What should I be doing instead of this?

Treats to Try at Asian Food Fest

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 4, 2016
This year, Asian Food Fest expects 20,000 visitors. But festival organizers are bringing back some of the non-professional enthusiasm it had in its beginnings with four vendors who are home cooks preparing a “secret menu” of foods they love.  

Event: Workout on the Green

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Washington Park’s free weekday workout series Workout On the Green returns with the warmer weather.   

Holiday: Santa's Workshop at Washington Park

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 9, 2015
You’ve waited in the lines. You’ve dealt with crying kids and the loud noises of malls and shopping centers.  

Cincinnati Food + Wine Classic 2.0

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Last year, Donna Covrett, former Cincinnati Magazine dining editor, and Courtney Tsitouris, a food writer, designer and producer, launched the inaugural Cincinnati Food + Wine Classic, a three-day event designed to, as they say, “capture the energy and enthusiasm of the Midwest’s dynamic food and beverage scene.”   

Event: See Cincinnati

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 2, 2015
“See Cincinnati” is Washington Park’s Labor Day staycation destination featuring a series of concerts and tours highlighting the best of the Queen City.  

Get Folked Up at Whispering Beard

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 26, 2015
The Whispering Beard Folk Festival returns to nearby Friendship, Ind. this week for four days of superb national, regional and local Roots music. Plus, the third annual Taste of OTR in Washington Park features local acts Mamadrones, Dawg Yawp, Jane Decker, Multimagic and more, Roger Klug and players from the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra take on The Beatles and Wussy headlines Friday's penultimate 2015 MidPoint Indie Summer show on Fountain Square.  
by Mike Breen 05.07.2015
Posted In: Live Stream, Local Music at 09:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Free Summer Music in the Parks

This summer brings another wealth of free musical events to Downtown and Over-the-Rhine

