riding the streetcar straight into the future

The other night as we sat in Corkopolis I noticed a trend, I would see 15-20 people appear on the sidewalk, then a minute later a streetcar would pull away from the station. Over and over as we sat there. Now full disclosure because I would have done this streetcar or not. We rode up to OTR, got off the streetcar at the 12th and Vine station and I shopped for clothes across the street at Article. Then we had drinks at Low Spark and got take out from Eagle. All within a block of the streetcar line. While opponents are going on and on about ridership, I'm wondering, how much money is flooding the core right now? A hundred and twenty thousand rides have been taken to date. What would be your guess for the average amount of money spent per ride, five dollars, ten? Even if we lowball the guesstimate at $5 that would be $600,000 that has been spent within walking distance of the streetcar.
The streetcar really is a game changer.
How long does all that money stay on the table before new businesses start moving in to take advantage of it?
Not long, after avoiding the question for years Kroger has finally stopped denying they're looking to open a downtown store.

streetcar
If you look back at all the original documents for the streetcar you'll find the aim of the streetcar was to spur development in OTR and downtown. But from day one opponents have made it about ridership and fares. And unfortunately they've been distracting supporters. But ridership and fares have been running way above projections, as a matter of fact in just a little over two weeks the streetcar has generated almost a quarter of the year's goal for fares. Of course the opponents are all backpedaling claiming the rides and fares will decrease, based on the fact they've been right about everything else so far?
How can anyone think ridership will drop with more housing and office space being built up and down the route?
streetcar
Chart created by Matt Jacob
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Lunken Air Days

Lunken Air Days
Lunken Air Days
Lunken Air Days
Lunken Air Days
Lunken Air Days
Lunken Air Days
Lunken Air Days
Lunken Air Days
Lunken Air Days
Lunken Air Days
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Sid Saturday

Sid
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free Metro bus rides on Sept. 25th!

When you go downtown on game days do you enjoy endlessly circling downtown looking for parking spots? Do you enjoy paying $30 to park?
No you don't!
So instead ride the bus and don't worry about DUIs!!
Miller Lite is teaming up with Cincinnati Metro and Stagnaro Distributing, Inc. to bring free bus rides to Cincinnati. Miller Light will provide free rides on all Metro bus routes to fans traveling to the Bengals home opener on Sunday, Sept. 25 from 7 a.m. to midnight on all routes.
Planning your ride couldn't be easier using Google maps, type in your start and end destination and click the bus symbol. Make sure to download the Bus Detective app and you'll know instantly when the next bus is scheduled. It couldn't be easier.
Use that parking money for beer the way St. Gambrinus intended!
NOTE: Free rides apply to Metro buses only and not, sadly, to the streetcar system.
Metro Bus
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All the sudden alleys are the hottest public spaces

People are rediscovering and activating alleys in the Cincinnati area. Which isn't surprising as they are pretty cool spaces. But like every other overnight trend, this one has been years in the making. There have been a couple people beating the drum in Cincinnati, the Johnny Appleseed of alleys, Christian Huelsman and Spring in Our Steps is one. Casey Coston, who brought the idea of a beer popup in an alley back from Detroit is another. Recently Bellevue hosted a Makers Market in an ally.
There is a pent up demand for walk-able spaces that also happen to be just a little gritty and have an authentic feel. Bellevue, Ky has an abundance of alleys and the residents on either side of Kennedy Alley joined together for Blocktoberfest.
Nothing like a neighborhood block party where everyone (mostly) knows each other.
All the sudden alleys are the hottest public spaces.
Blocktoberfest
Blocktoberfest
Blocktoberfest
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Kleingassefest!

Some people think Cincinnati is getting real. Screw that, Cincinnati is unreal!
I think it could even be surreal.
"Surrealism is the magical surprise of finding a lion in the closet when you were expecting shirts." I think Frida Kahlo may have said that.
"Surrealism is the magical surprise of finding beauty in an alley when you were expecting ugly." I said that.

