Saturday, June 30, 2012

What's Missing? an opinion, please!

 I didn't get around to "swiping many souls" in Cincinnati. The visit was short, the vistas were prime, but here are a few: at a farmer's market on Mt. Adams a perfect example of how to wear saucy neon color jeans--we saw them in CA last winter, the trend is popping up this summer....

A fortunate looking couple, in their twilight years, near the twilight of the day, near the banks of the Ohio on the Covington side. Pretty skirt, too.

 The Blog-Princess speaks:  This could've been taken anywhere, so I won't say where. And this is not a re-hash of commentary on the obesity problem, or intended to poke ridicule at these ladies. It's these damn "scooters" and "rascal chairs"! For people with genuine physical challenges, handicaps, illnesses, accident victims: Fine--part of the answer. But more and more we notice the situation shown above: the very person who NEEDS to GET UP and MOVE around, is seen riding along in one of these blasted chairs. As taxpayers, we pay for some of these. As a society we help enable those who will not control themselves.

This photo came for Rodeo Dr. in Beverly Hills, in contrast. Silly as the little Pink girl appears, she obviously watches her diet and exercises. Results vary, but People, ya gotta eat your greens and ya gotta move your butt! Thank You.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rookwood Pottery.....

 The word "iconic" fits, once again. If you like art, or "art deco", or beautiful home decor items, you're probably already familiar with Rookwood Pottery. This building (now used as an upscale restaurant) is the original factory. Since it's on the National Registry of Historic Places, we were able to explore inside a bit, tho the restaurant was not open at the time.  And pardon the phone pole.

The fat stubby brick structure at center is the top one of several kilns used to fire the products, way back when.....

All that is past. Nowadays, you can reserve the kiln rooms for a lunch or dinner party. Near the bar area, they have a kiln set up so anyone who buys a drink can sit among cushions on a circular banquette. When we were here it was early in the day; we thought it might be fun to relax there later, but never made it back.
"Maybe next time".... A couple of small, modest pieces of Rookwood are currently in my care, ready to be past to the next generation.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Answer is.....

Cincinnati people will know this. The Mt. Adams Incline, here's another view with the Rookwood Pottery on the top left. Say thanks to Shorpy's website for helping us understand. The venicular arrangement was to make it possible to run the street cars up the high hills surrounding the main city business area. The massive structure between the two buildings is an archeological remnant of the device. The buildings are likely just visible in the older photos. Other hills surrounding the city had Inclines, as well.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mt. Adams....

 Fabulous views everywhere you look! On Mt. Adams, looking back to Kentucky, after climbing the stairs.

Downtown Cincinnati from Mt. Adams.
What do you suppose the horizontal "wall"  in the center of the picture is? Can you guess?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Over-the Rhine...

 A perfect Retro-Girl styling, wiggle-dress, hair and all. Plus a nice street-view.

 Landmarks: the tippy-top of the Carew Tower showing just left of top-center; the Kroger Building and the City Hall off to the right with big brick tower.  Free views for all!

 Maybe my favorite painted brick wall advertisement ever!! The Dennison Hotel: Still proud of inadequate sanitation facilities after all these years!  Looks like a couple or three stories was added to this old flea-bag. Maybe at one time it was a more respectable establishment?

Interesting presentation for fire escapes.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mom Liked to Come to Performances Here...

 Cincinnati Music Hall, built in 1878 and massive. Known for wonderful accoustics. My Grandmother and her daughters used to love to go to hear classical music here.

Street car tracks still showing in the brick street. The rails they rode on to get here?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Markings of Time...

This relic of more prosperous days now houses a large antique store specializing in rescued architectural features like doors, windows, mantels and other items salvaged from the numous tear-downs over the past decades. Looks like the building itself was an important row of shops and offices--perhaps the 1870's?

Not to long ago, as with most American cities, coal was the heating fuel available. It's interesting to see how it's left it's mark on various buildings. It's a painting, it seems.

Maybe it will become condos or lofts in the next economic boom--I hope we have one--the building is nearby to massive renovation going on in the Over-the-Rhine area. It reminded me of Factory Place in LA.

 I love old stone stairs with the wear patterns of use of many many years. This town is brimming with stuff like this.

And stuff like this! People, this is a sidewalk and it is just one of maybe half-a-dozen sets of stairs it took to get my tired self up to the top; all the way up to Jackson Hill Park. This was the day we walked over 8-miles.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Union Terminal

 Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal now restored and adored by a new generation. Read the wiki-link to learn much more about it. They just love fountains and water-features in this city, it's plain to see.

                   If you missed your train, it would not be because there was not clock around.


View of the freight rail yard from the former control room, now a rail relic museum.  What I learned here is that today's kids--like 10 year olds--have no idea how to begin to use an old rotary-dial telephone!! I had no idea! The rail museum had a 1940's style phone, still connected. Kids would look at it as if it were red- hot or contagious! They tried to touch or poke the numbers! They looked in stunned disbelieve when shown how to turn the rotary dial! OK. Now I don't feel so bad about being so slow at using ultra-modern technology. At 3, the first phone I used, you picked up the receiver and told the operator what number you wanted!

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Nice Long Walk....

Here's one strange photo of the iconic emblem of Cincinnati, The Fountain located near the Carew Tower in--strangely enough--"Fountain Square". Popular meeting and gathering place for more than 125 years; the light was very bright, I could not get a good angle and knew we were not likely returning to the Square this trip. Snap.

