Mondays on Clifton Plaza


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Mondays are becoming more active on Ludlow Avenue, and this Monday, September 28, should be the biggest yet. The Clifton Plaza “Flea for All” will have at least three vendors from 4pm until they decide to go home. One of them, Niemeyer Farm, has been setting up for the last few weeks, and it always draws a crowd, as you can see from the photo at the top of this blog entry. On Monday mornings Julie Benthaus always posts what she’s bringing to Clifton on nextdoor.clifton, as in last week’s post: “It’s a PERFECT market day! Visit Niemeyer Farm for apples, tomatoes, plums, basil + rosemary plants, honey and peppers!” New to Clifton Plaza is Stu “VintageKing” Nizny, whose Pixel 19 has been selling vintage and retro clothes, t-shirts, artwork, jewelry, and furniture for decades. There will also be a vendor selling record albums for a very soft price. We encourage other vendors to set up as well this Monday or any Monday. It doesn’t cost anything to do so, and you don’t have to get a permit or anything like that – just show up and sell!

Also, hang around some, as Ludlow Avenue stores and restaurants are either continuing to run or adding Monday night specials.

  • Los Potrillos offers half-price small margaritas;
  • The Esquire Theatre continues to promote “Boomer Mondays”;
  • Habaneros sells burritos for $5 and Tecate beer for $2;
  • Arlin’s charges $2.50 for 23-ounce Yuenglings, Budweisers, or Bud Lights.

Be aware, too, that the vendors and specials will continue for many Mondays to come. As Julie Benthaus put it, Niemeyer Farm plans to keep selling “until it starts snowing.” So come out and buy or sell or just see what’s going on the Plaza!

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Come to the CliftonFest Kickoff Party on Friday!

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CliftonFest on Ludlow is back this weekend, Sept. 25-27, with live music, food, arts, retail booths, beer, wine, “the Clifton Chase,” a 5K Race, and some good old-fashioned camaraderie. Gaslight Property is again a proud sponsor of this annual event. Things will kick off Friday night with the Wine & Jazz party at Clifton Plaza. From 6pm to 10pm people will be able to drink wine on the Plaza, catch up with old friends and make new ones, and (from 7pm to 10pm) listen to the jazz sounds of Wade Baker. There will be other things cooking on Ludlow Avenue as well: from 8pm to 11pm Om Eco Café will host a literary reading that will feature writers from the University of Cincinnati. Also, Ludlow Wines will be hosting its weekly wine tasting from 5pm to 8pm. Ludlow Wines was nice enough to donate the wine for the Clifton Plaza event. I should also mention that, at 7:30pm on Saturday, Ludlow Wine will have a prize drawing, the top prize being tickets to visit the Maker’s Mark Distillery. For a full rundown of what’s going on at CliftonFest 2015, check CliftonFest’s website.

OTR Record Fair This Saturday

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A first-ever record fair will take place this Saturday, September 26, from 12pm to 6pm at Rhinegeist Brewery, located at 1910 Elm Street in Over the Rhine. The event, which is free, promises “Vinyl, Beer, and great door prizes from Crosley Radio, Ubahn, Plaid Room Records, and more.” Agar, Rhinegeist, Northside Record Fair, Savantry and Ubahn Festival teamed up for this event. It’s great to see more record fairs coming to Cincinnati. The Northside show has been a hit from the beginning, and the vinyl boom in general has helped a music industry that took a quick, hard dive begin to crawl back and make things interesting again. Although there are lots of other good things you can say about vinyl, I focus on the craftsmanship involved in physically creating a vinyl record; to make one, you have to get your hands dirty, applying old-school (and largely forgotten) technology that they don’t teach you in school. The person spearheading this record fair is Rob Mason, who works for the OTR marketing firm Agar and has met Jerry Springer. And he’s a real music + record lover, as this Q+ A attests:

What inspired you to host a record fair in Cincinnati? I decided to put this event together because I was looking throw a fun, community facing event that coincided with the music community that will be taking over OTR during the music festival.

How long have you been into records/vinyl, and what do you collect? I’ve been amassing records for the past 20 years. I’m a music fanatic and I’m always on the lookout for cool new bands…I’d say I’m probably 70/30 in favor of new music over classic LPs. My wife would say that I have more than enough LPs and 45s but we all know that’s never the case.

