Flying Pig #4: Enquirer Building

Meet "Dual Porcineality," so named because the pig is split between the east and west sides of Cincinnati. You can probably even tell from this photo that the artist is Jim Borgman.

I've known about this pig for a while... I used to park in the Enquirer building for work, and I'd see this piggy each morning. Of all the pigs I've ever run across, this is the one I could spend the most time with-- it has landmark names painted on its wings, 275 painted down its spine (with a construction barrel for a nose, notice) and far more detail than some of the others I've seen.

I think at one point the pig was standing, though? I believe his base broke, and he's no longer reaching for the stars. Pity.

Thing I just learned about Jim Borgman: he won a Pulitzer. How'd I miss that?

Full "Pig Profile" page:

Guestblog: The Cincinnati Bengals

I've been needling my brother Bradley to write me up a Bengals post since we started this blog-- it seemed perfect with his love of the game and my complete lack of football know-how. You can read more of Bradley's writing at his own blog and at Defenders of the Hate. (I added the pictures.)

The Cincinnati Bengals: A Re-adventure

So it finally arrives, that golden time of year when the collective overlap of hockey, baseball and football make for a sports fan's biggest month. Mock-drafts are in the air, jerseys are being worn with pride, and Chad Ochocinco's Twitter is now rowdy with smack-talk.

Ah, it's a wonderful thing.

But new restaurants and public transportation aren't the only thing getting a revamped image in Cincinnati this year, as the Bengals look to make a playoff berth reminiscent of 2005, which was the last time the jungle was home to the division's leading team. But why the re-adventure? Why are the Bengals so suddenly contenders? as my sister asks when I run upstairs to tell her the score. The answer is simple: 9 + 85 = TD.

Ok, so there are a few more things to it than that --like excellent coaching by Mike Zimmer-- but the most important event of the season has been the return of the God of Golden Arms, Carson Palmer. After battling a partially torn ligament and tendon for most of the previous season, and a career low in passing, the "human Jugs machine" rebounded in 2009 by taking control of the team, and stepping up both as an accurate, reliable quarterback, but as a team leader that we desperately needed.

Carson is key the Bengals' success in this season. A healthy, safe quarterback means more shots at the endzone through our terrific corp of wideout options, like Laveranues Coles or Chris Henry. But more responsible for the passing game's overall success has been our offensive line, which was significantly strengthened through particularly smart drafting, and coaching. Our o-line has allowed more time for Carson to have in the pocket, increasing the effectiveness of our throws by a noticeable amount.

(And, Bengals fans, look forward to an even better offensive line when Andre Smith returns,)

Next, is my personal favorite reason why the Cincinnati Bengals have improved so much over last year: Kevin Huber. Born in Porkopolis, playing for UC, and getting drafted by the Bengals, Huber punted his way into my heart as an all-Cincinnati guy, and boasting some of the best skills the NCAA has ever seen. You can attribute quite a few great field positions to this guy, who's managed to make many a veteran punt-returner think twice before taking off.

Finally, a huge momentum shift in our team dynamic has come from the aggressive and talented group of defensive players we've collected. Players like draft pick Rey Maualuga help create an excellent pass rush, something last year's Bengals struggled with. No list could be complete without the mention of Antwan Odom as well, who made a brief but triumphant return from injuries to tie the franchise sack-record, and garner the NFL's defensive player of the month award.

So you can already see how one major change in a team can have a positive effect on other aspects of the game. A good draft leads to good offensive lines, which leads to more time for a quarterback to make the throws. But while our passing game is getting off the ground, running back Cendric Benson has managed to keep the chains moving with an amazing display of talent. Having turned his life around both on and off the field, Benson believes he's more focused than ever, which translates to Marvin Lewis having another deployable weapon on the gridiron, as opponents now face a significant threat from the air, or the ground.

But the most exciting thing about the Bengals re-adventure, is that we currently have the youngest roster in the NFL: which translates to rookies only getting better, and the team getting more experienced with every game, and every season. Ladies and gentlemen, look forward to winning.


And head over to One Man Crime Wave for more in-depth Bengals coverage: interviews and reviews.

