Buy Tickets Now for the Clifton House Tour on May 10

Clifton House Tour


Every third year on Mother’s Day the Clifton House Tour pays homage to the beautiful historic homes that are part of the reason Clifton has so much character. This year on Sunday, May 10 there will be homes from the 1800s to 1970 highlighting several different styles, including mid-20th century modern, Italianate, and early Shingle Style.

Tickets for the event are already on sale and can be purchased in advance at the following Clifton merchants: Ace Hardware, Hansa Guild, Ludlow Wines, and Skyline Chili. You can also buy tickets online at They’re $18 in advance and will be $22 on the day of the tour. Day-of tickets can be purchased at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center on Clifton Avenue and at Clifton Plaza on Ludlow Avenue.

And this is an event for the whole community. Local businesses throughout Clifton will be open during the tour to provide food, refreshment, and shopping for those looking to extend the day. A free shuttle will escort visitors from two locations: Clifton Cultural Arts Center at 3711 Clifton Ave. and Clifton Plaza at 333 Ludlow Ave.

Along with being a lot of fun, the Clifton House Tour is for a good cause. The tour proceeds are reinvested in the community through the various projects of Clifton Town Meeting (CTM), which include the Clifton Chronicle, and events such as the Memorial Day Parade and Picnic, Lantern Walk, CliftonFest and carriage rides for Holidays on Ludlow.

For more information, email or visit 

Northside Record Fair on April 25

Northside Record Fair picture for 2015

On April 25 the Northside Record Fair will host another record show in Northside. The address is 4222 Hamilton Avenue (the Northside Presbyterian Church). Admission is five dollars from 11am to 4pm while the early birds (10am) pay ten bucks.

Before the Northside Record Fair started hosting record shows, it always seemed like the other big cities in Ohio had thriving record shows while Cincinnati’s was an embarrassment. The Northside Record Fair has been such a success that they quickly decided to start hosting it twice a year. As someone who loved records long before I ever attended any shows, I can say why, if they’re done right, they’re a great way to shop for vinyl. The reasons include (but are not limited to):

  • A Healthy Selection of the Classics. Record stores can’t stock enough Beatles, Stones, Floyd, Talking Heads, REM, Zeppelin, and they tend to keep running out of those essentials. But with each vendor a mini-record store, you see a lot more of the major artists at the shows.
  • Obscure Records. Personally, my favorite thing about record shows is the plethora of obscure records that I’ve never heard of before and have never seen in person.
  • 45s. Because of space limitations, record stores tend to stock the records that are most likely to fly off the shelves the fastest and don’t bother stocking 45s. There are always lots of 45s at the Northside Record Fair.
  • You Can Cut A Deal. Record stores don’t cut you any bargains, but it’s common practice at record shows for dealers to shave off a few dollars when you buy more than one record.
  • Rubbing Shoulders. I love record stores, but the camaraderie that exists on at shows, where the crowd is thicker and the buzz is on, is that much stronger. I always find it a crash course in music and records, and my teachers are people who’ve delved much more deeply into musicians and genres than I have. It kind of deflates my ego when the savants are so much younger than I am, but I still attend class and take note diligently.

A Thousand Foot Slide on Jefferson Avenue!



There will be a 1000 foot slip and slide on Jefferson Ave in Clifton  on Saturday June 20, 2015. That may sound a long ways off, but tickets are already on sale, and “early bird registration” – code words for “the cheapest tickets” – ends this Friday, April 10. Don’t worry, though: if you miss that deadline, you can still buy tickets; they’ll just cost you a few bucks more.

Per the Cincinnati Business Courier, “Sliders can choose between a one-time sliding package that includes a drawstring bag, tattoo and mouth guard for $20 during the regular registration period; a pass to slide three times during the day along with an inflatable tube, mouth guard and drawstring bag for $35, and an unlimited sliding pass with a mouth guard, tattoo, T-shirt, tube, drawstring bag and hat for $60.”

Here’s the webpage for this Slide The City event; it includes the link for purchasing tickets: LINK TO SLIDE CITY

And here’s a video of people sliding down the thousand foot slide. Looks like fun, doesn’t it?







Lentz and Company on Ludlow Avenue

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Now that spring is here, everyone’s getting out more. That means more people will be dropping into some of the small shops in the Gaslight District, so it’s time to highlight some of them. When Lentz and Company opened on Ludlow Avenue a year and a half ago, its “carefully curated collection of kitsch” added a colorful touch to the neighborhood. Mad Men may be about to call it quits, but its spirit lives on at this nostalgic store. Recently I dropped by and snapped some photos of some of the latest items for sale there. As the pictures below show, along with vintage goodies the store sells interesting new art by local artists. Here’s a link to Lentz and Company’s Facebook page; “like” it and keep up with the latest news from the store at 339 Ludlow Avenue!

