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by Hannah McCartney 05.31.2013
Posted In: Humor, Culture, Life at 11:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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The Answers Issue: Asking You to Ask Us

Soliciting questions about anything and everything Cincinnati

You might have heard about CityBeat's first Answers Issue, but in case you haven't, here's a quick and dirty rundown: You submit us questions about life in the Queen City you want answered, but can't solve with the help of Wikipedia, Siri or your mom. That means anything on city politics, arts and culture, food, sports, neighborhoods, dog-friendly restaurants, Clifton's suspicious monopoly on Indian cuisine, why McMicken Avenue is consistently scary at all hours of the day, why Cincinnati doesn't have its own font, or if any episodes of The Wire cross-reference any IRL events in Cincinnati.

Then we'll do some sleuthing, drink some Redbull, make some calls, read some files, spend a few hours on Google, hit up the library, talk to some fortune-tellers — whatever we can to get your questions answered.

You submit your question (check out the Answers Issue page here), and our dutiful reporting team will pick the ones we like best, divide them up and bring you back the answers in an issue sourced directly from you guys. Don't worry, we can see your names when you submit, but otherwise, your questions will be anonymous.

Here's a taste of what we've gotten so far:

Q: What would win in a fight, an Over-the-Rhine rat, or a Fountain Square pigeon? Each would be able to choose one non-projectile weapon of its choice.

Q: Where can you find poutine on a menu in Cincy?

Q: What would be the economic and environmental effects of making hunting illegal in the Greater Cincinnati region?

Q: Why is it that Madison Road through O'Bryonville can get backed up to DeSales Corner on some days during rush hour, but be completely open on others?

Q: Is it safe to jump in the Genius of Water Fountain?

Q: Why isn't Hudephol brewed in Cincinnati?

Some, clearly, are taking it more seriously than others, but that's okay. Be real, we all need to know who'd win that fight (Disclaimer: No animals will be injured in the making of The Answers Issue).

We could use a lot more questions, you inquiring minds. Here's the question submissions form.


 
 
by Jac Kern 11.14.2012
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Culture, Movies at 02:02 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

At the risk of inducing widespread PTSD flashbacks, I invite everyone to recall 2011’s Internet Public Enemy No. 1, Rebecca Black. The teen, who is probably a decent human undeserving of worldwide hatred, assaulted eardrums on a massive scale with her music video gone viral, “Friday.” The worst realization to come out of Friday-gate wasn’t the sorry state of the music industry or even the online bullying Black faced, but the fact that, apparently, rich people will throw a few thousand dollars at a greedy producer to create a shitty song and music video for their marginally talented child.

Record producer and songwriter Patrice Wilson was one of the driving forces behind “Friday” and if you wanted to give his work another chance, you’re in luck. He worked with Nicole Westbrook to record a song not about one day of the week (that’s so 2011), but one day of the year. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s Thanksgiving.

Kraft Mac-n-Cheese – AY! Stove Top stuffing – AY! We one-percenters should have better food than this.

While we’re on the topic of social phenomena ripe for mockery, it’s fitting to recognize Food Network’s Guy Fieri (Real Name: Guy Ferry. Yeah, douchebag status: confirmed) who recently opened a new restaurant in New York City. It seems most people either love or hate Guy. He co-owns five California restaurants and hosts the popular Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, on which he travels the country highlighting off-the-beaten-path chow-down spots — so, clearly he’s got some fans out there. Others are a bit turned off by his labored “Rock-N-Roll” façade, his annoying catchphrases and his penchant for bowling shirts.

I can’t trust a man who purposefully styles his hair like a goofy visor hat from Cappel’s, and apparently New York Times’ Pete Wells isn’t a fan either. In his Nov. 13 take-down piece on the new Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square, Wells completely ripped the joint apart limb from tribal tattooed limb. While any attempt to seriously review what sounds like a black hole for overweight tourists would probably prove futile, I feel Wells could have been a bit more creative in his blasting of Fieri. Guy’s an easy target, so why go with the cliched “Dear Guy,” letter format, punctuated by a series of overly sarcastic questions? At this point I’m waiting for a cynical review of Wells’ review (please tweet any findings to @jackern), but I have to hand it to the reviewer for this service assessment that made me choke on my morning coffee: “The well-meaning staff seems to realize that this is not a real restaurant.” Find the full story here.

