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Updated: 2018-02-19T18:41:35.162-05:00

 



President's Day

2018-02-19T18:41:35.512-05:00

Enjoyed having President's Day off. Went for a run around the neighborhood and to the coffee shop. Shot some frames along the way.- Happy President's Day.[...]



UPCOMING EVENT: Discussing Cincinnati and its Bid to Host the 2012 Olympics

2018-02-12T21:17:09.322-05:00


With the 2018 Winter Olympics underway in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the Independence branch of the Kenton County Public Library thought it'd be a good time to revisit a piece of little known local history: Cincinnati's bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

I've written about the effort here on QC/D before and am looking forward to discussing it with a presentation at the library on February 22, 2018. To me, the bid represented pride, passion, and bold vision, something not always found when looking at our region's future. It was ambitious, unlikely, and a constant uphill battle, but it's fun to think about "what if?"

What if the 2012 summer games had been in the Queen City and not London? Could that have even happened?

Come learn about it at the Kenton County Public Library on 1992 Walton Nicholson Rd. in Independence, KY. 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on February 22, 2018.

Facebook Event Link



February Ice Storm

2018-02-07T21:18:49.824-05:00

A look at the city after an overnight ice storm.[...]



January 2018

2018-02-01T00:40:53.235-05:00

Photographs made in January 2018 that didn't necessarily fir into a larger story or post. Shot a lot for stories published recently, so not a whole lot of "one off" images. Despite having a new phone, I haven't been shooting nearly as much as I thought I would be with it.Recap of this month's stories at the end of the post.Images made with a Canon 7DMKII and iPhone X.- Ohio/West Virginia border.- OTR and Mt. Auburn neighborhoods in Cincinnati.- Graffiti stencil of Bart Simpson using graffiti. - Downtown Cincinnati skyline.- Morning light at home.- Ready for these scenes to be over with for another year.- Saw Creed Bratton of The Office performing in Covington.- Creed Bratton is fantastic.- Las Vegas airport tram.- Outdated Vegas casino tram while everyone holds on.- Laura in Death Valley, CA.- 7th. St. Cincinnati.- On days where I don't take the bus or bike, I use this garage and it's always awash in nice light when leaving work. Spent a lot of time traveling in December and January, so most of the posts this past month were from being out of town. On my flight to Vegas, I spent a lot of time writing QC/D stories. Hoping to return to some Cincy-centric stuff soon.QC/D Updates this past month:Light Chasing, Sunday 1/14/18 | During a rare glimpse of sunlight during this past month, I took the opportunity to go out in freezing temperatures and make some photographs around town.Charleston, The Greenbrier Resort, and a Secret Cold War Bunker for Congress | For New Year's, my partner Laura and I headed to Charleston, WV and to stay at the Greenbrier Resort. A resort that happens to let you tour their once secret bunker built to house Congress in a nuclear war.The Peculiar (and Abandoned) Pedestrian Walkways of Charleston, West Virginia | Out of all the cities I've been to, I've never seen pedestrian paths or skywalks quite like the ones in this story. They also happen to be abandoned.Abandoned School - Boston, IN |  A quick urbex post looking from the outside in at a beautiful school building in rural Indiana.[Fading Advertisements] Indiana Stamp - Fort Wayne, IN| A unique ghost sign that also offers a look at how it appeared before it was fading away.Las Vegas | I visited this city for the first time. A few observations, quick stories, and photographs made while taking in an interesting place.Death Valley, Red Rock Canyon, and Hoover Dam | A day long road trip with photographs made in three locales.The "Ghost Town" of Amargosa | A town that's seemingly abandoned still holds some unique signs of life such as an art gallery and opera house once run by a passionate performer.[...]



The "Ghost Town" of Amargosa

2018-01-31T20:15:34.855-05:00

By all indications and quick glances, the place seemed to be a quintessential “ghost town.” The houses were long deteriorating, a truck could be seen with flat tires, and the nearby businesses were shuttered. Yet, there was still a spark of life among the white walls of the old hotel beneath the glaring sun.The Mojave Desert is a peculiar place to find an opera house.Death Valley has several ghost towns you can visit and tour along with abandoned mines and camps scattered throughout the grounds of the continental United States’ largest national park. On a recent stop, we debated going to check out one of them, something that would surely be an interesting addition to over ten years of exploring abandoned places.However, with time limited by driving distance, other plans, and a flight to catch, we opted to just make a brief stop back at the seemingly forgotten town we had passed on the way in.When one thinks of an Opera House, architectural marvels such as the performing arts center in Sydney or the Palais Garnier in Paris come to mind. The Amargosa Opera House probably isn’t one of the better known examples, located far from any large population center. When we pulled up to the place, I hopped out of the car to photograph the rows of abandoned houses sitting amongst vegetation. I rounded the corner of the nearby, long white building and was surprised to see an opera house advertised.A faded note on the door stated that a tour was happening, but the padlock and yellowed paper seemed to indicate otherwise. The parking lot was a mix of sand, gravel, and decaying asphalt with no one coming to or from the doors. A few cars sat in the parking lot while ours moved up to the nearby cafe as I shot photos. The only other noises were from birds in the trees, a few voices I could hear in the distance, and cars zooming by on California State Route 127.The building’s windows were dark aside from an electric “open” sign blinking in the window. Laura and her Dad went ahead to scope out the restaurant/coffee/bathroom situation. As I got near, a pair of Australian tourists came out, quipping to each other about their plans for the day. The surrounding landscape and their accents immediately brought to mind the scene in the original Mad Max film when the family stops for gas and provisions in an ever worsening post-apocalyptic landscape.Laura came out of the cafe with coffee, reporting back that it was actually quite nice, surprisingly indicative of the coffee shops you’d find in urban settings. Featuring eclectic food options and varieties of espresso, it wasn’t the forlorn roadside diner that it looked like form the outside. Nearby, an abandoned building stood with a pool of water in front of it and a truck kicked up dust, pulling up to the closed service garage across the street. The driver got out to check his tires and continued on.So did we.The city limits sign for Death Valley Junction apparently lists the population as only 4 people. A small wooden plaque near the town indicated that we had been in the Death Valley Historic Junction, a designation laid out by the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1980. The town traces its routes back to 1914, when it was known as Amargosa. Born out of the junction of two railroad lines hauling out of nearby mines, the long white building we had seen was constructed by the Pacific Coast Borax Company. Built in the Spanish Colonial Revival aesthetic, the building housed corporate offices, a hotel, and a theatre catering to mine workers. A few homes and an auto repair garage/gas station were also constructed nearby, but the town began to dry up in the mid 20th Century as local industry declined.Marta Becket had been a classically trained and renown ballerina. She hailed from New York City and performed on Broadway and at Radio Music Hall. In 1967, she was touring across the country performing a one woman show she had produced. Some sources say it was a flat tire, o[...]



