On a Cosmetic Nude

ArtWorksSign

ArtWorks is responsible for adding over 100 murals throughout Cincinnati – of which many are in the main part of the city. Thanks to Resa posting about street art in Toronto and Winnipeg, she has heightened my interest in these wonderful works of outdoor art that is in my city.

The one mural featured in this post first caught my attention several years ago when it I first saw the nearly completed version that was covered by scaffolding. Because I didn’t know much about why this mural was selected, its color and unique style caught my eye.

ArtWorks selected this design to be part of its Cincinnati Masters series – a collection of murals dedicated to the work of Cincinnati artists. Maybe in the future I’ll put them together into one post. To be honest, I didn’t know this artist – then again, I don’t claim to be knowledgeable about art. So, I decided to do this post in the style of a famous television game show – Jeopardy!

Answer: Born in Cincinnati, lived 1931-2004, graduated from the University of Cincinnati, and the Art Academy of Cincinnati

corner
Answer: He moved to New York City where cartoon strips were his initial success, but after 5 years he decided to pursue painting

colors
Answer: The Great American Nude series brought him fame in the art world
topcap

Answer: He became well-known for his American Pop Art, and a contemporary to Andy Warhol
lipstick

Answer: He also developed his own techniques of using metals in metal-work sculptures; such as The Dropped Bra
ring

Answer: His Still Life is another series – Still Life #60 is a collection of things a woman will wear – causing some to suggest these object take the place of a nude while suggesting her presence.
scaffolding

Answer: His mural is located at 811 Main Street in downtown Cincinnati

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Question: Who was Tom Wesselmann?

Although this mural caught my attention, I’ve never heard of Tom Wesselmann … at least now I know. Thanks ArtWorks!

To see more posts about the ArtWorks murals in Cincinnati, click here. Meanwhile, here’s a short video featuring Wesselmann’s work … and don’t forget to visit Resa to see the urban art she has captured.

 

Advertisements

On a Day at a Museum

In late December, my wife and I spent the afternoon at the Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC). The fabulous day included two Omnimax movies, an exhibition, the holiday train display, and sometime in the history portion of the CMC … so here’s your chance to explore what we saw.

The CMC occupies Union Terminal. With its Art Deco, rotunda, tile mosaics, and architectural structures, Union Terminal is quite the building. In 2007, the American Institute of Architects listed this wonderful structure by placing it #44 on the AIA’s favorites of American architecture. Learn more about Union Terminal here.

Jerusalem, a National Geographic movie, was fascinating! We’ve seen most of the Omnimax movies through the years, and this one ranks as one of the best. The trailer is below, but here is the list of locations the movie is currently playing throughout the world.

Mummies of the World is a travelling exhibit that is currently in Cincinnati. The exhibit trailer is below, and click here for the exhibit’s main website. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a schedule of future tour stops.

In the Omnimax theater, we also saw Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs. To me, the movie was OK and worth seeing, but doesn’t make my list of favorite films at the museum’s theater. Explore the trailer.

On our way to the holiday train display, the Cincinnati in Motion exhibit is a personal favorite. It’s a model of the city in the first half of the 20th Century. Life in cities during pre-suburbia and interstates fascinates me. The video below will give you a ride through the display, and you can see some images here.

On a Grand Hall

DSC02024

With its face towering over a rejuvenated Washington Park in the historic Over the Rhine neighborhood just north of city center, Music Hall is a Cincinnati treasure. Recognized by the US Department of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark (December 1974),

Music Hall is a grand building with a central concert hall, a large ballroom that originally served as an exhibition center for automobile shows, garden shows, and even hosting sporting events. We love ballroom dance events in this venue. I introduced Music Hall in this June 2011 post.

From the first performance on May 14, 1878 (the opera, Alceste, and Beethoven’s Eroica symphony) to serving as the current home to the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestras, Cincinnati Ballet, May Festival, and more, Music Hall remains the city’s cultural heart. Besides being one of America’s grand concert halls, it also has known as place haunted with ghosts – but friendly ghosts.