Fans got a first look at Brad Pitt zombie action flick World War Z last week. The film, based on Max Brooks’ 2006 novel of the same name, may stray farther from the text than fans have hoped, judging by the trailer. (Though it’s important to note how deceiving these first looks can be). The book reflects on a worldwide war on zombies after the fact, using interviews with survivors to paint the terrifying picture, whereas the film appears to be a straight-up zombie movie. However it turns out, zombie purists beware: These may be the quickest and most agile undead yet.

After last week’s election, gay marriage is now legal nine states. It’s a great feat for equality, but we’ve got a long way to go. In fact, gays across America have given straight, conservative men an ultimatum: Vote to legalize same-sex marriage, or they will marry the crap out of your girlfriends.

Portlandia, the hilarious sketch comedy spoofing counter-culture trends, returns to IFC Jan. 4. The show stars SNL’s Fred Armisen and Sleater-Kinney/Wild Flag guitarist-singer Carrie Brownstein — quite possibly my favorite non-romantic duo — in a series of timely skits about the hipster sect of popular culture. All the good little boys and girls of Oregon and beyond can get an early sampling of the two with the “Winter in Portlandia” holiday special on Dec. 14. Fans will see Peter and Nance go low-carb to stave off winter blubber and meet Candace’s son as he swings by Women and Women First during his holiday visit.

Here’s the first skit from the upcoming third season:

 
 
by Jac Kern 04.19.2012
 
 
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Your Thursday To Do List

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.

Follow our music blog for nightly shows and check our To Do page for more art exhibits, theater productions and events.

 
 
by Hannah McCartney 07.12.2013
Posted In: Culture at 10:51 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
cincinnati innovates

Here Are the Top Five Cincinnati Innovates Entries

Voting on local progressive, transformative ideas ends July 15

There's $100,000 on the line waiting to be handed out to 12 ambitious groups of Cincinnatians with big ideas, and every applicant is hoping to earn your vote.

They're all contestants in Cincinnati Innovates, a contest designed to support Cincinnatians with progressive, transformative ideas of any kind — and sometimes they're pretty quirky. This year there's an entry to raise awareness about how to steep tea, one for a woman named Mickey who wants to expand her CheeseSicles (frozen cheesecake on a stick) biz, another proposal that wants to develop a local indoor shrimp farm and one that wants funding to make "Bitch Bras" for dogs. But go look for yourself...there are plenty more, including the folks behind the Please and Carriage House Farm outdoor dinner series, recently profiled in a CityBeat cover story here.

Some of the proposals have a potential to impact not just Cincinnati, but also the great, big world outside us. Voting ends July 15, so there's still time to shake up the rankings; the proposal with the most votes when the polls close will win $2,500, but the rest will be doled out by judges after deliberation.

Last year the top winner was "Skinny Mom," spearheaded by Brooke Griffin. Griffin won $25,000 to support her network of mom bloggers who share info on food, fashion, fitness and family trends.

The applicants who've earned the top 5 votes so far are as follows:

1.) 3DLT.com - These guys want to create an online database based off the iStockphoto model, instead for 3D designs that can be purchased and printed at home, online or at a local 3D print shop. If you haven't heard about 3D printing, you probably will soon — it's what gave Buttercup the duck a new leg and it can also be used to print things like eyeglasses, jewelry, casts and tons of other things. Their website is already up and running, but they're looking for support to work on making 3D printing more accessible to the public.

2.) Fly Up Fitness - Applicant Brent Kruithof's inspiration for Fly Up Fitness, the portable fitness device, arose from his frustration with his busy schedule that made it difficult to make trips to gym. His "Fly Up" device uses body weight as resistance to exercise chest muscle, but the video shows a bunch of other ways to get your fitness on that don't look too terribly intimidating.

3.) Perfect Pass - This one's targeting a pretty specific market: quarterbacks. Pat McLaughlin, football coach at Moeller High School, developed "Perfect Pass" to train quarterbacks to throw a football properly by building muscle memory.  

4.) Please & Carriage House Education Kitchen - CityBeat last month covered Please & Carriage House Farm's dynamic outdoor dining series taking place this summer, and now the duo is looking for funding to grow its system into a full-scale facility offering "education kitchen" classes and workshops to encourage the community to use and appreciate local, healthy foods.

