From stage to screen to stage, The Carnegie presents the tale of the legendary Southern belle who wouldn't let age or changing times stand in her way. Driving Miss Daisy begins in 1948 Atlanta, Georgia, with 72-year-old Daisy Werthan returning home after totaling her second car in a matter of weeks. Too old to drive and too big of a risk for the insurance company, her son Boolie takes away Daisy's keys and hires a chauffeur: Hoke, an African American who previously worked as a driver for a judge.

Photo provided by The Carnegie, Mikki Schaffner

If you haven't seen the movie, you can probably tell where the plot is going: The South, Civil Rights era, an affluent white woman's independence now intertwined with a black man's career. Whether it was prejudice or stubbornness on accepting her age, Miss Daisy and Hoke get off to a rough start. Determined and optimistic, Hoke makes the best of the situation no matter how fussy Miss Daisy becomes. From trips to the Piggly Wiggly to longer journeys visiting relatives out-of-state, the pair form an unlikely friendship over the course of the next 25 years.

Photo provided by The Carnegie, Mikki Schaffner

Differing from the silver screen, The Carnegie interprets the most meaningful scenes from the film into a fast-paced 90-minute show. There are some significant plot points left out due to having a working cast of three, but the story comes together just as easily without. One thing I enjoyed was how the actors referred to different neighborhoods and streets in Atlanta, perfect to create a visual for anyone who has traveled there. Little Five Points? That's where you can grab a burger and beer at The Vortex. Forsyth Street? The new Atlanta Streetcar route crosses there. Small details like this gave the play a down-home feel; something that the film version overlooked.

Photo provided by The Carnegie, Mikki Schaffner

A simplistic set and minimal cast, The Carnegie pulls off an entertaining show without all the bells and whistles. Miss Daisy is portrayed by Dale Hodges, Cincinnati's Jessica Tandy. I've seen her in many roles as an older woman and she does a magnificent job whether tugging at the heartstrings or being a feisty curmudgeon. As Miss Daisy, she flawlessly pulls off both. Reggie Willis would make Morgan Freeman proud in his role of Hoke, who openly conveys the difficulties of being a black man in a white man's world. Likeable, honest, and loyal, Willis's character provides a stark contrast to Boolie, played by Randy Lee Bailey. The successful son at his wits end with his aging mother, Bailey delivers a strong supporting role showing that compassion makes a stranger more relatable than kin.

Driving Miss Daisy runs through Nov. 16 at The Carnegie in Covington
7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $25 adults, $18 students.
859-957-1940 and www.thecarnegie.com


Cincinnati Museum Center is kicking off their latest local exhibit with an elegant gala: both celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Cincinnati Preservation Association (CPA). The organization was started by three women dedicated to saving Native American and early settlement sites, then evolved their mission into saving entire neighborhoods.  Since 1964, the non-profit has worked buildings with historic architecture, public art, monuments and landscapes, as well as archaeological sites. One of their several current focuses, in addition to advocating for Union Terminal repairs, is restoring the historic neighborhood of Walnut Hills.

If you've visited Over-the-Rhine, it's likely that you've passed by or enjoyed a meal in one of the buildings saved by the CPA. They've worked along side developers to rehabilitate:
  • Renaissance Hotel, Downtown
  • The Color Building on Vine Street, home to Asian fusion restaurant, Kaze.
  • Nicolay Lofts and Westfalen Lofts, at Race and 14th Street
  • Hummel Building, condos located adjacent to Washington Park and Music Hall

    The new grey facade of the Hummel Building.

The former is where they'll be hosting the gala, November 8 at 7:00PM. Taking place in the Marriott Renaissance, Burnham Room C, the evening kicks off with cocktails at 6:00PM, followed by a gourmet dinner at 7:30PM. Tickets are available via phone (513-721-4506 Ext. 2) for $150 per person.

On a budget? Be sure to check out the FREE exhibit, Celebrating 50 Years of Working Together Saving Places at Cincinnati Museum Center in the Culture Gallery, located near the Historical Library in the center of the rotunda, lower level. The installment runs through April 5, 2015.


Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, a new restaurant opened up in Kenwood this month, and it easily made its way onto my favorite tastes list. Cucinova moved into the shopping center near Half Price Books on Montgomery Road, and is serving up first tastes of the franchise in Cincinnati's northern suburbs.

