Get your hot chocolate and coneys all in one stop! One of the fabulous staples of Cincinnati, Camp Washington Chili has been serving up classic chili and spaghetti dishes since 1940. Also known for their double-decker sandwiches, this 24/6 diner offers up a tall cup of cocoa to keep you warm long after you finish your Three Way.

A no-frills beverage, Camp Washington's hot chocolate comes in their signature styrofoam cup and is made with hot water and milk chocolate. Thin to the taste but large in portion, this cocoa is great to knab if you're in a hurry or are craving the beverage at all hours of the night.



Making its rounds through social media is the new website,, which greets users with one relatable message: Let us help you clean up your inbox. A universal problem, people are trying everything to keep order in their inbox, from sorting subscriptions into folders to setting up a separate email account for coupons. Sometimes, those subscriptions slip through the cracks and when you think you've unsubscribed from one, two new solicitations show up.

As a savvy shopper, I find myself combing through about 20 advertisements a day, whether it be for Groupon offers, newsletters, or a clothing sale, so I decided to give a try. It's straightforward. Put in your email address, it reads your subscriptions, then populates a list of sites you are enrolled in. It discovered 127 subscriptions in my inbox - about four times the amount I remember signing up for.  With a click of one button, I reduced my subscriptions to 45. That's right - no pop-up browser wanting you to fill out a questionnaire on why you're unsubscribing, no validating your email address, just one click and the spam is gone! also has as feature called Rollup, where you can select certain subscriptions to be emailed to you in a daily digest. This is a great tool if you find your inbox cluttered with newsletters but don't want to miss any of the content.

The icing on the cake is Awards, which features the Top 10 most unsubscribed (spam) and the Top 10 Rolledup (clutter that's still worth a read). Leading the list:

Top Unsubscribes: 1800Flowers, TicketWeb, and ProFlowers each averaging around a 50% unsubscribe rate

Most Rolledup: Hulu, AmazonLocal, and GoDaddy

If you're looking to clean up your inbox in one easy step, definitely give a try!


Over the next several weeks, CincyWhimsy will be highlighting some of the fascinating stories about Cincinnati ladies in a series, Women Wednesday, in honor of Women's History Month which takes place in March. We're getting a head start in February in combination with Black History Month by beginning with stories of African American women from Cincinnati:

Photo courtesy of Cincinnati Museum Center

Jennie Porter was born in Cincinnati in 1879. Her father was Cincinnati's first African American undertaker and her mother a schoolteacher. Porter graduated from Hughes High School in 1895 and like her mother, she pursued a career in teaching. She ran a private kindergarten for African American children in the West End, then became a teacher at the Douglass School. After trying to find a temporary school for African American children who were displaced by a flood, she discovered that many did not have a school to go to in the first place. Porter helped establish the Harriet Beecher Stowe School in 1914 and became its principal, the first African American woman to serve in the position in the city.

Creating the Stowe School as a strictly African American school placed Porter at the center of a controversy. She believed segregated schools were better for African American children because they would be able to learn and grow in an environment free from the abuse and prejudice found in integrated schools. Porter's opponents believed segregated schools were a hindrance in the fight for equality, and helped strengthen segregation in other parts of life. Despite this, Porter held to her convictions.

Photo courtesy of Cincinnati Museum Center

While at the Stowe School, Porter pursued her college education and gained her bachelor's degree in 1923, her master's in 1925, and later became the first African American woman to earn a Doctorate of Philosophy at the University of Cincinnati. Porter continued her career as a principal until her death in 1936. Though her stance on segregated schools drew much criticism, she nevertheless created one of the most important educational opportunities for African Americans in Cincinnati.

To learn more about the influential women of Cincinnati, check out the Daughters of the Queen City exhibit at Cincinnati Museum Center.


Entering its fifth year, Crafty Supermarket has put out a call for artists for their semi-annual craft fair which will be taking place at Clifton Cultural Arts Center on Saturday, April 26. If you're knitting, welding, beading, baking, ceramic-ing, or any other kind of hobby that results in a handmade product, definitely throw your name in the hat to be one of 45 vendors for the spring show!

