What's Old is New

In 1855, the City of Cincinnati bought a cemetery and named it Washington Park. They removed all but 53 bodies. (Close enough for government work.) And Cincinnati got its Poltergeist moment.
The graves were discovered in 2010 while excavating a new parking garage. A cheesy "reality" TV show asked if they were gruesome "Tales from the Crypt." Ummm"¢ Nope. Just names as long forgotten as nearby statues of brooding Civil War heroes.

But if Cincinnati has a portal to the spirit world, it might be Washington Park. For decades it has been a limbo for wandering souls, paved in cigarette butts, bottle caps and broken glass. Thanks to the homeless center across the street, it became an urban paradise lost "” a place to sip a 40-ounce in a brown paper bag, score dope or nod off in the shade. Then 3CDC fenced it off for a $48 million facelift to match a new SCPA school at one end, and a remodeled Music Hall next door. It's going to be a beautiful new old park. But one wonders: When the fences come down, will it still be haunted by the lost souls we call the homeless?


Saber Salute

When Dr. Brad Wenstrup and Monica Klein married May 12, there was plenty of pomp and circumstance. It was a full military wedding with dress blues, complete with a saber arch as the couple walked down the aisle as newlyweds. Wenstrup, who served in Iraq as a combat surgeon, is the Republican candidate for the congressional Second District.

Hit The Streets

Don't miss the final celebrations of Live After Five! from 5-8 p.m. July 12 and 26 on Freedom Way at The Banks.

It's Cincinnati's newest street party in its newest neighborhood, according to the chamber. Enjoy Leinenkugel brews, wine and cocktails while celebrating on the riverfront. Start your weekend with friends and music, all close to great restaurants and bars. Q012's DJ Mark McFadden leads the lineup July 12 and Pete Dressman featuring Kevin Finkelmeier headlines July 26. The best part? It's fun and free.

Apps, Apps, More Apps

Explore Cincinnati using apps on your Smart phone with scavenger hunt-like treks that are all about going places, meeting challenges and earning points.

SCVNGR app helps you explore a city, any city. Treks are always changing, so there is always a new one to try. "Findlay Market Fun" includes stops at places including Pho Lang Thang to snap a picture of the outdoor table and "chairs," or visiting Queen City Cookies and posting your best guess as to what is a schnecken. For each challenge you complete, you earn points and sometimes even a reward (like free apples at Daisy Mae's.)

And now, kids at Cincinnati Public's Kilgour School in Mt. Lookout have unveiled an educational app for fun as well as reinforcing basic business concepts they've learned over the school year. "Kilgour Lemon Smash" sells for 99 cents and a portion of sales will benefit the eastside elementary school. Partnership for Innovation, Northern Kentucky University and the University of Cincinnati all played a role in the project.

Thanks a Million

The Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County Foundation has received a $1 million gift celebrating the life of Eva Jane Romaine Coombe who loved reading so much that she had kept a journal of books she's read since kindergarten.

It's among the largest ever received by the Library or the Foundation.

Ahhh, Schucks

We love hearing the folks in New York and Cleveland tell us how fabulous we are. Really, thanks.

The New York Times reports the city's shoreline "is emerging again as a hub of civic and economic vitality." From the Queen City Tower to the new riverfront park; from UC's now seriously attractive campus to a growing economy; they like us, they really, really like us.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer proclaims Cincinnati has fought its way back into the hearts of hip and trendy and cites The Banks, John-Robert's Table, Eden Park and revitalized Over-the-Rhine.

The Lonely Planet travel series even updated its declaration that we're number three on the list of Top U.S. Travel Destinations for 2012 this spring. The latest, its "Five More Reasons to Put Cincinnati on Your List," includes Terry's Turf Club and the beer tunnels.

Table for 4, 6?

Two hundred thousand visitors shouldn't scare locals from enjoying fine dining "” they might just want to venture beyond downtown during the World Choir Games.

Primavista has reservations available. The Price Hill restaurant with its unbelievable views offers fine Italian dining with homemade sauces.

Or head east and up to the Celestial, the glamorous four-star steakhouse with panoramic views from atop Mount Adams. A pre-dinner cocktail in the two-floor Incline Lounge sets the pace.

Moments north is Honey. The Northside restaurant has international cuisine at reasonable prices. Outdoor dining and live music, too.