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by Hannah McCartney 03.01.2012
Posted In: Fun, Life at 01:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Kick off Spring in Cincinnati

Before it snows, take a preemptive strike against fickle Cincinnati weather

For better or for worse, Cincinnati is infamous for its fickle weather patterns. This week's weather has been quite the anomaly — after a 70-degree day, weather forecasters are predicting snow this weekend. It's anybody's guess what next week will hold — don't listen to the groundhog — but take some time today to get in the spirit of spring. Today is expected to stay sunny and breezy, so hop to it. Here's how to get started:

•     Take a bike ride somewhere sunny and green. Try the Loveland Bike Trail, the Little Miami Scenic Trail or Lunken Airport’s trail.

•    Go to Findlay Market and get excited about all of the other farmers’ markets you can start frequenting once spring decides to stay.
•    Pick an outdoor shopping destination. Think Main and Vine streets downtown, Hyde Park Square, Mariemont Square or Rookwood Pavilion.

•    Waterproof your camping gear so you’ll be ready for an impromptu weekend excursion to Red River Gorge, Big Bone Lick State Park, East Fork State Park, John Bryan State Park or any other nearby landmarks.

•    Check out the Banks in the works on downtown Cincinnati’s riverfront. The Smale Riverfront Park has big changes in store, including a meditative labyrinth, outdoor concert venue and a tree grove; plus, the Moerlein Lager House is already open for business. Watch its growth firsthand.

•    Treat your animals. When our heating bills survive the mild winter, something else does, too: ticks and fleas. Those pesky parasites are often killed off in severe cold or frosts, but this Cincinnati winter likely spared most of them. That means dogs and cats will likely suffer from worse problems with ticks and fleas this summer and spring. Treating them early on and consistently is your best bet to spare your pet.

•    Go drinking or dining somewhere with a patio. Arthur’s in Hyde Park has an extra-intimate outdoor patio that’s great for slightly chilly spring days. Neon’s in Over-the-Rhine has a hip outdoor courtyard complete with bocce ball, a fired-up grill and a full bar.

There are lots of other ways to get acquainted with spring in Cincinnati. What are your other annual must-do Cincinnati activities when the weather warms up?

 
 
by Jac Kern 02.29.2012
Posted In: Concerts, Culture, Events, Northside, Life, Holidays at 11:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Leap Day To Do List

Leap Day means different things to everyone (like those with rare Feb. 29 birthdays), but we suggest spending this extra day exploring all the fun events our city has to offer. Or this:


Do you love the true storytelling style of This American Life and live groups like The Moth and Cincinnati's True Theater? Head down to Below Zero Lounge tonight for Teilen (German for "to share"), a local storytelling night. In honor of Leap Day, tonight's theme will be "leaping out." Enjoy a variety of true stories told without notes, and feel free to share your own five-minute anecdote. Storytelling is one of the oldest human traditions and it's still a great way to connect with others. Doors open at 6 p.m.; the free event starts at 7. Find details here.

Sexy Time Live Band Karaoke continues its weekly mission to make us all feel like Rock Stars. Become a frontman (or woman!), if only for three minutes. Karaoke kicks off at 9 p.m. in Northside Tavern's back room. Check out the group's Facebook page for details and an extensive song selection (start rehearsing now!).

The Lackman hosts a party to introduce new Six Point Brewery beers tonight, featuring Sweet Action (barley and hops), Bengali Tiger IPA (bitter hops and sweet malt) and Resin Double IPA (just delicious). Reps will be on hand for all questions. The tasting event runs 4-6 p.m. Find more info here.

Find more To Do suggestions, like theater productions and art shows, here. Check out Mike Breen's blog for tonight's live music happenings.

And a head's up: Our Swizzle bar guide came out today (purty, ain't it?) and if reading that doesn't make you want to grab a cocktail at one of many amazing local watering holes, nothing will! Celebrate the issue with us tomorrow at PLAY downtown. Guests can expect free cocktails and food from Bolly Bears and FUSIAN, live music from Pop Empire, a fabulous Flashbox photo booth and tons of giveaways. And when I say giveaways, I don't just mean movie passes and shot glasses (though there will be plenty of those) — one lucky partier will walk away with two passes to Bonnaroo! If you miss this, you cray. RSVP here.