With over 4,000 people attending their previous show in December, you're basically guaranteed to make bank at your booth. Each vendor space costs $85 and comes complete with a table and two chairs. Think you might have a ware someone would purchase to wear? Check out the easy application page. All applications must be submitted by 11:59pm on Saturday, March 1.


One of the last places you would expect to find hot chocolate is in a Vietnamese restaurant, but at Cafe Lang Thang, you can have your congee and cocoa all in one stop. Brought to you by the trio that created Pho Lang Thang and Quan Hapa, Cafe Lang Thang is their latest eatery specializing in breakfast and lunch... and hot chocolate.

Available in small and large cups, Cafe stirs up a thin, wispy cocoa. Made with milk chocolate and a smooth finish, this is the perfect pick-me-up on a cold day. Located in Over-the-Rhine adjacent to the School for Creative and Performing Arts and just down the street from Washington Park, treat yourself to a cocoa at Cafe Lang Thang as you retreat from the snow.


Cincinnati Museum Center recently unveiled its latest local exhibit, Daughters of the Queen City, to compliment its main exhibit about the life and artifacts of Princess Diana. The one room gallery was just as impressive as the traveling feature on the Princess. The Daughters collection illustrates a sampling of philanthropic efforts by Cincinnati women from the 1850s-1960s, highlighting both women's organizations as well as 10 well-known leading ladies of the city. Over the next several weeks, CincyWhimsy will be highlighting some of the fascinating stories we learned about Cincinnati ladies in a series, Women Wednesday, in honor of Women's History Month which takes place in March.

We're getting a head start in February in combination with Black History Month by beginning with stories of African American women from Cincinnati:

Photo courtesy of Cincinnati Museum Center

Established as the original circle of nine friends in Philadelphia in 1946, The Links, Incorporated is a premiere national women's volunteer service organization committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the cultural and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry.

Cincinnati women who understood the need to assume civic, cultural and social responsibilities in their community formed the Cincinnati Chapter of The Links, Incorporated on March 30, 1950, becoming the 17th chapter inducted into the Links Chain of Friendship. The chapter established an exemplary record of philanthropy both locally and internationally. In the 1950s, the first Cincinnati Chapter fundraiser provided funding for Camp Joy, the first integrated camp for children in the city. For nearly 45 years, the chapter presented the couture Ebony Fashion Fair with proceeds benefiting the building of the first The Links, Incorporated School in Africa, community service agencies, collegiate scholarships, and the chapter's community programs.

Photo courtesy of Cincinnati Museum Center

Charter members included Vivian Beamon, Johnnie Mae Berry, Reber Cann, Margaret Clarke, Ethel Caliman Deal, Vera Edwards, Camille Hood, Ruth Hubbard, Evelyn Jones, Laura Lovelace, Odessa Simms, and Mary Weatherly. Vivian Beamon served as National President and is credited with developing the concept of The Links Foundation, Incorporated and the adoption of The Arts as a programmatic focus. Margaret Hough was the first National Director of The Arts, followed by Yvonne Robertson.

The Cincinnati Chapter programs have left an indelible and transformational impact upon the greater Cincinnati community.

To learn more about the influential women of Cincinnati, check out the Daughters of the Queen City exhibit at Cincinnati Museum Center.


"Sacrifice is the greatest gift, a gesture of how priceless love really is."
- Gift of the Magi

Two hearts formed in the snow from tire tracks, in the parking lot of our Valentine's Day date.

This year, Valentine's Day preparations began before Christmas, starting with me surprising my better half with tickets to Beerfest, an annual tradition for us both and the vast majority of our friends. It just so happened the festival fell on the holiday this year, so I scooped up the hard-to-get VIP tickets well in advance. (You never know how many wives and girlfriends had the same idea.)

