Fall makes me want to get all bundled up to go poking around outside to look at natural things like changing leaves. My roommate just went up to Circleville for the annual pumpkin festival which inspired me to have some wholesome fall fun of my own. I made two of my friends wake up earlier than they wanted to on a Sunday morning so we could trek out to Milford and go to Rouster's Apple House.
Mike Breen just posted a schedule of events on the music blog, so I won't do that here, but the schedule goes something like this: Mark Mallory, The Breeders, speeches, Natalie Portman, The National. I know people are really excited about seeing The National and The Breeders, for free, on a lovely autumn evening. And I know people are really excited about Barack Obama.
But I'm really excited about Natalie Portman.Yes, Natalie Portman. At first I had to ask myself, why is she here? Is she just such an avid Obama supporter that she'll fly to random rallies? Did she have some sort of layover at CVG and had to get out of the airport Max & Erma's? Is she really bored? No. Maybe not. I did some Google research to get to the bottom of this conundrum and I learned that her mother, Shelley, is from Cincinnati. That makes more sense ... especially if Nat Port really likes The National, like most girls do. And we are a swing state.
Another thing that most girls like, besides croony sort of bands, is finding out what beautiful celebrities look like in real life. Sure, with the right lighting and hours of hair and makeup, anyone can look good. I mean you've seen those horrid photos of "celebrities without makeup" in gossip magazines. A majority of them look sub-par, to put it gently. And the paparazzi generally gets shots of these unmade women when they're about to take a bite of their salad or right after they ran like four miles, so that's to be taken into consideration, but still. Women like to compare themselves to other women. That's why that stupid "Celebrities are Just Like Us" thing is so popular in People or Us or whatever it's in. Madonna grocery shops? So do I!
But putting all that nonsense aside, Natalie Portman seems amazing, talented, smart and beautiful. She's a great actress who makes intelligent fashion choices and doesn't make a spectacle of herself. She has sassy hair and great skin. All in all, I take her very seriously as a normal person, which is a feeling I don't have about most celebrities. In general, I think celebrities are gawdy drunk drivers who spend too much money on sunglasses.
I'm looking forward to hearing what Natalie has to say. I feel like Queen Padme Amidala must have come this far to deliver a serious message to our people. And I'm looking forward to seeing what she's wearing. I also want to see how tall she is. I bet she's pretty adorable.
View photos of the event on Fountain Square here.
If free ping pong and cheap drinks weren't enough ... now comes Northslice.
Every week Cincinnati's youth elite descends upon the great faux-dive known as the Gypsy Hut. If you're a regular, chances are you've gotten to know the bartenders there and chances are you know who pours the strong drinks: all of them. It's our favorite hot spot.
Bored on a Monday? Hit up the ping pong table. Looking for somewhere to run into all the people you pretend you don't like to see but in reality completely look forward to talking to? Head down on a Friday or Saturday. Want to have a killer pizza party with all of the above? GYPSY HUT!--
Humbly run by a man going only by Mike, the Hut has installed a pizza window. Bearing the witty name Northslice, you can buy pizza by the slice: $2.75 for cheese and $3 with a topping.
Mike bakes the pies while you get your drink on and the slices go fast, which means you're sure to get a piping hot piece. The sauce is a handmade, slightly sweet affair and while the cheese and crust are store-bought. You can taste the care put into every inch of the stuff. And all the necessary accoutrement for any pizza connoisseur such as crushed red pepper and grated Parmesan are there for free.
I recommend you ask Mike to paint on some garlic oil for you and make sure you grab some extra napkins.
Burned your mouth on some nuclear hot cheese? No worries: Cool it down with a specialty shot care of Kenny at the bar. Or perhaps a dessert shot ... I suggest an oatmeal raisin.
The Gypsy Hut, a place for friends.
— Review by Ian Wissman