I found this for family and friends: The Isaac M. Wise Temple, a venerable landmark dedicated to one of the most notable American Jewish figures of the 19th Century. Photos of the interior on the link. Wow.

Just across the street, the Cincinnati City Hall. It was too large to photograph well: an entire block of several stories of ornate brick, stone, marble, brass and stained glass. This shows just a small section of the central stairwell. Still used as a city hall to this day, too.

An old-time fire station, now used as a museum to preserve old relics of fire fighting from the past.

Our destination: the rail station. It looks like something from Hitler's Wish Book, built in the early 1930's. Wait till you see the inside!! As well as a depot for a few passenger trains, there's a busy freight yard and several museums to visit.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Aerial Views...

Next time you see a Cincinnati Bengals football game played from home, folks, that's the stadium. The riverfront remix of the past 20 years or so is amazing. What I can remember of the drive from Kentucky to downtown Cincinnati (made as a tiny child, standing in the front seat between adult passengers--it was the safest, you know, since they could throw out their arm to catch you in a sudden stop--no one had seat belts and it's unbelievable that any of us baby-boomers survived childhood) the riverfront was thick with funky old rundown industrial sites and lots of creepy stuff; all filthy with the residue of 150 years of coal burning.

Here's a peek at a corner of the Red's Stadium, nearby. There's the Licking Creek River intersecting with  the Ohio, separating Covington from it's rundown neighbor, Newport.     And yes, I know somehow the blog has turned into a travelog lately; suddenly I have developed the urge to take pictures of buildings and big things.   Especially on a sunny summer day on the observation deck of the Carew Tower.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sparkling Queen City Queen...

 The Iconic and Lovely Carew Tower, rising in golden glory. There actually is real gold leaf on the outside of the building in places, which gleam in the summer sunshine...

...artistic decoration and details abound--it's an office building, of course, but has the feel of an ancient temple with marble floors and countless special little touches....

 ...what appears to be a painted border around the opening at the end of the entrance hall is made of  probably thousands of beauteous colorful glazed decorative ceramic tiles....

amazing to see. The city was a center for the production of several famous brands of pottery and tile. We'll visit The Rookwood, on Mt. Adams in a few days. It's now restored as a trendy restaurant, but the character of the original purpose of the building is easy to see.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Covington, KY...

 Covington, being on the Ohio River at it's junction with the Licking Creek River across from Cincinnati, was a busy place throughout the 19th century as a center for trade and transport. A small city of many old brick buildings, some poised dramatically on hillsides at strange angles. The streets are full of twists and turns and vistas.

Also, the town had a saucy reputation as the local area resort for the ordinary 19th century vices of liquor, loose women and gambling! During the mid-20th century the town was plainly in deep decline with many of the pretty, re-habbed buildings we see today just tumbled down slums. It was sad!

 After a revival that started int he late 1970's, many old structures were saved; now occupied by young workers from Cincinnati, families, upscale businesses and so on. I like the characteristic shape of the rowhouses in both cities.

Here, too, you might peek between the humblest structures and find a wonderful view; this is more common on the high hills of Cincinnati. Views that would cost millions in LA are not expensive at all here---tho you may need to re-hab a property. There is an active Preservationist movement here, no surprise.

The charm of the authentic, antique, weathered, brick street or drive may be one of my favorite things ever. I only wish the sun had shown for this photo!

Monday, June 11, 2012

From the Kentucky Side of the Ohio River...

Well, yes! I believe I did cut off the top of the Great American Insurance Building! Every good little Cincinnati child knows that you don't exceed the venerable height of our adored Carew Tower. 48 genuine stories, including an observation deck we will visit later, is high enough for any building! Really!  BTW, that's the Great American Ball Park, full of Reds fans--it was eery to hear the roar of the fans from across the river.

 I love the two fishermen walking along the bank--a scene likely repeated here for centuries.

 Gorgeous views of the river and the city and the sunset.  This--or something similar--might be my ideal view from my "rocking chair on the front porch".

A lovely splash of golden Kentucky summer evening sunset-sun.  I was born in Cincinnati, but only lived in the area a few years, twice during early childhood.  Some of the best times I can remember. An evening like this, in summer, I'd be readied-for-bed, then allowed to come back outside in my pajamas--not in an alley of a town, but the lawn of a Northern Kentucky farm yard--to play and catch lightening bugs under the watchful eyes of parents and grandparents as they sat in lawn chairs, enjoying the evening cool.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Queen City Rambles...

John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge: Looking Toward Covington, KY. Below, slightly different angle, with riverboat.

With the help of classic sultry Cincinnati summer heat and the pleasant coolness that comes in the river valley with evening, Hubs' and I enjoyed a couple of days of walking and exploring the interesting character of one of the loveliest cities in the country. Does the bridge look a little familiar? It was completed in 1867; when it's innovative design worked so well (it was the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time), the template was used for the Brooklyn Bridge in NY. Tragically, Roebling's foot was so badly crushed in an accident while surveying for the NY version that he died of tetanus before it was completed.

The Butterfly Hotel is open for business--and packed!

We started, several years ago, to assist the butterfly population by nurturing the young specimens indoors. It was slow going. But this...