Surreal could also describe some of the art events that Maya Drozdz has been organizing lately. You may know Ms. Drozdz from her wildly popular Ledge Gallery series hosted in "Tiny Town", her small OTR apartment. Last week she took that show on the road to Coral & Drum Alleys for an imaginative installation called Kleingassefest! A tiny ally celebration.
I found it interesting how Ms. Drozdz's installation overlapped an Art Academy art show held last year. If I hadn't been to that show I might not have known where one began and the other ended. Well, I probably would have but maybe a more casual observer wouldn't have.
Kleingassefest featured tiny paintings from Phil Armstrong, cool little urban plushies created by Kira Geer, succulents from Gia & the Blooms among a number of others. The paper city on the bed created by Christian Schmit was amazing.
Of course all this reminds me of another quote,
"Art is what you can get away with" ~ Andy Warhol
Ms. Drozdz keeps upping the ante, I can't wait to see what she gets away with next.
UPDATE:I need to add this event couldn't have happened without Christian Huelsman and Spring in Our Steps. Chris has been an alley advocate through SiOS for almost five years. These alleys and most others in OTR have been cleaned and maintained by Mr. Huelsman and volunteers. So props to Huelsman for his vision to hold an alley art show, pre-planning and prepping the alley for its use.
And also to Chris Glass and Photocorps for organizing A photowalk of area alleys that happened in conjunction with the art event.

Kleingassefest
Kleingassefest
random leftover art
Kleingassefest
Kleingassefest
Kleingassefest
not Kleingassefest but still weirdly cool
Kleingassefest
the random belongings of strangers
Kleingassefest
interactive alley art
Kleingassefest
Kleingassefest
Kleingassefest
Kleingassefest
Kleingassefest
Kleingassefest
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Sid Saturday

Sid
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Queen City Radio - Grand Opening

Even though they've had a soft opening and quietly been open for a week now, Queen City Radio's grand opening is tonight!
Located directly on the Central Parkway Bike Lane or a two block walk from two streetcar stops, QCR should be popular with the local crowd. QCR is set in a former 1929-era filling station, and retains the name of the last tenant, a service and radio installation company. The interior was completely gutted, but during the remodel elements of the structure have been left intact. The interior features two levels. QCR also boasts one of the largest outdoor areas in the urban core. I love the custom tables and benches that were made for the space.
Eli’s BBQ, in collaboration with Chef Ian Sobek and Chef Dana Adkins, have whipped up a new food tuck concept the “Queen City Whip” Elias Liesring of Eli’s BBQ says, “The Whip will serve ballpark style food with a southern twist. Our burgers are made using a custom ground chuck-brisket blend from Mackie Meats at Findlay Market. We’ll also have chili dogs, milkshakes, French fries, fresh made pork rinds, hush puppies, as well as a few specials.”

QCRQCR
QCR
QCR
QCR
QCR
QCR
QCR
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Second Sunday on Main

Amazing Sunday for SSOM and another ride on the streetcar to OTR. I did more walking last weekend than I have in awhile. Usually I ride the bike everywhere and lock it up at my destination. But for three days I was walking to a streetcar stop, riding it up to OTR and then walking to my destination. Now that the crushing crowds are gone I've been riding my bike to a stop, riding the streetcar then riding to my destination.
Just because I can.

streetcar
Second Sunday on Main
Second Sunday on Main
Second Sunday on Main
Second Sunday on Main
Second Sunday on Main
OK Willow, I got that memo loud and clear, no more unsanctioned walks.
Second Sunday on Main
RustCoast has this cool selection of whimsical t-shirt with a cut going to local and reginal artists whose work was used.
Second Sunday on Main
You guys, AAC Poems while you wait, might be the best $5 you'll ever spend.
Second Sunday on MainSecond Sunday on Main
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the future is now

You know that feeling you have when you are tearing presents open on Christmas morning?
You know that feeling you get when get something you've worked and fought for?
You know that feeling when you've been laser focused on one thing and you forget football exists?
That, times 3, was my weekend.

Ms 5chw4r7z and I decided to volunteer and hang out at the Fountain Square stop to pay it back.
Or pay it forward.
Whichever it was an amazing afternoon talking to people and seeing one smiling face after another. And people asking, "did this really just happen in Cincinnati?"
But why shouldn't awesome projects happen in Cincinnati?

When you give a damn about transit, this is what it looks like. ~ John Yung, UrbanCiny contributor.

I met this couple, now I can't believe I didn't get their names, that drove from Erie, Pa. to ride the streetcar. He writes books about rail projects all over the country and wanted to pickup some souvenirs from Cincinnati. I met another older couple who because of the pleasant Saturday morning jumped in their convertable and drove from Indiana to ride the streetcar. For some reason everyone was eager to share their story as they waited on the platform for the next streetcar to come.

Streetcar Grand Opening weekend.
Streetcar Grand Opening weekend.
The Museum Center had people riding the streetcar Friday dressed in period costumes.
Streetcar Grand Opening weekend.
Streetcar Grand Opening weekend.
Streetcar Grand Opening weekend.
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