Death Valley, Red Rock Canyon, and Hoover Dam

2018-01-30T00:02:06.142-05:00

We opted for Death Valley over visiting the Hoover Dam. I personally had no preference, content to explore whatever was on the agenda and experience a side of the country that I hadn’t seen before.Renting a car, we made our way from Las Vegas, across the border into California, and to Death Valley National Park. The park is the hottest and driest place in North America as well as the second lowest point in the Western Hemisphere. Although regularly getting at or above 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, Death Valley is pleasant in the winter. However, standing in Badwater Basin (282 ft. below sea level) in January, you can still feel the warmth coming off of the salt flats. I can’t imagine how it must feel six months later in July.Atop Dante's View, we found a dramatic shift in temperature, reaching for jackets when t-shirts had sufficed below. The overlook is named for Dante Alighieri, the famed Italian poet who authored the Divine Comedy and reflects a portion of the poem where he's overlooking hell, about to begin his journey.The view from the top is the same one seen in 1977's Star Wars: A New Hope when the main characters are overlooking Mos Eisley Spaceport (a "wretched hive of scum and villainy"). Several areas of Death Valley were used to create the planet Tatooine in the film.Death Valley was a nice change of pace from the past three days spent in Las Vegas, the fresh air and quiet being welcomed. As we left and made our way out of California, through Nevada around Mt. Charleston, and back towards Vegas, we had plenty of time to kill before our flight back to Cincinnati. We drove the scenic tour of the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area while the sun set. Just twenty minutes or so from the Las Vegas Strip, the canyon feels like a whole other planet.Although we initially chose Death Valley and Red Rock over the Hoover Dam, we were pretty confident that we had at least enough time to drive by and see it from the highway. After experiencing suburban Vegas traffic, we crossed the bridge carrying US-93 only to find that the protective sidings block any views of the historic structure below. Thinking maybe there was still a chance to see it after nightfall, we drove up to the dam itself. A security guard looked over our vehicle and told us that although tours were done for the day, we could still go drive across the dam and check out some of the overlooks. I made some quick photographs in the short time we had before the place closed. It was incredible to not only see the dam, but be able to walk along the top with hardly anyone around, just us and a few other tourists.Our road trip for the day had spanned California, Nevada, and Arizona, ending at the McCarran Airport rental car facility. After a red eye flight, we landed in Northern Kentucky across the river from Cincinnati before crossing into Indiana and back to Ohio to retrieve our cars and go home. Six states within 24 hours, three of them new to me.[...]



Las Vegas

2018-01-29T00:56:10.015-05:00

I went on a trip once as a kid to Austin, Texas. Until last week, that was the farthest West I had ever been. That reality set in when we flew over the Rocky Mountains near Colorado Springs. Not too longer after, we touched down in Las Vegas. I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s hard to try and photograph a place that so many others (professional and tourists alike) have been swarming over for decades. Nevertheless, this was a place new to me and I tried to capture it as uniquely as possible from my own perspective, as naive as that may sound.- View from a Delta Airbus A320 over the Rocky Mountains near Colorado Springs.I own a passport, but have yet to visit anywhere outside of the continental 48, so Las Vegas is perhaps the most exotic place I’ve been yet. There's a diversity to the people, a mix of languages heard in the casinos, convention centers, and along The Strip. It’s a place that sounds similar to the cacophony of New York City, but most of the people appear to be visitors rather than residents. At the same time, the constant flashing of lights and advertisements is like a never ending Times Square. There are resorts of the highest luxury alongside accommodations of more modest pricing. It can be "The Ritz" and mirror the trappings of Gatlinburg, TN all in one block. It’s a place where all the restaurant chains that never quite made it back home in Cincinnati still exist. You can still toast to Toby Keith, enjoy a Fat Burger, indulge in Johnny Rockets manufactured nostalgia, and pretend that Dick’s Last Resort is a clever concept. Not that I’d want to.Many of the resorts are themed after other places. “New York, New York” isn’t anything like “Gotham” and I hear that Paris Las Vegas, while nice, is closer to Walt Disney World’s rendition rather than the actual center of European culture. The people around you give clues as to where they hail form. In January, they sport a mix of gloves, shorts, coats, and t-shirts, while weary Midwesterners such as myself enjoy the weather, a welcomed relief from Winter. There’s a constant, never-ending soundtrack of top 40 hits and 80’s classics blaring throughout. You never seem to have a moment to yourself or a place to sit that isn’t in front of a slot machine or at a restaurant. Every casino, regardless of quality and the minimum black jack bet, smells vaguely of a bowling alley, something that’s incredibly frustrating (and at the same time comforting) to former smokers like me. Despite the luxurious hotel towers of some establishments, there’s aspects that remind you of a carnival, roller coasters whooshing by and flashing lights echoing simple church festivals. Helicopters constantly whir in the distance as tourist ferries rather than LAPD “ghetto birds.” The transit systems reflect American attitudes, bucking conventional European technology for a loose connection of both local and rapid buses, a monorail, and above ground trams that make Detroit’s People Mover seem like technology from a hopeful utopia.Vegas is one of the most interesting places I’ve ever been while also being a place I couldn't wait to escape from. When I recently took the time to explore Boston, I came back to Cincinnati wondering why my city constantly fails to emulate the positive examples of its peers. Boston seemed liked a great place to relocate to under the right circumstances. In Vegas, I kept my wristwatch set to Eastern Standard Time, a reminder of where I’d rather live long term as opposed to being among Bally’s, Caesars, and The Sands.I can appreciate the love and enthusiasm held by those who call the gambling mecca home, though. I hoped that the Golden Knights arena was filled with prideful locals enjoying that they finally had a major league team and I have nothing but respect for those who maintain the Neon Museum and the history it shares. I wish we would’ve explored a loc[...]



[Fading Advertisements] Indiana Stamp - Fort Wayne, IN

2018-01-19T00:05:06.071-05:00


Unlike many of the ads in the book and documented here, this one isn’t a remnant of hand painted advertising. Rather, it’s fading elements were from a former physical sign. When removed, the parts of the building protected from weathering by the sign left clues to what it once said. “Indiana Stamp” was about all I could make out when we passed through Fort Wayne, IN to see some family. I reached out a business of the same name to see if it had been their sign.




Sure enough, it was. Indiana Stamp Co. had sold the building about 15 years ago before relocating to a different spot in town. Mr. Collins, their Vice President and General Manager was kind enough to send the above photograph of how the sign looked.

Today, Indiana Stamp “manufactures marking products used to imprint everything from envelopes to pallets. Products include hand stamps, pre-inked and plastic self-inking stamps for the office, as well as self-inking and inspection stamps for industrial use.”