 
 
by Jac Kern 02.24.2012
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 2/24-2/26

Radius, a local crowd-sourced short film shot at MidPoint Music Festival, Final Fridays and other area events, premieres Saturday at Memorial Hall. According to the press release, the movie follows "a man's investigation into a mysterious superhero and its effect on the community leads to a startling revelation." The red carpet event kicks off at 7:30 p.m., and guests are invited to stick around after the premiere for drinks, noshes, music by DJ Pillo and entertainment from Cincinnati BombShells, Young Professionals' Choral Collective and Pones Inc. Tickets are $25 at the door; go here for more information and a sneak peek.

20th Century Cincinnati is a vintage-modern (is that an oxymoron?) collector's dream. The 18th annual event brings 60 furniture and decor dealers to the Sharonville Convention Center with all kinds of goodies from the 1920s-1980s. Tickets are just $7 for the weekend, with the sale open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Find details here.

Born to Swap's February Swaptique Sunday is another fun shopping event this weekend. Clothing swaps are absolutely genius: just bring 5-20 fashion items in a bag and a potluck dish, and prepare to share both with a great group of women. You'll be able to get rid of shoes, clothes and accessories you no longer need, find a new-to-you ensemble and meet other eco-conscious, fabulous fashionistas like yourself. Tickets are $10 in advance ($15 if you don't have clothing to bring), $15 at the door ($20 without swapables) and leftover clothing will be donated to charity. Purchase tickets and find FAQs here.

Do you think there's ever been a February Final Friday as mild as this one? Surely not. Hop around the galleries, restaurants and bars in Over-the-Rhine and make the most of this odd weather!

For even more stuff to do, peep Mike Breen's weekend music forecast, Rick Pender's weekend theater suggestions and all of our recommended arts, performances and events for the week.

 
 
by Jac Kern 02.22.2012
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Northside, Music, Movies, Life at 03:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Wednesday To Do List

Arianna Huffington, Uta Barth in town

Arianna Huffington is speaking as a part of SmartTalk ConnectedConversations tonight at the Aronoff Center. The media queen will discuss how she became "fearless in love, work and life" (a phrase taken from the title of her 2007 bestseller). Huffington has made her mark as an author of 13 books, co-founder of The Huffington Post, Republican-turned-liberal and even the voice of a character on The Cleveland Show. Get 'em, girl! Tickets to this insightful femme-fest are still available here.

In quirkier event news, did you know there's a monthly meet-up of the Skeptical Society of Cincinnati where the group introduces a professional scientist to the public? Cincy Science Cafe is a casual gathering (usually at a bar) where the community can learn about interesting discoveries being made by area scientists. Tonight the crew meets at Glendale's Cock & Bull at 6 p.m. Go here for details.

Gearing up for October's exciting FotoFocus exhibition, the organization presents a lecture tonight with Los Angeles-based photographer Uta Barth. Barth is known for her painterly photos, employing unconventional methods to create a whole new way of viewing photographs. Barth has been awarded with numerous grants and fellowships and has most recently exhibited at The Art Institute of Chicago. She's a pretty big deal. The Cincinnati Art Museum hosts this FotoFocus lecture tonight at 7 p.m. Find more information here.

Wednesdays are extra sexy at Northside Tavern — Sexy Time Live Band Karaoke takes over the back room this night each week. For those unfamiliar, STLBK is just how it sounds — the ultimate karaoke experience. You provide the vocals (and preferably hot dance moves) while a live band accompanies you. Be a Rock Star for, like, four minutes! Check out the group on Facebook. SexyTime for details and the song list. STLBK kicks off at 9 p.m.

As always, there are plenty of live shows, theater productions and ongoing art exhibits to check out tonight. See our music blog and full To Do list for more.

 
 
by Danny Cross 02.22.2012
Posted In: Is this for real?, Life, Culture at 02:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
 
 
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Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill Now Open

Banks restaurant/concert space offers live music, Whiskey Girls, touch of xenophobia

Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill this week became The Banks’ newest tenant, opening its red, white and blue doors and offering “family friendly” lunch and dinner, ongoing live performances and a guitar-shaped bar where patrons can drink beer out of Mason jars.

The official website says its family friendliness makes it “the perfect spot for everyone,” though it is assumed to have instituted some kind of protocol for children who accidentally view one of the “Whiskey Girls” the restaurant prides itself on offering (“Don’t close your eyes, Billy! It’s just the American way!”).

There currently aren’t many online reviews of the restaurant, but at least one proud American has braved the giant, Country music-themed complex and come away with an experience worth mentioning on Metromix’s online listing.

User “couintrymusiccincy” (sic) was disappointed by his experience, describing a waitress that had a bad attitude and thought she was so cute she should be Miss Universe. “Couintrymusiccincy” advised the restaurant to fire her, and noted that he would return if managers hire “pretty and legitimate waitresses” like the Las Vegas and Tulsa, Ok., locations do.


