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The Best of the Best

Staff Picks

By Staff · November 4th, 2009 · News

Best Proof of God: Creation Museum

There’s no such thing as the Big Bang. Swedish scientists are proving that with their always-broken particle collider. In reality, God created the world in six days, rested on the seventh and made dinosaurs and humans live on the planet at the same time. The Creation Museum will show you all about human history from the time when God created the cosmos to when Noah built the Arc to modern times, where a walk-through exhibit demonstrates how gays are to blame for all the evil in the world, including graffiti and heroin. There’s also a “scientific” portion of the museum that proves that all the animals that didn’t make it onto the Arc before the flood became fossils (carbon dating isn’t real) and a planetarium that takes you step-by-step through the creation of the universe. It’s expensive to get in but the animatronics in the Garden of Eden and the outfits home-schooled kids wear on field trips really make it worth the price. — Maija Zummo

Best Horse Track: River Downs

This bastion of animal-friendly excitement has been open for 85 years, long before I-275 made it so convenient to cruise on out for Saturday afternoon action or simulcasting fun. Choose your horse by name, color or wildness (you can watch the assistant dudes get them ready in the stable and figure out which one fights the most) and then cheer your jockey on as he beats your philly with a whip. With Keno in full-effect and the regulars nearly as old as the racetrack itself, there’s no way any downtown casino could take business away from this East Side gem. — Danny Cross

Best Airport: CVG

The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport — aka CVG — started as a single terminal in 1947 and now offers non-stop flights to 120 cities, including such fancy foreign places as Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris and Rome. The current economic downturn has finally forced CVG’s carriers to alter their wallet-crippling ticket prices (we once had to eat Ramen noodles for a month after a trip to London) but the place is still relatively easy to navigate (ever been to LAX?) despite Delta’s effort to build its own sprawling mini-city within the airport. Oh, and in what was surly a fierce competition, Airports Council International has named CVG’s Web site one of the top 10 in the world. — Jason Gargano

Best Best Buy: Colerain Avenue

There are plenty of reasons to hop off the highway at Exit 33 — you can see the Olive Garden, Meijer, Wal-Mart and Quaker Steak & Lube from the road. But look a little harder (over on the other side of the pavement) and you’ll see the real attraction of Colerain Avenue: a brand spanking new Best Buy store. Sure, it looks exactly like any other Best Buy and the sales associates will try to sell you the same extended warranty you could get at the Eastgate store (or by lighting a hundred dollar bill on fire), but there’s something reassuring about a brand new parking lot that makes purchasing electronics on credit seem more reasonable. (DC)

Best Garbage Dump Mountain: Mount Rumpke

Those of us who grew up near Mount Rumpke remember this topographical anomaly before the glory days — back when it was a mid-sized repository buzzing with garbage trucks and methane gas. At 1,045 feet above sea level today, it is the highest point in Hamilton County and also one of the largest landfills in the U.S. Save for a massive 1996 landslide that exposed 15 acres of buried waste (that smelled pretty bad but Rumpke made up for it by paying a $1 million fine), things have been pretty great for those of us whose families have since moved out of Colerain Township.

This treasure will be even more appreciated if it becomes a ski resort when it reaches capacity in 2022. (DC)

Best Giant Concert Venue: Riverbend

Riverbend music center is big. (How big is it?) It’s so big it has another concert venue inside of it: the PNC Pavilion, like a baby in a music belly. Along with this building, Riverbend also contains a covered area where it’s expensive to sit, a lawn area for cheap people and fake hippies (who act like every concert where it rains is Woodstock and they get all muddy and walk around barefoot like assholes) and also an area where you can park your boat. On top of size, it’s reassuring that you can see Jimmy Buffett and Dave Matthews every summer until you die. (MZ)

Best Way To Get To Casinos: I-275 West

Who really wants to drive on Route 50 with a bunch of pickup trucks and poor people? The western side of I-275 is one of the most undeveloped and scenic parts of the loop. Cruise past the airport with the windows down, the Creationism Museum with Slayer on the radio and into Lawrenceburg with your luckiest number in mind. Just don’t look anyone in the eyes who’s driving a Mustang. (DC)