Another division of their company specializes in engraves signs, personal identification products, and stencils.

Down on Calhoun St. in Fort Wayne, there’s a fading sign for a sign manufacturer. Thankfully, unlike so many others, this fading advertisement reflects a business that’s still going strong.




Abandoned School - Boston, IN

2018-01-18T00:05:01.636-05:00

My dad had driven by this old school for years while traveling for work. We stopped to see it on a recent trip to Huntington, IN. According to one website, this old school and beautiful building in Boston, IN hasn’t been used since 1963. Its current state seems to indicate that there’s no renovation of preservation coming anytime soon and peering in through the broken windows you can smell the familiar, musty scent of abandoned buildings. Desks and chairs can still be seen through windows, stacked inside.We stopped only briefly to grab some photographs from the outside, hoping to ask someone about the place if anyone was around. However, hardly any other cars passed by and the few nearby houses seemed to hold residents that were staying out of the cold and away from the falling snow. The test of an air raid/tornado siren at noon from the nearby firehouse was the only thing we heard in this part of rural Indiana.One section of the large building has “Grade School” etched in stone above its entrance, the other reads “High School” in a similar fashion. The grade school’s cornerstone proclaims “1944 A.D.,” while the high school’s boasts “1932 A.D.” Despite being built just over a decade apart, you’d never know without looking at the cornerstones as the materials and design stayed true. Two other stone placards adorn the buildings, stating: “Enter Ye To Learn” and “Leave Ye To Serve.” They appear more ominous rather than inspirational.It’s by far the largest and most ornate structure in the immediate area, rising out of the flat Indiana landscape in grand fashion. But what do you do with a building like this, one already replaced by modern facilities serving the entire County instead of just a small town? What can it become and who’s going to pay for that? For now, a sign reading “keep out” at least hints that someone’s looking out for the place. Maybe something will eventually become of it?Thankfully, no one seems to have turned it into a “haunted house” for halloween.[...]



The Peculiar (and Abandoned) Pedestrian Walkways of Charleston, West Virginia

2018-01-17T00:05:08.014-05:00

Back in 2016, we passed through Charleston, WV on our way to Williamsburg, VA. It seemed like a nice place with its downtown and Capitol Building nestled in the valley below the highway, but there was a certain structure that caught my eye. We drove under a series of unique walkways connected to highway ramps that looked dated, maybe even abandoned. These weren’t simple sidewalks, these were a series of ramps wrapped in anti-suicide cages connected by staircases and protected from the elements with 70’s era lighting and glass. In all the American cities I’d been to, I’d never seen any urban element quite like it.- Charleston's overpass walkways as seen from the interstate.In a way, they were like skywalks, but instead of connecting various downtown buildings it seemed to just be an elaborate pedestrian link from Charleston’s downtown to the hillside neighborhood separated by the highway. To top it off, the structures looked dilapidated and grimy with no one walking on them. I wondered if they were just victims of no aesthetic maintenance or if they were disused. A few quick Google searches didn’t reveal anything and I forgot about them after we passed them once more on the drive home. At the end of 2017, though, we had plans to stop in Charleston and I wanted to see these things up close. So on a snowy morning, we went to investigate some curiosity.- Tower 1.The walkway system runs from the first tower near the West Virginia Market place, an indoor/outdoor public market. Stairs take users a few flights up to a walkway connected to a highway exit ramp.- Detail of the fencing surrounding the walkway alongside the highway exit ramp.Caged fencing completely surrounds the pathway which then heads northeast over railroad tracks towards a second tower, the base of which connects to a more industrial part of town near a Honda dealer and garden outlet.- Towers 2 and 3 as seen from tower 1.- Tower 2.- Tower 2.- Tower 1 as seen from tower 2.If you keep following the pathway, it’ll take you over Interstates 77 and 64 to a third tower planted in a grassy berm between highway roads. This tower features the same enclosed stairways and lighting as the other two, connecting the pathway to a set of hillside steps which eventually end in a neighborhood atop the hill. That’s the best description I can give from looking at the thing on Google Maps, because you can’t actually walk this pathway.- Tower 3 and hillside steps as seen from tower 2.- Tower 3.Starting at the first tower, we found it completely sealed off. No lights were on and welded sheet metal with no openings seems to be doing its job of keeping everyone out.Driving to the second tower, the local Honda dealer has placed showpiece vehicles right up against the tower’s base. Similar sealed entrances can be found here and the whole thing would seem like nothing more than a highway support were it not for the stairs and dark glass. The concrete supports and their decorative lighting scream of the late 60’s and early 70’s. Looking up, the chainlink fence pathways are rusting and feature an orange/brown hue.Looking over at the third tower, you can see that the glass doesn’t surround the entire set of stairs. It’s open to the elements in some parts. Unable to reach that tower, we drove up to the end of the pathway.The hillside neighborhood isn’t like the ones you’d find in Cincinnati's Mt. Adams or Pittsburgh's Mt. Washington, it’s a purely residential area. It’s nice, filled with typical mid-20th Century suburban style homes that just happen to have a nice view of the urban core below. There’s no bars or businesses in the immediate vicinity of the overpass walkway, just houses.A sign at the top of the stairs states: “Overpass Walkway Closed,” but there’s nothing keeping you from walking down the stair[...]