5.) Fit Mommies - There is apparently a humongous and very active community of moms trying to get rid of their pooches. Fit Mommies is a local workout program designed specifically for prenatal and postnatal fitness. They're hoping to win so they can expand the business into a mobile app and an online workout platform.

 
 
by Hannah McCartney 02.21.2013
Posted In: Cinfolk , Interviews, Culture at 12:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Cinfolk: German Lopez

When journalists interview people, it's more often than not about something very specific. When we interview the governor, his press person would definitely give us a dirty look if we threw in questions like, "What's your favorite '90s boy band?" or, "Did OJ do it?" We're there to discuss something specific, and straying too far outside that topic is viewed as either a waste of the interviewee's time or an invasion of privacy.

The reality is that there are more facets to the people we interview than we'll ever know. What was Senate Chef Daniel Wright's favorite toy when he was a kid? What does CityBeat editor-in-chief Danny Cross order at Taco Bell?

The answers to questions like these don't define a person, but neither do their jobs, possessions, political leanings, philanthropic efforts or social status. It's a little bit of everything. In this blog series, I'll be picking random Cincinnatians who are doing something interesting, call them on the phone/harass them on the street and ask five or six weird questions and hope I don't get yelled at. Feel free to comment if there's someone you'd like to suggest.

As a practice go, I'm first interviewing my cubicle mate and reporter extraordinaire, German Lopez. If you don’t recognize the name German Lopez, it’s because you probably never read CityBeat, so shame on you. Around the office, he's known for his dry sense of humor, really liking donuts, ditching all of our happy hours and one time writing almost an entire issue by himself. He's the one we all go to when we need him to explain in plebeian language the meaning of complicated political and economic data.

Hannah McCartney: What's your favorite most recent viral video?

German Lopez: The video of Eddie, the geriatric sea otter with arthritis who can dunk a basketball, definitely tops my list right now. I think CityBeat should run a cover story just profiling Eddie. It's probably more important than the governor's budget proposals.

HM: When you sit down to write an article, what's the process like? Describe your work style.
GL: Before I start writing an article, I complete most of my research, interviews and an outline. Once that's all together, I sit down and write the entire article, whether it's 500 or 4,000 words, all at once. The first draft is usually a disaster, but I do extensive copy editing to fix up the structure and wording after that. The editing probably takes me longer than the writing process because I have to fact check every line and make sure it's all written in an easily digestible manner.

HM: What was the last meal you cooked for yourself?
GL: Chicken cutlets with mashed potatoes and corn. It was freaking delicious. But I rarely cook for myself. One of the upsides to having a stay-at-home husband is I usually get home to a delicious cooked meal. The only downside is I have to make all the money.

HM: Where's your favorite place to sit down and read a book in Cincinnati?
GL: On the couch at home while surrounded by my ferrets, cat and husband. But I usually read political blogs, newspapers and e-books on my iPad instead of actual print.

HM: What website can you not go a day without checking? Why?
GL: There are a bunch of answers to this, but the top choice is probably Wonkblog, the domestic policy blog at The Washington Post. It has all the studies and graphs I need to form an educated opinion on major political issues. And CityBeat.com, of course.
 
 
by Jac Kern 04.06.2012
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 4/6-4/8

The Heights Music Festival, TEDxCincinnatiChange, Rumspringa and more pre-Easter fun

While we’re sure many of you crammed enough fun into Opening Day to last the rest of April, there’s still plenty going on this weekend to keep the party going.

The Heights Music Festival (formerly Clifton Heights Music Festival, launched in 2009) kicks off tonight with more than 70 bands (and some comedy sets) at five venues within walking distance around Clifton Heights. Rohs Street Café, Baba Budan’s, Mac’s, Christy’s and Roxx Electrocafe all host performances beginning at 7 p.m. tonight and starting at 3 p.m. tomorrow afternoon through the night. Tickets are $8 for just tonight, $5 for tomorrow’s daytime shows or $12 for the whole weekend. Go here for lineup details and more information.

Though iconic Cincinnati-based artist Charley Harper passed away almost five years ago, his artwork is as recognizable now than ever. His modernist depictions of nature and wildlife still cover the walls of fans young and old. Mary Ran Gallery is currently holding an exhibit and sale of Harper’s vintage signed and numbered prints. Stop by the Hyde Park gallery, peep some of his colorful works and walk away with one of your own. Find details here.

