The Southgate House - Stars

Last week before the holiday Erica and I went over to check out Stars at The Southgate House in Newport. I've wanted to catch these guys live since they first started putting out albums back around 2001. It was an awesome show and the Southgate House is such a great venue for shows. Here are a few really terrible pics I took on my iPhone of the show. Lesson from this trip: grab the DSLR next time.

Suders Art Store

I needed to visit an art supply store for a couple of the more hands-on Christmas presents I'm working on. Dan thought this would be a great opportunity to visit Suders, which is directly in our backyard (er, parking lot).

What a fantastic store! Suders is packed wall-to-wall with a rich variety of art supplies. Dan, as a student of Miami U's art program, has seen the inside of plenty of art stores in his career, and he seemed truly impressed by the little shop.

I say "little" but this shop is actually quite expansive. The main supply room seems small because it's so full of materials, but there is another room full of easels and the like, as well as a massive back room with work space.

The only problem we had came down to using one of the Gateway Quarter gift cards. These things have been a pain in my arse, if I do say so myself. The problem lies in how infrequently people use them-- ours was the first card that Suders had seen in nine months, so they had trouble activating it. This is not the first time we've run into this inconvenience: Senate does not take them "yet," and Little Mahatma doesn't accept them at all.

But that's hardly Suders' fault. The cashier managed to get it to work finally, and we were in no hurry. I still walked out with an armful of high quality art supplies and a high hope to return soon.

Suders Art Store:

Crafty Supermarket

This is the sight that greeted you when you approached this year's Crafty Supermarket at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center: Cafe de Wheels!

We've been to all three Crafty Supermarkets so far, and I have to say: this winter's was far and away the best. I was amazed at how much this event has grown even since last time!

Dojo Gelato was in attendance, as were representatives from Picnic & Pantry, selling stew and other awesome lunch options. This is itself makes the event so much more accessible and compelling.

I've felt in the past that it was very hard to walk in and buy something-- the gifts were too esoteric (and often too expensive) to walk out with an armload.

This time around, I felt that there was a huge range of offerings that would fit many different styles. Jewelry, papercraft, clothing, vintage items, you name it. There were plenty of things I couldn't afford but I had no problem finding a handful of gifts that my family and friends are going to love.

We were there around 3pm, and the place was packed wall to wall. Ben Davis was laying down the music and every vendor seemed to be doing brisk business. This is a fantastic event, and a great partner for Cincinnati Unchained!

Crafty Supermarket:

Roadtrip - Columbus, Indiana

While there's tons of great stuff to do in Cincinnati on any given weekend, sometimes its nice to get out of town and take a road-trip somewhere new. If you're into architecture at all, Columbus Indiana is a drive worth taking. Its a couple hours from Cincinnati, and while there are a couple cool places to stay there, you can easily make a day trip of it.

Columbus has gotten a lot of press over the years about the A-list architects they attract. I think all cities could learn quite a bit from this town, who has really made some extraordinary efforts to stay relevant, plan in smart and sustainable ways and remain and attractive to businesses and its residents. Through a partnership with the Cummins Engine Company, they have established a program for architectural review and planning that has brought some of the worlds top architects to their small town since the 40's. The town is full of beautiful buildings from names such as Eliel and Eero Saarinen, I.M. Pei and Cesar Pelli and numerous others.

Check out some photos from our visit on Flickr

For more information about a vist, check out their website:

Plum Street Temple

I'd like to see proof of a more beautiful building anywhere in Cincinnati. To tell you the truth, I may never have been in a more beautiful building anywhere.

I've been aching to visit the Plum Street Temple ever since Dan and I visited City Hall. Unfortunately, the temple only gives tours on Thursday mornings, when your typical nine-to-fivers are already at work. So! Dan and I took a vacation day to visit the Moorish-Byzantine style temple-- absolutely worth the trip.

Our tour guide was a somewhat crotchety older gentleman who is both a member of the congregation and part of the group that planned the massive renovations that the temple underwent in the mid-90s. He was very well versed in all the changes Plum Street Temple has been through, as he's been involved since the 80s.