Just a couple of decades or so ago, downtown Cincinnati resembled a ghost town in the evenings. Once 5 p.m. rolled around, most downtown workers hopped in their cars and headed home, rarely staying in or visiting the city’s core for any other reason (maybe a concert or sporting event, but that was largely a “parking garage/game/home” process). It’s hard to explain to some younger locals just how much the city has changed since then, with the life and energy brought back to Downtown and nearby Over-the-Rhine over recent years becoming the norm.  There are, of course, numerous reasons for the resurrection of the city’s center, much of which is covered weekly in CityBeat (new restaurants, bars, events and other additions, plus the influx of people deciding to live in the area). Every summer I’m particularly struck by the huge shift the city has made when I attend some of the many free live, outdoor concert options available to the public most days of the week. Seeing hundreds of people from all backgrounds enjoying free music in a variety of genres is yet another thing that should make our city proud of how far we’ve come. Lineups for this summer’s music series on Fountain Square and Washington Park, as well as the relative newcomer, Smale Riverfront Park, have gradually been unveiled over the past few weeks. Below is a list of scheduled events so far. All of the series do a great job of spotlight the enormous local talent in the city, and there are also several concerts featuring national touring acts that would otherwise cost you several dollars for tickets (or at least a cover charge of some sort). Print this out, grab a highlighter and mark your favorites (or, heck, take a chance on something new) and then get ready for another great summer for music lovers in the Queen City. (These are only the weekly music-related happenings; visit myfountainsquare.com, washingtonpark.org and mysmaleriverfrontpark.org for all kinds of other events happening this summer in the spaces.) FOUNTAIN SQUARE Salsa on the Square The long-running Salsa on the Square series gets a jumpstart on the other music series on Fountain Square, kicking off today (and continuing through mid-September, which is also later than the other series). Running 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., the concerts feature numerous area Salsa bands, lots of dancing and even some instructors on hand to help you out if you need some tips.  May 7: Son Del Caribe May 14: Tropicoso May 21: Kandela May 28: Clave Son June 4: Stacie Sandoval & Grupo Tumbao June 11: Kentucky Salsa All-Stars June 18: Son Del Caribe June 25: Zumba July 2: Kandela July 9: Clave Son July 16: Stacie Sandoval & Grupo Tumbao July 23: Kentucky Salsa All-Stars July 30: Tropicoso Aug. 6: Stacie Sandoval & Grupo Tumbao Aug. 13: Monk River Aug. 20: Clave Son Aug. 27: Son Del Caribe Sept. 3: Afro-Cuban Cartel Sept. 10: Tropicoso Sept. 17: Latin Beat Project American Roots The American Roots series features a variety of acts that cover the wide spectrum that is Americana music today. Most of the top local Roots acts are performing, while touring artists like American Aquarium, Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys, Dale Watson and more will also make appearances. Each night features two performers. Music runs 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. May 26: American Aquarium and Ben Knight and the Welldiggers  June 2: Buffalo Wabs & the Price Hill Hustle and Wild Carrot  June 9: Chicago Farmer and Shiny and the Spoon June 16: Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys and Jeremy Pinnell June 23: The Shook Twins and G. Burton June 30: The Quebe Sisters and Howlin’ Brothers July 7: Dale Watson and Straw Boss July 14: TBA July 21: Quiet Life and Crow Moses July 28: The Brothers Landreth and Josh Eagle and Harvest City Aug. 4: Arlo Mckinley and Wilder Aug. 11: Young Heirlooms and The Hiders Aug. 18: Bulletville and Noah Smith Aug. 25: Elk Creek and Frontier Folk Nebraska Sept. 1: Dallas Moore and Pure Grain Reggae Wednesday  Joining the usual array of some of the finest Reggae bands in the city and region this year for Reggae Wednesday are numerous touring bands, including St. Louis’ Taj Weekes & Adowa, Jamaican natives Yabba Griffiths and Jah Messengers Reggae Bnad and Brooklyn’s New Kingston. Reggae Wednesdays run 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. May 27: Areesaa Iyah & The Eastwind Band June 3:  Taj Weekes & Adowa June 10: Yabba Griffiths & the Traxx Band June 17: Ras Bonghi Reggae All-Stars June 24: Positive Mental Attitude July 1: The Flex Crew July 8: The Ark Band July 15: The Cliftones July 22: Gizzae July 29: Oriel Barry and the Revoluters Aug. 5: New Kingston Aug. 12: Ukombozi  Aug. 19: All Star Jammerz Aug. 26: Jah Messengers Reggae Band Sept. 2: Anthem Reggae Band MidPoint Indie Summer Sponsored by the popular late September MidPoint Music Festival (which, full disclosure, CityBeat runs), this year’s Indie Summer concerts (held each Friday) feature some of the biggest acts in the series’ history, alongside some of the best Rock/Indie/Alt/Electronic bands in Cincy. The Indie Summer shows showcase four acts and begin at 7 p.m. each week. (More artists are to be added to certain dates.) May 29: Surfer Blood; The Yugos; Automagik; Harbour Jun 5: The