Taking form in the popular walk-the-line, fast casual restaurant (similar to Chipolte), Cucinova cooks up custom creations in the form of personal Neapolitan pizzas, salads, and pasta bowls. Diners can opt for a chef-created specialty off the menu or build their own meal at each station. The best part: whatever you choose and however many toppings you pile on, it's only $6.99.

I visited Cucinova for a tasting night and sampled all three options, building each myself. I like to stretch the limits with toppings and was curious how the structural integrity of the pizza would hold up -- it succeeded! Made with hand-stretched, scratch-made dough, the pizza crust was full, fluffy and baked to perfection. If you like Dewey's pizza crust, you'll love this. Sliced into six pieces, I piled on plenty of veggies, seven to be exact, and opted for half red sauce, half creamy parmasean sauce, drizzled with balsamic. Both were spectacular, but the latter half was easily my favorite.

Next, the spaghettini bowl came with just the right amount of pasta and plenty of room to pile on the extras, plus sauce and cheese. I loved being able to fill the bowl with as much vegetables as pasta to even out the meal. Both the pasta and salad come in two sizes, small and large. The small was the perfect size to complement my other entrees; I could easily see doing a pick two with both a small pasta and a salad for lunch.

There's pasta under there somewhere...

I also built a salad with just as many veggies heaped on top of the lettuce, plus two kinds of cheese, and a plank of salmon. I'm pretty picky about ordering fish from quick service restaurants, and this one exceeded expectations. The salmon was fresh and juicy, not frozen and reheated, and flaked apart as if it were straight from the sea. I never thought I would pick a salad over pasta or pizza, but this was by far my favorite thing of the night -- and the bowl that I emptied first.

If you haven't been to Cucinova yet, here's a reason to give it a try:
I'm giving away a $25 gift certificate to the restaurant to one lucky winner! To join, leave a comment on our Cucinova Facebook post and I'll pick a winner October 31! Now that's a Halloween treat everyone can enjoy.


Learn. Experience. Ride.

Those three simple steps can help bring new ridership to Cincinnati Metro. The transit agency has partnered with Cincinnati young professionals organizations to promote tri*Metro, a campaign to introduce the many benefits of riding the bus.

On Saturday, September 13, Cincinnatians will have an opportunity to travel by bus to a variety of venues throughout Downtown, Over-the-Rhine, Mt. Lookout, Oakley, Hyde Park and O'Bryonville. From 8:00PM-2:00AM, ride Metro around town to your favorite bars and take advantage of drink specials offered by partnering venues. The best part: you get unlimited rides on all Metro Entertainment Buses for only $5 with prepaid registration or purchase one the night-of at any of the designated bus stops.

Buses will be running every 30 minutes; the perfect time to grab a drink, chat with friends, and be ready to travel onward to your next venue. An added bonus: you don't have to start riding Downtown. Just want to be shuttled between Oakley and Mt. Lookout? It can be done! Riders are free to pick up the Metro Entertainment Bus from any location on the route. Download a bus schedule and check out the drink specials:

MT. LOOKOUT (Bus Stop at Linwood and Delta)
  • MLT- $4 well drinks until 9pm, 5 for $12 domestic buckets all night long
  • Millions- $4 well drinks until 9pm, 5 for $12 domestic buckets all night long
HYDE PARK  (Bus Stop at Edwards and Erie)
  • Cock N' Bull- $1 draft beers, $1 off cocktails,  half price apps
  • Unwind Bar-  $5 house red, $5 house white, $1 off all beers
HYDE PARK  (Bus Stop at Erie and Marburg)
  • Keystone- Half price drafts
OAKLEY (Bus Stop at Madison and Gilmore)
  • Animations- $2.25 domestics, $2 Orloff shots, $3 Fireball shots
  • The Oak- $12 domestic buckets, $1 off craft drafts
O'BRYONVILLE (Bus Stop at Madison and Cinnamon)
  • O'Bryon's Bar & Grill- $8 Budweiser pitchers, $5 car bombs
  • Art of Entertaining (open until 10pm)-  $5 wines, $5 beers, Live culinary demonstrations
OVER THE RHINE (Bus stop at Main St. and 13th)
  • The Drinkery- $3 well drinks, $4 16oz domestics and $5 drafts  
  • MOTR- Free live music

This bus is ready to party!

