Friday, September 24, 2010

Heart of the Art / Photo Cafe: Porkopolis' Pigmania

The "Swine Lake" statue hogs the facade of the Cincinnati Ballet
Shortly after moving to Cincinnati, I began noticing pig statues everywhere -- downtown, atop buildings along Interstate 75, in front of restaurants, and inside businesses. The unusual sites made driving around the city much more interesting, but I couldn't help wondering -- why pigs?
Well, according to my research, Cincy hosted a public art exhibit back in 2000 called the "Big Pig Gig." As a fundraiser for the ArtWorks organization, local artists decorated fiberglass squealers that were later auctioned. Although the event was supposedly based on a Swiss cow display, it was fitting for Cincinnati to use pigs because of a history hog-tied to pork and resulting nickname -- Porkopolis. So from a fiberglass pigpen to being a "boar" on Cincy streets, the big pigs are an endearing element in the Queen City landscape.
Click to learn about ArtWorks.

"The Days of Swine and Roses" is a mosaic mirrored pig, holding a wine bottle and white wine glass. Other Cincy "Big Pig" statues.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Lend Me Your Ears: Dubstep invades Cincy

There's no cover charge for "Wobble Wednesdays" at The Main Event.
Cincinnati's underground electronica scene had been set ablaze with Dubstep, claiming thousands of fans in its wake. Started in 1999 UK, this music genre has spun across Cincinnati and the U.S., consuming sound systems at venues such as The Main Event. The electronica-fused drum and bass format meshes with dub (reggae) and is backed by occasional vocals. The newer music reputedly is not quite as dark as earlier experimental garage tracks, but no less grimy. The Main Event is among area hot spots for Dubstep. Go on "Wobble Wednesdays" when some of the area's best Dubstep DJs lay down hardcore mixes for floor burners to bust their moves!
The Main Event
835 Main Street; Cincinnati, OH 45202; (513) 421-1294
Hours: Mon-Thu 5:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m.; Fri-Sat 5:30 a.m.-4 a.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-2:30 a.m.

Dubstep music samples:
- Mt. Eden via
- Galactik Knights at
- Graffiti City dubstep remix of Brittney Spears' TOXIC:
... or check out DJ Psyfer's FB page for Cincy music and more:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fashion Streak: 'Unheardof' sneaker boutique

Unhearof dubs itself the "Street Pusher of Rare Goods." This Friday (Sept. 17, 2010), the store will host the Bengals Art Show. Click on to view art and get information on boutique merchandise.

Specialty baseball caps are among popular items.
I love the mural above; however, let's get to the real business of this post: the coveted sneaker boutique "Unheardof." This downtown boutique carries many rare sneakers and atypical clothing. It also hosts special events like September 2010's Bengals Art Show and T-shirt Release Party w/ MTV's Rob Dyrdek ("Rob and Big"). Exclusive - yes, pricey - perhaps, but I have yet to find a better boutique catering to sneaker aficionados and those who want to sport casual, independent fashions.
323 W 4th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202, (513) 744-9444
Sept 17th
Cincinnati Bengals Art Show w/ paintings from Shawn Voelker 

Sept 23rd
T-shirt Release Party w/ Rob Dyrdek (MTV's Rob and Big)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Lend Me Your Ears: Ben Harper

Headbanger: In my opinion, Ben Harper’s “Fight for your mind” CD is an awesome blend of rock, soul, folk, blues, and Gospel, stirred with a hint of country. I've already worn out three burned copies of this CD since January 2010. Borrow the disc from your local library, give it a listen, and then play it for your friends. Here's a sampling: 
Excuse Me Mister
God-Fearing Man

Heart of the Art / Photo Café: Fabricate

Fabricate hosts Art Openings from 7 to 11 p.m.
on the second Saturday of every month 
Fabricate: Great art isn’t just found in museums or art shows. Many introspective and eclectic pieces reside in unassuming places like Fabricate. Located inside Red Polly on Hamilton Avenue, Fabricate sells art and accessories by many gifted local artisans. My typical experience at Fabricate, “I want that, and that, and that, and that, and, ooh, two of these, please!!!

Note: Fabricate's Web site provides limited information, so contact Chris Salley or Aileen McGrath to learn about upcoming events, consigning your artistic wares or visit Fabricate online at

4012 Hamilton Avenue (inside Red Polly)
Cincinnati, Ohio 45223

Friday, September 10, 2010

Lend Me Your Ears: 'Shake It Records'

Shake It Records owner Jim Blase is a living history book of music. 
Many of us are familiar with the phrase: the key to success is embracing your passion. And it is a passion for music that lead Jim Blase and his brother Darren to open Shake It Records. Jim recalled that, as kids, they would cash their checks and go straight to their local record store. Their love of music so strong, it was inevitable that one day they'd give in to their passion for music by owning Shake It Records.

This old-school record store hosts live performances amid a plethora of LPs, CDs, DVDs, art, and more. There are vinyl toys, Asian stationery, and great magazines I didn't know existed. The store also sells artwork by graffiti writer Scribe, artist Rapes, and Elder High School art teacher Robert Beemon. Also, there are depictions of musicians produced by King Records, which was a major record label in Cincy during the 1940s, '50s, and '60s.
Store hours are Monday to Saturday 
11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday noon-6 p.m.

As for me, I'll always remember the day I went to purchase Santogold's "Santogold" and found a treasure trove.

Shake It Records
4156 Hamilton Avenue
Cincy's Northside

A Healthy Dose of Realism: Mating Season

On a recent episode of "Tyra (Banks)," female guests complained that their husbands and boyfriends, who had accompanied them to the show, needed to stop their annoying habits. I observed that many of the couples did not seem well suited to their mate, which got me thinking -- if you want to change your mate, perhaps, it is indicative of a relationship that was never right for you! As a female, I grew up hearing older women suggest to younger ones how to "hook" a man. Nothing in those conversations suggested waiting for that special one. No, just go out into the world, find a man you like, and snag him before another woman gets him!  To this day, plots are being formulated to snag a "significant other" -- just take a look at reading material that permeates society on this subject! Perhaps if we actually take time to get truly acquainted with the object of our heart's desire, we might decide to keep looking, and looking, and looking ... until we meet that special someone, who takes our breath way. Unfortunately, too many women still need marriage for validation and so they look for just about any decent employed man to lock down. In the words of a dear friend, "... find someone who can provide for you!" ... never mind that she has been married three times!!!

Note: The U.S. has the highest divorce rate in the world. Here are the latest stats:

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fashion Streak: Consignment shopping

Clifton's "the mustard seed boutique" is one of Cincinnati's hidden gems. 
The mustard seed boutique is a charming consignment shop nestled along Ludlow Avenue’s business district, the boutique carries new and resale designer labels and quality vintage apparel. I find the merchandise often rivals top local retailers, making this boutique well worth the trip to Clifton.
For more information, visit “the mustard seed boutique” online at

"the mustard seed boutique"
Christy Reinshagen, owner
311 Ludlow Avenue
Cincinnati, Ohio 45220

From right:: vintage wear; a silk taupe-colored frock by Marc Jacobs for just $110 that my daughter salivates over; and vintage red patent leather shoes.

Welcome to Cincy Dwellers: Embracing Cincinnati’s art, music, and dining subcultures, and lesser-known facts.