Cincinnati Magazine - February 2020 Edition

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BUILDING THE CITY HOW ARCHITECTURE STYLES CAME AND WENT OVER 200 YEARS, AND HOW WE KNIT THEM INTO A MODERN CITY.

BLAST FROM THE PAST Architect Kurt Platte in Overthe-Rhine

A N E W A P P R E C I AT I O N FOR THEDA BARA

L E A R N I N G T O L OV E THE OHIO RIVER AGAIN

G E T T I N G C O M F O R TA B L E AT G O O S E & E L D E R

by Steven Rosen

by Carrie Blackmore Smith

by Akshay Ahuja


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Y O UR C EN TER F OR I NS P I RAT I ON

Get Inspired!

Jamie Lee Curtis, Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, John Carpenter, Elvira, Bruce Campbell…these are just a few of the Hollywood horror names that strike terror and fear at the annual award winning HorrorHound Weekend. With over 22,000 attendees from 42 states and six countries, it is the largest annual convention held at the Sharonville Convention Center. Cincinnati native Nathan Hanneman began his career in the horror genre by penning a 2003 book with co-author Aaron Crowell entitled, Horror Movie Collectibles. In 2005 Nathan and his cousin Jeremy Sheldon, Aaron Crowell, and Jessica Bruewer published their first issue of the highly acclaimed HorrorHound Magazine, a horror genre focused periodical covering everything horror from movies and collectibles to video games and comic books. Within two years, HorrorHound Magazine had established an impressive fan base creating enough interest and demand to introduce a new horror convention. Nathan, a Cincinnati native, couldn’t wait to bring this one-of-a-kind event to his hometown. The first Cincinnati HorrorHound Weekend was held in 2009 where Nathan and his HorrorHound partner, Jessica Bruewer made an exciting weekend even more exciting by getting married. Starting out as a quarterly magazine in 2005, HorrorHound is now one of the most recognized brands in the horror genre, having been featured in the New York Times and other national publications, various television shows, and documentaries. Currently publishing eight issues of the magazine per year, HorrorHound continues to expand its brand to new heights, attracting tens of thousands of horror fans to their various conventions, having their own talk radio program, a film and record label, and even a speciality crafted HorrorHound Ale. The Sharonville Convention Center looks forward to welcoming back the HorrorHound Weekend March 20–22, 2020. For more information on HorrorHound Weekend or to buy tickets, please visit www.HorrorHoundWeekend.com.

Contact Lisa Hodge to reserve your date 513.326.6465 • lhodge@cityofsharonville.com 11355 Chester Road • Cincinnati, OH 45246 www.sharonvilleconventioncenter.com Now Open!



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F E AT U R E S F E B RU A RY 2 02 0 CHUTES AND LADDERS

Intersecting staircases at the Zaha Hadid– designed Contemporary Arts Center, downtown.

P. P.

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LITTLE SHOPS AROUND THE CORNER BEND ME, SHAPE ME From purses and pumps to baby gifts and vintage vinyl, We’ve built Cincinnati for more than 200 years, trying out trendy

we’ve found 60 smart, chic, independent stores right down architectural styles and popularizing some of our own. After blending past the street. Let the shopping begin! successes and future dreams all this time, the result feels like home.

THEDA BARA IS FINALLY MAKING NOISE

P. 56

Because most of her films were destroyed, this nice Jewish girl from Avondale, who became the silent film era’s most famous vamp, is largely forgotten. Now, her rediscovered memoir might win her a new generation of fans.

GO WITH THE FLOW

P. 60

The Ohio River Recreation Trail could open up 274 miles of river to adventurous travelers by 2021. We’ve got a paddler’s-eye preview. BY CARRIE BLACKMORE SMITH

BY STEVEN ROSEN PH OTO G R A PH BY D E V Y N G LI S TA

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12 / LETTER FROM THE EDITOR 14 / FEEDBACK

RADAR

ON OUR SITE

28 / STYLE COUNSEL Artist Julia Lipovsky stays casual

30 / REAL ESTATE

FRONTLINES 17 / DISPATCH

How presidential books shaped the American electorate

18 / SPEAK EASY Pop-Up Gallery’s Sara Cole

18 / THE ARTS Vhils comes to the CAC

FOOD NEWS

Mid-Century Modern meets log cabin in Turtlecreek Township

An extra serving of our outstanding dining coverage.

32 / HOMEGROWN Cody Gunningham’s murals are just the beginning

33 / STOREFRONT Smith & Hannon focuses on AfricanAmerican authors

18 / ANTICIPATION METER How we feel about what’s next

COLUMNS

36 / LIVING IN CIN A graduation speech, redux BY J AY G I L B E R T

20 / LOCAL FLAVOR

40 / PERSON OF INTEREST

The Moth vs. Cincy Stories

Paul Anderson is the ferryman

22 / POP LIFE

BY LISA MURTHA

The end of ThunderSky, Inc.

24 / DR. KNOW Your QC questions answered

120 / CINCY OBSCURA The Dixie Terminal arcade

109 / TABLESIDE WITH… Dan Petersen, UC professor of wine

110 / HOT PLATE Black Horse Tavern, Lebanon

Decoding our civic DNA, from history to politics to personalities.

111 / SNACK TIME Truffle cakes from Ruby’s Chocolate, Hamilton

112 / DINING GUIDE Greater Cincinnati restaurants: A selective list

BY KATIE COBURN

DINE

ON THE COVER

Goose & Elder, Over-theRhine

FOLLOW US

106 / DINING OUT

CITY NEWS

HOME + LIFE

Tracking what’s new in local real estate, artisans, and storefronts.

photograph by AARON M. CONWAY

108 / POTABLES

@CincinnatiMag

Proud Hound Coffee

Cincinnati Magazine

109 / LUNCHBOX

@Cincinnatimagazine

Pho Lang Thang, Overthe-Rhine

LONGFORM

In-depth stories exploring local issues and people.

CINCINNATIMAGAZINE.COM PODCAST

LISTEN TO LEARN MORE On this month’s episode, we dive behind the scenes of our Cincinnati architecture package, plus other stories and events we’re excited to share. Subscribe and listen on iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher. It’s free!

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IM AG E S BY ( T O P) W E S B AT T O C L E T T E / (M I D D L E ) C H R I S DA N G E R / (B OT TO M) A A R O N M . CO N WAY

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PROMOTION

02.20 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTIONS

PAGE 69 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

WOMEN WHO MOVE CINCINNATI 69

P H O T O G R A P H S B Y R YA N B A C K

Women Who Move Cincinnati Cincinnati Magazine puts the spotlight on influential women who are making their mark in business, finance, healthcare, and philanthropy.

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2020

SMART

GUIDE TO LOCAL SCHOOLS

Illustration by PremiumVector/Shutterstock.com

INSIDE Profiles and stats for some outstanding schools around the region.

F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 C I N C I N N AT I M A G A Z I N E . C O M 8 1

Smart Guide to Local Schools Searching for a school for your kids? Our guide has details and stats on some outstanding local schools.

PAGE 91 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

HEALTH WATCH

* L I V I N G H E A LT H Y I N C I N C I N N A T I

TAKE THIS TO HEART

GET INSPIRATION FROM LOCAL EXPERTS TO MAKE HEART-HEALTHY LIFESTYLE CHANGES. PLUS:

GO RED FOR WOMEN: FEBRUARY 7, 2020 GENERAL TIPS ON HOW TO STAY FIT F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 C I N C I N N AT I M A G A Z I N E . C O M 9 1

Health Watch: Heart Health Local health professionals share their heart-healthy habits to inspire you to make great choices. Also, raise your awareness for women’s heart health: February 7 is National Wear Red Day, a program of Go Red for Women.

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Kathleen Doane, Jene Galvin, Jay Gilbert, Alyssa Konermann, Polk Laffoon IV, Lisa Murtha, John Stowell, Linda Vaccariello, Kathy Y. Wilson, Jenny Wohlfarth, J. Kevin Wolfe EDITORIAL INTERNS Taylor D’Ambrosia,

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CONTRIBUTORS

LINDA VACCARIELLO

T H E L I F E O F A C I T Y C A N B E A P P R EC I AT E D I N S I M I L A R WAYS TO O U R OW N L I V E S. As we get older and consider the twists and turns of past relationships, jobs, and milestones, it’s tempting in retrospect to see the journey as an orderly series of events and decisions leading directly from one phase to the next. It can be comforting to think that life turned out the way it was always supposed to— and maybe it has for you. But in the here and now, wow, there’s a lot of chaos, randomness, and uncertainty. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Life is a constant struggle between trying to tame and control the chaos, randomness, and uncertainty and trying to enjoy it, if not use it to your advantage. It’s what we do every day. It’s also how a city operates. Looking back at how fledgling Losantiville became modern Cincinnati, it’s easy to draw straight lines and connections from the first riverfront settlers to the metropolis we love today. The river and hillsides were obstacles at first, then became opportunities. Immigrants created jobs and industries, which attracted more people, who spread out to new neighborhoods that took on their own identities and forged their own destinies. This month, we examine Cincinnati’s current look and feel through 20 buildings that define the architectural spirit of their times. These aren’t necessarily our most important or most beautiful buildings—though several are indeed icons, such as Music Hall, Carew Tower, and the Taft Museum of Art—but they represent unique dashes of design that still matter today. Styles often were a reaction to popular tastes from previous generations; ornate Victorian homes gave way to simple bungalows, and Art Deco details jazzed up what was viewed as a drab, boxy business district. Some styles quickly fell out of fashion, only to be reappraised and reclaimed years later. There have been “planned communities” here, including Greenhills and Mariemont, but Cincinnati isn’t one of them. Our built environment is the product of 200 years of twists and turns that, in retrospect, ended up fitting together as they were meant to. Just like life.

J O H N F OX

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

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ILLUSTR ATIO N BY L A R S LEE TA RU

When Linda Vaccariello arrived at urban conservator Beth Johnson’s office for the interview that became “Managing Change” (page 53), she knew immediately what her lead would be. “As soon as I entered her office, I realized she has a bird’s-eye view of what was once a vibrant neighborhood,” Vaccariello says. “I’m sure it’s a daily reminder of the importance of her work.” Vaccariello is the former executive editor of Cincinnati Magazine and a longtime contributor to our pages.

CRAIG FEHRMAN Back in 2008, when Barack Obama was running for president, Craig Fehrman noticed that Obama’s books were getting a lot of attention. “I was struck by how much they were resonating with voters,” Fehrman says. That sent him down a research rabbit hole, concluding with this month’s publication of Author in Chief: The Untold Story of Our Presidents and the Books They Wrote. Fehrman summarizes some of what he learned in “Authors in Chief” (page 17). “I found a story more fascinating than I ever expected.”

PETE RYAN Previously a contributor for The Economist, The New York Times, and Time, Canadian Pete Ryan illustrates “Authors in Chief” (page 17). Have any U.S. presidents made an impact on him? “I remember when Obama was elected,” Ryan says. “People gathered around the TV. I might have even teared up. He seemed to represent a new direction for the whole world.”


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FEEDBACK ®

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ROLE MODEL Completely humbled to be on the cover of 987 Cincinnati Magazine’s Top Doctors [January] 2020 issue! I never went into medicine for the awards or accolades, but to provide the best care for my patients. Every day I’m grateful that my life is positively impacted by my teenage patients! Congratulations to all the doctors listed for the selfless work you do to provide the best care for your patients. God is great and faithful! ON CALL Emmanuel Chandler, M.D., Medical Director, Division of Adolescent and Transition Medicine, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

SU RV

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physicians in 65 specialties

Helping Avondale Kids Thrive B Y L E Y L A S H O KO O H E

Selling the Crosley Name BY POLK LAFFOON IV

The Power of Her in the Arts BY VICTORIA MOORWOOD

GOOD SOURCE OF CALCIUM & VITAMIN D

—EMMANUEL CHANDLER, M.D. (@ECTHEMD), via Instagram

BRINGING BACK MEMORIES

NO ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS

DELICIOUS TASTE KIDS LOVE

In response to our online coverage of the reopening of Covington bar Larry’s, reader Bo Scott shared on our website his childhood memories of its former life as Newt’s Tavern. “[Larry’s] has a special place in my history,” he said. “Being raised in the neighborhood, I spent much of my childhood in this bar in the early to mid-’80s. From ages 5 to 10, I could frequently be found behind the bar washing dirty mugs and wiping the bar tops in hopes of being passed a quarter or two for a game of pinball.... I haven’t been in this place [in] nearly 30 years. Kudos [to] Paul Weckman and Emily Wolff for their commitment to breathing new life into this wonderful place.... Bringing it back to life does so much more than preserve the building that means so much to me. I get to pass from time to time and reminisce [about] my days as a 5-year-old barkeep. Maybe next time I should stop in!”

PUTTING IN A GOOD WORD In restaurant critic Akshay Ahuja’s December Dining Out review (“Bowled Over”), he detailed the lengthy process that goes into crafting a bowl of ramen at Over-the-Rhine’s Zundo, calling the soups “a deep and exciting branch of cuisine, capable of subtlety, variation, and depth.” Fans of the restaurant responded to the review by sharing their recommendations: “An Uber driver told us about Zundo last year, and we’re hooked,” Louise A. Brouillette commented on our website. “Their spicy miso with black garlic makes me swoon!” On Instagram, @ab0la said, “That tako yaki is to die for!!! [praise hands emoji],” and @patsyfj1 said, “Get one with the lotus root! It was amazing!”

HELPING OTHERS

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In January, we talked to restaurateurs Daniel and Lana Wright (“Paying it Forward”), owners of Senate, Pontiac, and Abigail Street, about their educational residency program at walk-up window Forty Thieves, inside their bar Holiday Spirits. Readers were impressed by their efforts to share their expertise with up-and-comers in the industry.

Rebecca Fletcher Denney said on Facebook, “Such an amazing way to extend a branch to new entrepreneurs! We came down...on a Sunday and enjoyed Derrick Braziel’s tacos [from Pata Roja Taqueria] and a beverage. It was a great time!” “I love this!!! You all rock!!!” said Meghan Marie Watkins. “The Wrights are a class act,” said Michele Hobbs, “and as a city (including Blue Ash) we are better because of them. (P.S. I ate at Senate today, and I’m totally biased!)”

FULL CIRCLE We wrote about the 1941-built barn-style house in Indian Hill that underwent an extensive renovation by previous owner Carol Sanger for our December Real Estate (“Barn Again”), and one reader shared her personal connection to the home: “I was a design assistant back in the late ’90s [when the home was originally purchased by Sanger],” said Angela Brunner Osborne on Facebook. “This was one of the projects the designer I worked for at the time was working on. I left the company before the project was finished, so I love seeing these pictures of the completed project.” Others found humor in calling the home a “barn”: “I guess she’ll never be able to use the saying ‘Don’t leave the door open! You don’t live in a barn!’ [laughing emoji] Gorgeous home, though!” said Julie Tasch. “Beautiful. Lots of money put into that ‘BARN,’ ” said Chris Vondohre.

CORRECTION In January’s Top Doctors list, we listed the wrong medical practice, address, and phone number for hematologist/oncologist D. Randolph Drosick, M.D. He practices at OHC, 601 Ivy Gateway, Cincinnati, OH 45245, and can be reached at (888) 649-4800. We regret the error.

WRITE TO US:

Cincinnati Magazine, Carew Tower, 441 Vine St., Suite 200, Cincinnati, OH 45202-2039 E-MAIL: cmletters@cincinnatimagazine.com


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POP-UP GATHERINGS P. 18

STREET ART AT THE CAC P. 18

AUTHORS IN CHIEF Examining our past presidents through the pages they’ve penned—and finding some surprising Ohio connections.

CRAIG FEHRMAN

I L L U S T R AT I O N BY P E T E RYA N

I

LIVE STORYTELLING P. 20

A FAREWELL TO THUNDER-SKY P. 22

SPENT 10 YEARS WORKING ON AUTHOR IN CHIEF, MY NEW BOOK ABOUT AMERICA’S

presidents and the books they’ve written. One thing that struck me early on is that these books have made an enormous impact, even if most of them are forgotten today. In fact, these books have in many cases been at the center of American history. Another thing that struck me is that Ohio played a huge role in all of this. Maybe that’s my Midwestern bias talking. (I was born and raised right across the state line, in Dearborn County.) Or maybe it’s one more way to see that Ohio has itself been at the center of so much American history. Let’s start with Abraham Lincoln. In my book, I tell the story of Lincoln working secretly and obsessively to assemble Political Debates Between Hon. Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephen A. Douglas, a book that gathered the transcripts of the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates. Once Lincoln finished his manuscript, though, he struggled to find a publisher. That changed when he came to Ohio in 1859. Some Buckeye Republicans convinced a publisher in Columbus to take a chance on Lincoln and his book. It became an enormous bestseller and a key boost to Lincoln’s presidential bid. (If you adjust its sales to today’s population, Political Debates sold the modern equivalent of a half-million copies.) More than that, it became a profoundly personal moment for Lincoln, who had always loved and believed in books. When he finally learned that his own book was going to be published, the new author thanked those Ohio Republicans. “I esteem the compliment paid me,” he wrote, “as CONTINUED ON P. 18 F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 C I N C I N N AT I M A G A Z I N E . C O M 1 7


THE ARTS

DESTROY TO CREATE

DISPATCH

A Portuguese street artist unleashes destruction on city walls to create haunting portraits. — K E V I N S C H U L T Z NTERNAtionally renowned street artist Vhils chisels, drills, and bleaches his way through plaster and brick to create his works. Called “part artist, stone mason, and archeologist,” his mission is to create massive and often mesmerizing images that, in conjunction with the particular wall he’s working with, tell the story of an area and its people. He’s used this technique locally, on a building on Over-theRhine’s Logan Street, to produce his portrait of John Mercer Langston (below) for BLINK in 2019. He also created a portrait of Motch Jewelers CEO Timothy Dwight on the side of a Fifth Street bar in 2011. Now, fans of those murals and newcomers alike can view more of Vhils’s

I

SPEAK EASY

POP ART X It began as an excuse for five friends to get together for a one-night art show, but Pop-Up Gallery has grown into something much bigger: An opportunity for local artists to show their work to audiences who wouldn’t otherwise get to see it. We talk to one of Pop-Up’s founders, Sara Cole, ahead of its An Ode to Bill Murray show (which, in the spirit of Bill Murray’s many characters, doesn’t really have a theme at all) on February 8 at Artifact in Newport. Why the pop-up format? It’s exciting. It gets people walking around the neighborhood to come and see what’s new. There’s built-in foot traffic. All of our promotion is on us—by word of mouth, or friends. If you were to go down to one of our shows you’ll see us out on the street with flyers, pulling people in.

art—including one large wall piece—at his first ever large-scale exhibition in the U.S., beginning February 21 at the Contemporary Arts Center. Born Alexandre Farto in 1987, Vhils (his tag name) grew up on the outskirts of Lisbon, Portugal. He gained attention for his graffiti before garnering widespread popularity when his relief portraits appeared next to street artist Banksy’s work at the Cans Festival in London in 2008. Vhils begins with a photograph, which he then translates into a drawing before starting his destroy-to-create technique. He also does video installations, billboards, and carved doors. Vhils’s work will be at the Contemporary Arts Center through July 6.

PHOTOGRAPH BY ZACHARY GHADERI

the very highest I have ever received.” Other presidential hopefuls began to follow Lincoln’s example, including Ohio’s own William McKinley. In 1893, when McKinley was still governor, he and his aides carefully managed the publication of a collection of his best speeches. The next presidential election was still several years away, but everyone understood what McKinley’s new book meant; it was, as the Nation noted, “a presidential candidate’s propitiation of his fellow citizens.” It’s the same knowing response that greets new books by political authors today—and one more reminder of how long campaign books have been a part of America’s elections. There’s an equally rich history of presidents writing books after they leave office. Four of America’s first five chief executives tried writing their autobiographies, though they assumed their books would not appear until after they were dead. Publishing someone’s memoirs during their lifetime was seen as conceited, especially if they were a president or famous general. Those expectations began to shift after the Civil War, thanks in large part to a handful of Ohio expatriates. In 1875, the Northern general (and Ohio native) William T. Sherman published his two-volume Memoirs, a best seller that sparked a response so fiery the residents of Georgia must have smiled. One of Sherman’s early readers was James Author in Chief (Avid Garfield, a fellow Buckeye and a Reader Press/Simon future president. “There has been & Schuster) hits booka great outcry among the newspashelves February 11. pers against the book,” Garfield Fehrman will host noted in his diary. Was it too soon several local book for such a book? Should a soldier events this spring. even write about a war he’d served in? Weren’t autobiographies just exercises in ego? Garfield wasn’t sure, but he knew he wanted to keep reading. By the time he finished Sherman’s second volume, a few days later, he’d made up his mind. “He writes not a history of the war but his own experiences in the war,” Garfield wrote, “and for that I love him.” A few months after finishing Sherman’s book, Garfi eld went to the White House to CONTINUED ON P. 20

What spaces have you popped up at? CONTINUED ON P. 20

ANTICIPATION METER +5 +4 +3 +2 +1 -1 -2 -3 -4 -5

Not So Secret Procter & Gamble’s new Secret antiperspirant commercial features A-list celebs showing off some of Cincinnati’s A-list locales. +2

Raising Awareness A local filmmaker designed a new exhibit, Motel X, at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center on the rise of human trafficking. +1

Les Mis The world’s most popular musical, Les Miserables, takes the stage at the Aronoff Center for the Arts Feb. 11–23. +1

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Sweet As Nektar English psychedelic progressive rock band Nektar, which rose to fame in the early 1970s, performs at the Ludlow Garage Feb. 28. +1

Fourth Street Snarl Up Construction on downtown’s Fourth Street will continue through 2020 due to gas line replacement, building renovations, and more. -2

CURRENT OUTLOOK

+3



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DISPATCH

meet with its occupant, one more Buckeye named Ulysses S. Grant. They ended up talking about Sherman and his autobiography, which Grant also loved, and a few years later Grant decided to write one of his own: Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant, a book widely considered the best memoir ever written by a president. When it appeared in 1885, Personal Memoirs sold more copies than just about any other book in American history to that point. The fact that so many of these titles have been huge hits says something about the literary talents of America’s presidents. But I’ve also come to believe those sales say something about America’s readers. Americans have always wanted to know more about their politicians, past and present. They (we) like to read sensible books—to read for self-improvement. Even this tendency has a deep history. Here’s an example: In 1803, a township on the American frontier voted to form a library. Many of its members paid their share by bringing in furs from the animals they’d trapped, and that township ended up spending $73.50 on 51 books, with the list weighted heavily toward history. A practical, frontier library was born. Its youngest member, a boy of 13, had turned in 10 raccoon skins to join. Where was that library located? Athens County, Ohio.

CORNER SHOT

Winter in the Queen City doesn’t always have to mean bundling up on the couch, as Instagrammer @elsestar_images reminds us with this impressive shot of a hawk on a branch in his own backyard.

We’ve done shows at BRICK Pop Up Shop in Over-the-Rhine, which is a great space that allows anyone to set up for a weekend or even a month. They also have a secondary space we’ve talked about expanding into. We’ve held shows at Artifact in Newport, which always feels a little more like a party. We’ve also done small shows at Braxton Brewing Company and Roebling Point Books. What are some of the struggles artists can face when trying to show their work? Just getting it in front of people. Your art might fit in one gallery but not another. How is Pop-Up Gallery breaking down those barriers? It gives people a chance to meet the artists making art, hear the story behind a piece, and have that interaction. We’re all right there.

TONGUE TIED

This month, international storytelling nonprofit The Moth will set Memorial Hall aflutter with two nights of live, unscripted, first-person storytelling. In anticipation of the February 6 and 7 shows, we compare the details of The Moth to local storytelling nonprofit Cincy Stories. —STUART LINDLE

THE MOTH

CINCY STORIES EX P ER I EN C E

Holds a variety of events around the world, including StorySLAM (its storytelling competition) and Mainstage (performances such as what’s coming to Cincinnati).

Hear uniquely Cincinnati stories told by local entrepreneurs, creatives, and community members during live events, the Cincy Stories podcast, and in neighborhood-specific Story Galleries.

OR I GI N How did you find each other? We’ve all met doing different shows or festivals, just trying to promote our work. It’s always nice to have other artists to talk through things with. Who we have in our pop-ups changes every time, but it creates a community. What’s next for PopUp Gallery? We want to engage with even more artists, different genres. We already have a lot of artists coming up to us at shows asking to get involved, but don’t know where to start. We’ve even talked about looking for a more longterm space where we could rotate artists. –STUART LINDLE

LEARN MORE AT FACEBOOK.COM/POP UPGALLERYART 2 0 C I N C I N N AT I M A G A Z I N E . C O M F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

Novelist George Dawes Green founded The Moth in 1997, and held the first show in his New York City living room. He was inspired by time spent drinking and telling stories in his neighbor’s garden.

Roughly five years ago, Shawn Braley and Chris Ashwell began hosting bimonthly storytelling events at MOTR Pub with the goal of bringing Cincinnatians together through story.

STORY TELLERS Accepts stories from all people, spearheading initiatives like The Muslim Voices Project and The Immigration Project to help give a platform to underrepresented communities.

Seeks perspectives of Cincinnatians from all backgrounds, from residents of neighborhoods that are often overlooked to young people struggling to find their voice.

C OM M U N I T Y Hosts workshops to help students and adults in underrepresented communities hone their personal storytelling abilities.

Runs Street Stories, an ongoing project that collects neighborhood-specific stories of life in Walnut Hills, Avondale, and West Price Hill.

OU TR EAC H Has presented more than 34,000 live stories, has a podcast with more than 61 million downloads a year, and broadcasts stories via 500 radio stations.

Averages 250 audience members for live shows at the Woodward Theater. Recorded versions stream at cincystories.net and on Radio Artifact. ILLUSTR ATIO N BY VA N O R TO N D E SI G N


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POP LIFE

THESE FIVE EXHIBITIONS CLOSE OUT THUNDER-SKY, INC.’S FINAL SEASON. X EMINENT DOMAIN Circuit bender Reed Ghazala, mixed media collagist Jason V Mann, and Miami U. architecture and interior design professor Patrizio Martinelli examine the idea of private property and public imagination. March 14–April 30.

It’s the end of an era for an electric folk-art gallery in Northside. — K A N E O YOU RECALL seeing a guy walking around in a clown costume and a construction hat? If you lived in Cincinnati during the 1970s through the early 2000s, you probably do. Raymond Thunder-Sky walked the Queen City with a toolbox and sketchpad, which he used to draw various demolition and construction sites around the area. Thunder-Sky passed away in 2004, and a gallery bearing his name and commemorating his legacy opened in Northside five years later. Now, after 10 years of operation, ThunderSky, Inc., has started its curtain call. Thunder-Sky, a Native American artist with a developmental

D

disability, is the closest thing to a folk hero you’ll find in Cincinnati. Murals of him are scattered throughout the city, and a statue of him, made by Tom Tsuchiya, the same sculptor who crafts the Cincinnati Reds statues at Great American Ball Park, currently sits near Covington’s Hellmann Creative Center. Bill Ross met Thunder-Sky in 1999 in his role as a social worker with the Hamilton County Board of Developmental Disabilities. He would often travel to Thunder-Sky’s Northside apartment, where he eventually noticed Thunder-Sky’s artistic talent. Ross partnered with Keith Banner to present Thunder-Sky’s drawings at an art show in 2000, where he drew acclaim. “He had this kind of cult following.

