Kate's Queen City Notes

Blundering through Cincinnati, laughing all the way


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Andrew WK Rocks my Socks

As mentioned in yesterday’s blog, I have more blog topics and pictures than words right now. So, in the interests of working out the backlog here’s some pictures of the Andrew WK show at The Woodward Theater. It was great fun.

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Bands and Things

I am behind again. I saw several shows and went on several shoots and failed to upload and process my shots. When they pile up, I know my time at the computer grows exponentially.

This particular group of shots were 400 strong when I finally shifted them onto my hard drive. Just culling out the unnecessary duplicates can take a couple hours. Then I battle my inner critic and indecision in post processing.

Let’s not even get into how hard it is to find words to accompany my visuals. The Sonics deserve more words than what I have. These guys brought all the intensity of a freight train barreling through the country side. From my vantage point to the right of the stage, I could feel the wooden floor throbbing with hundreds of feet pounding out their rythm.

Bright Light Social hour is sexy southern rock with a hearty dash of blues. They bring a more subtle energy to the stage, but it feels earnest. They seem most at home jamming, and even while playing tunes off their recording it feels fresh live.

Aside from the music pictures, I explored a bit of Newport, KY. It’s impossible to spend any length of time in Cincinnati and not hear of The Brass Ass. It’s exterior visuals have escaped me until just now. It’s perfect. I also got a few random shots of spring on the Cincinnati side of the river.

Random plug: Trailhead Coffee in Reser Bike Shop is delicious. They have O Pie O pies on Saturdays, and this has become my Saturday morning routine. In the spirit of Agent Dale Cooper, you must experience this goodness. Also, many thanks to Reser for an excellent tune up. I didn’t realize how out of wack my rode was. Well done, friends. No more words. Just pictures.

Pictures of Newport KY

Around Newport KY

Pictures of Newport KY

Around Newport

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to Newport

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to Newport

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to Newport

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to Newport

Pictures of Newport KY

Around Newport

Pictures of Newport KY

Around Newport

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to Newport

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to Newport

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to Newport

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to Newport

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to Newport

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to Newport

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to Newport

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to Newport

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to Newport

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to Newport

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to Newport

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to Newport

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to Newport

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to Newport

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to Newport

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to Newport

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to Newport

Pictures of Cincinnati OH

Spring comes to Cincinnati

Pictures of Cincinnati OH

Spring comes to Cincinnati

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to Newport

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to Newport

Pictures of Cincinnati OH

Spring comes to Cincinnati

Picture of The Sonics performing at The Woodward Theater

The Sonics at The Woodward Theater

The Sonics performing at The Woodward Theater

The Sonics at The Woodward

The Sonics performing at The Woodward Theater

The Sonics at The Woodward

The Sonics performing at The Woodward Theater

The Sonics at The Woodward

The Sonics performing at The Woodward Theater

The Sonics at The Woodward

R Ring performing at Northside Tavern

R Ring at Northside Tavern

R Ring performing at Northside Tavern

R Ring at Northside Tavern

R Ring performing at Northside Tavern

R Ring at Northside Tavern

R Ring performing at Northside Tavern

R Ring at Northside Tavern

Bright Light Social Hour performing at The Woodward Theater

Bright Light Social Hour at The Woodward

Bright Light Social Hour performing at The Woodward Theater

Bright Light Social Hour at The Woodward

Bright Light Social Hour performing at The Woodward Theater

Bright Light Social Hour at The Woodward

Bright Light Social Hour performing at The Woodward Theater

Bright Light Social Hour at The Woodward

Bright Light Social Hour performing at The Woodward Theater

Bright Light Social Hour at The Woodward

Bright Light Social Hour performing at The Woodward Theater

Bright Light Social Hour at The Woodward

Bright Light Social Hour performing at The Woodward Theater

Bright Light Social Hour at The Woodward

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to Newport

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to the Brass Ass.