AFC: Frank Lloyd Wright symposium

What an awe-inspiring photograph of the event, eh? Really just captures the mood. Urgh.

Anyway. I've mentioned before that I've been getting into architecture lately, beginning specifically with when Dan and I visited Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater in Pennsylvania. About a month ago I discovered an interesting opportunity: a free symposium about FLW at the Cincinnati Public Library, so we planned our Saturday around it.

(I need to write an entire post about the library itself, I should note. I hadn't been there in far too long-- maybe high school?)

The symposium was... eek, I use "fantastic" too much on this blog. I really, truly enjoyed myself. They had a variety of speakers and all from different vantage points: one woman currently owns a FLW house in Clifton, others were members of the Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati (AFC), museum/house curators, etc.

Each had presentations with great photographs and avoided technical jargon that would have lost me (actually something I was a little worried about, considering the source was the AFC). This photograph at right is from when one of the library staff had to shut the blinds so we could see the presentations, but otherwise things went smoothly.

I learned a lot, engaged in non-standard Saturday afternoon fare, spent time in the library I've worked blocks away from for 4+ years, and really just all-around enjoyed myself.

Dan and I both walked away from the symposium more excited than every to visit nearby-ish FLW landmarks, like the house in West Lafayette, IN or the one in Springfield, OH. I will also be keeping a closer eye on the AFC so that we can be sure to attend other events, including exhibitions and tours that they regularly give.

Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati website:
Link to the AFC events page:

Cincinnati Bell gives Cincinnati a 21st century upgrade

When it comes to telecommunications, Cincinnati stands out a bit in the way it is set up and maintained. While most major cities are served by Verizon or AT&T (or one of their holdings), Cincinnati is served by Cincinnati Bell (CB), one of the few regional and independent carriers left. While other cities had to live through the telco buy-outs and merges over the last couple decades, we were left with a familiar face and very little change.

Over the years Cincinnati has benefited from this in terms of services like Zoomtown and Fuse internet, and Cincinnati Bell Wireless which delivered high speed data to our homes and mobile devices.

The downside of this familar face and stability was an aging telecommunications infrastructure due to a lack of competition and innovation. The old copper systems have their limits and as the city grew and as our internet usage and needs grew, Cincinnati Bell had to change and grow with them.

You may have heard of other cities beginning to be able to order something called 'Fios', which is fiber optic service to the home. This allows the communications providers to start delivering a new class of service to the house, one that is not limited by an aging infrastructure and the limitation of last-mile copper connections. This means faster internet connections and an alternative to cable and satellite tv.

Cincinnati Bell has begun to roll out this upgrade in the form of their FiOptics product, which I am lucky enough to be part of. My FiOptics were installed this week and I want to break down my initial impressions as well as a comparison to my previous service with Time Warner Cable (TWC).

With more and more services becoming web-based there's an increasing need for faster internet connections at home. There are a few options in town, but the majority of us are either using Cincinnati Bell's Zoomtown or Time Warner Cable's RoadRunner service. Both are good, and keep bumping their speeds, but both also have some serious drawbacks and technical limitations.

Zoomtown is a DSL service, which means your speeds greatly vary depending on your proximity to your central office (CO). Cincinnati Bell sells it with speeds up to 5Mbps, but unless you're close to the CO you're more likely going to train up at less than that. Distance and line quality matter greatly with DSL-based services, as do the age and quality of your home's phone wiring.

RoadRunner uses the coaxial cables that your TV already runs over, which allows them to promise much greater speeds, however in most instances cable modem services operate on a shared bandwidth model. Your entire neighborhood or area is sharing the same wires, the same switching systems, so you can definitely run into issues where the tubes get a bit crowded.

FiOptics has neither of these limitations - what Cincinnati Bell is doing is replacing Cincinnati's aging copper infrastructure with fiber optics. This eliminates the bottlenecks in the network and the issues around CO distances. The last mile to your house is now fiber and your connection to the CO and subsequently Cincinnati Bell's main systems is literally the speed of light. It's also still a DSL type system so there's no share bandwidth bottlenecks. The speeds start at 10Mbps and go up from there and is really has no limits (besides what CB will actually sell you). Cincinnati Bell is also delivering TV over this network since they now have the infrastructure to support it and we now have another option in Cincinnati when it comes to our television needs.