As February approached, my boyfriend revealed his own surprise: he had secured tickets for the Cincinnati Dinner Train, an outing we had both been anticipating for nearly a year. You see, we attempted to purchase tickets on two different occasions to celebrate my birthday, but both times we were turned away due to the train being at capacity. Later that summer, he reserved tickets for our Valentine's date. (And I thought I got an early start!)

Unable to take part in both February 14th activities, I decided to sell our Beerfest tickets and enjoy a romantic evening on the train, just the two of us. I picked out a fanciful outfit, styled my hair into curls, and complimented it with an elegant 1940s era tiny hat. The better half was clad my favorite pinstripe suit and tie.

With Valentine's Day arrived Cincinnati's spontaneous weekly snowfall. I've lost count of how many days it has snowed this season; more than I can remember in the past 15 years. The weatherman says we're just two inches shy of breaking the all-time snowiest record of 42 inches, which was set back in 1977. As white death covered the city, we set off on our journey. Blizzard or high water, we were finally going to get on that dinner train.

After a white-knuckled drive, we arrived at the designated parking lot in Oakley, already dusted with an inch of snow. No train was in sight. Guests gathered around the attendant who informed us there was a delay, but the train would be running this evening. My boyfriend and I spent the next three hours waiting inside his vehicle.

We people watched, from bare-legged, stilletto-wearing women traipsing through the snow to folks who were ill-equipped to be out driving in such weather, fishtailing or getting stuck on a gentle incline. We made sound effects and commentary for the cars, cheering on certain ones like a sporting event. We created a game of moving piles of melting snow with the wipers as it slid down over our windshield. We laughed as a dressed-up young lady walked out of a restaurant with her boyfriend, who couldn't be bothered to put on something nicer than sweatpants. And between all the silliness, we held hands and talked.

For three hours, the better half and I made the best of an unfortunate situation. Although we were hungry and had our knees pressed against the dashboard, I was happy, because there was no where I would rather be on Valentine's Day than right there with him.

Ultimately, the dinner train was cancelled and we endured another white-knuckled drive back home. A late dinner was enjoyed at one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants, and because of the weather, we were able to walk right in and be seated without waiting.

Great love stories can be small. It's simple things like him waving at me aboard the bus, carrying an umbrella to protect my hair from the flurries, safely navigating the slippery roads, or helping me step over snowdrifts. It's trading in a prime rib dinner for a hot dog with slaw and sharing a bowl of baked mac n' cheese. It's passing three hours in a frozen vehicle as easily as if you were having the night of your life.

Valentine's Day may not have been as grandiose as we had originally envisioned, but when you plan on being with someone for the long haul, we've already found plenty of opportunity to make those ordinary moments turn into extra special days.


Did Valentine's Day sneak up on you this year? If you're in a pinch for a gift, here are some personable Shop Local favorites that are sure to dazzle your dearest.


Cincinnati Tie Clip - Fabricate

The Full Monty Massage - The Spa at 21C


Donna's Gourmet Cookies


Cincinnati Bow Tie - MiCA 12/v


Pinup Photoshoot - Retrocentric

My glamourous friend Becky's Valentine's photoshoot.

Chocolats Latour - Coffee Emporium

Punny Art by Jesiii- Fabricate

Floral Fascinators - Bella On The Avenue


Image provided by YP Choral Collective

Fall freely into the rabbit hole with the second annual YP Choral Collective gala: Through The Looking Glass. Hosted in the glamorous venue, The Phoenix, this year's performances on Saturday, February 15, will feature the Queen of Hearts opera chorus and Mad Hatter jazz band, plus a special New Orleans-style funk performance.

Image provided by YP Choral Collective

With more than 200 volunteer singers who live and work in Greater Cincinnati, YP Choral Collective partners with local businesses and arts organizations creating unique concert collaborations.

Sample a ton of great, local food and sip on some champagne, or splurge on the VIP package which includes an all-night open bar. Dress in your most eccentric black and red attire and experience a Wonderland far from the wintery norm of Cincinnati.