A lot of the shows we did were establishing him as an artist in the region,” Banner says. “A lightbulb went off in people’s heads. ‘Oh my god, that’s what he was doing .. . dressed as a clown?’ It was his identity, which is unique, obviously. We didn’t want to lose that.” After Thunder-Sky died, Ross and Banner opened Thunder-Sky, Inc., to honor his work and showcase other local artists. “We wanted to establish a place where we could celebrate that uniqueness that wasn’t really anchored in disability, wasn’t really anchored in folk art. It was anchored in Ray, because there’s not really a place he could fit,” Banner says. “That’s what the gallery is, a place for anybody who has that same kind of sense.”

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MITTEN

Thunder-Sky, Inc., will close at the end of 2020. The gallery has showcased notable artists from the Cincinnati area and held shows on topics like family, crime, and disability while focusing on community outreach. But Banner says its biggest accomplishment is celebrating “someone who created a space for himself in the world that didn’t really care if he had one or not.” “In a city with a lot of people in it, we were able to pull one person from anonymity and explain him in a variety of ways that you would never see unless you had a gallery,” he says. “Ray could be seen as somebody who’s not like us, but I think what we found is that his strangeness and uniqueness and weirdness is ours.” ICONS BY CARLIE BURTON

X SIGN/SYMBOL: LOOKING AT THE WORLD VIA HIGHWAY 127 Robert McFate calls part of his process “urban fishing”: He walks with a magnet on a string, collecting metal and turning it into vivid sculptural assemblages. May 9–July 4. X BACKBRAIN Gallery cofounder Bill Ross (known for candycolored paintings featuring pink cupcakes) collaborates with David Roper on a collection of paintings and drawings. July 11–Aug. 31. X LEFT BRAIN, RIGHT BRAIN Tom Strohmaier, who helped restore the Metrobot outside the CAC, curates paintings, drawings, and photographs from regional artists. All proceeds will go to the Alzheimer’s Association. Sept. 12–Oct. 17. X VIOLET % GENEROUS Antonio Adams draws from his 11 years as artist-in-residence at Thunder-Sky, Inc., for the gallery’s final show. Outsider artist Tony Dotson and queen of everything Pam Kravetz are along for the ride. Oct. 30–Dec. 12. Thunder-Sky, Inc., 4573 Hamilton Ave., Northside, (513) 426-0477, raymondthundersky.org

PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY KEITH BANNER

THUNDER AND LIGHTNING



Dr. Know is Jay Gilbert, weekday afternoon deejay on 92.5 FM The Fox. Submit your questions about the city’s peculiarities at drknow@cincinnati magazine.com

DR. KNOW

Q+ A

As to your question: If you should find yourself parked at a lonely pole—atop which a meter once enjoyed the pride of employment before its job was trampled by the heartless march of technology— the Cincy EZ Park app can extend your parking time at the nearby kiosk. Just like a meter, the kiosk displays an identifying zone number, which you enter into the app when making your first payment. You can later add time to your “session” in either situation. Because nearby cars all use the same number, you may fear that your electronic obedience might not be accurately noted when your car’s tag is examined by Lovely Rita (look her up, kids). But relax: Enforcement cops know who’s been good or bad thanks to a wireless device that specifies each tag’s transaction and shows any updates. It probably also knows why you’re there, what you’re wearing, and your browser history. Park with peace of mind; worry about everything else.

I’m happy that I can now extend my downtown parking time with an app, and not have to walk back to a meter. But what about the places with no meter anymore—just a nearby kiosk that prints out a tag? How do I extend the time on those? And how can cops know my tag is updated? —APPED OUT

DEAR APPED:

First, the Doctor reminds everyone: Reclaim your valuable phone space and delete all 83 pictures of parking meters. While you’re at it, do you really need all those shots of meals, cats, and blurry bar buddies?

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How long will we keep seeing the sign on the Norwood Lateral that says, “Cincinnati Gardens—Exit 2?” The place was demolished almost two years ago, and was shut down long before that. The highway sign, though, remains, like a goldfish left floating in a bowl. What’s the problem? —BAD SIGN DEAR BAD:

Your question turns out to be one of life’s profound mysteries. Norwood, an independent municipality, clearly must be responsible for the thoroughfare that carries its name, right? You’d think so, but remember, we’re talking about the government. “Norwood Lateral” is only a popular nickname; officially, the road is State Route 562. That means we should contact the Ohio Department of Transportation, right? The Doctor did so, and was told that the road, not being an Interstate Highway, is not under its jurisdiction—thanks for calling. The Lateral travels through Norwood, ILLUSTR ATIO N S BY L A R S LEE TA RU


but it begins and ends within the City of Cincinnati. Therefore, any maintenance responsibility depends on the exact location of the problem. To wit: The Gardens sign stands near the Paddock Road exit, which is definitely not Norwood. The Doctor waterboarded a confession out of a Cincinnati official confirming this fact. Removing the sign, he said, involves booking a bucket truck and crew, closing a lane, not interfering with other work nearby, etc. Also, money must be allocated. In other words, we’ll get back to you—thanks for calling.

At the foot of Mt. Auburn, where Dorchester Avenue meets I-71, the entrance ramp has a sign saying, “No Exit to I-471 South.” Is this sign just for laughs? Every day, cars dangerously dart across all three lanes to I-471. Who bothered to put up that sign? Is this the most-ignored, least-enforced traffic sign in all of Cincinnati?

T H E

M U SIC A L

P H E N OM E N O N

February 11 - 23, 2020 JIMMY BUFFETT’S

©

—PULL ME OVER DEAR PULL:

Welcome to the Doctor’s fi rst allautomotive column. Unlike the previous question, this time the answers are easy. 1. No, the sign is not for laughs. Quickly traversing the three lanes between entering I-71 and arriving at I-471 is an unsafe maneuver and should not be attempted. If you wish to get to I-471 from the intersection at Dorchester Avenue/Eden Park Drive, turn onto Reading Road instead of the I-71 ramp. That will get you to I-471. Thank you for choosing the safe, and legal, route. 2. Your hated sign comes from the Ohio Department of Transportation, because this is a ramp leading onto an Interstate Highway (see previous question). 3. No, this is not the most-ignored, least-enforced traffic sign in all of Cincinnati. The most-ignored, least-enforced traffic sign in all of Cincinnati is SPEED LIMIT: 55.

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CREATIVE CASUAL P. 28

MID-CENTURY MASHUP P. 30

THE MAN BEHIND THE MURALS P. 32

SMITH & HANNON BOOKSTORE P. 33

TIME TO GET FUNKY The lava lamp is back in style, according to our friends at King Arthur’s Court Toys. The Oakley store stocks 14.5(above) and 27-inch-tall lamps in a variety of colors. $22.99; $129.99, kingarthurstoys.com P H O T O G R A P H BY A A R O N M . CO N WAY

F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 C I N C I N N AT I M A G A Z I N E . C O M 2 7


STYLE COUNSEL

Julia Lipovsky OCCUPATION: Freelance artist, barista STYLE: Creative casual Describe your style. I have a lot of staples—mostly black everything, but I have a more feminine or masculine take on those staples depending on the day. As an artist I feel it’s important to represent myself through clothing while also being able to pick up a paintbrush at any given moment and get to work. How else does being an artist influence your style? So many of the pieces I wear are informed by practicality: What will I be doing today? Am I working with clay? Am I painting? Will I be on my feet? At the same time, working at Visionaries + Voices for four years, I like to have some element of personality always expressed through art. Whether it’s something I made myself or something a friend made, I aim to always be wearing something that grounds me in both my values and personal narrative. Tell me about Cladies, your collection of female clay jewelry faces. Honestly, I had no real clay experience prior to working as a studio coordinator for V+V. I started exploring the medium in order to better support the artists in the studio. I’ve always loved drawing people, especially women, so the formation of Cladies felt pretty natural as a way to extend my drawing practice into another medium. How has your style changed over time? When I was younger, I was constantly trying to put on a sort of costume. I loved mixing patterns and pushing the envelope. Now, while I still love pattern-mixing to an extent, I feel like my style is more curated and intentional. I still like to push the envelope, but in a much more subtle way. I’ll wear all black but mix things up with a pair of funky sunglasses or bold necklace. There’s a sense of balance that wasn’t there before. —MADELINE STERLING READ A LONGER CONVERSATION WITH JULIA AT CINCINNATIMAGAZINE.COM

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P H O T O G R A P H BY A A R O N M . CO N WAY


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ON THE MARKET

ADDRESS: 2119 UNION RD., TURTLECREEK TOWNSHIP LISTING PRICE: $635,000

MID-CENTURY MASH-UP

YOU COULD PLAY THE WORLD’S BEST GAME OF HIDE-AND-SEEK IN THIS

uncommon 1964 home, which is perfect for a buyer with vision and a jones for wide open spaces. Its style cannot be confined to one genre because it’s a magical mystery tour of every genre. It is somehow both log cabin and Mid-Century Modern ranch, and then it approaches castle territory with multiple levels of open stairways trimmed in elaborate wrought iron, a stone-encased stairway, and an absolutely giant 12-foot-wide stone fireplace. A recent $250,000 renovation amped up the property further still, adding a contemporary light-filled kitchen, complete with farmhouse sink, marble counters, and plenty of natural materials like granite and slate. Comparatively dainty builtin cabinets in the bedrooms remind us that the home was in fact built in the ’60s, even though it’s the log cabin style that provides the bass note throughout, showing itself with 40-footlong original wood beams. The dozen-room labyrinth has five bedrooms, multiple living and dining spaces, and 3 0 C I N C I N N AT I M A G A Z I N E . C O M F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

a full bathroom on each of its three levels. And then there’s basically an entire second house in the basement. And that’s just the inside. The two-story deck with pool and hot tub seems basic compared to the rest of the property, which is not unlike a mini summer camp: Look for a stocked fishing pond, an island with a shelter house and floating dock, and even a zip line and miniature beach. You can easily imagine a troop of Girl Scouts sitting around the fire pit. You’ll also find an established vegetable garden near the kitchen, a handy three-car garage, and an invisible fence around the more than four acres, with extensive frontage on a large lot set way back from the road. This listing has it all, plus a bunch of things you never knew you needed. You get the feeling that you’re on a rural compound somewhere, even though you’re only about a half-hour drive to downtown Cincinnati and even closer to Dayton. But why would you ever leave? It’s a home made (and remade) for living the good life.

PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY BRIAN THOMAS/COLDWELL BANKER WEST SHELL

THIS MODERN LOG CABIN HAS ALL. THE. STUFF. — A M Y B R O W N L E E


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HOMEGROWN

THE WHOLE PACKAGE FROM MURALS TO BRAND ASSETS, CODY GUNNINGHAM OFFERS A COMPLETE ARTISTIC EXPERIENCE. — K A T I E C O B U R N

Y

You’d never know Cody Gunningham failed his high school art class. The 30-year-old’s vibrant art decorates the Queen City, from the popular flowerpainted garage door on East 13th Street to Social OTR’s blue botanical mural to Lost & Found’s rainbowcolored mural depicting cartoony plants, eyes, and cocktails. Paint isn’t his only medium, though. He’s designed a clothing line for New York City–based fashion company Rochambeau, created visual brand assets for Wódka Bar and now-closed restaurant Eighth & English, designed merchandise artwork for indie folk band Dawg Yawp, and directed a creative campaign for an album

release by ElectroPop trio Passeport. Armed with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Art Academy of Cincinnati, where he studied drawing and painting, Gunningham calls himself a professional creative. “I’m trying to offer more than just something that’s still on a wall,” he says. His diverse skill set is best evidenced by his recent collaboration with Lost & Found’s owners, who hired Gunningham in late 2018 to oversee the bar’s creative direction. In addition to designing and painting its funky mural, he worked with the owners and general contractors on the bar’s interior design, which involved aesthetic details like selecting

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wallpaper, molding, and other finishes. He also designed the menu, logo, and website, which he continues to update along with the brand’s social media. “I was hands-on from the initial architectural renderings of the space,” he says. “It was like a whole package, and I’m on retainer to continue

creating content.” His work at Lost & Found led to a job painting murals for media agency Empower, located across the street. Moving forward, he hopes to partner with other local bars and restaurants in need of a refresh, and he recently launched a creative company called Boredom Department

2

with local photographer Ben Michaelis to offer a full range of content creation services. Influenced by both classic and contemporary artists like Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Mark Rothko, and David Hockney, Gunningham’s

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ON VIEW 1: Cody Gunningham in his Camp Washington studio 2: East 13th Street garage mural 3: Social OTR mural

art is colorful, playful, and typically abstract. “I don’t like the depressive dark kind of things. When I make art, it’s not an escape but an acceptance of joy and fun and liveliness,” he says. “I just like to have fun, and I think that comes across in the work. It’s light-hearted subjects: flowers, plants, people, cats. And that’s all it needs to be.” codygun ningham.com

P H O TO G R A P H S BY ( TO P) A A R O N M . CO N WAY / (M I D D L E , B O T TO M) B E N M I C H A E LI S


STOREFRONT

TURNING THE PAGE SMITH & HANNON FOCUSES ON THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN AUTHORS YOU NEED TO READ. — P A T R I C K M U R P H Y

Joyce C. Smith didn’t plan on relaxing when she retired after 26 years of climbing the ranks from teacher to principal to assistant superintendent. Instead, she continues teaching in her own way by highlighting works by AfricanAmerican authors at her Over-the-Rhine bookstore Smith & Hannon. Nearly two decades ago, she realized how hard it was to find African-American authors at big-name bookstores. “Our books go out of print before any others,” Smith says, so she opened Smith & Hannon in 2003 in Bond Hill to help close that gap. Three years ago, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center recognized her efforts and offered to house her bookstore in its former gift shop space. “It was good while it lasted,” Smith says. The Freedom Center reopened its gift shop last year, but Smith wasn’t ready for another retirement. In April, with help from the Women’s Business Center of Greater Cincinnati, Smith connected with 3CDC and moved into her current Vine Street storefront between Pontiac BBQ and Continuum. The OTR bookstore displays vibrant African clothing, decorative carved wood and metalwork pieces, and a variety of jewelry and self-care products. And, of course, plenty of books: coffee table books on iconic African woodcarvings, art, and basket-weaving;

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ first narrative novel and New York Times bestseller The Water Dancer; classics like Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, Frank Yerby’s The Foxes of Harrow, and (Smith’s recommendation) poetry books by Nikki Giovanni. There are also children’s books—illustrated biographies of Coretta Scott King and Amelia Earhart share a space with She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History by Chelsea Clinton and illustrator Alexandra Boiger. Smith has also brought in local authors to lead in-person Q&A discussions. Recent events focused on Rick Pender’s guidebook 100 Things to Do in Cincinnati

Before You Die, Michelle G. Stradford’s book of poetry I’m Rising, and Annette Januzzi Wick’s memoir I’ll Have Some of Yours. Although she says the move to OTR sort of feels like starting over, Smith is excited to introduce children’s storytime events and partner with more local authors. But that doesn’t mean she’s moving past her original mission. “I’ll always have AfricanAmerican books,” she says. “Always.”

SMITH & HANNON, 1405 VINE ST., OVER-THERHINE, (513) 641-2700

Call the shop to learn about upcoming scheduled Q&A discussions with local authors, which often involve wine and cheese. GOOD TO KNOW

PHOTOGRAPHS BY CARLIE BURTON

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Regrets Reprised I ONCE GAVE A HIGH SCHOOL COMMENCEMENT SPEECH. SOMEONE ASKED ME TO DO IT AGAIN 25 YEARS LATER FOR HIS COWORKERS. I HAVE AN ANNOYING WEAKNESS. I LIKE TO TELL STORIES AND TEND NOT TO NOTICE WHEN others aren’t in the mood to sit through them. Fortunately, my career in radio allows listeners an invisible escape when they’ve had enough. I’ve also enjoyed the occasional public speaking engagement, which is the exact opposite—everyone is forced to sit there and hear my stories all the way through. And here’s a good story about that. In 1994, I had the honor of giving a high school commencement speech. The perfect captive audience! The seniors, I was told, had chosen me as their speaker, which in a way was no surprise. After all, I was their daily after-school companion playing Nirvana 3 6 C I N C I N N AT I M A G A Z I N E . C O M F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

and Pearl Jam on WEBN, Cincinnati’s topranked radio station at the time. But here’s something that surprised me a lot: A person who’d attended that ceremony—the kid brother of a graduate—contacted me last year. He was now president of a large Cincinnati ad agency and said he’d always remembered my speech and its message. So he wanted me to come to his agency and give the same speech again, this time to his employees at their annual day-long motivational event. Wow. We’ve all seen enough commencement speeches to know that they can be worse than a drunk Boomer relative reciting every word of “Alice’s Restaurant” at Thanksgiving. I guess I did better than that, because someone now wanted to pass my message along to another generation. Considering that most of the speech had been about my own personal failures and regrets, though, I was wondering exactly how inspirational I had been. I DECIDED IN 1994 THAT MY COMMENCEment speech should reprise my role as a disc jockey, so I actually played some tunes, arranging with the school for the proper technology. The recordings weren’t popular songs; they were 60-second commercial jingles I’d created during my parallel career as a jingle producer. Yes, I’ve made many of those little ditties on the radio that interrupt the music you’d rather hear. But I didn’t play the familiar commercials everybody knew; instead, I played the rough demo tapes of jingles that my clients had rejected. These were songs I’d worked hard composing and recording that had never been heard by the public, thanks to a bunch of stupid and fearful marketing executives. What a glorious opportunity this was now, to force several hundred people to finally hear them. As I played each demo and told its story, the speech seemed to be about shaking off rejection and forging ahead. Just what I wanted everyone to think. My real message was hidden and would pounce at the end. Here are the six demos I played, with links for you to hear them. Warning: Demos are primitive. They mostly feature just me singing, because I’m all I can afford at that early stage. Instrumentation is sparse. The client is supposed to evaluate only the P H O T O G R A P H BY A A R O N M . CO N WAY


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LIVING IN CIN song and its marketing strategy, not Jay’s performance. Could they? Can you? Let’s find out. Marge Schott Buick. In the early 1980s before she was a baseball mogul, Marge sold cars. With sales of foreign models kicking America’s ass for the first time, she was screaming for everybody to Buy American! You’ll hear my singing slogan, then an instrumental section where the announcer would go, and then the final reveal of the jingle’s melody (if you haven’t already noticed). I was stunned that Marge passed on my patriotic idea. Maybe she figured out that I’m Jewish? https:// tinyurl.com/slbpn46 Husman’s Potato Chips. Every rejected idea here was later used by others, to my great frustration. I actually yelled at my TV when I saw a commercial for Ruffles with my slogan. This demo also featured Monty Python-ish characters who so

Riverbend Music Center. Not a jingle. This was the announcement of Cincinnati’s brand-new concert venue. The client, typically, wanted too much information stuffed into 60 seconds: Explain how Riverbend is a new structure, mention the large outdoor-but-protected seating, and cram in a full laundry list of the entire summer’s calendar, pointing out that there’s something for all ages. I thought my idea solved the cramming problem (and you’ll be surprised at the percentage of artists who are now dead). I even went to the risk and expense of producing a finished commercial. Still, they said no. https://tinyurl.com/vf94jv9 Coca-Cola’s famous song! In 1990, Coke celebrated the 20th anniversary of its iconic “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” commercial—the one that appeared yet again in the finale of Mad Men. As a joke, I decided to make a parody version for WEBN. In all my years of getting away with

THIS REGRET STINGS THE MOST. TAKE THE CHANCE, I BEGGED THE HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS. THE PAIN OF FAILING WILL ALWAYS BE LESS THAN THE PAIN OF FLINCHING. stuffed their mouths with Husman’s chips that, well, you’ll hear. At my presentation, though, I was told that something must be wrong with the tape, because “we couldn’t understand the lyrics.” https://tinyurl. com/romw4x9 Cincinnati Gas & Electric. Duke Energy’s predecessor wanted to reinforce the idea that you can always depend on their electricity to be there (except when you can’t, but we don’t do commercials about that). Take note here of how a 60-second jingle is usually constructed: It’s really a pair of 30-second pieces, each able to stand alone and each allowing for a version that’s mostly instrumental until the end, where the sung slogan follows the announcer. I thought my lyrics suggested lots of good imagery for TV spots. Oh, well. https://tinyurl.com/ wn8v6tl

outrageous stuff, this was the first time the station flat-out stopped me. CocaCola was too important an account to risk it. I was furious. Just listen to how much trouble I went to creating that instrumental backing! And those are my own kids in there! https://tinyurl.com/vmbwtbe THEN THERE’S THE DEMO WITH MY speech’s real message. Sharing this experience was not an easy thing to do in 1994, or at the ad agency in 2019, or now. There was once a TV sitcom you never saw called You Can’t Take It With You. Even though it starred Harry Morgan from M*A*S*H and Richard Sanders from WKRP in Cincinnati, it lasted less than one season. Like most sitcoms of the era, it required a heartwarming song during the opening credits, which hopefully could become as familiar as the themes from Cheers or Friends.

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I had an amazing stroke of luck. While the sitcom was in early development, I stumbled into contact with its executive producer, a guy from Cincinnati who was completely open to hearing theme song ideas from a stranger who had only done commercial jingles. I wrote a song that laid out the show’s premise. You Can’t Take It With You, adapted from an old Broadway play, was about a banker who’d walked away from the craziness of Wall Street so he could embrace life’s smaller treasures. My lyrics, then, were about leaving behind your professional obsessions and enjoying life. At last, I was writing a song that wasn’t about a car dealer or an appliance store. I think it’s among the better things I’ve written. My singing wasn’t too bad, either. https://tinyurl.com/yxy9qxtk Now, to send in the demo tape and see what happens. And it is here—all you 1994 graduates and parents, all you 2019 ad executives and employees, all you 2020 Cincinnati Magazine readers—where my tale of frustrations and regrets takes a turn. This time, it wasn’t the client who failed to have faith in me. This time, it was me. I never sent that tape. I was scared. I’ll never know if I was more scared of failure or of success, but I do know one thing for sure: Of all the frustrations and regrets I carry—it’s a much longer list— this is the one that stings the most. Take the chance, I begged the high school seniors. The pain of failing will always be less than the pain of flinching. I’d ambushed them with my real message, hoping it would sink deeper. And maybe it did. A few years later, I was approached by a young woman who said she’d graduated that day and was agonizing over two possible futures before her; one was safe, the other closer to her heart but highly tentative. My speech had helped her choose the rockier path, and she was delighted with her life. Then, a quarter-century later, I was approached by a successful ad agency president who wanted to share my speech with his employees, because it had mattered so much to him as a teenager. Now I’ve told my story again to you. Whatever age you are, I hope it sticks. Thanks for listening.


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The Ferryman

PAUL ANDERSON’S 54 YEARS ON THE OHIO RIVER.

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ON A MISTY MORNING IN EARLY OCTOBER THE DEBORAH A. STEALS SILENTLY ACROSS THE Ohio River, pushing the Boone No. 9 with two cars on deck. Already, these two boats—together, the Anderson Ferry—have made 12 round trips today; by nightfall they will have made close to 60. For now, though, the workday is new and patches of fog drift slowly through the treetops. A line of ducks swims past, unfazed; on the riverbank, a row of cars comes into view, drivers waiting patiently for the ferry to dock and unload so they, too, can board and make the reverse trip back. A ferry boat of some sort has been crossing the river from this very same spot, 10 miles west of downtown Cincinnati, for more than 200 years. During that time there have been countless different captains helping shuttle passengers back and forth between Ohio and Kentucky. But for the past 54 years, the person driving the boat has, more often 4 0 C I N C I N N AT I M A G A Z I N E . C O M F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

than not, been Paul Anderson. To say ferry-boating is in 72-year-old Anderson’s blood is not far from the truth; he’s been working the ferry in one form or another since he was 14, when he got an after-school job as a deck hand for thenowner Henry Kottmyer. At 18, he earned his operator’s license. Later, when he went to college and began a career in commercial construction and union carpentry, he worked as a fill-in captain. When the Kottmyer family decided to sell the business in 1986, Anderson was working three jobs just to stay afloat. After consulting with his wife, Deborah (the Deborah A.’s namesake, who now does all the behind-the-scenes paperwork and keeps the business side of things running), he bought the Anderson Ferry, making steady payments to the Kottmyers over a 10-year P H O T O G R A P H BY A A R O N M . CO N WAY


span until the couple owned the business. Today, he’s as comfortable ferrying back and forth across this 65-foot-deep stretch of the Ohio as a veteran truck driver might be cruising along I-71; after nearly a lifetime in this job, he’s also become an indisputable keeper of Ohio River history. As he works, he talks about how ferries were pretty much the only way people could cross the Ohio before the Roebling Suspension Bridge came along in 1866. He

floods, high winds, or thick ice. In an era of high-tech, high-speed everything, the ferry—topping out at 7 knots and making a one-way trip between seven and 11 minutes—is something of an anomaly. Even so, says Anderson, “very seldom do we sit with no cars. I credit the airport for that,” noting many west-siders use the ferry to circumvent the overcrowded highway system ringing greater Cincinnati (the Kentucky dock is less than 3 miles

“I’M A LINK IN THE CHAIN,” ANDERSON SAYS, SMILING, EYES ON THE WATER AHEAD. “THE FERRY DOESN’T HANG ON ME.” talks about the business’s namesake and founder, a former stagecoach driver named George Anderson (no confirmed relation to Paul) who came into ferry-boating in 1817 after developing severe road dust allergies. And he talks about that stretch of time between the Civil War and the early 1900s, when boats like these were so common, there were ferry landings every 10 or 15 miles along this stretch of the Ohio. By the time he bought the Anderson Ferry, of course, multiple bridges spanned the river and ferry-boating, though still a lucrative business, was in danger of becoming obsolete (today, just five other ferry boats operate on the Ohio; Anderson’s is the only one still privately owned). Fortunately, members of the Riverside Historical Society had the foresight to place the Anderson Ferry on the National Historic Register in 1982. “It was one of the best things that ever happened,” says Anderson. “It helped protect the ferry against development and gave it recognition.” When Anderson took over four years later, he inherited launches on either side of the river, two adjacent parcels of land on each bank, and just one pair of boats—a “push boat,” as he likes to call them, and a passenger barge for cars. As time went by, though, the business grew. Anderson promoted his deck hands to captains and hired a few more on top of that; he also bought two more boats, so he could stay running even if one broke down. Today, he employs 10 people and the Anderson Ferry runs seven days a week, 364 days a year, barring

from CVG). In fact, he says, the flow of auto traffic directly corresponds with the work week, with Monday mornings and Friday afternoons and evenings being the busiest times, bar none. His favorite part of the job by far is “the rhythm of it all and the slow pace. And [how] it’s always changing,” says Anderson, noting “you have a panoramic view of everything—airplanes, traffic on the highway, traffic on the river.” A BUSINESS THIS OLD HAS WITNESSED its fair share of interesting events. In 1870, as the story goes, a fully intact home floated down river from nobody-knows-where during a massive flood (it’s been settled on the Kentucky side of the ferry property ever since). During Paul’s tenure, two cars with brake failures have careened down the landing road and across the boat’s deck (both drivers survived, but one car is still sitting at the bottom of the Ohio). Once, he even piloted the ferry to the Licking River and shuttled a Tall Stacks Civil War reenactment group, with actual horses pulling loaded canons, across it. Like any mode of transportation, the ferry has regulars (for these, Anderson offers discounted 10- and 40-ride “punch cards”). It also has annual visitors: a class of preschoolers and their teachers who ride from Kentucky, get ice cream at the UDF across from the Ohio launch and ride back again; and a group of veterans from the American Legion post up the road who commemorate the anniversary of Pearl Harbor each year

with a wreath ceremony on deck. But for all that stays the same on the ferry, lots of things have changed. Under Anderson’s watch the business has weathered the 2008 recession (“You just prayed you didn’t have a major repair or breakdown,” he says); a 300 percent rise in diesel fuel costs, up from $1.25 a gallon in 1986 to $5 a gallon today; and multiple politicians advocating for building an additional Ohio River bridge just west of the ferry— a move that, should it ever happen, could take away some of the west-side airport traffic that helps sustain him. On the plus side, business these days is moving back toward pre-recession levels, Anderson currently employs several female captains—a major change from “the early ’60s, when most drivers were men,” he says—and manufacturers are starting to make electric ferry boats. Maybe the biggest change in recent years has been to his own schedule. Although Anderson still spends a few days a week at the ferry, he mostly lets the other captains drive the boats. In fact, his son, Justin—also a captain—is thinking about taking over the family business. Either way, Paul and Deborah are hoping to retire soon. Running the ferry has been both a blessing and “an adventure,” says Anderson, but “there’s a few ‘bucket list’ things we’d like to do.” After so many years at the helm, is he worried about someone else taking over? “I’m a link in the chain,” Anderson says, smiling, eyes on the water ahead. “The ferry doesn’t hang on me.” With 14 prior owner-operators stretching back 206 years, his words are true in theory. Still, Anderson’s are tall boots to fill. “It takes a special person” to run a business like this today, he notes. After a morning riding the boats, it’s also hard not to think about all that’s changed in Greater Cincinnati since the Anderson Ferry began two centuries ago; then again, the one constant here has always been the river, quietly winding its way through so many rolling hills. Maybe that’s why, standing on deck as the water laps gently against the sides of the boats below, you feel calmer. Peaceful. In step with the endless rhythm of the river, like Anderson says. Not so different after all from the way things used to be.

