Save Clifton Comics! - Update 2

Steve over at Clifton Comics needs our help. The Uptown Consortium have targeted his building for demolition. The's are the same jokers who razed everything along Calhoun St years ago displacing numerous businesses and have done nothing with it. The who and the what is still unclear in this, we're all assuming its Uptown Consortium at some level, but so far all his legal stuff has avoided using their name in any way. We do know what the project is - here is the site for it. The details should get cleared up at the public hearing.

Steve has been served notice to vacate papers through various 3rd parties to help Uptown Consortium avoid paying him any sort of relocation fee's, so this entire thing is a pile of BS.

How can you help? Sign the petition and visit the store. There is a public hearing soon where Steve can present his signatures and make his case, as can other businesses and people being affected. Visit the stores Facebook Page for the latest updates from Steve and follow the links below for both printable and digital copies of the petition.

Whether you're into comics or not, the issue is here is the continued bullying of local businesses by the Uptown Consortium and the destruction of small and local businesses. The land is being taken to put in some huge student housing complex that will be owned and operated by a company that isn't even local to Cincinnati. 

I'll update this page as info changes

updated 5/3/2011 - changed link to new form-based petition - if you signed previous versions you're still good, he's printing it all for the hearing

1937 Flood in Cincinnati - Historical Home Movie Footage

With all of the recent rain and flooding @geekjames dug up this video of the 1937 flood. Interesting to watch and if you look closely you might even see a few familiar landmarks.

Holy Grail Tavern (on the Banks)

The Holy Grail Tavern was the first business to open inside the Banks project on... er, the banks.

(You'd think I'd go back and fix awkward sentences like that, but here we are.)

Holy Grail isn't the first of its kind-- it's the third location of the Grail, which I suppose has to keep moving, right?

I visited for lunch, always eager for a new place to eat downtown. (One can even tire of Paula's and Ingredients if one eats there frequently enough.)

We chose a gorgeous, breezy day, so the Holy Grail had its large garage door walls open (think Parker Flats), and though it still smells of sawdust and sounds like construction, it really made the restaurant a great place to be. The tavern is humongous, decked out with TVs (it's a sports bar) on mute (at least for lunch), long bars that could seat 20 people, reservable tables with private taps, and even bar seats right against the open windows. Large and fantastic.

The place was hummin' when we visited, but we had no problem getting a seat. Service was a little slow, but nothing unforgivable. The food was really great for bar food-- I had a turkey burger with swiss and it was juicy and delicious. (Food was a bit pricey-- check the posted menu.) The staff eventually rolled down the garage door because of some intense wind, but the room still felt airy and sunlit.

Holy Grail Tavern website:
Holy Grail on Yelp:

Gift certificate winner

Stephanie, congratulations! Drop us a line at blog [at] cincinnatireadventure [dot] com so we can send you the $50 gift certificate for!

We'd love to know which show you chose!

Goldstar (not chili) and $50 theater ticket giveaway

Like any blog, we are occasionally approached by companies promoting their products. Like many bloggers, we don't promote anything we haven't tried or wouldn't use. But occasionally a service comes along that really aligns with our goal of re-adventuring Cincinnati, and such was the case with (Not... chili.)

Goldstar is a StubHub-type site for theater tickets-- cut-rate prices for seats that venues like Music Hall or the Aronoff Center would rather see full (for less cash) than empty (for zilch). Goldstar gave me a $50 gift certificate to try it out, and I managed to finagle another $50 certificate to give away here. (Maybe you could use it to see Ovo, nudge nudge?)

I used my certificate to purchase tickets for the May Festival's Revealing show. There were quite a few other shows that looked good (Drowsy Chaperone, Shrek the Musical...), but we're long overdue for a trip to Music Hall, and I've never attended any May Festival events. (For shame!)

You have to go in understanding that you're not buying front-row seats. Ours ended up in Orchestra C-- I prefer to be closer for a visual performance, but for an orchestra performance this is perfectly acceptable to me. Just be sure to check the seating availability when you're considering various shows.

The other watch-out: service fees. I paid $6 per ticket, which-- for $27 tickets-- is noticeable. Still, $66 (or $16!) is a good price for May Festival tickets (previously $54 each).

I enjoyed the rest of my experience. The interface is packed with ways to stay up-to-date with deals, including alerts when more tickets become available for a specific show and for when reviews are posted. I see this as a good resource for three things: 1) exploring new venues, 2) keeping updated on what's new, and 3) scoring some deals on higher-priced concerts and performances you normally couldn't afford to go to.