Image provided by YP Choral Collective

YPCC: Through the Looking Glass Gala takes place on Saturday, February 15, 2014 from 7:30pm-11:30pm. Tickets start at $45.00


It's that time again! The most wonderful week of the year - Cincinnati Beer Week - kicked off over the weekend and continues through Valentine's Day as the Queen City gears up for Beerfest, taking place at the convention center February 14 and 15. Over the course of eight days, venues across the tri-state will hold special events including beer tastings, dinners, keg tappings and more. 

Photo by Chris Nascimento, Cincinnati Beer Week

The highlight of Beer Week is the Collaboration Beer, concocted by a variety of local brewers. This year's pint is Hostivit, an Imperial Pilsner, that was brewed at the Christian Moerlein facilities. With over 90 venues participating across seven counties, 2014 Beer Week will be the biggest celebration to date. To find out where you can try Hostivit, or any other beertastic activity near you, check out the event calendar.

With beertastic events happening from morning through midnight at over 70 participating venues, there are plenty of opportunities to drink the best brews of the city. - See more at:
With beertastic events happening from morning through midnight at over 70 participating venues, there are plenty of opportunities to drink the best brews of the city. - See more at:
With beertastic events happening from morning through midnight at over 70 participating venues, there are plenty of opportunities to drink the best brews of the city. - See more at:
With beertastic events happening from morning through midnight at over 70 participating venues, there are plenty of opportunities to drink the best brews of the city. - See more at:


Another weekend, another Polar Vortex. Why not curl up with a good book and sip on some hot chocolate? Stop by The Booksellers at Fountain Square to pick up a new read and grab a hot beverage from their cafe. Blended with dark chocolate and any milk or non-milk alternative of your choice, Booksellers's cocoa has a thin consistency with a smooth finish and comes with or without whipped cream. A crowd favorite is the Peppermint Hot Chocolate, but you can add any flavor of your choosing from their selection of coffee syrups.


Where one door closes, another one opens. Such is the case with The Red Door Project, a community art gallery with its first exhibit on Final Friday. Taking place in the former location of the Joseph Williams Home, Over-the-Rhine's newest tenant features a gallery for the artist in all of us.

Regardless if you have formal training or are a creative hobbyist, everyone is welcome to participate in The Red Door Project. Art can be made as 2D or 3D using any type of medium, with all submissions following one rule: modeling their art after the specific monthly theme. The word for February is "Cycle" - a series of events that are regularly repeated in the same order.

All works must be turned in the Saturday before Final Friday to allow for the pieces to be set up for the show. A team of curators will also assign an auction price for each piece, and if sold, the artist will receive a portion of the proceeds. The deadline for February submissions is February 22 from 11:00am-3:00pm.

Not sure how to "cycle?" Instead, take part in The Red Door Project's photo contest by submitting a picture of a red door from your neighborhood. Ten doors will be selected to decorate the space. If you'd like to participate in March's assignment, check out the gallery on Final Friday where they will announce the theme for next month.

The Red Door Project is open at
1232 Vine Street on February 28 from 6-10 p.m.


Going stir crazy with all this winter weather? Break the monotony of being a shut in and shop local this weekend! Over-the-Rhine businesses have shoved their walks, warmed their storefronts and compiled some clever shopping and culinary tips just for you! Check out new products and menu items just in time for Valentine's Day.

The Anchor OTR
Try the Lobster Roll or the Sting Ray, a specialty drink.

Another Part of the Forest
10% off Blues and Classical vinyl

Art Beyond Boundaries
Find compelling original art by incredibly talented local artists, Mary Barr Rhodes, Will Wiley, Jeremy Lewis and many more.

Below Zero Lounge
Sip on an Irish Coffee with Boru Irish Vodka.

Coffee Emporium
Their Aztec Spiced Mocha has luscious chocolate, invigorating spices, special espresso blend and creamy steamed milk.  It's topped with whip cream and a dash of freshly ground cinnamon.  Also, try the new Berry & Flaxseed Muffin.

