Mingle with Aaron Renn at This Month’s URBANexchange on 4/10

Aaron Renn in Cincinnati

Aaron Renn in Cincinnati’s historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood in 2010. Photograph by Randy Simes for UrbanCincy.

The weather has finally warmed up so we had decided to return the Moerlein Lager House to take in the view of the ever growing Smale Riverfront Park. As to avoid a conflict with a Reds home game, and also accommodate our special guest, this month’s URBANexchange will take place on Thursday, April 10 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm.

Our monthly URBANexchange will come one night after Aaron Renn, author of The Urbanophile, speaks at University of Cincinnati about the region’s sustainability and comparative advantages.

“It’s a great opportunity to share some of my observations on the city,” said Renn who told UrbanCincy he was contacted by the university in the wake of his commentary on Cincinnati’s streetcar debate last November.

“I plan to talk about the unique environments and assets of Cincinnati, the financial unsustainability of sprawl, how Cincinnati’s sprawl isn’t even close to the best anyway, and the barriers to execution in the deep community divisions.”

Renn’s guest lecture will take place at 5pm on Wednesday, April 9 at the Main Street Cinema inside the Tangeman University Center. Like our URBANexchange the following evening, the guest lecture is free and open to the public.

If you cannot make it to Renn’s lecture, or just want to get to spend more informal time chatting with him, you will have that chance at URBANexchange where he will be our special guest this month. The event will be a casual setting where you can meet others interested in what is happening in the city.

We will gather in the biergarten so that each person can choose how much or little they buy in terms of food or drink. Although we do encourage our attendees to generously support our kind hosts at the Moerlein Lager House.

We will be situated in the northwest corner of the biergarten (near the Moer To Go window), but you can also ask the host where the UrbanCincy group is located and they will be happy to assist.

The Moerlein Lager House is located on Cincinnati’s central riverfront and is located just one block from a future streetcar stop. If you choose to bike, there is free and ample bike parking is available near our location in the biergarten outside by the Schmidlapp Event Lawn.

Join UrbanCincy in Showing Your Love for Mahogany’s This Week

The restaurant and bar industry is a tough one. The vast majority of them fail, and many come and go in Cincinnati’s center city every year. One of those businesses that has been struggling, as has been well publicized by the local media, is Mahogany’s.

Mahogany’s got its start in Hamilton in 2010, but relocated its southern-style cuisine restaurant to The Banks in 2012. One of the things that makes Mahogany’s unique is that it is one of the few locally owned and operated establishments in the massive riverfront development’s first phase. Mahogany’s is also the only African American-owned business at The Banks.

Mahogany's

After receiving financial aid from the City of Cincinnati to build out their space, owners have struggled to make payments on their rent and repayment of those loans. They have until Tuesday, April 1 to make a $25,000 payment or be evicted.

The owners have publicly discussed their struggles and, according to their landlord, have been making good faith efforts to repay their debts. Mahogany’s is a terrific establishment and it is worthy of our business, and worthy of rallying together to save.

As a result, we would like to encourage our readers to patronize Mahogany’s this week in order to help boost sales and support the owners in their effort to make the $25,000 payment. If you would like to meet with some of our team members, and others from Cincinnati’s urbanist community, then please join us on Thursday, March 27. We’ll be there for dinner and drinks.

But the most important thing is not us. It’s about supporting a great local business that many out-of-towners are exposed to during baseball and football season. So if you cannot join us on Thursday, please go another day or evening this week.

After a brutal winter that has been tough on everyone, and right before the start of the baseball season, it would be a real tragedy to see Mahogany’s evicted. So please show your #MahoganysLove this week.

We recommend trying the ribs or the chicken wing dinner. Or if you are vegetarian, they also have a very good vegetarian plate that you can build yourself. Mahogany’s also has a full bar and offers happy hour specials daily from 4pm to 7pm. So be sure to come both hungry and thirsty. See you Thursday!

PHOTOS: Record Crowds Pack Over-the-Rhine for 22nd Bockfest Celebration

It is estimated that well over 30,000 people attended this year’s Bockfest celebrations in historic Over-the-Rhine – shattering previous attendance records.

Cincinnati’s Bockfest is the largest and longest running such festival in the world. Its history, however, is rooted in Bavaria. It is traditionally understood that Bavarian monks would brew bock beer and consume it and it only during times of fasting – typically around Easter or Lent.

As is custom, this year’s festivities were kicked off with The Bockfest Parade and the ceremonious delivery of the first keg of bock beer to be tapped at Bockfest Hall. The following 21 photos are a sampling of the opening parade that took place late Friday afternoon.

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Check out 5chw4r7z’s photos for even more views from around Bockfest this weekend.

