Transit App Is A Great Tool for Bus Riders

One of the chief advantages of living in the Gaslight District is its convenience, with so many services and attractions within walking distance of each other.

For those times when you want to wander a bit, there’s another convenience: public transportation. Because of its location, buses are constantly running in and out of Clifton.

Buses are very convenient, but there’s often been one hassle involved: even if you had a bus schedule, you never knew when was going to arrive. Various apps have tried to dial that in, but with limited success. Too often bus riders found themselves adjusting the image on their screen as they tried to find the red dot hidden between all those squiggly lines – it was almost like a Find Waldo  game. And all the bus rider wanted to know was, “When is the bus going to get here?”

Recently Metro added the Transit App to its bag of tricks, and the app is everything bus riders have imagined on those wet, rainy days when they’d prefer to hide under the canopy but they’re afraid to because they might miss the bus.

Transit App simply tells you how many minutes it will be before your bus arrives. It’s easy to download the app on your phone, and once you’ve done that, tracking buses is very simple.

And Transit App isn’t limited to tracking buses. For example, you can also use the app to pay your bus fare in advance. And fortunately, it’s an easy-to-use App.  Here’s a link to Transit App: 




Have You Been to It’s Yoga?

This summer It’s Yoga, located at 346 Ludlow Avenue in the Gaslight District, is offering a deal for brand new students to the yoga studio. Their five-class pass for $25 is good for two weeks after purchase.

The yoga studio, which is located above Ace Hardware, has been an active yoga studio and yoga teacher training school since 2000. All instructors have a minimum of 200 hours of certified teacher training and several have 500 hours.

Whatever your interest and experience level, It’s Yoga has a class that will match your needs. The types of yoga It’s Yoga offers include:

  • Beginner’s Yoga for those curious about yoga and brand new to it. Beginner’s Yoga explores the different styles of yoga, proper alignment, and will build one’s confidence to move on to some of the other classes offered at It’s Yoga.
  • Yoga for 50+ classes are offered several times a week, morning, and evening, and have become increasingly popular with older and wiser adults looking to maintain or add flexibility and strength for aging gracefully.
  • More athletic forms such as Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow and Core Power Yoga that incorporates some Pilates and Yoga moves to create a stronger abdomen and back muscles.
  • Yin Yoga is a very popular Thursday evening class that uses long deep seated postures and stretches to release deep fascia and promote physical flexibility and emotional stillness and relaxation.

So get in some comfortable clothing, grab your water bottle, and join It’s Yoga on the mat. Good stuff for the body, mind, and soul.

To learn more about classes and purchase passes, check out It’s Yoga’s website, like their Facebook page, stop in the studio, or call at 513-961-9642. Namastè.

Guess Who Makes Great Pizza?

Since the beginning, one of the consistent themes of this blog has been this: The Gaslight District is a great place to live because there’s lots to do AND it’s super convenient. Well, it just got a little more convenient. Clifton Market continues to add more and more new features, and now the deli makes pizza that’s modestly priced and immodestly yummy. Let’s take a look at the menu:

You’ll note that there’s a gluten-free option, and you’ll also notice some veggie options. Note also that you can customize your pizza to your heart’s content – and again, you can’t beat the prices. A couple days ago, based on a rave review from a friend of mine, I visited the deli and ordered a pizza. I got the lowdown on all things pizza-related from Ray and Anthony:

Our conversation ended up drawing a crowd that included Jeremy (“Tell everybody he’s the reason this deli is so good,” one of his co-workers said), Sharon, and Brandy, and they were up for a picture as well:

Our banter as we discussed the pizza (“You better make this good! This guy’s writing a blog!”) and the sense the employees really cared about their customers points to one of the best things about Clifton Market: its friendly and personable employees. Okay, so I ordered a Groovy Pizza, and while I was waiting for it I visited the beer selection, as one needs to wash down the pizza with something.

While there I remembered a conversation I’d overheard recently where someone standing in front of these doors was surprised to learn that the Brewery District also sells beers behind them. I can understand his confusion, as the wording is a little ambiguous, right?

After I took the pizza home I allowed the pizza to cool down a little…or long enough, at least, to snap a photo of it. Like my friend Suzanne, who recommended I try the pizza in the first place, I loved the crust, I thought the proportions were just right, everything tasted fresh, and it was one hot pizza. And somehow the personal touch added that extra something to it. Grab one the next time you visit Clifton Market!

