Have You Heard of Nextdoor Clifton?

Annunciation School in Clifton

A couple months ago someone suggested I join Nextdoor Clifton, the Clifton version of Nextdoor, which describes itself as a “free private social network for your neighborhood community.” I did so not knowing if it would be worth my time. Now that I’m a veteran, though, I can say that Nextdoor Clifton is a highly useful website that also helps you feel more connected with your neighborhood.

Many people post on Nextdoor looking for recommendations. This person needs a piano tuner, that person wants a landscaper. Someone else is looking for a good gutter cleaner. I find this part of the social network particularly useful; it reminds us that sometimes you have to go beyond Google and actually communicate with people who have experience in an area where you don’t.

Along with a “Free Items” section, people post things they want to sell or buy. A friend of mine posted that he was searching for a turntable, and people responded; the one he ended up buying was only a few blocks away from where he lived. Likewise, I announced that I bought records, and again people responded.

Part of the appeal, then, is the convenience factor. Rather than drive twenty miles to buy something, you can walk a couple blocks.

Nextdoor is also a useful tool for finding out about neighborhood events. A current example would be this posting in regard to Annunciation School, which has been a part of Clifton for 100 years:

Annunciation School Open House


School Tours and Classroom Open House
for prospective students and their families
Pre-School – 8th Grade

3545 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45220
(513) 221-1230

3:00-5:00 p.m.

Free Opening at the CCAC Nov. 14


From 6pm to 8pm on Friday, Nov. 14 the Clifton Cultural Arts Center will host a free opening. This event will usher in the new exhibition CURRENTS, a sound and light collaboration between sound artist Justin West and installation artist Sean Mullaney. The exhibition will run until Wednesday, December 4th, 2013.

Collaborations between sound and image are still a new phenomenon in the art world, so you’ll never know what you’ll see and hear. The video below features a previous installation by CURRENTS collaborator Sean Mullaney without music. Watching it makes me wonder what will happen when sound combines with his upcoming collaboration:


Cincinnati’s New All-Vinyl Record Label

I met Melvin Dillon at one of the record shows that take place once a month at MadTree Brewing. It quickly became clearly that his recently-launched label, Soul Step Records, was a direct outgrowth of his love for vinyl. He loves listening to records, but it’s also clear that, as the owner/founder of Soul Step Records, he has fun with them, as you can see by the pictures in this blog entry of some of the creative ideas he has for decorating platters.  The web address for the young label is www.soulsteprecords.com, and the Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/soulsteprecords. Recently, in a cyberspace Q&A, he told me a little more about Soul Step Records:

What’s unique about your label?

We are first and foremost, vinyl only. We sign independent artists to contracts that allow us to release music strictly vinyl format. After recouping our initial investment – we split any all profits evenly with the artists. It’s a win-win and much better than any other offer you’ll find in the record industry. We look to help support these artists so they can continue to chase their musical passions and dreams.

Are the records recorded analog or digitally? Where are they recorded, and where are the artists from?

Most have been recorded digitally. We’ve however had some recorded analog – and we love the sound. However not everyone can afford that! They are recorded all over the USA. Places have included Chicago, San Francisco, Charlotte, and Lexington, KY. Continue reading “Cincinnati’s New All-Vinyl Record Label”

Support the Library Levy

The time has come to show some love for the Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County. This year the levy is up for renewal, and voting yes for Issue 1 means giving your stamp of approval to a system of libraries that keeps coming up with new ways to be useful to the community. All libraries are good, but ours is something special, with a strong connection to the community. Our Library is one the ten busiest in the nation and has more than half a million cardholders. 88% of Hamilton County households have at least one cardholder. With more than 1.3 million visits in 2012, our downtown library ranked second only to the Cincinnati Reds.

Because the Library is so popular in Cincinnati, I assume the levy will pass by a wide margin if people know about it. So here are the facts: election day is November 5, 2013; early voting begins…today (October 1, 2013); and if you want to support the library levy, vote yes on Issue 1.

When I started thinking about all the reasons I’ve had to visit different library branches over the past few months, it surprised me how many way I rely upon our Library system. Off the top of my head, I:

  • Checked out books, CDs and DVDs;
  • Used the Internet;
  • Printed documents;
  • Made copies;
  • For an article I was writing, I used Microfiche to research an event that took place in 1961;
  • Perused old articles from a hard-to-find magazine;
  • Attended “Listen to This” events at the downtown library, hosted by Steve Kemple, where we played records and CDs and discussed music.

I suspect that, if you think about it, you’ll be surprised at how many ways you benefit from having access to so many library branches in Hamilton County.