunate to be host to one of the craziest races ever created, the Red Bull Soapbox Race. The event occurred on the steep hills of Mt. Adams and drew crowds of nearly 30,000 people! I was fortunate enough to get to spend the day with one of the teams who happens to have OTR connections. Melinda Voss (an OTR resident) and her brothers and sister were members of Team BullFish #21.
Though their team didn't take home 1st place, they did have an awesome time and managed to have one of the most memorable crashes of the entire event, earning them a perfect score for showmanship!
The day was absolutely amazing. There were so many hilariously creative teams and everyone who came out to the event had a great time watching all the ridiculous antics, such as batman and robin fighting the bullfish and Jesus with the disciples dancing to hip hop with Mr. T.
Here are some brief youtube videos of the event I found:
More Bull Fish
Bull Fish Again!
The Last Supper
Kool Aid Man
There will soon be lots more video footage of the event online I'm sure, but for the time being here are some pictures I took to hold everyone over. Enjoy!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Check out this nice little Q&A session with OTR's own Mandy Levy of the creative powerhouse, PROJECTMILL.
CLICK HERE FOR ARTICLE
Also, its that time of month again... DANCE MF This Saturday Night 10/4/2008, The Northside Tavern, be there or be square...10/4 Roger, Over and Out.
Monday, September 29, 2008
This is exciting news I hadn't heard about yet.
Press Release from 3CDC:
Two redevelopment projects currently underway in the Gateway Quarter in Over-the-Rhine (OTR) are seeking to become the first residential “LEED-certified” buildings in the neighborhood.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification calls for meeting certain objectives set forth by the United States Green Building Council. It is a rating system that promotes the design and construction of high-performance green homes, which use less energy, water and natural resources resulting in less waste, lower energy and water bills, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and less exposure to mold, mildew and other indoor toxins.
Urban Sites and Northpointe Group/B2B Equities are both building to LEED standards in order to achieve LEED certification. They hope the following projects will be the first LEED-certified condo buildings in OTR:
· Urban Sites: The Belmain, 1202 Main St., 16 residential loft units expected to open summer 2009
· Northpointe Group/B2B Equities: Mottainai (Mot-tie-nai) Lofts, 1222-24 Republic St., eight loft condos expected to open spring 2009
Both buildings are part of a LEED-certified pilot project for mid-rise, multi-family buildings. Certification will be determined in summer 2009.
Bill Baum’s Urban Sites (www.urbansites.net) has been redeveloping historic buildings in OTR for more than 25years. In addition to The Belmain, Baum recently completed renovation of Trideca at 1232 Vine and is nearing completion of Good Fellows Hall Lofts at 1306 Main.
Mottainai is the third joint venture between Rick Kimbler’s Northpointe Group (www.northpointegroup.com) and Brandon Smith of B2B Equities (www.b2bequities.com). Their first two projects are Duncanson Lofts, 1201-1213 Vine St. and Gateway Condominium at 1150 Vine St.
Both the Belmain and Mottainai are part of Phase III development in the Gateway Quarter, a $30.3 million project that includes 106 for-sale housing units and over 15,000 SF of commercial space. Gateway Quarter Phases I & II resulted in 86 for-sale units and nearly 23,000 square feet of commercial space.
Friday, September 26, 2008
I have been watching construction crews begin work on renovating a few various properties around Repbulic and Vine streets for the last couple of months. They are finally starting to make some real progress so I thought I would share some pics.
The first two buildings are on the corner of 13 & Republic. I'm really excited that these buildings are being saved. They were completely abandoned earlier this summer and now there are crews breathing new life into them again. It looks like they are doing a great job and I'm sure the properties inside are going to be top notch. There's even a preview of their future color schemes too!
Right around the corner from the above two buildings there is another project well under way that looks like its going to turn our very nice. This building is on the corner of 13 & Vine, right across from the new Trideca Lofts. This buildings exterior architectural features are outstanding. I'm so glad that this building has also been saved and is being renovated. It certainly deserves to shine again.
Here are some pics of the progress so far:
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Historic Vine Street building in OTR to be renovated
The City of Cincinnati and 3CDC are teaming up to save an historic Over-the-Rhine building from the wrecking ball.
Meiner Flats, a five-story building at 1500-1502 Vine St., was built in 1875 and has been vacant for more than 20 years, resulting in neglect and disrepair. In March, the city ordered an emergency demolition of the building because the roof had collapsed and bricks and pieces of cornice were falling from the building, endangering pedestrians below.
At the time of the demolition order, members of the community, led by the Over-the-Rhine Foundation, came together in an attempt to save Meiner Flats, even setting up a website for pledges toward the building’s preservation.
Last week, Cincinnati City Council approved an emergency ordinance to transfer $187,000 to stabilize the building. In addition, the City will draw up an agreement with 3CDC, which will contribute more than $200,000 to bring the structure up to code.
“The opportunity to partner with the city to stabilize this historic and beautiful building is too important to pass up,” said Steve Leeper, president and CEO of 3CDC. “We look forward to working with the city and the community to restore Meiner Flats as part of the continued revitalization of Over-the-Rhine.”
According to the Cincinnati Preservation Association, Meiner Flats is also known as the
Kruckemeyer Building and was built by a family of German-American stonemasons as an investment. Its intricately carved stone façade served as a giant advertisement for their business.
Following what is hoped to be a successful stabilization process, plans for a full restoration will be explored. Future use of the building is expected to include residential on the upper floors and a commercial use at street level.
On a lighter note...:)
Starting tonight and going through Saturday there will be lots of music events happening in OTR and Downtown. I'm not even sure which ones to go to because there are so many to chose from. Check out the Mid-Point Music Festival website for previews and links to all of the acts along with a schedule of the events.
I would like to point out that The Tillers, one of my favorite local acts will be playing at Arnold's on Eighth street tonight at 9pm. They are well worth the $5 cover to come in and always put on a great show.
Also, Friday night at Memorial Hall in OTR (right next to Music Hall on Elm) there will be a surf music show that seems like its going to be interesting. I'm not familiar with the bands that are playing, but I'm excited about the venue and this genre of music is always fun.
So, come on downtown and check out some of these great artists that will be gracing our city all weekend long!