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P H OTO G R A P H : D O M E O F S TAT I O N B U I L D I N G . ( C U T P R O G R E S S P H OTO G R A P H S C O L L E C T I O N , S C #3 19 _ 2 14) . C I N C I N N AT I M U S E U M C E N T E R , C I N C I N N AT I H I S TO R Y L I B R A R Y A N D A R C H I V E S .


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We’ve been designing Cincinnati’s built environment for more than 200 years, trying out trendy architectural styles and popularizing some of our own. All the while we reconsider, reconfigure, and rehabilitate what’s come before, blending the past and the future into what feels like home. BY KATIE COBURN, JOHN FOX, KAILEIGH PEYTON, KEVIN SCHULTZ, AND AMANDA BOYD WALTERS


Built Circa 1820

Original Use Private home

Current Use Museum

Architectural Style Federal in the Palladian style

Significance Designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1976, this stately downtown residence-turned-museum was originally commissioned by businessman and two-term Cincinnati mayor Martin Baum, though a financial crisis meant he couldn’t complete the project. Prominent Cincinnati lawyer and winemaker Nicholas Longworth acquired the residence in 1829 and notably hired African-American artist Robert S. Duncanson to paint the foyer’s still-intact and carefully preserved landscape murals. Iron tycoon David Sinton later bought the house and passed it to his daughter Anna. She and her husband, Charles P. Taft, half-brother of William H. Taft (who famously made his presidential nomination acceptance speech from the home’s portico in 1908), filled the home with what was then one of the world’s most valuable art collections. They donated the home and art to the people of Cincinnati, opening the museum to the public in 1932. Next The Taft marks its bicentennial by refurbishing the building’s exterior siding; removing, repairing, and reinstalling windows and shutters; and overhauling its ventilation system to better regulate temperature and humidity. The historic galleries will be closed October 2020 through February 2021, but approximately 80 works from the museum’s permanent collection will remain on display in the Fifth Third Gallery throughout the process. P H O T O G R A P H : M U S I C R O O M , H O M E O F C H A R L E S A N D A N N A T A F T, A B O U T 1 9 2 5 . C O U R T E S Y O F T H E T A F T M U S E U M O F A R T A R C H I V E S


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PAINTED LADIES, TUSCULUM AVENUE, COLUMBIA-TUSCULUM Built 1880s–1910s

Original Use Private homes

Current Use Same

Architectural Style Victorian and Queen Anne Significance Cincinnati’s very first residential settlement is one of many neighborhoods that embraced this design style at the turn of the 20th century. Colorful paint details bring extra attention to intricate woodwork trim along a hilly street just uphill from Columbia Parkway.

HANNAFORD MANSION, BROOKLINE AVENUE, CLIFTON Built 1894

Original Use Private home

CLASSIC ITALIANATE, 12TH AND VINE STS., OVER-THE-RHINE

Current Use Clifton branch, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County

Built Original Use Current Use 1850–1900 Homes, retail stores, Same bars, restaurants Architectural Style Italianate brick

Architectural Style Châteauesque sandstone

Significance If there’s one architectural style Cincinnati is known for, it’s Italianate. Overthe-Rhine has the finest concentration of intact Italianate buildings in the U.S., but you’ll find them everywhere from Newport to Camp Washington. The corner structure housing Taste of Belgium is one of the oldest surviving buildings in OTR; it and the row of buildings north of 12th Street were among the 3CDC’s first renovation projects.

Significance One of 20 local homes designed by Samuel Hannaford between 1862 and 1896, these mansions dotted emerging suburban villages like Clifton, Price Hill, and Northside. Built for George “Boss” Cox, Cincinnati’s corrupt political fixer of the time, this home later served as a UC fraternity house until a 2015 restoration turned it into the neighborhood’s public library.

Architectural Style Federal with touches of Greek Revival

CARNEAL HOUSE, SECOND STREET, COVINGTON Built 1815

Original Use Private home

Significance The oldest surviving brick building in Northern Kentucky was built by Thomas Carneal, one of Covington’s founders, though he never lived in it. The Greek-style columns here and on neighboring homes in the Licking Riverside Historic District offered a touch a class in the frontier era.

Current Use Same

P H OTO G R A P H S ( TO P ) BY B R I T TA N Y D E X T E R / ( M I D D L E ) BY PA I S L E Y S TO N E / ( B OT TO M ) C O U R T E SY K E N TO N C O U N T Y P U B L I C L I B R A R Y / I L LU S T R AT I O N BY C AT S I M S


INGALLS BUILDING, FOURTH AND VINE STS., DOWNTOWN Built 1903

Original Use Office tower

Current Use Converting to hotel

Architectural Style Beaux Arts Significance This unassuming building is the world’s very first reinforced concrete skyscraper. Skeptics thought the 15-story tower would collapse under its own weight or get blown over by wind, but architects were intrigued by concrete’s fire-resistance and noise-dampening strengths as well as lower construction costs. And it still stands 100-plus years later. Next Courtyard by Marriott (with a bar, food market, and meeting rooms) is expected to open by the end of the year. P H OTO G R A P H S ( TO P ) BY C I N C I N N AT I M U S E U M C E N T E R /G E T T Y I M AG E S / ( B OT TO M ) BY PA I S L E Y S TO N E


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Carew Tower, Fifth and Vine Sts., downtown Built 1930

Original Use Mixed-use urban complex with retail, restaurant, and office space, plus a hotel

Architectural Style Dramatic Art Deco skyscraper with ornate interior details, including lavish metalwork, murals, inlaid Rookwood Pottery tiles, and polished wood and marble finishes

Current Use Although landmark tenants like Mabley & Carew and H&S Pogue Company no longer call Carew Tower home, around 40 businesses do, including Hellman Clothiers, Paragon Salon, Cincinnati Magazine, Frisch’s Big Boy, Hammond Law Group, and, of course, the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza. Four retail spaces and 17 floors are currently vacant.

Significance At 49 stories and 574 feet tall, Carew Tower reigned as Cincinnati’s tallest building until 2011, when Great American Tower was completed. Registered as a National Historic Landmark, it was the first large-scale mixed-use commercial development of its kind in the U.S., known as a “city within a city.” Next According to USA Today, owners submitted plans in 2017 to convert part of the building into condo units. Carew management declined to comment on the status of future development.

MUSIC HALL, ELM STREET, OVER-THE-RHINE Built 1878

Original Use Public entertainment

Current Use Same

Architectural Style Victorian Gothic Significance Samuel Hannaford’s masterpiece is likely Cincinnati’s most important and best-known building. It’s a cathedral to the arts and culture; home for symphony, opera, ballet, and May Festival performances; and the cornerstone of Over-the-Rhine’s renaissance. Next The recent $143 million renovation assures that Music Hall will continue to inspire and delight Cincinnatians long after we’re all gone.

Significance Despite spectacular exterior and interior design work, Union Terminal was a little late to the heyday of passenger train travel and a little too far from downtown to spur development. Its current life as home to five museums and an OMNIMAX movie theater, though, is Cincinnati’s best example of “adaptive reuse”—boosted by a 2014 sales tax levy that funded most of the $228 million upgrade.

TIMES-STAR BUILDING, EIGHTH AND BROADWAY STS., DOWNTOWN Built 1933

Original Use Newspaper presses and offices

Current Use Hamilton County courts and offices

Architectural Style Art Deco Significance This building was commissioned by the Taft family to house Cincinnati’s third daily newspaper, The Times-Star. Its decorative details, from ornate front doors and lobby to stylized carvings of animals and historic figures, reward close observation. The pyramid roof would later inspire Procter & Gamble’s twin tower design. Next Hamilton County has considered selling the building. Could a developer swoop in and convert it to residential? Stay tuned.

UNION TERMINAL, WEST END Built 1933

Original Use Train station

Current Use Cincinnati Museum Center

Architectural Style Art Deco

Next Rehabbed exhibit space will continue to come back online throughout this year.

I L LU S T R AT I O N BY C AT S I M S / P H OTO G R A P H C O U R T E SY C I N C I N N AT I M U S E U M C E N T E R


A RENAISSANCE MAN

Architect Kurt Platte embraces the design and funding challenges inherent in Over-the-Rhine historic renovations. — S T E V E N RO SE N P H O T O G R A P H B Y A A R O N M . C O N W AY

URT PLATTE, FOUNDER of Over-the-Rhine-based Platte Architecture + Design, has a soft spot for the historic neighborhood. As an undergraduate architecture student at Miami University in the 1980s, his first project was reimagining a whole block of OTR along Vine Street. “So Over-the-Rhine was pretty dear to my heart,” he says in the conference room of his sleekly modernist offices near Findlay Market. “But it sure didn’t look like the renaissance that would save Over-the-Rhine was going to happen in my lifetime.” The renaissance is in fact happening, and now entering a busy new decade. Platte and


49 his staff of 20—including architects, designers, a bookkeeper, and a managing director, plus a drone— partner with developers, contractors, or individual clients on projects. They don’t work exclusively in Over-the-Rhine, but they’re excited to play a high-profile role there. Platte recently completed the 3CDCdeveloped Elm Industries Building, actually three joined-together separate structures centered at 1537 Race St. The former carriage and wagon manufacturing facility was converted to office and retail space using federal historic tax credits. “When you do a building that has historic tax credits, you just say There are certain things we’re not doing,” says Platte.“We’re not doing roof decks that change the roofline, not exposing brick unless it was exposed, not dry-walling over brick, not moving staircases. Any vertical circulation has to remain there.” The design challenges are worth it, though, Platte says, because tax credits often cover a portion of renovation costs and put developers in better financial shape to borrow the remainder.“A lot of projects here would not exist if those weren’t available. You may win at the state level, which is super competitive, or you may not, but OTR projects can usually get the federal [credits].” In the third-floor kitchen space at Elm Industries, not far from newly installed vents that run below the roofline, is a large pulley wheel attached to the original wooden support beams. That kind of embedded artifact, often a feature in Over-the-Rhine

“That’s the beauty of Over-theRhine. It’s mixed everything.”

restorations, is something Platte enjoys adding to his projects. With historic residential buildings, an ongoing issue is figuring out where people put their 21st century stuff—including cars—in 19th century buildings. Platte came up with a creative parking solution for condos in the Market Square project along the 1800 block of Race, which the Model Group developed. “It was an existing building and we were able to carve out the back, which mostly used to be residential, and put garage doors off Goose Alley into the rear of these buildings,” he says. Because there was room, he was able to install mechanical lifts to stack one car above the other, turning some two-car garages into four-car ones and single car garages into two-car ones. The variety of Platte’s projects reflects the neighborhood itself: converting an old Pendleton mechanic’s shop into the Lucius Q barbecue restaurant (before and after, below), combining three vacant buildings near Washington Park with a new infill structure for the Saengerhalle office project, designing a new single-family home on narrow Pleasant Street with a tunnel through the facade to access a rear auto courtyard. “That’s the beauty of Over-the-Rhine,” he says.“It’s not just mixed generationally, socioeconomically, and ethnically. It’s mixed everything.”

P H OTO G R A P H S C O U R T E SY P L AT T E A R C H I T E C T U R E + D E S I G N


BUNGALOW, VERNE AVENUE, OAKLEY Built 1924

Original Use Private home

Current Use Same

Architectural Style Craftsman Bungalow Significance These simple one-and-a-half story houses sprang up as starter homes in Norwood, Oakley, Pleasant Ridge, Bellevue, and other neighborhoods seeing explosive growth in the early 20th century. Most have a first floor exterior of brick or stone, topped by wood shingles, clapboard, or siding.

MCM, LINCOLN ROAD, WHITE OAK Built 1962

Original Use Private home

Current Use Same

Architectural Style Mid-Century Modern Significance For a few decades, architectural disciples and contemporaries of Frank Lloyd Wright designed a number of modest single-story, open-floor-plan homes in Wyoming, Finneytown, Green Township, and other inner-ring suburbs. Today’s home buyers have developed a serious crush on the MCM look.

KIT HOME, HEREFORD STREET, HARTWELL Built 1924

Original Use Private home

Current Use Same

Architectural Style Sears Kit Home (Americus model) Significance More than 1,000 of these pre-WWII homes were built across the area, chosen from the Sears catalog. Before 1930, most were built by the owners themselves, then Sears started connecting them with local contractors. Cincinnati became a kit home hotbed because a Sears subsidiary in Norwood did much of the manufacturing.

P H OTO G R A P H S ( TO P ) BY B R I T TA N Y D E X T E R / ( M I D D L E ) C O U R T E SY S U S A N R I S S OV E R / ( B OT TO M ) BY J E N K AWA N A R I


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CovingtonNewport Townhouse, Greer Street, Covington Built 1850s–1890s

Original Use Single-family home

Current Use Single-family or multifamily dwelling

Architectural Style Italianate, featuring oversized ornate cornices on the front facade and detailed molding over windows and doors, often made of limestone. Significance Northern Kentucky’s river cities were booming in the midto late 1800s, and the area’s large number of skilled German-American masons constructed these brick townhouses across the urban core to house a skyrocketing population. Due to small lot sizes in dense neighborhoods, these houses feature side entryways leading to a front room (living room), back room (typically the kitchen), and a staircase to a second floor. The side entry created a semiprivate alley away from the street, allowed inhabitants to maximize space in the front entertainment room, and enabled them to bypass that room after a long (and dirty) work shift. Next Many were split into multifamily units throughout the 1900s but are now being renovated and converted back into single-family dwellings.

TUDOR, URWILER AVENUE, WESTWOOD Built 1928

Original Use Private home

Current Use Same

Architectural Style Tudor Revival Significance This home style swept Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky neighborhoods in the early 20th century, featuring exposed timbers; brick, stone, or stucco exterior walls; and steeply pitched roofs. They came in various sizes, from starter homes to mansions, and were said to resemble English country cottages.

P H OTO G R A P H BY D E V Y N G L I S TA / I L LU S T R AT I O N BY C AT S I M S


DESIGNS ON THE FUTURE

DAAP architecture students are taught to think outside of the computer and to keep their options open. — L E Y L A SH OKO OH E

RCHITECTS FOCUS ON more than just the physical buildings we inhabit. They consider human interactions with and within each space and how a space fits in context with the rest of the street, city, and world. Within the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), the School of Architecture and Interior Design (SAID) takes a—pardon the pun—building block approach to training the field’s next generation. “Our focus, especially at the undergraduate level, [really goes] back to basics—critical thinking, design thinking, problem-solving—that are much more universal components,” says Melanie Swick, DAAP’s undergraduate architecture program coordinator and an assistant professor. “Then when you’re in a particular project and looking to solve some of the basic challenges, you have the tools to do that.” Those basic tools are built into freshman year “foundations” courses and elemental design labs that the rest of undergraduate coursework is predicated upon. “All first year, everything is done by hand,” says Sam Sepaniak, a secondyear architecture student. “It makes sense, because it teaches you a different way to design, rather than being trapped in the computer, which I like a lot.” DAAP’s bachelor of science in architecture program features an intense, four-year curriculum, with three re-

P H O T O G R A P H B Y A A R O N M . C O N W AY


53 quired semester-long cooperative education experiences. The co-op itself—which sends students to spend a semester working 35 hours a week in paid positions—is a UC invention, dating back to 1906. Students get their first assignment in the spring of their sophomore year, then alternate semesters working and doing coursework thereafter. The realworld experience and exposure to prospective employers make co-ops attractive for students considering DAAP, which in 2012 was ranked the No. 3 design school in the world by Business Insider. “It was a huge drive for me that UC had co-ops because I feel like nowadays you can have the grades and the projects and everything, but what makes you stand out to [prospective] employers is your experience,” says Sepaniak. Preparing students for the real world in-house is a delicate balancing act. Hand-design skills are important, but so is learning how to use software like AutoCAD, Revit, and Rhino, while remembering the field’s fundamental purpose is putting roofs over our collective heads.“The obvious changes [in this field] are digital fabrication, technology, how work is produced,” says Ed Mitchell, associate professor and director of SAID. “We don’t see ourselves as just technical people. We’re trying to create themes and narratives that guide design decisions. That’s a really difficult thing to learn, but a fundamental skill to an architect.” Architecture principles bleed into other design fields, and an increasingly expansive educational approach—a new architectural engineering degree in UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science, for example—helps broaden the horizon of post-graduate career options. “Some DAAP architect graduates go into landscape design or experiential design and pop-up shops,” says Sepaniak. “People design sets for Coachella and music festivals. There are lots of different opportunities for architects these days.”

MANAGING CHANGE

Beth Johnson juggles the past, the present, and the future to keep Cincinnati’s architectural fabric intact. — L I N DA VAC C A R I E L L O

» Beth Johnson, who joined the City of Cincinnati as urban conservator in 2016, has a window to the mistakes of the past. Literally. Her office overlooks Queensgate, once the site of Kenyon-Barr, a historically African-American neighborhood that was emptied and razed in the 1960s under the guise of urban renewal. We spoke with Johnson about the nature of her work and how it impacts the architecture that defines our city today. CAN YOU GIVE ME A THUMBNAIL EXPLANATION OF WHAT THE HISTORIC CONSERVATION OFFICE DOES? Every historic district and historic landmark has conservation guidelines that help the architect or designer know what’s appropriate. Our staff works with designers, architects, owners, and developers to make sure that changes they make follow those guidelines.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CONSERVATION AND PRESERVATION? Conservation is about managing change [through] adaptive reuse or rehabilitation. Preservation is about keeping it as it is. FOR EXAMPLE? The Harriet Beecher Stowe House is more a matter of preservation—they’re trying to represent what the house was like when Stowe was there. A good example of conservation is Music Hall, a rehabilitation project where there were changes to the building to make it a better use for the current tenants. YOU CAME HERE AFTER SERVING AS DEPUTY HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICER FOR AUSTIN, TEXAS. WERE THERE ANY SURPRISES, ARCHITECTURALLY SPEAKING, WHEN YOU TOOK THIS JOB? I grew up in Dayton and had worked in Covington. When I came back to the area, I considered this my home. But I do remember when I first came to interview for the job in Covington, I was just overwhelmed by the amount of Italianate architecture. It was just overwhelming the amount of [historic] fabric that exists on both sides of the river. THE MOST CONTENTIOUS RECENT ISSUE WAS CERTAINLY THE DEMOLITION OF THE DENNISON HOTEL DOWNTOWN. THAT WAS WHEN YOU WERE NEW ON THE JOB. It was within the first month of me starting. So, you know, baptism by fire. In historic preservation you don’t always win every case, but what I learned was that the historic preservationists here are amazing. IN AREAS LIKE OVER-THE-RHINE, WHERE REHABBING OLD PROPERTIES AND NEW INFILL CONSTRUCTION ARE BOTH GOING ON, WHAT ARE YOUR CONCERNS WHEN PROPOSALS COME TO YOU? Our guidelines address things like window placement, materials, setbacks, and verticality, because OTR buildings tend to be taller than they are wide. Basically, what elements should be incorporated into the building. We don’t expect new buildings to be built in an Italianate style. We don’t want to create a false sense of history. We look at compatibility. We want people to be able to look at a building and say it fits in and supports the historic district. IN THE DAYTON STREET HISTORIC DISTRICT IN THE WEST END, SOMEONE IS ATTEMPTING TO TURN A CHURCH INTO A CLIMBING GYM. WHAT’S THE CONSERVATIONIST’S VIEW? Churches are really hard to reuse, and part of the challenge is figuring out how to program them. We’ve had some successes in Over-the-Rhine with The Transept and Taft’s Ale House. But you have to be creative. When the people working on the climbing gym came to me, I said, Yes, let’s see how we can make this work. I really hope that they’re successful. Churches are landmarks in these communities. The steeples are part of the skyline. AS YOU LEARN ABOUT CINCINNATI’S HISTORY, ARE THERE THINGS WE’VE LOST IN THE PAST THAT MAKE YOU THINK, WE CAN’T LET THAT HAPPEN AGAIN? Every day I look over there [at Queensgate]. That’s a whole neighborhood [Kenyon-Barr] lost, and we’ll never get it back. And I know that’s still having repercussions generations later on the people who lived there. I L LU S T R AT I O N BY L A R S L E E TA R U


Bavarian Brewing Company / Kenton County Government Center, Covington Built 1903–1909, 2019

Original Use Brewery

Current Use Kenton County offices

Architectural Style Romanesque; the contemporary addition takes inspiration from the original’s curved walls and window placement Significance Covington’s Bavarian Brewing Company was a big player in the beer business for 100 years. Its remaining castle-like structure features brick corbeling, a crenelated parapet wall, and a tower. Kenton County stepped in when the owner wanted to demolish the building, which housed a nightclub in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Now it’s attached to the new Kenton County Government Center by a glass-walled connector and ramps. While preserving a historic building wasn’t the point of the project, Kenton County Judge/Executive Kris Knochelmann says, “It was a nice benefit.” Next Creating a community gathering place. “The Riedlin-Schott Room will hold 150 people, and it will be a community space,” says Knochelmann, praising Ried Schott, whose family once owned the brewery, for his $250,000 contribution to help showcase Bavarian’s history. P H OTO G R A P H S ( TO P ) BY D E V Y N G L I STA / ( B OT TO M ) CO U R T E SY K E N TO N CO U N T Y P U B L I C L I B R A RY


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CINCINNATI SHAKESPEARE COMPANY, 12TH AND ELM STS., OVER-THE-RHINE Built 2017

Original Use Theater

Current Use Same

Architectural Style Contemporary Significance Beth Johnson, the city of Cincinnati’s urban conservator (see interview on page 53), cites this building as a prime example of how new construction in a historic district can be both modern and compatible. The large windows look out at Washington Park and invite the community into a warm space finished with reclaimed wood and other natural materials. Next Pride and Prejudice opens later this month, followed by Hamlet in April.

THE ASCENT, ROEBLING WAY, COVINGTON Built 2008

Original Use Condos

CROSLEY TOWER, UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI

Current Use Same

Built 1969

Architectural Style Star-chitecture

Original Use Current Use Chemistry and Same, plus offices biology laboratories

Architectural Style Brutalist Significance Corporex hired Daniel Libeskind, then designing the 9/11 memorial and office complex in Lower Manhattan, to create a signature residential building at the foot of the Roebling Suspension Bridge. Clad in the same blue as the bridge, its upwardly twisting profile is instantly recognizable from every angle— though some naysayers think it sticks out like a sore thumb.

Significance Architecture styles go in and out of favor (and sometimes back into favor), but this 16-story concrete monolith has worn out its welcome. In 2017, Architectural Digest named it one of the ugliest university buildings in the U.S. Next UC is planning to build new labs and offices in order to relocate Crosley’s inhabitants, and then the tower is coming down—possibly by implosion.

Architectural Style One of a kind Significance Zaha Hadid became the first female architect to design a U.S. museum when she created what The New York Times called “the most important American building since the end of the Cold War.” Its stacked-concrete-boxes look, crazy staircases, and huge glass-walled entryway still surprise and intrigue.

CONTEMPORARY ARTS CENTER, SIXTH AND WALNUT STS., DOWNTOWN Built 2003

Original Use Art galleries

Current Use Same

Next The popular Fausto café brings new energy to the lobby space, and a top floor renovation will reimagine the CAC’s UnMuseum education center.

