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Thread: 36 Hours in Cincinnati - NY Times Article

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    36 Hours in Cincinnati - NY Times Article

    http://travel.nytimes.com/2009/07/19...gewanted=print

    July 19, 2009
    36 Hours in Cincinnati
    By KASSIE BRACKEN

    WITH the quiet momentum of a work in progress, Cincinnati is finding an artsy swagger, infused with a casual combination of Midwest and Southern charm. The city center, for decades rich with cultural and performing arts venues, now offers a renovated Fountain Square area and a gleaming new baseball stadium with views of the Ohio River. Efforts to transcend the damage from several days of race riots in 2001, which nearly decimated the city’s Over-the-Rhine district, are slowly progressing. Transformations are taking place in surrounding areas — as well as across the river in the neighboring Kentucky cities of Newport and Covington — with their cool music venues, funky shopping outlets and smart culinary options.

    Friday

    4 p.m.
    1) TRANQUILLITY AND ETERNITY

    A graveyard may not be the most obvious place to start a trip, but Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum (4521 Spring Grove Avenue; 513-681-7526; (www.springgrove.org/sg/arboretum/arboretum.shtm) is not your average resting place. The arboretum, designed in 1845 as a place for botanical experiments, features 1,200 types of plants artfully arranged around mausoleums and tranquil ponds. Roman- and Greek-inspired monuments bear the names of many of Cincinnati’s most prominent families — Procter, Gamble and Kroger included. Admission and parking are free, and the office provides printed guides and information about the plant collection.

    6 p.m.
    2) WHERE HIPSTERS ROAM

    The Northside district has recently blossomed into a casually hip destination for shopping and night life, particularly along Hamilton Avenue. Vinyl gets ample real estate at Shake It Records (4156 Hamilton Avenue; 513-591-0123; www.shakeitrecords.com), a music store specializing in independent labels; if you can’t find a title among the 40,000 they carry, the owners will track it down for you. For a bite, locals swear by Melt (4165 Hamilton Avenue; 513-681-6358; www.meltnorthside.com), a quirky restaurant friendly to vegans and carnivores alike. Order the Joan of Arc sandwich ($8.45), with blue cheese and caramelized onions atop roast beef, or the hummus-laden Helen of Troy ($6.95), and retreat to the garden.

    9 p.m.
    3) LOCAL BANDS, LOCAL BEER

    Saunter next door to find 20-somethings in skinny jeans mingling with 30-somethings in flip-flops at Northside Tavern (4163 Hamilton Avenue; 513-542-3603; www.northside-tavern.com), the area’s best spot for live music. Sip a pint of Cincinnati’s own Christian Moerlein beer ($3.50) and listen to jazz, blues and acoustic rock acts in the intimate front bar, or head to the back room, where the best local bands take the larger stage. Wind down with a crowd heavy with artists and musicians at the Comet (4579 Hamilton Avenue; 513-541-8900; www.cometbar.com), a noirish dive bar with an impossibly cool selection on its jukebox and top-notch burritos ($5) to satisfy any late-night cravings.

    Saturday

    9:30 a.m.
    4) THE AEROBIC ARABESQUE

    The fiberglass pigs in tutus that greet you outside the Cincinnati Ballet (1555 Central Parkway; 513-621-5219; www.cincinnatiballet.com) might indicate otherwise, but don’t be fooled: the Ballet’s Open Adult Division program is a great place to get lean. Start your Saturday with a beginning ballet class (90 minutes, $14), as a company member steers novices through basic movements. More experienced dancers might try the one-hour Rhythm and Motion class, which combines hip-hop, modern and African dance. Regulars know the moves, so pick a spot in the back and prepare to sweat.

    11:30 a.m.
    5) A BRIDGE TO BRUNCH

    If John Roebling’s Suspension Bridge looks familiar, you might be thinking of his more famous design in New York. (Cincinnati’s version opened in 1867, almost two decades before the Brooklyn Bridge.) The pedestrian-friendly span over the Ohio River provides terrific views of the skyline. Cross into Covington, Ky., and walk about two blocks to Greenup Café (308 Greenup Street; 859-261-3663; greenupcafe.com), a homey outpost that offers a hearty brunch in vibrant parlor rooms. Traditional dishes like eggs Benedict ($9.75) and quiche Lorraine ($8.75) are expertly rendered; try a side of goetta ($3), a mixture of ground pork and oats brought to Cincinnati by German immigrants.

