As someone who was born and raised in Cincinnati, I naturally spent my whole life wanting to get the hell out of here.
I hated that there was nothing to do on Friday nights except go to the movies, bake cookies or eat lettuce wraps at PF Changs. I hated the schizo weather (70 and sunny one day, 30 and snowing the next: just another week in Ohio). I hated the predominantly conservative mindset, the maddening monotonity of the suburbs, the city’s aversion to all things new and different. I hated that you only had to drive 10 minutes in any direction to land in a sea of cornfields. And I hated Cincinnati’s dangerous proximity to Kentucky, where odious mullets and high-waisted denim shorts continue their ruthless and tyrannical reign.
In short, I pretty much spent my entire life blaming my unfortunate geographic placement for all my problems. So when it came time for college applications, it was a no-brainer: I submitted my test scores, sappy personal essays and record of every nap I took in calculus to seven out-of-state schools — and just one in-state school.
Ah, the spring has sprung and days are growing longer. No more depressing winter cold invading our souls and sucking our lives away as we nap into the afternoon. The imprint in my bed will soon start to rise and my silhouette will disappear. Winter fades into the past and mid-terms or finals come to an end, meaning only one thing: It is finally Spring Break! The ultimate unsupervised vacation for minors and the equally immature freshman in college.
Author's note: Let me preface this article by saying that my position on guns teeters along with current events. The recent struggle between a Cincinnati Police Officer and a misguided teen that resulted in the boy’s death is the perfect example of why gun ownership can never be taken lightly. The fact is guns were built as a tool for killing. That said, I believe that most gun owners understand the power of the gun they hold in their hands and do not take it lightly. People should certainly be allowed to own guns but they must understand each weapon's deadly potential.
Bienvenidos a Miami...
This week CityBeat sent me into the field to cover Art Basel in the beautiful 80-degree Miami, Fla. They opted to spring for the direct first class flight down along with a rented Lamborghini to ride up and down South Beach, but in order to keep my reporting low key I decided to drive my 2000 Toyota Camry from Cincinnati to SOBE in 18 hours straight. I met up with 1/3 of the Publico gang to escort me to all the hippest and kewlest parties in town. Art Basel is basically a million art fairs going on in Miami and the South Beach area. It is the cream of the crop for international art dealers, curators, collectors, movie stars and fashion designers, which also means a clusterfuck of weirdoes. It was as if the most beautiful people in the world mated with all the wacky willies in the world and came to South Beach to give birth to their successful freak offspring. After breaking out of the womb they immediately started to speak as if they are better than the best and harshly judge everyone and everything that intrudes their radius.
Opening night consisted of a group of truck crates that had been converted into art pieces from different galleries around the world and then placed onto the beach to attract the artist like ravers to glow sticks. Accompanied by massive styrofoam art pieces/couches and six-dollar beers made for a good atmosphere. Behind the crates a stage was erected about 100 feet from the Atlantic Ocean on which Yelle preformed some mediocre dance songs. As the crowd stood like statues, Yelle screamed in broken English to "start dancing and not be a poop."
Cincinnati's own Country Club had work at NADA, which was one of the better collections of art at the fair. One of my favorite pieces was a stainless steel ping-pong table complete with a mirror tabletop. The reflective top totally fucks with your mind and you never knew which way the ball was going. After getting some dinner at an amazing brick oven pizza restaurant where the waiter was trying to show off his pocket artwork to the Country Club members it was off to the Deitch Projects Party. Like most of the art galleries in Cincinnati, this one was in a rough neighborhood. The party was in a rented warehouse painted in zigzag black and white stripes and filled with Queer As Folk referenced artwork, sliced up dollar bills and a dance floor complete with dressed up, matching DJs.
After a couple free Grolsch beers and nasty Campari mixed drinks it was time for Karaoke. Yours truly rocked "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls and even got a complement from Le Tigre's JD Samson. Only about seven people got a chance to sing until Cincinnati's own Jimmy Baker broke the sound system due to his rocking rendition of Aerosmith's "Don't Wanna Miss A Thing." Besides the planned art parties, the nightlife in South Beach is rather ridiculous. There were movie stars like Kirsten Dunst and Mary-Kate Olson slutting it up at dive bars and old creepy locals pretending to be Keith Richards. The drink prices were bonkers — two buds and a shot of whiskey was $23, which is almost 1/4 of my per diem from CityBeat. When all else fails and your bank account is empty there is always the sketchy store clerks who sell weed from under the counter and beer after hours to take to the beach and get weird.
At the Aqua Hotel art show there was more free Grolsch and Campari, which I was sick of by then, but when it's free you keep on drinking 'til you don't mind the taste of rancid socks. The art gallery was an old art deco hotel that with each room converted into its own little art space. The colors followed along with the name and there was even a miniature pool in the middle of the garden area complete with half naked hipsters with ironic tattoos.
At Art Damage (I made the front page!) we waited in line for what seemed to be more than an hour to see Panda Bear. We were on "The List" but so was everyone so we all just stood in line and watched people get sent to the back of the line with disgruntled looks on their faces. There was a nice guy with an afro who handed out free ice-cream sandwiches while we waited. Thanks to Nike promos we were forced to listen to the same song being blasted over the outdoor speakers non-stop. After we were hoarded inside like a bunch of badly dressed cattle and given more free drinks, the bands finally started. The Sads lived up to their names, depressing the hell out of everyone and luckily only played for about 20 minutes. No Age made me relive my Punk Rock roots with their fast pace power Indie Rock about fun that made the crowd get nuts and got me a head to head collision with some other Rock dude. During the Panda Bear set we got into a scuffle with a group of young flamboyant hipsters who like to shove to soft music. I escaped with only a scratch and after the grabbing, one of the tall dudes said "Sorry Obama Won" and I asked him what he meant, and as he struggled for words I giggled and kept on grooving.
