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June 20, 2013
W-K-R-ME IN CINCINNATIViews from downtown Cincinnatis tallest building, the Carew Tower (441 Vine Street), spanned the landscapes of both the city and Kentucky side of the Ohio River. A cool breeze was accompanied by echoing rock music emerging from the streets below, where a local band was performing in Fountain Square as the Tyler Davidson Fountain shown spewed its brightness.
I could see Mt. Adams on the left. It was the highest point in the city and where the Celestial Restaurant and Lounge (513-241-4455) offered a romantic setting and eclectic menu that included a roasted red and yellow beet salad with frisee, endive, watercress, radicchio, smoked bacon, baked goat cheese crouton, poached cherry tomatoes and walnuts with an olive vinaigrette oozed over it. My taste buds recalled the Dijon and rosemary encrusted rack of lamb sitting atop a braised artichoke bottom surrounded by ratatouille vegetables and white bean puree.
There were fond memories of attractions visited along the river such as the Great American Ball Park (513-765-7000), where the Cincinnati Reds took the Pittsburgh Pirates. The new Hall of Fame and Museum (513-765-7925) featured a Pete Rose tribute and 90-mile-an-hour fastball up close and personal.
Where crossing the Ohio River was once a choice of row boat or walking on the wintry ice caps, at least five bridges of different colors and ilk allowed motored vehicles, or one of only pedestrians, to freely go back and forth from one state to the other.
African-American history of slavery and the Underground Railroad was impacted by a tour of the new Freedom Center (513-412-6900). 158,000 square feet included a slave pen, and an authentic slave jail. A 25-minute movie portrayed a slaves escape to the riverfront town of Ripley, Ohio while interactive stories of courage allowed me to meet a young escapee name Caleb.
A few blocks North the magnificent Arnoff Center for the Arts (513-241-2345) featured Gregory Harrison as Billy Flynn in a Broadway Across Americas production of Chicago. Magnificent theatre and the performance did not conger up feelings of wanting to be in New York.
It was easy to spot Union Terminal and it wasnt for thoughts of Amtrak that left an impression, but rather the Museum Center (513-287-7000) with four major attractions. The Cincinnati History Museum featured Cincinnati in Motion, an impressive scale model of the city from 1900 thru the 1940s with working trains, streetcars and inclines as well as a re-creation of the Cincinnati Landing in the late 1850s.
Live bats were presented and talked about at the Museum of Natural History and Science, but not dwelling when I strolled thru a re-created limestone cavern.
I didnt have time to view the 5-story wrap around screen of an Omni-Max movie, but did check out the Cinergy Childrens Museum. It would have been a perfect place to connect learning school subjects with the hands on activities, such as math, science, economics (buying groceries), health and sociology (learning about children from other countries).
Every major city has a few major art centers and after our short tour of Mt. Adams we lose our way to the nearby Cincinnati Art Museum (513-721-ARTS) housing the new multi-million dollar international exhibit, Petra: Lost City of Stone. I had seen this exhibit at the Museum of Natural History in New York, but this one appeared to be more extensive. Either that or I totally forgot my New York experience.
Barbecue. I seem to remember Barbecue. Ah, yes, the recalling of lunch at Montgomery Inn Boathouse (513-721-7427). Choice loin back ribs and a great bbq sauce.
Need to walk it off. But instead we are driven to Dayton to view the Dayton Aviation Heritage Center and U.S. Air Force Museum (937-255-3286). Although there was the Morphis MovieRide Theatre and IMAX Theatre, time was spent at the historic hangar where I hopped aboard one of two presidential aircrafts. One was the SAM 26000 that President Kennedy flew in to Texas and where President Johnson was sworn into office as in carried Kennedys body back to Washington, D.C. The other was the aircraft structured for President F.D.R.s wheelchair.
Flowing water and good food tend to paint a picture in my poor memory. Thank goodness for photography. A short ride to Clifton Mill (937-767-5501), one of the largest water powered grist mills still in existence, having been built in 1802. Got a close up view learning how water power converts to energy to run the mill and the way stones grind grains into flour, specifically, cornmeal.
The Millrace Restaurant served home-cooked breakfast and lunch. Fresh, whole grain breads are baked daily along with homemade pies and cookies. Savored a sandwich while relaxing to the gentle sounds of the old mill wheel and water cascading over the falls.
Dreams prevailed as I slept at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherlands Plaza Hotel (513-421-9100). Quite an historic hotel with a fabulous Palm Court Restaurant and a bed that just wouldnt fit in my luggage.
December 09, 2004 - Queens Times
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