P H O T O G R A P H S ( T O P ) C O U R T E S Y C I N C I N N AT I S H A K E S P E A R E C O M PA N Y / I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y C AT S I M S / ( B O T T O M L E F T ) B Y D E V Y N G L I S TA / ( B O T T O M R I G H T ) B Y PA I S L E Y S T O N E


THEDA BARA Is

Finally

MAKING

NOIS

Cincinnati’s very first Hollywood star, an icon of the silent movie era, has attracted a whole new generation of fans. BY STEVEN ROSEN

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P H OTO G R A P H S BY ( T H E DA B A R A ) F OX F I L M S C O R P O R AT I O N / ( B AC KG R O U N D ) D O N F I O R E / S H U T T E R S TO C K .C O M


E 57


A

dangerous, fatally seductive woman she played in movies through 1919, when her career faded. A Fool There Was is now considered a key movie in the evolution of American film and cinematic portrayals of women, its significance so great that the Library of Congress placed it on its National Film Registry in 2015. It was also the Fox Film Corporation’s first big success. The New Jersey–based company would move to Southern California with the rest of the industry and transform into today’s 20th Century Fox. “For years, we have researched Theda Bara here because of the Cincinnati and UC connections,” Grace says about the acquired manuscript. “We saw it was original source material and decided we could do something with it.” Since the purchase was made in 2008, though, he’s been juggling his schedule to try to share it with the public. Its fragile

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P H OTO G R A P H S C O U R T E SY ( L E F T A N D TO P ) F OX F I L M S C O R P O R AT I O N / ( A B OV E ) C O U R T E SY K E V I N G R AC E / ( O P P O S I T E PAG E ) F OX F I L M S C O R P O R AT I O N

s the University of Cincinnati’s archivist, Kevin Grace has a keen interest in the accomplishments of former UC students. So when he found a Beverly Hills rare books dealer offering the manuscript of a never-finished memoir by silent film actress and vamp Theda Bara, he bought it for the school. Bara, born Theodosia Burr Goodman in Cincinnati on July 29, 1885, graduated from Walnut Hills High School in 1903 and spent two years at UC before leaving for eventual fame as one of Hollywood’s first female stars and sex symbols. She was beloved and outrageous, known for a beguiling and provocatively underdressed screen look. One of three children raised in Avondale by a middle-class Jewish family, Goodman loved theater and film from an early age. She first appeared on stage in New York in 1908 as Theodosia de Cappet, inspired by her Swiss-born mother Pauline’s family name, de Coppet. She and Theodosia’s Polish-born father Bernard met in Cincinnati; Bernard was a tailor, Pauline a wigmaker. Bara’s cinema breakthrough (and final stage name) came when she was almost 30, cast as The Vampire in her first starring role in the 1915 film A Fool There Was. But she was no bloodsucking, coffin-sleeping Dracula of the kind later popularized by Bela Lugosi. She instead played a defiantly sexual woman who preyed on vulnerable, weak men, destroying their lives by draining them of their masculine essence. Eventually the term vamp replaced vampire to connote the kind of


STAR APPEAL The University of Cincinnati is working to publish an unfinished memoir (left) by Theda Bara, who wowed silent film audiences as a seductive vamp in (from left) Cleopatra, Sin, A Fool There Was, and Salomé.

condition hasn’t made his work easy. Grace offered me a peek at the manuscript, which he kept at a respectful distance during my visit to UC’s Archives and Rare Books Library on the eighth floor of the Blegen Library on campus. The approximately 500 loose pages live inside individual plastic protectors. There are typed and handwritten passages, notes, cross-outs, and revisions. Occasional mold and mildew are a sign, he guesses, that the pages were stored in a damp place or possibly spent time in the garbage before being retrieved. The good news is Grace now hopes to publish an edited and annotated version of the manuscript in early 2021. In his investigations so far, he’s determined that Bara worked on the project in 1920 and 1921 with writer T. Everett Harré and

A Fool There Was is now considered a key movie in the evolution of American film and cinematic portrayals of women, its significance so great that the Library of Congress placed it on its National Film Registry in 2015.

that the memoir would have been called Woman or Vampire? Harré was known for his novel Behold the Woman! A Tale of Redemption, and Grace says they met originally to discuss her starring in a film version of his book, which never came about. The manuscript covers Bara’s life through 1917 and the making of what’s now considered her great lost film, Cleopatra. Grace believes the project was started in order to freshen up her carefully crafted vamp persona once the luster faded, rather than to be insightful about her life. Publishers apparently had issues when approached about the book. “One of the problems with the manuscript is that it was so obviously an expansion of her PR-generated image,” he says. “The title really indicates her approach, that she was going to play up the vamp image rather than tell an honest and forthright account of her life.”

E

vidence of Bara’s film work is mostly nonexistent now, as prints of almost all of her 40 silent films were destroyed in a 1937 fire at the Fox storage facility. But her impact can’t be overstated and would, or should, make today’s movie stars jealous. In February 1916, by which time Bara had released 11 movies in just more than a year, The New York Times investigated her impact on the national psyche in a story with the wonderfully vivid (and long) headline: “Some 500,000 Spectators Follow Her Every Day; This Is the Amazing Public Assembled In One Year by Theda Bara, the Flaming Comet of the Cinema Firmament.” The story reported that there were 40 prints of each of her movies in circulation and that not one was idle for even a day. Figuring in the number of theaters and average total of daily screenings per theater, the newspaper calculated there had been 182 million admissions to Bara movies in just one year. Filmgoers couldn’t resist Bara the vamp, much as they might try. “It was a more sexually repressive society, so anything that pulled at the edges of that was exciting,” says Hugh Munro Neely, producer of a 2006 documentary film about Bara, The Woman With the Hungry Eyes. “Maybe exciting because it’s dangerous, maybe exciting because it could be fun.” Sometimes she tried to C O N T I N U E D O N P A G E 9 8

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THE LESSONS YOU LEARN PADDLING DOWN THE OHIO RIVER TO LOUISVILLE WITH 30 STRANGERS.

BY CARRIE BLACKMORE SMITH PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOHN NATION & JOE WOLEK

6 0 C I N C I N N AT I M A G A Z I N E . C O M D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3


P H OTO G R A P H S BY J O N AT H A N W I L L I S

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e must be a sight, huddled in a spitting rain in three 10-person canoes, one decorated with an American flag, one the seal of Cincinnati, and the other the seal of Louisville. A TV cameraman captures our entrance to the gigantic Markland Locks and Dam on the Ohio River at Warsaw, Kentucky. Lock operators surely are more accustomed to seeing coal barges and tugboats than this motley flotilla. 62

A horn sounds one long blast, our signal to enter the lock, as tall as a brachiosaurus and built in the 1950s. Once inside, it’s clear that the river moves big cargo—about 630 million tons valued at more than $73 billion a year, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation. Massive metal doors close behind us, securing us inside a concrete pen. A boatmate hands me a plastic blowup monkey. She has a toucan and a palm tree as well. “We’re the party boat,” she jokes. Safely inside the lock, we tie up to the correct moorings. The wrong ones are stationary and would leave our boats hanging once the water drains. Steel gears screech as we drop roughly 35 feet to meet the water level on the downriver side of the dam. The doors open, and we paddle on toward Louis-

ville. Another 70 miles to go. This trip, taken in June 2019, is a promotional excursion for the Ohio River Recreation Trail, an idea born from likeminded water babies in Cincinnati and Louisville. The Cincinnati folks organize Paddlefest, a day in early August when roughly 2,000 people take over a stretch of river near downtown. Louisville has an active paddlesport community—sailboat clubs, even— as its stretch of the river is more lake-like. Together, they want to usher in a new era on the Ohio River, one where the waterway is seen as a place for recreation, respite, and adventure, and not merely as a thoroughfare for industry. They hope to create a 274-mile water trail stretching from Portsmouth to a little past Louisville (with Cincinnati about


ROW, ROW, ROW YOUR BOAT OHIO RIVER RECREATION TRAIL ENTHUSIASTS ENTER THE MARKLAND LOCKS AND DAM (ABOVE) BEFORE THEIR FINAL LEG TO LOUISVILLE, GUIDED BY A RAINBOW (PREVIOUS SPREAD).

halfway) that’s accessible by canoe, kayak, stand-up paddleboard, and motorboat, as well as road bike, motorcycle, and car. What they need now is to drum up interest—get people’s attention and support and also become more familiar themselves with the proposed trail’s opportunities and challenges. What better way than paddling the whole thing in a little over a week? The group had access to three river-worthy Voyageur canoes, and they just needed to fill them. They invited anyone with the guts to go until every seat was taken. Locks like the Markland completely changed the Ohio River. When Lewis and Clark took the Ohio River to start their expedition west, they dragged their boats at times through shallow water. The first locks

CLOSE YOUR EYES AND LISTEN, AND YOU CAN FIND THE RHYTHM. REST WHEN YOUR ARMS GET TIRED.

system, installed between 1885 and 1929, raised water levels for easier navigation. Dozens of smaller locks were replaced with larger ones like Markland in the 1950s—raising water levels to improve flood protection and allow materials like coal and salt to be transported on large barges. We paddle away from the dam, which continues churning out hydroelectric power, and look toward a wooded scene. It’s midday Friday, and we’re back in a synchronized groove. Close your eyes and listen, and you can find the rhythm and

keep paddling. Rest a little when your arms get tired, and then start going again. “To think,” says Tracy, the boatmate who passed out the blow-up toys, “our friends are sitting at their desks at work.” At the end of the 32-mile day we pull up to Vevay, Indiana, where later we’ll bandage blisters on our hands and rub muscle cream on sore shoulders before sleeping on the ground in tents. A man wearing a red “Make Vevay Great Again” hat greets us with a box of homemade cookies. “Come on up,” he says. “Let’s get you out of the rain.” 63


arm welcomes seem to be a thing in river towns. As we step from the canoes in Rising Sun, Indiana, a woman zips by in a golf cart and offers some of us a little tour. Tracy and I go for it. The main street faces the river, and like many of these towns, Rising Sun has a colorful history. Our driver points out a mansion built by someone who got rich at the nearby casino. Later, our entire group gets an official tour by a local historian, who shows us one of the oldest log structures still standing in Indiana, as well as Smith Riggs’s house. Riggs was a well-known blacksmith and woodworker whom the state commissioned to build two new “humane” electric chairs in 1928. He always felt bad about his invention, the historian tells us, but apparently the money was good. A few days later in Vevay, we’re shown to the park’s bathhouse for a hot shower, then served homemade pulled pork sandwiches,

64

mac and cheese, and lasagna by the community’s fire department. In another town, the mayor cracks open a rare bottle of whiskey for the group. In Westport, Kentucky, the owner of Knock on Wood Café closes shop to serve us a Mexican-themed feast, a welcome change from our usual diet of trail mix, fruit chews, and jerky. There are more than 50 river towns along the Ohio River Recreation Trail, each with its own unique history, quirks, and local characters. Madison, Indiana, has 133 continuous blocks of architecture on the National Register of Historic Places, plus a great little diner, Hinkle’s Sandwich Shop. The Ohio River also signifies an important border between the North and the South. Pre–Civil War, it was the dividing line between slave states and free-soil states and so was crawling with patrollers and slave hunters. It’s also home to key Underground Railroad sites such as the Rankin House, which overlooks the river in Ripley, Ohio. Ohio was a free state, but slaves could still be apprehended under the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. John Rankin and his family sheltered an estimated 2,000 slaves on their way to Canada; they arrived by boat, ferried over the river by an Underground Railroad conductor in Kentucky, and took what was called “100 steps to freedom” up the banks to the Rankin estate. Today, all of it is a museum.

TAKE ME TO THE RIVER CHARMING TOWNS AND FRIENDLY PEOPLE ARE ALL ALONG THE OHIO RIVER. ONE PADDLER (BELOW RIGHT) GETS A SURPRISE WELCOME FROM HER BROTHERS.


Places like this get noted on navigational charts as the group makes its way downstream. They are currently working to create an online digital guide to help others see all of the river trail’s historic and recreational highlights. Back in Vevay, after the firemen’s dinner, the paddlers break up in groups and head into town. There’s a midsummer festival going on that includes a small circus where a woman eats a live cockroach. Many of the businesses are open, including a woodshop that smells of sawdust and has what seems like endless stacks of wood and tiny drawers holding hardware, knobs, and such. A group of female paddlers talks of coming back to Vevay and some of the other town’s we’ve visited, doing a two- or three-day excursion and staying in some lovely bed and breakfast spots we’ve seen. It’s incredible how close you can get when you’re stuck in boats together for hours on end. uddenly, I was getting stabbed,” Joe Wolek tells me during one of the times we sit together on the paddle. He’s a photographer and videographer documenting the journey for the group and for a Louisville gallery show. Wolek was celebrating his 54th birthday with a trip to Argentina and was taking

A GROUP OF FEMALE PADDLERS TALKS OF COMING BACK TO VEVAY. . . . IT’S INCREDIBLE HOW CLOSE YOU CAN GET WHEN YOU’RE STUCK IN BOATS TOGETHER FOR HOURS ON END. photographs in Buenos Aires when thieves robbed him, stabbing him 10 times in the chest and puncturing his heart and a lung. He’s sure he would have died there in the street had it not been for an off-duty police officer who called for help and the surgeon and medical staff who saved his life. He has a new lease—and outlook—on life. There’s much to learn from one another, truth be told. Tear down camp in the rain, share equipment and food, take potty breaks in the woods together, and you can’t help but get close. It’s sort of like those fast teenage friendships made at summer camp. I want to award a medal for bravery to a woman from Chicago who didn’t know a soul when she signed up. Relatives who live in Vevay saw a C O N T I N U E D O N P A G E 1 0 2 65


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BARTLETT WEALTH MANAGEMENT

KELLEY DOWNING, P R E S I D E N T & CEO | ALSO PICTURED: (LEFT TO RIGHT ) LORI POOLE, HOLLY M A Z Z O C CA , A L I YA R I D D L E , CATHERINE MILLER, L AURA HUMPHRE Y

We invest a considerable amount of our time at Bartlett Wealth Management forecasting the financial future. Unlike meteorologists, who have their eye on the next few days, investment managers and financial planners look years, even decades, ahead. That’s what it takes to help integrate the ever-changing capital markets with our clients’ needs. We have a similar future-focus when it comes to our own business. An important step in preparing for the future is mentoring up— giving Bartlett’s next generation the opportunity to develop leadership skills with real-world knowledge and guidance. z

600 Vine St., Suite 2100, Cincinnati, OH 45202, (513) 621-4612, bartlett1898.com

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

EPISCOPAL RETIREMENT SERVICES

L AU R A L A M B , P R E S I D E N T & C E O

Laura Lamb is the President and CEO of Episcopal Retirement Services, a nonprofit leader in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana which operates three retirement communities, 29 affordable living communities, and community-based services for older adults. She has dedicated her career to being a champion for issues older adults face, such as ageism and a lack of inclusion for those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia and their care partners in our communities. Over her 26-year career, Laura has created several innovative initiatives, most recently Dementia Inclusive Cincinnati, which gathers public, private, and nonprofit organizations with the goal of creating welcoming and safe places for those living with cognitive loss and their care partners. z

3870 Virginia Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45227, (513) 271-9610, episcopalretirement.com

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WOMEN WHO MOVE CINCINNATI 2020

OHIO NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES BRACKEN WEBB

B A R B A R A A . T U R N E R , CRCP, C P RE OE SOI DF ECNOTMAPA N DN YC HNIAE M F EO P E R AT I N G OFFICER

Maximillorest evellam enBarbara A. Turner is president imagnimus. Dae dipsum nist and operating labo.chief Boriorro beria officer pore is mo for Ohio National Financial ommodigent faccaecto quis Services, hasaboreperi a mission maioreptawhich aperciet to makequiasime a difference your life beaque saminsimoby financial lesthelping faciam you iumachieve re, ventissitas security independence volorestiand aut as di to ipidusam today—and generations que ea volorefor earcientore, sit,tonos come. Supporting this mission si nectiam ium quibuscime nost, is her passion for serving invenie ndenimpor aut re others, con ea which includes helpingvolupitatis women culparuptas venihicte and children in our community aut lam experat uribus expeachieve financial security and inrior ari cupta exero occuptas dependence. Sheam is Board Chair voluptatios que as sequo Elect/Vice of the United consequamChair atemper ibusam Way of dolo Greater Cincinnati, and hiliqui quist laccus millab helps to lead Advocates for Youth ipsusape laborercia volestiur, es Education theius Women’s ernatust ateand coris simpere Fund of theasGreater pudaectur exceptaCincinnati tiorum Foundation, among aut others. aut as eicilis asperis volent, Barbarasundese describes herself conemquia nimustibus as a Christian,santur wife, asped mother, consectotam mo tor grandmother, daughter, sister, reptium earia voloraerchil ime aunt, friend, and advocate for nihil maximus dolorec totaquisi women and children. to cum deseditas dias “I et believe et velis I have a responsibility to liftreperio others nat qui quam et ipitatiam up as I climb and to help dolliatem quaerum, con rmake as exCincinnati a strong and vibrant cepta tiorum aut as eicilis asperis community,” she says. sundese She joined aut volent, conemquia Ohio National in 1997 and benimustibus consectotam santur came presidentearia and chief asped its mo11th tor reptium operating officer in November voloraerchil ime nihil maximus 2018. Shezis the first female and dolorec. person of color to hold this position. z 9215 Cincinnati Columbus Rd, West Chester Township, (513) 777-2313, westOne Financial Way, Cincinnati, OH 45242, chesterpediatricdentist.com (513) 794-6693, ohionational.com

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WOMEN WHO MOVE CINCINNATI 2020

BRACKEN WEBB C E O O F C O M PA N Y N A M E

Maximillorest evellam enimagnimus. Dae dipsum nist labo. Boriorro beria pore is mo ommodigent faccaecto quis maiorepta aperciet aboreperi beaque quiasime sam simolest faciam ium re, ventissitas voloresti aut as di to ipidusam que ea volore earcientore, sit, nos si nectiam ium quibuscime nost, invenie ndenimpor aut re con ea culparuptas venihicte volupitatis aut lam experat uribus experior ari cupta exero occuptas voluptatios que am as sequo consequam atemper ibusam hiliqui dolo quist laccus millab ipsusape laborercia volestiur, es ernatust ate coris ius simpere pudaectur as excepta tiorum aut as eicilis asperis aut volent, conemquia sundese nimustibus consectotam santur asped mo tor reptium earia voloraerchil ime nihil maximus dolorec totaquisi to cum deseditas dias et et velis nat qui quam et ipitatiam reperio dolliatem quaerum, con r as excepta tiorum aut as eicilis asperis aut volent, conemquia sundese nimustibus consectotam santur asped mo tor reptium earia voloraerchil ime nihil maximus dolorec. z

9215 Cincinnati Columbus Rd, West Chester Township, (513) 777-2313, westchesterpediatricdentist.com

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

WELLS FARGO ADVISORS S U SA N S N O D G R A S S , FINANCIAL ADVISOR

Women are living longer than men. According to the latest CDC figures, the average American man will live to age 76, while the average woman in America will live to age 81. Additionally, women are set to inherit $28 trillion in intergenerational wealth transfer over the next 40 years. Based on these statistics, I believe it is incredibly important— now more than ever—to educate women on how they invest their money. As a financial advisor with Wells Fargo Advisors, I want to help ensure that women have the knowledge, understanding, and confidence to make informed decisions in regards to their full financial picture. I earned my Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Cincinnati. I have 17 years of experience in the financial services industry and currently serve as a member of Asset Allocation Committee for the Cincinnati Rotary Club. z Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC - CAR #1219-02456. Investment and Insurance Products: NOT FDIC-Insured. NO Bank Guarantee. MAY Lose Value.

8044 Montgomery Rd., Suite 570, Cincinnati, OH 45236, (513) 936-3000, home.wellsfargoadvisors.com/Susan.M. Snodgrass


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WOMEN WHO MOVE CINCINNATI 2020

THE WOMEN’S FUND OF THE GREATER CINCINNATI FOUNDATION

L E S M C NEILL , FOUN D ER | ALSO PICTURED: (FRONT, LEFT TO RIGHT ) HOLLY HANKINSON, ADVOCACY DIRECTOR; M E G H A N C U M M I N G S , EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR; L E S M C NEILL , FOUN D ER; AD RIE NNE TAY LOR, DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR (BACK, TON RIGHT C E O O F LEFT C O M PA Y N A M)ESAM MOLONY, APPLIED RESEARCH MANAGER; S H A R A H N M O N K , LMaximillorest E A D E R S H I P C O evellam U N C I L C HenA I R ; KATE T E P E , ENG AGEMENT MANAGER; imagnimus. Dae dipsum nistR BARB LINDER, C O O R D I N ATO

BRACKEN WEBB

labo. Boriorro beria pore is mo ommodigent faccaecto quis maiorepta aboreperi Twenty-fiveaperciet years ago, Les McNeill beaque quiasime sam simoinitiated a marvelously brazen act. lest faciam ventissitas With $5,300ium andre,the unabashed voloresti di to improve ipidusamthe belief thataut sheascould que ea of volore earcientore, sit, nos status women in the Greater si nectiam ium Cincinnati area,quibuscime she creatednost, the invenie ndenimpor aut re con ea Women’s Fund. culparuptas volupitatis Today, thisvenihicte trailblazing organiaut lamisexperat uribus expezation designing a community rior ariall cupta exero occuptas where women can participate, voluptatios amtheir as sequo prosper, andque reach full consequam atemper ibusam potential. The Women’s Fund has hiliqui dolo quist laccus millab produced groundbreaking reipsusape laborercia volestiur, es search that has advanced the conernatust ius simpere They versationate in coris our community. pudaectur as excepta tiorum have invested more than a million aut as eicilis asperis aut volent, dollars in organizations supportconemquia ing women.sundese They arenimustibus advancing consectotam asped mo tor gender paritysantur on civic boards reptium earia voloraerchil ime through the Appointed program, nihil maximus dolorec totaquisi and their Employer Toolkit is used to cum deseditas dias et etlooking velis nationwide by companies nat qui quam et ipitatiam reperio to support their lower-wage workdolliatem quaerum, con r asFund exforce. In 2019, the Women’s cepta aut asbecome eicilis asperis helpedtiorum Cincinnati the aut volent, conemquia sundese first Midwest city to pass a salary nimustibus santur history ban,consectotam helping women shed asped mo torinequities. reptium earia historic pay Les started voloraerchil maximus a movement ime that nihil is now a force for dolorec. z women’s self-sufficiency. They are proud to carry the torch. z 9215 Cincinnati Columbus Rd, West 720 E. Pete Rose Way, 120, westChester Township, (513)Suite 777-2313, Cincinnati, OH 45202, (513) 768-6172, chesterpediatricdentist.com cincinnatiwomensfund.org

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KEATING MUETHING & KLEKAMP PLL AD RIE NNE J. ROACH, PA RTNER

Adrienne is a member of the Board of Directors at Keating Muething & Klekamp (KMK Law®) and serves as a Practice Group Leader of the firm’s Private Client Services Group. She represents clients in matters related to family law. She is a founder and member of the KMK Law® Women’s Initiative, which focuses on attracting, retaining, and advancing female attorneys in the industry and community.

She is also the former chair and a current member of the KMK Law® Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Adrienne is active with many organizations, including Dress for Success. She is a current Trustee with both the Cincinnati Bar Foundation and Cincinnati Bar Association. z

One E. Fourth St., Suite 1400, Cincinnati, OH 45202, (513) 579-6400, kmklaw.com

THE MARKETING BRACKEN WEBB PACK CA S SN-YMNCAM C E ORO O FL CBORO M PA MAE H O N , FOUN D ER

We are lucky inevellam CincinMaximillorest nati to be surrounded by enimagnimus. Dae dipsum marketing agencies. So, nist labo. Boriorro beria why one? pore start is moanother ommodigent Ifaccaecto started The Marketing quis maiorepta Pack because I sawbeaque a need aperciet aboreperi for companies to get marquiasime sam simolest keting without faciam expertise ium re, ventissipaying for the tas voloresti autoverhead as di to costs oftenque associated ipidusam ea volorewith earacientore, large agency. sit, nos si nectiam a virtual iumWe’re quibuscime nost, invecompany, whichaut means nie ndenimpor re con we don’t have a venihicte big fancy ea culparuptas office (thanks a client for volupitatis autto lam experat lending us theirsari forcupta this uribus experior photo!), but we do have the

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same breadth of expeexero wide occuptas voluptatios rience skills.conseMany que amand as sequo of us have also worked quam atemper ibusam on the client side, laccus facing hiliqui dolo quist limited budgets and a lot of millab ipsusape laborercia pressure the top.ate So, volestiur,from es ernatust we get it. coris ius simpere puOur as clients lovetiorum us daectur excepta because we’re fast, nimble, aut as eicilis asperis aut and focused on practical volent, conemquia sundese ROI—and that’s what is nimustibus consectotam key in today’s competitive santur asped mo. z environment. z 9215 Cincinnati Columbus Rd, West 6422 Anthony Dr., Liberty Twp., Chester Township, (513) 777-2313, OH 45011, (513) 673-2720, westchesterpediatricdentist.com mktgpack.com


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

WOMEN WHO MOVE CINCINNATI 2020

NATIONWIDE LOGISTICS SAR A H LO N G , P R E S I D E N T

Nationwide Logistics is a Cincinnati-based freight brokerage known for its service-forward approach. A certified Women’s Business Enterprise, Nationwide Logistics is a local company with a national presence as an Inc. 5000 honoree. Sarah has grown her company from two employees to the current 31

in their East Walnut Hills office. Every employee is committed to providing independent agents with solutions from real people with real experiences who respond in real time. z

2245 Gilbert Ave., #103, Cincinnati, OH 45206, (513) 245-4150, nation widelogistics.net

BRACKEN WEBB STAND ENERGY CORPORATION C E O O F C O M PA N Y N A M E

JUDITH PHILLIPS, PRESIDENT & CEO (SEATED) | ALSO PICTURED: LINDA WILSON, DIRECTOR DIVERSITY (LEFT) , Maximillorest evellam exero OF occuptas voluptatios KATE BEDINGHAUS, CORPORATE COUNSEL (RIGHT)

enimagnimus. Dae dipsum nist labo. Boriorro beria pore is moyou ommodigent I suppose would call faccaecto quis me a pioneer inmaiorepta the energy aperciet beaque industry.aboreperi When natural gas quiasime sam simolest was deregulated in 1984, I faciam iuman re,opportunity ventissirecognized tas voloresti aut di toa and took a risk toasform ipidusam que eagas volore earprivate natural marketcientore, sit, nos si nectiam ing company, Stand Energy ium quibuscime nost, inveCorporation. Although I nie ndenimpor aut re con was highly experienced in ea venihicte theculparuptas energy business, it was volupitatis lam experat unusual foraut a woman to uribus experior ari cupta break into (and survive!) this male-dominated in-

que am as sequo consequam atemper ibusam hiliqui quist laccus dustry. dolo I grew my business millab ipsusape laborercia by working nonstop and volestiur, es ernatust ate building relationships. That coris ius simpere puphilosophy has sustained daectur asday—35 excepta years tiorum me to this aut as eicilis asperis aut and a 16-state footprint volent, conemquia later. I am pleased tosundese be nimustibus considered aconsectotam Woman Who santur asped mo. z Moves Cincinnati. z 9215 Cincinnati Columbus Rd, West 1977 Celestial St., Building 3, Chester Township, (513) 777-2313, Cincinnati, OH 45202, (513) 621westchesterpediatricdentist.com 1113, standenergy.com

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7 th Annual

Saturday, March 14, 10 am-12 pm Anderson Pavillion Tickets available at CincinnatiMagazine.com/ourevents


P EE CC II A A LL A AD DV V EE R R TT II SS II N NG G SS EE CC TT II O ON N SS P

2020

SMART

GUIDE TO LOCAL SCHOOLS

Illustration by PremiumVector/Shutterstock.com

INSIDE ProďŹ les and stats for some outstanding schools around the region.

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CINCINNATI HILLS CHRISTIAN ACADEMY PK2–Grade 6 Open House: February 8, 2020, 9 a.m.–12 p.m., Edyth B. Lindner & Armleder Campuses PK2–Grade 12 Campus Visit Day: April 2, 2020, 8:45–10:30 a.m., all Campuses Step into CHCA and you will discover an extraordinary Christcentered education unlike any within the city, where students have countless opportunities to CHOOSE MORE—to find their place, pursue their gifts, strengthen their faith, and make an impact on our world. More than $9 million was recently invested to deliver exciting new levels of student engagement through innovative programming and expanded facilities. Highlights include a $1.2 million Early Childhood Learning Center expansion, innovation and collaboration spaces, a greenhouse, and enhanced accommodations to meet the growing interest of our world-ranked robotics and STEAM programming. CHCA’s spaces were developed to facilitate hands-on learning and foster creativity and leadership. They also support CHCA’s Teacher Innovation Fund, a grant initiative designed to empower teachers to create innovative, high-engagement learning opportunities for students. In addition to robust Early Learning and Lower School programs, CHCA’s Upper School is Cincinnati’s only Christ-centered six-year college-prep high school experience, serving students in

grades 7–12. Students are empowered with the tools, knowledge, and disciplines to flourish in the high school years and beyond, with opportunities to take college courses, pursue passions via independent studies, grow entrepreneurship skills, and cultivate curiosity in every subject. CHCA was also the first school in the region to offer Intersession, a two-week term where students explore a personal passion, participate in an internship, travel internationally, or learn through service immersion. The Upper School features authentic learning experiences such as Entrepreneurial Studies, Independent Research, Senior Capstone Initiatives, and studying abroad—while providing students the foundation for a Christ-centered worldview. Students own their faith through weekly chapels, daily intellectual inquiry in the classroom, and student-led outreach. From state-of-the-art facilities to regionally acclaimed fine arts and winning athletics programs, CHCA fully engages students at all grade levels, both within and outside of the classroom walls. The outcome of a CHCA education? Students realize they can BE MORE. Students and alumni are flourishing and making their mark on the world.