Take the tour of Plum Street Temple and hear a detailed and beautiful story about Isaac M. Wise, the most gorgeous building in the city, and the beginning of Reform Judaism. From Wikipedia:

During his lifetime Wise was regarded as the most prominent Reform Jew of his time in the United States. His genius for organization was of a very high order; and he was masterful, rich in resources, and possessed of an inflexible will. More than of any of his contemporaries, it may be said of him that he left the imprint of his personality upon the development of Reform Judaism in the United States.

Plum Street Temple:

RecycleBank - Learn and Earn

We're a big fan of the recent improvements in the City of Cincinnati's recycling program. Not only did we get bigger and better recycling facilities, the city is also teaming up with RecycleBank which helps motivate and reward people for recycling.

A big part of this is educating the public about recycling and the new program. We recently received a press release about a new effort from RecycleBank and Proctor & Gamble's Future Friendly program and wanted to pass it on to everyone.

With the Learn and Earn educational initiative – the first of its kind for RecycleBank and P&G – RecycleBank is working to build a movement that motivates and educates individuals to take actions that have a positive environmental impact. Learn and Earn offers simple tips for engaging in greener actions like saving energy and water or reducing waste along with a short quiz, and a reward of 25 RecycleBank Points. Knowing how to take the right “green” steps can have a massive impact on our planet.

So, how does it work? 

  • Watch a short video about keeping the environment in mind every day 
  • Take a 4-question quiz 
  • Get rewarded with 25 RecycleBank Points 
  • Share the Learn and Earn opportunity via social media to earn even more RecycleBank Points 
  • These points can then be redeemed at for rewards from local and national retailers, restaurants, grocers, and more
For more details and to participate visit

For more information about the new City of Cincinnati recycling program visit - the program is still being rolled out, but the site is full of great information.

Miami University Art Museum

Miami University (go Redhawks!) is only a quick trip up 74, and its art museum provided me with years of inspiration when I attended.

It's a free museum with a fantastic private collection, which was on display when I recently visited.

Charley Harper!

When I visited, it was to see my incredible friend Dave. He spent a handful of months in Berlin with an art residency and was describing his stay for the museum patrons. If you stop in, say hi to Dave-- he'll be around for a few more months, until he scuttles off to Germany again.

Miami University Art Museum:

Historic Construction Equipment Association

This one's a bit out of Cincinnati but Dan and I thought it was worth including anyway. Out in Bowling Green, Ohio, you can find an incredible collection of construction equipment and an association dedicated to its preservation.

To be honest, the tour guide was spoke at a fairly technical level, so I didn't always understand the nuance of the machines. The museum typically caters to people in the business, when they have trade shows and the like. The fact that there were outsiders there at all seemed to really surprise them-- they asked me a handful of times how I'd discovered the museum at all.

(By the way, it was through the Roadside America iPhone app.)

Since I can't tell you much about the machines, check out these awesome old brand typefaces. These alone were worth the trip (and the $5 admission).

16623 Liberty Hi Road
Bowling Green, OH 43402

Historic Construction Equipment Association:

Covington Cathedral

I'm not Catholic, but (greater) Cincinnati sure is. Take a gander at "St. Mary's Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption," or simply "Covington Cathedral."

I can imagine spending every Sunday morning in a gorgeous church like this one. You could spend a lifetime where without taking in all the detail in this enormous cathedral.

The church was open for visitors on the Saturday afternoon when we were there. I recommend taking a visit if you're in the area, perhaps to visit Carnegie?

Covington Cathedral:
Our full photoset:

Flying Pig #13: Junior League of Cincinnati

Our friend Alex sent us a Flying Pig! This is one that Dan and I had actually seen a couple of times, but were never able to snag a picture from the street. How awesome to have this show up in our inbox!

Meet "I'll Cook When Pigs Fly," located at the Junior League of Cincinnati at Delta and Columbia Parkway.