Dueling Bartender Event to Raise Money for St. Lawrence Square Improvements

City officials gathered in Olden View Park on Tuesday to kick-off the Price Hill Neighborhood Enhancement Program. Over the next several weeks city departments will provide a targeted clean-up effort in the neighborhood aimed at reducing blight and improving public safety.

Neighborhood leaders at Price Hill Will are also hoping to leverage the extra attention and investment for some other neighborhood priorities of theirs.

The first project they are hoping to advance is a collection of improvements to St. Lawrence Square that will include a stage, fountain, walkway, benches and other aesthetic upgrades. The second project, officials say, will look to improve the aesthetics surrounding a Duke Energy substation and neighboring lot.

In order to do this, Price Hill Will is looking to raise money for both projects through an event they will host on Tuesday, March 11 at The Crow’s Nest. The event will feature dueling guest bartenders competing for tips that will support the two projects.

“Dueling Bartenders is a series of fun fundraisers we started last fall with a showdown between Father Umberg and Sister Sally Duffy,” explained Pamela Taylor, Community Outreach Coordinator with Price Hill Will. “In this second round we are having two local authors – Dan Andriacco who writes Sherlockian mysteries and Greg Hoard who is a sportswriter and has authored several biographies.”

The fundraiser will take place from 5:30pm to 8pm on March 11, and all money raised will go toward making the improvements to St. Lawrence Square a reality. The Crow’s Nest (map) is easily accessible via Metro’s #32 and #33 bus routes from both Government Square and the Glenway Crossing Transit Center.

URBANexchange Hosts Vice Mayor at Short Vine Taste of Beligum

Snow may still be on the ground but we will have warm waffles at this month’s URBANexchange event! That’s right, we are pleased to announce that for this month’s event we have moved to Taste of Begium’s Short Vine location. Come down for some waffles and chicken or some Belgian beers this Thursday from 5:30pm to 8:00pm. This is a great opportunity to check out the new development that has opened in Uptown.

As always, the event will be a casual setting where you can meet others interested in what is happening in the city. We will gather in a space near the bar so that each person can choose how much or little they buy in terms of food or drink. Although we do encourage our attendees to generously support our kind hosts at Taste of Belgium.

We are pleased to announce that Vice-Mayor David Mann (D) has indicated he will be attending the event. Mr. Mann has a distinguished career in the city as a former Mayor and Councilman. He returned to City Council last November.

Short Vine Taste of Belgium

As always URBANexchange is free and open to the public. This month we are giving away two $25 gift cards  to Taste of Belgium as door prizes so be sure to drop your name into the raffle.

We will be situated near the bar in the center of the restaurant but you can also ask the host where the UrbanCincy group is located and they will be happy to assist.

Taste of Belgium is located on Vine Street in Correville between the University of Cincinnati’s east and west campuses and is located just two blocks from a future uptown streetcar stop. If you choose to bike there is free and ample bike parking is available outside the building. The venue is also served by Metro’s Metro+ bus , as well as routes  #19, #78 and #46 buses.

Photo by Jake Mecklenborg

Red Door Project to Debut Pop-Up Art Exhibit at Final Friday

Art sometimes has the effect of bringing people together. Sometimes it opens avenues for new connections and experiencing new things. Ten years ago, local artists were challenged to create a piece of art centered on a red door. That event a decade ago led to the beginning of close friendships that endure today.

That is the story gallery founder, Barbara Hauser, tells regarding that original Final Friday event in 2004; and while she was not leading the gallery known as The Project back then she was inspired to launch an event of her own.

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“Everyone sees art differently – and everyone deserves to have their work featured and appreciated,”  Hauser stated in a prepared release. “I’ve never considered myself an artist, but when I had the chance to see my work on display at a similar type gallery and have it purchased I realized that I wanted to create a space that celebrates the artist in all of us.”

The Red Door Project is a pop-up art exhibit that breath new life into this decade-old endeavor at the upcoming Final Friday in Over-the-Rhine on February 28.  Inspired by the idea that art is the eye of the beholder, Hauser says the gallery features artwork by dozens of Cincinnatians from many different backgrounds and walks of life.

“I’m sure everyone will interpret the theme differently. It could be a painting of a moon cycle or a photograph of a bicycle,” noted Hauser. “And really, that’s the beauty of it. You won’t know what to expect when you walk through the door, but you may find yourself walking out with a new piece of art to enjoy.”

The Red Door Project debuts this Final Friday’s festivities  at 1232 Vine Street – the storefront previously occupied by Joesph-William Home. The gallery will be open from 6pm to 10pm.

There is still time for submissions, which are due by February 22, and can be dropped off at the event location between 11AM and 3PM. This month the theme is “cycle” which is defined as a series of events that are regularly repeated in the same order.

Photograph provided.