Monthly Archives: May 2011

Go OTR 5K and Summer Celebration, via

Go OTR 5K and Summer Celebration Wrap-Up

The Go OTR 5K and Summer Celebration was May 21. Check out the following links for photos (and a cool timelapse) of the event:


[vimeo w=640&h=360]

Time-Lapse Test 006 “5K” from Walt Keys on Vimeo.

Go OTR 5K and Summer Celebration, via

via 5chw4r7z:

Go OTR 5K and Summer Celebration, via 5chw4r7z


Go OTR 5K and Summer Celebration, via

Old St. Mary's Garden off Main Street

Courtyards of Over-the-Rhine

When a gap appears between two buildings in OTR, a number of things could happen to it. It could become a barren parcel, a parking lot, a garden or it could be replaced with a new building. Plenty of such “opportunity lots” already exist in OTR and many have been put to good use, be it as sites for reflection or reverie.

This gem comes by way of the Over-the-Rhine Foundation:

“A quiet respite from urban life, Old St. Mary’s garden -pictured here from its entrance off Main St. – is a beautiful example of what can be created in the “missing teeth” in the OTR landscape. Let’s think outside the box, or rather the empty boxes, of barren urban lots and create a spaces for nature to express.”

Old St. Mary's Garden off Main Street, via OTR Foundation

The courtyard of The Famous Neon's Unplugged, via Margy Waller

Iris Book Cafe's courtyard

Nighttime at MOTR's courtyard

Urban Eden's courtyard (Main Street, OTR)

Urban Eden's courtyard (Main Street, OTR),via flickr user bousinka

Park + Vine's new patio on Main Street

For more courtyards in OTR, check out this gallery on Flickr.

wine me, dine me

OTRview VII: Julie Niesen Gosdin of Wine Me, Dine Me

wine me, dine me

Julie Niesen Gosdin is the author of Cincinnati’s top food blog, “wine me, dine me (in cincinnati)“. She’s a lifelong Cincinnatian with a penchant for travel who now makes her home in Over-the-Rhine with her husband Terry Gosdin. You can find wine me, dine me on facebook, twitter, and flickr. And don’t miss its alter-ego Booze Me, Schmooze Me on facebook. Julie graciously agreed to be the subject of the seventh OTRview, and we’re so glad she did. She has a great perspective on city life and Over-the-Rhine and ideas to make it even better. Enjoy!

Julie and Terry in front of St. Mary's Church, photo credit: Mikki Reynolds Schaffner,

You appreciate Over-the-Rhine. When did you first learn about and/or experience OTR? How has your perception of it changed since your first impression? Was it love at first sight?
I moved to the West End in 1999, and stayed for about six months.  Since then, even though I’ve lived in a variety of neighborhoods, I’ve always been in love with the city.  I moved here for what I feel is “for good” in 2007, after a divorce.  I had this great space on Clay Street (thank you, Urban Sites!) that was just perfect for someone newly single.  My now-husband later joined me in that same building, and then we bought a place here in 2009.  We moved two whole blocks, and only looked at one place out of OTR proper– it was in Pendleton.  As far as my perception, when I moved here it was kind of edgy to live here– people thought I was a bit crazy or that I’d get harmed in some way. A few people still think that, but the majority of the folks I talk to ask questions about the walkable lifestyle and where we get groceries!
As a resident of OTR, what would you like to tell non-residents about the neighborhood and its new energy?
All you have to do is come down here.  I use my mother as an example: she’s not a city person– she loves her yard and her house in the suburbs.  However, particularly in the past year and a half or so, she’s started loving coming down here to see what’s going on. She notices that there are a lot of stores, restaurants, shops, and people out and about– something she didn’t see in the first few years I lived down here.  If she can change her mind, anyone can. Come down for a Final Friday, or a Second Sunday, or even just a Thursday night and see what’s going on.
On Wine Me, Dine Me’s about page you write, “A lifelong Cincinnatian (with a penchant for travel), she loves nothing more than sharing the hidden gems of her hometown with as many people as possible.” OTR seems to have an ever-growing number of restaurants of all types, from high-end to mom-and-pops. How would you describe OTR’s burgeoning food scene?
Eclectic, trendy, but approachable– that’s very OTR. We have a variety of cuisines, from trendy (A Tavola‘s housemade charcuterie, Senate‘s high end street food) to homestyle (Tucker’s, Stuffed) to food for a cause (Venice on Vine).  The food trucks are often nearby, and hopefully we’ll get a bit more ethnic cuisine, considering Pho Lang Thang has been so popular.  We have new restaurants opening, like Taste of Belgium, Abigail Street, and Bakersfield that add a little more variety to the restaurant offerings. They all have one thing in common: investment in the community, and they’re listening to what community members want.  (If you’re listening more: Indian food, please, and a few more healthful choices– we’re pretty well stocked on comfort food!)


