Iggy and the Stooges on Ludlow Avenue

Iggy and the Stooges have come to Clifton—or their mural, that is. The artist who created the mural is C.F. Payne, and the work hangs beside the James Gang mural outside of Habanero’s and across the street from Captain Beefheart.

Talk about keeping good company.

It makes perfect sense that some sort of tribute would appear for Iggy in the Queen City, as one of the defining moments in his career occurred here. In June 23, 1970, at the Cincinnati Pop Festival, Iggy spread peanut butter over his body and then jumped into the crowd, who kept him afloat in an early example of crowd-surfing.

During that same year Iggy and the Stooges played two concerts at the Ludlow Garage, which has reopened, and the mural is two doors away from the historic venue. Like MC5, who also rocked the historic venue, the Stooges were a Michigan-based group who played a lot around the region during that period.

A seminal proto-punk band, Iggy & the Stooges reunited between 2003 and 2009, and Iggy Pop has also had a successful solo career and appeared in a number of movies.

Iggy has been to Cincinnati many other times, by the way. My first Iggy show was at Bogart’s around 1980 or 1981—something like that. The concert was sold out, but an admission specialist offered to let us in if we paid full ticket price in cash, to him.

I doubt we were the only people that evening who were extended that offer, and the room was beyond packed. Concerts used to start really late during that period, and Iggy was still going strong at two o’clock in the morning, and so was the crowd.

Then off went the lights and the sound, at exactly two o’clock in the morning. “The power blew” was the official report, but there were skeptics in the overstuffed crowd that took its sweet time filing out of the club, grouching the entire time.

They wanted more, and Iggy wanted more. No one believed that bit about the power.

But if anyone was going to make the power blow, it was Iggy.


James Gang Mural Now Hanging at Habanero’s

As we’re starting to see, Ludlow Avenue is being transformed into an art gallery devoted to great music.

The mural that went up this week is the second in a series of seven to appear on the street. Seven different artists chose to paint murals of a musician or band who played the Ludlow Garage in either its earliest incarnation or more recently.

The mural that appeared on the side of Gaslight Bar & Grill earlier this year portrays Captain Beefheart, whose bizarre-sounding music stood out even in the late 60s and 70s, when he first started to make records.

The new mural, which appears outside Habanero’s and was painted by John Maggard, depicts the James Gang. If you don’t  know the drummer Jim Fox or the bassist Dale Peters from the band, you probably know the group’s vocalist, lead guitarist, and main songwriter, Joe Walsh, who after the James Gang folded embarked on a successful solo career and then joined the Eagles.

By the time the James Gang performed a four-night stint at the Ludlow Garage (December 31, 1969–January 3 1970), the trio was a national act with an album on a major label and good press courtesy of the Who’s Pete Townsend. They were also a popular regional act based in Cleveland.

While many people associate Joe Walsh with his solo career and his work with the Eagles, the music he made with the James Gang should not be overlooked. At times sounding like a power trio and at other times performing warm acoustic ballads, the trio released three memorable studio albums plus a live LP recorded at Carnegie Hall.

Released in July of 1970, the group’s second studio album, Rides Again, belongs in every classic rock collection. Their biggest hits, “Funk 49” and “Walk Away,” are still played on the radio.

And the live LP is loud, crunchy rock and roll at its finest. Listen to this version of “Stop” and imagine this same trio in the more intimate setting of the Ludlow Garage.


The Color-Drenched Paintings of Donna Talerico

Recently Clifton has adapted in order to address the changes brought on by the pandemic. This is true for businesses as well as artists, including musicians, writers, and visual artists. An art gallery located at 3408 Osmond (the old Clifton Post Office), Off Ludlow Art has been hanging art work in the front windows, and because Cliftonites have been walking a lot, we’ve had a chance to see some new paintings by Donna Talerico. A long-term Clifton resident who moved here in 1969, Donna has been a successful artist for decades, and these photos reveal why: combining her vibrant use of color with enticing locations (many of them in France), Donna does a superb job of setting a scene. Her paintings will be showing in the Off Ludlow Art Gallery through June 1, 2020, and everything is for sale.

