Marking the beginning of the holiday shopping season, Black Friday is easily the most disgusting bastardization of what a holiday is.
Let’s start with a brief history of where Black Friday began. This day has been a grotesque part of the holiday season here in America for years. Notably, in 1939 President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving to an earlier date, stretching out the holiday shopping season. This change was brought on by retailers during the Depression Era, allowing people more time to go gift shopping or, more importantly, spend their money in the retailers’ stores.
Later in the 1950s and '60s, the day began to be viewed as a kind of worker-less void for shop owners as their employees started to not show up to work in order to go shopping.
Now, the day is a barbaric ritual for many people across America as they wait until store-doors open so they can grab a hodgepodge of items away from their competition and fight anyone who gets in their way.
Black Friday is like the Hunger Games but without all the talk about a rebellion against an oppressive regime. It’s just people fighting each other, and sometimes dying, for seemingly no good reason other than saving a buck or two.
Like back in 2011 when Walter Vance was trampled to death by other shoppers while trying to shop at his local Target in West Virginia. No one noticed they were literally running over a person to get their goodies.
Deaths do happen on this “holiday,” which is unsettling on its own, but the injuries far outnumber the deaths.
According to blackfridaydeathcount.com, there have been seven deaths attributed to Black Friday and a total of 89 injuries. This data only dates back to 2006, though, which means there are surely more from earlier years.
Just a quick look at this same website shows people are not afraid to pepper-spray, stab or even shoot each other, again, all in the name of savings.
What is even more unsettling is how ravenous customers are. The following compilation of Black Friday videos over the years shows just how crazy people can act on this unholy of days as people break down doors to enter stores, tear apart in-store kiosks and basically act like filthy animals.
Watching videos of Black Friday is simply depressing, and when you remember these are people and not zombies from The Walking Dead, it’s hard to think of this day as a holiday.
By definition, a holiday is when little to no work is done and people celebrate something, but more than that, holidays are meant to bring people together.
One clear example of what a holiday should be is the Christmas Truce of 1914 during the first World War. Both sides of the fighting had a ceasefire on Christmas Day along many points of the Western Front, and some points saw friendly and enemy soldiers alike exchanging gifts, food and good tidings.
That’s a holiday. Everyone put aside their differences for a short period and came together as humans.
If soldiers fighting a war can do this, why can’t shoppers perform these same acts of kindness and decency towards each other?
and running through Sunday, the 26th annual World’s Longest Yard Sale spans 690
miles from Addison, Mich., to Gadsden, Ala. Aptly nicknamed the 127 Sale,
vendors set up along the Highway 127 corridor to entice buyers with all the
classic yard sale merchandise: picture frames, knick-knacks, clothing,
accessories, furniture, as well as other handmade goods akin to those at events
like The City Flea. It is a celebration of summer cleaning, sharing, bargain
hunting and sight-seeing, with notable stops like Big South Fork National River
and Pickett State Park.
People come from all over the country and the world to brave the congested traffic conditions and summer swelter with the hopes of finding a hidden local treasure they can take home. Some even travel the entire 690 miles, while others stay within certain pockets of vendors. This year, the World’s Longest Yard Sale runs directly through MainStrasse Village in Covington, a location that includes more than 100 vendors and a Yard Sale Grill where shoppers can fuel up as they continue north, south or home for the evening. It is an event for tourists and locals alike, an opportunity to discover and rediscover the cultural richness of Greater Cincinnati.
The World’s Longest Yard Sale not only rewards shoppers with inexpensive and unique items but also serves to stimulate local economies along the 127 corridor. Hotels fill up, restaurants prosper, and vendors renting space contribute to the local money supply. The sheer volume of shoppers usually results in fully booked hotels by mid-July, but a crowded landscape is considered a small price to pay for even smaller-priced goods and priceless views along the way. Southern hospitality has even led to travelers being taken into private homes if nothing else is available. Some people hope for cancellations, some travel upwards of 50 miles for a place to stay, and some sleep in their cars. But for shoppers, such lack of luxury is a small inconvenience in pursuit of the perfect set of 50-cent pearls.
For more information, visit www.127sale.com.
Findlay After Four is a new way to promote shopping at Findlay Market on Thursdays between 4-6 p.m. The goal is to make sure
Findlay Market frequenters and newcomers alike are aware of the market’s
The hope is to drive more shoppers to the market and
begin to chip away at the confusion around market hours. Even though
Findlay is packed with shoppers and vendors during the weekends, but
things tend to quiet down during the week — especially later in the day,
but Findlay After Four is looking to change that while encouraging
vendors and merchants to stay open until the market’s later hours.
