Category Archives: Cincinnati

Old Timey Cincinnati

My brother hipped me to these the other day. WIRED published these recently and here they are online. Apparently these daguerreotypes belong to the library and they are a pretty incredible view at our city a long long time ago. For those wondering what exactly a daguerreotype is, I constacted Wikipedia:

The image in a Daguerreotype is formed by the amalgam, or combination, of mercury and silver. Mercury vapor from a pool of heated mercury is used to develop the plate that consists of a copper plate with a thin coating of silver rolled in contact that has previously been sensitised to light with iodine vapour so as to form silver iodide crystals on the silver surface of the plate.

So now you know. Check ’em out though, they are pretty phenomenal pictures of our city in its infancy.

1848 Daguerreotypes Bring Middle America’s Past to Life

Love,

John

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Cincy Streetcar… A Design Qualm

I feel bad writing a post about this, I do. But Cincy Streetcar Team, you really have made your first misstep. Everything up until now has been basically perfect. You’ve kept your cool amidst attacks by COAST and NAACP. You’ve maintained your composure amidst a city-wide backlash. Your blog informative, entertaining and effective. Hell, the virtual tour you put up just a day or two ago was even effective on me and I’ve never wavered in my support of the plan! As I said though, you made your first oops yesterday: The new website is pretty blah. Cheap looking, even. The previous site was wonderfully minimalist and modern looking. It said “here is a modern idea, proposed by modern people for what could be a modern city.” Now it looks so decidedly Web 1.0 that I wonder if you really are trying to pander to older people who just discovered the internet. I was so disappointed when I clicked the link on twitter yesterday. It was a brick wall of drab.  To paraphrase former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, I don’t how to define what bad design is, but I know it when I see it.

The addition of a lot of information is a bonus and it is encouraging that it looks like the Streetcar plan is slowly moving out of the “Hey! We should do this!” phase, but the site design itself is not encouraging. It does not encourage people to click around because it sort of looks like a Cincinnati Streetcar fan-page, not the real deal. Keep the information, overhaul that design! Please! If this is to be the official home of the Streetcar/anti-issue 9 movement, than give it some flash. Make it look official. This kind of looks like I put it together, and I have trouble embedding youtube videos sometimes. If you could just merge the boost of info of this page with the lovely design of the previous, I think we’d be getting somewhere.

The New Cincinnati Streetcar Website

Love,

John

Friend Alert… Overlooked Cincinnati

Despite the fact that we’re arguing elsewhere on my blog, I thought I should give mention to a blog that was birthed in the midst of my hiatus. Like Visualingual’s well documented series of Ghost SignsOverlooked Cincinnati is all about those tiny details that make our city even more worthwhile. Sure the cool architecture and fun happening around town are good for showing off to out-of-towners, but its the little things, like “BOOK MONSTER” and Lazarus Lizards, that keep us surprised, interested and in love with our city. Run, at least in part, by my good friend, ex-coworker and compulsive yeller Brian, it’s an excellent addition to the Cincinnati blog community. So get in there and start contributing!

Overlooked Cincinnati

Love,

John

I’ll get back to this…

Yeah, it’s been a while, I know. I seem to have a tendency to get very bogged down in this blog and then abandon it for a good long while. Well, I’ve come back around the mountain again and will starting to write again. I know, I know, this is great news to the ones, perhaps even fives or tens, of readers I once had and who have most likely taken me off their google reader/rss feeds. But no matter, once I have a little more time on my hands and something substantive to say I’ll be back on here. All I can say for now is this:

– After a very long-winded struggle with the philosophical and Kurzweilian implications of a service such as this, I decided to suck it up and re-up my Twitter account. I’ve been more active as of late, and I still kind of hate it, but it is a good kind of hate these days. It would be filed under Curmudgeoned.

– My good friend Alex’s blog grass console should get more traffic, take it from a very not-vegan soul.

– The streetcars are still a great idea and having these open houses is an incredibly smart move.

Squid and the Whale is not a good film. “Divorce is unpleasant and oftentimes involves unpleasant people” is not a brain bursting idea and Noah Baumbach needs to cheer up (I’m looking at you Margot at the Wedding). You know what is original?

Marauders, thats what.

-Kanye is the smartest celebrity of all. Not nominated, not performing and still the most talked about aspect of that show (which we all hate, but somehow are angry he disrupted)? Kudos to you sir. Taylor Swift will get over it, don’t worry. She is very young.

But the public outcry over a seemingly trivial moment in an even more trivial award show begs the asking of a bigger pop culture question: Why is it people who are famous and talented have to be super nice these days? You’ll hear people say “Well, I love his music, but I can’t listen to it because he’s an asshole!” Better throw out most of your records if that’s becoming the new standard by which listenability is judged. Sinatra, John Lennon, pretty much all of The Who, Axl Rose, Bono, Bowie, and the list goes on, were or presently still are all monumental assholes. Why have we started imposing a new standard of behavior and attitude on our celebrities?

Alright, that is all for now. Be back later.

Love,

John

Daniel Martin Moore at Soft City Lights…

Just a quick post for you readers. Daniel Martin Moore is a semi-local artist. I say semi only because although it would be easy to claim him as our own, he seems pretty devoted to Kentucky. I would just feel guilty trying to take that away from him. These videos were edited by Kevin Bayer for his Soft City Lights website and shot by Kevin, Kendall Bruns and myself. Holding the camera is easy but making quiet music interesting is a sisyphean task. So kudos to Kevin. While Kevin isn’t doing Soft City Lights he plays in You, You’re Awesome, The Damn Thing, and lends his DJ and video talents to Dance_MF. Also, look for a music video for a certain local band in the near future. I’ll say this much, the filming of it made the ceiling of my garage collapse. Unexpectedly raucous! 

The video for “Smile” after the jump. Continue reading

Last Thursday’s Streetcar Debate

frank-mcgohan-conductor-cable-street-car-cincinnati-ohio_small

One of the first major streetcar debates was held last Thursday on UC’s campus. I, unfortunately, was not able to attend due to the fact that Thursdays are one of my only days off to get errands taken care of. Thankfully a UC based radio show recorded the whole thing and put it up online for you to listen to in the comfort of your own home. It can be found here or on iTunes by searching for “Explore Cincinnati.” I’m not going to put too much of my own spin on this because it is very clear that the Jason Haap and his rag, The Cincinnati Beacon, are very sensitive to “bias,” also known in this case as “another opinion.” There is one point I would like concerning this debate, though. If Jason would like to continue to participate in debates like this and be taken seriously, he needs to work on his rhetoric. While I support the streetcar wholeheartedly, Haap does make a few decent points but they were lost in the muddle of his manically indignant delivery. The setting up and knocking down of arguments by sarcastically exclaiming things along the lines of “Wooow!” or “I don’t know what you guys think, but…” really harm a speakers point. 

Continue reading

Pat on the back…

There seemed to a bit of push by local media outlets, big and small, to shop locally this Christmas season. Well, in case you haven’t heard, it seemed to pay off to some extent. This article in the Business Courier suggest that people are really responding this call to consumer action. I managed to do all of my shopping downtown and, I have to say, it feels pretty good to not have slogged through the local malls this year.