Charleston, The Greenbrier Resort, and a Secret Cold War Bunker for Congress

2018-01-16T00:05:18.033-05:00

For our anniversary this year, my partner Laura and I decided to visit the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Steeped in history, the place dates back to 1788 and has provided luxury accommodations to everyone from vacationers to visiting heads of state to celebrities and sitting American Presidents. Laura had been there a few times before and loves the place. When she first suggested going there, I was excited. Admittedly, a lot of that anticipation stemmed from a History Channel special I had seen when I was home sick from grade school (back when the channel wasn't all pawn shop shows and wannabe Game of Thrones dramas).You see, The Greenbrier Resort once housed a government secret, one built towards the start of the Cold War, a place to continue the functions of our elected officials should an atomic exchange with the Soviets ever come to fruition.A secret bunker.- Charleston, West Virginia.But first, to get there, we had to pass through Charleston, the state’s capital and largest city. We stopped to check out the West Virginia Capitol Building on our way in. The building’s dome is unique in that it features a 23-karat gold leaf decoration, a symbol that can been seen from vistas throughout the city’s core.Since we visited during a holiday break, there were no official tours, but the security guard manning the metal detector told us we were free to look around and take whatever photographs we’d like. It’s an impressive and beautiful structure of a state that’s often overlooked.- Inside the West Virginia Capitol Building's dome.Despite the classical appearance, the process of designing the building didn’t begin until 1921, with construction starting in 1924, followed by an opening in 1932. Charleston became West Virginia’s permanent capital in 1885 after both it and the city of Wheeling had taken turns as the seat of state government. West Virginia itself had become the 35th state in 1863, admitted to the Union after the counties within its territory had disagreed with Virginia’s plan to secede and join the Confederacy at the onset of the American Civil War. Depending on who’s version you read, West Virginia is said to be the only state to secede from the Confederate States of America. However, the CSA was seen as a collection of states in “open rebellion,” never officially recognized as a sovereign nation by the United States of America or other world powers before its forces surrendered.- The West Virginia Capitol Building reflected in nearby windows with the American flag.With the Confederacy’s defeat and the Southern states undergoing reconstruction, West Virginia continued developing as a state rife with natural resources. It can tend to get lost in the shuffle these days, but it’s an interesting and unique place with mountainous landscapes and a diverse group of cities.We stopped at a local restaurant for dinner, enjoyed some local beer, and grabbed local coffee in the morning, wishing we had more time and better weather to see more of the city. As we left, we passed by the Capitol Building once more, which at the time of this writing hosts the offices of Governor Jim Justice. Justice is a West Virginia native and one of the state’s few billionaires, having made his fortune in the coal industry. He’s unique in that he initially identified as a Republican, switched to the Democrats for his gubernatorial run, and then switched back to the Republican Party while hosting President Trump (who has often promised to restore the state's declining coal industry, although that’s a lot harder than it sounds). Justice also happens to own the Greenbrier Resort.The resort is a beautiful complex, sitting on 11,000 acres in the Allegheny Mountains. With our friend Kevin, we ate excellent food, drank goo[...]



Light Chasing, Sunday 1/14/18

2018-01-15T00:02:30.701-05:00

Went out chasing the last little bit of nice light this past Sunday. Some frames made wandering around in freezing temperatures.- Norwood, OH.- Interstate 71.- Rookwood Office Tower.- Evanston Mural.- Blue Ash Summit Park Observation Tower.- Blue Ash, OH.- Abandoned Burbank's Real Bar-B-Q, Sharonville, OH.[...]



December 2017

2018-01-02T00:48:08.483-05:00

Photographs made over the past month that didn't have a place in other stories. Images made with a Canon 7DMKII, iPhone 7+, and iPhone X. December 2017 started with plenty of fog blanketing the city in the mornings as seen above and below. - Parkside Cafe in Walnut Hills, which used to be a Frisch's Big Boy and still mirrors one, but is much better than a Frisch's could ever hope to be. I'm not particularly big on any holidays, especially Christmas. However, I did enjoy having the opportunity for us to decorate this year.If anything, it's an excuse to bust out vintage Cincinnati ornaments that predate me......and play with model trains:- Downtown Cincinnati.- The Cincinnati skyline as seen from within the convention center.- Parking garage Christmas decorations. - The legend known as Kile along with High Life and chicken tenders at The Pony in OTR.- Christmas in Oakley.- I've still yet to eat pizza from the ubiquitous, yet seemingly gas station exclusive, Hunt Brothers Pizza chain, but it's on the to-do list. Anything's better than Papa John's.On a quick road trip to Ft. Wayne, Indiana to see some family, we stopped at the quaint Motor Inn truck stop diner in Mendon, OH with its iconic sign, kitschy bird decorations, and delicious reuben.- Fort Wayne, IN cityscape.On the way back from Fort Wayne, we stopped into Dayton to get some empanadas and other good food from Salar. Unfortunately, this restaurant recently shut down due to a fire. I hope it reopens eventually, it's pretty good.- Birds in Downtown Cincinnati building overhang.My good friend Bob gave me an incredibly thoughtful Christmas gift, presenting a print of one of my favorite photographs to me. The photograph shows a maintenance man inspecting the now demolished Son of Beast roller coaster at Kings Island Amusement Park. I worked at the park for several years, including two winters in wood coaster maintenance. In the Spring of 2008, I made this photograph for a university assignment while my coworker Dave and I were 200 ft. in the air. That story is here.This image represents a lot to me and a print of it is great to have, but Bob took it a step further......because the entire print is composed via a mosaic of images, almost every image featured here on QC/D in the past decade.I was blown away by how thoughtful this was and how much it took to put together. Bob is a great friend and someone I might not have ever met were it not for this website, this city, and our mutual love for soccer.From the bottom of my heart again, Bob: thank you. This means a lot.- Trees being disposed of already on Christmas Eve in Springdale, Ohio.- Christmas Day, West Side of Cincinnati.To end 2017, I found Fading Ads of Cincinnati still on sale at the incredible Ohio Book Store. Coincidentally, it's on display right next to Cincinnati's Incomplete Subway by Jake Mecklenborg, which is an awesome book by a great dude who's been a longtime inspiration.A few days later, I got to sign a copy of my book as it was being added to the library at Rhinehaus, one of the city's finest establishments. Hoping I'll get to add another book to that collection as I continue working on something new throughout 2018.I wish I had gotten around to more posts this past month, but I've been busy with my day job, the holidays, traveling, and waiting out Major League Soccer's decision on whether or not they'll be accepting FC Cincinnati. I've been writing a lot, but haven't had much time for getting that work to the site. In the meantime, here's what did go up in December 2017:From Cincinnati to Huntington, Indiana | A road trip from home through rural Ohio to small town Indiana with good food, my Dad, and plenty of stops to see cool stuff along the way.The [...]



