Category Archives: OTR

Dealing in Over-the-Rhine

Homeless Man Paints the Town Red

Alright kids, let this be a lesson. Don’t vandalize. And adults, don’t leave paint lying around for us to literally paint the town red. According to the Enquirer the mysterious Washington Park vandal has been identified by red spots on his jacket.

Now if we can just catch the idiot that painted the southern gates all one solid color as if it makes it looks nicer. Its stone, you shouldn’t paint it. Maybe power-washing would have been a better choice, but the patina adds to the character.



Filed under OTR, public space

Place Branding by Association

I don’t mean to pick on Lavomatic, or the other merchants in the Gateway Quarter. Honestly, I think that these places are great and are a crucial part of what is needed for OTR to be a healthy neighborhood. But, as some know, this blog started with a post about the Gateway Quarter as an example of place branding. I thought it would be fun to revisit some of these ideas four months later in the context of an article written about Lavomatic.

More interesting to me than the specifics of this instance are the perceptions and portrayals of transitioning urban neighborhoods in general. The article is primarily about the food and is written by a food critic, so the comments should be understood in that context. I am not trying to devalue the point of the article because it is well written and does exactly what it is supposed to. This is interesting to me because of its relationship to place branding. It is not an expert urbanist’s perception of the neighborhood, but has some implications for thinking about the Gateway Quarter as a place.

The article starts by commenting that “It’s a big scary world out there. So it’s good to find a place that creates its own cozy corner of it, a restaurant with a well-developed sense of where exactly it is.”

I’m not sure how this was intended, but in the context of what follows and the general perception of its location I read a big scary neighborhood. Also, I’m interested to know how this “well-developed sense of where exactly it is” relates to this big scary world.

The article then mentions that “Lavomatic is a cornerstone of the neighborhood that’s evolving as the Gateway Quarter on the blocks of Vine Street north of Central Parkway.” Cornerstone might be an overstatement, but it is important

What my initial post eventually alluded to, is that the development of the Gateway Quarter in being conflated with OTR. Effectively, psychologically isolating an area from the perceptions of its surroundings neighborhood and carving a safe space in the contested territory that is OTR. This has some value, but my opinion is that it can also be detrimental to building a tolerant community. My concern is still that this might be divisive and exclusive.

The introduction concludes by describing Lavomatic.

“In a former laundry (lavomatic, in French) it has a homey theme evoking freshly washed clothes and domesticity. Close to the Art Academy, Know Theatre and Ensemble Theatre, it also feels arty and urban-cool. It’s a neighborhood restaurant worth traveling to.”

“Evoking freshly washed clothes and domesticity” is awesome and I’ll let the “arty urban-cool” go because its exactly what my mother would say. But a “neighborhood restaurant worth traveling to” made me think for a minute. And I still feel a bit puzzled. Is it a neighborhood restaurant that those who live here can enjoy or a place that requires outsiders to travel?


Filed under Imaging, OTR

Street Section


Filed under OTR

More OTR Street Art

Here is a great instance of the same design that I posted earlier. This time it is complete and it has a little (plump) friend too.

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Filed under OTR, public art

OTR Swooning

I guess these have been there for a while, probably since this show in 2004, but I’d never taken photos until yesterday. For those that aren’t familiar with swoon you are missing out. Check out the audio tour of her work in the right hand column of this NY Times article.

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Filed under DIY urbanism, Imaging, OTR, public art, public space


is your trash your home

On the soup bean side kid

street let me eat

NEE NEE was here 10-22-07 This is why I’m hot

My real killas
run this park
Who want it !!!
Who want it bitches!!

NEW BATTLE PLAN (you have to look harder to know the details)

DT ____ go to _____ _____ u do what ur sistor do and get out of my life u love _____ u play to much but ____ can go to _____. _____ this is my nigga foe life

LT ____ ____ Snay Boo Baby daddy for life 12th aww! Big things going A.K.A husband and wife come and get some I am ___.

Back on da block Snowflake & Phil Wall 5-1-08 & its the 1st

Life’s to short so don’t wast it


Filed under OTR, public art, public space, Uncategorized


Memorial on McMicken

Rest in peace Dre Big Kncles

R.I.P Derrell

RIP Day Day

RIP Hip Hop, RIP Day Day, RIP All Real Niggas, RIP Gran ma

RIP lil Ant A.K.A Bag of Dirt

RIP Day Day

RIP White Mike

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Filed under OTR, public art, public space