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March 07, 2008



JR, Man, does this bring back memories. BC for me, I lived with my grandparents up Harrison Avenue in Cincinnati one summer.
I used to take the bus downtown and get a transfer back to the University of Cincinnati going through "Over the Rhine". Gritty doesn't really describe OTR; it's like a smushed together community between older german/younger african-american, storefront churches, pawn shops, people-watching out third story windows of now-ancient german buildings, people just standing on the corner, cops coming out of nowhere, a Federal/State/County Court facility on the East side, etc.. One of the United Church of Christ churches my grandfather was pastor (interim for about 5 years ;)) at is right on the edge of OTR; they had German language sermons (Mein Gott!) there into the early 80s. Bengals usually get arrested for DUI going through OTR.
The Cincinnati music community is equally as "gritty" with the UC music crowd, a rather well-funded (some guy whose grandfather invented doorbells gave them lots o'$) symphony that plays in a very old german theater and down by the river, a rather diverse bar-scene where you can see any style any night (I saw Santana in a hole-in-the-wall bar across the river in Newport, KY), gay bars with very loud music, pickup bars with old dance music, etc. My father used to follow the "Modulators" around, who OTR probably knows, and occasionally sang "Love Potion Number 9" with them; since he was a lawyer, they called him the "Blues Barrister." (was that a hint of marijuana in the air?)

Apologies and thanks for the trip down memory lane. Regards, DougG

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