Best Of 2020

The husband-and-wife team behind Over-the-Rhine’s MiCA 12/v, Carolyn and Mike Deininger, opened a sister store specializing in all things paper this past summer. Paper Wings — located a few storefronts down on Vine Street — offers an expanded selection of paper items including journals, sketchbooks, notebooks and cards as well as wrapping paper. It’s products they’ve seen an increased demand for at MiCA but didn’t necessarily have the space to devote to, so they just opened a new spot. In addition to selling paper products, Carolyn’s fine arts background inspired the introduction of Paper Wings’ second major aspect: a gallery. Making up just under half of the shop’s interior, the gallery features rotating shows by local artists working on or with paper. Media ranges from photography to charcoal drawings. Though a business dedicated to paper in the digital age may seem counterintuitive, Carolyn says Paper Wings offers a refreshing change from the barrage of emails, texts and screens we’re exposed to daily. “I think it’s just a natural response to want to slow down a little and send something more personal, to take some time and really think about what you’re doing,” she says. “I think that’s what can make (Paper Wings) successful is creating something that reminds people of the positives and how good it feels to take time and do something more personal and more meaningful.” Paper Wings, 1207 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, shoppaperwings.com.

Shops & Services
Illustration: Taylor Speed


2. Tiny Needle Community Acupuncture

3. Hamilton Health Associates          

2. Dusty Flynt Sexy Gifts                    

3. High on the Hill

So, you qualified for medical marijuana in Ohio: Great, and sorry for what ails ya’. Ohio law currently allows those with certain medical conditions (cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, PTSD, chronic pain and many more) to sign up as a patient, after being approved by a licensed physician, with the Ohio Medical Marijuana Registry and Ohio Board of Pharmacy. Your physician will approve you to use a 90-day supply of certain forms of marijuana for your specific condition — oils, tinctures, edibles, vapes. And once you’re approved, you have to go to a licensed dispensary to purchase your medication. There are only a few in the Cincinnati area: Verilife, kind of by Pleasant Ridge; Have a Heart Cincy, co-founded by Rev. Damon Lynch III and located in Hartwell, which is the only dispensary to open so far technically within city limits; and Verdant Creations in Columbia Township, kind of by Target and across from the original little MadTree taproom. (There’s also About Wellness Ohio in Lebanon.) But Verdant Creations seems to be a card-carrying favorite because it has affordable price points and offers frequent discounts. After checking in with your medical marijuana card and ID, you’ll head to the Verdant Creations waiting room to peruse a menu of the current offerings. The menu is divided by form (edible, flower, tincture, etc.) as well as brand and strain (indica, sativa). And if you have no idea what any of that means, the helpful “budtenders” will teach you about the different applications as they relate to your specific ailment, especially if you weren’t or haven’t been a big pot smoker/vaper/eater/tincture-er up until his point. Note: These budtenders aren’t pharmacists, they just know a lot about pot. (They’re also very helpful if you’re confused about what constitutes a “90-day supply” limit.) After you make your selection, it’s filled in a back room and delivered through a window with a prescription label and sealed in a bag with a staple. You have to pay in cash (they have an ATM) or some weird digital payment. But it doesn’t really matter, because prices here are reasonable. And they usually have sales, special deals and promotions. Like they offered 29 percent off their entire inventory on Leap Day (there was a line out the door and an hours-long wait). Sign up for text alerts for discount notifications. Verdant Creations, 5149 Kennedy Ave., Columbia Township, verdantcreations.com.

2. Florence Antique Mall                  

3. Wooden Nickel Antiques   

2. Clifton Cultural Arts Center

3. Brazee Street Studios        

2. Michaels                

3. Cappel’s     

2. Beechmont Subaru            

3. Walt Sweeney Ford

2. Courtesy Automotive                     

3. Joseph Toyota of Cincinnati

2. CarZmedics            

3. Carriage House Car Wash