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to the Brass Ass

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to the Brass Ass

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to the Brass Ass

Pictures of Newport KY

Spring comes to the Brass Ass

Pictures of Cincinnati OH

Spring comes to Cincinnati OH

Pictures of Cincinnati OH

Spring comes to Cincinnati

Pictures of Cincinnati OH

Spring comes to Cincinnati

Pictures of Cincinnati OH

Spring in Cincinnati


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Photography Success: Smoking The Ohio River

I have been trying to shoot The Ohio River all winter when the stars align for the river to let off water vapor at dawn. I have only captured it accidentally with my cell phone, but I was dying to get my SLR out to shoot it. The best I can make out, the over-night lows need to be very cold, and the skies need to be clear enough at dawn for the sun to warm the surface of the river water. It was 5 degrees when I was shooting this morning, and I suspect this is the last time the river will smoke this winter. The vapor coupled with the jubilant early morning light is at once eerie and magnificent. It was worth losing feeling in my fingers.

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Snowfilled Vistas

I saw ice in the river for the first time this winter. Of course, I had to shoot it.

The Roebling Bridge

The river looked incredible with the large chunks of ice floating buy.

Inside Pho Lang Thang in Cincinnati

This is inside one of my favorite places to eat in the city. Pho Lang Thang.

Findlay Market in the winter.

There were a few brave souls that managed to leave the house.

Paul Brown Stadium in the winter

Don’t worry everyone. The city couldn’t manage to get the major interstate plowed, but Paul Brown Stadium is perfectly cleared. So, that will be a big help when the Bengals play next August.

Ally off of 4th Street in Cincinnati

Evidence of other people braving the weather.

Findlay Market in winter

The Findlay Market snow removal team had their work cut out for them.

A building on 4th Street during renovation.

The building two doors down is under renovation. That means there’s lots of decay to ruminate on.

The Ohio River facing west off the Roebling Bridge.

Watching the ice float by made me enter a meditative state. It was accidentally a practice in being present.

Bell's The Planets beer tasting

Bell’s beer tasting was delightful as was the CSO’s performance of The Planets.


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In My Block

I have struggled to keep shooting. For a myriad of reasons, my inner critic is particularly ruthless with any visual artistic work. So, with every design, illustration and photo comes abuse; no human has ever been as cruel to me as my inner critic. The difference between what I intend to capture vs what actually turns out is vast, and I am continually disgusted with myself. My inner critic uses lots of phrases that start with “I should…”.

I have grace with myself in writing. I know I am still learning, and I accept my poor editing abilities. I have grace with myself in playing guitar. When I make a mess of a tune my first thought is what steps I will take to improve, rather than “I should be able to play this.” That self talk with “I should”, it’s not useful. Who cares what should be? What “is” is all that matters.

I’m working to shush my inner critic. As part of that I decided to walk around my block and shoot. Sure, while taking and editing these pictures I was shouting down my inner critic with, “RESPECT THE JOURNEY!!!!”, more often than not. Here’s the results.

I am a crazy cat lady. You will suffer my furry friends.

I am a crazy cat lady. You will suffer my furry friends. Also, look at him. He’s adorable.

The letters ALLRIGHT stained on concrete

ALLRIGHT… ALL

Urban Scenes

Paint rusting off

Everything changes.

A picture of a no trespassing sign on the ground

No man shall pass

Black and white photo of old granite foundation.

Beauty in all things.

Ghost sign on McFarland Street.

Ghost sign on McFarland Street.

The side of a brick building with some numbers written on it.

Put to order left to time.

Fire department water spigot with a patina

Antique twitter.

A picture of the exterior of a building on Plum Street with the year 1905 impressed in the decorative brick work.

So much struggle was on the horizon.


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Christmas Jazz

I have a love/hate relationship with The Comet. I love that they are a music venue. I hate that the volume takes a year off my ability to hear without mechanized assistance. I love their reasonably priced burritos, quirky jukebox, and excellent beer selection. I hated that all of their bartenders were arrogant and surly. The Comet has been the setting of most of my poor bartender interactions.