    2 p.m.
    6) TRACING A LEGACY

    The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (50 East Freedom Way; 513-333-7500; www.freedomcenter.org; adult ticket, $9 until the end of summer) is a dynamic testament to Cincinnati’s place in the antislavery movement. Multimedia presentations, art displays and interactive timelines trace the history of the global slave trade as well as 21st-century human trafficking. Leave time for the genealogy center, where volunteers assist individuals with detailed family searches.

    4 p.m.
    7) REVISITING NEWPORT VICE

    For decades, Cincinnatians scoffed at their Kentucky neighbors, but that has been changing in the last few years with the revitalization of Newport’s waterfront and historic housing district. Still, relics of the town’s vice-filled past remain. For a taste, head to Sin City (822-824 Monmouth Street; 859-291-8486; www.sincityantiques.com), an antiques store that features grainy black-and-white stills of police raids dating from Newport’s heyday as the “other Las Vegas.” Inside, 27 vendors sell Victorian to mid-20th-century collectibles. York St Café (738 York Street, entrance on Eighth Street; 859-261-9675; www.yorkstonline.com), an 1880s-era apothecary, has been transformed into a three-story restaurant, music and art space, where wood shelves are stocked with kitschy memorabilia. Bistro fare includes the Mediterranean Board (an array of shareable appetizers; $18) and a delicate fresh halibut with spinach and artichoke ($23). Leave room for the excellent homemade desserts, including the strawberry buttermilk cake ($5).

    7 p.m.
    8) STAGE TO STAGE

    Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park (962 Mount Adams Circle; 513-421-3888; www.cincyplay.com), which won a 2004 Tony Award for best regional theater and celebrates its 50th anniversary next season, offers splendid vistas of Mount Adams and a solid theatergoing experience. A lesser-known but equally engaging option can be found at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (Corry Boulevard; 513-556-4183; www.ccm.uc.edu). Students dreaming of Lincoln Center perform in full-scale productions like “Batboy” and “The Barber of Seville.” Though main stage tickets are $26 to $28, studio shows are free; check the online calendar for showtimes and locations.

    10 p.m.
    9) BALLROOM BLISS

    Head back to Newport’s Third Street and its bars and clubs — the best of which, Southgate House, is set in an 1814 Victorian mansion that resembles a haunted fraternity (24 East Third Street, Newport; 859-431-2201; www.southgatehouse.com). It hosts local and national acts dabbling in everything from bluegrass to death metal. On a typical Saturday night, music fans of all ages and sensibilities roam the three venues: an intimate parlor room, a laid-back lounge and a ballroom with a capacity of 600. There is no cover charge for lounge shows; tickets for parlor and ballroom shows are usually $5 to $25.

    Sunday

    9 a.m.
    10) REBIRTH OF NEIGHBORHOOD

    As the epicenter of 19th-century German immigrant society, the neighborhood known as Over-the-Rhine once teemed with breweries, theaters and social halls. Though the area fell into disrepair, and parts remain rough around the edges, an $80 million revitalization effort has slowly brought back visitors. Walk down Main Street between 12th and 15th Streets for local artists’ galleries and the Iris BookCafe (1331 Main Street; 513-381-2665), a serene rare-book shop with an outdoor sculpture garden. A few blocks away, Vine Street between Central Parkway and 13th Street offers new boutiques including the craft shop MiCA 12/v (1201 Vine Street; 513-421-3500; www.shopmica.com), which specializes in contemporary designers like Jonathan Adler and Kenneth Wingard.

    1 p.m.
    11) DESIGNS TO BRING HOME

    Before heading home, find inspiring décor at HighStreet (1401 Reading Road; 513-723-1901; www.highstreetcincinnati.com), a spacious and sleek design store. The owners have carefully composed a cosmopolitan mix of textiles, clothing and jewelry by New York and London designers as well as local artists, showcased in a creatively appointed space. A free cup of freshly brewed red flower tea makes it all the more inviting.

    THE BASICS

    Delta and Continental have nonstop flights from Newark Liberty International Airport, starting at $277, according to a recent online search, and Delta has a nonstop flight from La Guardia, starting at $341. Downtown Cincinnati is a 25-minute drive from the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport. A rental car is recommended; parking is available on the street and at numerous garages.

    The Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza (35 West Fifth Street; 513-421-9100; www.hilton.com), a national historic landmark, is in the Art Deco Carew Tower. It has 561 renovated guest rooms; standard rate for a double room starts at $129.

    The Westin Cincinnati (21 East Fifth Street; 513-621-7700; www.starwoodhotels.com) is right in the downtown area; many rooms feature views of the newly restored Fountain Square; rates begin at $129.
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    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: 36 Hours in Cincinnati - NY Times Article

    Come on kids, we're going to Cincinnati for the weekend to go to the graveyard and buy some fabric!
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    Re: 36 Hours in Cincinnati - NY Times Article

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    Come on kids, we're going to Cincinnati for the weekend to go to the graveyard and buy some fabric!
    Come on kids, we're going to Cincinnati for the weekend to see a city that really knows self-loathing!
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    Re: 36 Hours in Cincinnati - NY Times Article

    Make fun all you like, Spring Grove Cemetary is a neat spot.
    When all is said and done more is said than done.

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    Re: 36 Hours in Cincinnati - NY Times Article

    Quote Originally Posted by Newport Red View Post
    http://travel.nytimes.com/2009/07/19...gewanted=print

    10) REBIRTH OF NEIGHBORHOOD

    As the epicenter of 19th-century German immigrant society, the neighborhood known as Over-the-Rhine once teemed with breweries, theaters and social halls. Though the area fell into disrepair, and parts remain rough around the edges, an $80 million revitalization effort has slowly brought back visitors. Walk down Main Street between 12th and 15th Streets for local artists’ galleries and the Iris BookCafe (1331 Main Street; 513-381-2665), a serene rare-book shop with an outdoor sculpture garden. A few blocks away, Vine Street between Central Parkway and 13th Street offers new boutiques including the craft shop MiCA 12/v (1201 Vine Street; 513-421-3500; www.shopmica.com), which specializes in contemporary designers like Jonathan Adler and Kenneth Wingard.

    Forgive my ignorance...but is Vine Street between Central Parkway and 13th any better than the northern sections of Vine? From my recollection of going to Reds games from a friend's house at UC, I don't remember seeing any section of Vine Street I'd consider traveling by foot.

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    Re: 36 Hours in Cincinnati - NY Times Article

    Quote Originally Posted by OesterPoster View Post
    Forgive my ignorance...but is Vine Street between Central Parkway and 13th any better than the northern sections of Vine? From my recollection of going to Reds games from a friend's house at UC, I don't remember seeing any section of Vine Street I'd consider traveling by foot.
    That area is probably viewed as follows:
    -Completely safe for the regular urban traveler/dweller.
    -Reasonably safe, yet adventurous for the occasional city explorer.
    -Just as terrifying as the rest of the city for the staunch suburbanite.

    They've revamped the entire area. 3CDC bought a large group of buildings in a two to three block section and extensively rehabbed them. Now, the buildings house a share of restaurants, apartments/condos and retail. It is much better than the the area immediately north on Vine. I would imagine it looked much different when you ventured through the area.
    Last edited by wolfboy; 07-20-2009 at 02:47 PM.
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    Re: 36 Hours in Cincinnati - NY Times Article

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfboy View Post
    That area is probably viewed as follows:
    -Completely safe for the regular urban traveller/dweller.
    -Reasonably safe, yet adventurous for the occasional city explorer.
    -Just as terrifying as the rest of the city for the staunch suburbanite.

