Hamilton, Ohio

America's renewed love affair with big cities has been going on for years now and has slowly trickled down to small cities. These cities have employed the same strategies to kick start their neighborhoods and business districts as the big guys. A brewery, a coffee shop, a bakery, and then add art.
Case in point is Hamilton, Ohio, 40-45 minutes from downtown Cincinnati. It is human scale and packed with culture and history. These smaller cities have one giant advantage over big cities besides just existing on a human scale.
Nimbleness.
When a need or trend is identified, smaller cities can act on it quickly. Cincinnati has been sitting on an open container law for years, but Hamilton already has a program, DORA. Jeff Archiable, Communications Strategist for Hamilton, jokingly says DORA means Drinking Outside is Really Awesome (Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area)
And the best news is a trip to Hamilton couldn't be easier. Start your day in downtown Hamilton with a coffee and pastry at Almond Sister's Bakery or True West Coffee. Once you are caffeinated it's easy to get lost wandering around downtown admiring public art and taking in some eclectic shops like the famous Henry's Candy Co. and Sarah's House. Sara's House is a relatively new place on the scene opened five years ago when the owners purchased the rundown building and totally renovated it before moving in.
After soaking in the culture and maybe a side trip a couple of blocks off the beaten path to the Hollow Earth Monument, you might want to recharge. Municipal Brew Works would be a good stop before checking out German Village and relaxing in Marcum Park for more public art and sweeping river views.
A walk across the Great Miami River leads you to Rossville, another charming neighborhood full of shops. Before getting started, cool off with ice cream at the Village Parlor. Main St has been undergoing rapid change so you'll see a mix of brand new shops alongside the stalwarts.
If it is nature you are looking for Hamilton boasts The Great Miami River Trail which runs 86 miles from Piqua to Fairfield. You can hike, bike or skate along the Great Miami River and you might see an eagle!

Hamilton Ohio
Hamilton Ohio
Joe Nuxhall
When It Rains It Pours
Hamilton Ohio
Hamilton Ohio
Hamilton Ohio
Hamilton Ohio
Hamilton Ohio
Hamilton Ohio
Hamilton Ohio
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Camp Washington Second Saturdays

Lots of buzz out of Camp Washington these days. They have some grassroots placemaking going on and it shows. Between the art galleries and a new coffee shop there is now a popup bookstore Fringe and the CampSITE Sculpture Park which is amazing. To showcase all of that Camp Washington is now hosting Second Saturdays.
Second Saturdays as the name implies is an event 12-4pm where galleries, performance spaces, and studios open up to allow for a walking tour of the artistic and cultural side of Camp Washington the second Saturday of the month through August I believe. Camp Washington will be getting a second coffee shop soon, all they need now is a microbrewery and they'll be on their way.

Camp Washington
Camp Washington

Seeing this play out made me want to move to the neighborhood and know all these people!
Camp Washington
Camp Washington
Camp Washington
Camp Washington
Camp Washington
Camp Washington
Camp Washington[where: 45202] best place to learn how to live downtown cincinnati ohio the ethos of Cincinnati
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Holiday Spirits Bar and Forty Thieves

Dan and Lana Wright have opened arguably the most un-OTR bar in OTR. And that is a good thing. The Holiday Spirits Bar, steps away from a streetcar stop, is wide open and airy and not cramped at all. And nice easy going place for a drink. As for Forty Thieves, think casual Arab and Israeli street food. Pitas stuffed full of the most flavorful things you can think of. My head is still spinning over the blistered shishito peppers that the pitas were topped with. If I could order a sleeve of those peppers as a side, that would be heaven.
Holiday Spirits Bar and Forty Thieves will open to the public on March 19th, jump on the streetcar and get there before it becomes the IT place and you can't get in. Which with the Wright's track record, might happen by Friday.

Holiday Spirits and Forty Thieves
Holiday Spirits and Forty Thieves
Holiday Spirits and Forty Thieves
Holiday Spirits and Forty Thieves
Holiday Spirits and Forty Thieves
Holiday Spirits and Forty Thieves
Holiday Spirits and Forty Thieves
Holiday Spirits and Forty Thieves
Holiday Spirits and Forty Thieves
Holiday Spirits and Forty Thieves
Holiday Spirits and Forty Thieves
[where: 45202] best place to learn how to live downtown cincinnati ohio the ethos of Cincinnati
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Bockternal: A Bockfest Nightmare

Hands down, the Bockfest parade is one of the two best parades in Cincinnati, and this year may have topped them all.
While most groups participating in the parade are festive and celebrate a quickly approaching spring. The Krewe of Grimm takes a grimm(er) look. If KoG's aBockAlypse entry two years ago was a preparation for the end of the world then Bockternal was a look at what that world might be like.
And people loved it!
The Krewe of Grimm also took home the trophy for Best Themed Float.

Bockternal
Bockternal
Bockternal
Bockternal
Bockternal
Bockternal
Bockternal
Bockternal
Bockternal
Bockternal
[where: 45202] best place to learn how to live downtown cincinnati ohio the ethos of Cincinnati
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We went to a brewery and a circus broke out!

Turns out there was a fundraiser for Mission2Move, a non-profit that visits schools to educate children on movement, mindfulness and nutrition. Helping them out were performers from the Cincinnati Circus Company, Q-Kidz Dance Team, and Exhale Dance Tribe. It really couldn't have been a cooler event.

Mission2Move
Mission2Move
Mission2Move
Mission2Move
Mission2Move
Mission2Move
Mission2Move
Mission2Move
[where: 45202] best place to learn how to live downtown cincinnati ohio the ethos of Cincinnati
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Garage Brewed Motorcycle Show

Do you like beer?
Do you like motorcycles?
If you answered yes to those questions I hope you caught the Garage Brewed Motorcycle Show at Rhinegeist last weekend. Custom bikes, survivors and retired and not so retired racing bikes. There was something for everyone.
Garage Brewed
Garage Brewed
Garage Brewed
Garage Brewed
Garage Brewed
Garage Brewed
Garage Brewed
Garage Brewed
Garage Brewed
Garage Brewed
Garage Brewed
Garage Brewed
Garage Brewed
[where: 45202] best place to learn how to live downtown cincinnati ohio the ethos of Cincinnati
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