Merry Christmas Cincinnati

It's been a busy few weeks for us and our posting should pick back up again once we recover from all the food, family and festivities. Wishing everyone a  Merry Christmas and if you're traveling be safe.


Are you enjoying the first real peek at winter in Cincinnati?

I can't believe that there aren't any results when you Google "Snowver-the-Rhine." C'mon guys, we're missing a prime opportunity here!

Cincinnati Dinner Train

When my agency was looking for a venue for this year's Christmas party, I blindly suggested the Cincinnati Dinner Train. Around 50 of us climbed aboard last week for what ended up being a top-notch celebration.

This train departs from Oakley (near Madison Bowl) and ends up near Sawyer Point with a nice view of the river. The entire ride takes 3 hours, at the end of which I could tell many of us wished there was a bit more time. (Always leave them wanting more.)

They don't prepare the food on the train, so you make your choices when you reserve your place on the train. We rented out a private dining car, but individuals are able to dine on the train as well.

The train was decked out for Christmas-- some of the decoration our agency took care of, but much was done by the Dinner Train. The place looked fantastic-- not overdone in a cheesy way, but understated and vintage.

I originally saved the link for the Cincinnati Dinner Train because I thought it might be a nice Christmas gift for Dan's parents. (Individual tickets are around $70 each, so it's a bit out of my budget for anything but a special occasion.) After riding the train I still think this would be a fantastic gift for anyone who'd enjoy a leisurely dinner in a beautiful train.

Yelp's Totally Bazaar at the American Sign Museum

The holiday season of 2010 has taken shop local to a new level for Cincinnati. There have been numerous event throughout downtown, OTR and the surrounding community nearly ever weekend since Thanksgiving. These events in OTR as well as Clifton hosting Crafty Supermarket all help embrace the shop local spirit and Saturday saw Yelp's Totally Bazaar event take over of the American Sign Museum to bring even more people out to meet all our favorite local shops and businesses.

The man behind all this was OTR's very own Alex Shebar, and he did a killer job of pulling this all together. There was a huge turn out and it was a lot of fun for everyone there, and hopefully beneficial for everyone involved.

The biggest exposure of the night was for the American Sign Museum, which was kind enough to host the event. They have a beautiful and extensive collection of American signs, sign making equipment, and just about everything else you could imagine that relates to signs and their impact on American culture.

The museum opened in the spring of 2005 and their collection of 3,800 cataloged objects quickly outgrew the current location in Walnut Hills. They are in the process of funding a move to a new building they have purchased in Camp Washington, which will eventually provide them with a total of 42,000 sq. ft. of floorspace to permanently house their collection. They own about half the space already and are in the process of funding the final phases of the build-out and relocation.

Something that struck me about the museum is that it's a bit off the beaten path. It seems unlikely you'd find it unless you're specifically looking for it. Their new location is very much the same in terms of location. Perhaps a nicer spot, more space, but it's still in a rather low visibility location.

Something Erica and I felt, and also something that I discussed with 5chw4r7z, is that this place would really thrive if it were located downtown, specifically in Over-The-Rhine. It's an incredible space, both due to the collection of interesting objects, but also because of the atmosphere all these signs create. Imagine a space like this being in OTR and being part of Final Friday or Second Sunday. I also think the museum would get a lot more exposure if it were in a higher traffic area. The OTR tours draw hundreds of people every weekend and a museum such as the American Sign Museum would benefit greatly from that, especially since the tour guys are so great a plugging all the merchants, restaurants and happenings OTR has to offer. There are tons of open spots in OTR, of varying size, and I'd think 3CDC would jump at the chance to bring such an attraction into our growing neighborhood.

I realize this may not ever happen, since the museum is already vested in their new location, but it's an idea I had to put out there.

If you've not checked out the museum it's definitely worth a trip. Visit their site for details and hours.

American Sign Museum Website:

the Yelp Totally Bazaar event page:

Christmas Trees at Findlay Market to Benefit STOP AIDS

Wanted to pass this info along, as this is a great place to pick up a fresh Christmas Tree and 100% of the proceeds go to STOP AIDS Cincinnati. This is where we got our tree from last year and it worked out great for us. While you're there, swing by Dojo and get some hot cocoa!

Here is the press release they sent to us this year:

WHAT: This holiday season, purchase your Christmas tree at Findlay Market to support a very worthy cause. One hundred percent of the proceeds from tree sales will benefit STOP AIDS Cincinnati – formerly AVOC, a nonprofit agency dedicated to educating the community about the continuing risk of HIV infection and providing competent, compassionate care service to those already impacted. For more information visit Contact David White with questions

WIDE SELECTION OF TREES: Scotch Pines, Douglas Firs and Fraser Firs - from 3 feet tall to 10+ feet tall. Prices from $15 and up. We'll even tie it to your car for you!

WHERE: Findlay Market – Near Elm Street entrance
Elm Street & Elder Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

WHEN: Every weekend until Christmas Saturdays (8a.m. to 6p.m.) and Sundays (10a.m. to 4p.m.)
Sat., Dec. 4 & Sun., Dec. 5
Sat., Dec. 11 & Sun., Dec. 12
Sat., Dec. 18 & Sun., Dec. 19

$58.7 million.

The Over-the-Rhine Facebook page posted this today:
From the city manager's proposed 2011/2012 budget: "The operating budget contains no line item money for the Cincinnati Streetcar, and even if it were not being built the deficit would still be $58.7 million."

$58.7 million is the projected operating budget deficit for the City of Cincinnati whether we build the streetcar or not. Anyone care to calculate out the cost of inaction? If you think 60 million is bad, imagine the cost of halting all development and investment in our community.