A Few Of Your Favorite Things In Northern Kentucky
April 13, 2008 2:56 PM   Subscribe

Moving to Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky: help me find what I like!

I'm very excited to report that I'll be moving to Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky very soon. I'll likely be living within 10 minutes of the river on the Kentucky side, so bonus points for answers involving NKY, especially within bicycling distance!

I've scoured the normal channels of information to find what I like (web, city papers, entertainment weeklies), and have found lots. But, as we know, the hive can relate the "whys" like no other resource.

Here's a list of what I like. Tell me whether these exist in or near NKY, YOUR favorite one(s), and why:

Independent Bookstores (especially those that carry zines)
Record Stores (I've visited Shake It!, and it kicks ass!)
Artists' Supply
Independent Coffee Shops
Bicycle Paths
Dog Parks
Organic Grocery Stores / Food Co-ops
Asian, Hispanic, or Middle Eastern Grocery Stores
Thrift Stores
Farmers' Markets
Fresh Meat Markets (heard about Findlay market; anything in NKY?)
Old Pubs, with lots of wood, dark lighting, and good beer prices
Independent Movie Theaters
Restaurants With Killer Specials (like the 99c taco night I found in Ft. Thomas)
Skateboard Parks
Bike Shops, with great repair/tuneup staff
Music Stores (that sell guitars, not CDs)
Small Bars Where Old Black Guys Play Jazz

As always, thanks!
posted by Rykey to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The biggest independent bookstore in the area is Joseph-Beth and is located in Norwood in Cincinnati. It really is a mini-chain these days with about 10 of the stores in different cities.

I don't know of any place that sells zines in this area. