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by Jac Kern 04.02.2012
Posted In: Arts, Music, Events, TV/Celebrity, Performances, Fun, Culture, Movies at 11:54 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Feist and Martin de Thurah to Visit Contemporary Arts Center

Musician-filmmaker duo present a screening and talk at CAC

Singer-songwriter Feist and award-winning filmmaker Martin de Thurah will present a musically-charged evening at the Contemporary Arts Center April 9. Feist and de Thurah (who's worked with Kanye West, Fever Ray and Röyksopp) will discuss the creative process of creating a music video, a perfect event to coincide with the CAC's current exhibit Spectacle: The Music Video.

The duo will present a video screening followed by a talk moderated by Spectacle curator and Flux creative collective member Jonathan Wells. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. event, and admission is $15 for CAC members, $20 for everyone else. There will be a cash bar. Buy tickets in advance here.

Feist and de Thurah collaborated on the singer's video for "The Bad in Each Other."

The CAC has hosted some exceptional events lately, bringing electronic musician Dan Deacon to Spectacle's opening party this February, and welcoming street artist Shepard Fairey back to DJ a reception in his honor just last week. This is sure to be another full house party.

by Jac Kern 02.16.2012
Posted In: Culture, Dating, Events at 11:34 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

National Make-Out Session Invades Fountain Square

Was your Valentine's Day lacking in the passion department? You'll have a chance to get hot and heavy — in public — this March during the First National Make-Out Session on Fountain Square.

Dayton, Ky., native Shawn Blagg has organized this smooch fest in hope to counter-balance the daily negativity many experience in the news, politics and day-to-day life. He explains in an email, "There is a lot of anger and hatred being put out there right now. I wanted to do something that can draw people together, if at least for one day. Valentine's Day, Sweetest Day, Christmas — All of the day's we've set aside for love have become nothing more than shopping events. This is about love, pure and simple."

Blagg encourages all lovebirds across the country to kiss in public on March 22, but has designated Fountain Square as a local meeting place for those wanting to create a bigger scene, or even as a spot to find a potential make-out partner. The kiss-a-thon is set to take place from 9 a.m.-noon that Thursday. DJs will be on the Square to provide some mood music and vendor space is still available. Anyone wanting to be a vendor, volunteer or participant can contact Blagg at 1makeoutsession@gmail.com.

So if you're feelin' frisky, grab the one you love and show the world your best smooch! And since kissing can burn 2-5 calories per minute, an hours-long make-out sesh totally counts as your daily workout! For more info, check out the event on Facebook. Get your PDA on!

by Jac Kern 09.07.2011
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Music, Fun, Culture, Concerts at 12:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tiffany Performs at Boogie Nights

Eighties pop icon to mingle at Hollywood Casino's nightclub

Eighties mall girl-turned-pop star-turned-Playboy pin-up Tiffany swings through Hollywood Casino's Boogie Nights club Saturday!

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by Kenneth McNulty 06.03.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Travel, Movies, Culture at 11:12 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
disney 3

Disney World's 'Star Wars' Weekends: A Mega-Fan's View

When our summer interns go on family vacation, we can’t send them off without an assignment. So our resident Star Wars buff, Kenneth, gave us a rundown of Star Wars Weekend at Disney World.

At the age when most children began watching Aladdin, Hercules and Beauty and the Beast, I was lost in a galaxy far, far away. From those days on, my obsession has only grown. So, as you can imagine, I went to Disney World’s Star Wars Weekends years ago before Disney bought the franchise. People have voiced their opinions, which range from: “They’re ruining the series!” to “They’ll make it too kid-ish!” The list goes on. Opinions on that aside, Disney has been doing Star Wars Weekends for a while, since 1997. From what I remembered as a kid, Disney did a great job — I know I had fun.

Coming back after all of these years, with knowledge and wisdom of the series I’d acquired over the years in mind, I walked into Hollywood Studios half asleep from getting to the park so early. Needless to say, it was far more than I could’ve ever imagined. Disney has always been known for its showmanship and they really came through for this year’s festivities.

Disney had an all-star lineup of characters from the films and animated series, and fans could get autographs and watch them in different shows throughout the day. Just to name a few: Ray Park (Darth Maul), James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan in the animated series) Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett), Warwick Davis (Wicket) and Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano from the animated series). The park also had dozens of other characters guests could take pictures with during the day. It was almost guaranteed that around every corner, someone would run into a character from the universe. Whether it was Darth Vader shrouded in Storm Troopers or Tusken Raiders, it was always a treat.