Our other piggies:

Possible Cincinnati Streetcar on public display

Starting today at 1PM the City of Cincinnati will have one of the possible models of streetcar on display at Fountain Square. This gives the public a chance to look at and to get a feel for what we'll be riding starting in 2013. Erica was able to get a photo of the streetcar on its transport before they set it up on the square.

Here's the official press release from Mayor Mark Mallory -

Dear Friend:

I wanted to let you in on some exciting news: a Streetcar visiting Cincinnati. It is going to be set up on Fountain Square on 5th Street and you will be able to climb aboard and check it out. It arrives tomorrow and will be here through Wednesday, November 10. It will be open for people to tour from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm tomorrow and from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm daily after that.

This is a great opportunity for you and your friends to climb aboard and see a modern Streetcar up close. This isn’t necessarily the Streetcar that we will have in Cincinnati because we haven’t selected our model yet, but it will give you a great idea of what you can expect when our Streetcar system is up and running in 2013.

I invite you to join me tomorrow at 1:00 pm for the opening so that you can be among the first to tour the Streetcar.

The Streetcar is an exciting project for Cincinnati. I hope that you get a chance to come to Fountain Square and check it out while it is here, and bring your friends and family when you do.


Mark Mallory

UPDATE! Erica grabbed a few more pictures:

Guestblog: We're Beating Ourselves

Guestblog by our now-and-again sports writer, my brother Bradley!

We're Beating Ourselves

And no, for once I'm not talking about Carson Palmer.

It seems like Bengals fans are wandering around, looking for who to blame-- looking for that one special person to shoulder the criticisms and be the brunt of frustrations for angry fans. A 2-4 start is not how any of us wanted this season to go. Trust me, it stings me as much as anyone when I see our team power ranked next to the Jaguars and 49ers. Weren't we the dominate kings of the AFC North just one year ago?

But what seems to burn most people's asses around the city is that when you look at Cincinnati's roster: we've got just as much talent as the rest of 'em. Big names, big draft picks, and big performers stand-out big, as underrated and undervalued players pepper the remaining slots. So for the first time in a long while, the Bengals fans have no heads to place on the chopping blocks.

For the first time in maybe ten years, we can't hid behind personnel problems.

A whole football team is really put in perspective when you've got glaring problems like the Bengals once had. Those penalties we give up don't seem so bad when Palmer has no weapons. And rushing averages don't seem so bad when your line is unhealthy. And when you can't long-snap to save your life? The little problems that've accumulated seem to take a back burner.

So for anyone who's watched an NFL draft, we're finally starting to see the emergence of player intangibles. The leadership qualities and work ethic of players. The kind of qualities that evolve only with time, experience, and working hard. My guess is that for most NFL fans, this is a hard concept to grasp. The thought of making adjustments and practicing fundamentals is grossly overshadowed by huge player salaries and constant highlight reels.

We can play football if our head is on straight and we do what we're supposed to do. We don't lack talent, we just lack focus and efficiency.
- Chris Crocker

So my biggest plea for Bengals fans: give this team the environment to grow. The players have already proven they have the physical ability it takes to impress the coaches, and the drive to make a starting spot. Let's stop hoping for changes overnight, let's stop hoping for our favorite players to touch the ball every game, and for the Bengals to play like your Madden team. Let's start setting realistic expectations.

So I'll finish out this post with something to look forward to. As former first-round draft pick Andre Smith finally gets some solid playing time, he's developing as an excellent run-blocker for Cedric Benson. When all was said and done, Benson finished (in our game with Atlanta) with a 6.1 yard rushing average behind Smith and Bobbie Williams on the right side. Now that's something to smile about.


A little over two hours until polls close!

J-Ride Pedicabs: Giveaway Winners!

Without further ado, here are the winners of the J-Ride giveaway! Each of the following commenters will take home a $5 J-Ride voucher:
  1. smalltownbigcincy
  2. Scott
  3. ekalb
Winners: email us at with either a mailing address or somewhere downtown where we can meet you to give you your voucher.