Mowgli's; One Day Steady; Nevele; Beloved Youth Jun 12: Kopecky; Broncho; Coconut Milk; Near Earth Objects Jun 19: Buffalo Killers; Ohio Knife; Mad Anthony; Go Go Buffalo Jun 26: Sloan; Mother Mother; Old City Jul 3: Red Wanting Blue; Young Heirlooms; Motherfolk; Chris Salyer Jul 10: Saint Motel Jul 17: The Ting Tings; Brick + Mortar; Black Signal Jul 24: Givers; Prim; Even Titles Jul 31: The Whigs; Multimagic; Pop Goes the Evil; The Never Setting Suns Aug 7: Tweens; Leggy; Smut; Shark Week Aug 14: Judah & The Lion; Seabird; Matt Hires; Along the Shore Aug 21: San Fermin; Lemon Sky Aug 28: Wussy; Pike 27; The Perfect Children; JetLab Sep 4:The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die; Injecting Strangers; Moonbeau: Edison Beats by Self Diploma  Local production/promotion crew Self Diploma has always done a fantastic job of bringing in some of the hottest acts on the EDM and Hip Hop circuits, making its Saturday night showcases some of the biggest of all the series. Last year, the group opened things up to other genres and offered audition opportunities to artists of all sort. Though still heavy on DJs, Electronic/Dance music and Hip Hop, this year’s lineup also includes things like Country Pop and live R&B and Funk. Music starts each Saturday at 7 p.m., with the last act going on at 10 p.m. May 30: Alex Angelo; Ezzy; Aprina; Justin Stone June 6: Ja Rule; Trademark Aaron; Diamond Star Russell; Mayo June 13: King Chip; Cameron Grey; Razook; Sarob June 20: Nappy Roots; Packy; Ajax Stacks & Nate Paulson; Alexa Lusader June 27: OnCue; Cato; Rhett Wellington July 4: Ground Up; DJ Kev the Goon; Swah; David Zup July 18: Milk N Cookies; Panzer; Reaux; Button Mashers July 25: Futuristic; Marc Goone; Puck; The Media August 1: No Sleep; DJ Drowsy; CopyCats; Gold Dash August 8: Huey Mack; Kid Quil; Lauren Vanatsky; Kid Slim August 15: Kap Slap; Saranate; RandiFloss August 22: Academy; TJ Hickey; Sh3llz; Benji August 29: JMSN; Oregonia; Tana Matz September 5: The Jane Doze; Gateway; Halogen WASHINGTON PARK Washington Park has stripped back to two weekly music series this year, but both offer plenty of exciting performers.  Bandstand Bluegrass The Bluegrass shows return this year to the centralized gazebo/bandstand stage every Thursday (except Aug. 6, which sees the return of the popular Lumenocity multi-media extravaganza). The “Bluegrass” part of the name is a bit of a misnomer; Bluegrass bands are on the schedule, but so are plenty of other Americana/Country/Roots/Folk acts. I guess alliteration is more fun than bad puns (or maybe Dick Clark’s production company would sue if they went with “Americana Bandstand”). Music starts at 7 p.m. and there are usually two acts per night. This year’s lineup includes an appearance by Country Blues favorite Charlie Parr, diverse Michigan ensemble The Appleseed Collective and a few other national acts. May 28: The Mamadrones June 4: Mustered Courage and Blair Crimmins June 11: Willow Tree Carolers June 18: Jake Book and New Country Rehab June 25: Woody Pines and Barefoot Movement July 2: Casey Campbell and Charlie Parr July 9: Mipso and Railsplitters July 16: The Appleseed Collective and The Tillers July 23: Buffalo Wabs & The Price Hill Hustle July 30: Red Cedars and Blue Rock Boys August 13: Hu Town Holler and Town Mountain August 20: Mike Oberst and My Brother’s Keepers August 27: Comet Bluegrass All-Stars September 3: Al Scorch & Friends Friday Fusion Fridays at Washington Park, R&B and Jazz acts from all over the country (there are some real legends in this bunch) will provide the sounds for Friday Fusion. The concerts rotate between the Bandstand stage and the Main Stage (across from Music Hall). Music begins at 7 p.m. May 29: Midnight Star (Main Stage) June 5: Dixie Karas Group (Bandstand) June 12: Michel’le (Main Stage) June 19: Eddie Brookshire Quintet (Bandstand) June 26: Hot Magnolias (Bandstand) July 3: Delfeayo & Jason Marsalis (Main Stage) July 10: Zapp Band (Main Stage) July 17: Straight Ahead All-Female Jazz Band (Main Stage) July 24: Tim Warfield Quartet (Main Stage) July 31: Marc Fields Quintet (Main Stage) August 14: Soul Pocket (Main Stage) August 21: Vernon Hairston Trio (Bandstand) August 28: Kathy Wade with the Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra (Main Stage) SMALE RIVERFRONT PARK Cocktails and Crown Jewels  Washington Park previously hosted the weekly Crown Jewels of Jazz concerts, but this year the series moves to one of the city’s newer green-space gems, Smale Riverfront Park (near the river and The Banks). Now called Cocktails and Crown Jewels, the concerts are heavy on Jazz acts but also include some R&B, Salsa and the melange of styles crafted by funky party crew The Cincy Brass. Music starts at 7:30 p.m. The concerts take place on the park’s Schmidlapp Event Lawn & Stage most Thursdays throughout the summer. The shows are free but attendees can also pay $25 to enjoy the music from the special VSP Area (with some food and drink included).  May 28: Alex Bugnon June 4: The Cincy Brass June 11: Urban Jazz Coalition  June 25: WOW featuring Tim Warfield and Bobby Floyd July 2: FrenchAxe July 16: Craig Bailey and the Cincy Jazz All-Stars July 23: Orquesta Kandela Aug. 6: Ingrid Woode & the Woode Tribe Orchestra Aug. 13: fo/mo/deep Aug. 27: Sound Body Jazz Orchestra