Monday, September 22, 2008
First, I'd like to apologize for my lack of posts lately. I've been very busy with work and other things and as a result, this blog has suffered a bit. I also want to apologize for the harsh tone in the post below.
Now to the subject at hand...
I just caught sight of this article from the Enquirer published a couple of weeks ago. Not only am I angered and disgusted by this trash talking of our neighborhood, but also ashamed to live in a city where people actually still think this way.
The really frustrating thing about this is that many people in Cincinnati actually believe every word of what a newspaper or TV news anchor has to say. So, when they see an article like this labeling OTR as a "combat zone" or "the most dangerous place you could imagine" they actually believe it without question!
Obviously this pathetic excuse of a lawyer Rick Gibson is an ignorant moron for thinking that OTR is "the most dangerous place one could imagine." Perhaps it is when you compare it to the white-washed suburbs surrounding the city, such as West Chester or Blue Ash. However, when you compare it to the rest of the world, its not bad at all. In fact, as pointed out many times before, OTR in any other major metropolitan city outside of the racist mid-west would be an urban mecca that people would flock to by the thousands.
Greenwich Village, SoHo, and Tribeca neighborhoods in NYC were all pretty rough areas much like OTR at one time. Once people started moving back to the once abandoned areas they have become beautiful, diverse, lively places to live.
When are the citizens of Cincinnati going to stop living in the 1950s and join the rest of the modern world? Sometimes I simply can't believe how ignorant and sheltered the people in this city really are. We have one of the most beautifully preserved historic neighborhoods in the world and the majority of the population here completely ignore it. We can't even get a 4-Mile streetcar loop built in a timely fashion with out people throwing a fit.
Here's my suggestion to people who don't understand my frustration with this city...Spend some time traveling to other major cities around the world. See what life is like outside of your monotonously boring suburban neighborhoods. Meet and get to know people of as many different cultures and backgrounds as you can. Perhaps you'll start to see that just because someone is different doesn't mean you have to be afraid of them.
OTR has been a ghetto for many years because it was abandoned. When you take everyone out of a neighborhood and leave a few under-educated poor people behind by themselves, the neighborhood will become ridden with crime and poverty. OTR was abandoned because of the racist driven "white-flight" and suburban sprawl that swept this country after WWII.
The civil rights movement has already taken place. The rest of the modern world has learned that racism was a mistake of the past and has moved past it. The people of Cincinnati need to do the same. Its no longer 1955, you don't have to live in a white-washed suburban neighborhood to be somebody.
Lets stop ignoring the social problems this city faces (poverty, terrible public education, substance abuse, crime...) and start facing them head on. Move back to our city's urban core and help solve these problems directly (by demanding better public education for instance). OTR has for too long been a dumping ground, a place where the suburbs can concentrate and ignore all of our troubled citizens. These problems aren't going to fix themselves. If you don't want to live downtown fine, but don't continue to mis-label a neighborhood that is so vitally important to our city's future.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Three new businesses are preparing to open in Vine Street storefronts in the Gateway Quarter this month. Two are long established and moving from other Cincinnati locations and the third is a brand new business. The Gateway Quarter is made up of locally-owned businesses and restaurants that cater to city living. The latest additions to the Quarter are:
· The Little Mahatma, 1205 Vine St., 723-1287, will celebrate its 20th year in business with the move to the Gateway Quarter. The store specializes in beautiful jewelry, art and artifacts from many countries that you won't see anywhere else in the region. Owner Gloria McConnaghy is moving from her current location at 639 Main St. Hours for The Little Mahatma are Monday-Friday 11am-7pm, Saturday 11am-6pm and Sunday noon-4pm. (www.mahatmashop.com)
· Switch, 1207 Vine St., 721-8100, is a fresh alternative to the modern lighting store, offering a full range of decorative fixtures for the home or office and also providing consultation services to help assist in lighting layout and design. A collaboration between owners Drew Dearwester and Bertie Ray III, SWITCH will highlight current designs from North and South America, Europe and Scandinavia while being conscious of the growing popularity of energy efficient trends using fluorescent and LED sources. Hours are Monday-Friday 11am-7pm, Saturday noon-6pm and by appointment. (www.switchcollection.com)
· Incredible Creations, 1209 Vine St, 961-4111, is an upscale barbershop and beauty salon offering diverse clients diverse services from a range of barbering needs for men (including some Cincinnati Bengals) as well as beauty services including cut, color, nail services, makeovers and wedding needs for women. Owners Devan and Kim Johnson have been in business for five years and have more than 20 years experience. Hours are Tuesday-Thursday 9am-8pm, Friday-Saturday 8am-7pm, closed Sunday and Monday.
All of the business owners say they plan to be open on Saturday September 27, for the “Downtown Tour of Living” with official Grand Openings planned for later in the fall. The “Downtown Tour of Living” is from noon to 5pm on Sept. 27 and includes five stops in and around the Gateway Quarter. (www.downtowncincinnati.com/tourofliving)
The new shop owners say they’re excited to be part of the urban living renaissance that is taking place in Downtown Cincinnati and it’s most historic and unique neighborhood, Over-the-Rhine.
"Our location in the Gateway Quarter was an easy decision,” said Bertie Ray, co-owner of Switch. “The diverse combination of creative and independent business owners here is a relief to the overwhelming chaos you experience in larger shopping areas. Gateway is the epicenter of Cincinnati's renewed interest to bring retail to the city and Switch is excited to be part of that effort."
For Kim and Devan Johnson, moving their popular Incredible Creations Salon from Gilbert Avenue to the Gateway Quarter just made good business sense. “Many of our clients have followed the urban lifestyle trend, purchasing condos in downtown or Over-the-Rhine, so we’re thrilled to be part of such a dynamic neighborhood where we’ll be close to our current clients and able to cultivate new clients,” said Devan Johnson.
The “Downtown Tour of Living” will allow all the new stores to show off their new homes to potential new customers. “We’re looking forward to welcoming tour-goers into our new location,” said Gloria McConnaghy, owner of The Little Mahatma. “The Downtown Tour is a great opportunity to not only see the beautiful new condos in Over-the-Rhine, but also the amazing shopping district that we’re now so proud to be a part of.”
The Little Mahatma, Switch and Incredible Creations are joining an established list of locally-owned stores and restaurants already doing business in and around the Gateway Quarter including:
* Park + Vine, Cincinnati’s only green general store, 1109 Vine St.