DSC02017

.

One can view its majestic nature from across Washington Park. Is there any doubt that Cincinnati Germans love for music? Nonetheless, its highest peak is quirky.
DSC02027
DSC02030
DSC02029

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO), the fifth oldest orchestra in the America, used a new summer event to welcome its new (13th) conductor, Louis Langrée – who joins the list of CSO Musical Directors as Leopold Stokowski, Max Rudolf, Thomas Shippers, Walter Suskind, Jesús López-Cobos, and Paavo Järvi.

  • The event: LumenoCity 2013
  • The place: Washington Park
  • The background and screen: Music Hall

Enjoy the Fourth Movement of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 from LumenoCity 2013, an event using Music Hall’s exterior as a backdrop for a concert also delivering a visual feast that is worth 10 minutes for those who like this sort of thing. Additional information related to this post is below the video.

Additional Information
For all the LumenoCity videos
More about Music Hall
A recent article from the Huffington Post about Music Hall and LumenoCity 2013
My post about historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood

On OTR

 

From the Cincinnati Enquirer 05 Apr 2014

From the Cincinnati Enquirer 05 Apr 2014

Italianate: An architectural style familiar to Cincinnatians; to me, this word means history, it means culture and the effect of row after row of rooftops overlooking the city. – David Falk, Cincinnati restaurateur, Huffington Post  

Over-the-Rhine (“über dem Rhein.” in German) is a Cincinnati neighborhood that got its name from the Germans that transformed the area in the mid-1800s from farms and gardens to a vibrant community. Its name came from the fact that residents had to cross the Miami-Erie Canal that separated the neighborhood from downtown. (Today, the former canal is Central Parkway, a large thoroughfare.)

DSC02035

It was this wave of working-class German immigrants that brought Italianate architecture to Cincinnati. This scale-down version of Italian palaces met their needs because there were affordable to build on narrow lots.

At one time, more than 45,000 people lived in Over-the-Rhine (OTR), of which 75% were first or second generation German-Americans. Given the German culture’s love for beer, Cincinnati’s historic brewery district was born, which also employed thousands. OTR also became home to Cincinnati landmarks as Music Hall, Findlay Market, historic churches, Washington Park, Memorial Hall, and more.

DSC02008Many left the neighborhood due to the anti-German sentiment of World War I. Coupled that with Prohibition, OTR changed. Although many Appalachians became residents, the neighborhood remained vibrant. The 1960s brought interstates to urban areas, and OTR became flanked by I-75 and I-71. Suburbia began to grow, and the neighborhood’s demographics continued to change – eventually leaving this neighborhood to the poor.

DSC02047By 2000, the once-proud neighborhood was the poster for urban blight – deteriorating buildings, walls separating, broken windows, unsanitary living quarters, drugs, shootings, and high crime. With an average median income of $10,000 per household, OTR was also the home for many social agencies.

“One of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the country” would be added to a neighborhood that in 1983 received distinction of a historic district listed in the National Register of Historic Places that has significance to other historic neighborhoods as in Savannah (Georgia), Charleston (South Carolina), the French Quarter (New Orleans), and Greenwich Village (New York City).

DSC02043In 2003, Cincinnati Center City Development Corp (3CDC) formed to transform the area. After all, the 360 acres of historic distinction was home to 943 buildings of Italianate architecture from the 19th century. Besides, given the historic distinction, tearing down buildings is not an option – so change became the order.

With 3CDC leading the charge, millions have been spent to rehabilitate the historic neighborhood to restore buildings, renovate Washington Park, improve streetscape, add green space, and develop DSC02050commercial space. Yes – OTR is rapidly changing. Suburban friends of ours recently purchased a building to rehabilitate into their future home.

Last October, a friend and I decided to walk around Over-the-Rhine. Transformation is evident by site of active construction workers and buildings are various stages of restoration. Mixed within the new, social agencies remain to care for the many that remain needy – causing me to wonder where they will go. Nonetheless, vibrancy is returning to this historical, once-vibrant neighborhood. After all, a Graeter’s has also arrived in OTR.