The party carries on through four shows daily Friday-Sunday and change slightly each weekend (this year, the event runs every weekend May 17-June 9). There’s always a show with the special guest of the week like Warwick Davis or Jeremy Bulloch — the talks were just interesting to sit in on. The master of ceremonies and host of each show was James Arnold Taylor, voice actor extraordinaire. He even demonstrated 200 different voices he could do. Impressive, I know. Taylor hosted a talk show as well, where he interviewed the visiting star and Ray Park each day. This could range from being hilarious to quite inspiring depending on the guest. Trust me on that, hearing a story of how Boba Fett messed up his lines on his first day is something to behold.

If a taste for stunts and action are up your alley, Ray Park had his own martial arts show where he went through different fighting styles with an array of weapons. This was also where you learned to loathe the children who got the chance to go on stage and do move sets with the master himself. I’m still seething from that.

Special merchandise could be found at the one stop Star Wars shop near the back of the park: the Darth Mall (clever title if I don’t say so myself). Collectibles, helmets, toys, Disney characters in Star Wars outfits — it was all there. Guests could truly lose themselves in a place like that. If you’re an unabashed fan like myself, you can’t help but spend oodles of money there. I went in wanting something small and spent more than $90. Needless to say, it was neigh impossible to leave without some form of paraphernalia in hand.

Now, to deflect, again, the opinions I may have about Disney buying Star Wars. I have to say, Star Wars Weekends are on par with some conventions I’ve heard of. When Disney gets a hold of something, they’ll flaunt it and make it something everyone can enjoy. These weekends are comparable to a sacred gathering for fans of the series. To see people who enjoy these movies as much as I do having as much fun as me was sublime. The energy there was almost tangible, especially during Memorial Day weekend. The park’s population swelled so much, it almost reached capacity. This weekend was full of characters, big name actors, festivities, themes snacks, souvenirs and ways to immerse fans in the universe itself. Guests could make themselves Storm Troopers — it was awesome. I digress, these weekends were nothing less than magical for me and, from what I could tell, those around me. Where else at this time could you see Boba Fett dance with Princess Leia in her slave outfit?

For this Star Wars fan, Disney did a great job setting the atmosphere of my favorite series. The entire park was flooded with Star Wars music until the park closed. The employees where all nice, the characters excellent and actors incredible, I couldn’t have asked for a better time. The fireworks show was impressive, too — Disney literally ended the festivities with quite a bang.

by Jac Kern 04.22.2011
Posted In: Reviews, Concerts, Music, Travel, Fun, Culture, TV/Celebrity at 02:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

48 Hours In Nashville: Part Deux

Go here to read part one.

Somehow Saturday morning Jeff and I woke up bright and early.  Flavor Flav must have sprinkled some magic dust on us the night before, because we weren't our usual hungover pieces of shit, writhing under covers 'til noon. For this special occasion, we headed to the famous Loveless Motel & Cafe (8400, Tennessee 100, Bellevue), a comfort food mecca and Nashville landmark. Hundreds of country musicians and otherwise famous humans hung their hats here when it was a hotel and have stopped in for grub since it's been a restaurant (seriously, there are countless autographed head shots covering every square inch of the walls).

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by Staff 12.30.2014
Posted In: Culture, Drinking, Events, Fun, Holidays, Music, Life at 01:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Party Like It's 2015

Places to drink, dance and debauch your way into the New Year

An Elegant Affair New Year’s Eve at Igby’s 
Dress in cocktail attire and dance to music by DJ Ice Cold Tony. Advance-order bottle specials available: two bottles of Tito’s Vodka and two bottles of Perrier Jouet Brut champagne for $515. 9 p.m.-2:30 a.m. $20. Igby’s, 122 E. Sixth St., Downtown, 513-246-4396, igbysbar.com

New Year’s Eve Ball at the Pavilion 
Two DJs on two levels plus an hors d’oeuvres buffet, party favors and champagne toast. 8 p.m. $30; discounts for 10 or more. Mount Adams Pavilion, 949 Pavilion St., Mount Adams, RSVP to 513-744-9200 or mountadamspavilion.com

New Year’s Eve at The Blind Pig 
Free buffet from 8-10 p.m., with a champagne toast at midnight. 8 p.m. $25; $20 advance; $75 table; $20 champagne bottle. The Blind Pig, 24 W. Third St., Downtown, 513-381-3114.

New Year’s Eve at The Lackman
Drink specials include $5 Bulleit cocktails. 8 p.m. Free. The Lackman, 1237 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, lackmanbar.com.

New Year’s Eve at Lachey’s Bar 
Only limited VIP packages available; includes eight tickets, full access to open bar, two bottles of champagne, personal cocktail waitresses and special VIP seating. Enjoy a special guest DJ, photo booth and party favors. Dress is formal. 10 p.m. -2 a.m. $1,200. Lachey’s Bar, 101 W. Seventh St., Downtown, facebook.com/events/355435507970572.