Price-wise, it's a no brainer. FiOptics with a similar setup to your existing Time Warner cable/internet package will be cheaper. In my case it is $50 cheaper a month, and I'm getting faster internet out of it. The TV service is more or less the same, but as this is a brand new service early adopters are going to have to endure some growing pains:
  • The channel line-up isn't apple-to-apple with TWC. It's close enough, but if you're a real TV junkie, check the listings before you buy.

  • On-demand channels and content pales in comparison to TWC. Again, it might be a big deal to you, it might not.

  • While the CB dvr/box (Cisco Explorer 8540HDC) is better than TWC, the interface isn't quite as pretty and some functionality is missing (or I just haven't found it yet)
Cincinnati Bell FiOptics also still uses your houses internal coaxial wiring, so there's no need for new jacks or holes in your wall. They run the fiber optics box to your house's demarc and simply plug your existing cable lines into their box.

Hands down the FiOptics internet connection is better. The latency is non-existent, and the speeds are top notch. I opted for the 20Mbps service and results comes back more or less on-par with that. One note I will make is that the internet side of your FiOptics still runs over your home's phone line (just inside your house), so make sure your wiring is good. Most new places use CAT5 and should be totally fine, but if you have old wiring, might want to have it verified. Chances are if you already have Zoomtown it's nothing to worry about. Just remember, it's fiber to your house, not to your bedroom.

The service area is currently very limited as Cincinnati Bell slowly re-wires the entire city; however, if you are lucky enough to be in a building being wired, I say go for it. Links are below where you can check your address, but chances are if you are in a house or complex that is FiOptics ready, CB is already knocking on your door. They are aggressively marketing this product to anyone and everyone who is eligible.

Cincinnati Bell FiOptics page -

Time Warner Cincinnati -

Cyclones home opener

It's hockey season!!

Okay, so technically the minor league season's been going for a week or so, but the Cincinnati Cyclones had their first home game this past Friday. They played the Wheeling Nailers-- which, as I described to a friend, is really just a comfy stretch before playing some real teams. (Ohhhh, sick burn...)

The home opener was well attended, full of dolla dogs and free Frostys, and quite well played if I do say so myself. The Nailers drew first blood, but we outscored them 3-1 in the end-- even after having one of our goals revoked because, I don't know, the goal was off its post or something. (Boo. So embarrassing to yell and scream and high five and then be told there was no legal goal.)

We also raised our North Division Champions banner for 2009. Congratulations, boys!

Our next home games are November 5th and 6th. If you're even considering heading to US Bank, let me know. I'll give you a hundred reasons why you should.

Cyclones website:
Cyclones Twitter (best for following during the game):

Send Me Something™

I just discovered Send Me Something, which is a local business that... sends you something.

While the grab bag idea has been around for a while, I love the idea of being able to send someone a present that would be a surprise to you both. You could certainly use Send Me Something for your own little pick-me-up, I think it works much better as a random act of kindness for someone else.

So! Let's throw some support their way! Leave me a comment here about something small that makes you happy. In about a week I'll let Dan pick a comment and we'll send that person a free Send Me Something package.

P.S. You do not have to be in or around Cincinnati to win this prize.

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company: All's Well That Ends Well

Soon I'm going to write a post strictly about how much I love my Enjoy the Arts subscription, but suffice to say that's how I ended up downtown at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.

...For the first time. Another huge cryin' shame for an English major such as myself.

The current show is All's Well That Ends Well, which is one of the few popular Shakespearean plays that I haven't read or seen performed. As it turns out, I very much dislike the story. (A shock to me! I could have written this post as a perfect Elizabethan sonnet!)

But the CSC was wonderful. I adored the comfortable, intimate theater and the simple set work. The staff was helpful, the cast was wonderful-- one of the main characters was an understudy running script-in-hand due to a regular cast illness and I was still impressed by his performance.

Despite my distaste for All's Well, I'll definitely be making it back to Cincinnati Shakespeare Company soon. They have an upcoming one-man show about Edgar Allan Poe that I'd love to see, and a Christmas show that sounds like a lot of fun. Even after my ETA subscription expires, but it'd be worth it to pay full price for a ticket to see upcoming pieces in their series.