Every Thursday, Findlay Market has a variety of activities planned to encourage people to take the time to visit the market and shop. Beginning at 4 p.m. later today, there will be a cooking demonstration by a guest chef, and recipe cards will be handed out so shoppers can take them and find ingredients for the dish throughout Findlay. Christian Moerlein and MadTree beers will be available at the OTR Biergarten, and there will be a raffle and giveaways. There will be new activities each Thursday through August.
Findlay Market reminds me in so many ways of the time I spent studying abroad in Paris, France, where there really aren’t any supermarkets or grocery stores. In Paris, if you want groceries, flowers, or even a new pet, you go to the market. There are markets all over the city and they’re just beautiful — always bustling with friends, family, and the smell of freshly baked bread. After my time in France, I had a newfound appreciation for the marketplace. Going there has always been a mixture of a family tradition and a field trip: my mom shopped there with her parents and brother every week growing up, but after spending my childhood in the suburbs, it was always hard for her to find the time to take me down there for family grocery shopping trips as often as she’d liked — which makes me even more excited for the idea of Findlay After Four.
I’m especially looking forward to a new excuse to make the trek from West Chester to Findlay Market. I feel so lucky to have such a link to my mom’s past and her family traditions, as well as a way to connect with my hometown in such a diverse environment. Not only is Findlay Ohio’s oldest continuously operated public market; it’s also a year-round home to dozens of food merchants selling meat, fish, fresh produce, flowers, cheese and — my favorite part — it boasts the largest tea selection in the Midwest at Churchill’s. It’s also a gathering place for street performers, farmers markets, shoppers and people watchers.
For more information on hours, vendors and special events, visit www.findlaymarket.org.
Founder and Cincinnati resident Ashley Volbrecht hopes to offer consumers a different shopping perspective. “Creating a pop-up shop in my mind just represented a new way to get people to think about shopping,” Volbrecht said in a press release. “We’re here today, gone tomorrow. I want shoppers to forget they are inside of a truck when they enter.”
The truck itself is a former bread delivery truck that has been reconstructed to reflect the trendy vibe of the shop’s clothing. Former tin walls are now pink and white shelves boasting a variety of dresses and tops. A dingy floor has been converted into a pristine black and white striped pathway leading shoppers through racks of clothing and accessories. The former white exterior now stands out with bright colors and an elegant store name that lets consumers know this isn’t your run-of-the-mill mobile vendor.
Most shoppers know that entering a boutique usually entails a bit of sticker shock, but Truckshop is changing that assumption for its customers. Truckshop sells dresses, tops, jewelry and accessories, all for $65 or less. “Price point is one of the most important parts,” Volbrecht explained. “I love finding pieces I’m obsessed with and I love finding a bargain. I tried to use this same approach when choosing pieces for the boutique.”
Truckshop, opened this past Saturday, is leading the way for mobile boutiques in the Midwest. Truckshop will be at various festivals this summer including City Flea and Second Sundays on Main. And now everyone can feel like a celebrity with a store that comes to you: Truckshop is available for private parties of six or more people. Customers can also shop online through Facebook and Instagram pages.
The launch party is tonight from 6-9 p.m. at the Columbia Center, 3500 Columbia Pkwy. For more information about Truckshop, visit www.facebook.com/shopthetruck or follow Truckshop on Twitter @shopthetruck.
Last night around 9:30 I was just minding my own business, watching some harmless comedy shows on demand when a commercial came on that piqued my interest via a typically dumb interaction between a dude talking to a babe in a bikini. I was waiting for some type of cliché to end the interaction between the two — something like a beer-commercial crotch shot or the woman doing something weird like licking an ice cube — when the story took a most-surprising turn: the dude in the scene was gay.
The woman sits down on a beach chair next to the guy, who
is squinting into his iPad-looking device like a dork. She starts
reading her Kindle like the sun is no big deal and he says: "That's a
Woman: "Yeah, it's the new Kindle Paperwhite."
Man: "I love to read at the beach, but..."
Woman: "This is perfect at the beach. And, with the built in light, I can read anywhere anytime."
Woman: "With your book?"
Man: Nope. "I just bought a Kindle Paperwhite." *Leans toward her.* "We should celebrate."
Woman: "My husband's bringing me a drink right now."