New Year's Eve at MOTR
A dance party with music from Founding Fathers, Fluffer and a DJ set by Sabastooge. Ball drop at midnight. 10 p.m. Free. 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com.

New Year’s Eve at Mynt Martini
Radio station KISS FM hosts a party with a balloon drop, music by Davey C. and a champagne toast at midnight. 8 p.m. $25 advance; table packages $1,000-$2,000. Mynt Martini, 28 Fountain Square, Downtown, RSVP to 513-621-6968.

New Year’s Eve at Obscura 
Includes unlimited signature and classic cocktails, select liquors, domestic beers, select wine, light bites and a champagne toast at midnight. 9:30 p.m. $100; $500 table for four. Obscura, 645 Walnut St., Downtown, obscuracincinnati.com.

New Year's Eve at Pulse
Includes complimentary appetizers (9-11 p.m.) and a champagne toast at midnight. For ages 18 and older. $15 pre-sale older than 21; $25 pre-sale 18-21. $20-$30 at the door. 700 W. Second St., Downtown, pulsecincy.com.

New Year’s Eve at The Stand 
VIP tables available. 8 p.m. Free. The Stand, 3195 Linwood Ave., Mount Lookout, RSVP to jrjoy@thestandcincy.com or 513-871-5006. 

New Year’s Eve at Unwind Wine Bar 
Music by DJ Kim with wine and drinks. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Free. Unwind Wine Bar, 3435 Michigan Ave., Hyde Park, unwindhydepark.com

No Hassle New Year’s Eve 
Drinks specials and a mac-and-cheese bar at midnight. $4 fireballs, Stoli drinks and cherry bombs. Complimentary champagne toast at midnight. 9 p.m. Free. Keystone Clifton, 249 Calhoun St., Clifton Heights, keystonebar.com. 

Stress Free New Year’s Eve 
Music by DJ Simo in the back courtyard. VIP tables available. 9 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Free. The Righteous Room, 641 Walnut St., Downtown, 513-381-4408, therighteousroom.com

A Bright New Year Beer Dinner 
Fifty West throws a New Year’s party with four courses paired with beer and featuring foods that symbolize good fortune in the coming year. 6-9 p.m. $55. Fifty West, 7664 Wooster Pike, Mariemont, fiftywestbrew.com

New Year’s Eve at Andy’s 
A special menu with a full bar, champagne toast at midnight, belly dancers and a DJ. 6 p.m. Free. Andy’s Mediterranean, 906 Nassau St., Walnut Hills, andyskabob.com

New Year’s Eve at BrewRiver GastroPub
Chef Michael Shields crafts a three-course meal. Drop an additional $20 and get a bottle of Casteller sparkling cava. 5 p.m.-1 a.m. $45. BrewRiver GastroPub, 2062 Riverside Drive, East End, brewrivergastropub.com.

New Year’s Eve Dinner at Daveed’s NEXT 
Seatings at 5:30 and 8 p.m. $50 early seating; $75 late seating (includes a sparkling wine reception). Daveed’s NEXT, 8944 Columbia Road, Landen, daveedsnext.com

New Year’s Eve at Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse 
Enjoy upscale dining and a live performance by the Kelsey Mira Band. Happy hour begins at 4:30 p.m. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Free. Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse, 700 Walnut St., Downtown, 513-784-1200, jeffruby.com

New Year’s Eve at La Petite France 
A four-course dinner with entrees choices including filet mignon Oscar and roasted rack of lamb. 5 p.m. $49.95. La Petite France, 3177 Glendale-Milford Road, Evendale, lapetitefrance.biz

New Year’s Eve at The Mercer OTR 
A four-course NYE dinner with a champagne toast. 7 p.m. The Mercer OTR, 1324 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/themercerotr

New Year’s Eve at the Metropole 
Head to the 21c Museum Hotel for chef Jared Bennett’s farm-to-fireplace menu. Dinner served until 7 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., dinner jumps to a $95, four-course prix-fixe menu, which includes a champagne toast. 5:30-11 p.m. $95 prix-fixe menu. Metropole, 609 Walnut St., Downtown, metropoleonwalnut.com

New Year’s Eve at Nectar 
A three-course meal with several choices for entrees, dessert and starters. 5:30-10:30 p.m. $65. Nectar, 1000 Delta Ave., Mount Lookout, dineatnectar.com

New Year’s Eve at Parkers 
Parkers Blue Ash Tavern throws a NYE dinner party, featuring music by Jeff Henry. 9 p.m-1 a.m. Prices vary. Parkers Blue Ash Tavern, 4200 Cooper Road, Blue Ash, parkersblueash.com

New Year’s Eve at Via Vite 
Two separate seatings with chef Cristian Pietoso’s signature Italian buffet. Late seating includes a prosecco toast and cocktail or glass of wine. 6-8 p.m.; 9 p.m.-1 a.m. $50; $99. Via Vite, 520 Vine St., Fountain Square, Downtown, viaviterestaurant.com

Axis Alley New Year’s Eve 
A DJ, noisemaker, balloon drop, champagne toast, bowling and shoe rental, appetizers and prize packages. 9 p.m. $50. Axis Alley, Newport on the Levee, 1 Levee Way, Newport, Ky., axisalleylevee.com

Cheers to the New Year at Rhinegeist 
Normal tap offerings, plus cocktails and champagne. 8 p.m. $10. Rhinegeist, 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, eventbrite.com/e/new-years-celebration-at-rhinegeist-tickets-14780652329. 

CityBeat and Know Theatre’s Speakeasy Party 
A 1920s-themed speakeasy in the basement bar of the Know Theatre with casino games, dance lessons, food, martinis and a champagne toast at midnight. Benefits the Know Theatre. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. $35 advance; $50 day-of. Know Theatre of Cincinnati, 1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine, RSVP to 513-300-5669 or knowtheatre.com

First Midnight Party 
Music by DJ Taryn Manning in The Pavilion and complimentary champagne. VIP options include table and bottle service. Benefits Give Back Cincinnati. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. $30-$550. Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati, 1000 Broadway St., Pendleton, ffecincinnati.com

Fountain Square New Year’s Eve Blast 
Music by DJ Tweet, games and prizes, dance contests and more. Rozzi’s famous fireworks at midnight. Full bar service and drink specials available. Complimentary skating admission. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Free; $4 skate rental. Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown, myfountainsquare.com

Lawrenceburg Event Center New Year’s Eve 
Live music from After Midnight and Gen X. Includes a buffet dinner, beer and wine, champagne toast at midnight and party favors. 8 p.m. $75. Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg Event Center, 91 Walnut St., Lawrenceburg, Ind., hollywoodindiana.com

New Year’s Eve Ball with Taken by Storm at Music Hall 
Celebrate the New Year in concert with Pops conductor John Morris Russell and a special guest appearance by Storm Large. After the concert, festivities continue in Music Hall’s Ballroom with a catered dinner, dancing and live music and a champagne toast at midnight. 7:30 p.m. concert; $22-$90. 9:30 p.m. ball; $175-$275. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatisymphony.org

New Year’s Eve at Bobby Mackey’s Music World 
The 36th annual NYE bash at Bobby’s. Music by Bobby Mackey and the Big Mac Band. 9 p.m. Free. Bobby Mackey’s Music World, 44 Licking Pike, Wilder, Ky., bobbymackey.com

New Year’s Eve Dance at Receptions Bridgetown 
A catered dinner with beer, wine and a champagne toast. Live music by Saffire Express. 8 p.m. $50. Receptions Banquet and Conference Center Bridgetown, 3302 Westbourne Drive, Bridgetown, 513-922-6777

New Year’s Eve BB Riverboats Dinner Cruise 
An Ohio River cruise with BB Riverboats includes a buffet, entertainment, champagne split at midnight and a late-night snack buffet and party favors. Moonshine provided by Old Smokey Moonshine. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. $102 adults; $62 children. BB Riverboats, 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, Ky., RSVP to 859-261-8500 or bbriverboats.com

New Year’s Eve Dinner Dance at Lakeridge Hall 
A hot buffet with drinks, a wine fountain, hats, noisemakers, music by DJ Larry Robers and an option to BYOB. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. $40. Lakeridge Hall, 7210 Pippin Road, Colerain, 513-521-1112. 
New Year’s Eve at Embassy Suites Blue Ash 
An all-inclusive package includes a deluxe two-room suite plus an open bar, dancing, DJ, chef’s premiere buffet dinner, cooked-to-order breakfast and late check out. $349 per couple. Embassy Suites Blue Ash, 4554 Lake Forest Drive, Blue Ash, RSVP to 513-981-3752. 

New Year’s Eve at Funny Bone on the Levee 
A special engagement with comedian Dave Landau. 8 and 10:30 p.m. $20 early show; $25 late show. Levee Funny Bone, Newport on the Levee, Newport, Ky., funnybone.com/venues/levee. 