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company website:
Enjoy the Arts website:

Flying Pig #3: Main Auction Galleries

I have to admit, finding the name for this pig was kind of fun.

I snapped this outside an auction house near my office. Tonight, when I googled "auction house on 4th street," I found a page about Main Auction Galleries-- and their chief auctioneer's last name is Karp. Whiiiiich might explain why the back half of this pig is a fish.

So I hunted for "Big Pig Gig" and "Karp," and ended up with "J. Karp Hogtioneer." Bingo.

On this quest, I also found an Artworks page that lists pigs still on public display in Cincinnati. That ought to help out substantially in the future, yes?

See our other piggies here!

It's more than just a game

Maybe not the very best commercial in the world, but can we start getting cyc'd please?

Flying Pig #2: CVG airport

I am telling you... finding the names of these pigs is hard work. I'm going to have to start paying attention to their little placards when I take the pictures.

This is Spirit of Pigcinnati. Now that I know that, I can find all kinds of great info on him:

What's the pig idea?
The plane has an 8-foot wingspan. To meet safety regulations at the airport, it had to be displayed at least 7 1/2 feet off the floor. I placed it as if it was being launched from the top of a Cincinnati landmark, the PNC building.

I hadn't even noticed that Spirit was standing on the PNC building, though now it's perfectly clear.

All of our piggy posts (2 so far!) can be found using the BigPigGig tag.

Books by the Banks

Books by the Banks, Cincinnati's own "book festival," is in its third year and I haven't missed one yet. The festival has grown at an impressive rate and I was proud to walk Dan through the event for his first time.

If you haven't been, there are three core goings-on at Books by the Banks:

1.) The panels. The convention does a great job of partnering with CET to put together author panels about anything and everything. In the past I've learned about local baseball history, how to create a graphic novel, different kinds of cookbooks, etc. You can see this year's full list of panel options right here.

2.) The "Author Pavilion." When not participating in panel discussions, the author sit in a large convention room to talk about their books, sign autographs, etc (and the books are all on sale in the same room, thanks to Joseph-Beth Booksellers). Everyone I've talked to has been friendly and conversational. Today, Dan and I chatted it up with Melissa Kramer, who wrote The Inclines of Cincinnati. We also stopped by to see illustrators C.F. Payne and Ryan Ostrander to have our posters signed.

3.) The kids' area. Target has teamed up with Books by the Banks to put together a craft area where kids can create things while their parents are at panels. In the past I've seen storytellers and musicians in this area, so know that this is a kid-friendly event.

For next year I would give you the following tip: visit the site beforehand. Know which author panels you want to see, and learn who is going to be there so you don't wander around aimlessly. (A bit of that is nice, of course... but when you want to walk up and talk to someone, it can be a little daunting.)

As I mentioned, this event has undergone huge amounts of growth. I could tell that there were more authors in the pavilion, more people milling around the convention center, a more organized way of driving people to the panels, and many more conversations happening than even last year.

The event is completely free and a great opportunity to speak one-on-one with local authors-- another powerful display of Cincinnati's artistic community. I can imagine this becoming an event that people from other cities are willing to travel to, as we attract more well-known authors and the event continues to expand.

Books by the Banks website:

Findlay, my Findlay

Maybe I need a second blog dedicated to Findlay Market. That'd be somethin', wouldn't it?

Let's start with the haul. It's a good one:

--Veggie calzone (fat and fresh and big enough for two people)
--A loaf of abruzzese bread, sliced
--Apple cider from Neltner's Farm
--White bean salad w/Valencia oranges and roasted red pepper
--Green beans
--1.5 lbs of grapes so maybe I won't eat them all in one sitting like last time
--Spinach linguine, tomato basil linguine
--Roasted vegetable pasta sauce
--Sweet potato gnocchi (every time you see this, BUY IT!)
--Tea tree & mint soap
--A pint of Dojo gelato: half malted milk, half Cap'n Crunch

We also ate at Bouchard's again. If you're wondering if we only eat pasta... well yeah. Basically yes, that is the case.