2017 in Review

2017-12-28T00:35:28.778-05:00

There's a couple of other sites I read that are similar in scope to mine and every December I debate about what, if anything, to put here on QC/D to close out the year. I started looking to those other digital publications for inspiration. I thought it might be fun to look at what the most popular posts of 2017 were, kind of like what I did for the tenth anniversary. That post came with an asterisk, though. Because, despite existing since the fall of 2007, Google's Blogger platform only has stats back to 2010. It's also limited in that I can't select a very specific date range and see just this year (your choices are "week," "month," "year," and "all time" ("all time" meaning only back to 2010)). I could go through and manually count the stats, but frankly, I don't have the time or energy at the moment. If I did have that kind of bandwidth, I'd probably get started on ditching Blogger (just like Google has) and converting QC/D to Wordpress or I'd make another video featuring every single photograph made on every camera I own over the past year like in 2014.So I debated what to do, if anything at all. There's a lot of drafts started for future posts, a lot of photos edited and waiting for words. Those new stories will come in time. For now, I though I'd put on some good music, look back, and just share some of my favorite photographs made over the course of 2017. On a personal note, it's been an interesting year with highs and lows. I won't get into all that, aside from the aspect that concerns this website. I've been more diligent about QC/D this year. I've tried to put together compelling and interesting stories and embraced covering/shooting the things I want to see. QC/D's been an important part of my life and I'm hoping it'll continue to be well into the future. With moving to the city proper in late 2016, my life went from mundane suburban highways and bland restaurant chains to walking through my new neighborhood and Downtown almost every day. I've been shooting non stop thanks to advancing camera phone technology and from making a conscious effort to have my DSLR and selection of lenses with me 85% of the time. It's been a pretty good year for photography, creativity, and personal work. While the recent local elections were disappointing and there's a lot of flux in all aspects of life, I'm currently getting ready for a few exciting trips, enjoying time with wonderful people, waiting for the MLS decision on FC Cincinnati, and I started working on a new book, a project that I'm incredibly excited about.I'm heading out on a trip to end the year with plans for more QC/D content coming up soon. Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram if you'd like.Favorite photographs made in 2017:- A fading hand painted mural depicting President Barack Obama. Photograph made the day of the 2017 Presidential Inauguration. - The Times-Star Building in Downtown Cincinnati as seen from beneath the highways.- Family walking past the Federal Building in Downtown Cincinnati.- 4th Street in Cincinnati.- Ringling Bros. Circus on its final tour visiting Cincinnati one last time.- 8th St. in Downtown Cincinnati.- The closed Forest Park Restaurant.- Pittsburgh.- Lore City, OH.- Carnival. Terre-Haute, Indiana.- FC Cincinnati match in May.- Pendleton, KY.- Dad, Uncle Rick, and Papa at dinner.- Cincinnati skyline from Newport, KY.- Boston Public Library.- Boston subway.- A "House of Hades" tile, a derivative of a "Toynbee Tile."- Detroit.- 6th Street.- FC Cincinnati International Friendly v. Valencia CF.- Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom.- Cincinnati at the corner of Vine and 4th.- Cincinnati and the Roebling Bridge.- Downtown.- Crowded Cincinnati train in the fall.- Covington, KY.- The [...]



The Major League Soccer Expansion Decision Looms...

2017-12-12T09:57:27.456-05:00

(image)
- Image via Tour De Cincinnati.


...and I plan to support FC Cincinnati, and (more importantly) this city, regardless of the outcome.

Back in 2012, I wrote a QC/D piece speculating whether or not Major League Soccer could come to and subsequently work in Cincinnati. Then, the consensus seemed to be: "yeah, it'd be cool, but it's not gonna happen."

How things have changed.

Soon, very soon, we're going to know whether or not Major League Soccer will accept FC Cincinnati of the United Soccer League as an expansion franchise. Since FCC was announced in 2015, a lot has happened from record breaking attendances to ESPN worthy moments. I'm lucky enough to have been involved with the independent supporters group known as Die Innenstadt since the start. As the expansion decision looms, I wanted to take a few moments to get out some words about where I stand. Regardless of the decision, I plan to be a fan and vocal supporter of not just the club, but our city. I want to see our group continue its charity efforts and continue its support of our home as well as the local team, no matter what league they're in.

If you wish to read that editorial, check out the latest post on Die Innenstadt's site.



From Cincinnati to Huntington, Indiana

2017-12-10T22:15:40.151-05:00

My Father is an incredibly thoughtful person, always coming up with great ideas of places to go or things to see. When I was six years old, he took me to my first air show. When I was in the sixth grade, he was a chaperone on our school trip to Wasington D.C., finding better historical stories and more fun facts than any tour guide we encountered. This weekend, he wanted to go visit my cousin's University campus and see a basketball game. I worried whether or not I had the time to go along and in the end I opted to.I'm glad I did, because my Dad understands a key aspect about driving long distances: what's the point in going somewhere if you can't stop a thousand times along the way and see cool stuff?- Camden, OH scene.We drove north from Cincinnati through the familiar suburban sites to some places that felt completely foreign despite being so close. Camden and New Miami, Ohio just past Hamilton had been names I'd heard before, but places I'd never stopped to see.- Sharing the road.We left the metro area, finding snow on narrow roads cutting across landscapes that seemed far more rural and remote than they actually were.In Eaton, my dad pulled over to a breakfast place he had wanted to try. "Let's see if we can get a table," he said. "You'll never get a table," a man passing us in the parking lot replied, apparently all too familiar with the breakfast time rush of The Eaton Place in Eaton, Ohio. Counter seats were plentiful, though, as walked around families clutching baby carriers and waiting for booths. We ordered up bowls of eggs, gravy, cheese, and hash browns served with toast. Wood paneling lined the walls, regulars were greeted excitedly by servers, and a portrait of Jesus sat atop a Christmas tree. We ate breakfast and discussed politics, history, plans for the day, and the demises of various minor league sports teams. The service was friendly, honest, and inviting, but not disingenuously enthusiastic like you'd see on an IHOP commercial. The coffee refills were frequent and our orders taken on iPads that didn't detract from the diner's warm and classic interior.Back on the road, we headed off towards Richmond, Indiana, going over the features of my dad's new car, ready to test it in the snow if the roads got bad enough.Near the Ohio/Indiana border we stopped to photograph the defunct New Hope AT&T Long Line station. I'm working on a story about these towers, and their significance to communication and national defense. More on that at a later time.In Boston, Indiana we stopped briefly to look at the abandoned high school/middle school. Peering through the broken windows, collapsed floors and stacks of vintage desks could be seen while mold and mildew pierced your nostrils. My dad had passed this place so many times on his trips through here and now we finally stopped to see it up close. At noon, the air raid/tornado siren blared out from the fire station down the road, the only sign of life in the village as most people presumably stayed inside and out of the cold. The cornerstones of the building signified the initial year of construction as well as the years of extensions. Other plaques read "ENTER YE TO LEARN" and "LEAVE YE TO SERVE."Arriving in Richmond, we swung by the municipal airport to see an A6-E Intruder on static display. Manufactured by the Grumman Aerospace Corporation, the A-6E was an all-weather, carrier capable attack aircraft in service with the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. Replacing the piston-engine based propeller aircraft used by the Navy in Korea, Intruders saw plenty of action during Vietnam. The A-6E variant seen here is considered the "definitive attack" ve[...]



