For Cincinnati Restaurant Week, three friends and I embarked upon Boi Na Braza for our annual overdose of meat. For $35.00, we received three courses, the highlight being unlimited carvings of their 15 offerings of skewered meat. Our meal ended as expected: elbows on the table, heavy breathing, and eyes glazing over in ecstasy.

First course: gourmet salad bar
The restaurant is based on the churrasco cooking of Brazilian Gaúchos who roasted meat on skewers over an ember fire pit. Families would gather for dinner, and Gaúchos would cut the meat from the skewers Rodízio style, meaning around the table, until the meat was finished.  

Flip the paper coaster next to your plate over to green to cue the Gaúchos. Very quickly, you will be surrounded by servers slicing off meat from skewers. Finished gorging? Just flip your coaster over to the red side and the Gaúchos will let you be... until you flip it back to green again.


Boi Na Braza is competitive eating against two tough rivals: your stomach versus your brain. The goal: how much meat can you stuff in your face before your brain realizes you're full. The answer: a lot.


As our table felt the pending doom of the meat sweats, a server approached with a dessert cart. Suddenly, somewhere under all that beef, we found room for a slice of pie.


On the third Saturday of August, City Flea set up shop in Washington Park. Dozens of vendors line the event lawn in tents, with food trucks parked along the street, live music and street performers. It's like a giant Etsy store outdoors (and we all know us Etsy addicts could benefit from some sunlight.)

My favorite thing about City Flea is running into friends. It's like the Cheers of street fairs. You'll see your friends that biked from Downtown, pals that drove in from the suburbs, or even your favorite local bartender taking in the event. 

Most of all, I enjoy perusing the wares of creative crafters, such as: Lily In Flux, The Lovely Teaspoon, Riff Raff Initiative, VintageLiz, Chocolats Latour, Streetpops, and more.

Cincinnati art by Riff Raff Initiative


Shirts designed by 10 year old Adin and his brother Riah.


Part three of our Union Terminal behind-the-scenes series takes us to the heights of Tower A, which was once the main control tower for the railroad. Home to the Cincinnati Railroad Club, the group of 300 members restored the tower to resemble its original 1933 architecture.

The society originated in 1938 as group of rail enthusiasts who organized excursions on the Norfolk Southern Railroads. The illuminated track diagram board, director's desk, and candle stick phones still remain intact.

A Railroad Club member demonstrates the rotary phone.
1930s photograph of the switchboard in use.
5chw4r7z snapping the switchboard.
Cincinnati Museum Center's Social Media Coordinator, Natalie Nichols, guides our tour.

In its heyday, Union Terminal transported 20,000 passengers daily. While Cincinnatians can still catch the Amtrak here, the present-day rails host cargo trains that are just passing through. Tower A provides a breathtaking view of all the activity.


"The train has given way to the plane, but has not died. The system will be revamp..."
"...and that will be the day the train will be king again."
Mid-1900s portrait of Cincinnati.

Tower A has an extensive library filled with old Union Terminal records, photographs, train memorabilia, and lots of old pieces from the original control tower. The Railroad Club loves showing off this collection which is free and open to the public Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 12:00PM to 4:00PM.

Unfortunately, the library is suffering some structure damage from weather and cracks in the masonry. 

Makes me want to donate some plaster.
View of the rotunda dome from Tower A library.


Water pipe repaired with duct tape... and getting new holes.

Structural repairs and proper preservation of Tower A is included in the $150 million Union Terminal repair estimate. Cincinnati Museum Center currently lacks funding to rehabilitate Tower A, which is currently existing through volunteer work and small donations from the Cincinnati Railroad Club. 

Learn more about Funding to Restore Union Terminal.
Check out the Instagrams posted live from our tour.  


Cincinnati has a history of failed transit proposals like the abandoned subway system or the MetroMoves rail plan. Recently, a new project has been chugging along, gaining momentum with the support from East Side communities: Oasis Light Rail.

Part of the Eastern Corridor project, the Oasis Line would begin at the Riverfront Transit Center in Downtown Cincinnati, then travel northeast along Route 50 to Milford with seven to ten stations at towns in between. Reaching a distance of 17 miles, stops would be positioned in neighborhoods such as Columbia-Tusculum, Fairfax, Newtown, Lunken Airport, and the East End.

Once developed, the Oasis Line would be the first of many rail segments to be built in Cincinnati. The vision is to create additional lines running parallel to I-71 and I-75, commuter rail along Route 50 on the West Side, and high speed rail that connects from Cleveland, Chicago, Louisville, and Atlanta, Georgia. Regional rail would also be able to connect with the Cincinnati Streetcar.

The second set of three town hall meetings were recently held by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and HDR, the architecture-engineering firm researching the development of the Oasis Rail Line. (If you missed the first meeting in 2011, read about it here.) Free and open to the public, guests could read placards explaining ODOT's progress with planning, get information about the benefits of light rail, and talk one-on-one with engineers working on the project.

Richard Dial, HDR, Manager of Sustainable Transportation Solutions
Patrick, an East End resident, voices his support for light rail.

New information for Meeting #2 included ridership projections, proposed station locations, train car design, and route times.

Two issues with this model:
1.) It doesn't operate on evenings or weekends.
2.) There is no commuter service taking passengers from Downtown to the suburbs, just from the suburbs into Downtown.

Following, there was a Q&A session with a panel of experts.
Listen to the full Q&A session. (47 minutes)

Joe Vogel, Planning & Engineering Admin., Ohio Dept. of Transportation;  Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune; 
Steve Mary, District 8 Director, Ohio Dept. of Transportation

When is it going to start?
Light Rail Transit can be up and running in as soon as 2-3 years. The Downtown portion of the Oasis Rail Line could begin construction as early as Fall 2012. The first segment to be complete would be Downtown (Riverfront Transit Center) to Columbia-Tusculum. The cities of Fairfax and Newtown would be part of the second segment of construction.

How much is it going to cost?
Implementation of light rail costs $1 - $1.5 million per mile of tracks.
Other costs are dependent on public input. The desire for more service, more tracks, more stations, or number of hours in operation are all variables in the price.

Who is going to pay for it?
Ohio Department of Transportation is applying for a $25 million federal grant to fund construction of regional rail lines. The primary funding will come from Transit Oriented Development. (Read more about it on page 3 of Light Rail Overview.)

Sketch of Transit Oriented Development around a light rail station.

The Ohio Department of Transportation provided a wealth of information for the community and listened to neighborhood feedback. While still in its initial phases, The Oasis could be the first of many light rail lines to criss-cross the Queen City.

Interior of a light rail train.
Example of how light rail, bike trails, and streets intermingle in San Diego's new transit system.

Map of development and land use along the Eastern Corridor.

What's Next?


Have input? Submit your opinion on the Eastern Corridor's Feedback page.