Not into the bar scene but still want to participate? There are plenty of restaurants, entertainment and relaxing patios nearby each of the stops.

MT. LOOKOUT SQUARE (Bus stop at Linwood and Delta)
Mt. Lookout Coffee Roasters, UDF, Buona Terra Gelato & Crepes, Lucy Blue Pizza, Zip's Cafe, Cloud 9 Sushi, Ruthai's Thai Kitchen

HYDE PARK SQUARE (Bus stop at Edwards and Erie)
Graeter's, Awakenings Coffee & Tea, Unwind Wine Bar, Indigo Cafe, Arthur's

EAST HYDE PARK (Bus stop at Erie and Marburg)

Hyde Park Pizzeria, UDF, Dutch's Bottle Shop, Bangkok Bistro, Hap's Irish Pub, M Woodfired Pizza. There's also a park across the street.

OAKLEY (Bus stop at Madison and Gilmore) 

Baba India, Skyline Chili, Aglemesis Ice Cream Parlour, Habits Cafe, Dewey's Pizza, 20th Century Theatre, Yat Ka Mein

O'BRYONVILLE (Bus stop at Madison and Cinnamon)

Enoteca Emilia, Owls Nest Park, plus a variety of boutique shops earlier in the evening.

OVER THE RHINE (Bus stop at Main St. and 13th)
Washington Park, Ensemble Theatre, Music Hall, Taste of Belgium, Quan Hapa, Senate, Bakersfield, Lucy Blue Pizza, Gomez Taco Window, A Tavola, The Eagle, Holtman's Donuts, Venice on Vine, 1215 Wine and Coffee Bar, Kaze. Basically, this stop drops off in the heart of the Over the Rhine Entertainment District, perfect for if you've been craving trying out any of  the popular restaurants.

DOWNTOWN (Government Square at Walnut and 5th)
Fountain Square, Smale Riverfront Park, Scotti's Italian Restaurant, Nada, Graeters, FUSIAN, Via Vite, Shanghai Mamas, Mr. Sushi, Rock Bottom, Palomino, Metropole, Boca, Akash India, Taqueria Mercado, Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse

Note that with the restaurants, that you check closing times before heading out. Most close at 9PM or 10PM, with the exception of Over The Rhine restaurants.

If you're having the bus ride of a life time, take note. The Metro Entertainment Bus is traveling the same path of Route 11, a bus which you can catch any day of the week. If you enjoy the ease of transit hopping venues on the weekend, consider getting a $10 or $20 stored value card to use the rest of the year. With bus fare costing $1.75 per ride, it's a safe and affordable way for groups of friends to get around town.


Have you ever tried La Brea Bakery? If not, you're in luck! To celebrate 25 years of dedication to the craft of artisan baking, La Brea Bakery is bringing their fresh-baked bread to Cincinnati for a four-day sampling. Founded in 1989, the bakery has been continually ranked as the premier artisan bread brand in the country.

Image provided by Dave Estep Photography

Image provided by Dave Estep Photography

On Thursday, September 11, you can get your taste of over-fresh goodness at Fountain Square starting at 8:30AM, or on Saturday, September 13 at 12:30PM at Newport on the Levee. Keep an eye out around town for unannounced sampling opportunities. Plus, if you catch a glimpse of the breadmasters, snap a photo and tag it on Instagram or Twitter as #BreakingBread for a chance to win prizes.


"Oh yeah, Myra's! We should go eat there sometime."

Friends, that time is now. Like many of my neighbors, I am guilty of mentioning the above phrase as we pass by the restaurant while circling Uptown for our regular consumption of pizza, burritos, or cheese coneys. Several years had passed since I first learned about Myra's, but for whatever reason, I never thought of Greek food when hungry in Clifton. Maybe it had to do with Cincinnati's abundance of Greek-style chili overshadowing the craving for traditional Mediterranean fare. Maybe it goes back to the age-old local question: "Where'd you go to school?"

My partner and I both attended university out-of-state, but for the legions of students who passed through University of Cincinnati in the last four decades, Myra's Dionysus was a staple for off-campus dining. A mecca for vegetarians and vegans, it was also one of the first restaurants in the city to offer a variety of delicious meat-free options; a rarity in the 1970s and 80s.