LumenoCity to Return This Summer; Tickets to Cost $20

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 15, 2015
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra has announced it will bring incredibly popular Over-the-Rhine light show LumenoCity back Aug. 5-9. The event will be a lot different this year, however, at least when it comes to admission.   
by Jac Kern 04.13.2015

LumenoCity Returns this Summer

Popular audio-visual performance to take over Washington Park Aug. 5-9

LumenoCity, the popular outdoor 3D light and music show, will return to Washington Park with five performances Aug. 5-9. The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra will again provide the live music to accompany 3D projection lighting by Brave Berlin that makes the facade of Music Hall appear to come to life.Performances include a dress rehearsal on Aug. 5 followed by four shows Aug. 6-9. All performances will begin at 8:30 p.m. with the Cincinnati Pops and the audio/visual show with the CSO will begin at 9:40 p.m. each night.In addition to more performances, changes this year include an admission fee. Tickets cost $15-$20 and attendees must register in advance for a chance to reserve them. Ticket registration is open now through May 16 at 10 p.m. at lumenocity2015.com (limit one entry per person). A select number of registrants will be chosen at random on May 29, and those people will have the opportunity to buy up to four tickets (limit one selected registrant per household). Once selected individuals receive their ticket codes, they can then select particular performance dates on a first-come, first served basis. Codes should be redeemed as early as possible, starting June 1. Overall capacity has been reduced to 6,000 per night (a total of 30,000 across the four performances and dress rehearsal) to limit overcrowding.The CSO is making 10 percent of the tickets available free of charge to locals through human service organizations. Other viewing opportunities include a free webcast Aug. 7-8, a live radio broadcast Aug. 7 on WGUC and a live television broadcast Aug. 8 on CET and WCPO.
by Nick Swartsell 03.04.2015
Posted In: News at 10:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Morning News and Stuff

3CDC eyes Ziegler Park; streetcar contract drama; an unclear sentence could cost millions their healthcare