Donna has also reached out to let people know that they can visit her studio, which is located at Studio 610, Pendleton Art Center, 1310 Pendleton Street in Over the Rhine. She’s usually painting there weekday afternoons from 2pm to 6pm, but she can also make appointments suitable to your schedule. And she’s taking the proper safety precautions. “Management at the art center is taking steps to make the building safe, and halls are far from crowded,” she said. “I will be wearing a mask.” Donna can be reached by phone (home 513-961-4205; cell 513-706-7917) or email (talericofineart@gmail.com). To see new work by Donna, click this link to her Instagram account. She also updates her website on a regular basis.

“My most satisfying work is unrestrained, spontaneous,” Donna has said. “I paint intuitively and do not tiptoe through the painting process. Often, subject matter is my interpretation of the culture and architecture of France. I concentrate on powerful composition and I like pushing the border between representation and abstraction—always shooting for loose edges and a more fluid, expressionistic style.”

Clifton Dogs Having The Time of Their Lives

Everything got turned around lately. People have been stressed about the pandemic. But dogs – dogs, on the other hand, are having a jolly old time. They get to a spend a lot more time with their owners, and in their minds the humans in the house should be there all the time anyway.

And the dogs take more walks than they did before – a lot more. They’re also talking longer walks than before – walks where they have time to sniff everything and look around and take in the flora and fauna. Human beings are finally getting a clue, the dogs think.

Recently Gaslight Property asked Cliftonites to share photographs of their canines. We wanted to create a sort of scrapbook devoted to this unique period of time.  Eventually we won’t be at home as much, and we won’t be able to take our dogs for as many walks, so we better chronicle this period when the Clifton dogs are happier than ever. They’re loving every minute of their vacation. During their walks they have endless energy, but Cliftonites have also noticed that their dogs are napping a lot.

Here are some photos that fellow Cliftonites sent us. If you don’t see your dog but would like it to appear in this scrapbook, just post a photo to the Facebook page where this blog entry appeared and we’ll add it to this collection!

Our picture album will grow in upcoming weeks, but this is a start. Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far! Gaslight Property’s blog has been with us for over eight years now, and during that time it has served as a sort of scrapbook of Clifton in general, with its new stores and restaurants, the reopening of the Ludlow Garage, the loss and reemergence of our grocery store, and annual events like CliftonFest and the Halloween celebration that takes place on Ludlow Avenue every year.  And its people – and now its dogs!

MAYA Offering Special Promotions Online at jewelrymaya.com

For the time being, some retail storefronts in the Gaslight District have no store hours. Many of those stores remain open online, however, and some are holding special promotions. MAYA  currently has several online promotions to choose from,  including deals connected with Mother’s Day on May 10. The jewelry store is currently offering free shipping anywhere in the US.  Also, when requested, MAYA will make free deliveries to homes within 15 miles of the store.

The store’s Mother’s Day promotions also include the following offers through May 3:
40% off on everything with  a minimum purchase.
$10 off on purchases of $40 or more.
$50 off on purchases of $150 or more.

These special offers are available online. Also, you can call or text to Victor with any questions or special requests at 513-667-9299. Here are photographs of some of the lovely jewelry MAYA has for sale. To see more, and to take advantage of their special offers, visit their website at jewelrymaya.com.

MAYA has been part of the Gaslight District’s flora and fauna for the last four years, and the community embraced the new store immediately. The owner, Victor Morales, has been in the jewelry business for almost 20 years, but the lineage of MAYA goes back farther, all the way to his ancestors, who were native Mayans from Guatemala – hence the name MAYA.

MAYA’s jewelry is handmade and authentic; in other words, their designs are original and made by the real creators and artists they represent. From the start MAYA focused on handmade Native American jewelry from Zuni Pueblo and Navajo artists along with Sterling Silver jewelry by Mexican artists and designers. Later the store introduced more art and crafts in order to add color and charm to the store. The jewelry and crafts showcased at MAYA are all handmade by artists Victor has known for more than 20 years. The store’s jewelry and crafts collection varies from traditional styles to more contemporary and very stylish pieces.

Other MAYA links include:
Emails: maya@jewelrymaya.com
Facebook: facebook.com/jewelrybymaya/
Instagram: instagram.com/jewelry_maya/

We’ll have updates soon on some of the other stores in the Gaslight District who have also shifted their focus to online sales during the pandemic.

King Reeves, Jr. 1938–2020

King Reeves and Charlie Wilson

What possessed me to visit the Greenwich Tavern to see a quintet led by vibraphonist King Reeves and pianist Charlie Wilson almost 15 years ago I can’t say. I hadn’t heard their music yet, and I didn’t know any of the band members. So why did I go?