I also think it's great that Goldstar is even catering to Cincinnati. I feel as though many services put our city on the bottom of the list, but maybe Goldstar recognized what a great arts and theater culture we have in the Queen City.

So who would like to explore for themselves? I have one beefy $50 gift certificate to give away. To enter, leave a comment here and tell me which show you'd like to see from Goldstar's list. Our winner will be chosen at random on Monday!

Cirque du Soleil: Ovo

Phew! Dan and I had a great time last night at Cirque du Soleil's show Ovo (disclosure: we were given free preview night tickets but reviews were not required). If you read many Cincinnati blogs I'm sure you're seeing a flurry of Cirque-related activity-- seems like everyone was at preview night!

I hope all that blogger/Yelper outreach pays off for them, because Ovo is a great show. I've seen several Cirque shows, but Dan had never seen one, so it was interesting to get dual perspectives.

For me, all the undeniably Cirque elements were present: a fun theme that permeates the entire show (insects!); unbelievable feats of strength, agility and creativity; ethereal live music; jaw-dropping costumes. Dan, on the other hand, didn't really know what to expect, and felt it was more of a circus than he'd come to expect-- he was worried it would be too "weird and artsy," but says it felt very accessible. I think that's a misconception that a lot of people have regarding Cirque-- that it's esoteric, bizarre, not fun. Certainly not the case with Ovo.

I can't tell you my favorite parts because I don't want to spoil the show. There's a magic in never knowing what will come next, and there are definitely some big surprises in Ovo. (I'll say this: the scenery itself is its own character. Holy moly.)

(Sorry for the lack of show-related pictures. Flash photography blinds the trapeze artists, know what I'm sayin'?)

Cirque opens for realsies tomorrow night, and runs through May 8th.
Cirque's Ovo website:

Hot hot hot-- Cirque ticket giveaways!

I have a quick quick quick contest to give away 8 tickets to Cirque's preview night... which is tomorrow at 7:30pm!

Because of the quick turnaround, if you're interested in the tickets, please email me at blog [at] cincinnatireadventure [dot] com. I will need the first and last name of the two people you'd be bringing (you and your +1) so I can add you to the will-call list. If I receive more entries than I have tickets for, I'll choose randomly.

Go go go! I need all names by midnight tonight! Please only enter if you're able to attend tomorrow's show at 7:30pm at Coney Island.
Over-the-Rhine Panoramic

Was messing around yesterday on our roof and took this panoramic.

Click through to view the full size image on Flickr!

Dan scores a shout-out in UrbanCincy's CycleCincy write-up!

“It [CycleCincy] all started as a bunch of cyclists and photographers wanting to geek it out, but I think the project also highlights the desire to have a more cycling aware culture in Cincinnati,” says Dan Reid, local cyclist and OTR resident. “I think we’ve all had our share of run-ins with ignorant people in cars and it’s a real shame that people can’t co-exist.”

UrbanCincy: CycleCincy website unites regional bike riders

Roadtrip - Denver, Colorado

Erica and I recently visited Denver, Colorado and I wanted to share a few things about the visit. I found a lot of similarities between our two cities, however Denver has really embraced some things we're still fighting for.

While not a huge system at the moment, Denver is in the process of building out it's light rail system. Currently it loops downtown and hits a few of the southern suburbs, however construction is underway on majro extensions and there are plans for it to reach all the way to nearby towns such as Boulder.

While the light rail was an exciting feature to find, I was most struck by how bicycle and pedestrian friendly the city felt. The sidewalks were much wider than ours, and they have diagonal cross-walks, which really speed up commuting by foot.

Denver still has a lot of roads and cars, however they aren't afraid to design for people too. Most of 16th Street in downtown Denver is a pedestrian mall. It's closed to cars and bicycles, and is full of restaurants, theaters, stores, trees and places to just hang out. I WISH Cincinnati had the vision to do something like this somewhere. I think OTR is prime for such an experiment.

It felt like their downtown was still trying to attract new residents, much as Cincinnati is, but it's these small details that really draw you in and we could learn a thing or two from them.

For visitors the city is easily navigated and they even have a bicycle rental system that is all over town so that you can take care of their killer network of bike and walking trails. These run all through downtown and for miles further into some of the farthest suburbs, meaning commuting by bike is a real option here, even if you're not an urban dweller.

more photos from our visit

Opening Day Parade 2011

Just finally getting around to looking at the photos I took - here are some of the better ones

Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.

CityKin: Riot Recollection

CityKin: Riot Recollection

I wanted to share this post from CityKin - if you don't read his blog I highly suggest it, as he's been in OTR for quite some time and I appreciate the thought and perspective he puts into his posts.