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Construction Begins on Gaslight Manor

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Construction began last week on Gaslight Manor, a new upscale apartment community that Gaslight Property is building on Whitfield Avenue in Clifton. This 17 million dollar project will contain 117 luxury apartments with hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances and quartz countertops. Ideal for empty nesters, Gaslight Manor will be close to hospitals, the University of Cincinnati, I-75, and downtown, plus it’s a short walk from the Esquire Theatre, eclectic shops, and restaurants. The apartments are expected to be finished in about a year. Let’s consider the above image the “before” picture; below is a rendering of what the apartment community will look like after construction is completed:

Gaslight Manor rendering




The Church is Coming to The Woodward

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You’ve probably heard by now that the Woodward Theater has opened, but did you know that the Church was going to play there? The Australian-based neo-psychedelic band will take the stage Sunday, March 8; the show begins at 8pm. Tickets are only fifteen bucks. For this tour the Church is playing two sets that mix some of the old stuff with a chunk of the Further/Deeper album, which was released in Oct 2014 but only became available on vinyl a couple weeks ago. That’s important because the vinyl LP contains three bonus cuts—and because good albums are worth seeking out on vinyl. The last time I saw the Church was at Bogart’s during their Gold Afternoon Fix tour. That’s been awhile, but Further/Deeper is dark and mesmerizing and haunting as Starfish, which was the album that got people’s attention in the first place. This cut off the new album, “Miami,” has been a staple in their live performances this tour; you can expect to hear it at the Woodward, offering what me be the final glittering crescendo:

Leviathan is a New Movie at The Esquire


During the bitter cold winter weather seeing a good movie in a theater is one of the few recreational activities we all can enjoy, and there’s a great one at the Esquire. Leviathan is a Russian movie that won the 2014 Golden Globe Award for best foreign language film. The Russian have a flair for creating deeply depressing novels, movies, and even symphonies that make you feel the weight of history. Leviathan succeeded on those fronts and goes a step further, as there’s an element of the film that precedes recorded history—and that’s nature, red in tooth and claw (and, on the sea coast where the main character and his family live, gray and craggy and bleak, yet beautiful in its own haunting way). The story is set in the present, but by the time the first human appears—the main character walking out to his car, which makes that alien “beep-beep” sound that confirms we’re in the modern age—you already feel the tension between the present and the past and small and big. Too much plot analysis can ruin a film, so let me just say that the dark, depressing tone I hoped for when I walked in the theater was there in spades. During this Arctic-like weather, the longer the movie the better, and Leviathan clocks in at two hours and twenty minutes. On Sunday afternoon there was a decent-sized crowd, which leads me to suspect it’ll be around a little longer—but don’t lollygag, as there are no guarantees.

Sitwells Reopens; Come to the Open Mic!


This Thursday, February 19, Sitwells Coffee House will host an open mic. Of course such news begs the question, Did Sitwells reopen – and the answer is, they return to normal business hours (8am to 1am) tomorrow (Wednesday, February 18). The open mic, which starts at 9pm, will include music, spoken word (poetry, fiction, non-fiction), and stand-up comedy. Anyone can perform, so sign up and share this blog entry with your friends who write or sing or play (or crack jokes). Sitwells is located at 324 Ludlow Ave. in Clifton, and their phone number is 513.281.7487.

Sally’s Treats & Treasures in Spring Grove Village

Project1There’s a new shop in Spring Grove Village (aka Winton Place) that you might want to check out.

Calling themselves a “center for the home cook,” Sally’s Treats & Treasures is part cookware shop, part carryout food, part meeting place for anyone wanting to learn more about how to cook or how to adjust to a newly prescribed diet.

“We’re not doctors, we won’t tell you what to eat,” says owner Laura Kristal, “But if you know your restriction (such as no salt, or wanting to switch to a whole foods vegan diet) we can help you go from feeling deprived to excited about your new delicious menu.”

Currently working on their commercial kitchen, Sally’s hopes to have the carryout food available soon. But for now, stop by and see their collection of gently-used cookware at great prices. The store is located at 701 East Epworth Ave (at the corner of North Edgewood, the zip is 45232) in Spring Grove Village, not far from the 75 and Mitchell exit. Hours are from noon to 6pm every Saturday, or by appointment.

 …And these are the folks who will be providing us with Myra’s soups very soon. For more information or to get on the mailing list, email



Umphrey’s McGee Bring a Unique Concert Experience to the Taft

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Umphrey’s McGee will be performing at the Taft Theatre on Friday, January 30, at 8pm. Just at the band has broken new ground musically, merging extended improvisation with progressive rock, they’re offering a new concert experience during this tour. Upon entering the Taft, everyone attending the show will be handed a Sennheiser in-ear monitor wireless pack and a pair of high fidelity Audio Technica headphones. That’s the same equipment the band uses, and the show will combine a live concert experience with audiophile sound quality. When it comes to headphones, many of us have only heard cheapies playing mp3s, and hearing music as layered, intricate, and energetic as this promises a superb audio experience. Thinking about it takes me back to my early days with Koss headphones and Quadraphonic receivers and five-way speakers that, when cranked, rattled the walls. The Taft show, then, will combine a touch of nostalgia with cutting-edge technology. As this live footage of UM’s “In the Kitchen” shows, the concert will also prove visually stimulating: