City Living

Please poo/pee in the bathroom

When I first moved to Over-the-Rhine in 2004, the building next to ours on Race Street in Cincinnati, the one at 13th and Race streets, was akin to tenement housing with, if I recall correctly, around 40 single-room “apartments” that shared a bathroom on each floor. I never went inside because of the sounds I heard outside from next door. Let’s say I was a lot curious, but even more afraid.

Then, came the Model Group, which gutted the place, and with the help of tax credits and other assistance, remodeled the inside into 20ish “town home” income-sensitive apartments that ranged from two to three bedrooms apiece. The place changed dramatically from a flophouse to a place where families lived. After the noisy remodeling job (progress does come at a price – in my case, peace and quiet), I went on the opening day tour. Wow. It was great inside.

The few years after the remodeling job it has remained (my recollection ending when I moved to Mount Washington in September 2008), relatively the same. Few police calls (I noticed only a few) and relative quiet, aside from the occaisional loud stereo. About a year before I moved I began to notice the front entrance had become a hang-out for wh0-knows-who, but it stayed much better than it was.

All this jibber jabber is all a roundabout way of saying that mixed socio-economic backgrounds do co-exsist peacefully in Over-the-Rhine and its a pattern that should continue until the whole giant-sized neighborhood is reformed. Having a nice place to live, something most people I know take for granted, is a small thing with a big impact on those who know nothing better. That’s why when a friend, who happens to enter a lot of Cincinnati public housing and tells me most of them are pretty dodgy at best, sent me this photo from the inside of one of them. If people are using the outside of the places that they live – or their guests, visitors or neighbors are doing it – something ain’t working. A sign like the one below ought to be a clear sign that the model might be a bit broken…

I wonder how many people were peeing under the sign while they were reading this? Or, read it and then thought, “Hey, you know, I really should pee outside, go in my apartment and pee or knock on a door and see if anyone will let me pee in their apartment instead?” Probably a lot.


Hamilton drive-in open on Christmas day

One of the coolest things about living in California for two plus years was the abundance of great drive-in movie theaters open year round. The climate supported being outside watching movies next your car listening to the audio through the radio 365 days a year (aside from rainy days, which were few).

But in southwestern Ohio? Apparently the new owners of the Holiday Auto Theatre – a place I love to go in warmer months – will be open throughout the winter, including Christmas day.

Families seeking entertainment on Christmas night can pile in their car — and stay there.

The Holiday Auto Theatre on Old Oxford Road in Hamilton will show a triple feature Thursday, Dec. 25. Movies slated to air include Disney’s “Bedtime Stories” (PG), Disney’s “Bolt” (PG) and “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (PG-13).

Beginning Dec. 26 and running through Jan. 1 will be “Twilight” (PG-13) as the third feature to follow “Bedtime Stories” and “Bolt.”

Holiday Auto Theatre opens at 6:30 p.m. nightly with shots beginning at 7:15 p.m. Admission includes all three films and is $8 for adults, $5 for children ages 4 to 11 and free for children ages 3 and younger. The refreshment center now offers apple juice and Hawaiian Punch.

For more information go online to

via Holiday Auto Theatre to show films on Christmas.


Switch in Over-the-Rhine’s Gateway Quarter


Originally uploaded by hjoew

I’m a nerd for lights. I love ’em and always want to think of new ways to implement them. So, finding Switch, a fairly new lighting and light store in Over-the-Rhine (my first trip back to the old ‘hood since moving east), I was very happy to find this little gem.

Prices seemed a bit high, but the style is impeccable. Stop in and check it out.


Emery Theater writes a letter to Santa

After finally getting to see the inside of Cincinnati’s Emery Theater in the Over-the-Rhine, I know exactly what everyone has been talking about. It’s beautiful. I took photos, but I think my failing memory card ate them. You’ll have to trust me on this one. That’s why I think Santa should really, really take a long look at this letter.

Dear Santa,

So many venues needs so much more than I. Some are asking for tens of millions of dollars, and I wish them total success. I consider it a gift simply to operate in the company of other wonderful arts organizations and performance venues.

Nonetheless, things would be much better if I had working toilets. All I want for Christmas is a friendly, philanthropic plumber or two who can restore service in the existing toilets. 720 people came and enjoyed the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards for Music last month even though I could not offer heat or working restrooms. It was a terrific night that filled my hall with music and camaraderie. Mrs. Emery would have loved it! But she would have insisted on working “amenities”!

Thanks for passing along the word to your extended network of friend, elves and tradesmen of all kinds to find just the right plumbing partner who can give my old pipes a good flushing. I can be reached at (513) 421-9453 or [email protected] Just ask for Emery. Thank you.

May your holidays be merry and bright,

Emery Theatre