(photos of food from Senate at 1212 Vine St.)

You travel quite a bit. What are some things you would like to see happen in Cincinnati/OTR that are happening in other cities?
 More public transit– I do a reverse commute, and there are currently only two buses all day long that can get me up to my office in Mason.  If I could, I wouldn’t use my car at all, and eliminating having to drive to work would be fantastic.  We’re starting to get things that make biking easier, like more bike racks and bike lanes, but we still have a culture that is very car-focused, and unfortunately some of that is out of necessity.  I see this better transit– even into the suburbs– in cities like Denver, which is comparable to Cincinnati size-wise but has really embraced public transit more readily.  I would love to see more grocery stores downtown.  Findlay Market is wonderful, but their hours are currently limited.  In other cities, stores like Whole Foods, Target and Trader Joe’s are incorporating themselves into the city– I’d love to see that.
I also want a cupcake food truck.  Someone get on that, will you?
Julie and Terry on Main

The happy couple on Main Street in OTR, photo credit: Mikki Reynolds Schaffner,

Thanks for the great OTRview, Julie!

OTR neighborhood children's lemonade stand at the OTR 5K and Summer Celebration, photo via Nick Thomas at

Then and Now: Summer in the City

Two photos of OTR children playing in the neighborhood. The first was taken by Nick Thomas during this year’s Go OTR 5K and Summer Celebration. His thoughts on covering OTR and the event are worth a read and can be found at his photo website

5chw4r7z’s post on the event informs us that some of the children in the photo are of part of the Citykin family. Citykin is one of my favorite OTR-based blogs. Its goal “is to generate friendships and share information regarding the promotion and retention of families in the urban center of Cincinnati.”

OTR neighborhood children's lemonade stand at the OTR 5K and Summer Celebration, photo via Nick Thomas at

The second picture comes via the US National Archives photostream on flickr and photographer Tom Hubbard:

Youngsters in "Over the Rhine" Residential Neighborhood North of the Business District. They Want the Photographer to Take "Just One More" Picture 09/1973

Original caption: Youngsters in "Over the Rhine" Residential Neighborhood North of the Business District. They Want the Photographer to Take "Just One More" Picture 09/1973

And to top it all off, check out this compilation of US National Archives photos of Fountain Square from the 1970s. The song is “Summer in the City.” Video created by Fountain Square’s youtube user account: Genius of Water


A Tavola Pizza, photo credit Katie Clavey

A Tavola Pizza and The Cincy Haus

Vine Street has two new residents, A Tavola Pizza bar + trattoria and The Cincy Haus. Here are two photos of the new businesses in the 1200 block of Vine Street.

A Tavola Pizza, credit: Katie Clavey

A Tavola Pizza is opening sometime in the next week or so! Photo credit to Katie Clavey (find on twitter @KatieClaveyMMX)

And here’s an exterior shot of A Tavola and its neighbor The Cincy Haus, home to the popular heritage tourism group American Legacy Tours which operates several tours in OTR and Newport.

The Cincy Haus and A Tavola, credit: James Jenkins

Photo credit photographer James Jenkins

And Jean-Francois Flechet’s Taste of Belgium: The Authentic Waffle is set to open nearby too.

photo credit: flickr user Hannaford

Happy #513Day!

118 years ago today, the Samuel Hannaford-designed Cincinnati City Hall was dedicated with a parade, speeches, music, masses of flowers, and spectacular fireworks in the evening. Here’s a link to some City Hall trivia.

It’s only appropriate though since today is 5/13 in the 513.  On twitter, you can follow tweets about #513day using that hashtag or by clicking here.

There are plenty of reasons to celebrate today in Cincinnati, not the least of which is the start of the MusicNow Festival.

Cincinnati City Hall, photo credit: flickr user Hannaford