Pasta sauce and soap are two things that we'd been purchasing at the grocery store, but have started to look for locally-produced replacements. We haven't used either yet, but we're hoping that will be yet another step toward buying locally.

Gorgeous day, by the way. Bright blue sky, undeniable October chill in the air. Breathtaking. Hope we can power through these groceries so we're forced to go back right away.


Hathaway's is a diner nestled in Carew Tower. I don't go there often, but that's exactly why I ended up there today-- a coworker and I were sick and tired of eating at the same place every day.

It's a cute diner with okay food and okay service. I had fish and Jeff had a reuben-- he had a problem with his food, but it was rectified by the management and we scored a chocolate milkshake out of the deal. I would never brag about the food or act like that a real reason to go there.

Hathaway's is particularly known for its coffee, or at least that's the opinion I take away from it. (I'm not a coffee drinker.) I go for the kitsch of the old diner feel, and for a place where I typically don't run into my coworkers (in case you need to talk business).

It's a once-in-a-while, sick-of-everything-else kind of lunch. I wish I could give it a more glowing recommendation, but they can't all be gems.

By the way... if you go to Hathaway's, order "the Jeff Jones." He ordered his reuben with coleslaw instead of sauerkraut, and tried to convince the waitress to name the sandwich after him. I work with goobers.

Hathaway's on Urbanspoon

Poll/donation update

As you recall, the results of our philanthropy poll were tied, and we split $100 between the Freestore Foodbank and WVXU.

Those donations were finally made (yargh, physically getting to the bank is such a pain) and both organizations thank you for voting them your favorite Cincinnati causes.

If there is another cause you'd like to see represented when we do another poll, feel free to leave it in the comments.

Southgate House

After our tour of the Cincinnati Museum Center, Dan, Bradley and I headed across the river to Southgate House in Newport.

Now, this is another thing I hate to publicly admit: I'd never been to Southgate. Well that's not technically true-- I was upstairs once, for an art show-- but I'd never seen a concert there. All I'd heard were amazing things about how this was the venue for (greater) Cincinnati. When I read that my darling Blitzen Trapper was coming, I figured it was time to finally make my way over to Newport.

First off, let me say that Blitzen Trapper-- and their opening act, Wye Oak-- put on an incredible show. And I was able to hear "Furr" live... I've probably listened to that song more often than the band has.

And Southgate was great. We couldn't get any solid pictures because we wanted to leave the camera in the car, but here's a shot of the fat brick mansion-turned-concert hall from Flickr user damongreen.

Southgate House website:
Blitzen Trapper website:
Wye Oak website:

Cincinnati Museum Center architecture tour

Well, I fell in love again.

Last night, Dan, Bradley and I schlepped to the Cincinnati Museum Center to take a more in-depth tour of Union Terminal's architecture than is commonly available. I've become more interested in architecture as a result of recent tours of Chicago's riverside buildings and Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, and when I saw a chance to tour my favorite building in Cincinnati, I jumped.

The tour was fantastic. As a kid, most kids tour Union Terminal... you focus on the gorgeous mosaics, the history of the train station, usually watch an Omnimax film. I remember those tours, and the weak-in-the-knees feeling I always got from looking straight up to the ceiling of the dome.

This tour engaged both that kid-like sense of wonder, and a more mature quest for history and education. Union Terminal has always fascinated me-- it was, after all, the source of inspiration for the Justice League's HQ-- but last night we were able to look behind the scenes.

I know more about the concept of art deco now... can point out pillars and colors, materials and indirect lighting. I know that there are wires under the seats of the original 1930s theater because men needed a place to put their hats while watching the newsreels. I know that the Rookwood Ice Cream Parlor is worth more than the entire rest of the building, because of its rare tiles. I know that the entire monstrosity was almost demolished, until they discovered it would cost more to tear it down than to turn it into something else. ...And thank gawd they did.

If you get a chance to take a similar tour, I highly recommend it. Ours was at night, which meant it was closed to the public, quiet, and with a completely different lighting than you normally get to see.

There is apparently a very rare tour coming up in February, during which you get to walk over the dome in the concrete infrastructure. We'll definitely pass along information about that if we hear more.