Man: "So is mine."
Husbands waive from the bar.
I watched it again this morning (the email I sent myself on the subject after having several beers and talking about sports all evening only says: “Gay kindle commercial. What does that commercial mean?”), and it’s actually pretty genius. Gay-rights groups have pointed out that this type of media is following steps taken by shows like Ellen and Modern Family, which depict gay couples as pretty much ordinary anymore.
Check it out here:
Naturally, some people on the Internet think it’s way icky.
And organizations like One Million Moms (a weird, conservative Christian group that should be named something more like “One Million Mean Moms.” Ha.) took exception to it. OMMMs wrote this: “We have Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite commercial that promotes gay marriage. Instead of Amazon remaining neutral in the culture war while showcasing how their product has no glare even at the beach, they chose to promote sin.”
People flagged the ad as inappropriate enough times on YouTube that it was briefly taken down for review, but it was posted back on the site later.
In addition to Cinco de Mayo and Derby Day, the next couple days bring a ton of events and activities. Saddle up, grab some tequila and get out there this weekend!
Essex Studios blossom this weekend for the galleries’ spring Art Walk, BLOOM. The space has been transformed with a thousand origami flowers, yarn gardens by the Cincinnati BombShells and color-coded pathways. As always, more than 100 artists’ work will be on view as guests eat and drink their way through the studios. The art walk runs 6-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Saturday is Clay Alliance’s annual pottery fair at DeSales Corner. Peruse decorative and functional pottery pieces, meet local artists and get supplies to work with clay on your self. Hourly raffles and live music round out the day. The 12th annual fair takes place 11 a.m.-5 p.m., rain or shine.
The first Saturday of May happens to be Cinco De Mayo this year, but it’s also Free Comic Book Day: once a year, comic/specialty book shops across North America offer free publications to all guests. Find a nearby participating store here. Many store offer additional in-store events and promotions; Up Up & Away in Cheviot welcomes The Walking Dead co-creator and original artist Tony Moore.
Crafty Supermarket is back! Making its home at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center, the spring show brings more than 50 indie, subversive crafters from across the city and country to sell their funky, functional handmade goods. Just in time for Mother’s Day, shoppers will find unique apparel and accessories, home goods, artwork and more goodies. Fuel your shopping with delicious food and coffee from local vendors while a PROJECTMILL DJ keeps you groovin’. Show up early to nab a coveted swag bag — every year, shoppers line up around the corner of Clifton Avenue in hopes of being one of the first 100 who get a bag. The market is open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and admission is free.
Cinco de Mayo is more popular in the U.S. than Mexico, but since when do we let historical inaccuracies stand in the way of a good drinking holiday? Nearly every bar and restaurant participates in some capacity, but we’ve selected a few to host our annual Cantina Crawl. Here’s our schedule:
p.m. El Coyote
p.m. Pirates Cove
p.m. Tostado’s Grill
p.m. Cactus Pear (Clifton)
Join our roving squad of senoritas and “Seen on the Scene” photographers as they travel from place to place with more prizes than you can throw a maraca at.
Prom is a rite of passage many, but often LGBTQ kids don’t feel comfortable at school dances because of bullies and expectations about dress and dates. The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Greater Cincinnati provides a welcoming environment for these individuals at their annual GLSEN Prom Saturday. Come to the Freedom Center for two events in one: those under 21 are invited to "dress as you want, bring who you want, and love as you want.” In a separate area of the center the over 21 crowd, who maybe didn’t get to experience a prom of their own, can enjoy dinner, drinks and dancing for $65. Those wanting to attend post-dinner can come after 9 p.m. for a discounted price. As always, kids are welcome free of charge with early registration. All proceeds support the local GLSEN chapter.
And don’t forget to check out the "supermoon" Saturday — the biggest full moon of the year will peak around 11:30 p.m. tomorrow.
Flynt is currently touring in support of his book, One Nation Under Sex: How the Private Lives of Presidents, First Ladies and their Lovers Changed the Course of American History. He will sign copies of the book starting at 7 p.m. The first 25 guests will receive a free gift bag.
Flynt added a Hustler location Downtown last year on Seventh Street, not to be confused with his brother Jimmy Flynt's store on Elm Street — the two have been involved in a long-standing financial feud.
Check out this video from Commonwealth Club of California with Flynt and Eisenbach as they discuss stories and implications from One Nation.