To be fair, the bar staff has been considerably nicer in recent years. Unfortunately, this transformation occurred after I moved out of Northside. The surly service is what kept me from being a regular.

I went there for Christmas Jazz. The Steve Schmidt Organ Trio is played jazzy Christmas tunes. If you were ever wondering what a 10 minute “Frosty the Snowman” sounds like, you should attend this event next year.
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I don’t like Christmas music. Many Decembers have passed where I have listened to Dean Martin’s “Baby it’s Cold Outside” a mind-numbing 759 times each shift at Starbucks. Often there would be a screaming child across the counter, in the arms of an oblivious parent who can’t figure out what to order despite 20 minutes waiting in line. Who knew the line would end like that? The people in line behind this person are giving me the stink-eye as I am describing all of our herbal teas. Baby, it’s cold outside and inside my soul.

Improvised organ solos drowns out all of my retail Christmas nightmares. I experience Christmas music as something new. Steve Schmidt has made me enjoy Christmas music. Next year, go, even if you’re a grinch.


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Secret Cincinnati – Yum Yum

Old buildings tell me stories. Businesses that appear to have their golden years behind them bring me a narrative of dreams ramming into cold reality. That’s how I noticed Yum Yum.

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Yum Yum, on the inside.

When I moved to Cincinnati in 1994, Vine street was still one-way through Over The Rhine (OTR). The route to downtown from Clifton was typically down Vine until McMicken, where Vine turned one way, and then over to Race for the remainder of the trip. OTR was considerably more grimy then. Plus, I was considerably more green. I was fresh from my very white childhood, very white, affluent suburbs, and very conservative rearing. My first drive down Race left me gaping and frantically trying to process the prostitute that flashed us in the cross-walk at 12th and Race.

That’s how I first met Yum Yum. In the 900 block of Race, Yum Yum was two blocks too far North from respectable people’s boundary, seventh street. Beyond Seventh Street only hobos and criminals dared to tread. To drive that block even deeper into my imagination Yum Yum was flanked on either side by sexual deviance. The Pink Pyramid, a gay porn shop, lay to the south, while Shooter’s, a gay bar, lay to the North. At eighteen and still closeted, I was enthralled.

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Our tea warmer.

Over the years, many things changed. I came out. I came to value diversity. I lived in OTR and Prospect Hill. I grew to understand the dynamics in OTR and loved it for all its grime. I had a front row seat to the changes in the last decade. I lived in OTR when 3CDC started purchasing their first collection of buildings on Vine.

Somehow, the 900 block of Race Street has changed little across the years. Because the exterior of Yum Yum has shown no changes aside from the steady decay of time, I assumed for many years that the business had long been closed. Then I heard rumors.

I heard stories of friends of friends who had been there … recently. Details started to emerge. They only take cash. It’s run by an old Asian couple. The business is only open on select evenings. With rumors swirling, I scrutinized the shop with more determination.

After closing down a bar in Covington, I found myself ordering goetta and eggs at The Anchor Grille at 2am. One of the patrons casually mentioned that he had worked at The Pink Pyramid. Serendipity. I struggled to contain my enthusiasm, when I asked if he had ever eaten at Yum Yum.

“Oh, yeah, it’s great. They are such nice people.”
“Do you know when it’s open?”
“Seems like, they open when they feel like it. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays are the best bet.”
“Only the evenings?”
“Yeah. Oh, they only take cash. And sometimes, you will need to knock on the door, if it’s locked.”

Cincinnati secrets! I was determined to go. It happened that my canning partner was also obsessed with this place. We set at date for Saturday night.

As I approached on my bike, I thought we would be disappointed. She was standing outside. As I locked up, she said it appeared to be closed.

 “I think this might be them.”
“You mean the ancient Asian couple struggling to get the Kroger bags out of the back of that late-model BMW?”
“Yes. They were giving me the stink-eye when they pulled up for loitering outside the door.”
“Great, let’s wait for this to play out.”