See my Flickr set (mostly taken by Dan) here: Union Terminal tour

Cincinnati Museum Center website:


Richie's Restaurant is located down Vine Street from Dan's place in Clifton, and I eye it every time we drive to his nearest Dairy Queen. ...Which is more often than I'd like to admit.

The thing that stuck out the most was their neon signs (which I've failed to capture in my pictures)-- the bright red Fried Chicken, Cornbread, Steak Nuggets, Okra, Sweet Potato Pie, etc signs stand out, especially toward dusk when my Blizzard cravings tend to hit.

We finally stopped to pick up dinner one evening-- there is a drive-thru and a carry-out, but no place to eat inside.

We ended up ordering a very blandly colored meal: fried chicken, cornbread, mac & cheese. The food was more flavorful than I'm making it look in my pictures, though I wasn't a huge fan of the chicken-- there didn't seem to be a lot of meat on it.

The cornbread is good, if you crave it from time to time like I do-- throw it in the microwave for a bit before you eat it. Mm.

Richie's Fast Food on Urbanspoon

Country Cruz'en

By the way, while Heather was writing her guestblog post about Gorman Heritage Farm, I was writing a post for her about Country Cruz'en in Owensville. Pop over to to read it!

Guestblog: Gorman Heritage Farm & Sunflower Festival

My friend Heather graciously offered to write up a guest post for our blog. To read Heather's Cincinnati food review blog, visit Thank you, Heather!

A good friend of mine has always told me about going to the pumpkin patch with her now-husband. Every year - I've heard her cute little happy romantic stories of the pumpkin patch. And every year I've wanted to puke.

But now - I have a boyfriend! So pumpkin patch? BRING IT ON!

We had his daughter with us so we were looking for a family-friendly venue. Proximity was also important due to the time we had...

We stumbled across the Gorman Heritage Farm on Reading Rd in Evendale. They were having their annual Sunflower Festival - with a pumpkin patch! And it was ten minutes from the house...Perfection!

Pleasant surprise from the start was that they honored the online coupon even though I didn't print it off. When we walked in there were pumpkins and a building to describe the farm and the products they make (fresh honey, etc...).

After that we walked through a children's garden area that had theme gardens (pizza garden) and of course some kitschy plywood things for us to stick our heads through!

After the gardens and a breeze by the craft tables - we headed up the hill to the Sunflower Fields! It was the Sunflower Festival after all...

Up the hill, we got the actual farm. There are summer camps as well as Adult Educational classes. While we were there, we also found out about volunteer opportunities. We also met some great new friends of course!

These horses weren't just there to look pretty - they were also taking folks on hayrack rides. They also had a petting zoo which is always fun. Who doesn't love a little cute goat?

Those hayracks took folks out to the corn maze - but be careful when you're there - remember Children of the Corn? There's some spooky folks lurking!

Gorman Heritage Farm is another one of those hidden treasures that Cincinnati has to offer. It was definitely fun exploring the farm, going for a nice walk and enjoying a bit of the country while in the middle of the city.

And BTW - we did get a pumpkin. It wasn't really a pumpkin patch where you could pick your own right off the vine - they were already picked. But we did have a nice selection to choose from and got two great pumpkins for $5!

Flying Pig #1: Rookwood Commons

I assume anyone reading this blog is from Cincinnati, but if not: pigs are our thing. Cincinnati used to have a thriving meat-packing industry, hence the occasional "Porkpolis" reference. Our marathon is "the Flying Pig," and we have art installations throughout the city known as "the Big Pig Gig" (similar to Chicago's cow thing).

Dan and I thought it would be fun to post pictures of the Big Pig Gig installments that we come across as we rediscover Cincinnati. I recently found this first one when I was in Rookwood Commons.

Finding pictures (and thus names) online is frustrating because the Big Pig Gig site is archived and doesn't have any of the images anymore! Their gallery is useless, and all the other sites I can find link back to for their images. Argh. I'm not sure how to find the names for the pigs-- the numbers on the Big Pig Gig map don't seem to correspond to anything.

HOWEVER, after some super sleuthing I was able to find this link, placing our pig in the "A Pig for All Seasons" series.

I might need some help naming other pigs in the future-- I think I got lucky on this one.