New Year’s Eve at Go Bananas 
Two sets by comedian Robert Hawkins. The later show features a cheese and veggie plate and champagne toast. 7:30 and 10 p.m. $20 early show; $40 late show. Go Bananas, 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, gobananascomedy.com

New Year’s Eve at Perfect North Slopes 
Skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing open until 1 a.m., with party favors and a DJ in the lodge. Fireworks at midnight plus a torchlight parade down the slopes by ski instructors and ski patrol. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. $35-$47 lift tickets. Perfect North Slopes, 19074 Perfect Lane, Lawrenceburg, Ind., perfectnorth.com
New Year’s Eve at Receptions Fairfield 
Second Wind Band performs live. Reservations include open bar, appetizers and the executive chef’s buffet with sinful desserts. Enjoy a champagne toast at midnight and a late-night chili bar. $149 per couple, tax and tip included. Receptions Conference Centers, 5975 Boymel Drive, Fairfield, RSVP to 513-860-4100. 

New Year’s Eve at Springdale 18 
A screening of Unbroken in the Director’s Hall plus a champagne toast, dessert reception and a live feed of the ball drop on the big screen. Screening at 9:40 p.m. $20.50. Springdale 18: Cinema de Lux, 12064 Springfield Pike, Springfield, showcasecinemas.com

New Year’s Eve at the Syndicate 
Three parties in one. Features an open bar, dinner, champagne toast, party favors, late-night appetizers and entertainment by The Rusty Griswolds, DJ Mark McFadden and the world famous Gangsters Dueling Piano players. 7:30 p.m.-1 a.m. $75-$150. Newport Syndicate, 18 E. Fifth St., Newport, Ky., newportsyndicate.com
Party with the Ponies 
Turfway Park presents live horse racing, music by the Danny Frazier Band, party favors, a champagne toast, balloon drop, DJ and light appetizers. 5:30 p.m.-1 a.m. $85. Turfway Park, 7500 Turfway Road, Florence, Ky., turfway.com. 

A German New Year’s Eve celebration, with an hors d’oeuvres buffet (9-11 p.m.) and live music from Alpen Echos. 8 p.m.-1:30 a.m. $25. Donaschwaben Haus, 4290 Dry Ridge Road, Colerain, cincydonau.com

Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical 
The Cincinnati Playhouse’s extended run of Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical has two performances on New Year’s Eve. 1 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $30. 962 Mt. Adams Circle, Mount Adams, cincyplay.com. 

Great Parks Family New Year’s Eve Celebration 
A ton of family-friendly fun to fit in before the ball drops at 7 p.m. See live animals, balloon sculptors, magicians and play games, make crafts and more. 4-7 p.m. $5; free for two and younger. Woodland Mound, 8250 Old Kellogg Road, Beechmont, greatparks.org or 513-521-7275. 

Happy Zoo Year 
Ring in the New Year early with the Festival of Lights, a New Year’s Eve Madcap Puppet Theatre show, party favors, costumed characters and appearances by Baby Zoo Year and Father Time. An early New Year countdown begins at 8:55 p.m. with Rozzi’s Famouse Fireworks. 5-9 p.m. Included with zoo admission ($15 adults; $11 seniors and children). Cincinnati Zoo, 3400 Vine St., Avondale, cincinnatizoo.org

International New Year’s Celebration 
Celebrate New Year’s traditions from around the world each hour in the Cincinnati Museum Center’s rotunda. Learn about the different countries and their culture with music, games and crafts. Stop by “customs” for special participation stamps and write a letter to troops stationed abroad. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Cincinnati Museum Center, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, cincymuseum.org

Kid’s Night New Year’s Eve at YMCA 
Camp Kern Get the kids out of the house on New Year’s Eve and drop them off at camp for s’mores, bonfires, rock climbing and more. Meals and snacks provided. Check-in begins 3 p.m. Dec. 31. Check-out 11 a.m. Jan. 1. $100 per child. Camp Kern, 5291 State Route 350, Oregonia, register at campkern.org or 513-932-3756. 

New Year’s Eve Kids’ Countdown at Newport Aquarium 
Head to Shark Ray Bay Theater for a kid-friendly NYE celebration with music, dancing and giveaways, plus a special appearance countdown by Scuba Santa at 5 p.m. Kids also get noisemakers and party hats to ring in the New Year. 3-5:30 p.m. Free with admission ($23 adults; $15 children; free two and younger). 1 Levee Way, Newport on the Levee, Newport, Ky., newportaquarium.com

New Year’s Kids Cruise 
Countdown 2015 at noon. The cruise features party favors, a DJ, lunch buffet and characters from BB Riverboats’ pirate, princess and super hero cruises. 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. $32 adults; $20 children. BB Riverboats, 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, Ky., bbriverboats.com