The hole-in-the-wall eatery seats 20 customers and features a small open kitchen where Myra Griffin cooked an endless assortment of scratch-made meals. From common Mediterranean dishes like falafel, pitas, and baba ganouj to the more eccentric imam bialdi, pulao, or gado gado, the Dionysus was the perfect place to eat healthy at an affordable price. Most entrees average between $6-$8.

What piqued everyone's interest were the soups. On a daily basis, eight soups would rotate on a display board, selected from over 30 different recipes. More than just your cup of tomato, Myra's specialized in extraordinary combinations such as curry peanut or watermelon gazpacho.

One week before closing, we made it to Myra's Dionysus and decided to try a little bit of everything. We started with a sampler plate of baba ganouj, dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with rice), and imam bialdi (a Turkish dish of eggplant, tomato, and currants) with garlic pita bread and a piece of corn bread.

Next came a cup of Avgolemono (a creamy Greek soup made with chicken broth, rice, lemon and eggs.) The soup exceeded its tasty hype and led me to order a second flavor for takeaway, the Thai Pumpkin, which was as equally impressive when reheated for lunch the next day.

For an entree, my partner selected Gado Gado, a spicy Indonesian sauce of peanuts and fresh ginger served over brown rice with tomatoes, cucumbers, raisins, and sunflower seeds. I kept it simple and ordered a falafel sandwich drizzled with tahini lemon sauce. Both were mesmerizingly scrumptious as we barely conversed through our meal other than the occasional "Mmmmm!" sounds.

By this point, we were stuffed to the brim, but decided to order a slice of key lime pie for dessert. Not only was the pie naturally made and arrived without a speck of bright green coloring, but it was one of the best key lime pies I've tasted. And I've been around the pie block a few too many times.

From infused teas to carefully crafted plates, Myra's will certainly be missed by customers new and old. If her tastes have yet to grace your palate, there's still time. Myra's last day of business will be August 30. While the restaurant's finale ends on a triumphant note (it's closing due to Myra's retirement; she's in her 80s) we can't help but wonder what's next for the building. The restaurant is on the market for $100,000, or investors can purchase the entire building for $400,000. Could one of Cincinnati's many restauranteurs secure the restaurant and keep the legend going? Time may tell. For now, we know we can at least expect a cookbook as Myra and her store manager work to share the long-time favorite recipes from her kitchen to ours.


It's hard to believe that the hours of summer on are the decline, with just a few weeks lingering before Labor Day. Feels like we just shared our Summer Bucket List and started our season of adventures! Soon, Greater Cincinnati students will be returning to the classroom. No matter if it's grade school or university, everyone is looking to get the best bargain for their buck when purchasing for back-to-school. While most flock to the big box stores, we rounded up a list of our favorite unique shops to find a deal:

1.) Glass Barn

Taking "bargain barn" literally, this no-frills overstock shop in Reading is an actual barn is filled with kitchenware, candles, and homegoods perfect for a college student shopping for their dorm. Dishware comes with many choices to complete a set, plus the option to buy as few or many individual plates and glasses as you need, with pricing averaging around 25 cents a piece. Bath & Body Works-esque 14oz. candles are available in a wide palate of scents, as well as bathmats, dishtowels, and decorative silk flowers, all ranging under $10. An adjoining room is filled with a selection of office supplies and doubles as a hardware store, for customers to grab any discounted large Rubbermaid bins, a spare flashlight or plunger in one simple stop.

2.) Dollar Tree

The Dollar Tree brand is one of the only chain stores that truly honors the moniker, "Everything is $1.00." With several locations around the tri-state, stock up on popular items from writing utensils, three-ring binders, notebook paper, art supplies, lunch box accessories, mailing supplies and much, much more. I easily save $3-$5 per supply by shopping here in comparison to the supermarket.

3.) Dollar Depot

via Dollar Depot Facebook

An urban oasis, Dollar Depot is an independently run dollar store in Downtown Cincinnati, located near the library at Vine and Court Street. It's perfect if you're working in the city and are in need of supplies in a pinch, but don't want the hassle of getting the car out of the parking garage and driving out to a store in the suburbs. It's also perfect to run and pick up that last minute item on your child's list after work. Highlighters, manilla folders, greeting cards and even party supplies (for that impromptu office surprise), Dollar Depot is a welcome time-saver.