Wikipedia entry on The Big Pig Gig:

Big Pig Gig map:

The poll is closed! Your favorite cause is...

Our poll to determine which Cincinnati cause deserves our $100 is closed as of noonish.

Two entries, WVXU and the Freestore Foodbank, each scored 12 votes on the poll, leaving them tied for first. I'll divvy the money up between the two-- $50 for two worthy local causes. Huzzah!

There were many other awesome cause suggestions in the comments section, so I have a feeling we'll be revisiting our donation poll idea soon. Uhhh just let me come up with another $100 and we'll talk.

Thank you to the ~35 people who chimed in! If you have other causes you'd like included next time, feel free to leave a comment on this post.

Cincinnati Cyclones open house

This may be my first post about the Cincinnati Cyclones, but it will be far from my last. I fell in love with hockey while attending Miami University, and when I returned to Cincinnati proper I transferred a lot of that Redhawk fever to my now beloved 'Clones.

Not only was the open house my first time to US Bank Arena since the season closed, but it was my first time returning with Dan. We actually met for the first time at a Cyclones game, if you can believe it, and it was raining then too-- so there was a bit of nostalgia to look forward to.

Buuuuut mostly hockey.

It's more fun to post pictures than to talk about what we saw, so I'm going to get out of the way and share a few shots. I'm now officially ready for the season to begin-- who else is getting cyc'd?!

Findlay! Againly!

I can't say enough great things about Findlay Market, and I hope you have an opportunity to really take advantage of all it has to offer.

Today's score:
--Asparagus ravioli
--Roasted red pepper pasta
--Garlic mashed potatoes
--Couscous salad
--Sweet corn, green beans, the Holiday seedless red grapes I've been waiting for all year
--Pint of Dojo's Kinderschokolade gelato

And for lunch:
--Dan had Bouchard's again: linguine alfredo w/broccoli, chicken, red pepper
--I had Aunty's Homemade Foods*: fettuccine alfredo w/chicken
--Two hot chocolates from Dojo: one straight-up, one with mint, both with homemade marshmallows

*I really enjoyed Aunty's Homemade Foods, but it's made to be taken to go. I had mine heated up to eat at the market, but I think you can find a better value if you're planning on eating your lunch while you're at Findlay. That being said, my food was delicious and I bought some food from them to bring back home and eat later, as intended.

As far as Dojo... well, it never disappoints. Dojo is working on transitioning into the colder months, which must be a tough market for a gelato stand. Their hot chocolates are killer! From the Dojo Blogato:
We have four flavors of cioccolata caldo to enjoy during the cooler seasons at Dojo Gelato: Classic, Diavolo (blended with smoked chipotle pepper and spices from Herbs and Spice), Orange with bits of candied orange throughout, or Peppermint with mint simple syrup. If you are feeling really saucy, add marshmallows, which are handmade by Dojo Oompa-Loompa, Jill!
Make sure to swing by and support Dojo if you're in the area. Local business, delicious food, desserts all year 'round... win win win win win.

Dojo Gelato on Urbanspoon

Dojo website:
Dojo blog:
Dojo Twitter:
Dojo Facebook:

Aunty's Homemade Food on Urbanspoon

Aunty's website:

Carrotcake's Fancypacks

In my recent quest to support local businesses, I've been trolling Etsy and particularly enjoying their nifty Shop Local function. This was how I stumbled upon Carrotcake's Fancypacks.

Fancypacks are a fashion-forward version of the fanny pack, and as I have a girlfriend frakkin' obsessed with bows, I had to hit Carla up for one of her creations.

Carla was sweet enough to waive the shipping and let me pick the item up, so I got to meet her today after work. Girl is darling. Once again, I'm loving the feeling of shopping locally-- how much cooler to support someone who's in my town, freelancing, and completely awesome.

The product, by the way, is fantastic. It's great quality and my friend is going to love it. (Jess, on the off-chance that you read my blog: SURPRISE.)

(The last picture is from Carrotcake's Etsy site. It shows what the Fancypack looks like in action, if that helps you visualize its awesomeness.)

Carrotcake's Etsy site:

P.S. Carla takes custom orders. And rocks.