Mint green Maxi dresses that would brighten up anyone's day!

Fiberge Yarn Shop
Find new locally hand dyed yarn and roving.

Findlay Market
Try Mimi's Gourmet Eggrolls & Curry, Drinking Hot Chocolate from Dojo Gelato, or pho from Pho Lang Thang.

Fresh Table
Try the Bison Chili made with local bison, or the Pompeii Brussels Sprout Slaw made with raw, thinly shaved Brussel sprouts, whole roasted garlic cloves, sun dried tomato and kalamata olives to keep you healthy!

Iris Book Café
Settle in with a steamy chai and a bowl of chili chorizo or vegan chili; keep your to-go drinks warm all day in an OTR/Iris logo Klean Kanteen. Plus, get a complimentary cafe cap with Kanteen purchase!

Mannequin Boutique
Chase away winter blues with vintage fur coats and cashmere sweaters from Mannequin!

Park + Vine
Uplifting Kombucha Kits. Feel the lift. Make your own kombucha with Oregon Kombucha starter kits. Try the Spring Craft Beers from Deschutes Brewery now available at Park + Vine (Black Butte, Porter, Inversion IPA, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Red Chair NWPA)

Rock PaperScissors
Enjoy “The Cincinnati Sound," a compilation of local music guaranteed to get you dancing (or at the very least put an extra bounce in your step); or, start a new journal or art project with locally made (and brightly colored!) journals and sketchbooks.

Rookwood Pottery Co.
New Spring colors now at Rookwood Pottery in their new shop on Jackson Street, enter from Twelfth and Vine parking lot.

Steam Whistle Letterpress and Design
Have you seen The Cincinnati Streetcard?  Can't wait 3 more years for the streetcar to start running? Scratch that itch with their pop-out paper postcard!  Letterpress-printed Valentines are now available too. True love never goes out of style, handmade right here on Main Street OTR.

Substance Boutique
Discover three new styles in the softest organic cotton tees from Los Angeles brand Groceries, plus loads of new dress styles perfect for Valentine's date night.

Symphony Hotel and Restaurant
Try the new martini "Lost in OTR" with Crown Royal, Kahlua, Cherry Juice & a splash of root beer! Plus, Sunday brunches at the Symphony Hotel are a must try.

Taste of Belgium
Try the brand new Belgian Corndog (merguez – spicy lamb sausage, sweet batter, whole grain mustard and curry ketchup), or the new popular Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Enjoy their beer cheese now offered on the lunch menu, plus their crêpe bar is now open all day long, so people can savory crêpes for $7. Even more, Taste of Belgium OTR has a new sign, new menu, and new plate ware to start the new year with a bang.

Urban Eden
Curl up with an Arcadia local history book! Special price $3 off.


Due to inclement weather, the much-anticipated Taproom Trolley was postponed after a Level 2 Snow Emergency was issued by the county.

The rescheduled dates for the 2014 Cincinnati Beer Week Tap Room Trolley will be Saturday, March 22nd and Sunday, March 23rd. These dates were chosen after a great deal of discussion by the CBW Board of Trustees, the participating local breweries, and a review of available buses for possible rescheduled event dates. It was determined that these dates would give Cincinnati Beer Week the best chance of ensuring a wonderful, fun-filled experience to all the Tap Room Trolley participants.

All Tap Room Trolley tickets sold for the original dates and times will be honored for the rescheduled dates, at the same times and for the same scheduled tour routes. Cincinnati Beer Week regrets any inconvenience the postponement of the original dates has caused.

To accommodate requests about releasing more tickets for Tap Room Trolley,  Cincinnati Beer Week was able to obtain two additional buses for the tours on Sunday, March 23rd. One bus will be added to each route. Additional information will be announced as soon as tickets sales are again available.

Questions? Tap Room Trolley patrons who have questions, comments or concerns about their tickets are invited to contact Cincinnati Beer Week at