The Art of Talking

It’s interesting that one of the most popular places in the Gaslight District is also a bit hidden. Because there are no windows at the Bohemian Hookah Café at 340 Ludlow Avenue, you could forget it’s there—except that, once you walk inside, you quickly realize it’s a go-to place for a hip and diverse crowd. In its own unassuming way the café quickly became a fixture in the community, and at the center of it all is the owner, Farah A. Hagar, who we know as “Blackie.” During a recent visit to the café I learned that Blackie had published a book. Often books are kind of a one-on-one between the book and the reader, but Blackie Bohemian: Book of Questions is different. It’s meant to be a group experience. As you may have noticed, people have a tendency these days, when out in public, to ignore everything, including the people they’re with, while they immerse themselves in this little palm-sized objects with a screen on them. Book of Questions consists entirely of questions intended to be read aloud in order to foster discussion between people who are sitting together. Here’s an example: If you had to wear the same outfit the rest of your life, what would you wear? And this: Who is the worst person you have ever met; what made them the worst? These are the types of questions that, by the time everyone jumps into the discussion, offer a long respite from the screen-staring so prevalent these days. That’s part of the attraction, but I have a hunch that its allure also stems from the popularity of the venue and, of course, Blackie, who’s always been a welcoming and cheerful presence on Ludlow Avenue. Stop in the Bohemian Hookah Cafe and try his cardamon ginger chai, which is the real deal as opposed to the prepackaged variety, or his fresh mint tea, which is grown in  the back of the building.

Clifton Market

Seven Things To Know About Clifton Market:

The opening of Clifton Market was highly anticipated, and it has turned out to be better than we imagined. There’s much that’s unique about the store, and after I started this blog entry I started remembering other things (Clifton Market can now accept EBT and SNAP benefits, the store sources a high percentage of products locally, the hours are 7am to midnight seven days a week) that also bear mention, but one thing (well, seven things) at a time:

#1 – There’s a café at the front of the store, where you can sit and chat with friends or read a book or people watch. It’s called the Busy Bee Café, in memory of the restaurant that used to be across the street. As the café makes clear, Clifton Market is more than just a store; it’s a gathering place with a real sense of community.

#2 – Clifton Market sells bulk foods.

#3 – It has a walk-in beer cave.

#4 – The butcher shop does everything in-house, with its own cut room. Some of their best-sellers are marinaded pork chops and chicken, and salmon. Some of the more exotic fare included bison and wild boar.

#5 – Clifton Market has a drop-off and pick-up location for dry cleaning, making the store that much more convenient.


#6 – Clifton Market has its own sushi chef.

#7 – It’s a the only grocery co-op in Cincinnati. A couple things worth noting: you do not have to buy a share in order to shop at Clifton Market, and if you’re still interested, you can still buy shares. The fact that it’s a co-op underscores the sense of community that we associate with the store. So while we were sorry to see Keller’s IGA leave, the community involvement in connection with Clifton Market has added something extra to both Clifton and Cincinnati.

A Craft Sale at Clifton Plaza Monday

ceresav craft saleFrom 5:30pm to 8:30pm on Monday, August 15 a craft sale will take place at Clifton Plaza. Because that’s on a Monday, the people hosting the event will be in the company of our farmers market friends Niemeyer Farm as well as the flea market vendors who’ve been showing up on a regular basis all spring and summer. The craft sale is a fundraiser for CERESAV, a non-profit group established in 2012. CERESAV is focused on educating the general public on how they can be part of the campaign to end to acid violence around the world, and, through legislation and the raising of awareness, it has already made a real difference. All of the crafts sold during this event were made by acid attack survivors. CERESAV is hosting other events as well during the week, including a lecture by Hanifa Nakiryowa, who founded CERESAV after being attacked with acid by her ex-husband. The attack left her with significant facial scarring and loss of vision in one eye.  During her recovery in the burns unit in Uganda’s Mulago Hospital, Hanifa met many other women and men who had been disfigured by acid. Moved by their stories, Hanifa felt compelled to bring light to the problem of acid violence and bring hope to survivors suffering in silence. That lecture and discussion will take place Tuesday, August 16, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM (EDT) at First Unitarian Church of Cincinnati, 536 Linton Street, Cincinnati, OH 45219. Here’s a link to more information about that event: empowering-women-meet-hanifa-nakiryowa-tickets. Hanifa will also be at the craft sale on Monday, so make sure you drop by then to buy some crafts, flea market, and fresh fruit & veggies, and learn more about CERESAV.