4.) John R. Green Company

via John R. Green Facebook

Family-owned since 1950, this Covington shop is packed wall-to-colorful-wall of all the back-to-school essentials for younger students, from PreSchool to 8th Grade. Teachers can stock up at John R. Green as well, which carries plenty of classroom decorations and early education materials. Homeschoolers or parents looking for some supplemental materials for after school tutoring can find everything they need inside this long-time learning landmark.

5.) Community Yard Sales

A great way to stock up on dorm or home essentials is by browsing through yard sales. For shoppers with young children, there are plenty of like-new fashions for your child's back-to-school wardrobe as well. Early August hosts the World's Longest Yard Sale, which spans along Route 127 from Alabama to Michigan. Some of the best local neighborhoods to shop are Mainstrasse in Covington, Hamilton, Ohio, and Union, Kentucky. Of course, if you can't make it out for this 4-day extravaganza, there are plenty of community-wide yard sales throughout August and early September, such as the City of Southgate sale where folks find working TVs and computers for $20.

Church and school yard sales offer a flea market sized selection in one convenient location, plus anything you buy benefits the organization. Earlier this year, we found a brand new bathmat, a six-socket outlet expander, and a business card holder from Prince of Peace's sale in Covington. The best part -- all three items only cost us $1.50.

6.) Christmas Tree Shops

Whoa, we're not jumping that far ahead on the calendar! Located in Florence, Christmas Tree Shops is open year round and sells much more than the expected holiday paraphernalia. Part Hobby Lobby, part Dollar Tree, and part Whole Foods, this store carries Target-like styles of school supplies and dorm decor at a fraction of the cost. While many things are found for $1.29 or less, most items average around $5.99, with barely anything being more than $10.00.

No need for school shopping? Consider stocking up for your home office as prices and selections are optimum this time of year. You never know when you'll need more pens, folders, storage, or correction tape! For more on what particular items to put on your list, check out the Ultimate Back-To-School checklist on Organize365.com.


It was a dark and stormy summer night when the appetite for ice cream came calling. We just so happened to be in the northern suburbs of Cincinnati, a perfect opportunity to try out the legendary Loveland Dairy Whip.

Located in the center of town, this historic creamy whip first opened over the July 4th weekend in 1955. Proudly serving some of the highest quality soft serve in the tri-state, the LDW (as known by the locals) uses a blend from Dairyman's that keeps customers coming back for more. The noticably distict taste reminded us of custard, with its thick consistency and rich flavor.

Loveland Dairy Whip has a generous menu of tasty treats, but what makes them unique is the variety of parfaits. With over a dozen to choose from, each comes layered with vanilla soft serve paired with fruit, fudge, and any combination of other toppings. Finishing them off was the customary whipped cream and a cherry.

We decided to ignore the healthier fruit options and ordered a cookies n' cream parfait and a brownie parfait. Cookies n' Cream came layered with crumbled Oreos and hot fudge served in a traditional parfait cup. The Brownie Parfait came dished in a half-pound deli-container-- a tub! No complaints here -- it was decadently indulgent and the portion size exceeded what you'd expect for the price. The teenagers working the counter recommended we try the Cake Batter Dip Top for our next visit (we came back, tried it, and loved it!)

One feature came in handing during the evening downpour: the drive-thru window. Loveland Dairy Whip has ample parking for their walk-up window, but also accommodates folks with a drive-thru lane for those in a hurry (or trying to stay dry.) ProTip: Be sure to turn off your wipers so you don't splash the employees.

With one-of-a-kind texture and flavor, eccentric dip top creations and the only parfait selection in Cincinnati, I plan on visiting the LDW and their tub-sized desserts many more times this summer to get my gluttony on.

Loveland Dairy Whip is located at:
611 W. Loveland Ave., Loveland, Ohio 45140


This week marks the first anniversary of construction beginning on the Cincinnati Streetcar route as the City signed a contract with Messer/Prus/Delta Railroad Joint Venture (MPD) to complete the work. We've been documenting the development of infrastructure once a month since it began. Compare the pictures below to see how the project has evolved over the past year.

















Installing the first catenary poles for the overhead wire.