500 Miles to Memphis 
Say goodbye to 2014 with 500 Miles to Memphis. 9 p.m. $12 day-of; $10 advance. Southgate House Revival, 111 E. Sixth St., Newport, Ky., 859-431-2201, southgatehouse.com

RL Big Band and Nancy James 
Dinner, dancing, a champagne toast and live music from RL Big Band. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. $65. Legends, 3801 Harrison Ave., Cheviot, legendscincinnati.com

New Year’s Eve with The Almighty Get Down 
Appetizers, a champagne toast and live music from The Almighty Get Down, Buffalo Wabs & the Price Hill Hustle and Jamwave. 7:15 p.m. $25; $20 advance. 20th Century Theater, 3021 Madison Road, Oakley, the20thcenturytheater.com.  

New Year’s Eve Show Featuring Ott. 
With Bluetech, Aytiko and Yheti. 9 p.m. $30; $25 advance. Madison Theater, 730 Madison Ave., Covington, Ky., madisontheateronline.com

Rumpke Mountain Boys’ Grateful New Year’s Eve Ball 
Bluegrass band the Rumpke Mountain Boys host a New Year’s bash with David Gans, Born Cross-Eyed and Restless Leg String Band. 7 p.m. $25. The Thompson House, 24 E. Third St., Newport, Ky., 859-261-7469, thompsonhousenewport.com. 

Woodward New Year’s Eve with Wussy and Bobby Bare Jr. 
8 p.m. $10; $15 day of. The Woodward Theater, 1404 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/thewoodwardtheater

Tweens at The Comet 
Trash Punk trio Tweens and The Harlequins. 9 p.m. Free. The Comet, 4579 Hamilton Ave., Northside, 513-541-8900, cometbar.com.
by Brandon Barb 03.27.2012
Posted In: Commentary, Culture, Life, Travel at 02:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tales From the Airport: What Travelers Don't See

A former baggage handler's account of the job

The Cincinnati airport is located in another state — I’ll let you decide on how backwards that makes the city. The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky airport, CVG, was a major hub for Delta Airlines but in the last few years the number of daily flights and employees has dropped. In 2009 the airport laid off close to 900 employees, and I was one of them. I was a baggage handler for two years, and boy do I have some stories which will be gotten to a little later. But first, there is some good news for CVG.

On March 15, DHL announced that $47 million would be invested in a new facility at its CVG hub. This new sorting facility will help meet international customer demands and add close to 300 jobs over the next 12 months. The date given for the facility to be operational is Nov. 2012.

DHL has been thriving compared to the downward spiral that is Delta. DHL has gone from 1,600 jobs to 2,000 in the span of three years and has invested around $105 million in the Cincinnati location since it was established in 2009. Not everything that happens at CVG is bad.

During my two years as a baggage handler I experienced a little bit of everything. From holding on to the wing of a plane to keep in from tipping during a wind storm, to seeing a drunk little person getting taken off a plane in handcuffs, to destroying a few bags. There is more to an airport than what passengers see in the concourses. Have you ever wondered where that guy in the orange vest was going when he disappeared behind a door? Ever thought about how your bag was being handled? Well, hopefully with a few of these stories those questions and more can be answered.

The Weird

During my time as a baggage handler, I saw some incredible things. At the same time, there were weird events that took place. These would occur like lightning; they happened quickly and would never strike the same place twice.

One of those events is about a worker stealing. He wasn’t stealing from the company, but stealing from passengers’ bags, more specifically, female passengers’ bags. As baggage handlers, we would load the bags up into the cargo bins of aircraft. These bins were only big enough for one person, and at times that one person would be in the bin for extended periods of time. Normal workers would write random sayings on the bin walls, or play a game on their phone, but this guy did something different.

When he was up in the cargo bin, he would go through the bags until he found women’s panties — clean or dirty. To show the high caliber of intelligence some of the people at the airport had, he kept all the underwear in his locker at work. There was no attempt to hide anything in his car or house; the underwear was in a bag in the break room. I’m not one to call someone stupid, but he deserves it for this one.

Did he get caught? Hell yes, he got caught. When our supervisors went through his locker, sure enough, there was the underwear. His explanation of it is comical on its own. “It’s for my girlfriend.” His girlfriend, if he had one, fluctuated in weight a lot because the underwear was different sizes. This doesn’t reflect on every baggage handler but it shows there are some strange people touching your bags.

The Disgusting

The job of a baggage handler is a dirty one. I came in contact with bags full of unwashed clothes, shook hands with people who don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom and cleaned out the restrooms. Ever wondered who cleans out the lavatory on an aircraft? Well, at CVG, that job falls to the baggage handlers. This task is worthy enough for Mike Rowe and then some.