* City Roots, urban garden store, 1133 Vine St.
* Mica 12/v, gifts/jewelry/home furnishings, 1201 Vine St.
* Outside, outdoor furniture and accessories, 16 E. 12th St.
* Metronation, clothing/gifts/home furnishings, 1213 Vine St.
* Lavomatic, Jean-Robert’s newest bistro, 1211 Vine St.
* Venice on Vine Pizza, operated by Power Inspires Progress, offering paid on-the-job training to inner-city residents, 1301 Vine St.
* A Lucky Step, contemporary furniture store, 1220 Vine
* Enzo’s, good food, great coffee, 1106 Race St.
* The Coffee Emporium, coffee drinks, sandwiches, deserts, 110 E. Central Pkwy
* Below Zero Lounge, ultra plush martini lounge, 1120 Walnut St.
* Joseph Williams Home, urban furniture store, 550 Reading Road
Friday, August 29, 2008
A recent study done by University of Cincinnati's Economics Center for Education & Research agrees that the proposed streetcar system is economically beneficial and sound. The results were released today and can be seen below. This should hopefully quiet some of those "fiscally conservative" opponents.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
The Betts House to Participate in Smithsonian Magazine’s
Museum Day on September 27, 2008
On Saturday, September 27, 2008, the Betts House will participate in the fourth annual Museum Day, presented by Smithsonian magazine. On Museum Day, museums and cultural institutions nationwide will open their doors free of charge to Smithsonian magazine readers and Smithsonian.com visitors.
“We are pleased to participate in this nationwide event and are delighted to offer residents of the greater Cincinnati area the opportunity to visit the Betts House for free,” said Julie Carpenter, executive director of the Betts House.
The Betts House will be open for free from 12:30 – 4:30 pm on Saturday, September 27, 2008. Visitors of all ages will be able to participate in a hands-on blacksmithing activity and tour the house. In addition, the special exhibit Great Cincinnati Families at Home, featuring the historic homes of the Taft, Probasco-Rowe, Hauck, and Huenefeld families, will be on view. Great Cincinnati Families at Home is co-curated by Walter E. Langsam, architectural historian and adjunct associate professor at the University of Cincinnati, and author of Great Houses of the Queen City; and historic preservation consultant Beth Sullebarger of Sullebarger Associates and contributing author of Architecture in Cincinnati. The exhibit is made possible by grants from the John Hauck Foundation, the William S. Rowe Foundation, the Jeanne Anderson Trust, and contributions from anonymous donors.
Last year, upwards of 100,000 people attended Museum Day. All 50 states plus Puerto Rico were represented by 651 participating museums. Attendees must present Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day Admission Card to gain free entry to participating institutions. The Museum Day Admission Card will be available in the September 2008 issue of Smithsonian magazine and a downloadable version is available on the Museum Day website at www.smithsonianmag.com under “Culture Spotter.”
The general public is welcome to participate by going to the Smithsonian.com website and downloading the Museum Day Admission Card. Listings and links to other participating museums’ and sponsors’ sites can be found on the Museum Day website.
ABOUT THE BETTS HOUSE
Built in 1804, the Betts House, “Ohio’s oldest brick house,” is located in the Betts-Longworth Historic District in downtown Cincinnati. The Betts House Research Center was established in 1995 to promote the study of building materials and historic preservation through special exhibits and public programs. Tours of the house showcase its history and construction. An ongoing exhibit features a timeline of the house paired with the history of Cincinnati and the nation. The Betts House also supports the fields of construction and architecture with a summer outreach program, Bond at the Betts, providing youth from inner-city neighborhoods a hands-on introduction to the building trades.
The Betts House is located two blocks west of Music Hall at 416 Clark Street. Parking is available on Clark Street, John Street, Central Avenue, and the Town Center Garage on Central Parkway behind Music Hall. The Betts House is open Tuesday through Thursday, 11 am - 2 pm; other days and times by appointment. The museum is closed on federal holidays and the month of August. Group tours are available by appointment. Admission is $2 per person.
Monday, August 25, 2008
"Aquarius Star and Gankar Tulku Rinpoche bring new light to Over-the-Rhine"
Starting next week Sept. 2nd, there will be some beautiful art work being made in Over the Rhine by some Tibetan monks who will be in town constructing a sand mandala for world peace.
Be sure to check it out at some point during the week, these mandalas are always stunning to see and they only last for a few days.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
What: "Milk Money Magazine is an independent literary journal that provides a creative outlet for traditional and experimental works written by undiscovered authors. Milk Money does not have a political or theological agenda, just a cold, refreshing 2% aftertaste."
They are hosting a release party. Its going to be rad.
There will be: Readings by the authors of the magazine
Bands: Other Brothers, and Lion's Rampant
Free beer (while it lasts)
Listening stations for the readings go live at 8:30PM and bands should be on around 9:30.
When and Where: Friday, August 22nd
FERALMADE Gallery 4573 Hamilton Ave (in Northside)
Links: Here and Here
Did you see the part about FREE BEER?
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Have you been wondering lately "What's happening with the streetcars?" Well, I have and so I've been in contact with City Manager Milton Dohoney asking about the progress being made on the project. He was kind enough to respond to my questions today and had a couple of interesting bits of information to share with me.
First, he pointed out this article in the New York Times today featuring Cincinnati's plans for bringing streetcars back: Check it out here.
Second, he informed me that starting this Monday he will be hosting a series of weekly breakfasts to solicit financial support from various private sources including law firms, engineering firms, advertising firms and so on. He has assured me that "We will work until we realize success."
This is all great news for our city. I was so happy to see our city getting such positive attention from such a big national news source.
Also: Check out this cool slide show of streetcars from the same article above.
Friday, August 8, 2008
I just had the opportunity to check out the brand new tazza mia coffee shop downtown. I must say it is a very well done store and they make excellent coffee and espresso. Its located inside the Carew Tower with street access from Vine (on the corner of 5th) and from inside Carew Tower. The storefront they chose used to be a jewelry store not too long ago and has a very cool loft above it for enjoying your drink, reading, studying or whatever else. Apparently they make the freshest coffee available in the city because they actually buy non-roasted beans and do the roasting themselves off site and ship the beans to the downtown store.