November 2017

2017-12-01T00:23:02.406-05:00

Photographs made in November 2017.Not a whole lot of "one off" photos this month, but a bunch of stories published in November. They're linked at the end of this post.Frames made with a Canon 7DMKII and iPhone 7+.- Temporary crosswalk sign at 6/Vine. Would actually love if this had stayed.- When in Cincinnati, see the city and go by train.- 8th and Main Streetcar Station.- Top floor of the parking garage which serves The Building that Changes Color.- Parking lot, Columbus.- Ohio's hockey team.- Street vendor, Columbus.- Madison Rd, Oakley, Cincinnati.- Federal Building on Main Street, Cincinnati.- Keep CHRIST in CHRISTmas shopping (thanks, Bob).- Former entrance to Surf Cincinnati's "Fun City" section.After Thanksgiving Dinner (lunch), I swung by Surf Cincinnati just to see if any more had been demolished since the majority of it came down in 2009. There's still a few remnants around, most of them covered in the last few updates here on QC/D. I recently started on a new book and Surf Cincinnati is a subject that gets a lot of attention in one of the chapters. Even with not much left, it's still something I enjoy going to visit and see.- Graffiti on train, Oakley, Cincinnati.- Graffiti/Beach Boys lyrics details.- Looking down from The Carew Tower Observation Deck, there's a piece of street art by a famous artist on the rooftops.- Carew Tower Observation Deck, evening. - I helped my family make Christmas cookies and felt all the Santas and holiday symbols needed a cookie that looks like The Grimmace. - 7th Street.- My favorite church in Downtown Cincinnati: Our Lady of Ample Parking.The QC/D stories from November 2017:Northside Applebee's - A satirical look at when a local bar "dressed up" as a typical, mundane suburban chain restaurant for Halloween.[Fading Advertisements] Beauty - A ghost sign hidden in an OTR alleyway, one that's coincidentally the best named street in the city. Autumn Morning in Covington - Some frames made in Covington, KY across the river as the leaves turned, before the city started miserable weather season.[Suburbia Lost] Success Story/Taco Loco #2 - A look at how an abandoned suburban restaurant retains its iconic look, but has become a much better local restaurant. Abandoned as fast food, reborn as tacos. Gwynne Building Details - Some frames made looking at an historic building in Downtown Cincinnati and some of its features.The Shuttered Sports Bar on Madison Rd. - A seemingly innocuous, abandoned sports bar on the city's East Side had a revolving door of names. But there's much, much more to the story which is better told by an iconic radio host. Swoon at The CAC - Checking out the work of an iconic artist on the walls of a gallery and the streets of the city.Riverfront Stadium/Cinergy Field Implosion - My mom dug up an old family video, one where we went to see The Cincinnati Reds former stadium get demolished. The video is shot from Mt. Adams, no buses blocking our view like in Atlanta. The Alignment of Cincinnati and Covington - Ever noticed how Cincinnati and Covington's streets seem to align, but the main bridge sits askew? This story explores why that is through photographs.Where Race Street End (For Now) - Some frames made at the end of Race St., a thoroughfare waiting to be finished. [Fading Advertisements] The Winslow's Next Door Neighbor - This ghost sign is more of a mural and features a lot of interesting details, including the appearance of an iconic sitcom character.Arrow Collecting - A photographic look at identifying a common symbol and how varied it appears throughout the landscape.[...]



Arrow Collecting

2017-11-27T00:01:03.441-05:00

I got the idea to start "arrow collecting" from Pittsburgh Orbit, which is a fantastic website. Essentially, here's some arrows found in the places I've been. They're simple directional signs, each unique in their own graphic sense, all found while trying to ignore the "easy" ones on street signs and pavement.- A manicule (a type directional symbol which predates the graphic arrow) as seen on a door for Kold Kutz barbershop in Corryville.The typographical arrow is an abstraction of the projectile shot from a bow. Over time, arrows began to become more common than manicules, graphic depictions of hands pointing in a specific direction. In their early appearances, arrows marked the directional flow of rivers on maps and noted the movements of military troops on wartime documents.A lot like fading advertisements (or ghost signs), once you start looking for them, you'll never stop noticing them. Several fading ads even feature arrows themselves.These photographs were made (and arrows found) between September 19 and November 19, 2017.- Parking sign behind Mecklenburg Gardens in Corryville. - Sticker for experimental hip-hop artist, Haskell, Uptown.- Cigarette can, Downtown.- Parking sign, Downtown.- Parking sign, Downtown.- Sign for the now closed Provident Camera Shop, Downtown. Also featured in Fading Ads of Cincinnati.- Pack Pharmacy parking lot, O'bryonville- Sign for Madison Diner, Madisonville.- Ohio Caverns signs for sale at Elm and Iron Loft, OTR.- Rt. 42 signs, Mason.- Rt. 42, Mason.- Rt. 42, Mason.- "Retro" arrow in Mod Pizza, Oakley.- Arrow on a fading advertisement, OTR.- Ollie's Trolley arrow, OTR. The details of this sign were covered in another post.- Insurance sign, Downtown. Unfortunately it doesn't light up at night.- Not 100% sure this is arrow, but one seems to be faded in the center bottom. This Downtown ghost sign was covered here.- Drive-Thru bus bench ad, Oakley. This drive-thru let's you come through on your bike and always has a decent selection.- Storage, Madisonville.- Madtree Brewery, Oakley.- Olympic Parking, Downtown.[...]



[Fading Advertisements] The Winslow's Next Door Neighbor

2017-11-21T00:01:00.147-05:00

Unlike a lot of the fading advertisements seen on this site and in the book, this one isn't still promoting a business long after it's gone. Rather, the arrow directs passersby to where they can find Ollie's Trolley hawking excellent burgers and a selection of other southern comfort foods ranging from ribs to deep fried fish. Still, the mural/advertisement is fading a bit and I photographed it recently for another project, but thought it was worth a mention here specifically because of its details.The mural depicts action on the grill while a giant "Ollieburger" sits nearby.A seemingly happy dog stands behind the burger while an overly pale kid looks on in shock, presumably at just how delicious the burger appears. In the foreground, a child leans on the burger for support as his ice cream melts away and he gazes at the grill.Left of that scene, another kid holds a sign that's mostly faded. "Open Sundays" it used to read. Next to him is another ice cream wielding youth with an iconic 90's sitcom television star behind him:Yes, that's Steve Urkel from "Family Matters," one of the greatest shows of all time. The guy who says "Did I do that?" I've passed this mural so many times for years and never once did I notice the depiction of actor Jaleel White as his iconic character.I'm not sure why, but he's there, and this mural is awesome. So is the food.This wall seen here and those surrounding Ollie's actual location a few blocks down are adorned with several paintings. A multi-story portrait of President Obama has been covered here before. It was put there after the then-Senator and then-Presidential Candidate stopped by and enjoyed an Ollieburger. I also swung by Ollie's when covering the 2008 election as a college student and it's still a great place to visit, coincidentally, now not far from a rail line.The trolley itself is a leftover from a former burger chain of the same name, a business run by a former Kentucky governor. Marvin "Ollie" Smith purchased it at a sheriff's auction and has run an iconic OTR lunch spot ever since. You can read a great story about him in Cincinnati Magazine.[...]



