The light bulb that is Cincinnati’s
cycling culture is shining brighter than ever as more people switch out
steering wheels for handlebars for their morning and evening treks to
and from work. The reasons are multitude: to keep in shape, save a hunk
on gas, use green transportation or just to slip some fresh air into the
long days at the office.
of years ago I was heading up William Howard Taft Road to Gilbert
Avenue and was nearing the intersection in the left turn lane when a
contractor’s van started tailgating me. The driver whaled on his horn
for me to move. Now, seriously, this guy had a gas pedal and could go
much faster than me.
“I’m known to many as Aloysius Fox, and I am
actually British,” says the enigmatic founder of The League of
Cincinnati Steampunks. Though role-playing is a significant part of the
literary genre-turned-cultural movement, Aloysius assures that his
charming European swagger is, in fact, authentic (he notes that he moved
to the States from Britain in the mid-1990s).
During the last few years, as I’ve
been getting out and networking with women at shows, I’ve discovered why
Cincinnati’s Hip Hop community as a whole continues to be isolated.
It’s a complicated mix of sub-communities that only intersects because
of certain key people, and, not surprisingly, the connectors are women.
I wander through all three dog kennels at
the Sharonville SPCA. Perry, Zyr, Rocky, Lance, Goldie, Sage, Sugar,
Boomer, Buddy, Macho. Pit bull, pit bull mix, pit bull, pit bull, pit
bull, pit bull mix. The list goes on. The shelter, only miles from the Hamilton
County border, is ridden with pits because it’s just outside the
Cincinnati city limits, where it’s still illegal to own a dog designated
as a pit bull or pit bull mix.
Among the masses at this year’s South By Southwest, the yearly Austin festival,
(the music portion of which ran March 13-18) were several of
Cincinnati’s hometown favorites, marking the largest turnout yet for
Cincinnati-based bands at SXSW.
If you listen to many native
Cincinnatians, they will tell you their hometown is different from other
cities. Special. Unique even. What works everywhere else doesn’t always
work in the Queen City, and vice-versa. Whether the provincial attitude is due to
a sense of pride or a neurotic inferiority complex, its accuracy
ultimately is a matter of personal opinion.
In a Cincinnati neighborhood plagued by
high rates of blight, poverty and crime, the new $18.4 million Robert A.
Taft Information Technology High School in the West End couldn’t offer a
more contrasting narrative. While city police book killers and other
suspected felons right next door, Taft students are enriching their
minds in nine computer labs and exploring the world through wall-to-wall
Fat Tuesday, the day before Christians settle down to 40
lean days of Lent, is part of almost every culture, whether it’s called
Carnevale, Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day. But before you pick up that
Hurricane glass and get your beads on, you’d best pick up a fork and get
something substantial in your tummy.
Missed connections — anonymous personal ads posted on websites like Craigslist — are something of a generational phenomenon. Sure, people have always shared brief
moments with one another, later wishing they had said hello, given a
compliment, asked for a phone number.
In mid- to late-October of 1973, just days
before tens of thousands of costumed kids were to hit the streets of
Cincinnati and surrounding communities for Halloween night, southwest
Ohio was under invasion — an invasion that seemingly came from the
heavens, and police and government officials across the region were on
In the beginning, there was Tanya Morgan. And Tanya Morgan was good. Comprised of gifted Cincinnati rappers
Ilyas Nashid and Donald “Donwill” Freeman, along with equally talented
Brooklyn, N.Y., MC/producer Devon “Von Pea” Callender, Tanya Morgan was
hailed as one of Hip Hop’s brightest young groups.
Sixteen years ago,
proponents of the half-cent sales tax hike to fund construction of new
stadiums for the Reds and Bengals got a boost from an economic impact
study that foretold a prosperous future. Knowing now what lay ahead, with the
cash-strapped county mired in debt and cutting services to residents,
voters probably would balk at supporting the initiative
You either respect or revile a man who takes a shot at the Guinness Book of Records by holding 11 Madagascar hissing cockroaches in his mouth. I’ve opted for respect with a dash of bemusement.
Travis Fessler is one weird guy. He swallows swords, eats fire and allows 300-pound men to stomp on his chest while he lies on a bed of nails.
His Oct. 11 record-breaking stunt wasn’t easy: The roaches had to be at least 2 1/2 inches long, had to stay in his mouth for 10 seconds and had to be alive when they crawled out. Previously the most anyone’s been able to mouth were nine of the exotic bugs.
The Chambers continues to earn its reputation as a haven for hardcore, confrontational haunting. Costuming is minimal, the event uses lots of masks and rooms are decorated with the bare basics, but the ghouls and demons delight in pursuing hauntgoers and herding them into one trap after another.