I think they picked an excellent location given its close proximity to Fountain Square. Plus, they are inside one of Cincinnati's most beautiful pieces of architecture. Now I have an excuse to go check out the stunning art deco lobby of the Carew Tower on a regular basis!
Welcome to the city Tazza Mia!
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Check out this article from this weekend's Enquirer. It looks like there is more development planned for a troubled area of Over the Rhine. In my opinion this is great. That area is perfect for this sort of residential planning. As mentioned in the article, what could be better than being situated between Findlay Market and Washington Park and within walking distance to everything the city has to offer. This is more proof that once the streetcars are installed, that entire area is going to change drastically.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Dance_MF is a new monthly dance night curated by Cincinnati-based
creative collective, PROJECTMILL. Live DJs, video production, and art
décor will come together for a unique and memorable nighttime
experience. Bring your dancing shoes.
Northside Tavern (in the gigantic recently-opened back room)
4163 Hamilton Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45223
When: Saturday, August 2nd, 9pm-2am. (first Saturday of every month to follow)
Cost/Age: Free! 21+ only.
More information HERE
Monday, July 28, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
Some very cool stuff is going to be happening this weekend at the Southgate House in Newport. This years Lite Brite Pop and Film Test is happening this weekend Friday through Saturday and is guaranteed to be a great time. John Waters, the man behind such great films as Cry Baby and Hairspray, will be performing his spoken word on Sunday. Tonight and Tomorrow night there will be music and of course films, including the best of the Ottawa International Animation Festival. There so much to see and do I can hardly stand it. You can check it out yourself here.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Help save and bring back to life a beautiful, historic property in Over the Rhine, this Saturday July 26th. Give Back Cincinnati is looking for volunteers to help clean and paint the inside of the old Emery theater property on Walnut and Central Parkway. I wish I could go to this event and help out, but of course I have to work all day and I can't get out of it. SO, I hope some other people reading this blog will at least be able to stop in and help out for an hour or two.
Please check out the details of this event here
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I'm sure many of you have already seen signs around town for this event, but I thought I would post about it anyway. The 2008 Morning Glory Bicycle Ride is coming up. It sounds like it will be a lot of fun. Its Sunday August 3, 2008 starting at 4:30am at Sawyer Point. You can register and find out everything you need to know Here and Here.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
While biking around town Sunday afternoon, I was able to stop and watch the wrecking ball drop on the site of the new Great American Insurance Building. It was pretty cool watching them demolish that ugly parking garage. I'm excited to see a new edition to our skyline.
Today turned out to be an absolutely wonderful day to spend outside enjoying the weather, biking around the city, and seeing everything that Over the Rhine and Cincinnati has to offer. We started the day off with a trip to Kaldi's for a morning cup of coffee. We then headed over to Findlay Market to pick up some groceries and much to our great surprise, The Tiller's were playing and we ended up staying for like 2-3 hours watching them play.
We also had lunch there. We bought sandwiches at the Italian sandwich store right behind where the band was playing. They were really really good sandwiches. We met up with some friends and family for a bike trip through downtown, Sayer Point, and over the Newport. It was such perfect weather, however we got a bit sun burnt. Lastly we were able to walk down Main St. in OTR and check out the Second Sunday on Main celebration going on. There was music, food, and stuff to buy and lots of people out.
I can't even begin to tell everyone how nice it is living in Over the Rhine. Not only does it contain some of the most beautiful architecture anywhere in the country, but its central location and close proximity to everything the city has to offer is unbeatable.
Its also a very bike friendly area. Findlay Market finally installed some nice sturdy bike racks at both the Race st. and Elm st. entrances. My bike has now become my main form of transportation. I can get any where I need to get in the city within minutes and even up to clifton where I work in 15 minutes tops. I started biking to work last week and its been great so far. I haven't driven my car in 8 days and I don't miss it one bit!
Everyone needs to move downtown. You don't know what you're missing out on until you try it out. With gas prices the way they are and all the great things going on downtown, it makes perfect sense to say goodbye to suburbia and hello to the city.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
The above picture is from a post card in 1900 of the German city of Bremen (Stadtgemeinde Bremen). The city is located in northwest Germany along the river Weser which is situated about 37 miles south of the North Sea (a sea of the Atlantic Ocean). Therefore, Bremen is and always has been a Port City. This is important to Over the Rhine because Bremen was the last city that many of Cincinnati's German emigrants saw before departing for their new home in the United States. To commemorate this fact early residents of Over the Rhine named a street after it and it was know as Bremen Strasse. This reminded residents of their last memories of their homeland.
In 1913, due to the ever increasing Anti-German hysteria sweeping the nation during World War I, Bremen Strasse along with many other streets in Over the Rhine was renamed to a more American sounding name, Republic Street.
This week I learned of an effort currently being made to change Republic Street back to its original name of Bremen Strasse. I think this is a wonderful idea that would help remind people of the historical importance of this neighborhood. In addition, Republic Street and many other streets in Over the Rhine have gained a notorious status for crime and neglect over the years and I think that changing the name would help to alleviate many peoples fears and stereotypes of the neighborhood as it continues to undergo revitalization.
I'm in support of this effort and I hope we can see many more streets returned to their original names in the upcoming years. This is just one way to help preserve the historic character of the neighborhood and insure that future generations of Cincinnati residents will learn about Over the Rhine's importance to their city and its rich history.
Though this is not related directly to Over the Rhine I do believe this is going to be a great thing for the city as a whole. Check it out here.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Park and Vine is hosting an exhibit starting tomorrow that will show how an historic building in Over the Rhine could benefit from a green rehab. It sounds like an excellent exhibit and I plan on checking it out myself. Hopefully I'll be able to post some pictures and info on here.
Building-Cincinnati explains this event here.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
I'd like to direct everyone's attention over to "Victorian Antiquities and Design." The owner of this blog has written a series of articles on the effects of de-urbanization in historic neighborhoods and possible solutions to this ever growing problem, especially here in Cincinnati. I think its a great series of posts. If we could get more people in Over the Rhine to get excited about revitalizing the area, the sort of solutions highlighted in his articles could really take hold.