Thank you to everyone who commented! If you missed J-Ride's answers, check them out here!

J-Ride Pedicabs: Answers to your questions!

Good morning! J-Ride has taken the time to answer all of your pedicab-related questions. I will announce the contest winners tomorrow morning; for now, read up on the possibilities that pedicabs bring to Cincinnati!

Can a pedicab be called, like car service, or does it have to be hailed, like a taxi?

A pedicab can be called to book a tour/ride anytime (513-702-7656). They can also be hailed down like a taxi. We stand on busier nights at hotels, taxi cab stands and by the Purple People Bridge (especially during game days!)

We want people to understand and take advantage of the service being offered. We cater to people trying to get a block away or ten blocks away....we can take you from downtown to Newport/Bellevue and soon Covington (once the bridge opens up!).

Short rides (1-3 blocks) are usually free depending on the event-- just take care of your driver, they work hard!

Will J-Ride pick you up at your house? And if so, how big an area do they cover?

We do pick you up at your house/restaurant/bar/show, pretty much anywhere you can think of as long as you are in the downtown, Newport or Bellevue area!

We are also able to be booked out for events/parties/conventions within those areas and also outside of the cities....we transport the cabs to suburbs frequently for holiday events!

Does J-Ride have a stand area like the taxis on 5th?

You can always catch a taxi when they are available by either calling the dispatcher @ 513-702-7656 or by hailing one down on the street, on 7th, by Via Vite and other locations depending on the events in town... give us a call or shoot us an e-mail if you ever need a ride.

Can the taxi pick up in KY?

J-Ride can pick you up anywhere in Newport, Bellevue or downtown Cincinnati.

Is sitting on laps allowed in order to fit more people, for example, me, my wife, and our two daughters?

Sitting on laps is allowed if it is comfortable for you. Each cab sits 2-3 people, 850 pounds. You are legally allowed to lap up and we also have seatbelts.

How much do the fares cost? Does it depend on distance? Is tipping encouraged?

Fares vary. If it is a short distance (2 or 3 blocks) it is free. Just tip your driver! They make their money off of tips so tipping is very much encouraged.

We also have 6 different tours. Check the website out for the options.
1/2 hour is 25 dollars; 45 min is 40 dollars; 1 hr is 55 dollars. Tip is not included in those prices. You can tip accordingly to your experience and what you think that driver's work was worth and how entertaining they were!

A trip from downtown to Newport, KY over the Purple People Bridge can be 15-20 dollars.

Fares also vary on how many cabs are used and how many people. Always ask your driver how much prior.

How late do you run on week nights/weekends?

Starting in November, we will be running Monday-Friday 10:30 AM-3:30 PM and Friday/Saturday nights until 3 AM. We are out on every sporting event/any big event such as Oktoberfest or Holiday Events. Tours and rides can be arranged a few hours beforehand on hours that we are not running, such as Sundays. If you need a ride, we will accomodate you. We are here to make transportation a more convenient/fun and to stay connected to surrounding cities and OTR.

What sort of requirements are there to be a driver, and are you hiring?

We are always hiring. Requirements are 21+/physically good shape/no previous record and reliable. There are a few steps to the hiring process and we provide training. If interested, please contact

How many cabs do you normally have out on a given day/night? And what are the "restrictions" to downtown? Like do you go as far as Findlay Market, or where do you draw the line?

There is always at least one cab running during the weeknights and weekdays, and at least three on the weekends. We will go in the vicinity of Findlay Market, but not too much further north of Findlay. Just check with your driver beforehand if you are unsure!

Thanks everyone for the questions! For further inquiries contact or 513-702-7656. You can follow us on Twitter @jridecabs or Facebook us:!/Jrides

We are available for holiday events/conventions/dates/tours/weddings. we decorate the cabs accordingly and to your specifications. Please contact us for a quote.

If you see a J-Ride don't be afraid to jump on one and take a ride, we are here to serve you!
Why walk when you can J-Ride?