As they approached, the gentleman ejaculated, “We’re late today!” We helped them in the door and said we were happy to wait while they set-up. When we hit the door, I struggled to maintain a conversation while I stared at the interior of Yum Yum. It was a mash-up of Barney Miller’s set, a 50’s diner complete with stools and a counter, and Chong Inc,. (Chong Inc. is in the 700 block of Race. It is weird and wonderful. Go before it gets turned into an expensive hotel.)

After I stared at the strange menagerie of 80’s tech products in the dusty glass display case to the left of the door and Ali and I struggled to maintain conversation that neither of us were actually engaging in, the old man asked to take us to our table. As we walked toward the back of the building we passed through a hall papered with Yum Yum diners taken in the late 70’s. The polyester suits, and excessive side-burns whispered from a past Cincinnati.

It dawned on me, we had stepped into a live time capsule from the 70’s as we hit the dining rooms. The dining room was crammed with flotsam and jetsam that appeared to have accumulated from 1970-1980. The drop ceilings were complete with recessed fluorescent lights filtered through colored, patterned plastic. The wood paneling, brought me back to the split-level and ranch style homes that provided the setting for most of my childhood memories.

The recessed lighting was off in favor of some strategically placed lamps. The food was unexceptional except for a few things. The duck sauce was delicious and clearly made there; Ali said she would bathe in it. The egg rolls, wantons, and sweet and sour soup were hand-made there and outstanding. The entrees were unremarkable.

The food could have been bad, and considerably more expensive, and I would still suggest it just for the thrill of getting inside the building. Seriously, I felt like I was 8 years old again. It’s worth a visit for the time capsule experience alone.

Because we had the suspicion that the health department hasn’t visited Yum Yum since 1978, we decided that we best follow that meal with some booze. I’ve noticed a bar at the south corner of the 900 block of Race. Because this place doesn’t have a sign, I was fascinated with it. This seemed like the most appropriate place to finished our experience with Yum Yum. Two things became abundantly clear when we walked into The Brittany Annex, gay men frequent the bar, and hence how the establishment survives with no sign.

The patrons and the bartender were very friendly. They all greeted us when we walked in. The prices were moderate. We enjoyed a few Beams while supporting a running commentary of the poor choices of current music video directors. We had great conversations while simultaneously using alcohol to inoculate our digestive tracts from Yum Yum.

The Brittany Annex was a perfect finish to our Yum Yum experience. We survived Yum Yum with no poor digestive tract outcomes. We will go back to Yum Yum just to experience the time capsule. Secret Cincinnati and Yum Yum will go away. The internet coupled with downtown’s revival will ensure that neither of these things survive for much longer. I will enjoy them for the moments we have them.

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Oh so creepy Christmas decorations at Yum Yum.


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A Tale of Two Dinners

I have avoided Jeff Ruby’s steak houses in my 20 years in Cincinnati. I have my reasons. He only hires attractive, young, slim women. He is personally cantankerous. He has taken a number of political positions that I don’t agree with. And I was personally too broke to drop one hundred bucks on a meal until the last several years.

On the other hand, I am a foodie. This omnivore skews to the vegetarian side. I consume beef rarely; however, I love to have a spectacular steak once or twice a year.It was only time that stood between my ethical concerns and the siren’s steak call.

My date with Jeff Ruby was set at The Precinct for Sunday night. Incidentally, I found myself at Crave at The Banks on the Saturday night prior for a friend’s birthday. This is where my dining contrast starts.

I should disclose my feelings about The Banks. If you aren’t from Cincinnati, The Banks are an urban equivalent of a strip mall. In a city that is over-flowing with history, architecture, and unique local business, they are architecturally non-descript, uninspired chain bars and restaurants that are trolled by unsavory downtown interlopers-read suburbanites who view downtown solely as their personal party spot. The interlopers stick to Applebee’s and McDonalds when they pull off the highway on a road trip. They are comforted by Olive Garden on Times Square. These are the people that enjoy The Banks. They buy many over-priced, poorly-mixed shots, and puke them up outside the Reds stadium and go home satisfied with their “downtown” experience.