TEDxCincinnatiChange is the first of many TED events to hit the Tri-state this spring. Saturday’s theme is "Big Picture, Small Details," set to examine issues with global and local impact and zeroing in on small details to make big ideas work. This a satellite event of a national TEDxChange, which marks a partnership between TED (Technology, Entertainments and Design) and the Melinda Gates Foundation. The Cincinnati event will kick off with a live streaming of a TEDxChange talk from Berlin. Speakers and performers include filmmakers Andrea Sisson and Peter Ohs, True Body Project founder Stacy Sims, taste of Beligum's Jean-Francois Flechet and many more. The event is currently sold out, but go here to find other upcoming TED events.

Rumspringa is a rite of passage when Amish adolescents can leave their community and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere prior to deciding to be baptized or to leave the Amish church. In popular culture, those participating in Rumspringa are often portrayed as hardcore partiers, swapping their values and traditional garb for booze and sex (but in actuality, it’s not so drastic – most choose to continue being Amish). Saturday, Mayday presents its annual Rumspringa Beer and Sausage Fest. Rock out like it’s your only chance to do so and enjoy Amish-inspired delights like beerwurst, bangers, homemade mustards and more beer than you can shake a buckled shoe at. Remember to call a designated carriage driver! The fun starts at 4 p.m.

OTR A.D.O.P.T. is an organization that helps match prospective home/business owners renovate deteriorating historic buildings in Over-the-Rhine. Saturday, Neon’s Unplugged hosts a benefit for the organization, inviting you to Partly Like it’s 1869! Learn about the organization and how to get involved while celebrating the eclectic neighborhood. Costumes are encourage, so sport your favorite hoop skirt or suspenders and capture your look in a photo booth. A $5 donation gets you in; enjoy old timey drink specials from 8 p.m.-1 a.m.

Check our full To Do page for more arts and events, follow our music blog for this weekend's shows and find theater recommendations here. And Happy Zombie Jesus Day!

 
 
by Jac Kern 05.14.2012
 
 
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Your Monday To Do List

On this first day of Bike to Work Week, Park + Vine and Queen City Bike want to reward all those who swapped their cars for two wheels with a kombucha keg party tonight. Fab Ferments’ brew will be tapped at 4:30 and the fermented goodness will be served 'til 6 p.m. alongside tasty vegan snacks. P+V continues to celebrate bike month with lots of other events and promotions this month (find more here). Go here for our full Bike Month calendar.

Today is also the kick-off of American Craft Beer Week. That’s a thing! Cincinnati has a rich brewing history, so it’s no surprise that local watering holes are celebrating the creation and consumption of delicious craft beer. Tonight, Arnold’s taps Bell’s Third Coast Ale — one of two fifth-barrels in the entire city. Find Arnold’s full ACBW schedule here.

The Crazy Fox in Newport hosts open mic and all-night happy hour every Monday. All musicians are welcome to perform in a friendly atmosphere, beginning at 8:30 p.m. The Seedy Seeds’ Margaret Darling guest hosts this week.

It's Only A Day Away

Tomorrow, Northside Tavern hosts a fundraiser for End Slavery Cincinnati. Help raise awareness about human trafficking in the country and right here in Cincinnati from 5-10 p.m. There will be live music from The Flavor Junkies and Wild Mountain Berries, door prizes and more, for $5 at the door.

This American Life presented a live cinema event last Thursday that featured its standard true storytelling format, but with ample visual elements. In addition to anecdotes from David Sedaris, Tig Notaro and others, there were also dance performances, a hilarious short film from Mike Birbiglia and an interactive performance by OK GO. The theater in Newport where I watched the show was far too empty — I found the show more entertaining than any movie in theaters right now! Those who missed out have another chance to check out the program in theaters Tuesday. Sure, it will be a recording of the live show, but the charm and excitement of the live format will surely shine through. Without spoiling anything, the stories they were able to assemble were killer: laugh-out-loud, misty-eyed, thought-provoking TAL goodness.

Be sure to download this free app before you go — the TAL crew pulled some strings to allow audiences to use their phones at one point in the performance. Go here to find nearby theaters screening the show tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. Can I gush any more? No. It’s worth the $20 ticket. Please go.