Live Footage of John Bender at the No Response Festival

100_7048John Bender performed for the first time in 30 years last night, at the No Response Festival at Woodward Theatre. He made it clear in advance that his performance set to launch the two-day festival would begin promptly at 8pm, and as the people waiting in a line that wrapped around the block saw the line move slowly while Father Time forged bravely ahead, they wondered: hey, am I going to miss the show? And, well, some of us, many of us, missed the first few minutes of the show, but Bender played a nice long set, and somehow it made sense that the legend in the house would launch the show, to help set the tone and get this celebration of experimental electronic music off to a good start. While we were waiting in line Tim Schwallie shared a tale about seeing what was probably the last John Bender show of the previous millennium, when Bender opened for Nico; apparently he was facing certain equipment issues that evening. And after talking to Bender after the show, Vivian Vinyl said there were issues that evening as well. I myself faced certain technological issues when I tried to transer the videos I shot last night to the hard drive of my computer: the first, and longest, evaded transfer, although I’ll come back to that and see if I can make that work. Anyway, the thing about technology is, it’s never as compliant as we’d like it to be, but great things can still happen when we put our minds together.

The Healthy Harvest Mobile Market Visits Clifton Every Tuesday

Healthy Harvest Mobile Market the real image 1

Were you aware that there’s a new place in Clifton to buy produce, and at discounted prices? That’s right! TriHealth and the Freestore Foodbank worked together to create the Healthy Harvest Mobile Market, a truck of fruits and vegetables are located at Good Samaritan Hospital (near the Dixmyth entrance) from 11AM to 4PM every Tuesday. They sell fruit and vegetables at discounted prices. The Healthy Harvest Mobile Market accepts food stamps, snap, produce perks, FMNP, cash, and credit cards. Anyone using food stamps to pay for the produce will qualify for five free dollars in food at their next purchase. Note, though, that ANYONE can buy produce there.

To clarify exactly where the Healthy Harvest Mobile Market is located, I snapped a couple photos. If you’re standing at the corner of Clifton and Dixmyth, you can see the stand from there, and if you’re driving, it’s the first parking lot on the left. For many of the people reading this, the produce stand is within walking distance, so it’s cheap AND convenient. If you’re wondering what produce is available, the list has included cabbage, kale, chard, chives, cilantro, romaine lettuce, spinach, turnips, apples, grapes, bananas, asparagus, potatoes, and blueberries.

When I visited last week, Nick Reynolds, a mobile market coordinator for the Freestore Foodbank, was working there. He’s very happy with the response he has received thus far, and he encourages everyone to come pay him a visit. This win-win is fabulous news, and we welcome Healthy Harvest Mobile Market to Clifton. Healthy food, a convenient location, good prices—a few more reasons Clifton is a great neighborhood!

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Free Tax Service Available in Northside

CAIN for blog entry on taxes 2016

On the off-chance (wink wink) that there’s anyone reading this blog entry who hasn’t done their taxes yet, I have good news: CAIN (which stands for Churches Active In Northside) is providing free walk-in service to help people file their taxes.

Again, it’s FREE.

CAIN is located at 4230 Hamilton Avenue, and Ohio Benefit Bank tax counselors are there Monday evenings from 6-7pm, and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am–1pm. All sessions are first come, first served.

Those interested in using this service will need to bring their W-2s or other tax forms, an ID and social security card, and the information they will need to have their refund direct deposited. It is also ideal to bring the previous year’s taxes, if possible.

CAIN wants you to KEEP YOUR WHOLE REFUND and take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit. Some childless individuals making under $14,000, or families making under $53,000, can qualify to get supplemental income in the form of a “tax credit.” One in five families who are eligible for the EITC fail to claim it, and as a result they miss out on potentially thousands of dollars.

Also, people earning under $65,000 per year as an individual or $95,000 as a couple are eligible to e-file their taxes for free through the Ohio Benefit Bank easy to use guided system. Use CAIN’s link to the Ohio Benefit Bank’s self-serve system or go to and click on E-FILE box on home page.

If you have any questions, just stop by CAIN during the above hours, or call CAIN 513-591-2246 or email Monica at

Gaslight Gourmet Cookies Is Open!

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Gaslight Gourmet Cookies, located at 272 Ludlow, officially opened this week. They couldn’t have timed it better, what with the nice weather and lots of new things happening in the Gaslight District, including Live at Ludlow Garage. There were plenty of customers when I visited in the middle of the afternoon today, and I smelled success for this new venture. Hours are 6am to 6pm Monday through Saturday, and the store has a Facebook page – just click this link to check it out and “like” it. Also, they have a walk-up window – how old school charming is that? My cookie of choice today was an oatmeal raisin, which is a very important cookie back where I come from. My father has a soft spot for that particular confection, and you can bet that he’s been feted by daughters and daughter-in-laws who all have their own secret recipe going back hundreds of years. So which is his all-time favorite? “I haven’t tasted it yet,” has been his mantra. Well, having sampled the oatmeal raisin cookie from our new store this afternoon, it seems to me that after my father visits Cincinnati next time, he’ll be able to put that mystery to bed for good….Yummy.

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