THE STATS YEAR FOUNDED: 1989 GRADES SERVED: Early Learning (age 2) through grade 12 at Symmes Twp.; Early Learning (age 3) through grade 6 at Armleder, downtown CURRENT ENROLLMENT: 1,300 STUDENTFACULTY RATIO: 12:1 GRADUATION RATE: 100% UNIFORMS REQUIRED? Yes, through grade 6 TUITION: $3,350– $17,390 TOP AWARDS/RECOGNITIONS: The class of 2019 earned more than $10 million in merit scholarships and grants and served a record-breaking 33,900+ hours (average of 283 hours/student). • 10 students were recognized as National Merit Scholars (and 5 as Finalists). • Each year, more than 80% of students grades 4–8 qualify for the Northwestern University Midwest Academic Talent Search. • Acclaimed fine arts programming • Sports Performance Training • NAIS recognized Entrepreneurial Program • Nationally recognized Aquaponics Program • Globally ranked Robotics team 8283 E. Kemper Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45249 • (513) 247-0900 • chca-oh.org

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THE SEVEN HILLS SCHOOL To learn more or to schedule a personalized tour, contact The Seven Hills School’s admission team at (513) 728-2400 or visit 7hills.org! Affordable, flexible tuition Seven Hills is committed to providing access to as many students as possible. As part of the new Affordability Initiative, the school offers two important options: the Flexible Tuition Program and Seven Hills Scholar Awards, both designed to provide families from many walks of life the advantage of a Seven Hills education. Approximately 35% of the Seven Hills student body participates in the Flexible Tuition Program. Academic excellence The Seven Hills School is ranked by Niche.com as #1 Best Private College Prep High School in Ohio and #1 Best Private K–12 School in the Greater Cincinnati area. Seven Hills teachers, at every grade level, provide unique learning opportunities which lead to academic achievement and personal well-being for students.

Teachers are the difference Trained in some of the nation’s best universities and recruited from all over the country, Seven Hills teachers are experts not only in their subjects and grade levels, but also in connecting with children and young people. They are committed to developing inspiring learning experiences that fuel and excite students. Free from the constraints of state-mandated testing, teachers design engaging, student-centered curriculum that captures the imagination of each individual student. Seven Hills teachers design learning experiences that enable students to acquire and hone skills to think critically and creatively, pursue their interests, collaborate with classmates and teachers, and explore the world around them. In an environment that encourages students to take risks and stretch beyond their sphere of mastered skills, students gain more from their time at Seven Hills—supported along the way by their classmates and teachers.

THE STATS YEAR FOUNDED: 1906 GRADES SERVED: Pre-K (2-year-olds) through Grade 12 CURRENT ENROLLMENT: 1,011 STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 9:1 GRADUATION RATE: 100% UNIFORMS REQUIRED? Yes, Doherty Campus (2-year-olds through Grade 5); no, Hillsdale Campus (2-year-olds through Grade 12) TUITION: $7,200– $26,570 TOP AWARDS/RECOGNITIONS: #1 Best Private College Prep High School in the state of Ohio • #1 Best Private K–12 School in Greater Cincinnati • 17% of the Class of 2020 have been recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program. • Accreditations include National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS), Ohio Association of Independent Schools (OAIS), and the State of Ohio. Hillsdale Campus, 5400 Red Bank Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45227 • Doherty Campus, 2726 Johnstone Pl., Cincinnati, OH 45206 • (513) 728-2400 • 7hills.org F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 C I N C I N N AT I M A G A Z I N E . C O M 8 3


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BETHANY SCHOOL Open House: Sunday, January 26, 2–4 p.m. Bethany School is a 120-yearold independent, K–8 Episcopal school in Glendale, Ohio. Bethany has a long history of nurturing the whole student with outstanding results. Known for its campus-like setting, the school encourages spiritual growth, academic excellence, and character development. As a result of a 2014 strategic plan, a new academic building for grades 3–8 was constructed and welcomed

students through its doors at the opening of school in 2019. The building is a one-of-akind LEED-certified Platinum energy-efficient school building with an equally amazing natural playscape. The new playscape will foster activity and risk-taking in a safe environment. This new building is both beautiful and inspiring for the staff and students. Join us for our Open House on January 26 from 2 to 4 p.m.

THE STATS YEAR FOUNDED: 1898 GRADES SERVED: K–8 CURRENT ENROLLMENT: 230 STUDENTFACULTY RATIO: 15:1 GRADUATION RATE: 100% UNIFORMS REQUIRED? Yes TUITION: $10,150 TOP AWARDS/ RECOGNITIONS: Member of the National Association of Episcopal Schools 555 Albion Ave., Glendale, OH 45246 • (513) 771-7462 • bethanyschool.org

CHILDREN’S MEETING HOUSE MONTESSORI SCHOOL Open House: Sunday, January 26, 2–4 p.m. Coffee with Casey: Wednesdays, 9 a.m. Nestled on more than seven acres just outside historic Loveland, Children’s Meeting House seeks to foster the development of the whole child by implementing the philosophy, practices, and curriculum of Dr. Maria Montessori. Children are empowered to learn and develop at a pace inspired by their own instinctive love of discovery. From preschool through sixth grade,

students are guided, challenged, and prepared for their futures using authentic Montessori lessons and materials. Enriched by abundant natural woodlands and working gardens, CMH fosters a high level of academic success within an outdoor setting few schools in Cincinnati can match. Come see where learning happens, naturally.

THE STATS YEAR FOUNDED: 1972 GRADES SERVED: Preschool–grade 6 CURRENT ENROLLMENT: 140 STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 12:1 UNIFORMS REQUIRED? No TUITION: $11,250 TOP AWARDS/RECOGNITIONS: Voted Cincinnati’s Best Preschool by the readers of Cincinnati Family Magazine • Member of the American Montessori Society and the Cincinnati Montessori Society • Certified as a Wild School Site and Monarch Butterfly Waystation due to our efforts to create, conserve, and protect natural habitats 927 O’Bannonville Rd., Loveland, OH 45140 • (513) 683-4757 • cmhschool.com 8 4 C I N C I N N AT I M A G A Z I N E . C O M F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0


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CINCINNATI COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL Individual tours available daily. Evening appointments also available in the spring (February–May). Tour and appointment information available at www.countryday.net/go/visit We are Cincinnati Country Day School. In some ways we are not what you’d expect, yet everything you’d hope your child’s school to be. Joyful and Challenging. Innovative and Inspiring. Diverse and Welcoming. We are one family united to help nurture and grow students, ages 18 months to 18 years, to become exemplary citizens, confident leaders, and the best versions of themselves.

We ensure families that their children will be inspired, known, and nurtured. We will provide students with an exemplary, character-driven, and innovative academic experience that will guide them to be the future leaders of the next generation. Graduates will be fully prepared for finding success in the next phase of their lives with purpose, confidence, and character. We are Country Day.

THE STATS YEAR FOUNDED: 1926 GRADES SERVED: Early childhood (18 months)–grade 12 CURRENT ENROLLMENT: 850 STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 9:1 GRADUATION RATE: 100% UNIFORMS REQUIRED? Yes, K–grade 4; dress code grades 5–12 TUITION: $7,570–$27,730 TOP AWARDS/RECOGNITIONS: Students matriculate to top colleges nationally and internationally • $9 million awarded in college grants and scholarships • Top K–12 school by Niche for 2019 • Member of Cum Laude Society • Nation’s first 1:1 laptop computer program • Advanced Placement Scholars • National Merit Recipients, Scholars, and Scholarship winners • Scholastic Art and Writing Award winners 6905 Given Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45243 • (513) 979-0220 • countryday.net

CINCINNATI WALDORF SCHOOL Open House: Saturday, February 8, 2020, 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Visit our website for more details or contact Karen Crick, Enrollment Director, at (513) 541-0220, ext. 103 or enrollment @cincinnatiwaldorfschool.org Waldorf Education is one of the fastest growing educational movements in the world, providing active, hands-on academics infused with nature, community-building, and the arts. Cincinnati Waldorf students learn compassion, resilience, creativity, balance, problem solving, and independent thinking—

exactly what our world needs most right now. CWS has been providing Waldorf education in Cincinnati for more than 45 years, and we are pleased to announce the Cincinnati Waldorf High School, Cincinnati’s exciting new high school option. Come grow with us!

THE STATS YEAR FOUNDED: 1973 GRADES SERVED: Preschool–grade 11 CURRENT ENROLLMENT: 275 STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 10:1 UNIFORMS REQUIRED? No TUITION: Varies by program TOP AWARDS/RECOGNITIONS: AWSNA full member school • Voted Best Private School 2016 by CityBeat 6743 Chestnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45227 • (513) 541-0220 • cincinnatiwaldorfschool.org FFEEBBRRUUAARRYY 22002200 C I N C I N N AT I M A G A Z I N E . C O M 8 5


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GUARDIAN ANGELS SCHOOL Open House: Sunday, January 26, 1–3 p.m. Informational Coffee: Thursday, February 20, 9 a.m. Personal tours are available anytime; call the school office to schedule. Guardian Angels School is a missiondriven school, providing a Catholic education to students in preschool through 8th grade. Our focus is to deliver an individualized education to each student, preparing him/her to be faithful disciples of Christ through service and leadership. Initiating innovative and progressive programs and activities such as the 1:1 tablet program, Halo Bell, Robotics and Engineering Club, and a student-led broadcast studio, students are enriched

beyond the general curriculum. Guardian Angels School is a leader in technology integration, differentiated instruction, and STEM education. Students work hard each day to earn their “H.A.L.O.,” which stands for Honest, Accountable, and a Leader to Others. Skills related to each of these character traits are directly taught by staff and modeled by all. The result is a strong community of well-rounded, faith-filled persons.

THE STATS YEAR FOUNDED: 1895 GRADES SERVED: Preschool–grade 8 CURRENT ENROLLMENT: 434 STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: 11:1 UNIFORMS REQUIRED? Yes TUITION: $4,584 K–8, $4,170 Preschool/Pre-K TOP AWARDS/RECOGNITIONS: Blue Ribbon School of Excellence • Thomas Edison Award for Excellence in STEM Education • All students participate in service to our community. 6539 Beechmont Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45230 • (513) 624-3141 • gaschool.org

LAKOTA LOCAL SCHOOLS Online Registration: Begins February 2020 for the 2020-2021 school year From the Lakota Cyber Academy to 1:1 technology to the new INCubatoredu@Lakota entrepreneur program, everything WE do is designed to provide a future-ready, student-centered learning environment for every single child. We pride ourselves on providing every student ample opportunity to explore their passions and interests, with the goal of preparing them for one of the four Es after graduation: Enrollment, Employment,

Enlistment, or Entrepreneurship. Each of our 16,700 students gain a personalized educational experience, including hands-on learning and collaboration, a STEAM or Wonder lab in every early childhood and elementary school, and Innovation Hubs in our secondary buildings. From all-day kindergarten to daily specials to real world learning opportunities, we invite you to visit us and see why WE are Lakota.

THE STATS YEAR FOUNDED: 1970 GRADES SERVED: K–12 CURRENT ENROLLMENT: 16,700 GRADUATION RATE: 98% UNIFORMS REQUIRED? No TOP AWARDS/RECOGNITIONS: One of only 114 districts nationwide to be selected into the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools • Recipient of the Ohio Department of Education’s Momentum Award for four consecutive years • Recipient of the Auditor of State Award with Distinction for five consecutive years 5572 Princeton Rd., Liberty Township, OH 45011 • (513) 874-5505 • lakotaonline.com 8 6 C I N C I N N AT I M A G A Z I N E . C O M F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0


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THE NEW SCHOOL MONTESSORI We welcome you to attend our open houses, and we also encourage you to schedule a personal tour to observe classes and meet our staff. Sunday, January 26, 2020, 2–4 p.m.; Sunday, April 26, 2020, 2–4 p.m.; Sunday, October 11, 2020, 2–4 p.m. Our experienced Montessori-credentialed teachers prepare students to succeed in the real world by allowing children to discover their innate love of learning and by helping them develop time-management and relationship-building skills. Students are adept at working in active spaces in both positions of leadership and as team members. Teachers interweave Montessori principles and philosophy to create an atmosphere of respect for one an-

other. Students’ social and emotional health is fostered daily through intentional lessons, reflective discussions, and skill-building exercises in grace and courtesy. Our hands-on Montessori kitchen provides homemade, healthy lunches with plenty of vegetarian options. Students enjoy a wide variety of enrichment programs such as orchestra, Shakespeare club, music lessons, art, and our onsite after-school care, which is available daily until 6 p.m.

THE STATS YEAR FOUNDED: 1970 GRADES SERVED: 3-year-olds–grade 6 CURRENT ENROLLMENT: 143 STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO: Average 6:1–12:1 preprimary, 10:1–15:1 elementary UNIFORMS REQUIRED? No TOP AWARDS/RECOGNITIONS: Only school in Cincinnati to be fully accredited by the American Montessori Society • Recognized by Cincinnati Magazine for our innovative lunch program. We are the only school in Cincinnati making homemade, healthy lunches for all students and staff every day—and it’s covered in tuition. No pre-made meals. Nothing merely warmed up. • All teachers are Montessori trained and certified. 3 Burton Woods Ln., Cincinnati, OH 45229 • (513) 281-7999 • newschoolmontessori.com

PURCELL MARIAN HIGH SCHOOL Tours available by appointment. Please contact Rachel Bronner, Admissions Coordinator, at admissions@purcellmarian.org or (513) 751-1230 ext. 128. At Purcell Marian, we believe that love inspires learning—and a family spirit is at the heart of the modern Catholic education we provide. We take pride in our richly diverse co-ed student body and the unique paths we offer our students, including our growing Career Initiatives Program and the prestigious International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. Purcell Marian

nurtures free thinkers and engaged global citizens, and our 3E Guarantee ensures that all graduating seniors are either Employed, Enlisted, or Enrolled at the time of graduation. Come visit our campus in the heart of East Walnut Hills to meet our passionate team of educators and see for yourself how we foster faith, hard work, and service to others in everything we do.

THE STATS YEAR FOUNDED: 1928 GRADES SERVED: 9–12 CURRENT ENROLLMENT: 343 STUDENTFACULTY RATIO: 18:1 GRADUATION RATE: 100% UNIFORMS REQUIRED? Yes TOP AWARDS/RECOGNITIONS: The only Catholic, private International Baccalaureate World School in Cincinnati 2935 Hackberry St., Cincinnati, OH 45206 • (513) 751-1230 • purcellmarian.org FFEEBBRRUUAARRYY 22002200 C I N C I N N AT I M A G A Z I N E . C O M 8 7


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SAINT URSULA ACADEMY For more than 100 years, Saint Ursula Academy (SUA) has been a top high school choice for girls from every corner of Greater Cincinnati. Students come for the dynamic academic programs, the welcoming environment, and the endless opportunities to explore their passions through service, athletics, leadership, and club opportunities. Students love Saint Ursula’s unique campus setting. The facilities combine rich tradition—like our beautiful

100-plus-year-old chapel— with state-of-the-art learning spaces, including a new Theater, Library and Media Center, and Art and Design wing, giving students more resources than ever to pursue their passions and academic success. Saint Ursula Academy provides detailed personal formation programming that helps each young woman grow into a thinker, leader, nurturer, and prophet committed to building a better world.

THE STATS YEAR FOUNDED: 1910 GRADES SERVED: 9–12 CURRENT ENROLLMENT: 665 STUDENTFACULTY RATIO: 13:1 GRADUATION RATE: 100% UNIFORMS REQUIRED? Yes TUITION: $14,555 TOP AWARDS/ RECOGNITIONS: The class of 2019 earned college scholarship offers totaling more than $25 million. • 12 students recognized by the National Merit Corporation in 2018–2019 • Official Fair Trade School • Recipient of the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) Commissioners Award for Sportsmanship, Ethics, and Integrity 1339 E. McMillan St., Cincinnati, OH 45206 • (513) 961-3410 • saintursula.org

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CCM ON STAGE

Astonishing Artistry

Y’ASRE A D TO TS S

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POPS IN SPACE FEATURING

STAR WARS

The CCM Wind Symphony performs John Williams’ Star Wars Suite along with works by Bach, Whitacre and Holst.

WELCOME TO CCM, MAESTRO LANGRÉE! FEB. 15, 2020

FEB. 21, 2020

THE SECRET GARDEN

The CCM Philharmonia performs under the direction of Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Music Director Louis Langrée in a program featuring Debussy’s Prélude à L’après-midi d’un faune, a Piano Concerto by Ravel and Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique.

Book and Lyrics by Marsha Norman Music by Lucy Simon, Based on the Novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett

MARCH 5-8, 2020 Orchestral Sponsor

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HEALTH WATCH

* L I V I N G H E A LT H Y I N C I N C I N N A T I

TAKE THIS TO HEART

GET INSPIRATION FROM LOCAL EXPERTS TO MAKE HEART-HEALTHY LIFESTYLE CHANGES. PLUS:

GO RED FOR WOMEN: FEBRUARY 7, 2020 GENERAL TIPS ON HOW TO STAY FIT F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 C I N C I N N AT I M A G A Z I N E . C O M 9 1


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What is your favorite exercise for heart health? My wife and I are runners (both road and trail). We also like to road bike, mountain bike, and snowboard. We both wear Garmin watches to monitor our heart rate, calories burned, miles run or biked, and elevation gained or lost during exercise. What do you do to manage stress for a healthier heart? To help with stress, my wife and I both like yoga. We try to practice hot yoga or power yoga at least once a week. Not only is yoga a great physical workout, it trains you to leave your worries outside the door. We also pray together every night.

TIP NO. 1 QUIT SMOKING

HEART TO HEART

LOCAL MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS SHARE THE WAYS THEY MAINTAIN HEART HEALTH, FROM DAILY NUTRITION AND EXERCISE TO STAYING STRESS-FREE. BY VAL PRE VISH

J. MICHAEL SMITH, M.D. Cardiac Surgeon

D. RANDOLPH DROSICK, M.D. Medical Oncologist, Hematologist

The Christ Hospital

What is your favorite heart-healthy lunch? I like grilled chicken breast and steamed vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. What is your favorite exercise for heart health? My go-to exercises are running, biking, and swimming. What do you do to manage stress for a healthier heart? Exercise is my favorite, for sure.

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What is your favorite heart-healthy lunch? I prefer to eat plain chicken for lunch. I will grill a lot of chicken on Sunday, freeze it, and then bring it to work during the week. Also, I drink tea in the morning and then try to stick with filtered water with a lime or lemon the rest of the day. I try to avoid soft drinks as much as possible.

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This is one of the most significant actions you can take to increase your heart health. Smoking and vaping increase your chances of a fatal heart attack. Roughly one-third of deaths from coronary heart disease are caused directly by smoking or secondhand smoke. Many think vaping is a safer alternative; however, this is simply not true. E-cigarettes contain dangerous toxins and metals and are highly addictive due to the levels of nicotine they deliver. To stay hearthealthy, avoid all forms of tobacco.

Photographs by (Cover) ďŹ zkes/Shutterstock.com / (This Page) Dragana Gordic/Shutterstock.com / Illustrations by Paisley Stone

HEALTH WATCH HEART HEALTH


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TIP NO. 2 CONTROL YOUR WEIGHT This is another significant step you can take to increase your heart health. Maintaining a healthy weight and body mass index (BMI) helps your body circulate blood more efficiently, and makes it easier to manage conditions like diabetes, sleep apnea, blood pressure, gallstones, and more. While it is never simple to make a significant lifestyle change, eating a diet high in fiber and low in fat and sugar can be one of the biggest steps you take to maintain cardiovascular health and live a long and healthy life.

MANISHA PATEL, M.D., FACS Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Medical Director of Open Heart Surgery Mercy Health – West Hospital

What is your favorite heart-healthy lunch? My personal favorite is soup, especially on a busy day. I always appreciate something warm after coming out of the cold operating room, there’s tremendous variety (because I don’t care for eating the same thing every day), and it’s not so filling that I find myself wishing for an afternoon nap.

What is your favorite exercise for heart health? I like walking. It can be done just about anywhere, it doesn’t require any fancy equipment, and it can include a friend! What do you do to manage stress for a healthier heart? I like to play or listen to music. It provides a perfect mental diversion from my daily stresses. I can enjoy practicing alone, playing with others, or going to a concert.

TIP NO. 3 GET YOUR FLU SHOT While it may not seem obvious that the flu and heart attacks go together, there is actually a correlation in the two. Every year during flu season more people are hospitalized for heart attacks. Studies have shown that a person could be as much as six times more likely to have a heart attack after being diagnosed with the flu. Cold and flu medications can also increase blood pressure, amplifying risk factors for a heart attack. This risk is easily mitigated with a flu shot, however. Be sure to schedule your flu shot early in the season to significantly reduce your chances of catching the flu.

HINA JAMALI, M.D. Cardiologist, Assistant Professor University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

What is your favorite heart-healthy lunch? I consider myself an avid foodie. My favorite heart-healthy lunch would have to be a bowl of daal, which is a lentil soup. I take a mixture of whatever lentils I find in my pantry. This is a low-carb, low-fat meal, full of protein. It is not only healthy, but because of the high protein content, it curbs hunger for a long time. You can add a variety of beans if you want to change it up. What is your favorite exercise for heart health? I used to be a regular gym-goer in my 20s. Today, I prefer to go for a stress-free run, where I walk and jog at regular intervals. The main goal is to allow myself some mindfulness meditation by breathing in the sights and sounds of the nature around me. I get my heart rate up and enjoy some time away from technology and stress. What do you do to manage stress for a healthier heart? Developing strong relationships, even if with just a few people, can lighten the heart and lift your mood. Also, strive to keep your hobbies alive—the things that make you, you. For me, it’s music and cooking. Use mindfulness to help ensure you stay connected to what matters to you.

DAREK SANFORD, M.D. Cardiologist St. Elizabeth Heart & Vascular Institute, Ft. Thomas

What is your favorite heart-healthy lunch? I like tuna salad with cherry tomatoes and Triscuit crackers. What is your favorite exercise for heart health? I enjoy swimming laps because it is a perfect mix of cardio and strength training.

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HEALTH WATCH HEART HEALTH

TIP NO. 4 STAY WARM The cold at this time of year can be especially dangerous to those with cardiovascular disease, who may suffer from chest pain in extremely cold weather. For those who aren’t accustomed to vigorous exercise, shoveling snow can also pose a high risk of sudden heart attack. To protect yourself, dress in layers and wear a hat when outside in freezing temperatures, and avoid activities like snow shoveling and walking in deep, wet snow. Call a friend or relative for help with snow removal so you stay safe.

What do you do to manage stress for a healthier heart? I believe organization helps me manage stress—setting my priorities in lists for the day, week, and month helps me stay on track and reduce stress.

NAJAMUL ANSARI, M.D. Cardiologist TriHealth

What is your favorite heart-healthy lunch? My favorite heart-healthy lunch includes a wholesome nutritious salad. I try to avoid carbohydrates and added sugars and all processed ingredients. What is your favorite exercise for heart health? My favorite exercise usually involves going to the gym and working out with a couple of friends to keep me motivated. We typically

TIP NO. 5 HEART HEALTH MORE IMPORTANT AFTER MENOPAUSE For women, menopause is a natural phase of life. Unfortunately, it also brings a greater risk of heart disease due to changes that take place. Doctors think the loss of estrogen is a key factor in a woman’s greater susceptibility to heart disease after menopause; however, there are ways to reduce your risk. Following the American Heart Association’s guidelines for a heart-healthy diet and lifestyle can significantly reduce the risks that naturally occur with menopause and aging. Go to heart.org to learn more about how to eat well and exercise to prevent a heart attack.

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work out for about two hours on the weekend, using both free weights and bodyweight exercises. We also make a point of playing basketball once in a while just to mix things up. What do you do to manage stress for a healthier heart? Managing stress is very difficult overall, but in general I try to get eight hours of sleep each night. I accomplish this by not watching much TV anymore.

TIP NO. 6 MANAGE BLOOD PRESSURE About half of all Americans have high blood pressure (HBP), and it is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. Because there are no outward symptoms of high blood pressure, many don’t realize they have this condition. To avoid the health risks from HBP, see your primary care doctor regularly to have your blood pressure checked. If you have HBP, follow your doctor’s advice for diet, exercise, and medication. With proper management, HBP can be controlled and its risks to your health can be managed. ʄ

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MAKING A CHANGE

KEEPING YOUR HEART HEALTHY SHOULD BE A PRIORITY ALL YEAR LONG. EACH FEBRU ARY, HOWEVER, WE WEAR RED TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT THE IMPACT HEART DISEASE HAS ON WOMEN. –Val Prevish

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healthy heart is a goal everyone should strive for. In February, the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women initiative aims to bring awareness to women’s heart health and improve the lives of women globally. To show your support, wear red on Friday, February 7, and encourage women to show their heart some love all year long with daily healthy habits.

Education and awareness have helped reduce heart attack and stroke deaths significantly over the past 40 years by decreasing smoking rates and encouraging diets low in salt and fat, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In spite of continuing efforts to reduce the rate of heart attacks and strokes, however, they continue to be the leading cause of death and disability in the U.S., and a major contributor to high medical costs, says the CDC.

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It’s never too late to make a change, however, and small changes can reduce your chances of heart attack and stroke significantly. The American Heart Association advises you to take these steps, using the Go Red for Women tagline as a guide. • Get your numbers checked: Know your cholesterol and blood pressure by asking your doctor. • Own your lifestyle: Eat healthy, get regular exercise to control weight, and don’t smoke. • Realize your risk: Talk to your doctor about your risk for heart disease and follow his/her advice for prevention. • Educate your family: Help your family to eat healthy and exercise together to encourage good habits early. • Don’t be silent: Talk to your friends about the risks of heart disease and encourage their efforts to make healthy choices.