Where Race St. Ends (For Now)

2017-11-17T00:01:02.216-05:00

Race St. runs from the northern point of Cincinnati's Over-The-Rhine neighborhood all the way to the riverfront where it abruptly ends at a concrete barrier......for now.The Banks has come a long way from when I got to tour the first phase in 2011. Still, the transformative, mixed-used evelopment isn't completely built out yet. Most of the soon-to-be-underground parking garage is in place and new businesses, a park, fountains, a carousel, and entertainment surround the phases waiting to be finished. For the time being, Race St. dead ends into a concrete barrier that blocks off the unfinished extension. At one point, Race extended down to the former industries located on the shore. When the original Fort Washington Way was installed along with the birth of the Interstate System, it was shortened to empty into 2nd. St. The master plan for The Banks called for a new cross street to link Paul Brown Stadium with Great American Ballpark running East/West where the Roebling Suspension Bridge roundabout is today. However, the Eastern alignment of this new street was never built, rather, a residential building exists.I'm not sure if the western portion of this proposed street will be brought to fruition. If it is, the end of Race St. seen in these photos will link to it. It it's not built, this recently constructed stub may just be demolished.Here's how things were supposed to look according to The Banks Master Plan from April 2000:Whether this plan or another is seen through, this is where Race St. ends for the moment. The barrier has apparently been doing its job well in terms of keeping cars from driving off the ledge. Someone hit it. Pretty hard. Enough to knock one of the barriers back and out from under the fence.- Streetscaping and traffic lines already in place.- Looking towards Paul Brown Stadium.- The future home of a tree, the current home of... something[...]



The Alignment of Cincinnati and Covington

2017-11-16T10:21:29.046-05:00

If you were blissfully unaware of Midwestern georgraphy, you might look across at Covington from Cincinnati and assume it's all one big city, an urban street grid not separated by a river and state borders. That's now how it is, but here's the story of how Covington and Cincinnati physically aligned and continue to do so, with old ways of thinking still found today.A few years ago, my friend Jake and I were contracted to photograph an event at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. On our lunch break, we set off to wander Covington's fast food options near the highway, but he pointed out something interesting before we meandered to the dollar menu district: looking across the Ohio River towards Cincinnati, Covington's Madison Ave. lined up perfectly with Cincy's Race St. If you didn't know any better, the alignment made it seem as if the two cities were one. Looking in the direction of Ohio and the direction of Kentukcy, the respective streets maintain a clear direction towards the horizon. They appear like the long streets of Chicago, the kind of right-of-way that would have a subway system running beneath it and sidewalks dotted with multiple entrances to the underground.However, these are two different cities in two different states and there's no passenger rail running beneath the river connecting them. While both are integral to the greater metropolitan area, each side of the river does have a distinct feel and culture. In the last few decades, many have seen them as competitors, a prime example being that we were at Northern Kentucky's convention center that day rather than Cincinnati's. Businesses and developments occasionally angle for government incentives, playing both shores against one another and the recent discussion of a soccer stadium has ignited an often heated debate over what exactly counts as "Cincinnati."Nevertheless, the two areas often work together, as seen with the joint bid to try and lure Amazon's second headquarters. There's people on both sides of the Ohio who claim they'll never cross, but the reality is most people don't care too much about the border (over the years, I've lived on both sides of it). Northern Kentucky has several cities lining the shore across from Cincinnati, the largest of which is Covington. The story goes that when Covington was planned, the initial streets were aligned with Cincinnati's, symbolically linking the two population centers and looking ahead to when bridge technology would evolve to link them. Five of the original thoroughfares were named after Kentucky's first five governors: Shelby, Garrard, Greenup, Scott, and Madison. I'm not sure whether it existed with the original 1814-1815 plans, but according to an Atlas on file with the Kenton County Library, Kennedy St. was in existence by 1877 (although not named for a former Governor).While Covington's Shelby St. does sit across from Cincinnati's Broadway St., it doglegs to the southwest, not following the direct lines of the other cross-state roadways. The alignment effect is most noticeable with Kennedy/Sycamore, Garrard/Main, Greenup /Walnut, Scott/Vine, and Madison/Race in Covington and Cincinnati respectively. Although the march of time has brought new developments and buildings, the views are relatively well preserved and as a whole, offer a glimpse into the minds of Covington's founders. Individually, each alignment tells its own story with unique views and sights.Sycamore St. (Cincinnati) and Kennedy St. (Covington):Looking South towards Kentucky from Cincinnat[...]



Riverfront Stadium/Cinergy Field Implosion from Mt. Adams

2017-11-15T00:01:02.464-05:00

Nearly 15 years later, a perspective of an historic Cincinnati event retrieved from family video archives.- Riverfront Stadium circa 1992. Image via WikipediaMy uncle passed away in 2014, way too soon. He was a wonderful human being with a love for baseball that came second to how he cared for those around him. I remember being overly excited in 2008 when I finally gained a true understanding and love of the game. I couldn’t wait to talk history with him in detail. I always liked baseball, but at that point in my life it became something more. His appreciation for clubs, players, and the stories of the sport was something I always admired. My uncle was also an incredibly generous person, whether he was doling out a Christmas gift or solid career advice. Once, he welcomed our family to his apartment, on the upper floors of the Highland Tower in Cincinnati’s Mt. Adams neighborhood.- Some Riverfront/Cinergy seats I own along with a seat from the Cincinnati Gardens.My parents woke up my sisters and I early, it was still dark out. We put on winter clothes and shuffled outside to the balcony, looking down at the city below. We weren’t the only ones, every nearby balcony was filled with onlookers gazing in the same direction towards Riverfront Stadium, known in its later years as Cinergy Field. In a few short minutes, the shell of the stadium that remained would be nothing more than a pile of rubble, its modern replacements flanking its sides.Riverfront was where I saw my first baseball game. I was too young to understand why everyone was upset when they changed the name to Cinergy Field, but I still liked the place nonetheless. I enjoyed Bengals games and Reds games there. I always thought it was interesting to see the faded lines of the Bengal's gridiron in the Reds outfield, not yet old enough to long for natural grass or to realize how abysmal astroturf was. I liked that you could sit in the blue seats and look straight up, seeing the perfect circle of the stadium's outline. I liked the bridges that carried you over the highway from the city, the ones that echoed with the guys who beat plastic buckets in a rhythm for tips. I can still remember the policy audio recording that played out front, the peeling paint of the parking garage entrances, and the First Aid room my Dad and I visited when I threw up during a Bengals pre-season game against the Jets.- Typical view of the stadium walkways which spanned Fort Washington Way below. Image via Jake Mecklenborg/Cincinnati-Transit.net.I wasn’t born when the Freezer Bowl happened, or when The Big Red Machine was winning back-to-back Series. I was barely a year old when Sam Wyche decried Cleveland and the 1990 Reds went wire-to-wire. Yet, I had my own happy memories from the place even if the teams I saw in the building's last waining years weren’t anywhere near as good as those who came before.- My grandfather, myself, and my Dad at my first Reds game in 1991.I was sad to see the place go, but excited for the two newer stadiums and the massive redevelopment project they represented. Even at 13, I was able to see the bigger picture, the expansion of the city grid, the hope for the future, the chance to completely revitalize what I saw and still know as home. I enjoyed watching Riverfront/Cinergy quickly disintegrate in dramatic fashion as we looked on from the balcony.Here’s a video my Dad shot that day. My mom came across it and converted it to a digital file while going through family movies. There’s ple[...]



Swoon at The CAC

2017-11-14T00:01:13.802-05:00

Also known as Swoon, Caledonia Curry is a renown street artist. For the moment, her work is on display within Cincinnati's Contemporary Arts Center and on its streets.- "Swoon. The Canyon: 1999-2017" on display at the Contemporary Arts Center.I had seen the artwork posted online before, but didn't know about the actual artist. When Blink rolled around in October 2017, I read about Swoon installing some of her work in Cincinnati as part of the festival. Laura and I went to have a look around Over-The-Rhine's alleyways and buildings before eventually catching the installation at the Contemporary Arts Center:Swoon is known for her creation of human forms often painted on recycled newspaper. These portraits are sometimes of people she knows personally, other times of figures who call attention to social causes. Using wheat paste, the final pieces are typically glued onto the streetscapes of cities, adding another layer of character to the urban environment. They're intended to be on the same scale as the average human and close to the ground so that they can be inspected up close. With lots of detail and the familiar form of a face, these works connect with the viewer in a unique fashion.If you wander around the northern parts of Over-The-Rhine near Findlay Market, you'll have the chance to view some of her work in its intended element. At the time of writing this post, they're all still there. Given their fragility, outside elements, and the ongoing restoration/redevelopment of buildings, they may not always be. As they wear, they'll continue to be part of a greater story spanning multiple cities.The Contemporary Arts Center is also hosting a multi-level exhibit focused solely on Swoon's work. "The Canyon" features pieces which span her career from 1999-2017. The exhibit gives a different view of Swoon's process compared to what the outdoor ones show. Pieces are affixed to almost every surface of the gallery on both floors, rather than bricks of buildings. Her work consumes nearly all available space and is deserving of a slow walk-through, taking the time to view the details. In there, everything seems more fragile, not as secure as the ones held firm by a combination of wheat flour and water. In some of the more heavily trafficked areas such as the stairs, the pieces have become torn or are starting to peel away from where they're adhered, an example of the work's fragility that makes it seem less like fine art and something more real and relatable.Another highlight of Swoon's work is the "Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea." These boats made of ordinary junk, captained to navigate and float the waters of New York City and Venice, Italy, aren't physically present, but are seen in a series of videos set to the music of Dark Dark Dark. The photographs of Tod Seelie, who has beautifully documented this maritime project, are also on display. You can check out a video about these ships and their crews here.Ultimately, while the installation is great, I preferred seeing Swoon's work in the outdoor environment, existing on the street as something to stumbled upon. It's pretty incredible to see so much of the detailed work encompass a large space (and the CAC is a fantastic place), but it's even better when it's playing a part in the daily life around you. You can catch the exhibit at the CAC until February 25, 2018. Once the installation is removed, hopefully the Swoon pieces in OTR last awhile and maybe, we'll one day be able to see o[...]



The Shuttered Sports Bar on Madison Rd.

2017-11-13T13:34:06.055-05:00

The concept of a “sports bar” is nothing new. Establishments with bountiful beer selections, memorabilia scattered on the walls, and multiple televisions in view of every seat are a dime-a-dozen. You’ll find them everywhere from rural communities, suburban highway exits, and even in urban cores right next to popular nightlife spots. The concept is so popular with consumers that you see it executed by groups ranging from worldwide chains to local owners. With so many around, it’s not uncommon to occasionally come across the ones that didn’t make it. In this case, a rather mundane looking building with a presumably mundane history represents a surprisingly deep story.- Destroyed televisions still hang from the rafters above graffiti and debris.I moved to the East Side of Cincinnati last year and pass this building all the time on the bus. The bright blue paint, boarded up windows, and tattered flags became a familiar sight. I glanced over once and saw the outline of a television hanging from the ceiling in the distance. I swung by on the bike later, wandering back to the overgrown parking lot and the former patio after identifying the words “Pig and Whistle Sports Pub” faded above “Hyde Park.”The patio itself is a cinder block structure with a roof and open sides. Local and regional sports team logos of the professional and collegiate variety had been painted on the walls, now competing with amateur graffiti.- The overgrown parking lot.There’s a lot of rubbish strewn about: destroyed chairs, trash blown in from outside, demolished tables, etc. Several older CRT televisions hang above. They’ve been smashed to pieces and a few have found their way to the ground below.The building itself is boarded up, presumably preserved for anyone who might want to take advantage of a heavily trafficked corner near one of the city’s more popular retail centers. Around back, the simple construction of the building’s patio looks more like an abandoned industrial plant than a restaurant. Once facing railroad tracks, the rear of the establishment isn’t decorated or painted.The rails themselves are gone, removed in anticipation of construction for The Wasson Way, a planned bike/recreational trail covered here on QC/D before.The longstanding fence separating the former railway/future recreation path has become inundated with trash over the years and trees have completely grown around it and absorbed it in some spots.This building is an oddity. It’s a rather desolate looking structure in a pretty affluent part of the city on what would seem to be valuable real estate. Nearby is Rookwood Commons, one of the region’s more popular retail centers, and the structure sits at the intersection of two busy roads, directly on a busy bus route. Despite a seemingly perfect location, nothing seems to have stuck. It’s most recent incarnation was as the faded name implies: The Pig and Whistle Sports Pub. According to 9 reviews left on Yelp during its tenure, the Pig and Whistle seemed average. One commenter refereed to is as “decent and moderately priced” while praising its beer selection. Apparently a unique hallmark of The Pig and Whistle was the rolling ladder bartenders used to access a wall full of beer taps. The business ceased to exist in late 2015 when developers snatched up the property. A Cincinnati Business Courier article cites the developers wanting it specifically for its location. Since that [...]



Gwynne Building Details

2017-11-10T00:01:01.323-05:00

The historic Gwynne Building in Cincinnati's Central Business District isn't lacking in ornamental details, but there's six specifically that caught my eye while waiting for the train the other night. They adorn the smaller section of the building next to the main tower.- Rain pouring on flowers.- A flame?- Tree.In addition to the nature icons, there's three depicting industry:- Broadcast tower/antenna.- Ocean liners.- Train.You won't find any ocean liners departing Cincinnati via the Ohio River and the trains found in the Queen City don't look as Art-Deco as the one depicted above. Aside from the thrice-weekly Amtrak Cardinal, the only other trains carrying passengers around here are right in front of this building:[...]