After the show it was off to the Vogue after party at the ritzy Raleigh Hotel, which offered sexy models, $9 Heinekens and a vacant pool. Within 15 minutes Britni and I were down to our Wal-Mart undergarments and doing cannonballs into the deep end. We were accompanied by a hairy Saudi man who was a bit of a character at first. Once he found out we where from Ohio the look of joy went off his face. I guess if you're not from a big city or somewhere exotic you're not worth talking to. As we were leaving the pool we were denied towels by the staff of the hotel. So we dried off with just about anything we could find, mainly napkins. The hotel attendant glared at me as I wiped my balls with the napkin.
On Saturday we finally got to the big deal Art Basel show at the Miami Beach Convention Center, which had a rock concert feel to it complete with overweight ticket scalpers standing down the street. The $35 cover charge was well worth it for more than four hours of amazing art. One of the most amazing things I saw was a mold of a man's bust that looked completely lifelike. Here are some pictures of some more work. More here from Joe Lamb.
After my mind had been blown by the incredible art and the odd amount of photos being taken non-stop, it was time to head home. It was almost depressing to drive away from the 80-degree weather and the non-stop party lifestyle, but it was time to step back into reality and come back to a winter wonderland Cincinnati. But when I did roll down the I-75 cut in the hill from Kentucky and saw that wonderful skyline it sure felt good to be home.
On a cool November night, a glorious freedom-leading individual raised a bong to his lips at a USC party and proceeded to inhale the silly smoke into his dolphin like lungs. As he exhaled after listening to "Battery" by
Leafing through the latest edition of The New Yorker I was greeted with the Dolce & Gabbana ad at the right, which features actor/professional narcissist Matthew McConaughey with his shirt unbuttoned down to his navel, waxed chest exposed for all to ogle. I have one question for the marketing peeps at D&G: Is this image supposed to entice me to buy your cologne, dubbed The One, which is described as a "fragrance for men"?
Saturday Ian and I played Nintendo Wii for about 8 hours straight. No joke. I was just warming up my arm for ping pong that night. To get our game faces on we all decided to have a pizza party to fill our tummies to the brim with prime protein and pure ping pong nutrition! Then it was off to the Gypsy Hut to start scouting the talent on the table. I am a regular customer to the Gypsy Hut ping pong table so I have seen most of the faces that occupy the Ping Pong Party Plaza.
Halloween is tomorrow. You have like 26 hours left to carve a pumpkin, find whatever shade of fishnet stockings best compliment your "sexy" cop/nurse/cat/pirate/witch/mermaid/princess outfit and get your hopes up about how awesome this weekend is going to be!
For the first time on CBS's reality show Undercover Boss, an elected official will
become publicly embarrassed after realizing no one recognizes him go incognito to see first-hand what kind of work his employees do on a day-to-day basis. Cincinnati's Mayor Mark Mallory will be donning some D.L. Hughley dreadlocks, face pelts and a fat suit to get down and dirty with some regular folks.
Since that time, he’s gotten married, had two kids, founded a BMX company called Failure Bikes and built even more backyard trails and ramps. Bischoff has pretty much kept it real, maintaining his BMX lifestyle while growing up and settling down in Cincinnati’s stodgy East Side.
(Full disclosure: The author of this blog has known Bischoff for 15 years and used to shred his trails all the time.)
So it only makes sense that his most recent endeavor was to offer his lifestyle to the rest of the world via participating in one of TV’s most popular reality shows (right?). The man who affectionately goes by “Beardo” and “The Beard” is one of 20 contestants on Survivor: Caramoan — Fans vs Favorites, which premiers Feb. 13.
Bischoff couldn’t officially speak with the media on Jan. 11, the day CBS announced the cast, but if he could have he probably would have said something like, “I don’t know, man. Survivor was crazy. It ruuuled.”
CityBeat will ask the appropriate CBS PR person for an opportunity to speak with our friend soon.
This particular Survivor format involves 10 new
contestants in one tribe trying to out-survive 10 people who previously
participated in other seasons of the show but didn’t win. Among
Bischoff’s tribes-people are a former Miss Missouri winner, a female racecar
driver and former United States Marine Corps Sgt. Shamar Thomas, who is
Internet famous for yelling at New York City cops for intimidating
Occupy Wall Street protesters.
Survivor host Jeff Probst told Entertainment Weekly the weather is a problem during this season and there are evacuations and things “out of the norm.” Probst also said there’s some type of love connection (probably just people infatuated with Bischoff’s massive beard).
Here’s Bischoff’s official bio at cbs.com. He answered the question of, “If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why?” with: “1) My iPod — I constantly listen to music. It is a huge part of my life. I also would want to view photos of my wife and kids. 2) A pen and notebook — to work on song lyrics and keep a daily diary. 3) A video camera — to film myself doing wild stuff!”
And here’s 16 seconds of him doing some BMX stunts: