New Year’s Celebration on Fountain Square

Come downtown to ring in 2010! Fountain Square will feature a 15,000 pound Ice Bar, which includes a Red Bull ice luge. Faucets are frozen inside the bar so beer can be tapped from inside the ice. The bar is about 20 feet long, 12 feet deep and 10 feet high. Soda, snacks, draft beer, champagne and mixed drinks will be available for purchase. Additionally, Strauss & Troy are sponsoring FREE ice skating and skate rentals, which are typically $2.50 each.

DJ Pillo will spin tunes all night to keep the non-skaters moving as well. At 11pm, watch Red Bull’s “New Year No Limits” TV special live on ESPN. Red Bull athlete Travis Pastrana will drive a car off a pier in Long Beach and land it on a barge floating in the harbor, in an attempt to set a world record for longest distance jump in a rally car. Then at 11:59 pm be part of a live television crowd on Fox 19 that counts down to the New Year and welcomes 2010 with fireworks by Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks.

Parking is available all evening in the Fountain Square Garage for just $5. Or leave the car at home by taking a bus to the event (plan your trip now). You could always take a cab home if needed.

Fountain Square Ice Bar photograph by 5chw4r7z.

Busken Bakery opens new downtown location

Earlier this month Cincinnati-based Busken Bakery opened their newest location on 7th Street in downtown Cincinnati. The street-level space is the fifth downtown Cincinnati location Busken has had in its 82-year history.

“We’ve had a retail presence in downtown Cincinnati for nearly 40 years,” said Page Busken, Chairman of Busken Bakery. “We’ve experienced the entire business spectrum of great success and miserable failure in the downtown market over the years. This will be the 5th time we’ve opened a new store in downtown Cincinnati and believe me, we’ve seen it all!”

Busken’s sons Dan and Brian encouraged their father to maintain a downtown location even when times were bad, and now that Cincinnati’s center city is experiencing a dramatic revitalization, the sons believe it would be foolish to leave.

“There is too much positive momentum and our city center is slowly but surely becoming a destination,” said Brian Busken.

The new store will look to grow their breakfast and lunch catering business which had previously been operated out of their store at 9th and Central near City Hall which has now been closed and replaced by the new store. The new store will also give Busken a presence in the heart of the bustling Backstage Entertainment District and within the close reach of thousands of downtown office workers and residents.

“Breakfast catering is something we are very good at, and to my knowledge I don’t know of any other bakeries that will deliver Hall of Fame Donuts, Danish Muffins, and gallons of premium coffee to any downtown business meeting or event, 5 days a week,” said Busken.

The new Busken Bakery at 7th & Walnut streets (map) is open Monday through Friday from 6:30am to 3pm, Saturday from 7:30am to 1pm, and is closed on Sundays. Bicycle and automobile parking are available, and the new bakery is located along several prominent bus routes and is located just two short blocks from Metro’s Government Square bus hub (plan your trip now).

Just another statistic…

It has been just over a month (11/27) since I became a statistic. After going to the Know Theatre for a review of Sideways Stories from Wayside School I was walking back towards Fountain Square when my friend and I were robbed at gunpoint at the intersection of Vine and Court streets (map).

No one was hurt, although material possessions were taken along with our nerves that night. It was not so much the fear, but the state of shock took over our minds. There were lots of people around – about a half dozen at the bus stop a half block away, another dozen or so hanging outside of Hamburger Mary’s, cars moving along on Central Parkway, and we were right on Vine Street. We could not believe what was happening until it was all over.

The encouraging part was that someone at the bus stop called the police who responded within a few short minutes. Another gentleman expressed his condolences as we continued to make our way back into the Central Business District, but in the end, we have been added to the spreadsheets as victims of crime.

Looking back on things it appeared as though the individual who approached us had no intention on using the Western-style handgun of his that he was holding palm up, and it also appeared that it was all made possible by a dark Court Street area where he, and an accomplice, were able to hide. Since that time Court Street has seen additional lighting added to it in a move that I find non-coincidental.

Both my friend and I are avid city supporters and are not scared away easily. The next day I walked around historic Over-the-Rhine taking photographs of new development projects and architectural features throughout the beautiful neighborhood. But with that said, the incident gave me a reminder that we must always be aware of our surroundings no matter how comfortable we might be.

Additionally, as urban-advocates we must realize that crime, and the perception of it, must be addressed in a prioritized way that is thought out and well managed. Would surveillance cameras prevented this incident from occurring, or would it have just happened somewhere else where it was dark and without a camera? Would additional lighting have changed the situation? More police? More jail beds?

These are all complex issues that are very worth discussion as we continue to move forward with the redevelopment of our urban communities. We need a smart city in order to thrive in the future, and overlooking how to effectively manage crime would be a major mistake.