Maybe Kenny, a bartender at the Greenwich, hipped me to the event, which would make sense, as his enthusiasm for jazz is infectious. And maybe the fact that the vibraphone had become one of my favorite instruments had an influence.

In any case I attended the concert, where a good-sized crowd was quite vocal in its support, the cries of enthusiasm punctuating the music and inspiring the band to new heights. The quintet was on fire, and the vibes-piano duets by King Reeves and Charlie Wilson so much engaged the audience that the performance became a conversation between the musicians and the crowd.

That was nice to witness, but the concert that evening was also a bit of a head scratcher. I wondered how, when every jazz club in Cincinnati had seen its share of nearly empty rooms, so many people made it out that evening. Clearly this was a well-connected group of middle-aged and older black people who knew a great jazz group when they heard one; entering that room, I felt like I was let in on a well-kept secret. At the same time I found it interesting that music that engaging could be so obscure, and even on a local level. Talking to band members after the show, I learned that King Reeves and Charlie Wilson played very few gigs but wanted more. Later, when I asked around town, few of the jazz fans I talked to had heard of these musicians, and fewer yet had seen them.

That concert launched a friendship with King Reeves and Charlie Wilson. I chatted with both of them on the phone many times, and sometimes I visited King at his stylish brick home a few blocks west of Central Parkway, where framed black-and-white photographs of musicians filled a hallway and original artwork added vibrant colors to cool green walls. Both King and Charlie were raconteurs, and they had a lot to talk about, including the jazz world of the 50s and 60s, when major jazz artists played small clubs in Cincinnati on a regular basis. When Miles Davis came to Cincinnati, he asked King drove him around and show him the sights, which is interesting because this was the city where Doc Cheadle chose to film Miles Ahead. King also talked about owning nightclubs where a young Bootsy Collins performed. One afternoon, after I interviewed King and Charlie, they performed “Blue Sapphire,” which was the name of the group that King led in the 70s and 80s. During that performance, King played a set of vibes that had been purchased from country star Conway Twitty and Charlie played piano.

After I met them, King and Charlie played the occasional gig, at venues that included the Greenwich Tavern, the Southgate House, and the Blue Wisp. Many of those concerts consisted of duets, and there was very something very special about those performances. Their sound was modern, with a set list that included compositions by Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock, but the lineage traced back farther, as when Charlie busted out some Fats Wallers licks (it turns out Charlie had seen him perform). Those performances kept you on the edge of your seat, and they proved that jazz can be playful and dramatic and intricate and sophisticated and soulful, all at the same time.

Sadly, King Reeves passed away on March 27, 2020. For those who never saw him perform live, it’s still possible to hear some of his music he recorded. His discography includes some self-released compact discs that are hard to track down, but – for starters – Superbad, a 2005 recording of duets between King and Charlie,  shows up on AllMusic .

Also, I videotaped excerpts from some of their shows on a camera whose video quality was many strata below what a cheap cell phone would have now. Still, these YouTube videos captured something that definitely deserved to be documented. The music King Reeves played reflected the man inside: warm and soulful, with plenty of good vibes. He will definitely be missed.

The Signs of Clifton

With well over 400 blog entries posted over eight-plus years, Gaslight Property has become an online history book of things that have endured and things that have changed.
And the photos in this blog entry definitely chronicle change. Due to the coronavirus, restaurants in the Gaslight District have completely switched over to carryout and delivery. It’s short term, but the neighborhood is very different, and very quiet.
On the positive side, the restaurants have shown tremendous resilience and the neighborhood has supported the restaurants, which will help to ensure that all of these small business will remain when we wake up on the other side of this.
While compiling a blog entry giving hours, addresses, contact information, and delivery options, I took photographs that helped me with the blog.
But I’m also making those signs their own blog entry. We could see them as depressing, but when everything reopens we will see these handmade signs as a testament to the resilience and support that make Clifton such a great neighborhood. We can get do this, and we will.

Where to Buy Food in the Gaslight District

Coronavirus has had a huge impact on small businesses, including restaurants. In the Gaslight District we’re fortunate to have more than a dozen restaurants and other food sources open for business on a carryout and delivery basis on Ludlow Avenue and nearby side streets. Some hours have stayed the same. Others have decreased, but only marginally, due to the current carryout environment, as things start to slow down around 8pm or 9pm. Hours and details are sure to remain fluid over the next few weeks. Some hours may expand, and some may contract, and it’s also likely that delivery options will expand.