Due to The Banks proximity to Great American Ballpark (home of The Cincinnati Reds), I have occasionally patroned The Banks. The overpriced Bud Lights at The Banks are palatable when one considers how much more that exact product will be inside the stadium gates. However for my preferences, this is the only acceptable reason to visit The Banks. There is nothing wrong with craving comfort. But that scene just isn’t for me.

Ironically, I live within easy walking distance of The Banks. At 4 blocks away, it’s a more geographically logical destination than Over The Rhine is at 12 blocks away. And yet, I am in OTR (Over The Rhine) all the time. Just this morning, I bundled up and biked up to Coffee Emporium in OTR, carefully avoiding the icy spots left from our early morning snow.

Circumstances have conspired to put me at Crave at least four times. Typically, a friend has suggested it, and I have declined to suggest otherwise. I don’t want to be that butthole friend who pedantically insists on controlling where the group goes. The beer selection, service, and food quality was solidly mediocre; at dinner prices ranging from fifteen to thirty-five bucks a plate I expect better than mediocre.

I found myself at Crave with a party of 15. As an ex-server, I confess that we did many things that prove difficult for wait staff. Our party trickled in over the course of 60 minutes as opposed to being present at the reservation time. This is a problem for wait staff, because timely diners understandably start to feel uncomfortable by hour 2 in their chair. This discomfort often leads them to blame the server for slow service, when in reality, their late comers drove their meal to be served more than 90 minutes after their arrival. However, this also presents an opportunity for a savvy server. It’s an excellent time to get your table liquored up.

Our server missed this opportunity. She took a very long time getting drinks. Because I couldn’t see the bar from my vantage point, I don’t know if this was due to the server’s or the bar’s slow service.

Once the party was finally assembled, our food order took an exceptionally long time. I ordered a thirty-five dollar ribeye with a side of pureed potatoes and caramelized Brussels sprouts. I knew this was a poor choice when I made it, but that’s what I felt like eating. The food took about an hour to come out, and when it did, several of our orders were wrong. I ordered a medium rare steak, but the shoe leather they brought was medium well if not well. The cherry on top, was that most of our meals weren’t warm. The potatoes and Brussels were at room temperature and had unexceptional flavor.

I don’t send food back. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I did it. I sent this steak back. After another 30 minutes, the waitress returned to tell me that they ran out of potatoes and ribeye. When she asked if I wanted to order something else, most of the table was finishing their meals. It was nearly 11, and I was antsy to change scenery.

I didn’t have to pay for anything at Crave. I was satisfied to walk around the corner to Jimmy John’s and grab a sandwich. But as an ex-server, I felt bad for the server. It made for an uncomfortable four hours.

This is the context for my visit to The Precinct. I turned up a bit early. When I hit the door, the hostesses did the following three things within seconds. They made eye contract, smiled, and greeted me. This will be a different customer service experience.

After they confirmed my reservation, they asked if I would like to relax with a drink while they got my table ready. At my assent, they gave me directions to the bar and said that they would direct my guest to the bar as well.

The bartender displayed ample knowledge of the wine list. She was happy to provide input on the three wines that caught my interest. At her suggestion, I ordered a Meritage. And it was delicious. When our table was ready, one of the hosts asked us to come to the host stand when we were ready to be seated. She saved us that awkward moment when you’re trying to pay out the bar as quickly as possible so the person waiting to seat you is standing there staring at you for the least amount of time possible.

Our table was roomy, and adequately set. Our server came to us within seconds of us settling in to check on our drinks and introduce himself. The service went as expected, but there was something strange happening at the table next to us. The cougars to our left were interested in something off the menu. Judging by how they interacted with the young men that attended to them and the little amount of food they actually consumed, I concluded that they were there specifically for the flirting, and food was incidental. It’s unusual to see the power dynamics that women are most often subjected to reversed. The men appeared to enjoy the attention, but as I recall from my service industry days, it’s in their professional interests to do so.