When an aircraft needed to have its bathroom dumped, a handler would drive up next to the plane in the "lav cart." Imagine a blue electric cart that has never been washed, excrement has been spilled on it, it has a tank full of shit and the sun has been cooking its contents all day. I felt like I should have been wearing a Hazmat suit whenever I was around the damn thing. It made me throw up a little every time I was in the driver’s seat.

When a baggage handler dumps a lav, he or she drives the cart up to the aircraft, hooks up the foulest smelling hose to the aircraft and pulls a lever. What comes out, I’ll leave for the imagination. Once all the lovely contents are inside the cart, the “blue juice” is added, which is the liquid solution that you see when flushing an aircraft toilet.

Some handlers would dump a lav, not wash their hands and then go straight to loading bags. A person fresh from coming in close contact with human goodness would go right on touching, quite possibly, your possessions.

The Embarrassing

In the movie Fight Club the narrator tells of a policy about holding a passenger’s bag if it is vibrating. At CVG I never once saw a bag being taken because it was vibrating. What we did do was either slam the bag on the ground in hopes of shutting off the razor or toothbrush — not the smartest idea if it really was an explosive. Another way we handled a vibrating bag was to call the passenger down to the ramp where we would proceed to open it to find the cause of the vibration. If you have seen Fight Club you know what is coming next. Sometimes the bag would belong to a female passenger. When her bag would be opened a certain product would be rattling around on the inside. That happened to me once and while the passenger was red-faced, I had to walk away before I began to laugh in her face. Movies can teach you something every now and then.

There is a side to an airport that most people don’t know about. Sure, there are those zoo-like windows in the concourses that allow passengers to see outside, but that is just a glimpse. Does everyone want to know about what goes on behind those doors? Probably not. I’m not trying to scare people away from flying. In a way, an airport is similar to a restaurant. Taken at face value everything is great and everyone has a smile on their face, but behind closed doors disgusting, depraved and weird things are going on.

by Kelsey Kennedy 02.12.2014
Posted In: Commentary, Culture at 03:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (11)

How to Become a Cincinnatian, for Non-Natives

They say you move to Cincinnati and put on a pair of goggles — the longer you stay, the harder it is to take them off. And why would you want to? I’ve lived here for five years and still manage to fall deeper in love with this city every day. For all you newcomers, here are some necessary guidelines for your initiation into the greatest city in the Midwest.

1. Pick a chili, not a side. The East side/West side rivalry is deeply rooted in competitive turf wars and stubborn rationalizations. When brought up in conversation, it’s usually best to remain indifferent and let your eyes glaze over until the fighting stops.

2. Become a regular at (at least) one bar in Over-the-Rhine. Find your favorite bartender at Neon’s and dance to the ‘8os music at Japp’s on a Saturday night. Discover new music at MOTR or wind down with some jazz at 1215 Wine Bar.

3. Understand that high schools — and the culture surrounding them — are really important here. “Are you from around here?” is almost always followed by, “So what high school did you go to?” Cincinnatians stick to their alma maters like glitter on glue, and everyone has a reputation.

4. See The Cincy Brass play at Mr. Pitiful’s before you die (or move). Request the song “Let Me Clear My Throat” by DJ Kool. Gyrate on everyone.

5. Get to know Kentucky. Bounce around the Levee and Mainstrasse. End your night with a cheesy goetta omelet at the Anchor Grill. Trust me on this one.

6. Cincinnati has the second largest Oktoberfest in the world (The WORLD!) second only to Munich. Dress like a German, drink like a German, eat like a German.

7. Develop a severe case of road rage while driving on I-75. Perfect the ability to stare someone down after cutting you off.

8. Vote. Get involved with this city’s politics. Picket City Hall or write a letter to an editor. Cincinnati had a record-breaking low voter turnout in the 2013 mayoral election — make your voice heard.

9. Give back to your neighborhood. Volunteer at the Freestore Foodbank or tutor kids at Wordplay Cincy. Teach an art class or buy someone an umbrella on a rainy day. Start a collaborative effort to make this city the best it can be.

10. Master the Metro and make friends with the drivers. Sit up front and strike up a conversation with a stranger. Try not to fall when the metro slides down one of Cincinnati’s many 90-degree angles.

11. Appreciate Cincinnati sports. Tailgate at a Bengal’s game, cheer on the Cyclones and pledge your allegiance to Brandon Phillips’ smile.

12. EAT ALL THE GOETTA. And LaRosa’s. And Graeter’s. Now start training for the Flying Pig.

13. Find your favorite city park with your favorite view of the skyline against Kentucky. Feel safe tucked away in the hills. Ponder about the meaning of life.