Tonight marks O'Bryonville's first Third Thursday Benefit Wine Walk of the year. Support the neighborhood's independent businesses like Hemptations, Phyllis Weston Gallery, Ten Thousand Villages, The Bonbonerie, indigenous and many more as you hop from spot to spot, enjoying complimentary wine and bites at each participating venue. This month's walk benefits Pets in Need (a UCAN affiliate) and Cincinnati Pet Food Pantry. The event runs from 5-8 p.m. tonight.
Enjoy a romantic night in Paris...without needing a passport. Art Design Consultants presents en evening with their Design Star, Grace Jones of Dwellings on Madison. Jones will transform the ADC loft space (310 Culvert St., Downtown) into a French apartment. Stop by at 6 for cocktails and stick around for the 7 p.m. unveiling of Jones' designs. Holly Golightly attire is encouraged! RSVP here.
Comedian Jim Norton kicks off his three-night gig at Funny Bone on the Levee tonight. Specializing in dark comedy and self-deprecation, the comic has also acted in television and film and has written two humorous nonfiction books. Many will recognize Norton from the Opie & Anthony radio show, Louie, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and several small, odd film roles (two words: Furry Vengeance). Norton goes on tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets are $22.
Cincinnati Zoo's Tunes and Blooms series continues tonight with Shiny and the Spoon and The Tillers. The free concert features local favorite musicians performing in the beautiful setting of the zoo's gardens. The concert runs 6-8:30 p.m.; admission to the zoo is free after 5 p.m. (parking is $8). Tunes and Blooms continues every Thursday this month.
Jungle Jim's hosts a mystery mix cigar tasting tonight from 5-8 p.m. The tasting will be held at the Oscar Event Center's Monorail Terrace. Guests can enjoy three different cigars with $15 admission. There will be a cash bar, raffle and plenty of cigars and accessories for sale. Each Thursday, Jungle Jim's presents a different variety of cigars to try. No word yet on whether "mystery mix" is an early 4-20 reference.
If you miss Turntable Tuesdays at Clifton's Golden Lions Lounge, dust off your disco balls, because John O'Bryant and Hilly Kenkel are back! The duo who presented the weeknight dance party on Ludlow Avenue have relocated downtown. Now Mainstay Rock Bar will be the place to for weeknight partiers, 10 p.m.-1 a.m. on Thursdays.
Important People is a diverse collective of area writers that strives to bring together others through creative expression at organized events. Tonight's Important People Forget Their Lines is a night of staged works of poetry, theater and other performances. Forget Their Lines is an investigation of the stage as an environment for exposing human impulses like anxiety, absurdity, self-deprecation and vulnerability. Come to Museum Gallery-Gallery Museum in the Brighton Arts District from 7-9 p.m. tonight to check it out. Read more about Important People and tonight's performers here.
Martinis and manicures might sound a bit messy (I can't go without smudging wet polish while I'm sober), but not when professionals are involved! Oriental Wok in Hyde Park hosts a pampering session tonight: mini-manicure appointments, two cocktails and mani-friendly appetizers for $35. All proceeds go to the Red Cross to benefit local victims of recent tornadoes. Order some tasty dinner to go when you're done. Go here to RSVP.
This weekend Cincinnati Ballet presents a production quite fitting, considering our weather – Rite of Spring. With Stravinsky's music performed live by the Cincinnati Orchestra, Rite of Spring is a “raw, grungy” piece that pits “individual against the group; it’s kind of timeless and universal,” as described by Resident Choreographer Adam Hougland. There is an 8 p.m. performance tonight and 2 and 8 p.m. performances Saturday. Go here for ticket information and performance details.
Concert:nova's Food + Music Festival comes to a close Sunday with Quartetto Italiano. The festival, which featured food and music from France and Germany, wraps up with an Italian brunch at Via Vite prepared by Chef Christian Peitoso and string quartet music written by Italian composers Puccini, Verdi and Nino Rota. The event takes place at noon and is $55 ($35 for pass holders). Get tickets here.
46th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade steps off at noon downtown. The parade famously continues through rain, snow, or, perhaps this year, unseasonably warm weather. Hopefully the impending storms will hold off anyway. The route begins at Second and up Main Street, across Fifth and down Elm Street. Find details here.
If historically inaccurate holidays that celebrate stereotypes aren't your thing, check out The Art of Food, Merrily We Roll Along, A Day in Pompeii, tons of live music or any of our other To Do recommendations. Or just stay home and watch Always Sunny. No judgement.