Hey all. Let’s get this news thing going before the snow comes once again and grinds everything to a halt. Or just dusts the ground with a little inconvenient powder, depending on how much you trust weather forecasters. Yesterday I told you a bit about 3CDC’s presentation to City Council’s Economic Development and Infrastructure Committee. During that meeting, 3CDC head Steven Leeper said the developer might cross the $1 billion threshold this year for investment made in the basin since it began in 2003. Let’s dig into my notes a bit and talk in more detail about a couple things regarding Over-the-Rhine the developers have planned. One of the noteworthy projects on the group’s radar is a redevelopment of Ziegler Park on Sycamore Street. The park is across from the former SCPA building and just a block from Main Street’s active corridor of restaurants, bars and apartments. 3CDC head Steve Leeper said Ziegler’s revamp would increase the number of basketball courts and other active features currently found there. Removal of the courts at Washington Park during its 2010 revamp by 3CDC caused controversy among neighborhood residents, many of whom used the courts regularly. Leeper promised that while Washington Park’s character is more “passive” in nature, Ziegler would be a much more “active” park.“There will be a lot more athletic activities going on there,” Leeper said, “and hopefully it will attract kids from the neighborhood who can spend their time in those athletic endeavors like we all did when we were kids."• Leeper also outlined progress on three facilities for individuals without homes — two in Queensgate set to replace the Drop Inn Center and City Gospel Mission facilities currently in Over-the-Rhine and a third in Mount Auburn built to replace the Anna Louise Inn downtown. These projects have been controversial — advocates fought hard for years to keep the Drop Inn Center at its location in OTR and a protracted legal battle stretched on for many months between Cincinnati Union Bethel, which runs the Anna Louise Inn in Lytle Park, and Western & Southern Financial Group, which eventually purchased the property against CUB’s wishes. The new spaces are a bit further from the city’s center, though they do have a larger capacity. • Speaking of the Drop Inn Center, its winter shelter will be open the rest of this week in response to dropping temperatures, according to a release sent out by the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless. Usually, the winter shelter is closed by this time of year, but with winter taking its time going away, the shelter will stay open a bit longer. • Here we go again: More streetcar drama could be coming our way. There is currently a potential fight brewing over who will operate the transit project. Council has set a limit of $4.3 million a year on bids for running the streetcar. The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority is taking bids on the contract, and there’s controversy over whether to use union employees for the job or not. Some council members favor that move, even if it costs a bit more, and they’ve asked  SORTA to negotiate with the Amalgamated Transit Union, which also runs the city’s bus service. But ATU has accused SORTA of dragging its feet on contract negotiations and trying to undercut the union by demanding a separate collective bargaining agreement for running the streetcar. SORTA says a separate agreement is necessary because the scale of the streetcar — just 30 employees at most — is much smaller than 750 people who run the city’s bus service. Union officials, however, says that SORTA is trying to get the lowest bid possible out of the union in order to drive other bids down as well. My guess is we’ll be hearing a lot more on this one. A decision must be made on the operator of the project by July. • Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld today said he will stay in the race for U.S. Senate, ending speculation he might bow out after former governor Ted Strickland entered the race last week. Sittenfeld will face Strickland in the Democratic primary. The winner will face incumbent Sen. Rob Portman, unless he is felled by a primary challenger — an unlikely possibility. “Since we launched our campaign, I have been more grateful than I can express for the enthusiasm, encouragement and support we've received,” Sittenfeld said today in a statement on social media and his website. “So I want you — my supporters and friends — to hear it from me directly: I'm all in. Ohio needs a forward-looking leader to replace Rob Portman and the broken culture in Washington that he's long been part of.”
• You might be able to walk around The Banks with a bit of the ole’ alcheyhol on Opening Day. For a while now, lawmakers in Ohio have been trying to pass legislation that would allow cities to designate open container districts where folks can have a beer out in public. It looks like the legislation is good to go, with enough support at the State House, and now local officials are telling the Ohio General Assembly to hurry the dang thing up so we can chug a couple Moerleins in public to celebrate the Reds beating the Pirates April 6. The bill looks likely to pass the House, hopefully with the two-thirds vote margin needed to put it into effect immediately. Local State Sens. Democrat Cecil Thomas and Republican Bill Seitz have introduced a bill in the Senate to speed the process up there as well. Now that’s what I call bipartisanship. If the bill passes, council will have to scramble to create and approve the districts, one of which looks likely to be the area around the stadium. Ladies and gentlemen, you have a month. Get to work.• Hey! Do you want people fracking in state parks? It could happen soon whether you like it or not. Four years ago, Gov. John Kasich signed into law a provision allowing fracking on state land. He then pulled a fast one and declined to fund the commission that would give drillers approval for fracking permits on that land, basically circumventing the law he signed. Very clever. But the Ohio General Assembly, which is currently dominated by pro-fracking Republicans, is working to pass a bill called House Bill 8 that would bypass that commission. Proponents of the bill say it’s meant to help private landowners who want to sell drilling rights to wells that might end up under state land. But critics note that under the current version of the bill, so called “surface impacts,” or drilling directly on state land, are not outlawed and would be permissible if the law passes. The bill heads to committee next week and looks to pass there, after which it will be considered by the whole House. • In national news, Supreme Court arguments begin in King vs. Burwell today, a lawsuit which could revoke health care subsidies for 7.5 million people currently signed up under the Affordable Care Act under the federal exchange. The core of the case is the contention that the language of the 2009 law does not allow the federal government to issue subsidies to people who went through the federal exchange, and that only those living in states that created their own exchanges are eligible for government help with their health care bills. It’s a nitpicky suit turning on a few words in a turn of phrase, but it could completely unravel Obamacare by making it unaffordable for those in the 34 states that did not or could not establish their own health care exchanges online. Many agree that’s the point of the suit, in fact — another attempt to repeal the healthcare system by throwing a legal wrench into its works. Just think! A pedantic semantics debate could leave millions without access to health care. And you thought clear writing wasn’t important.That’s it for me. Hit me with those tweets and those e-mails: @nswartsell or nswartsell@citybeat.com