Friday, June 20, 2008
This weekend, June 21st and 22nd the Cincinnati Museum Center will be hosting a 1940s celebration as part of their 75th Anniversary Festivities. This is going to be a really awesome event with all sorts of stuff to see and do. There will be tours of the Rotunda and back rooms of the museum, the vintage chevrolet club will be out front showing off their beautiful cars, there will be bands playing period music, WMKV will be there spinning music and even doing a live radio show with sound effects. Also, there will be a 1940's fashion show on Sunday and a ration cooking contest. Also, the newsreel theatre will be open both days showing old newsreels all weekend long.
I'm very excited to be going to this, its sure to be a great event. If you can check it out even for a couple of hours I'm sure you'll find plenty to do and see.
More information and a detailed schedule of events can be found here at cincymuseum.org
Come celebrate one of our countries most exciting decades!
Mr. Bogart is expecting you!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
This article pretty much speaks for itself. I'm not going to try to summarize it here. I've been hearing rumors of this for sometime now and I'm glad to finally hear the whole story about what is actually going on with one of OTR's most important staples, Kaldi's Coffee House.
I sincerely hope the current owner of Kaldi's and the building in which it resides can come to some sort of agreement that will keep this business going. For me and many people I know, Kaldi's holds more good memories than any other hang out spot in Cincinnati. Its the first place I ever visited in OTR and I've had more good times there than anywhere else in the city. Its been host to so many visiting artists, musician's, and interesting people over the years that it would be an absolute shame for OTR and all of Cincinnati to lose this business, especially now.
Not only should Kaldi's stay because of its critical place in local culture, but now is perhaps the WORST time for this business to leave OTR. There is so much potential for growth in the upcoming few years that it would be absolutely stupid to not just stay for a few more years and see how things progress. Remember, the proposed streetcar line is going to be traveling right down Main Street before turning onto 12th.
I really don't understand why people consider the current revitalization efforts on 12th and Vine to be completely separate from the already established Main Street district. Just because they are separated by a couple of city blocks doesn't mean they can't both benefit from each other. If you get lots of new residents moving in to the neighborhood, the businesses on Main are going to benefit directly. Kaldi's: Please at least hold out until the streetcars are built. If you still think the neighborhood is not worth holding on to then you can pack your bags and move. It is my belief, however, that the next few years are going to bring change to this neighborhood like its never seen before.
Do you have any good stories or memories of spending time at Kaldi's that you'd like to share? If so, please post them in the comments!
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
I've already posted about this store once before, but I wanted now that I've been able to shop there many times I would like to again post info on them. Though small, this store has virtually everything you could possibly need for baking, cooking, or snacking. The best part is that they are willing to order anything you ask for. So, if theres something specific you're looking for just let them know and they'll start carrying it!
I highly recommend that everyone start shopping there for all of or at least part of your grocery needs.
My only complaint is with the hours. Currently they are open from 8-5:30pm Tuesday-Saturday. It would be nice if they stayed open just a little later (7pm) and if they were open on Sundays for at least a few hours.
Regardless, we're very fortunate to have a nice grocery store within walking distance of Over the Rhine. It only takes me 5 minutes to walk there and less than 2 minutes to ride my bike!
***It was brought to my attention today that I forgot to describe the location of the store for those of you who've never been there. Avril-Bleh is located on Court Street between Vine and Walnut. Its on the south side of Court street facing North just before it empties onto Walnut. Thanks Mandy:)***
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
The City of Cincinnati hosted a streetcar forum yesterday on UC's campus inviting experts from cities all over the country where streetcar systems are already in use and thriving. According to this article from the Enquirer, the forum was a great success.
It really sounds like the bottom line was to get started right away, waiting is a mistake.
Anyone who denies the benefits of streetcars after hearing how well they work in so many other cities would be a fool. Its obvious that none of these cities regret putting in streetcars at all. In fact, they all said that once you get one line in the next biggest debate will be "What neighborhoods will get the next expansion line first?"
Mark Mallory was there and assured everyone that Cincinnati will have streetcars.
I'm very happy for our city. The changes we have to look forward to in the upcoming years are very exciting to say the least.
I think this is my favorite quote from the article:
The panelists struggled to explain why streetcars attract more riders than buses. Johnsen cited a Tacoma, Wash. bus line that carried 175,000 people a year was replaced by a streetcar, and ridership jumped to 800,000 a year.
“It’s the magic of an urban experience that goes beyond a diesel-burning bus,” Villines said.
Its funny how opponents to the streetcar system here use the excuse "Why not just take the bus?" This is proof that buses do not appeal to people as much as fixed rail will. The best way I can think to explain this is that rail transit offers a reliable and easily predictable route. When you hop on a streetcar or subway train you actually see the route its traveling and you know that as long as you remember where those tracks are you can easily get back to where you came from. It just doesn't work that way with buses.
My hope is that the city really takes the advice of the other cities to heart and starts working on the streetcars immediately. Every year we don't have streetcars is another year we are behind the times.
Monday, June 2, 2008
This is a follow up to a previous post about the new Washington Park renovations. Previously, the 3CDC was having difficulty coming to an agreement with the Cincinnati Public School district over a critical piece of land for the new Washington Park proposal. The good news is they have worked out an agreement that will now allow the project to move forward.
OVER-THE-RHINE’S WASHINGTON PARK IS EXPANDING
Green space will replace concrete in one of Cincinnati’s most historic parks
Thanks to a partnership between Cincinnati Public Schools and the Cincinnati Park Board, the planned renovation of Washington Park in Over-the-Rhine will now include a one-block, permanent extension of the park.
In the fall of 2007, Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) demolished the former Washington Park School at the corner of 14th and Race streets and decided not to re-build on the site, creating an opportunity to expand the six-acre Washington Park up to 14th Street. After discussions with the Cincinnati Park Board and Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC), CPS has agreed to permanently transfer the title for the former school site to the Park Board. Discussions regarding specific details of the transfer continue. This action will enable the park renovation and expansion planning process to move forward.
“We are very grateful to CPS and its administration for working with us to make this important land transfer,” said Willie Carden, director of the Cincinnati Park Board. “Expanding green space in an urban park is an opportunity that doesn’t come along every day. This will not only enhance the beauty of Washington Park, it will serve as a national model for other urban neighborhoods.”
