Don’t Forget The Dead Tonight

Grateful Dead 3

I was not among the lucky ones who got tickets for The Dead in Chicago tonight, and if you’re reading this, you probably didn’t either. But second-best ain’t bad: you can head down to Washington Park, check out some jam-oriented bands, and then, at 8pm, watch The Dead simulcast  on the big screen, with fireworks between the first and second sets. Here’s the schedule:

  • 3:00pm: The Almighty Get Down
  • 4:30pm: The Infinity Project
  • 6:00pm: Rays Music Exchange
  • 8:00pm: “Fare Thee Well”: The Grateful Dead Live at Soldier Field
  • 9:15pm: Fireworks show (between sets)
  • 9:30pm: Resume Grateful Dead Simulcast

In addition to games and face painting, hungry families can also enjoy $5.00 chicken sandwiches from The Eagle OTR. Washington Park’s concessions will also offer full bar service, coke products, and craft beer.

As you probably know, there’s been major hoopla about this event, all of which has me thinking about a college buddy we nicknamed Senator Birt, who has always had great concert karma.  The first time he saw the Grateful Dead – and the first time I saw them too – the Senator and I crammed into an MG with Gleason driving. It was quite cramped for two hours, and when we approached the venue I saw a huge sign that said GRATEFUL DEAD – SOLD OUT. It turned out the Senator knew – but didn’t tell me – about the sold-out status of the show. (The Dead was not as huge then as they later became, so sold-out was not a given.)  The Senator seemed unconcerned, and lo and behold we not only ended up with tickets, we had a small stack of them and were able to choose the best seats and sell, for what we paid for them (why be greedy when you get to see the Dead?).

Demand for tickets to the Chicago shows far exceeded supply, and people hoping to procure tickets have enlisted wizards and sorcerers and thrown I Ching in hopes that they would be among the lucky few in attendance. Somehow Senator Birt managed to get tickets for all the Chicago and California shows. He didn’t read his astrology chart or anything like that – I think he just kind of assumed that everything would go well, just like it did for that Columbus show. Because things went so well the first time I saw the Grateful Dead, I have always trusted the Senator to be in control of everything, even on the night that that cop pulled us over for going the wrong way down a one-way after that Neil Young show – well, we won’t go into that. Anyway, the Senator saw to it that I caught the Grateful Dead on about ten different tours. I was lucky to have him watching over me like that and making sure I witnessed one of the best bands America ever produced as many times as I did. So this one goes out to the Senator: the live version of Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London” that the Grateful Dead played as their encore at that first show we saw together in Columbus. That was a couple years ago or so, but the memory’s still fresh. Enjoy the show tonight, Senator; I’ll be looking for you on the big screen in Washington Park:



Panegyri Greek Festival This Weekend

Panegyri Greek Festival

Gaslight Property is a proud sponsor of the 40th annual Panegyri Festival taking place this weekend at Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at 7000 Winton Rd. in Finneytown. Hours are Friday 5pm to 11pm, Saturday 3pm to 11pm, and Sunday 1pm to 8pm. Admission is $2 per person, with children 12 and under free. There’s free parking and a shuttle from St. Xavier High School. The Festival offers authentic and delicious Greek food, dancing combined with bouzouki music, and church tours of Ohio’s oldest parish by  knowledgeable church members. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Cincinnati Freestore-Foodbank. Always a popular event, this festival is a fun place to take the whole family to eat, dance, and socialize.

A Fine Way to Kick off the Cincinnati Film Festival

Along with reminding people that the Cincinnati Film Festival begins this Thursday, I wanted to point out that the lead-off movie will kick things off in style.

The Cincinnati Beer Story focuses on the history of beer-making (and, come to think of it, beer drinking) in Cincinnati. With micro-breweries popping up everywhere and Moerlein Lager House opening its doors, the timing seems perfect for this film. It will show at 7:30 pm at the Emery Theatre, but a walking tour will precede it; here’s a link to the actual event:

The Cincinnati Film Festival has posted a schedule for all the nights along with descriptions of the films on As you check out the schedules, pay attention to which venue is showing that film that night, as there are several different locations.

That said, most of the movies will be appearing at the Esquire Theatre, which will have  one room devoted exclusively to the festival from Friday through Monday. To bring things full circle, the Esquire now serves alcohol, including White Russians, as many Big Lebowski fans discovered during the recent midnight showings of the film. Beer, popcorn and a movie – now there’s a combination.

The Cincinnati Film Festival Returns September 6 – 14

The Cincinnati Film Festival is returning to Cincinnati on September 6-14. Today I had a chance to talk to Executive Director of the festival, Katharine Steele, about the event. For this, the third year, the primary (but not the sole) location will be the Esquire Theatre in Clifton, and as I talked to Katharine it became clear that along with bringing in movies from all over, the festival is as much about people, and Cincinnati, as it is about movies.  “We have more filmmakers coming in this year than in any of the three years, from NYC to LA and everywhere in between,” she explained. “It’s all about welcoming them here, showcasing their films to a new audience, and introducing the filmmakers to our city. If they like Cincinnati, maybe they’ll want to make a movie here.”

For more information on the festival, go to the festival’s website,

How do you choose the movies you choose?

The majority of the films are submissions through Without a Box, an online submission tool. This year we had submissions open from April 1 to July 1. Then our all-volunteer screening committee and staff reviews and puts down feedback for our submitted films. Submitted films that are accepted become part of our Official Selections, eligible for juried awards. Invited films, which usually already have distribution, are not. Continue reading “The Cincinnati Film Festival Returns September 6 – 14”

Why College Hill Coffee Company is So Popular

When I dropped by the College Hill Coffee Company on Saturday morning it was already hopping, with many tables occupied and people in line for carry-out. I have a theory why the coffee house is so popular, and it’s a simple theory. Sure, the coffee is good and the service is nice and it’s a comfortable space with a neighborhood feel, but there’s one other thing the coffee house gets just right, and I can sum it up in three words:

Location, location, location.

At the corner of Hamilton and North Bend in College Hill, the coffee house is as centrally located as it can be. It’s smack dab in the middle of the city, and it’s close to everything—which is worth mentioning because there are apartments above the coffee house that are available for rental through Gaslight Property.

These are four-room apartments with hardwood floors and off-street parking, plus they’re on the bus line: here’s a link (w/photos) to one of the apartments:

One other plus: the apartments are right about a coffee house. When I visited on Saturday I asked a server the question that’s been haunting me ever since the weather got hot: what do you recommend for a really refreshing drink? Her answer was a frozen chocolate frappe with white chocolate, espresso and carmel. She said this personal favorite was “sort of on the menu,” which implies a certain amount of experimentation in the search for the perfect drink, so feel free when you visit to tweak your orders when you visit.