    They've revamped the entire area. 3CDC bought a large group of buildings in a two to three block section and extensively rehabbed them. Now, the buildings house a share of restaurants, apartments/condos and retail. It is much better than the the area immediately north on Vine. I would imagine it looked much different when you ventured through the area.
    I think you've characterized it correctly. We've been to the Ensemble Theater right there and seen some great plays. We've also passed the Venice on Vine pizza joint run by an organization known as Power Inspires Progress, an employment training group started by a couple of nuns. They also have a catering business and we've had their food up at church - they're mashed potatoes there are to die for. And right about Central Parkway, there's a terrific store my wife and daughter have gone to called Park & Vine.

    Have some city friend show you around the great places in Over the Rhine (and don't miss the Findlay Market).
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    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: 36 Hours in Cincinnati - NY Times Article

    I loved the compliments for North Side. Shake It Records and Melt are two of my favorite places in the world.

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    Re: 36 Hours in Cincinnati - NY Times Article

    Quote Originally Posted by dabvu2498 View Post
    Make fun all you like, Spring Grove Cemetary is a neat spot.
    I've lived two blocks from Spring Grove Cemetary for over 30 years. It's one of the most beautiful spots in Cincinnati. Loads of history too and a great baseball tour places too -a good number of baseball related folks buried there including two Hall of Famers (Waite Hoyt & Miller Huggins), one of the original 1869 Red Stockings, Heinie Groh from the 1919 Reds and Powel Crosley himself.

    http://www.springgrove.org/hf/histor...lNotables.shtm

    And did I mention it's beautiful?
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    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: 36 Hours in Cincinnati - NY Times Article

    Quote Originally Posted by redsmetz View Post
    I've lived two blocks from Spring Grove Cemetary for over 30 years. It's one of the most beautiful spots in Cincinnati. Loads of history too and a great baseball tour places too -a good number of baseball related folks buried there including two Hall of Famers (Waite Hoyt & Miller Huggins), one of the original 1869 Red Stockings, Heinie Groh from the 1919 Reds and Powel Crosley himself.

    http://www.springgrove.org/hf/histor...lNotables.shtm

    And did I mention it's beautiful?
    Yep, nice place.

    We make a quarterly trek down to AJ Rahn (my wife loves quality plants) and we usually take a walk through parts of Spring Grove.

    I sent this link to my son and older daughter pointing out the North Side places and they said "yeah Dad, we know".

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    Re: 36 Hours in Cincinnati - NY Times Article

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Tucker View Post
    Yep, nice place.

    We make a quarterly trek down to AJ Rahn (my wife loves quality plants) and we usually take a walk through parts of Spring Grove.

    I sent this link to my son and older daughter pointing out the North Side places and they said "yeah Dad, we know".
    The greenhouses along Gray Road there are great. We buy most of our plants there, both flowers and vegetable plants and they are always, always helpful. We have so many pictures of our kids growing up that were taken at Spring Grove Cemetery; my youngest brother had his wedding pics taken over there, etc. And loads of historical figures buried there too (e.g. Salmon P. Chase, Lincoln's Sec of the Treasury and later named Chief Justice by President Johnson).

    Charlie Taft's grave is great. He was an avid fisherman and the front of his monument shows a bas relief of him giving a speech at a podium. On the reverse, facing a lake, is another of him casting a fishing line with the words "Gone Fishin'"
    “In the same way that a baseball season never really begins, it never really ends either.” - Lonnie Wheeler, "Bleachers, A Summer in Wrigley Field"

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    Re: 36 Hours in Cincinnati - NY Times Article

    Quote Originally Posted by redsmetz View Post
    And did I mention it's beautiful?
    My sister got her wedding photos taken there. I thought it was rather creepy but there's no denying the beauty of the area.
    What if this wasn't a rhetorical question?

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    Re: 36 Hours in Cincinnati - NY Times Article

    Quote Originally Posted by paintmered View Post
    My sister got her wedding photos taken there. I thought it was rather creepy but there's no denying the beauty of the area.
    My wife and I had our wedding photos taken there just last month. We are picking them up tonight. It is definitely a beautiful area.

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    Please come again pedro's Avatar
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    Re: 36 Hours in Cincinnati - NY Times Article

    I have to spend 36 hours here?

    I kid.. I kid..
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