Ricky, Julian and Bubbles bring the trailer park to town for a night tomorrow! For those unfamiliar, Trailer Park Boys is a Canadian mockumentary-style comedy series and movies that has developed a cult following over the past decade. It’s white trash hilarity at its finest. If last year’s live show was any indication, Tuesday’s “Community Service Variety Show” is sure to bring the LOLs. Buy tickets here.

 
 
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.

Read More

 
 
by Jac Kern 06.26.2012
Posted In: Culture at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Tuesday To Do List

With Cincinnati Pride Week just around the corner, Oakley’s 20th Century Theater hosts Cincy Pride Week Cruise-In with Chicago cabaret act, Amy & Freddy. The funny and fabulous duo is a smash on the GLBT cruise circuit, and they’ll perform along with Cincinnati Men’s Chorus and The Queen City D-Dolls. Dress in your hottest resort wear and get ready for a night of music, dancing, comedy and plenty of cruise cocktails. The ship sets sail at 8 p.m. and tickets are $25 at the door. Seating is limited nightclub-format, so arrive early and keep the party goin’ til 11 p.m. Find details here.

While we’re on the topic of cabarets, on the other side of the river is Musical Theatre Night at the Thompson House. This inaugural weekly event is like karaoke, but with a live pianist and tunes from your favorite movies and musicals. Bring your own sheet music or pick a hit from their provided selections. Come around 7:30 p.m. to sign up. The night runs through 11 p.m. Flex those jazz hands and go here for more info.

The JCC Summer Film Series kicks off tonight at Montgomery’s Mayerson JCC. Based on the popularity of the organization’s Jewish and Israeli Film Festival last winter, the center will again screen excellent movies rarely shown in Cincinnati, through Thursday. Tonight’s film is Melting Away (Namess Ba'geshem), the first Israeli feature film that deals with the topic of parents and their relationships with transgendered children. The movie begins at 7 p.m. Check out the full lineup here.

 
 
by Hannah McCartney 08.02.2012
Posted In: Drinking, Fun, Life, Culture at 09:40 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Hop 'Til You Drop

Today is IPA Day!

Today is a damn good holiday. 


It’s IPA Day. Or, in the world of Twitterati and Instagrammers, #IPADay.


IPA Day started last year as a grassroots social media movement meant to rally beer nerds worldwide in a grand, joyful and bottle-filled celebration of a craft beer rich with history, hops and happiness.  

According to the event’s website, “IPA Day is not the brainchild of a corporate marketing machine, nor is it meant to serve any particular beer brand. IPA Day is opportunity for all breweries, bloggers, businesses and consumers to connect and share their love of craft beer.”

Last year, enough drinkers got excited about the concept to get the hashtag trending on Twitter with around 10,000 tweets, and now some bars and restaurants are even holding events to celebrate. If you can't find an official event around you, you can at least be a good Samaritan by visiting your favorite watering hole and convincing someone to swap out their normal watered-down brew for something far more satisfying.


The origin of the traditional India Pale Ale is a contentious subject: Popular legend has it that the brew gained popularity in the late 1700s and early 1800s when some genius British guy decided that extra hops needed to be added to the beer Brit soldiers and sailors took on their long voyages to India.

Other beer nerds say the idea of adding hops to beer dates back as far as the 1760s, when there was a general consensus that it was “absolutely necessary” to add hops to beer intended to be consumed in hot climates.

And while Americans may have totally fucked up the taco and every Asian chicken dish (I swear General Tso's chicken is just a bunch of McNuggets doused in bastardized barbeque sauce), we kind of hit it head (pun) on with our Americanization of the IPA, which has enveloped into a beautiful beer subculture rich with variations like double and triple IPAs and crazy flavor profiles, adding fruit and herb undertones and dark, smoky accents.

While some certain brands and styles of beer like mainstream pilsners and lagers might be more ubiquitous in the American drinking landscape, the IPA represents, truly, a craft beer art form that continues to be innovated and explored.

If you're not sure where to start, check out alehead.com's list of some of the best IPAs available today before you head to the store. Bell's Two Hearted Ale will forever have my heart, but I think we might have to see other people today.

 
 

 

 

 
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