“Cincinnati Public Schools is proud to be a partner in the revitalization of Over-the-Rhine,” said Superintendent Rosa Blackwell. “This historic neighborhood will be home to two of our schools—the new School for Creative and Performing Arts, the nation’s first K-12 arts school created through a public-private partnership, and the fully renovated Rothenberg School, serving grades K-8.”
The latest conceptual plan for the site calls for an underground garage as part of the park renovation and expansion. The planning and design effort will be led by the Park Board and 3CDC with costs paid by 3CDC. The Washington Park Master Plan Steering Committee, a neighborhood representative group that will include representatives of Cincinnati Public Schools and which has been guiding the Park Board on renovation and expansion plans for the park, will work with the design team on the park and garage design.
Under the conceptual plan, a 600-700 space, three-level underground garage would be built, with parkland on top, similar to Millennium Park in Chicago and Boston Commons. The garage design will be carefully integrated with the design for the park expansion.
“Merging the garage construction and park expansion elements of this project will result in substantial savings in the construction process and access to additional private financial resources to help fund the total cost of this $25 million project,” said Steve Leeper, president and CEO of 3CDC. “This action by Cincinnati Public Schools will have a long lasting, positive impact on Over-the-Rhine and the city as a whole.”
There has been widespread support from city leaders and community leaders, specifically the arts community, for this concept because of the benefits it will provide to Music Hall, Memorial Hall, neighborhood business owners and residents and CPS’s new $72 million School for Creative and Performing Arts, currently under construction on 12th Street between Race and Elm. Members of the Washington Park Steering Committee have also expressed support for the plan and will meet in the next few days to discuss this latest development.
The renovation of Washington Park is part of the on-going renaissance in OTR to recognize, preserve and celebrate the unique and historic character of the neighborhood. Since 2005, 3CDC and the City of Cincinnati have invested over $70 million in OTR, about $58 million through private sources, to preserve and renovate housing and commercial space. 3CDC has been charged by the city to lead the revitalization of OTR as a vibrant, mixed-use, mixed-income, racially diverse urban neighborhood.
A timeline for the Washington Park renovation and expansion will not be determined until further input is gathered from the community and a final plan for the park renovation, expansion and garage is in place. The park, including the pool, will be open this summer
Washington Park was acquired by the city in 1855 and is owned and operated by the Cincinnati Park Board. Its current borders are West 12th, Race and Elm streets and with the renovation will expand to 14th Street. In addition to the pool, the park includes an historic bandstand, trees and several Civil War cannons and busts of Civil War heroes.
*This post is from a 3CDC press release
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
Its amazing what you miss when you're busy moving instead of blogging...
The University of Cincinnati will be hosting a discussion about streetcars from the perspective of officials from other cities with streetcar systems already in place. They will be presenting information on the obstacles, strategies, and benefits of building streetcar systems. They will also be answering questions. The event is from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Tangeman University Center at the University of Cincinnati campus. Registration information can be found here: http://www.uc.edu/conferencing/Details.asp?ConferenceID=299
This should be a great event. I hope it gets some good press coverage and a good turn out from the community. I'm going to try to make it myself so that I can provide a summary of what was discussed.
The Cincinnati Enquirer printed an article today highlighting all the positive things that have happened with the Over the Rhine revitalization efforts over the past year and a half. It is very refreshing to see this neighborhood finally getting the respect it deserves and no longer being constantly touted as a wasteland.
They also highlighted some of the topics covered in yesterday's Over the Rhine Chamber of Commerce annual meeting. One of the speakers, John Barrett, said a few interesting things at the meeting that I wanted to point out. First, he said that "I think this city is low on vision, and our desire to execute frequently results in mediocre results rather than world-class results." I agree with this. The streetcar issue is a perfect example. A lot of people in our city lack the vision necessary to see the potential the streetcar will bring for changing our downtown.
Mr. Barrett believes that a thriving downtown must be a priorty and he made some good suggestions about what we need to do to begin transforming our downtown more rapidly. I'll let you read the article for yourself for those.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
City Beat posted an article yesterday about the city council's proposal to change zoning laws for social service agencies that would help regulate new construction and expansion of existing facilities.
The article gives the impression that city council is trying to avoid future conflicts with social service groups like what happened with CityLink recently. They are trying to protect manufacturing zones as areas that should be used for creating new jobs, not warehousing homeless individuals.
This brings up the opportunity to start a discussion about whether or not organizations such as City Link are really the answer to helping to fix the problem of homelessness in Cincinnati. It seems to me that these sort of projects overlook the root of the problem and simply serve as a dumping ground for the suburban communities who don't want to see homeless individuals in their own backyard. I believe that improving public schools, graduation rates and college attendance would give better results at reducing the number of homeless individuals in the long run than projects like City Link. Additionally, creating new jobs and strengthening the local economy would go a long way in insuring these people have a viable future.
I'd really be interested in hearing how others feel about this issue. I'm still learning and trying to figure out where I stand with this.
How do you feel about City Link?
What do you think needs to be done about the homeless problem in downtown and OTR?
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I just caught word of what sounds like an interesting way to learn more about OTR. Inner:City Tours has put together a Podcast tour of Over the Rhine!
From CincyFringe.com: "Inner:City is a guided walking tour through the spaces between the Fringe venues and a comic exploration of the theater inside all of our heads. Participants will download a podcast onto their own iPods which will lead them on a multimedia odyssey through a neighborhood rich in theater history. This site-specific audio installation will invite its audience into the stories of this neighborhood in a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience that is one part video-game-without-the-screen and one part performance art installation, with just a dash of The daVinci Code."
There are a TON of great things going on over the next couple of weeks with the Fringe Festival so go check them out! There's even a mural being painted "live" on the South side of the Know Theatre building by a group of local artists.
Also, Check out Soapbox Cincinnati's Article about the Fringe Festival Here
This one sounds pretty interesting too!
Thursday, May 22, 2008
GO OTR RUN/WALK KICKS OFF A DAY OF CELEBRATION IN THE GATEWAY QUARTER
Visit OTR’s hottest district Saturday May 31 for something to do all day and night
Fast runners can complete the Go OTR 5K Run/Walk in a matter of minutes. But this event is about way more than just turning in a fast time!
The second annual Go OTR 5K is just the beginning of a day and night filled with great things to do in Over-the-Rhine’s (OTR) Gateway Quarter and a chance to experience the renaissance that’s taking place in Cincinnati’s most historic and beautiful neighborhood.