This article includes what are referred to as “staples”—popular items that are mainstays in the restaurant menus. If you’ve never eaten at that restaurant, that serves as a suggestion; that food item is popular for a reason.

Links to Menus, Websites, and Facebook Pages. Each entry in this article contains a link to the menu as it appears on each restaurant’s website. Click the name of the restaurant at the top of each entry and it will send you to that page. If no menu appears on the website, you’ll still get a link to the restaurant’s website or Facebook page.

How far do they deliver? If you use DoorDash, UberEats, DoorDash, or GrubHub, the drivers will deliver anywhere, but the farther you drive the more it costs. Calling the restaurant directly and having them deliver the food directly saves money, and this article tells how far each restaurant delivers.

Clifton Market
319 Ludlow Avenue – 513.861.3000
Hours: Monday through Friday: 8am to 10pm
Saturday and Sunday: 8am to 11pm
On a recent Facebook post, Clifton Market posted this: “As mentioned in our last email, we have set aside Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8 am to 10 am as shopping times for customers who are considered more vulnerable to the virus. During these time periods only customers who are seniors or have an underlying health condition can shop in the Market.”
Delivery Options: Clifton Market is also offering delivery service to those same at-risk customers. There’s enough detail to this situation that I created this link to this information; click this link to read more.

Gaslight Bar & Grill
345 Ludlow Avenue – 513.861.3663
Hours: Monday through Saturday 3pm to 8pm
Staples Include: Hamburgers, fish and chips, wings Greek spaghetti.
Delivery Options: Along with taking carryout orders over the phone, Gaslight informed us, “We use Uber Eats, and they have waived the Delivery Fee for independent, non-franchised restaurants across the US and Canada.”
They are happy to deliver curbside.
They deliver to both Clifton and Northside.

Sitwell’s Act II
324 Ludlow Avenue – 513.281.7487
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 10am–8:30pm.
Their kitchen opens at 11am every day.
Staples Include: A popular vegetarian item is the Greek Gyro. A popular meat item is pork belly buns. (And don’t forget, Sitwell’s still serves coffee drinks, including lattes and cappuccinos.)
Delivery Options: Along with carryout and curbside delivery, Sitwell’s uses Uber Eats, DoorDash, and GrubHub. If you call Sitwell’s, they can also deliver, AND that’s cheaper. They’ve been delivering in Clifton, Northside, Camp Washington, and OTR.

Ambar India
350 Ludlow Avenue – 513.281.7000
Hours: Ambar is open seven days a week. They open at 11am and stay open until 9pm.
Staples Include: Chicken Curry.
Delivery Options: Ambar India does not deliver.

Grill of India
354 Ludlow Avenue – 513.961.3600
Hours: They’re open seven days a week, from 11am to 10:00pm.
Delivery Options: Uber Eats, Grubhub

Biagio’s Bistro
308 Ludlow Avenue – 513.861.4777
Hours: They’re open Monday through Saturday. Hours are 11am to 8 or 9, depending on how busy they are.
Staples Include: Fettucini Alredo, Chicken Alfredo, Veggie Pasta
Delivery:  Biagio’s is carryout only.

265 Hosea Avenue – 221.0400
Hours: Monday through Friday 11am to 9pm
Saturday 11am to 9:30
Sunday 4pm to 9pm
Staples Include: The Bronx Bomber is their best-selling pizza.
Delivery Options: Along with carryout, Dewey’s is offering drive up service for carry out. No need to go in, just give them a call and they will bring it to your car.

Los Potrillos
316 Ludlow Avenue – 513.221.0313
Hours: Their hours have remained the same, and they are:
Monday – Thurs 11am – 10pm
Friday-Saturday 11am – 11pm
Sunday 11am – 9:30pm
Delivery Options: Grubhub and DoorDash

358 Ludlow Avenue – 961.6800
Hours: Open every day from 11am to 10pm.
Delivery Options: Along with carryout, Habanero offers curbside delivery, and you can also order food through Ubereats. Habanero’s Facebook page states, “Ubereats has suspended delivery fees for us and others!”

Proud Rooster
345 Ludlow Avenue – 513.281.4965
Staples Include: Omelets, Fried Chicken
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 8 to 2
Delivery Options: They deliver if it’s close and if they’re not real busy.

