The City Flea: May edition

Six years running! Who knew the City Flea was going to be this big of a hit and have massive staying power? I called it after their very first Flea, June 2011 when I said "While some events take years or months to mature or never even really get a foothold to begin with, The City Flea seems to be an instant hit. "
The first City Flea of 2017 dawned grey but it didn't stop the usual crowds from showing up to peruse all the unique vendors and displays. All the vendors you remember were there and with some churn over the winter there were some cool new home grown products to check out.

The City Flea
The City Flea
The City Flea
The City Flea
The guys from Fickle Skateboards were out, I'm not in the skateboard scene but these guys were hustling their Northside build skateboards so hard I felt they deserved a shoutout.
The City Flea
The City Flea
Rockstar baker Blair Fornshell was there promoting her brick and mortar shop Brown Bear Bakery, set to open mid-June, cross your fingers. I won't have to hit one coffee shop on Wednesday and a different one on Friday to find her baked goods anymore. I'll get them at Clay and 13th every single day, and so can you.
The City Flea
Sam has the right idea, drinking cold filtered freedom.
The City Flea
The City Flea
Protip, park at The Banks or Fountain Square and ride the streetcar. Seriously, or ride a bike. Traffic is horrible around the park and you won't find a close spot anyhow.
The City Flea
The City Flea
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Epicurean Mercantile Co.

The Epicurean Mercantile Co. is now open in OTR at 1818 Race St, almost directly across from Findlay Market. It looks like this could be a true big box grocery replacement. Provided you don't live on a 100% diet of frozen food. But I don't think those people are their target audience anyhow. Fresh produce, dry goods and even coffee. Plus a food counter in the rear , you can sit and dine or get sandwiches to go. I talked to one of the owners last night and she told me she wanted to install a bike rack shaped like a whisk! How cool would that be? I think Artworks coordinates bike rack projects like that don't they? Any rate I encouraged her to go for it. But we still have parking at Findlay.

Epicurean Mercantile Co.
Epicurean Mercantile Co.
Epicurean Mercantile Co.
Epicurean Mercantile Co.
Epicurean Mercantile Co.
They also have a hydration station for all the cyclists and anyone else shopping.
Epicurean Mercantile Co.
Epicurean Mercantile Co.
Epicurean Mercantile Co.
Epicurean Mercantile Co.
Epicurean Mercantile Co.
Epicurean Mercantile Co.
Epicurean Mercantile Co.
Steps from a streetcar stop! Seriously people, riding your bike or the streetcar is the way to go in OTR these days. Stop participating in traffic and enjoy yourself instead.
Epicurean Mercantile Co.
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Groceries & Grilling

Interested in a fun evening and an inexpensive date night? Findlay Market has you covered with Groceries & Grilling. Every Wednesday through Labor Day Findlay Market will stay open until 8pm. Watch a cooking demonstration and then gather the ingredients for your meal as you do your grocery shopping. Grills and everything else needed are provided. I had a way better time than I thought I would. Beer and wine will also be for sale at either end of the market. This week will feature a Memorial Day themed menu presented by Mackie Meats.

Grocery and Grilling
Grocery and Grilling
Grocery and Grilling
Grocery and Grilling
Grocery and Grilling
Grocery and Grilling
Finally got around to Buzzed Bull Creamery on Main St. They combine all the ingredients and flash freeze the ice cream with liquid nitrogen. Its all pretty dramatic.
Buzzed Bull Creamery
Buzzed Bull Creamery
Buzzed Bull Creamery
Buzzed Bull Creamery
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Sid Saturday

Sid
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Ride for Reading

Judi LoPresti of Northside's Spun Bicycle and Libby Hunter of Word Play started the Ride for Reading five years ago. Ms. LoPresti and Ms. Hunter began the ride in reaction to the news that Cincinnati is fourth in the nation for childhood poverty. I love the teamwork involved in this. For Ms. Hunter getting books into the hands of elementary school children for their homes dovetails with her work at Word Play. And given Ms. LoPresti's involvement in the cycling community what better way to deliver books than by bike?
I had been wanting to be involved with this ride for the last couple years so this year I just took a vacation day to ride with everyone. I'm betting we cranked an actual ton of books, 3600 books for 360 kids, from Coffee Emporium downtown to Fredrick Douglas Elementary in Walnut Hills. Sure it was fun seeing friends, grinding up Gilbert and all the camaraderie that goes along with it. What I wasn't expecting is what waited for us at Fredrick Douglas Elementary. The kids were all waiting in the parking lot and cheering as we rolled in. We unloaded the books and they all made a dash for the books. I was just standing there grinning at it all when I felt something bump into me. I looked down and a young girl was giving me a hug so I reached down and squeezed her back.
I can't even tell you the emotions running through my head at that point. My mind raced back a couple years when I rode around Oyler Elementary School in Lower Price Hill.
Have you ever seen it?
Its beautiful.
Ornamental.
On either side on the entrance is a statue, one a young boy and one a young girl, each reading a book. Looking at them I felt this intense sadness that in a neighborhood of abject poverty, there are kids who may have never seen a person read a book until they saw those statues.
Helping to deliver those books and seeing how excited these kids were to have a book of their own made me feel pretty awesome.
So thank you Judi and Libby for organizing this ride for five years and giving me, and everyone else, the opportunity to be involved.
Ride for Reading
Ride for Reading
Ms. LoPresti and Ms. Hunter receiving a proclamation from the city. How awesome is that?
Ride for Reading
Ride for Reading
Ride for Reading
Ride for Reading
Ride for Reading
Ride for Reading
Ride for Reading
Ride for Reading
Guys, next weekend Friday to Sunday has 14 events happening! Find a ride that suits you and get on that bike!
The calendar is here.
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Sid Saturday

Sid
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Taste of Belgium, Behind the Buckwheat Curtain

Behind the Buckwheat Curtain? Yeah when I got that email I was perplexed. What does buckwheat have to do with waffles?
Then I found out in the most delicious way possible, Taste of Belgium is set to introduce Cincinnati to another European dish. Next week they will debut the galette. A galette is the savory yin to the crepes sweet yang. The galette is made with a gluten free French buckwheat flour. Jean-Fran├žois Flechet recounted how he wanted to make galette from the beginning but acquiring the flour was problematic. He could buy a 1 lb. bag, or an entire shipping container. Not good for a business just starting out.
Thankfully for all us waffle fans Taste of Belgium now has the resources to import the buckwheat flour. Back to the galette, they can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. There will be a number of versions, the ones that stood out to me were the Mexican inspired Baja, and the Italian caprese with roasted tomatoes. Like many of Taste of Belgium's other dishes, the galette can be made vegetarian and vegan friendly.
Check in to Taste of Belgium next week and enjoy!
Taste of Belgium
Taste of Belgium
Taste of Belgium
Taste of Belgium
Taste of Belgium
Taste of Belgium
Taste of Belgium
Taste of Belgium
Taste of Belgium
Taste of Belgium
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