The Go OTR 5K is Saturday May 31 and benefits the Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce. Day of registration opens at 9 a.m. in the public parking lot at 12th and Vine streets. Pre-register for the race at www.otrchamber.com or call 513-241-2690. Mayor Mark Mallory will officially begin the race at 10:05 a.m.
Before sending runners and walkers on their way through the 3.2 mile course that travels past much of Over-the-Rhine’s breathtaking historic architecture and provides a glimpse of the revitalization taking place in OTR, Mayor Mallory will declare it “Live, Shop & Play in the Gateway Quarter Day” in Cincinnati.
“Over-the-Rhine has been transformed in the last few years, and the 5K is a perfect opportunity to take a new look at the thriving historic community,” Mayor Mallory said. “The community is truly coming alive as a perfect example of all that is great about urban living.”
The Gateway Quarter is a district in Over-the-Rhine that encourages and celebrates city living. It includes new and renovated loft-style condominiums, locally owned and operated restaurants and shops catering to urban lifestyle and architecture and innovative theater and arts venues from classical to cutting edge. For more information, visit www.gatewayquarter.com.
This year’s Go OTR 5K coincides with the one year anniversary of the original three stores in the Gateway Quarter: Park + Vine, a green general store at 1109 Vine St., Metronation, which sells contemporary home furnishings, clothes and gifts at 1213 Vine St., and City Roots, an urban garden store at 1133 Vine Street. Since that time, the Quarter has grown to include four additional stores and several restaurants and bars including Lavomatic, Jean Robert DeCavel’s newest bistro.
All of the stores will be open and offering a variety of specials following the Go OTR 5K as the expected 750-plus runners, walkers and volunteers as well as their families, friends and OTR neighbors gather for an after-party at the 12th and Vine parking lot featuring food, music and awards. Race awards are specially designed by Rookwood Pottery.
In addition to shopping, Gateway Quarter condo tours will be available through the sales office located across from the parking lot at 12th and Vine. This is a great opportunity to get a look at the amazing renovations going on inside some of our city’s most historic buildings. Over two-thirds of the 43 condos in historic buildings are already sold and another 107 are or will soon be under construction. Those new homes include nine lofts developed by Urban Sites in a building called “Trideca” at 1232 Vine St., which will be completed in early June. Trideca will be open for tours on Saturday May 31.
And as Saturday evening sets in, there’s no need to head home. The Fringe Festival, a collaborative arts festival that includes theatre, dance, music, poetry, visual art, film and everything in between runs May 27 to June 7. The Fringe Festival is sponsored by Know Theatre of Cincinnati, located at 1120 Jackson St. in OTR. For a complete Fringe Festival schedule visit www.cincyfringe.com.
And the Art Academy of Cincinnati, 1212 Jackson St., is sponsoring SOS ART 2008 an art show that includes paintings, sculptures, photographs, videos, installations, poetry readings, movies, music, performances and discussions on current issues of peace and justice. On Saturday may 31, the show is open from 7-10 p.m. It is free and open to the public.
GO OTR 5K RUN/WALK
EVENT: 2nd annual Go OTR 5K
DATE: Saturday May 31
LOCATION: Gateway Quarter, 12th and Vine parking lot
TIME: 10 a.m.
SPONSORS: The Model Group, PNC Bank
ENTRY FEE: $10 pre-registration/$15 day of the race (both include T-shirt and gift bag)
Proceeds benefit Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce
DIRECTIONS AND PARKING: Just north of downtown, one block from Central Parkway at the corner of 12th and Vine Streets. Parking is available in the Gateway Garage, accessible from Central Parkway or 12th Street.
REGISTRATION: www.otrchamber.com, email@example.com or call 513-241-2690
*This post is from a press release by the 3CDC
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
This is old news for a lot of you, but I just found out about this today. Avril-Bleh and Sons Meat Market, which has been in business since 1894, is opening a grocery store next to its Court street meat store. This is absolutely wonderful news for OTR residents who currently have to drive out of downtown to get groceries that aren't found at Findlay Market. They may be open as early as this week. I'm going to be stopping by to take a look soon and will post pictures and updates as I come across them.
Dave Menninger's Article
I just took a quick bike ride over there (at about 8:45pm) and they were open with people inside. I didn't go in because I didn't have a bike lock with me, but I'll be sure to take a trip there soon and see what they have in stock.
Again, I'd like to apologize for the lack of posts. I've finally gotten to a point in the moving where I now have access to internet, so its time for a new post. I wanted to direct everyone's attention to this blog: Saving the Meiner Flats Danny Klingler has been working very hard to gather funding and support from the city and local developers to prevent the Meiner Flats building at 1500 Vine in Over the Rhine from being demolished. The building has been abandoned for quite sometime and its current owners have let it fall into a state of such disrepair that the city has ordered it to be demolished if it is not brought back to code promptly. The building is a beautiful 4 story walk up with an intricate stone facade built by a family of local stone workers in 1875 to advertise for their business. It is one of the tallest buildings in Over the Rhine and would be a great loss to the neighborhood if not saved. The effort has caught the attention of many national and local news organizations such as NPR: "What will Americans do with their tax rebate?"
Also, Channel 9
and Preservation Magazine
Danny has been in touch with multiple potential developers and city officials that are in support of saving the building from demolition. He is asking for donations to go towards saving it and to show the city that there are lots of people in support of the effort. Please consider donating whatever you can. Even small donations can go a long way towards showing support for the building.
Donations can be made here: DONATIONS
Please see Danny's website for details about where the donations will go and what will happen if they are not used.
Monday, May 12, 2008
I must apologize for the recent lack of activity on this website. The last two weeks I have been in the process of moving from our home in Michigan to our new place in OTR. I have had very little time to do anything other than unpack. Additionally, we still don't have internet service running at our new place so I have been spending very little time online.
Anyway, I will be back in business early next week and I promise to start posting some new interesting articles at that time. Thanks for your patience.