Skyline Chili
290 Ludlow Avenue – 513.221.2142
Hours: Hours are currently 11am to 10pm every day of the week; they stop taking delivery phone calls at 10:40pm.
Delivery Options: Along with pickup, they do they curbside pickup, I was told.

Marakech Morrocan Cafe & Grill
341 Ludlow Avenue – 513.442.2233
Hours: Noon to 8pm every day.
Delivery Options: If you call them directly, they can deliver IF you live in Clifton. Another option is

Ardor Bakeshop
272 Ludlow Avenue – 513.221.2452
Hours: Ardor is new, and they’re still setting their hours, but they let me know that they will at least be open these hours:
Saturday and Sunday: 9am to 1pm
Thursday and Friday: 11 to 4

Bruegger’s Bagels
3317 Clifton Avenue – 513.221.2243
Hours: 6am to 4pm every day
Delivery Options: Bruegger’s recently added Door Dash

Hunan Bistro
321 Ludlow Avenue – 513.221.5333
To order online, click THIS LINK.
i was told over the phone that they deliver anywhere, but it affects the delivery fee.

Baladi Restaurant & Bakery
3307 Clifton Avenue – 513.221.7222
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday: 11am to 8pm
Friday: 11pm to 9pm
Saturday: 10am to 9pm
Sunday:  10am to 3pm
Delivery Options: GrubHub

The Whole Bowl
364 Ludlow Avenue – 513.751.2695
Hours: 11am to 9pm every day
Staples Include: The Big Bowl
Delivery Options: DoorDash, UberEats
Note also that customers are still able to purchase food at the walk-up window

Jagdeep’s Indian Grocery
356 Ludlow Avenue – 513.961.2699
Hours: 11:30am to 9pm every day
Don’t forget about Jagdeep’s!  Some of the staples there include vegetables, yogurt, beans, lentils, and rice. 

Kasim Sulton Plays the Ludlow Garage March 14th

Kasim Sulton’s Utopia will perform at the Ludlow Garage on Saturday, March 14.

The music that evening will have a strong Todd Rundgren connection. Along with recording dozens of solo albums, Todd Rundgen was a member of two important bands. One group, the Nazz, recorded three albums between 1968 and 1971.

The other band, Utopia, released its first album in 1974, and continued to reconvene for the next few decades. There has been some shifting personnel in Utopia, but some of the musicians have remained band members for long periods of time, including Kasim Sulton, who joined Utopia in 1976. By then Utopia had become a four-piece where all four band members wrote, sang, produced, and engineered material.

It was Sulton who wrote and sang lead on Utopia’s biggest hit, “Set Me Free,” from Adventures in Utopia (1980). During its career Utopia played many different styles of music. Some songs were short, concise, and catchy but quirky pop confections while others reflected a progressive rock style.

Sulton will be performing music from all the different phases of Utopia when he comes to the Ludlow Garage. If you like Todd Rundgren, you’ll hear a lot of Todd that evening. If you like smart, quirky pop music, you’ll hear that too. And if you like progressive rock, you’ll hear that as well. Click this link to find out more about this show and order tickets.

Marc Cohn Plays the Ludlow Garage March 25

An intimate venue like the Ludlow Garage is an ideal setting for a singer-songwriter, and it’s hosted some of the best, including Judy Collins, Michael Martin Murphey, and Rickie Lee Jones. At larger venues you tend to lose some of the subtleties and nuances of singer-songwriters, but the Ludlow Garage offers both immediacy and superb sound.

So Marc Cohn’s performance on March 25 promises to be a special one. His hit “Walking in Memphis” was nominated for a Grammy for best song and best male vocal performance in 1991, and it reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. Since then Cohn has written songs for himself and for other artists, including David Crosby, William Bell, and the Blind Boys of Alabama.

If you’re wondering how Marc Cohn became such an in-demand songwriter, part of the answer might lie in his album Listening Booth: 1970. The album is devoted to cover version of pop songs that were originally released in 1970, a year that served as Cohn’s musical awakening and year that inspired him to write music. You’ll hear songs by Van Morrison, CCR, Simon & Garfunkel, the Grateful Dead, and others. His rendition of Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed” is one of the highlights of the album:

To find out more about the show and order tickets, click this link to the Ludlow Garage’s website.