Best Hooters: Springfield Pike

The Hooters in Springdale might not be better than the other two in the Cincinnati area, but it’s the one with the easiest access from I-275. And you know what that means: It’s the best pit stop for travelers who have an itch for the Hooters Cobb Salad, which the menu reminds us, “Sorry, there’s no cobb on this salad.” Ha. Our spies — aka some dudes at The Lodge Bar — tell us that Playboy is on the verge of another Girls of Hooters search. Anyone else find it strange that the person who serves your chicken strips with tasty barbeque sauce might one day pop up on your computer sans her orange shorts and functionally obtuse T-shirt? (JG)

Best Dance Club: Metropolis

What better place to get your ass kicked by a teenager than at a dance club that’s inside a mall? We’re not sure what it’s even called these days, but it was Metropolis back when we frequented the Forest Park area and were banned from Forest Fair Mall 4 Life. This black-lit, thumpin, two-floor dance hall is where the hardest residents of Fairfield, Forest Park and Springdale come to shake their junk/butts. You won’t find Nick Lachey stopping by any time soon, but you can get in a fight in the parking lot any night of the week. (DC)

Best Shooting Range: Target World

Target World has a lot of guns and classes on guns and gun-related accessories. They have concealed carry classes (hell yeah, Second Amendment) and gun-training sessions covering everything from handguns all the way up to machine guns. So if you’re over 18 and you want to shoot a gun, come here, sign a waiver with some rules on it, and pick up a firearm. Despite the fact that the crossbow range is in the middle of the store, and two women may or may not have committed suicide in their firing range in the past six months, things seem relatively safe (they make you wear ear and eye protection). Don’t tread on me. (MZ)

Best Baby-Making Neighborhood: Colerain Township

We haven’t conducted any scientific polls or official experiments, but we’re pretty sure Colerain has the highest per-capita baby-making ability of any neighborhood within eyeshot of I-275. Reasons for this conclusion abound, none more than the fact that we never fail to see at least 102 minivans every time we venture onto Colerain Avenue, a wire-and-concrete-laden stretch of road that is sure to find any fertile male or female yearning for the elemental pleasures of the flesh. (JG)

Best Way To Go Green: Express Lane

We all know that sitting in traffic is really bad for the earth, that’s why it’s important for anyone driving east on I-275 to decide before the Route 4 exit whether or not they need to go to Hooters, Tri-County Mall or Micro Center. If not, hop on the express lane, skip the whole 747/Tri-County mess and keep on truckin’ toward Mason. The lane is a little narrow, but it’s bordered on both sides by cement barriers so if anything bad happens your car will continue its forward momentum whether you’re skidding, flipping or just rolling slowly, and the other commuters will be safe. (DC)

Best European Design: Colerain Avenue Roundabout

The roundabout at the Colerain Avenue business complex (also described as “that slab of parking lots and architecturally banal buildings housing stuff made in other states”) takes us back to the time we got stuck on one of those similarly confusing things in Paris for about 20 minutes (everyone was moving counterclockwise). The roundabout is supposed be safer for drivers and pedestrians, a premise challenged by the guy who drove straight into the circle thing in the middle (the one in Colerain, not Paris), lodging his muffler on a piece of concrete. Anyway, for fans of the concept, there’s another one on Northern Kentucky University’s campus, which is pretty close to I-275. (JG)

Best Italian Food: Olive Garden

When you’re here, you’re family. You’re also party to a plentiful harvest the likes of which are rarely seen in American chain restaurants (except during Red Lobster’s Shrimp Fest). Once you’ve entered the doors of an Olive Garden, may your soup, your salad, your breadsticks and sometimes your pasta bowl never end. In this wonderful world, the eggplant parmesan is mostly breading, the lettuce is iceburg and your server will actually ask if you want more shredded cheese on your Five Cheese Ziti. You shall leave happy, never hungry, after stuffing your emotional void with carbohydrates. (MZ)

Best Aquarium: Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and Sportsman’s Warehouse

Bass Pro Shops is awesome and it has everything you would ever need, from hunting weapons and ATVs to kayaks and pepper spray. You could live in this store. There’s a cool bathroom and all sorts of food, including homemade fudge. There are also fishing rods and a giant aquarium set up in the middle of the store, so if you got stuck in there like that one Saved by the Bell episode, you could catch, cook and season some fresh fish for dinner. Flanked by fake rocks, taxidermied animals and mannequins in hunting gear, this aquarium is very tall and there’s a waterfall going into it. And it’s full of ugly fish. I saw a fish with a long nose and one that I thought was a catfish. It looks cool and pseudo-natural surrounded by all the dead animals and living plants. Most stores don’t have aquariums. (MZ)



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