Friday, May 2, 2008
Peter Bronson recently published an article in the Cincinnati Enquirer about his short-sited views on the Streetcars. He reported a very biased review of the Streetcar Debate hosted by the Blue Chip Young Republicans between Councilman Chris Bortz and Chris Monzel. In this article he continues to harp on the argument that there will not be enough ridership to cover the costs of the annual operations. Though this may be true based on CURRENT population studies, what they have failed to acknowledge is the fact that streetcars attract many new residents. Its obvious that once the streetcars are being built and start being used the population of OTR, Downtown, and Uptown neighborhoods are expected to increase drastically. Opponents of the plan have very conveniently overlooked this important fact.
Additionally, his article completely failed to offer any alternatives for boosting our urban core and attracting people back to the heart of the city. At best they say that "neighborhoods want more police." Sure, lets spend $185 million on the police department and see what results from that. I'm sure people will just start flocking to the neighborhood after that!
Please take the time to write Peter Bronson at firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know that his arguments are flawed and that the city of Cincinnati truly does want streetcars in its neighborhoods!
Here are some examples of the kind of ridiculous statements he made:
The title "Streetcars don't boost neighborhoods"
...Really? Do you have any proof of that? I doubt it. In fact, there's a lot of evidence out there that proves the opposite is true. Streetcars DO boost neighborhoods!
"Empty all the soup kitchens and drug rehab centers, then round up all the homeless guys, panhandlers and drug dealers, and there still won't be enough riders in Over-the-Rhine to make a streetcar break even."
...Hmm, Sounds as if this guy thinks that this is all OTR has to offer. What a shame. He hasn't opened his eyes too much.
"Most in the crowd were not aboard." REALLY!?! WOW! You sure are observant. Could that be because it was a "young republicans" sponsored event? Genius.
"Being stuck in traffic behind a glorified bus on tracks that goes 10 mph is not a way to lure people downtown."
...A glorified bus? Again, these people are not using any commonsense. How many times do I have to say this? Streetcars are not buses. They are rail transit. It has been proven over and over again that rail transit is a guaranteed way to ensure neighborhood stability, promote economic development, and attract private investment (new residents) in the area surrounding the tracks.
"I don't get it. I admire Bortz for trying to do something bold and positive. But he has a long hill to climb with that electric train set."
Of course you "don't get it." You've probably never been to a city where people actually don't depend solely on SUVs for their every transport need. Open your eyes and mind! Go to New York, Chicago, Wash. DC, Portland, even Canada, and see for yourself how well good public transit works. We'll never be Manhattan, but we can easily be a minature version of it. Our city is very unique. We have a historic neighborhood unmatched by any other in the U.S. Its still set-up for rails and is perfect for the kind of development the streetcars will bring. If you don't have an interest in urban living then stay in the suburbs and vote for McCain. You won't notice whats going on downtown anyway so why do you care?
"One of the biggest potholes was pointed out by Blue Chip Young Republicans President Jeff Capell: "How do you guarantee it's not going to be another annual welfare case like the Freedom Center?" he asked."
How is that a pothole at all? Actually its pretty easy to see that this is nothing like the Freedom Center project. The Freedom Center is a museum. It was never promised to be a way to attract new residents or boost economic development. Is that form of deductive reasoning how you make all of your decisions in life? The Freedom Center is a completely unrelated problem. Just because the council made one faulty decision with a museum doesn't mean we should just scrap all of their other projects. Besides, the banks project is now underway. It took way too long to get started, but its happening now. In a few short years our riverfront will finally be able to compete with Newport's. Its easy to see that this will all be helped along greatly by a good, reliable way to get people to and from their place of work or home to a central place for entertainment.
Its time that the people of Cincinnati stop letting stagnant, suburban, conservatives run their town.
Monday, April 28, 2008
As expected, there are already efforts being made by opponents to the streetcar system to block our city from getting any state funding for the project. As highlighted in THIS ARTICLE, our "wonderful" republican lawmakers are trying to stomp out this project as any good conservatively minded politician would. Its time to step up to the plate and fight for the future of our city. It is absolutely critical that we not let this project slip through the cracks and be stomped out by unjustified opposition from people who have no interest in the future of our city. If we just sit back and let them make such ignorant statments ["It has zero support at present" (Ohio Sen. Bill Seitz)] then we could lose the whole project before we even realize it.
My first suggestion is that we start by writing our Congressmen and demanding support for our system. Our city is asking for very little when you compare it to how much is spent annually on other forms of transportation such as highways. They want to make it seem like there is no support for the system. WE NEED TO SHOW THEM THAT THEY ARE WRONG! Please send emails, letters, and even make phone calls on a daily basis if you want to see this project happen. These politicians are capable of putting up a good fight, but we can easily out number them if we truly try. We have to move fast! Don't let them stomp us out before we even have a say!
Here is all the contact information you need:
Info on how to contact them: HERE and HERE
Example of how to address your letters:
The Honorable ___________
Ohio House of Representatives
77 South High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215-6111
Rep. Michelle Schneider
Sen. Bill Seitz
The rest of your Senators
The rest of your Representatives
Please write me or respond in the comments section with any other suggestions for how we can organize and make a difference.
***Another thing I wanted to add is that I seem to notice a lot of confusion as to what exactly is meant by the term "Streetcar." It seems as if many people assume we're talking about tiny, little "trolley's" like you would see on Mr. Roger's. This is not what the streetcars will be like at all! They will essentially look like small subway trains, exactly like the ones seen in Portland, OR and throughout Europe. CLICK HERE to watch a video of what a modern day streetcar system looks like in operation. This is what Cincinnati is planning on bringing to our town!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
According to people here who actually attended the finance meeting this morning, it looks like the streetcars have passed unanimously. This is great news. Now we all wait in suspense for the 2pm general council meeting that will have the final say with the "go ahead" for the project. I will update this post as I learn more.
The streetcars have passed!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Word on the street is that the streetcars go before the Finance commitee Wednesday (tomorrow) at 9am. If it passes that morning, it could also pass before the entire council that same afternoon.
Please email the council members and urge them not to delay this vote any longer! Tell them how much you want to see streetcars downtown now! Your emails can make a big difference!
Here's the proof its going to be discussed:
Notice of Meeting
Here are their addresses, including Mayor Mallory:
Monday, April 21, 2008
Spring time in Over the Rhine sure is a nice sight to see!
Here are a couple of pictures taken on Orchard St., right off Main. Our good friends Mandy and Pete are moving here and I just had to showcase how nice their new street is. If you didn't know any better you might think that this was somewhere in NYC. They're so lucky!