The menu was overwhelming, and I think I made my decision quickly simply to avoid decision fatigue. I got a medium rare 14oz NY Strip with lump crab meat, béarnaise, and mushroom reduction sauce. The steak came with a potato, but the spud was beside the point. All the food that I had was delicious, but the steak had the starring role in my meal. Every morsel of the steak was perfectly cooked. Because steaks are unsymmetrical hunks of flesh, they often don’t cook evenly, leaving some bites over-cooked and others under-cooked. The crab and béarnaise combined with the salty rub that encrusted the steak to make each bite a cascade of salty, tangy, sweet, and rich. It was outstanding.

The moral of the story? Friends don’t let friends go to The Banks. And Jeff Ruby is still a jerk, but wow does he run great eateries.


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My Denim Adventure

I try to buy local. There’s lots of stuff I just can’t do that with, like my cell phone or paper towels. It’s a small thing that I can do to keep dollars in my local economy, and keep people working here. I find it appalling that the current global business model fosters paying people that make our goods next to nothing, while all the value is sucked out of the supply chain by slick marketing and MBAs. I would feel way better about my $70 Gap jeans if more than a few pennies went to the Bangladeshi child that sewed them. This is hyperbole, but you get my point. This is how I started my denim adventure.

After internet searching, I found that Noble Denim was founded and run here in Cincinnati. The short version of Noble’s founding is that the founder Chris Sutton got interested in making jeans. He started with all American sourced raw materials to make himself the best pair of jeans. He started making jeans for friends and grew to sewing for friends of friends. Now, demand is high enough that he’s got a factory in Tennessee sewing for him.

I was intrigued, but I had reservations. Not only are the jeans pricey, at 250 bucks, but they are made from raw selvage denim. At the time, I didn’t understand what either of those words meant.

To the google machine! Selvage has to do with an old school method of weaving denim. The most obvious sign that jeans have been constructed out of selvage denim is if the out seam on the legs have been sewn off as opposed to cut. The old school looms that produced such denim are thought to produce a denser higher quality fabric than the newer methods of weaving. And raw indicates that the denim hasn’t been treated with additional washes after the initial indigo dye; it is denim is it’s most untreated state.

What does all that stuff mean in terms of wearing the jeans? Two things, first raw and/or selvage jeans are almost always 100% cotton. Second, they require some maintenance if you want to get the longest life out of them. The fact that the jeans are 100% cotton practically means that these jeans are stiff and raw (unwashed) with little to no give. Women, you need to know there is zero spandex or rayon in these pants. No jeaggings here, folks.

About that special maintenance, most denim nuts recommend that you refrain from washing your raw jeans for at least 6 months after purchase. Further, since the denim hasn’t been rinsed since being died, it’s possible the indigo will rub off on anything your jeans come in contact with, such as shirt tails and the ankle area of your shoes. I am a bit of a clean freak. I was most disturbed by the thought of wearing unclean jeans for six months.

I was intrigued, but not enough to invest 250 bucks. I found that Williamsburg Garment company manufactures American-made jeans, and at a lightly lower price. At 125 bucks, I got their Hope Street fit jeans that are made or raw but not selvage denim. For the very first time in my life, I measured my favorite jeans and compared those measurements with Williamsburg size chart. Their 31’s were really close to my measurements, just a little narrower in the leg. As I placed my order, I braced myself to have one of my two experiments fail, my raw denim trial or ordering by sizing fit chart trial.

The jeans arrived. Stiff really doesn’t capture the texture of the jeans. Severe, that’s more appropriate. And tight. So tight. But, considering the fabric had zero give, the fit was spot on. On day one, I was unsure.

As the first week passed and I kept wearing the jeans; I thought of them as my leg armor. I felt like each time I put them on, I was beating them into submission. And submit they did. Across time the denim formed to my body and softened. After a couple of weeks, I was feeling more sure my experiments were successful.

