Sorry, Charlie

Lincoln penny - obverse ("heads") hesign used since inception.

After putting if off forever, the other day I finally starting counting up my coins and slipping them into the paper coin wrappers I grabbed at my friendly neighborhood bank. Counting the coins took some time, but no problem: in my mind it was like free money. When I arrived at the friendly neighborhood bank I walked up to a teller and showed her my vast array of coin rolls, and she looked at them and said:

“You know we have a machine for that now.”

“No kidding?”

“And it doesn’t charge you or anything.”

“Sounds like a bargain.”

“Do you mind putting them in there instead?”

“I’d be happy to.” Continue reading “Sorry, Charlie”

Where to Be on April 28: The 5th Annual Annunciation Gaslight Gala

Rarely in this blog do we announce events more than a month in advance, but there’s one event that readers need to mark on their calendars now. Located in the heart of the Gaslight District, Annunciation Church has been a centerpiece in Clifton since it was built in 1910. Right next to the church, at 3545 Clifton Avenue, is the Annunciation School, which is nearing its 100-year anniversary (it opened in 1914). All the proceeds from the 5thAnnual Annunciation Gaslight Gala benefits this preschool and K-8 school. The Gala gets bigger every year, and although I rarely make predictions, I’m just going to come out and say that this one will break all previous records. You’ll be hearing more about this event, but for right now here’s some information so you can mark your calendar:

5TH ANNUAL ANNUNCIATION GASLIGHT GALA: A Clifton Celebration
Saturday April 28, 2012
6 p.m. – Midnight Father Klug Center, 221-1230
Clifton Attire: “T-shirts to Tails”
$50.00/person or $350.00/table of 8
Includes gourmet dinner, open bar, & music
Large Silent Auction that includes tickets, art, & more
For Ticket Sales call 706-3149 or 221-1230
ALL proceeds benefit Annunciation School

An Art Show in Clifton

Even if you’ve seen the signs out front, you may wonder what goes on at the downstairs space behind the canopy at Tudor Court Apartments near the corner of Ludlow and Middleton. When I lived in the Tudor Court the basement dwelling was a bar where grumpy old men complained about life and drank, not necessarily in that order. Then it was a coffeehouse that went by the name The Cove Cafe, which then moved and changed names to Sitwells. Now it’s home to Clifton Performance Theatre, a performance space that’s been around since 2010 and by now is on the radar in both Clifton and the theater scene for Cincinnati in general. More on that later, as it also has other functions when plays aren’t being performed, and there’s an event coming up on Monday April 2 to Monday April 9 that’s worth checking out. Tom Lohre is an artist who lives in Clifton and has a long history as a portrait artist. His abstract reality show combines a level of abstraction with identifiable and sometimes even iconic images. For example, take a look at the image to the right. Do you recognize it? If you can’t make it out right away, here’s a hint: it appeared during the opening credits for WKRP in Cincinnati.

Here’s the when and where for Tom Lohre’s show:  Continue reading “An Art Show in Clifton”

Nelson Slater Pays a Visit

I had a nice visit today with Nelson Slater, who dropped by to trade two LPs of particular interest to me for a box of 45s of particular interest to him. If you don’t know Nelson, he’s a fellow Cliftonite who has done contract work for Gaslight Property. Nelson attended Syracuse University in the early 1960s, where he befriended and played music with a guy named Lou Reed, who ended up forming a band that was pretty good and then went on to have a solo career as well. Nelson also penned a couple great song in the soul vein that have become what I will refer to as obscure classics: “Get Out” by Tommy Sears and “Symphony” by Andy & the Marglows. Here are youtube links to hear those songs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rClPJOfCeDc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-CyeyZB064

In 1976 Nelson released an album called Wild Angel on RCA; Lou Reed produced the record and performed on it. He continues to perform all over the country and release new music. While Nelson was here I had a chance to catch up with what was going on musically and otherwise.    Continue reading “Nelson Slater Pays a Visit”

Willy and Haneef: Street Musicians Extraordinaire

Willy and Haneef: Street MusiciansYou may have caught wind of the fact that UC beat Syracuse in the Big East semifinal game; there may even be a reader or two who watched the game on TV. I caught bits and pieces toward the end, but it happened to be taking place during a phase of the day when cabin fever was getting to me. My cure: walking up and down Ludlow Avenue with no particular destination. (I’m good at that, by the way; I think a lot of people are.) Along the way I saw through windows people jumping up and down and cheering whenever a ball went through a net on the end of the court where they wanted it to go through. Even a light winter tends to make us a feel a bit rusty when it comes to revisiting the places we visit much more frequently when the weather is warm, and as I walked up Ludlow I wondered if I’d end up feeling like George Bailey did when his guardian angel takes him on a tour of Pottersville.    Continue reading “Willy and Haneef: Street Musicians Extraordinaire”

The “Boss Cox Booksale” at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center

Clifton Cultural Arts Center booksale(2012) Every day hundreds of people walk past this building, but few of them know its history. They don’t know who built it and they don’t know who lived there. That will change, though, now that the space is being converted to a library that will replace the charming but much smaller space on Ludlow Avenue.

Located on Jefferson Avenue across from Burnet Woods, the Parkside Manor was designed by Samuel Hannaford, a famous architect who also built Music Hall, City Hall and over 300 other buildings in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The person who originally lived there was no slouch, either: historically George “Boss” Cox has earned his place at the Mount Rushmore of crooked Ohio politicians, a place that also includes, of more recent vintage, James Traficant (who got in a lot more trouble, by the way, for his actions; maybe it was his hair).    Continue reading “The “Boss Cox Booksale” at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center”

Clifton: One of the Best Neighborhoods in Cincinnati

Although I’m sure I’ll try to assume a starring role in many of the upcoming scenes, this blog isn’t primarily about me but about a place.  Because it’s close to a university, Clifton houses lots of undergrad and graduate college students who stay a few years and then move on, but there are also people who choose to live here because it’s a vibrant and colorful neighborhood that’s convenient and has cheap martinis on Friday nights. For the most part my life here has been sweetness and light, and I pretty much expected everything to float along in a sweet somnambulant haze until one day I walked past my friendly neighborhood grocery store and noticed that…gulp…gulp again…it was closed. Not for a day or two, either—more like permanently unless someone found a way to save it.    Continue reading “Clifton: One of the Best Neighborhoods in Cincinnati”