14. Roll your windows down and go 10 miles over the speed limit on the Roebling Bridge. Listen to the whirring sound. Just do it.

15. Develop a deep love for all things Cincinnati and defend your city when people talk shit. Recognize that you are a part of something larger than yourself — that Cincinnati isn’t just the Queen City — it’s a community and a network and a lineage of diverse Midwesterners who all contribute to making this place a force to be reckoned with.

Oh, and read CityBeat.

by Jac Kern 05.11.2012
Posted In: Performances, Music, Fun, Food, Events, Drinking, Culture, Concerts, Arts at 12:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Your Weekend To Do List: 5/11-5/13

Appalachian Festival, 4EGsquare, Mother's Day happenings and more

Experience the rich tradition of mountain culture, music, craftsmanship and food this weekend at the 43rd annual Appalachian Festival at Coney Island. Bluegrass music fills the air as visitors enjoy dancing and storytelling, taste classic country fare and browse hand-crafted gifts, jewelry, housewares and more. The popular spring fest runs all day through 9 p.m. tonight, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8, $4 seniors, $2 children. Tonight, Frugal Friday tickets are $1-$4. Parking is $6.

Four Entertainment Group (4EG) is the driving force behind nine of the most popular bars and restaurants in the area. While it would be difficult to drink at each location in one night (and possibly damaging to the liver), 4EG is bringing all of their venues to Fountain Square tonight. Try specialty cocktails, beers, wine and signature dishes from aliveOne, Keystone Hyde Park, Keystone Covington, The Lackman, The Stand, Mount Adams Pavilion, The Righteous Room, The Sandbar and Tap & Go as you get down to music from DJ Matt Joy and Bad Veins. Head down to the square from 5-10 p.m. and if you're on Foursquare, be sure to check in — the mayor of these venues will receive a prize.

Thanks to The Requiem Project, the historic Emery Theatre is back in action and hosting concerts, productions and other events. Saturday, the Emery hosts the world premiere of Cincinnati playwright Catie O’Keefe's Welcome Home: The Waddie Welcome Story. The one-night-only production follows a Savannah, Ga. man with cerebral palsy whose determination to live independently with the support of his community inspired a popular book. This show marks the first theatrical show in the space in several years. Catch it at 2 or 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door.

On second Saturdays, Northside is the place to be. Celebrate the eclectic neighborhood and support local businesses by visiting some of the dozens of participating galleries, shops, restaurants and bars. Visitors will enjoy extended hours, drink and food specials, sales and unique promotions at places like Nvision, Mayday, Take the Cake, C&D, Tantrum, Skincraft and many more. Find a full list of participating businesses here.

Still not sure how to treat your mom on Mother's Day? Our dining guru Anne Mitchell has some tasty advice here. Besides the aforementioned Appalachian Festival, there are plenty of options for yo momma this weekend. The International Butterfly Show at Krohn Conservatory is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily and moms are welcome free of charge Sunday. Rabbit Hash is a magical little place, and if your mom loves peaceful river views, quirky antiques, live music and country culture, it's the place to take her Sunday! Austin Jazz-twang group The Love Leighs perform at Rabbit Hash's General Store from 6-8 p.m. Maybe mama's a sports fan? Take her to see The Reds take on The Nationals Sunday at GABP. Get tickets here.

Check out Stage Door for this weekend's theater offerings, our music blog for a live show lineup and our To Do page for more events, art shows, performances and more this weekend.

by Jac Kern 06.02.2011
Posted In: Fun, Music, Culture, TV/Celebrity, Fashion, Events at 03:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

MTV Movie Awards Live Chat!

Tune into MTV at 9 p.m. Sunday night for the only awards show that features Twilight in several categories. This is your chance to catch up on mainstream movies CityBeat is too cool to review so you have something to talk about with your little sister. And where else will you see Lupe Fiasco, Foo Fighters and Trey Songz (there's no way that's his real name) perform on the same stage? All of this bullshit will be hosted by Jason Sudekis, a saving grace, who is both funny and cute. Presenters include Charlie Sheen replacement Ashton Kutcher, Justin Bieber pedo Selena Gomez and everyone's favorite long john enthusiast, Charlie Day.

We'll start the night early with some red carpet action and check out what all the stars(?) are wearing…and watch the America's Best Dance Crew finale, which coincides with the pre-show at 8 p.m. Seriously, not that I watch ABDC, but there's a group 8-year-olds that dance really well. You're gonna love it.

As always, we promise lots of interactive polls, drinking games and hard-hitting reportage.

Go here for the MTV Movie Awards Live Chat. Because some of you were really going to watch anyway. Also, Jason Sudekis is funny and cute.