My concerns regarding long term care proved to be unfounded. First, my jeans didn’t rub indigo on anything aside from the inside of one pair of my boots, something that I only see. Further, refraining from washing my jeans was easier than I expected. Airing them out regularly, seems to resolve any odor issues, including camp-fire smell. And there was an unexpected side benefit, that my jeans size stayed consistent. Dryer induced shrink is no longer a thing. My jeans fit exactly the same every time I put them on.

By month six, I was loving my raw denim experience and was ready to put 250 bucks toward supporting local Cincinnati business for an excellent product. I researched the measurement chart for Noble, and selected my fit, Truman, and size, 32. I picked up my jeans at Article in OTR. I went to them mostly because I knew I could walk out the door with my jeans in hand. If I ordered directly from Noble it would have taken a bit more time, because they don’t carry a huge amount of inventory.

I was curios to see if my Noble jeans would be twice as nice as my Williamsburg jeans. They are. The denim is a little more supple, but more dense. I don’t understand how that is possible, but it is so. The Nobles are just better constructed in almost every way. The pockets are lined with soft cotton. The stitching at the seams is precise and clean. The button fly is constructed beautifully. My Noble jeans are a testament to skilled craftsmanship and obsessive attention to detail. On top of all the excellent construction, the jeans fit me great. I am excited to see how they age.

My jeans experiment has ended with great success. I plan on buying a pair of Noble jeans yearly. I will never purchase a pair of Gap jeans again. I would much rather spend extra money on something that is crafted well and pays their craftsmen well. Plus, I get to support manufacturing in the US, and a local Cincinnati business. Hooray, to my dollars staying here and having gorgeous, well-fitting jeans.

The wear patterns that are coming out on my raw jeans are really great.

The wear patterns that are coming out on my raw jeans are really great.

Noble Denim.

Noble Denim.

I like the understated details that Noble incorporates into their jeans. The single stitch across the back pockets is a nice touch.

I like the understated details that Noble incorporates into their jeans. The single stitch across the back pockets is a nice touch.

My Noble jeans.

My Noble jeans.

I have an obsession with button fly jeans.

I have an obsession with button fly jeans.


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MidPoint Music Festival 2014: Saturday In Review

Post-MPMF depression. I have it. It’s a thing. Writing this up was my last task to close out the weekend, and I have procrastinated it. This reminds me of how facing January felt after Christmas when I was a kid. An occasion that I look forward to all year passes so quickly, and I’m left was wonderful memories and building anticipation for another year. This is a wonderful problem to have. Having such a wonderful experience that a little bout of depression sets in now that it’s over. On the bright side, I am seeing Chvrches tonight. I have a number of introspective things to say about the festival, but I think I need to let those simmer for a while longer. In the meantime, here’s what happened and some pictures.

Here’s what I planned to do on Saturday.

230 Modoc – Washington Park
345 Public – Washington Park
5 Empires – Washington Park
630 OK Go – Washington Park
715 Ancient Warfare – Moerlein Tap Room
830 Coves – Moerlein Tap Room
845 – The Nepotist – Mainstay Rock Bar
930 Ex Hex – The Know
930 Ravonettes Moerlein Tap Room
945 Low Cut Connie – Midpoint Midway
1030 Speedy Ortiz – The Know
1115 The Tontons – Mainstay Rock Bar
1145 EMA – The Know
1145 Gardens and Villa – Memorial Hall
1215 Milagres – The Drinkery
1230 Ex-Cult – Moerlein Tap Room

I missed Modoc, because I went to the sessions at the Herzog studio and saw Mustered Courage. I was hoping to leave there early enough to catch the end of Modoc, but no luck there. I missed Ancient Warfare, Low Cut Connie, EMA and Ex-Cult. I missed almost all of those because I enjoyed the conflicting acts too much to leave them. I was surprised by how much I liked The Ravonettes and Coves. And damn, The Tontons are now on my do-not-miss list. I will have more to say about the fest in a week or two after the post-mpmf blues leaves me.

Empires

Empires

OK Go

OK Go

OK Go and Confetti!!

OK Go and Confetti!!

Ex Hex

Ex Hex

Coves

Coves

The Tontons

The Tontons

Milagres

Milagres