You (Cincinnati) are no longer that embarrassing girlfriend I don’t tell my friends about, insecure and self-conscious. You are alive and breathing in gasps of energy, and I scream my love for you from the Italianate rooftops. David Falk, Cincinnati restaurateur, Huffington Post

On a beautiful day, we walked a lot, saw a lot, and always felt safe. Enjoy the pictures of this historic Cincinnati neighborhood. Any thoughts?

DSC02009

DSC02010
DSC02012

DSC02051
DSC02054
DSC02048
DSC02053
DSC02023
DSC02037

Additional References

On a Corporate Downtown

Downtown Cincinnati from Devou Park (Covington, Kentucky)

Downtown Cincinnati from Devou Park (Covington, Kentucky)

That’s downtown Cincinnati from a park on top of a hill from the Kentucky side of the river.  My city is like other cities because each city has a distinctive skyline of corporate identities.

Cincinnati has the old and the new …

Old and the New

I’m not sure the identity of these two

… but there are some unexpected corporate headquarters that many may not identify with this small city along the Ohio River.

Macy’s is a very well-known department store. Although its flagship store is in New York City, corporate headquarters resides in Cincinnati.

Macy's HQ

.

Procter & Gamble is an unquestionable global leader regarding consumer products. With brand names as Tide, Charmin, Gillette, Downey, Swiffer, DuraCell, Dawn, Ivory, Crest, Clairol, Bounty, Pampers, and many more, P&G’s Cincinnati roots go back to their origins making candles and soap. (Brands here). P&G also has research facilities throughout the city.

P&G image from University of Cincinnati

P&G image from University of Cincinnati

.

Barney Kroger started a grocery store in 1883 from his savings of $372. Today, with 2,400 stores in 31 states, Kroger is the largest grocery retailer in the United States. Besides Kroger, other store brands include Ralphs, Fred Meyer, Dillon’s, Smiths, Fry’s, Smith’s, King Soopers, Harris Teeter, Scott’s, Gerbes, Baker’s, Owen’s, City Market, Jay C Pay Less, and QFC.

Kroger

Kroger HQ

.

Powell Crosley was an inventor, industrialist, and entrepreneur. From Crosley automobiles to Crosley radios, which was the largest producer of radios in the world … from starting a powerful radio station to transitioning into television … from building household appliances to owning the local professional  baseball team … Crosley is a well-known name in Cincinnati. Below is the building known as Crosley Square, which at one time housed the Crosley radio and television stations.

Crosley Square

Crosley Square

.

The Great American Insurance Company may not have the name recognition as the previous companies, but its name is not only associated with our baseball stadium (home of the Reds), it’s also responsible for the newest (and now tallest) building in the city, which is also topped with a tiara.

Great American Insurance Building

The Great American Tower

.

Cincinnati has others, such below. With all the bank mergers in recent years, I’m not sure whose name is upon it now, but it’s still a prominent building in the skyline … but no longer a major HQ. Hope you enjoyed my brief tour of a few of Cincinnati’s corporate identities.

Old Central Trust Tower

 

On a Legendary Parade

The Findlay Market Parade may not have the opulence and national recognition of Pasadena’s Rose Parade or Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City, but it meets their tradition on a local scale.

???????????????????????????????

Findlay Market (in its own right) is a Cincinnati institution. In earlier times, the city had many markets, but Findlay Market is the sole survivor and now listed as a National Historic Landmark. Located in the historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, Ohio’s oldest continuously operated market has its named attached to a parade associated with Opening Day. (You may recall from this post last week that I went into the city for the ambiance of the day.)

2014 was the Cincinnati Reds’ 133rd Opening Day and the 95th Findlay Market Parade.  The parade route is several miles along with rows of people lining the entire journey … and many more people watching in city center.