In addition to the Whiskey Girls, who apparently are allegedly “more worried about their reflection than about getting an order right” (classic Couintrymusiccincy complaint), the bar/grill/stage/conference plaza offers American and Southern cuisine such as friend bologna sandwiches and pan-fried ribs. Burger names include the “American Soldier” (Toby’s classic burger with cheese), “She’s a Hottie Burger” (melted pepperjack cheese, Hatch Valley Chiles and crispy onion straws) and “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” (Bacon, cheddar and Toby’s BBQ sauce topped with crispy onion rings). Dessert offerings include deep-fried Twinkies, “All American Apple Pie” and "Saddam's Head Pudding" (just kidding).

The décor relies heavily on a “Country cliché” aesthetic to ensure that guests don’t forget they’re in a bar owned by the guy whose artistic response to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2011 was to write a song titled “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American),” which called upon the wrath of Uncle Sam, a personified Statue of Liberty and an eagle (flying, of course) to serve justice to goddam terrorists across the globe. The chorus is enough to make even the most cowardly among us raise a Mason jar in defiance.

“Ohhh Justice will be served, and the battle will rage/This big dog will fight, when you rattle his cage/And you'll be sorry that you messed with the U.S. of A./'Cause we'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American Way.”

It’s enough to bring a tear to one’s eye and cause a man to mistake his fellow American brother with one of the Whiskey Girls and tie on a big, patriotic hug (“Sorry man, I ain’t gay I just love this song and my country and when Middle Eastern people get killed." *Sniffs*).

For those interested in more information or to see the many other creative names TKILB&G has come up with for typical bar food, the official website is www.countrybaroh.com. For scary homemade videos set to “Angry American” just search YouTube. 

 
 
by Jac Kern 02.01.2012
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Life, Culture, Fun at 01:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
 
 
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Shit Cincinnatians Say


I guess it was only a matter of time. The Shit Girls Say viral phenomenon has sparked hundreds of knock-offs: Shit Black Guys Say, Shit Girls Say to Gay Guys, Shit Nobody Says are among my favorites. Now, we have our own.

Read More

 
 
by Jennifer Saltsman 01.31.2012
 
 
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Valentine's Gifts Around the World (and Back)

How Do You Say I<3U?

It's two weeks until Valentine's Day, and we've got a few suggestions on how to celebrate.

To women, nothing says ‘I Love You’ quite like a big, fat cockroach on Valentine’s Day. That's right, for just $10, you can name a special bug living at the Bronx Zoo after your sweetie - because like love, a cockroach is indestructible.

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by Eli Johnson 01.20.2012
Posted In: Culture, Dating, Life at 11:42 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Misery’s Company: The Watering Hole

Winter is here. Not quite the bitter cold but no longer the brutal heat wave Cincinnati was treated to during the middle months. A nice enough night to appreciate not having to be at work, servicing the needs of diners. As I approach the steel gates I show the doorman my ID even though I’ve been here dozens of times before, but he’s never seen me. He’s only ever seen a cheeky smile in a photograph and a birthdate. As I walk in I scoff at the hunky metrosexuals crowding the entrance still toting tank tops and skinny jeans, slurping tallboys of whatever while they talk nonsense. The bartender knows my face so he promptly pays mind to me. Tonight I’ll start with and probably stick with bourbon, neat. “Bulleit?” he asks. He knows my face too well.

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by Eli Johnson 01.06.2012
Posted In: Music, Movies, Reviews, Life at 12:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Music, Movies and the Not So Mundane

It turns out that an alleged old Radiohead demo called “Putting Ketchup in the Fridge” is actually called “Sit Still” and not by Radiohead at all. It’s by Toronto bakery owner Christopher Stopa. “As nice as it is, because I like Radiohead, and on some technical level it means I sang [the song] well, I don’t really want to be known as the person that was mistaken [for] Radiohead,” Stopa said in an interview with the Torontoist. You can stream the single and read the full story here.

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by Eli Johnson 10.12.2011
Posted In: Movies, Music, Life, TV/Celebrity at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Music, Movies and the Not So Mundane

Jamie Waylett, the tubby bloke who played Draco Malfoy's sidekick Vincent Crabbe in six of the Harry Potter films is now facing charges stemming from his involvement in this summer's London riots. Police say they found a bomb and 15 marijuana plants in his room. The 22-year-old served 120 hours of community service after being busted for growing marijuana back in 2009 and it has been alleged by authorities that Waylett armed himself with a Molotov cocktail back in August with the intent to set some shit on fire.

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