(Above) Photograph courtesy American Heart Association; (Below) Photograph by Aaron Amat/Shutterstock.com

HEALTH WATCH HEART HEALTH


These three words have the power to comfort, console, and heal, because they mean someone who truly cares is looking out for you. And at St. Elizabeth, we take this idea to heart because your care is very personal to us. That’s why we’re committed to being right here for you as Greater Cincinnati’s only Cardiovascular Center of Excellence accredited by the American Heart Association. So there’s no reason to go anywhere else.

stelizabeth.com/heart - -HERE


T H E D A B A R A I S F I N A L LY M A K I N G N O I S E CONTINUED FROM PAGE 59

THEDA BARA Is

Finally

MAKING

NOISE

Cincinnati’s very first Hollywood star, an icon of the silent movie era, has attracted a whole new generation of fans. BY STEVEN ROSEN

50

P H OTO G R A P H S BY ( T H E DA B A R A ) F OX F I L M S C O R P O R AT I O N / ( B AC KG R O U N D ) D O N F I O R E / S H U T T E R S TO C K .C O M

51

escape typecasting, but more often Bara furthered and sharpened her vamp identity in titles like The Vixen, The Serpent, and The Devil’s Daughter, and also starred as the title characters in Salomé and Cleopatra. By all accounts, her movie persona was different from her own quiet off-screen life, although early Fox publicists tried to create a fake identity for her. They said Bara was born in Egypt near the Sphinx, the daughter of a French actress and Italian artist. It was

destruction by fire and can be readily seen today, including on YouTube. Vampire Bara—with her mature figure, dark hair, and transfixing eyes highlighted by dark makeup—instantly became part of American culture. In one scene, she lets a strap of her soft nightgown dangle down; at other times she’s in refined clothing, including a long brown silk shawl with tassels. She has her predatory way with an American businessman appointed to a diplomatic position in England. Following him onto a cruise ship, she connives to meet him, and her upfront sexuality does the rest. He falls under her spell and is ruined. The story’s roots were in British high art and culture. In 1897, Philip BurneJones painted The Vampire, which showed an assertive, nightgown-wearing woman hovering over a young man passed out on a bed. For its London gallery exhibition,

"THEDA BARA WAS ONE OF THE FIRST MOVIE STARS TO REALLY OVERUSE MAKEUP," SAYS AUTHOR EVE GOLDEN. "I HEAR FROM THESE GOTH TEENAGE GIRLS WHO ADORE HER." noted that “Theda Bara” was an anagram of “Arab Death.” That fake backstory was key to the star-making machinery behind her success, even if it wasn’t thoroughly believed by fans. “Had she had a more colorful private life, probably she would not have succeeded,” says author Eve Golden, whose Vamp: Rise and Fall of Theda Bara was— along with Ronald Genini’s Theda Bara: A Biography of the Silent Screen Vamp, With a Filmography—among the first Bara biographies. Both books were published in 1996. “It was the fact she was so unimpeachable and untarnished in her private life that she was able to get away with what she did on the screen. Nobody ever believed that stuff about ‘She was born in Egypt under the shadow of pyramids.’ Everyone knew it was a joke. And pretty much from the beginning of her career, people knew she was a nice Jewish girl from Cincinnati. That’s what allowed her to get away with what she did on the screen.” Fortunately, A Fool There Was escaped

the painting was accompanied by a new poem, also called “The Vampire,” by Rudyard Kipling. Describing that ruined man, it began, “A fool there was and he made his prayer / (Even as you or I!) / To a rag and a bone and a hank of hair / (We called her the woman who did not care).” The poem made its way to the U.S. in 1909, when American playwright Porter Emerson Browne’s A Fool There Was debuted on the Broadway stage. He also appears to have published a novelized version. With their exaggerated acting style, early silent movies can seem dated now. At a recent screening of A Fool There Was at the Esquire Theater—in connection with a Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County exhibit called Cinema Cincinnati and with Grace as a guest speaker—audience members initially laughed at several dramatic scenes. Then, when one of The Vampire’s ruined lovers points a gun at her, only for her to calmly smile and say (via a title card), “Kiss me, my fool,” the laughter stopped. And when that lover turns the gun

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on himself, with little reaction from her, the distance between this modern audience and that century-old film ceased. Bara had grabbed and shocked once again. Her stardom ended when she lost her contract with Fox and the vamp craze cooled off. Bara had moved from the East Coast to Los Angeles in 1917, and four years later she married Charles Brabin, the British-born director of one of her last films, and basically left the world of movie acting. She made one final non-Fox silent feature in 1925 and a comedy short for Hal Roach Studios, Madame Mystery, codirected by Stan Laurel and costarring Oliver Hardy. Bara also acted on stage, coming to Cincinnati at least twice to perform: in 1920 at the Lyric Theatre with The Blue Flame and in 1929 at the Albee Theater with a vaudevillian “playlet” called The Red Devil. Primarily, though, Bara and Brabin lived a quiet, financially comfortable, and socially active life in Beverly Hills. She occasionally made the news, giving an interview or doing a radio show guest appearance. Bara died from cancer in 1955 and is buried in Los Angeles; Brabin died two years later. EVEN WITH MOST OF HER FILMS GONE, there’s always been one window to Bara in her prime: Fox’s trove of still photographs. They’ve found a new audience with the growth of social media, websites, and blogs—Facebook alone has such pages and groups as Theda Bara, All Things Theda Bara, and Lost Film Cleopatra, with members constantly sharing photos. “The people at Fox took such weird, remarkable photographs of her, and that’s kept her alive,” says Golden. The still photos are indeed amazing—glamorous, scandalous, bizarre, and even surreal. To convey the deadliness of Bara’s character in A Fool There Was, the studio posed her with her dress hem above bare bent knees, sitting next to a skeleton. There’s a famous still photo of her from Cleopatra, wearing two hammered brass coiled-serpent ornaments on top of but not quite fully over her breasts; below is a bejeweled belt around her waist that sparkles in a black-andwhite photo. The cover of Golden’s Vamp book features a barefoot Bara wrapped in black fabric and holding her long hair upward in an erotic V shape.



T H E D A B A R A I S F I N A L LY M A K I N G N O I S E And always those daring eyes! “Certainly the eyes are a drawing point, even in pictures of her where she’s in skimpy clothes,” says Neely. “You often see her with her chin turned down slightly so the pupils are in the upper part of her eye and there’s a little bit of white rim underneath, but not above. It’s a look she used in quite a few photographs.” Bara’s eyes, like the bob haircut of another silent-era actress, Louise Brooks, still influence contemporary fashion. In the 2014 podcast Theda Bara: Hollywood’s First Sex Symbol, writer/narrator Karina Longworth notes that one can see reflections of Bara in the images of contemporary female rockers like Siouxsie Sioux, Courtney Love, Lydia Lunch, and Lorde. “She was one of the first movie stars to really overuse makeup,” says Golden. “She had this Goth look. I know I hear from these Goth teenage girls who adore her. And the funny thing is Theda in real life was the least Goth girl you can imagine.” Bara was included in a 1994 U.S. Postal Service commemorative stamp series, drawn by Al Hirschfeld, devoted to silent screen stars. Her pop culture revival includes such recent books as Vanda Krefft’s story of Bara’s first boss, The Man Who Made the Movies: The Meteoric Rise and Tragic Fall of William Fox, and Beverly F. Stout and Joan Craig’s tale of how a young Craig befriended the childless Bara and Brabin in Beverly Hills, Theda Bara, My Mentor: Under the Wing of Hollywood’s First Femme Fatale. Besides Neely’s feature-length 2006 documentary, there’s also a 26-minute French short made in 2001, Theda Bara and William Fox. And Lost Cleopatra is a film project by Phillip Dye to reimagine Bara’s vanished epic using one short surviving film clip and hundreds of still production shots. Locally, there has been talk of a public mural, increasingly inevitable for our major cultural figures. “I think a mural of Theda Bara would be an incredible way to highlight a very fascinating woman with Cincinnati roots and ties to Walnut Hills High School, the University of Cincinnati, Avondale, and the Jewish community,” says Tamara Harkavy, ArtWorks founder and artistic director. “I hope someday we can do that mural.”

Another recent attempt to honor Bara locally is quite unconventional. Jeannette Novakovich, who bought a house on Harvey Avenue in Avondale in 2017, discovered that Bara and her family lived in it for several years in the late 1890s, when the street was called Rosedale Place. A writer/editor for NIOSH by profession, Novakovich is doing extensive research on her home and its occupants. She found an 1888 Cincinnati Enquirer story about how the “devoted wife” of Bernard Goodman, then living in Walnut Hills and a supervisor for a wholesale clothing house, converted from her Lutheran faith to Judaism to “avoid any discord on account of religion” in the household. Novakovich’s curiosity has spurred her to work on restoring some of the home’s original interior features, as well as to save old perfume and talcum bottles dug up while leveling ground for a backyard chicken coop. Inside, she’s put up numerous Bara photographs on the walls and installed a specially made shower curtain featuring an oversized photo still from Cleopatra. ALONG WITH THE UPSWING IN REMEMbrance, there’s been discussion on what the sexuality of Bara’s vamp meant as far as shaping Hollywood’s attitude—and, thus, our own—toward the roles of women in society. It’s become an especially lively issue now as we celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which provided women the right to vote. Bara was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars and one of the nation’s most famous women right when the suffragist movement was strongest. Did her vamp character serve as a role model? There’s a much-quoted declaration she gave in 1915 that connects her role with feminism: “The vampire that I play is the vengeance of my sex upon its exploiters. You see, I have the face of a vampire, perhaps, but the heart of a feministe.” Biographer Golden suspects Fox publicists wrote that quote and perhaps had a hidden agenda, hoping to scare Americans into thinking there was little separation between feminism and, as Golden puts it, “vengeful, castrating harpies” like Bara’s vamp character. But biographer Genini thinks the quote helps explain the popularity of Bara’s films with women at the

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time—she was giving dishonest, deceitful men what they deserved. UC’s Grace has found at least one passage in the memoir manuscript that, given when it was written, can be interpreted as Bara’s support of feminism and the suffragist movement. “In the olden days as wife and mistress, she was slave and toy of man,” the passage reads. “It has only been in more recent days that woman has herself come forward to assist in this baffling and most unyielding study. Woman has come into the day of self-expression, and yet her emancipation, so called, has only just begun. Like the Chinese women whose feet have been bound for centuries and suddenly unswathed, woman has begun to walk but still unsteadily. The muscles of her spiritual feet are still atrophied. And while she may not yet walk upright and firmly, though she may stumble and fall, she has begun her progress to her goal. What line is there in which she may not equal or perhaps surpass her eternal rival, exploiter, master, MAN.” In her 2014 podcast, Longworth ends with a bit of soul-searching about Bara’s rise and fall. “Theda Bara wasn’t the kind of sex symbol who promoted sex as something fun and empowering and, well, sexy,” says Longworth. “As the embodiment of the late Victorian era’s fears of what could happen if women were allowed to pursue their real desires, Theda Bara was more like a symbol of sexual panic. Maybe the fact she was phased out because times had changed, while bad news for her, is actually kind of a happy ending for the rest of us.” When Bara died in 1955, it was big news across the country. Genini’s biography quotes a touching unsigned Enquirer editorial from April 11, evidently by a writer who remembered the young Goodman intently watching movies at the Avon Theater on Rockdale Avenue: “When the lights went on after the show we could not help but notice a striking-looking young woman sitting quietly by herself in one of the rear rows. She always seemed to be there and stayed through all the performances. We were told she wanted to be a movie actress.” Theda Bara succeeded beyond her wildest imagination, and remains a stillvital, still-controversial Hollywood legend today.


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help those local economies and the residents she met there.

flyer the organizers put up months before the trip, announcing when they’d be coming through the area and inviting everyone to join their adventure. This woman used to paddle in her younger years, and she was encouraged to do it. And so she does. She ends up as one of the older paddlers in the bunch. Just before our boats get to the Markland Locks and Dam, we notice a group of men yelling something at us from shore. We finally make out that they’re yelling, “Chris!” But there are no Chrises in our group. Then Kristin, the woman from Chicago, looks up from paddling and over at the men. They’re her brothers, who have flown in from all over the country to see her pull into Vevay, and she’s completely surprised. We all have tears in our eyes. Our equipment trailer driver helps lead crisis response missions in disaster areas across the world. We have a Louisville city councilman aboard. Two people work at summer camps for children with disabilities. We take turns being captain, when you sit in back and keep the canoe going as straight as possible while eight or nine people try to paddle in sync. It can get frustrating. More experienced paddlers offer advice and words of encouragement to us novices. We’re all ages and genders, including one transgender member, but one thing connects us all: admiration for the Ohio River. We end up with strong bonds to one another and to the places we visit. Tracy and I have lunch a few months later in Cincinnati before she catches a flight out of CVG. I ask her what her most memorable experience was from this summer trip, and she says the poverty she saw in some of the towns between Portsmouth and Cincinnati. She hopes a fully developed river trail will 1 0 2 C I N C I N N AT I M A G A Z I N E . C O M F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

ON OUR LAST NIGHT, THERE’S A RObust discussion about how to make the Ohio River Recreation Trail a reality. The group agrees that, at this point, it’s irresponsible to say to just anyone, “Hey, go try this!” Most people wouldn’t do the whole thing at once, sure, but they also wouldn’t have a safety boat or an equipment trailer carrying gear, water, and food. Most of the places we stay—with public restrooms and warm restaurants nearby—aren’t normally open to campers. The river isn’t well marked. Disregard for barge and motorboat etiquette and rules can get you killed, as can the roads without berms that hug the riverbanks, a danger for cyclists following the water trail. And so much is dependent on the weather. We luck out, really, but previous paddlers on this trip have found harsh conditions, with wind, lightning storms, and glaring sun. Still, can’t the group start talking to landowners along the way to identify places to camp safely? Can’t they strengthen relationships with folks in the barge industry to be sure everyone plays well together? Can’t they raise money for navigational signs, small docks, and welcome signs for people coming off the water to a river town? The group starts to prioritize. We launch for the last time the next morning, and Mother Nature gives us a reminder of why the river’s majesty is worth sharing. In a light rain, a rainbow springs out of the water next to our boats and arches over our path to Louisville. In November, the group received news it had been waiting for: It was accepted into the National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program. The relationship will provide technical assistance to help create the trail that the group wants to be fully operational in 2021. Organizers plan to build on their momentum with another trip this summer to continue visualizing a trail that’s safe, accessible, and fun for all. I’m sure it’ll be epic. I might do it again.



BEST RESTAURANTS

2020 Monday, March 2 5:30–7:30 PM Braxton Brewing Company 27 W. Seventh St., Covington, KY

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PROUD HOUND COFFEE P. 108

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GUILTY PLEASURE Goose & Elder’s fried bologna sandwich with American cheese, pickles, slaw, potato chips, dijonnaise, and an over-easy egg. PHOTOGRAPH BY JEREMY KRAMER

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DINING OUT

SPRUCE GOOSE

Chef Jose Salazar’s third restaurant provides straightforward satisfaction. — A K S H A Y A H U J A

G

OOSE & ELDER IS THE THIRD RESTAURANT FROM CHEF JOSE SALAZAR, WHOSE first two are among the city’s best. Compared to the playful fare at the eponymous Salazar, his first restaurant, or the deep dive into Spanish and Latin American tapas at Mita’s, Goose & Elder (named after nearby Goose Alley and Elder Street) is a more everyday kind of joint. The prices are much lower, and most of the dishes, from burgers to grits, are familiar. If you want the same level of achievement and inventiveness as Chef Salazar’s other restaurants, you might be disappointed, but a quick look at the atmosphere and even the hours (it’s basically always open) at Goose & Elder makes it clear that this is a different sort of joint. This is more like a neighborhood diner—a place to stop by after a visit to Findlay Market—than a destination. But it is the kind of spot all of us would be thrilled to have close by, with solid service and solid food. You don’t expect a James Beard–nominated chef to feature a fried bologna sandwich and “disco fries” on his menu, but Goose & Elder is a good reminder that there are times when those kinds of things can really hit the spot. The menu at Salazar has always hinted that the chef had a fondness for, well, junk food—fried salty bits of this and that. But junk food is only junk if it is made thoughtlessly. While these street-corner dishes are often totally transformed at Salazar, they are served unapologetically at Goose & Elder, but with enough attention to detail to keep them interesting. Let’s talk about that bologna sandwich, for example. It’s very close to being too much, with egg yolk 1 0 6 C I N C I N N AT I M A G A Z I N E . C O M F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

FYI

Goose & Elder 1800 Race St., Over-theRhine, (513) 579-8400, gooseandelder.com Hours Lunch, dinner, and late night Tues–Thurs 11:30 am–midnight, Fri 11:30 am–midnight. Brunch Sat & Sun 10 am–3 pm. Prices $4 (Elder fries with Goose sauce)–$19.50 (sirloin steak) Credit Cards All major The Takeaway Everyday food, but too good to be called ordinary.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY JEREMY KRAMER


THOUGHTFUL COMFORT (From left) The Findlay Market–facing facade of Goose & Elder; crushed avocado toast; chicken schnitzel with buttered noodles and grain mustard; Chef Jose Salazar.

running down the sides and potato chips spilling out. But the whole enterprise is saved by little twists, like those cuminspiced potato chips and delicate ribbons of housemade cucumber pickles with a sweet rice wine vinegar flavor that reminded me of what makes Vietnamese sandwiches so delicious. Even the fries, crinkle cut and served with “goose sauce,” a mildly spiced mayonnaise, are wonderfully addictive. They demonstrate that what we now consider “fast food” can be awfully good if someone makes it the oldfashioned, slow way. Brunch is my favorite menu at Goose & Elder—exactly the place for familiar food with creative tweaks. You can still get your usual stack of pancakes (they come covered with chocolate and peanut buttercream) or your goetta hash with gravy. But there are also wonderful surprises, like the citrusy zing of jalapeño jam on the avocado toast, or the beautifully delicate fig omelette, which has a wonderful sweet-and-savory filling I’ve never encountered in an omelette before. There are signs of thoughtfulness everywhere, like the thick white mugs that keep the Deeper Roots coffee hot, and respect for the quality of ingredients. The whole place seems to recall an era before national chains took over, when there were lots of neighborhood diners, each serving familiar food but with their own particular specialties and unique character. Goose & Elder only goes a little astray when it leaves its comfort-food comfort zone. Salazar and Mita’s both have some of the best cocktails in the city, but a cocktail we tried here, the famous

Corpse Reviver, was sour to the exclusion of every other flavor. The bone marrow dish also felt out of place (who orders bone marrow with their burger?). After we struggled to remove the marrow with the little spoon and added the pickled onions and parsley to the bread, it still mainly felt greasy. The duck leg confit, served over grits, was much better, but cried out for some spice and intensity to cut through the general fattiness. And I longed for some good sauerkraut to replace about half of the egg noodles on the chicken schnitzel, which felt monotonously starchy. These are exceptions, though, and the stuff that most people will order is uniformly good, and occasionally great. Goose & Elder knows how to keep things light and balanced, with an excellent seasonal salad, full of delicious cooked beets and halved Brussels sprouts, and a wealth of vegetarian options. My favorite dish—and the one I think Salazar could serve proudly at either of his other restaurants—was the pumpkin hummus with za’atar toast: a little spicy, a little sweet, with a nice thyme-scented complexity from the toast, eagerly gobbled up by both adults and a hungry 2-yearold, who was also quite excited by the lovely custard in the crème brûlée. Sometimes chefs expand their empires beyond what they can be personally invested in, so I should note that Goose & Elder shows no signs of being an afterthought. Salazar was there at the finishing station at every meal, morning or evening, and he clearly cares about this place and the quality of what it’s putting out. His other restaurants are serving more exciting food, but Goose & Elder has its own necessary niche. The next time we dine with a bunch of friends with very different tastes and want a place that won’t need a reservation and will satisfy the whole crowd for a moderate price, we’ll think of Goose & Elder. Long may it be just around the corner. F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 C I N C I N N AT I M A G A Z I N E . C O M 1 0 7


POTABLES

KIND GRIND A DIGNIFIED DOGGO sits on the face of each of Proud Hound Coffee’s bags, clad in a bright patchwork of orange, blue, pink, red, and yellow, containing one of four coffees from co-op farms in Mexico, Colombia, Ethiopia, and Brazil, respectively. The motto “Dignity for All,” emblazoned on the back, is more than just a catchphrase to leadership team Daniel Smith (co-owner), Brian Smith (co-owner), Carl Arvidson, and David Holman. It’s something they believe should start at the source, which means working closely with farmers and sourcing the beans ethically. “They are heavily invested in [their] region[s],” says Daniel Smith. “We feel really good just from that standpoint.” The team has earned its stripes in the coffee world, so enriching the careers of others in the industry is important to them. “We want to make sure that everyone is cared for here at Proud Hound,” Holman says. A café is tentatively slated to open this summer at the roastery, and the group is working toward Specialty Coffee Association certification to allow them to teach SCA courses and bring knowledge directly to employees. —GABRIELLA MULISANO Proud Hound Coffee, 6717 Montgomery Rd., Silverton, proudhound coffee.com

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P H O T O G R A P H B Y A A R O N M . C O N W AY


TABLESIDE WITH...

DAN PETERSEN

THIS BOARD-CERTIFIED toxicologist with expertise in plant toxins and toxic alcohols has applied his expertise to winemaking for the past 30 years. Your professional and personal interests have had a funny way of intersecting. Chemistry is important in making great wine. My PhD is in biochemistry—it’s all about metabolic pathways and fermentation. UC approached me to teach wine courses, and I’ve been doing that for about 15 years. There’s a natural overlap. How has this expertise helped you make great wine? There are aspects of making good wine that require you to consider the events that happen in the vineyards. You can’t make great wine from bad grapes. There are aspects of plant physiology and plant science that are concerned with making great grapes. And then there are aspects in terms of making great wine, like fermentation. How important are regions? The most important factor is where the grapes came from. If you pick grapes from a warm place, they’re going to be fruitier. If you pick wine from a cooler place, they’re going to be earthier. If you pick wines from a hot place, like Australia, you’re going to get some big old fruity flavors that are going to knock your socks off.

LUNCHBOX

Pho 2.0

How do you approach food pairings? I think the old adage of like with like works as a place to start, so white wines with white food and red wines with red. For a beginner, that’s probably the thing to stick with. It’s about marrying the wine with the food and bringing out similarities in flavor.

—KAILEIGH

PEYTON

Read a longer conversation with Dan Petersen at cincinnatimagazine.com

ILLUSTR ATIO N BY C H RI S DA N G ER / PH OTO G R A PH BY L A N C E A D K IN S

PHO LANG THANG HAD OUTGROWN ITS ORIGINAL FINDLAY MARKET STOREFRONT. THAT much was obvious. The smallish three-room restaurant—a sit-down dining pioneer in the neighborhood since 2010—was maxed out each lunchtime with hungry market-goers, thanks to pitch-perfect pho, banh mi, and bun salads. It was very crowded, very steamy, and your coat smelled like soup for the rest of the day. But it was worth it: Owners David Le and brothers Bao Nguyen and Duy Nguyen turn out one of the best Vietnamese menus in the city, characterized by their lemongrass grilled pork and chicken and 20-hour broth, made from Ohio-proud Sakura Farms Wagyu beef. You can’t miss the new location, within stumbling distance of the original and just east of the market on Race Street with a spiffy new painted sign. It’s finally a home worthy of Pho Lang Thang’s inventive take on Vietnamese cuisine: The build-out is spot-on, comparatively huge with a vivid, jewel-toned color scheme, tropical plants aplenty, and a tiki vibe that somehow reads more cool than kitsch. And it’s all in an airy new (and blessedly ventilated) space with a full room-sized bar and a new menu of fruity-fun cocktails. The Pho Lang Thang, upgrade also takes advantage of amped-up foot traffic in the blocks 1828 Race St., Oversurrounding Findlay Market by adding a dedicated carryout entrance the-Rhine, (513) 3769177, pholangthang. (mang vê) to keep things moving at peak hours. Now you just have to com. Lunch and dinner learn to walk and slurp pho at the same time. — A M Y B R O W N L E E Tues–Sun. F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 C I N C I N N AT I M A G A Z I N E . C O M 1 0 9


HOT PLATE

Dark Horse

The Golden Lamb’s tavern counterpart gets a facelift and a menu shakeup. FIFTY-FIVE YEARS AFTER OPENING, the tavern adjoining Ohio’s oldest inn underwent an overhaul last year, upgrading the interior with a new design befitting its historic status and an upgraded menu to match. New finishes mix with Shaker furniture, and a dining patio with a Southern porch feel was added. On the menu, higher-dollar proteins like braised lamb shank and seared scallops sit alongside pulled chicken BBQ and prime rib slider combos, letting you fine-tune the tone (and price range) of your meal. Ingredients come from regional farmers, but some of the seasonal produce—and even a small portion of its beef—come from the restaurant’s nearby 353-acre farm in Oregonia. Due to its affiliation, you expect to see classics, which you will (including the inn’s traditional roast turkey dinner), but Executive Chef Nick Roudebush also has some room to experiment. The Tri-State Ham Tasting plate sums up the what’s-old-is-new charm here. A nod to charcuterie, it has a homestyle spin, with three distinctly different hams, served together with housemade mustard, pickles, and rustic crackers. Refreshingly tart housemade strawberry basil and blackberry shrubs put a modern spin on a colonial tonic. As you taste your way through the new menu, save room for sweets. Sharing a dessert menu with its sister restaurant, the trio of coconut, banana cream, and sugar pie is worth planning ahead for. — K A I L E I G H P E Y T O N Black Horse Tavern, 27 S. Broadway St., Lebanon, (513) 932-5065, goldenlamb.com. Lunch and dinner seven days.

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SNACK TIME

ARTISTIC EATS FORMER INTERIOR designer Melinda Mueller didn’t step too far outside her comfort zone when she started her Hamilton-based candy business, Ruby’s Chocolates. She had one goal in mind: “I wanted to make each one a little piece of art.” Take, for example, the truffle cakes, like the black raspberry cheesecake. The chocolate cake ball is mixed with raspberry ganache, cream cheese, and black raspberry chips and then dipped in more chocolate before it’s chilled and decorated with chocolate curls at the base and a miniature replica of the treat it represents, fashioned out of white chocolate streusel, on top. (Keep an eye out for Mueller’s signature red dot on each piece—her assurance they’re handmade.) Sample six of the shop’s best-selling flavors in a 12-piece variety pack, or go for the custom truffle cake pack and pick your own six. With more than 20 flavors, like maple bacon, chocolate cherry chunk, cookies ’n’ cream, and key lime cheesecake, you’ll want for nothing. Stop by Mueller’s second storefront, which opened in Oakley in December, to see what other treats she’s cooking up. —PATRICK MURPHY Ruby’s Chocolates, 6741 Gilmore Rd., Hamilton, (513) 824-5416; 3923 Isabella Ave., Oakley; rubyschocolates.com

P H O T O G R A P H B Y A A R O N M . C O N W AY

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WHERE TO EAT NOW

AMERICAN 112 CAJUN/CARIBBEAN 115 CHINESE 115 ECLECTIC 115 FRENCH 117 INDIAN 118 ITALIAN 118 JAPANESE 118 KOREAN 119 MEDITERRANEAN 119

DINING GUIDE CINCINNATI MAGAZINE’S

dining guide is compiled by our editors as a service to our readers. The magazine accepts no advertising or other consideration in exchange for a restaurant listing. The editors may add or delete restaurants based on their judgment. Because of space limitations, all

of the guide’s restaurants may not be included. Many restaurants have changing seasonal menus; dishes listed here are examples of the type of cuisine available and may not be on the menu when you visit. To update listings, e-mail: cmletters@cincinnati magazine.com

KEY: No checks unless specified. AE American Express, DC Diners Club DS Discover, MC MasterCard, V Visa MCC Major credit cards: AE, MC, V $ = Under $15 $$$ = Up to $49 $$ = Up to $30 $$$$ = $50 and up Top 10

= Named a Best Restaurant March 2019.

= Named a Best New Restaurant March 2018.

STEAKS 119

sides. Bacon adds savory mystery to crisp corn, green beans, and great northerns (not limas) in the succotash, and the crock of mac and cheese has the perfect proportion of sauce, noodle, and crumb topping. The Eagle OTR seems deceptively simple on the surface, but behind that simplicity is a secret recipe built on deep thought, skill, and love. 1342 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 802-

AMERICAN COZY’S CAFÉ & PUB On a visit to England, Jan Collins discovered the “cozy” atmosphere of London restaurants built in historic houses. She brought that warm, comfortable feeling back to the United States in opening Cozy’s. Though the atmosphere in the restaurant is reminiscent of Collins’s London travels, the food remains proudly American. The produce in virtually every dish is fresh, seasonal, and flavorful. The 12-hour pork shank stands out with its buttery grits and root vegetable hash, along with a portion of tender meat. And when it comes down to the classics, from the biscuits that open the meal to carrot cake at the end, Cozy’s does it right. 6440 Cincinnati Dayton Rd., Liberty Twp., (513) 644-9364, cozyscafeandpub.com. Dinner Tues–Sat, brunch Sat & Sun. $$$

CWC THE RESTAURANT Founded by the sister duo behind the culinary multimedia platform Cooking with Caitlin, this eatery makes comfort food feel a notch more au courant, imbuing a true family-friendly philosophy. Its burgers are topped with a generous ladle of gooey house-made cheddar sauce and served with hand-cut French fries that many a mother will filch from her offspring’s plate. Portions—and flavors—are generous, eliciting that feeling of being royally indulged. Similarly, every item on the Sunday brunch menu virtually dares you to go big or go home. Make a reservation for parties of more than four and plan to be spoiled rotten. Then plan to take a lengthy nap. 1517 Springfield Pke., Wyoming, (513) 407-3947, cwctherestaurant.com. Dinner Fri & Sat, brunch Sun. MCC. $

5007. Lunch and dinner seven days. MCC. $

GREYHOUND TAVERN

NEW YEAR, NEW FOOD The New Year ushered in sudden closing announcements from OTR eateries Kaze and Sartre (named a Best New Restaurant by CM in March 2018). The former, owned by Thunderdome Restaurant Group, which purchased the business last spring, will be reimagined with a new original concept—a move the group said it had planned all along. The latter advised on Facebook to “stay tuned” for a new concept in “early 2020,” but plans had yet to be detailed at press time.

THE EAGLE OTR The revamped post office at 13th and Vine feels cozy but not claustrophobic, and it has distinguished itself with its stellar fried chicken. Even the white meat was pull-apart steamy, with just enough peppery batter to pack a piquant punch. Diners can order by the quarter, half, or whole bird—but whatever you do, don’t skimp on the

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Back in the streetcar days, this roughly 100-yearold roadhouse was at the end of the Dixie Highway line, where the cars turned around to head north. The place was called the Dixie Tea Room then, and they served ice cream. The fried chicken came along in the 1930s, and they’re still dishing it up today. Families and regulars alike pile in on Mondays and Tuesdays for the fried chicken dinner. While the juicy (never greasy) chicken with its lightly seasoned, crisp coating is the star, the side dishes—homemade biscuits, cole slaw, green beans, mashed potatoes, and gravy—will make you ask for seconds. Call ahead no matter what night you choose: There’s bound to be a crowd. Not in the mood for chicken? Choose from steaks, seafood, sandwiches, and comfort food options that include meatloaf and a Kentucky Hot Brown. Or just try the onion rings. You’ll wonder where onions that big come from. 2500 Dixie Highway, Ft. Mitchell, (859) 331-3767, greyhound tavern.com. Lunch and dinner seven days, brunch Sat & Sun. MCC, DS. $$

ORCHIDS AT PALM COURT For a restaurant that can feel like it was preserved in amber around 1920, Orchids has had a few years of rapid change. The current iteration of Orchids is not a reinvention: Executive Chef George Zappas began at the organization in 2006 and has worked as everything from butcher to director of purchasing. As always, there is the service, which has never lost its theatrical flair. Chef Zappas makes many good decisions as he walks a tightrope between generations of diners. First, he has expanded the menu, so there are more three-course options along with lots of small bonus courses, where bigger chances are taken. In entrées, these adventurous touches—ethnic, tropical, intense— are generally confined to the margins, where they help enliven a more traditional palette of flavors,

like the zingy sweet-and-sour mushrooms hidden in a buttery cauliflower soup. 35 W. Fifth St., downtown, (513) 421-9100, orchidsatpalmcourt. com. Dinner seven days. MCC. $$$$

OTTO’S Chef/owner Paul Weckman opened Otto’s, named after his father-in-law, with $300 worth of food and one employee—himself. Weckman’s food is soothing, satisfying, and occasionally, too much of a good thing. His tomato pie is beloved by lunch customers: Vine-ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and chopped green onions packed into a homemade pie shell, topped with a cheddar cheese spread, and baked until bubbly. Weckman’s straightforward preparations are best. The sauteed tilapia in lemon caper butter sauce with fingerling potatoes and roasted asparagus is elegant in its subtlety; an apricotglazed duck breast served with Brussels sprouts and a squash-prosciutto risotto summons the peasant comfort of the French countryside. This is, at its heart, a neighborhood restaurant, a place with its own large, quirky family. 521 Main St., Covington, (859) 491-6678, ottosonmain.com. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner seven days, brunch Sat & Sun. MCC. $$

RED FEATHER KITCHEN Historically peasant-grade cuts of meat get the full Pygmalion treatment at Red Feather in Oakley, where there’s deep respect for the time and tending necessary to bring a short rib, pork chop, or hanger steak to its full potential. After a quick sear to lock in juices, the steak takes a turn in the wood-fired oven. While primal cuts play a leading role, the supporting cast is just as captivating. The hot snap of fresh ginger in the carrot soup was especially warming on a winter evening and the crispy skin on the Verlasso salmon acts as the foil to the plump, rich flesh. Service here only improves the experience. 3200 Madison Rd., Oakley, (513) 407-3631, redfeatherkitchen.com. Dinner Tues–Sun, brunch Sun. MCC. $$

TANO BISTRO Gaetano Williams’s Loveland bistro is comfortable, with reasonably priced food and amenable service. The menu is tidy—25 or so dishes divided between appetizers, salads, and entrées, plus a chalkboard featuring two or three dishes—its flavor profile heavily influenced by a childhood growing up in a third generation Italian family.


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Most of Tano Bistro’s main courses lean toward the comfortable side of American. For instance, Williams serves a wellseasoned and flavorful seared duck and potato-crusted chicken. The simple roast chicken is also worth a trip to Loveland, sweetly moist beneath its crisp bronze skin. 204 W. Loveland Ave., Loveland, (513) 683-8266, foodby tano.com. Dinner seven days. MCC. $$

high on a platter or in a superb crawfish etouffee. But the rockin’ gumbo—a thick, murky brew of andouille sausage, chicken, and vegetables—serves the best roundhouse punch all year round. As soon as you inhale the bouquet and take that first bite, you realize why Cajun style food is considered a high art form and a serious pleasure. And you’ll start planning your return trip. 6302 Licking Pke.,

TELA BAR + KITCHEN

Cold Spring, (859) 781-2200, letseat.at/KnottyPine. Dinner Tues–Sun. MCC, DS. $$

Classically conceived but casually executed comfort food, including mini-Monte Cristo sandwiches with tangy house-made pimento cheese stuffed into sourdough bread and fried crisp, mac and cheese topped with a Mr. Pibb–braised short rib, and steak frites. Servers are slightly scattered, yet enthusiastic and friendly, with a good grasp of the beverage program. 1212 Springfield Pke., Wyoming, (513) 821-8352, telabar andkitchen.com. Lunch and dinner Tues–Sat, brunch Sun. MCC. $$

THE WILDFLOWER CAFÉ

Wildflower Café is not the sort of place that tries to wow anyone with feats of inventiveness. Its formula is simple but satisfying: lots of mostly local meat and produce, a menu that continuously changes with available ingredients, a nice selection of wine and beer, and well-made, homey food. The small, focused menu has a classic American quality (salads, steaks, burgers) with enough surprises to keep things interesting. Many of the dishes are designed with open spaces to be filled with whatever is available in the kitchen that day, an advantage of an unfussy style. You don’t go to Wildflower expecting a certain kind of perfection; you accept that your favorite dish from last time might be made differently tonight, or no longer available. Like the farmhouse that Wildflower occupies, the imperfections are part of the charm. 207 E. Main St., Mason, (513) 492-7514, wildflowergourmetcafe. com. Lunch and dinner Tues–Sat. MCC. $$$

CAJUN/ CARIBBEAN DEE FELICE CAFÉ

To call Dee Felice Café a jazz supper club would be too conventional. Though the waitstaff in white shirt and tie are more formally dressed than most of the diners, the atmosphere is decidedly casual. The music and menu are still true to the original spirit of Emidio DeFelice, a drummer and bandleader who opened the restaurant in 1984 to create a jazz venue that he and his fellow musicians could relax in and enjoy a meal. It made sense to feature cuisine from the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans, and the Cajun and Creole dishes of southern Louisiana still dominate the menu, though there are a few Italian dishes, as well as steaks (the most consistently well-executed dishes on the menu) and salads. The joint is most definitely still jumpin’. 529 Main St., Covington, (859) 261-2365, deefelicecafe.com. Dinner Wed–Mon. MCC, DC, DS. $$

SWAMPWATER GRILL

At first blush, this place is a dive where homesick Cajuns can find a good pile of jambalaya. But thoughtful details like draft Abita Root Beer and char-grilled Gulf Coast oysters on the half shell signal its ambition. Bayou standards like jambalaya, gumbo, and fried seafood also make an appearance. But the extensive menu also features amped up pub-style items for those who may be squeamish about crawfish tails (which can be added to just about anything on the menu). You’ll also find a roundup of oyster, shrimp, and catfish Po’Boys, as well as a selection of hardwoodsmoked meats. 3742 Kellogg Ave., East End, (513) 8347067, swampwatergrill.com. Lunch and dinner Wed–Sun, brunch Fri–Sun. MCC. $$

KNOTTY PINE ON THE BAYOU

The Pine serves some of the best Louisiana home-style food you’ll find this far north of New Orleans. Taste the fried catfish filets with their peppery crust, or the garlic sauteed shrimp with smoky greens on the side, and you’ll understand why it’s called soul food. Between March and June, it’s crawfish season. Get them boiled and heaped

CHINESE AMERASIA

A sense of energetic fun defines this tiny Chinese spot with a robust beer list. The glossy paper menu depicts Master Chef Rich Chu as a “Kung Food” master fighting the evil fast-food villain with dishes like “fly rice,” “Brocco-Lee,” and “Big Bird’s Nest.” Freshness rules. Pot stickers, dumplings, and wontons are hand-shaped. The Dragon’s Breath wontons will invade your dreams. Seasoned ground pork, onion, and cilantro meatballs are wrapped in egg dough, wok simmered, and topped with thick, spicy red pepper sauce and fresh cilantro. Noodles are clearly Chef Chu’s specialty, with zonxon (a tangle of thin noodles, finely chopped pork, tofu, and mushrooms cloaked in spicy dark sauce and crowned with peanuts and cilantro) and Matt Chu’s Special (shaved rice noodle, fried chicken, and seasonal vegetables in gingery white sauce) topping the menu’s flavor charts. 521 Madison Ave., Covington, (859) 261-6121. Lunch Sun–Fri, dinner seven days. MCC. $

7888 S. Mason Montgomery Rd., Mason, (513) 770-3123, sichuanbistro.com. Lunch and dinner Tues–Sun. MCC, DS. $$

SUZIE WONG’S ON MADISON

A few items on the menu resemble those that were once served at Pacific Moon, such as laub gai and Vietnamese rolls, both variations of lettuce wraps. For the laub gai, browned peppery chicken soong (in Cantonese and Mandarin, referring to meat that is minced) is folded into leaf lettuce with stems of fresh cilantro and mint, red Serrano peppers, a squeeze of lime juice, and a drizzle of fish sauce. In the Vietnamese roll version, small cigar-sized rolls stuffed with chicken and shrimp are crisp fried and lettuce wrapped in the same manner. The Pan-Asian menu also includes Korean kalbi (tenderific beef ribs marinated and glazed in a sweet, dark, sesame soy sauce) and dolsat bibimbap, the hot stone bowl that’s a favorite around town. 1544 Madison Rd., East Walnut Hills, (513) 751-3333, suziewongs.com. Lunch Tues–Sat, dinner Tues–Sun. MCC, DS. $$

ECLECTIC

This is the restaurant of your childhood memories: the showy Las Vegas-meets-China decor, the ebulliently comedic host, the chop sueys, chow meins, and crab rangoons that have never met a crab. But behind the giant elephant tusk entryway and past the goldfish ponds and fountains is the genuine hospitality and warmth of the Wong family, service worthy of the finest dining establishments, and some very good food that’s easy on the palate. Best are the fresh fish: salmon, sea bass, and halibut steamed, grilled, or flash fried in a wok, needing little more than the ginger–green onion sauce that accompanies them. Even the chicken lo mein is good. It may not be provocative, but not everyone wants to eat blazing frogs in a hot pot. 317 Buttermilk Pke., Ft. Mitchell, (859) 331-3000; 2444 Madison Rd., Hyde Park, (513) 871-6888, orientalwok.com. Lunch Mon–Fri (Ft. Mitchell; buffet Sun 11–2:30), lunch Tues–Sat (Hyde Park), dinner Mon–Sat (Ft. Mitchell) dinner Tues–Sun (Hyde Park). MCC. $$

THE PACIFIC KITCHEN

The monster of a menu can be dizzying. Ease in with some top-notch Korean Fried Chicken. These slightly bubbly, shatter-crisp wings are painted with a thin gochujang pepper sauce (a foil to the fat). It takes 24 hours to prep the Cantonese duck, between a honey-vinegar brine to dry the skin, a marinade of star anise, bean paste, and soy within the re-sealed cavity, and the crispy convection oven finish. Dolsot bibimbap had plenty of crispy rice at the bottom of the stone bowl, and the accompanying banchan were soothing yet flavorful, especially the strips of lightly pickled cucumber. Even dishes like a Malaysian goat stew resonated with rich, original flavors. 8300 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, (513) 898-1833, thepacific. kitchen. Lunch and dinner seven days; dim sum Sat & Sun. MCC. $$

Like many Chinese restaurants that cater to both mainstream American and Chinese palates, this strip mall gem uses two menus. The real story here is found in dishes of pungent multi-layered flavors that set your mouth ablaze with fermented peppers and fresh chilies and then just as quickly cool it down with the devilish, numbing sensation of hua jiao, Sichuan pepper. Its numbing effect is subtle at first: appetizers of cold sliced beef and tripe, as well as slices of pork belly with a profusion of minced garlic, lean toward the hot and sweet; mapo tofu freckled with tiny fermented black beans and scallions, and pork with pick-

ABIGAIL STREET

From the saffron-infused bouillabaisse to the grilled octopus with merguez sausage, the dishes share strong Middle Eastern roots while remaining entirely individual. As the small dishes fill the table, a fascinating flavor conversation quickly develops. Try the housemade ricotta with thyme, honey, and bread— homey, simple, and yet so deeply satisfying that it’s hard to believe it’s not on every table in town. With brisk and knowledgeable service, consistently excellent wine (try the Paul Dolan sauvignon blanc!), and reasonable prices, this is the place to take out-of-town friends who remain dubious about the city’s restaurant scene. 1214 Vine St., Top 10

ORIENTAL WOK

SICHUAN BISTRO CHINESE GOURMET

led red peppers and strips of ginger root, progress from sweet to pungent to hot to salty—in that order. Alternated with cooling dishes—nibbles of rice, a verdant mound of baby bok choy stir-fried with a shovelful of garlic, refreshing spinach wilted in ginger sauce, a simply sensational tea-smoked duck—the effect is momentarily tempered.

Over-the-Rhine, (513) 421-4040, abigailstreet.com. Dinner Tues–Sat. MCC, DS. $$ Top 10

BAUER EUROPEAN FARM KITCHEN

A little off the beaten path, this restaurant serves traditional-sized entrées, but its menu is dominated by smaller plates, meant to be shared. The primary ingredient here is time: The cook takes cheap, less desirable cuts of meat, plus fresh, plentiful, in-season vegetables, and then adds time and natural processes to make them delicious—think fermentation, curing, and braising. The restaurant aims to get most of its vegetables and meat from within 25 miles. Its spaetzle gratin—like a dreamy, half-dissolved mac-and-cheese—and currywurst paired with potato salad and housemade sauerkraut bring us back to our German roots. 435 Elm St., downtown, (513) 621-8555, bauercincinnati.com. Dinner Tues–Sat. MCC. $$$

BOCA

While the food and service remain in the spotlight year after year, Boca’s setting makes you feel like the star of the show. Nickel-thin double-fried pommes soufflés and a glass of Txakolina rosé or a frothy Estate Sale cocktail are a perfect overture while savoring Boca’s seasonal menu. Cacio e pepe risotto, a twist on Rome’s classic pasta dish, is full of savory pecorino and black pepper heat, but notes of mint and sweet pea ring through. Plank-cooked sea bass arrives tender and flaky beneath perfectly crisp skin. Bavette con bottarga, ribbons of pasta topped with salty dried fish roe, hits the umami button with robust flavor and subtle spice. 114 Top 10

E. Sixth St., downtown, (513) 542-2022, bocacincinnati.com. Dinner Mon–Sat. MCC, DS. $$$

BOUQUET RESTAURANT AND WINE BAR

Cozy, off the beaten path, and with a menu touched with a lovable Southern drawl, right down to the bourbon-

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centric cocktails, it verily announces “Come on back, y’all.” You definitely want to start with the “motherboard,” a selection of five cheeses, four cured meats, and plenty of accompaniments— stuffed peppadews, warm olives, mustards, jams, pistachio relish, and seven (!) types of pickles. Expect the highest quality cuts and wedges, all knowledgeably identified by the cheerful and attentive staff. Favorites include forest ham from Louisville’s Woodlands Pork, smoked picnic ham from Eckerlin Meats, and cheeses from Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese near Bowling Green, Kentucky. Wild-caught blue catfish from Western Kentucky’s Lake Barkley had a meatier texture and stronger flavor than your average bottom dweller, and the sorghum-glazed Marksbury Farm pork belly was juicy and surprisingly light. 519 Main St., Covington, (859) 491-7777, bouquetrestaurant.com. Dinner Mon–Sat. MCC, DS. $$

BRANCH

ROARING TWENTIES Nearly a year after the closing of Molly Wellmann’s Myrtle’s Punch House in East Walnut Hills, a new cocktail lounge opened January 2 in the space at the corner of Woodburn and Myrtle avenues. Dubbed Twenties, the bar’s concept is a nod to the roaring twenties and the past century of cocktail culture, with an emphasis on local distilleries and brewers. facebook.

com/twentiescincy

Located in a huge Art Deco building, formerly a bank, Branch has taken this potentially cavernous and impersonal space and made it intimate. Diners might recognize the vibe from this restaurant group’s first venture, Northside’s The Littlefield. The chef, Shoshannah Anderson, cooks in a mode that we would call “international home-style,” taking inspiration from the comfort food of many cultures. It maintains a balance between cooking to a higher price point and creating an atmosphere of refinement without losing the informal neighborhood feel. The shrimp and grits—served soupy in a big bowl with an addictively sweet-and-sour green tomato marmalade swirled into the creamy grits—are taken surprising heights. Another notable item is a dish that wouldn’t normally get a mention in a review: the french fries. They demonstrate that food that is usually mindlessly inhaled can be worth savoring if it is made with enough love. 1535 Madison Rd., East Walnut Hills, (513) 221-2702, eatatbranch.com. Dinner Mon–Sun, brunch Sat & Sun. MCC. $$

COMMONWEALTH BISTRO Everything from the old jukebox by the entrance to the sepia-toned rabbit-and-pheasant wallpaper exudes an appreciation for the antique. But rather than duplicating old recipes, Covington’s Commonwealth uses history as a springboard to create something elegant and original. Two dishes get at what makes this place special: biscuits and fried rabbit. Their biscuit, served with tart quince butter, is perfection— moist and flaky, without being coat-your-throat buttery or crumble-to-ash dry. The rabbit is crisp, light, and not at all greasy, with just the right touch of seasoning and a bright biz baz sauce, a cilantro and garlic sauce of Somali origin that tastes like a creamy salsa verde. Brunch offers the same sort of mashup, including salsa verde pork with pickled jalapeño grits made creamy with the yolk of a 75-degree egg and a smoky, spicy, not too salty Bloody Mary. 621 Main St., Covington, (859) 916-6719, commonwealthbistro. com. Dinner Tues–Sun, Brunch Sat & Sun. MCC. $$

CROWN REPUBLIC GASTROPUB What makes Crown Republic special isn’t its handful of outstanding dishes. It’s the place’s sheer consistency. No single dish is absolutely mindblowing or completely original, but when almost everything that comes out is genuinely tasty, the service is always friendly and attentive, and (stop the presses!) the bill is quite a bit less than you expected, you sit up and pay attention. The crab and avocado toast, served on grilled bread with lime juice and slivers of pickled Fresno chiles, is a prime example of what makes Crown Republic tick. The cocktails are equally unfussy and good, like the Tipsy Beet, made with vodka, housemade beet shrub, cucumber, mint, and citrus peel. Crown Republic has a mysterious quality that I can only

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describe as “good energy.”

720 Sycamore St., downtown, (513) 246-4272, crgcincy.com. Lunch and dinner Tues–Sat. MCC. $$

501 Race St., downtown, (513) 421-6482, mitas. co. Dinner Mon–Sat. MCC. $$$

E+O KITCHEN

Park, (513) 832-1023, eokitchen.com. Lunch and dinner seven days. MCC. $$

Muse fills such a needed niche. Very few establishments offer a decent selection of vegan and gluten-free options; Muse not only has these dishes but they’re some of the strongest items on the menu. The restaurant’s philosophy is a version of Hippocrates’s famous remark that you should let food be your medicine and medicine be your food. In practice this means that Muse sources from local farms, serves mostly grassfed beef, has several vegan options, and puts lots of fresh veggies on the side (and sometimes the center) of the plate. In vegan dishes, flavor and depth are developed in creative ways, like in the stuffed charred leeks, where the tube of the leek is hollowed out and filled with a sweet and savory mix of raisins and cashew cream, combining beautifully with the smoky char of the leeks and a vegan Worcestershire foam. 1000 Delta Ave.,

THE LITTLEFIELD

Mt. Lookout, (513) 620-8777, musemtlookout.com. Lunch and Dinner Wed–Sat brunch Sun. MCC. $$

The former Beluga space comes alive with a menu that conjoins minimalist Asian with gutsycum-earthy Latin. The results are hit-or-miss: while guacamole was pointlessly studded with edamame, the pork belly buns are especially tender. Taco plates are a safe bet, with the “sol” pastor—pineapple coupled with Korean kimchi, bulgogi pork, and cilantro—hitting all the right notes. More adventurous palates may opt for the nuanced ramen—the pork and soy broth teeming with cuts of both pork belly and slow-cooked shoulder, while a superbly poached egg lingers at the edge, awaiting its curtain call. Service is friendly but tends to sputter when it comes to the basics of hospitality. 3520 Edwards Rd., Hyde

Inside a modest 1,500 square-foot space on Spring Grove, just south of Hamilton Avenue, at least 70-odd bourbons behind the bar drive this little restaurant’s philosophy. The menu is meant to be limited, the better to support and celebrate the bottled flavors up front. There are surprises: a faint hint of curry powder deepens the moody cauliflower fritters; skewered golf-balls of mild, peppery ground lamb get a faint crust from the final sear. You’ll also want to order the brisket. Applewood-smoked then braised, the meat maintains just enough fat to stay soft, and the earthy, smoky-sweet flavor comes with a patentleather char to remind you of the caramelized nuances in your glass. The signature pot pie is lighter than most, more like a hearty (read: lots of white and dark meat) soup than a fricassee held captive within a flaky crust. 3934 Spring

MUSE

PLEASANTRY

Grove Ave., Northside, (513) 386-7570, littlefieldns. com. Lunch Mon–Sat, dinner seven days, brunch Sun. V, MC. $

With only 40 seats inside, Daniel Souder and Joanna Kirkendall’s snug but spare OTR gem—they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner like a true neighborhood spot—features an engaging wine program aimed at broadening your palate alongside small plates that are equally ambitious. Classic technique and fresh produce anchor an approachable menu—“everything” biscuits with cured salmon, burgers, and chicken salad sandwiches are available at lunch, and the cauliflower with sambal is a comforting mash-up of a rich cauliflower-and-coconut-cream schmear topped with a head of sambal-roasted cauliflower, grapefruit segments, toasted cashews, and cilantro. This is not to say that the proteins aren’t something special. Traditionally a much less expensive cut, the small hanger steak was decidedly tender, served with braised cippolini onions and sauteed mushrooms. 118 W. 15th St.,

THE MERCER

Over-the-Rhine, (513) 381-1969, pleasantryotr.com. Dinner Tues–Sat, brunch Fri–Sun. MCC. $

This Vine Street spot is the brainchild of Jon Zipperstein, owner of the steak and sushi mainstay Embers in Kenwood. The Mercer proves admirably that comforting staples—when prepared with precision and served with warmth—can send even the most curmudgeonly diner off fat and happy. Take the short ribs. Many places do a great short rib, but these are lovely, dutifully seared, braised slow and low until tender, and not overwhelmed by fatty gravy. It’s the polenta that really launches this dish into high orbit, the quicksand texture that ever-so-slowly absorbed the braising liquid, still suggestive of root vegetable sweetness. For dessert, try the savory cheesecake. It’s criminally rich, and worth saving room for the unique mix of four cheeses: blue, goat, cream, and ricotta. The slice relies on compressed grapes, crumbs of rosemary-infused walnut cookie crust and drops of a port and pear reduction to offer just a hint of sweet. 1324 Vine

Please began as a series of pop-up dinners created by chef-owner Ryan Santos. The menu is divided into four courses: cold appetizers, hot appetizers, main courses, and dessert. Much of Please’s inventiveness rises from its focus on local ingredients. There is a painterly sense in the composition of their dishes that rivals any restaurant in the city. And like all dyed-in-the-wool creatives, Santos and crew are constantly innovating and updating. (Which means the menu is constantly changing, so the dishes mentioned here are merely examples.) Take the plate of de Puy lentils with beets and white asparagus. The beet was sliced into thin sheets and rolled into tubes with the lentils inside. Each roll could be eaten in a single elegant bite, the dark, earthy lentils surrounded by the sweetness of the beets. 1405 Clay St.,

St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 421-5111, themercerotr. com. Dinner Tues–Sun. MCC. $$

Over-the-Rhine, (513) 405-8859, pleasecincinnati. com. Dinner Wed–Sat. MCC. $$$

Top 10

MITA’S

By day, Mita’s feels smart, sophisticated, and oh-so big city. But by night, she’s something altogether different. Paper-thin slices of acorn-fed Iberico ham slowly melt on your tongue, as you struggle to decide between the boldly hued pozole verde or the paella for two. In the meantime, your dining companion is waxing effusive over a surprisingly simple salad of jicama, mango, and watercress with cilantro vinaigrette. Chef-owner Jose Salazar’s sophomore effort has been a runaway success (and garnered plenty of James Beard award attention), bringing us back with hyper-fresh flavors so pure that dinner feels simultaneously virtuous and decadent.