The Reason for the Annual Celebration

The Reason for the Annual Celebration

Although records show this year’s parade had over 180 floats, a float is definite as any wheeled vehicle that carries people. A truck pulling a long trailer loaded with people dressed in red (with some holding a plastic glass) is a float. In other words, it’s a cheesy parade featuring local celebrities, organizations, businesses, trucks, horses, marching bands, a lawn mower drill team, and more. This parade is not opulent, but it is a beloved Cincinnati tradition and the reason why people will stand and watch for 2 hours. Enjoy the parade.

People love to participate in this parade

People love to participate in this parade

Do you remember this post about Teddy?

He was the Honorary Grand Marshall (as a Reds great from the past was the Grand Marshall)

He was the Honorary Grand Marshall (as a Reds great from the past was the Grand Marshall)

I strolled to Fountain Square where crowds were the biggest.

Do you see Cincinnati's leading lady with her outstretched arms in the background?

Do you see Cincinnati’s leading lady with her outstretched arms in the background?

Looking back at Fountain Square from the Skywalk

Looking back at Fountain Square from the Skywalk

For those who want a closer look at the lady on Fountain Square

For those who want a closer look at the lady on Fountain Square

Others in the parade

It's a float!

It’s a float!

Cheers to Cincinnati's beer tradition and their salute to Guapo

Cheers to Cincinnati’s beer tradition and their salute to Guapo

 

On Wine in America: Abridged

This is an abridged version of a story because they were many more events than these.

(The people) didn’t consume many of the beverages we drink regularly today. Not only were there few nonalcoholic juices (citrus fruits being unavailable and other fruits fermenting like grapes), but coffee and tea were expensive, milk spoiled quickly, and water frequently was brackish and disease-ridden. Ironically, health and safety constituted the primary advantage of alcohol.

American Vintage: The Rise of American Wine, Paul Lukacs, p 24

These were the typical conditions in the US for the early 1800s, thus what a young man from New Jersey encountered when he headed west in 1803 to start a new life in a frontier town known as Cincinnati, Ohio. Arriving full of hope and optimism, Nicholas Longworth became a lawyer and a real estate mogul – and given Cincinnati’s location in the westward movement, he became wealthy as the city grew.

Longworth was also a man of temperance, but saw wine as a beverage of moderation that would improve life for the commoners. Keep in mind that wine wasn’t in the picture because supply was limited to imported European wines and mainly drank by the elite – and yes, banishing wine was not part of the temperance movement at that time.

Thomas Jefferson, the US President at the time and early spokesperson for wine in American, not only loved European wines, he believed America could also make great wine. His enthusiasm drove him to try cultivating European varietals in Virginia, but he was unsuccessful Native American varietals grew in the wild, but made poor wines. As other were unsuccessful throughout the east, the curious began hybridizing American and European varietals.

Nicholas Longworth made his first wine in 1813, but it was a fortified wine that was over 20% alcohol, thus far from the 12% dry table wine he wanted to make. Therefore, in 1825 he purchased a little known hybrid from Maryland called Catawba.

Experimenting with separating skins from the juice, Longworth produced a sweet wine that Cincinnati’s growing German population enjoyed. He kept trying with different grapes and techniques, and in 1842 accidentally discovered a second fermentation producing a sparkling, which led to a new problem – exploding bottles.

Fortunately, Nicholas Longworth had deep pockets to fund his passion, so he kept trying. By the 1845, his wines were getting national attention, thus production was around 300,000 gallons (over 1.1 million liters) per year. By the end of the decade, grapes covered over 2,000 acres in the Cincinnati region. The wine even inspired this poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: The Ode to Catawba Wine.

220px-Nicholas_Longworth_Wikipedia

Image from Wikipedia

In 1860, a disease (blight) hit the region’s grapes – and the grapes suddenly vanished. Longworth died in 1863 at age 80, but his son was unsuccessful at revitalizing Cincinnati’s wine industry.

Longworth’s dream lived on through others (including former employees) as growing grapes moved west to Missouri and eventually California – all building on Longworth’s knowledge. This is why Nicholas Longworth – the one who came to Cincinnati for a new beginning, earned his title: the Father of the American Wine Industry.

Note: Click to continue to the next post in this series.