Sounds like you’re from around these parts, then left, then came back. What took you away/where did you go…and why did you come back?  Nice Jerry Springer photo by the way. I went to school at Miami Univ…got my start in the music biz at WMSR and then at WOXY… I lived in NYC for the past 10 years working for various record labels and a music distribution company. We recently relocated to Cincinnati (my wife is from here) as we just had our 2nd kid and it was time to be closer to family. I was very excited to meet Jerry at Whispering Beard Fest. He couldn’t have been nicer!

Tell us about your label. I’ve been running Old Flame in various capacities for the past 7 years. It’s definitely been a labor of love but I’ve had the honor of working with some amazing bands including putting out an early 45 for Cleveland’s Cloud Nothings, the debut LP from Northampton, MA’s Potty Mouth, and way more great bands. I’m really excited to be back in SW Ohio and bring more shows and music-centric events to the area!

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Sao Paulo Underground Plays the Loft Society This Saturday

With two musicians from Brazil and one from Chicago, Sao Paulo Underground is a one-of-a-kind band whose music is a heady mix of Brazilian melodies, electronica, jazz, and funky beats. Their music is dense, detailed, ambient, and groove-oriented, with so many layers it’s hard to believe only three musicians can make such a thick wall of sound. Somehow it just makes sense that this trio would end up at the hippest and…well, most underground jazz club in Cincinnati, the Loft Society at 119 Calhoun St. The show takes place this Saturday, September 19, with sets at 8pm and 10pm. Between sets you can check out the memorabilia- and art-filled walls that act as a giant collage. The cover is $20.

On percussion, cavaquinho, and electronics, Mauricio Takara provides the rhythms and polyrhythms; along with adding to the groove, multi-keyboardist Guilherme Granado is a builder of soundscapes. After their Contemporary Arts Center performance in 2012, Granado mentioned touring with the electronica ensemble Prefuse 73, a familiar name in alternative hip hop and ambient music circles. Cornetist Rob Mazurek from Chicago is among the most prolific jazz musicians working today, releasing records at a staggering rate on multiple labels. Mazurek has peformed all over the world, but after the CAC show he said the Loft Society is probably his favorite play to play anywhere. In fact, that evening he praised the Loft so effusively that Granado and Takara were itching to play there. Three years later, they are.

Guilherme Granado's keyboard setup the last time he played Cincinati - we'll see what he brings this time
Guilherme Granado’s keyboard setup the last time he played Cincinati – we’ll see what he brings on Saturday.


Sundry and Vice

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I would like to tell you that my visits to local cocktail joints around Cincinnati are all based on hours of in-depth research prior to walking in the door, but the truth is, this is the second time in a row that my cocktail blog entry occurred because…well, I accidentally ran into the place. This tale begins with the Bootsy Collins concert that was supposed to take place at Washington Park, except Mother Nature wasn’t having it. With just a slight trickle of precipitation drizzling down from the sky and a few scattered lightning bolts, I figured I’d wander down to OTR and see if Cincinnati’s fabled funkster had scared the clouds away with his bootie-shaking bass. No such luck, but on my way back to my car, which was parked a few streets over, I spotted what looked like a cocktail bar. Walking inside Sundry and Vice, located at 19 W. 13th St., I saw people drinking from glasses in all the right shapes. The lighting was soft, and the music was too; a stamped tin ceiling, a wooden bar, and a shelving display of old medical bottles that may have been used when Sherlock Holmes was solving murder mysteries added to the atmosphere. You could sit in one of the large, comfy booths or at the line of bar stools and talk without shouting. One of the things I liked right away about Sundry and Vice was its simplicity. This was a cocktail bar, with its own apothecary theme…and that’s enough. It uses its 1100 square feet well. The servers were friendly and the atmosphere low key. Along with the martini I ordered (gin, dry, good) I was handed a book with a pen, and at first I thought, are they handing me my bill? No, the idea was, here’s an old book with lots of words in it, but drinkers are encouraged to, I guess, add their own post-modern spin to it.

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I’m a little weak on histology, but for some reason these lines of poetry came into my head:

All things are a-flowing

Sage Heraclitus says,

But a tawdry cheapness

Shall outlast our days.

I couldn’t remember who the poet was who penned those words, but I ascribed that stanza to Donald Trump—and who knows, maybe I’m right.

Hours for Sundry and Vice are: Monday closed; Tues – Fri 4pm – 2am; Saturday 12pm – 2am; Sunday 12pm – 12am; and its phone number is 513.721.VICE (8423).

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