Top 10

PLEASE

SACRED BEAST Sacred Beast advertises itself as a kind of upscale diner, but the real gems are the oddball dishes that don’t quite fit the diner mold. The menu can be disorienting in its eclecticism: foie gras torchon is next to shrimp fries, and a haute cuisine watermelon salad with piped puffs of avocado mousse is next to a diner breakfast and deviled eggs. Winners are scattered throughout the menu in every category. On the cocktail list, the Covington Iced Tea, a lemon and coffee concoction made with cold brew, San Pellegrino, and vodka is oddly satisfying. The service is good, and there is some flair about the place—including vintage touches, from the facsimile reel-to-reel


audio system to the mostly classic cocktails—even within its rather chilly industrial design. In short, go for the late night grub; stay for the elegant, shareable twists on classic snacks. 1437 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 213-2864, sacredbeastdiner.com. Lunch, dinner, and late night seven days. MCC. $$

SALAZAR

A freewheeling tour through Korean, Moroccan, Italian, and French flavors—and that’s just on one iteration of the ever-evolving menu. Salazar turns out fresh, well-balanced dishes dotted with seasonal surprises: the cauliflower steak special (a Moroccan spiced, seared wedge of the cruciferous vegetable complemented by a strong hit of lemon), the chicken liver mousse (so good it deserves its own trophy), and the succulent chicken Milanese (with its musky, sweetand-sour notes of ground cherry). With its bustling bar and cheek-by-jowl tables, Salazar hums with energy at every meal. 1401 Republic St., Over-the-Rhine, (513)

H I S TORY • A RT • COM MU N IT Y

621-7000, salazarcincinnati.com. Lunch Thurs–Fri, dinner Mon–Sat, brunch Sat & Sun. MCC. $$

SENATE

Ever since it began dishing out its lo-fi eats, Chef Dan Wright’s gastropub has been operating at a velocity few can match. From the howl and growl of supremely badass hot dogs to the palate-rattling poutine, Senate has led the charge in changing the local conventional wisdom about what makes a great restaurant. Consumption of mussels charmoula means either ordering additional grilled bread to soak up every drop of the herby, saffron-laced broth or drinking the remainder straight from the bowl and perfectly crisped and seasoned fries inspire countless return visits. 1212 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine (513) 421-2020, senatepub. com; 1100 Summit Place Dr., Blue Ash, (513) 769-0099, senateblueash.com. Lunch and dinner Tues–Sat. (Blue Ash only: Brunch, lunch, and dinner Sun.) MC, V, DS. $

FRENCH CHEZ RENÉE FRENCH BISTROT

Based on American stereotypes of French food—that it’s elaborate, elitist, and expensive—one might expect Chez Renee to fall on the chichi side. Instead, it’s elegant in an everyday way, operating on the principle that it is better to excel at simplicity than to badly execute something complicated. The formula is not complex: Simple ingredients, generally fresh and from nearby, prepared without much fuss. Asparagus is beautifully roasted and perfectly salted, and the quiche Lorraine (yes, the old standby) has a nice, firm texture, and a fine balance of bacon, mushrooms, and oignons (to quote the menu, which is a charming hodgepodge of French and English). This is solid, tasty food, both approachable and well executed. It’s well on its way to becoming, as a good bistrot should be, a neighborhood institution. 233 Main St., Milford, (513) 428-0454, chezreneefrenchbistrot.com. Lunch and dinner Tues–Sat. MCC. $$

LE BAR A BOEUF

Jean-Robert de Cavel’s upscale alterna-burger-shack features bifteck haché, ground beef patties that are a mainstay of French family dinners, according to de Cavel. His “Les Ground Meat” is available in beef, Wagyu beef, bison, lamb, and fish (a blend of albacore tuna and salmon). Portions are eight ounces, taller than a typical burger, and seared on the kitchen’s iron griddle. It’s easy to turn many of the generously portioned appetizers into dinner. Pair the open-faced beef tongue “French Dip” sandwich with a spinach salad and you’ll have one of the best choices in the house. Or go for mac-and-cheese. The lobster mac always sounds lush, but do consider the humble beef cheek version, enlivened by a touch of truffle oil, instead.

An urban retreat in downtown Cincinnati, the Taft offers enjoyment for all ages with special events, an award-winning café, and a world-renowned art collection in our beautiful historic home.

Experience the Taft:

taftmuseum.org Season Funder

Operating Support

Free Sundays

ABOVE RIGHT: Rembrandt van Rijn, Portrait of a Man Rising from His Chair (detail), 1633, oil on canvas. Taft Museum of Art, 1931.409

2200 Victory Pkwy., East Walnut Hills, (513) 751-2333, barboeuf.com. Dinner Tues–Sat. MCC. $$

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Top 10

RESTAURANT L

From the moment you enter Restaurant L’s luxurious, silvery cocoon, you want for nothing—even your handbag gets its own tufted perch—with the staff geared to anticipate your every desire. Unbidden, an amuse-bouche arrives, an inspired combination of sassafras, fennel, and grapes that signals to your palate what your eyes have already registered: Somebody—no, everybody—here loves me. Sweet, succulent Jonah crab, tender squab with beurre rouge sauce, flaky snapper and silky foie gras are given seasonal treatment by Jean-Robert de Cavel, who is in full command in the kitchen while Richard Brown holds sway in the dining room. 301 Fourth St., downtown, (513) 760-5525, lcin cinnati.com. Lunch Fri, dinner Tues–Sat. MCC. $$$$

INDIAN AMMA’S KITCHEN

WITH THE GRAIN Celebrity chef and Louisville-based restaurateur Edward Lee (star of season three of Emmy Award–winning PBS series The Mind of a Chef) is partnering with Cincinnatitrained, Louisvillebased chef Kevin Ashworth to open Khora within the forthcoming Kinley Hotel at the corner of West Seventh and Race streets. Serving a menu focused on pasta made with ancient grains, the restaurant and hotel are slated to open this summer.

Muthu “Kumar” Muthiah serves traditional southern Indian and Indo-Chinese vegetarian cuisine, but with a sizable Orthodox Jewish community nearby, Muthia saw an opportunity: If he was going to cook vegetarian, why not also make it kosher? Muthiah prepares every item— from the addictively crunchy gobhi Manchurian, a spicy Chinese cauliflower dish, to the lemon pickle, tamarind, and mint sauces—entirely from scratch under the careful eye of Rabbi Michoel Stern. Always 80 percent vegan, the daily lunch buffet is 100 percent animal-product-free on Wednesdays. Tuck into a warm and savory channa masala (spiced chickpeas) or malai kofta (vegetable dumplings in tomato sauce) from the curry menu. Or tear into a crispy, two-foot diameter dosa (chickpea flour crepe) stuffed with spiced onions and potatoes. 7633 Reading Rd., Roselawn, (513) 821-2021, ammaskitchen.com. Lunch buffet seven days (all-vegan on Wed), dinner seven days. MC, V, DS. $

BOMBAY BRAZIER Indian food in America is hard to judge, because whether coming from the kitchen of a takeout joint or from a nicer establishment, the food will rarely taste all that different. It will generally be some twist on Punjabi cuisine. Bombay Brazier does it just right. Chef Rip Sidhu could serve his tadka dal in India, along with several other extraordinary dishes, and still do a roaring business—and this is not something that can be said of most Indian establishments in America. Try the papdi chaat, a common Indian street food rarely found on American menus, and you will see what sets this place apart. They do everything the way it is supposed to be done, from the dusting of kala namak (a pungent black rock salt) on the fried crisps to the mixture of tamarind and mint chutneys on the chopped onion, tomatoes, and chickpeas—having this dish properly made is balm to the soul of a homesick immigrant, and fresh treasure for any American lover of this cuisine. 7791 Cooper Rd., #5, Montgomery, (513) 794-0000, bombaybraziercincy.com. Dinner Mon–Sat. MCC. $$$

BRIJ MOHAN Order at the counter the way you might at a fast food joint, except the shakes come in mango and there’s no super-sizing your mint lassi. The saag, full of cream in most northern Indian restaurants, is as intensely flavored as collard greens in the Deep South—real Punjabi soul food. Tarka dal is spectacular here, the black lentils smoky from charred tomatoes and onions, and the pani puri, hollow fried shells into which you spoon a peppery cold broth, burst with tart cool crunch. Follow the spice with soothing ras malai, freshly made cheese simmered in thick almond-flavored milk, cooled and

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sprinkled with crushed pistachios. 11259 Reading Rd., Sharonville, (513) 769-4549, brijmohancincin nati.com. Lunch and dinner Tues–Sun. MC, V, DC. $

I TA L I A N BETTA’S ITALIAN OVEN This Italian place hits the spot on all levels. It’s casual—we felt at home in jeans and a T-shirt—but not so casual to rule it out as a date-night spot. It’s friendly, with a staff that stays on top of refilling that Morretti La Rossa beer. And best of all, the food is amazing (especially for the price). We ranked their pizza the best in the city. Dubious? Their pizza Margherita will make a believer out of you. Their lasagna, spaghetti, and eggplant Parmesan will have you crying Mama Mia and other Italian-sounding phrases. Their dessert options (Cannoli! Tiramisu! Amaretto cream cake!) are all homemade, and delicious to the very last bite. 3764 Montgomery Rd., Norwood, (513) 631-6836. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Mon–Sat. MC, V. $$

FORNO Cristian Pietoso’s second restaurant has all the bones of an upscale eatery, but the menu is infused with enough Italian soul to make nonna proud. In most instances, raving about a side of creamed corn wouldn’t bode well for the rest of the menu. Here, that side dish—kernels swimming in a pool of truffle-laced heavy cream that demands sopping up—is evidence that each component prepared by chef de cuisine Stefano Carne is purpose-driven. The red wine–braised honeycomb tripe, which carries a warning label (“Don’t be scared!”), and the pappardelle with spiced cinghiale (wild boar) ragu are examples of the elevated, adventurous comfort food that Pietoso strives for. 3514 Erie Ave., East Hyde Park, (513) 818-8720, fornoosteriabar.com. Dinner Tues–Sun, brunch Sun. MCC. $$

NICOLA’S Chef Jack Hemmer’s sophisticated comfort food reinventions have made Nicola’s a special place. Neither as traditional as Sotto nor as avant garde as some of the city’s other fine dining establishments, the new Nicola’s has settled into its own indispensable niche. Some things about the menu, Hemmer points out, will never change— nor should they: the basket of delicate housemade breads; classics like the gnocchi, the goat cheese salad, and the tagliatelle alla Bolognese. Of his creations, tuna crudo is a classic Italian antipasto, but Hemmer takes it in a surprising, almost Vietnamese direction. Bagna càuda hits a deep, rich note that is softened by dill crème to make a lovely broth for arctic char. Smoky and nutty charred Jerusalem artichokes are complemented by buttery shiitake mushrooms and a luscious corn flan. The ability to balance all these elements—sweet and sour, crisp and smooth, mild and intense—makes each of these dishes a panorama of technique. 1420 Sycamore St., Pendleton, (513) 721-6200, nicolasotr.com. Dinner Mon–Sat. MCC, DC, DS. $$$

PRIMAVISTA Besides offering the old world flavors of Italy, Primavista also serves up a specialty no other restaurant can match: a bird’s eye view of Cincinnati from the west side. The kitchen is equally comfortable with northern and southern regional specialties: a Venetian carpaccio of paper thin raw beef sparked by fruity olive oil; house-made fresh mozzarella stuffed with pesto and mushrooms; or artichoke hearts with snails and mushrooms in a creamy Gorgonzola sauce from Lombardy. Among the classics, nothing is more restorative than the pasta e fagioli, a hearty soup of cannellini, ditali pasta, and bacon.

Most of the pastas are cooked just a degree more mellow than al dente so that they soak up the fragrant tomato basil or satiny cream sauces. The fork-tender osso buco Milanese, with its marrowfilled center bone and salty-sweet brown sauce (marinara and lemon juice), is simply superb. Desserts present further problems; you’ll be hard-pressed to decide between the house-made tiramisu or bread pudding with caramel sauce, marsala soaked raisins, and cream. 810 Matson Pl., Price Hill, (513) 251-6467, pvista.com. Dinner Tues–Sun. MCC, DC, DS. $$ Top 10

SOTTO

Rustic textures and approachable presentations are juxtaposed with sublime flavors in dishes like the tartare di fassone (beef tartar with lemon and bread crumbs) and housemade blood sausage with squash and mustard greens. For hearty appetites, there’s the one-kilo Bistecca Fiorentina, a massive porterhouse that arrives on a sizzling platter, but we recommend the small plates: the ethereally smooth chicken liver mousse, the grilled quail with seasonal vegetable, and the short rib cappellacci with thyme and browned butter. Only the most strict teetotalers will want to skip the wine. Grab a glass of Gavi or split a bottle of Vajra barolo with someone special. 118 E. Sixth St., downtown, (513) 977-6886, sottocincinnati.com. Lunch Mon– Fri, dinner seven days. MCC, DS. $$

J A PA N E S E ANDO You don’t go just anywhere to dine on uni sashimi (sea urchin) or tanshio (thinly sliced charcoalgrilled beef tongue). Don’t miss the rich and meaty chyu toro (fatty big-eye tuna), or the pucker-inducing umeshiso maki (pickled plum paste and shiso leaf roll). Noodles are also well represented, with udon, soba, or ramen options available. And don’t forget to ask about the specials; owners Ken and Keiko Ando always have something new, be it oysters, pork belly, or steamed monkfish liver, a Japanese delicacy that you’ll be hard-pressed to find in any of those Hyde Park pan-Asian wannabes. The only thing you won’t find here is sake, or any other alcohol. Bring your own, or stick to the nutty and outright addicting barley tea. 5889 Pfeiffer Rd., Blue Ash, (513) 791-8687, andojapaneserestaurant. com. Lunch Tues–Thurs, dinner Tues–Sun. MCC. $$$

KYOTO Owner Jason Shi seems to know everybody’s name as he chats up diners, guiding them through the extensive sushi and sashimi menu. Five young sushi chefs, all part of Shi’s family, work at light speed behind the bar, a choreography backlit by rows of gleaming liquor bottles. Dinner proceeds with glorious chaos as a feisty Carla Tortelli–like server delivers one dish after another—slivers of giant clam on ice in a supersized martini glass, a volcanic tower of chopped fatty tuna hidden inside overlapping layers of thin avocado slices, smoky grilled New Zealand mussels drizzled with spicy mayo, and delicate slices of a samurai roll—all between shots of chilled sake. 12082 Montgomery Rd., Symmes Twp., (513) 583-8897, kyotosushibar.com. Lunch and dinner seven days. MCC. $$

MEI Mei’s menu is meant to represent traditional Japanese cuisine, appealing to the novice as well as the sushi maven. It is divided into sections that encourage a progressive meal of small dishes: One each for hot and cold appetizers, noodles, sushi and sashimi, special rolls, soups and salads, sushi dinners (with miso soup), and combinations


(such as tempura paired with sashimi). Deep-fried soft shell crab comes with ponzu sauce—a dipping sauce made of rice vinegar, soy sauce, mirin, and citrus juice—and the kind of yakitori that you can find on the streets of New York. Bento boxes—lacquered wooden boxes divided into compartments—offer the neophyte a sampling of several small dishes. Mei’s are lovely: deep red and stocked with tempura, cooked salmon, sashimi, stewed vegetables, and a fabulous egg custard with shrimp and gingko nut. Mei’s sushi—nigiri, maki, and handrolls—is exceptionally good with quality cuts of fresh seafood. The staff is knowledgeable, extremely efficient, respectful, and attentive, even when it’s at peak capacity. 8608 Market Place Lane,

assorted small bites aimed at cutting the heat—steamed broccoli, pickled radishes, soy-sauce-marinated tofu, panfried fish cake, and housemade kimchi. Korean barbecue staple osam bulgogi—one of only two items meriting a three pepper rating—swiftly clears sinuses with a flavorful duo of pork belly and squid lashed with Korean red pepper paste and served on a sizzling skillet. The two-pepper kimchi jjigae stew marries fermented Korean cabbage with hunks of tofu and shards of pork in a bubbling tomato-based broth. Make sure to order a bowl of the bone noodle soup for the table—a comforting combination of thick noodles and bits of flank steak floating in a umami-rich marrow broth that magically soothes the burn. 7876 Mason-Montgomery Rd.,

Montgomery, (513) 891-6880, meijapaneserestaurant.com. Lunch and dinner seven days. MCC, DS. $$

Mason, (513) 204-3456, surakorean.com. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat. MCC. $$

Top 10

MIYOSHI

For too long, Japanese cuisine in America has meant miso soup, sushi and sashimi, and various grilled meats with teriyaki sauce. Yes, you can get excellent versions of all of these at Miyoshi, but what makes this restaurant truly special is the revelation of the true panorama of Japanese cuisine. From ochazuke (tea soup) with umeboshi (a salty-sour pickled plum) to shime saba, marinated mackerel in a delicately pickle-y broth of cucumber and vinegar, there are a dozen items not seen elsewhere. Anyone who enjoys sushi or miso broth has built the foundation to appreciate the rest of this cuisine. Cha soba, green tea noodles with shredded seaweed, chopped scallions, and a sweet and soupy broth, has a satisfying umami note, even served cold, and a pleasing bite with wasabi mixed in. The kinoko itame, sauteed shiitake and enoki mushrooms, is surprisingly buttery and sweet, showing a voluptuous quality rarely associated with this tradition, but a perfect counterpoint to the more austere offerings. 8660 Bankers St., Florence, (859) 525-6564, miyoshirestaurant.com. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat. MCC. $$$

KOREAN HARU After the closing of Sung Korean Bistro, Haru is a welcome addition to the downtown scene. Dishes are served along with the usual Korean accompaniment of pickles, kimchi, fish cakes, and other mysteriously delicious dainties. A favorite is the japchae, a traditional dish sporting silky sweet potato noodles with sesame-and-garlic sauce, matchsticks of assorted crisp vegetables, and behind it all a wonderful smokiness that pervades the whole meal. The accompanying pot of gochujang, a fermented Korean chili paste, adds its own sweet and spicy note. The result is a homey, soulful, and satisfying taste that appeals even to those who’ve never eaten a bite of Korean food before. 628 Vine St., downtown, (513) 381-0947, harucincy. com. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat. MCC. $$

RIVERSIDE KOREAN RESTAURANT Come for the jo gi mae un tang—a bowl of sizzling, happy hellbroth pungent with red pepper, garlic, and ginger, crowded with nuggets of fish, tofu, and vegetables. Come for the restorative power of sam gae tang, a chicken soup for the Seoul—a whole Cornish hen submerged in its own juices and plumped with sticky rice and ginseng, dried red dates, and pine nuts. Revered for their medicinal properties, both dinner-sized soups will leave your eyes glistening and your brow beaded with sweat. They’re a detox for your overindulgence, rejuvenation for when you’re feeling under the weather. Expect crowds on weekends. Expect too, that dozens of them have come for dolsot bibimbap, the hot stone pots filled with layers of rice, vegetables, meat or tofu, egg, and chili paste. Characterized by its electric color and addictive flavors, Riverside Korean’s version is a captivating bowl of heaven. 512 Madison Ave., Covington, (859) 291-1484, riversidekoreanrestaurant.com. Lunch Mon–Fri, dinner seven days. MCC, DS. $$

SURA This traditional Korean oasis has been flying well beneath the radar since 2010. Don’t let the pepper count on the menu deter you. Each entrée arrives with purple rice and

MEDITERRANEAN

STEAKS JAG’S STEAK AND SEAFOOD Chef Michelle Brown’s food is deeply flavored, if occasionally a bit busy, her steaks of the buttery-mild variety, with not too much salty char crust. All seven cuts are served with veal demi-glace and fried onion straws. According to my steak-centric dining partner, his cowboy rib eye is “too tender and uniform” (as if that’s a crime). “I like to wrestle with the bone,” he adds, though that’s a scenario that, thankfully, doesn’t get played out in this subdued dining room. 5980 West Chester Rd., West Chester, (513) 860-5353, jags.com. Dinner Mon–Sat. MCC, DC. $$$

JEFF RUBY’S

CAFÉ MEDITERRANEAN Chef-driven Middle Eastern cuisine leans heavily on Turkish tradition here. The baba ghanoush uses seared eggplant, which adds a pleasant smokiness to the final product. Börek is described as a “Turkish Egg Roll,” wrapping spinach, leeks, and goat cheese into phyllo dough, and baking it to brittle flakiness. The pastry arrives atop a vivid cherry tomato marmalade, which adds a welcome dimension of barely sweet fruitiness. While there is a smooth, simple hummus on the menu, you should go for the classic sucuklu hummus, which is spiked with sujuk, a common beef sausage popular all over the Middle East. 3520 Erie Ave., East Hyde Park, (513) 871-8714, cafe-mediterranean. com. Lunch Mon–Sat, dinner seven days, Lunch Sun. MCC. $$ Top 10

Corner Dr., West Chester, (513) 847-1535, sultanscincin nati.com. Lunch and dinner seven days. MCC, DS. $$

Filled most nights with local scen esters and power brokers (and those who think they are), everything in this urban steakhouse is generous—from the portions to the expert service to the, er, cleavage. White-jacketed waiters with floor-length aprons deliver two-fisted martinis and stacks of king crab legs, or mounds of greens dressed in thin vinaigrettes or thick, creamy emulsions. An occasional salmon or sea bass appears, and there’s a small but decent assortment of land fare. But most customers, even the willowy model types, inhale slabs of beef (dry aged USDA prime) like they’re dining in a crack house for carnivores. The best of these is Jeff Ruby’s Jewel, nearly a pound-and-a-half of bone-in rib eye. This is steak tailor-made for movers and shakers. 700 Walnut St., downtown, (513) 784-1200, jeffruby.com. Dinner Mon–Sat. MCC. $$$$

PHOENICIAN TAVERNA

To eat like a native, get lots of little plates and share. The baba ghanoush, smoky and creamy, is astoundingly good. Those who choose less familiar spreads like the muhammara, made from walnuts, red peppers, and pomegranate molasses, will also be richly rewarded. Whether you’re partial to standbys like falafel or tabbouleh, or willing to venture out a bit (try the tiny pine nut and lamb stuffed sausages called maanek), everything is reliably excellent. And with freshly made pita bread reappearing at the table like a magical maternal encouragement to eat just a little more, it will be hard to stop. 7944 S. Mason-Montgomery Rd., Mason, (513) 770-0027, phoeniciantaverna.com. Lunch Tues–Fri, dinner Tues–Sun. MCC. $$

MORTON’S THE STEAKHOUSE No one has replicated the concept of an expensive boys’ club better than Morton’s. Amid the dark polished woods and white linen, the Riedel stemware and stupendous flower arrangements, assorted suits grapple with double cut filet mignons, 24 ounces of porterhouse, pink shiny slabs of prime rib, overflowing plates of salty Lyonnaise potatoes, or mammoth iceberg wedges frosted with thick blue cheese dressing. Jumbo is Morton’s decree: Oversized martini and wine glasses, ethereal towering lemon soufflés, roomy chairs, and tables large enough for a plate and a laptop. Even steaks billed as “slightly smaller” weigh in at 8 to 10 ounces. 441 Vine St., downtown, (513) 6213111, mortons.com. Dinner seven days. MCC. $$$

SEBASTIAN’S When the wind is just right, you can smell the garlicky meat roasting from a mile away. Watch owner Alex Sebastian tend to the rotating wheels of beef and lamb, and you understand how Greek food has escaped the American tendency to appropriate foreign cuisines. Sebastian’s specializes in gyros, shaved off the stick, wrapped in thick griddle pita with onions and tomatoes, and served with cool tzatziki sauce. Alex’s wife and daughter run the counter with efficient speed, and whether you’re having a crisp Greek salad with house-made dressing, triangles of spanikopita, or simply the best walnut and honey baklava this side of the Atlantic (often made by the Mrs.), they never miss a beat, turning more covers in their tiny deli on one Saturday afternoon than some restaurants do in an entire weekend. 5209 Glenway Ave., Price Hill, (513) 471-2100, sebastiansgyros.com. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat. Cash. $

TONY’S He is a captivating presence, Tony Ricci. Best known for his 30 years in fine dining—including the Jeff Ruby empire while managing the venerable Precinct—Ricci has built a life in the hospitality industry. Much of Tony’s menu is right out of a steakhouse playbook: jumbo shrimp and king crab legs from the raw bar; Caprese, Greek, and Caesar salads; sides of creamed spinach, mac-and-cheese, asparagus, and sautéed mushrooms; toppings of roasted garlic or Gorgonzola butters to accompany your center cut of filet mignon. There are boutique touches, though, that make it stand out—a garlic herb aioli with the calamari, steak tartare torch-kissed and topped with a poached egg, a superb rack of lamb rubbed with aromatic sumac and served with mint pesto. 12110 Montgomery Rd., Symmes Township, (513) 677-8669, tonysofcincinnati.com. Dinner seven days. MCC, DS. $$$$

SULTAN’S MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE The meze, a parade of small plates and appetizers—the refreshing yogurt dish with cucumber, mint, and garlic known as cacik, and its thicker cousin haydari, with chopped walnuts, dill, and garlic—is rounded out with flaky cheese or spinach boureks, falafels, soups, salads, and more, while baked casseroles or stuffed cabbage and eggplant dishes (dubbed “Ottoman specials”) augment the heavy focus on kebabs: chunks of lamb and beef on a vertical spit for the popular Döner kebab (a.k.a. Turkish gyro), peppery ground lamb for the Adana kebab, or cubed and marinated for the Shish kebab. 7305 Tyler’s

CINCINNATI MAGAZINE, (ISSN 0746-8 210), February 2020, Volume 53, Number 5. Published monthly ($14.95 for 12 issues annually) at Carew Tower, 441 Vine St., Suite 200, Cincinnati, OH 45202-2039. (513) 421-4300. Copyright © 2020 by Cincinnati Magazine LLC, a subsidiary of Hour Media Group, 5750 New King Dr, Ste 100, Troy, MI 48098. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or reprinted without permission. Unsolicited manuscripts, photographs and artwork should be accompanied by SASE for return. The magazine cannot be held responsible for loss. For subscription orders, address changes or renewals, write to CINCINNATI MAGAZINE, 1965 E. Avis Dr., Madison Heights, MI 48071, or call 1-866-660-6247. Periodicals postage paid at Cincinnati, Ohio, and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Please send forms 3579 to CINCINNATI MAGAZINE, 1965 E. Avis Dr., Madison Heights, MI 48071. If the Postal Service alerts us that your magazine is undeliverable, we have no further obligation unless we receive a corrected address within one year.

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CINCY OBSCURA

Ceiling Goals ENTERING DIXIE Terminal at 49 E. Fourth St. downtown feels like walking into a Roman basilica—or a really fancy library. At 250 feet long and 25 feet wide, the arcade’s light blue vaulted ceiling is decorated with intricate medallions depicting cherub-like figures dancing, hunting, fishing, and singing. The ornate Art Deco building, dubbed Dixie Terminal North, and its twin sister, Dixie Terminal South, at Third and Walnut streets, were built 99 years ago. The four-story south building served as a streetcar (and later bus) station, through which roughly 100,000 people passed daily; the 10-story north building housed railroad ticket offices, the Cincinnati Street Railway Company, the Cincinnati Stock Exchange, and retail shops. Today, the north building is home to more than 1,200 Great American Insurance Group employees, plus a few retailers. In May 2017, to preserve the historic landmark’s beauty, GAIG’s parent company, American Financial Group, funded a three-month-long restoration to clean and repair the ceiling “using nothing more than Q-Tips, cotton balls, distilled water, and lots of elbow grease!” says AFG Investor Relations Assistant Vice President Diane Weidner. That’s what we call a good steward. — K A T I E C O B U R N

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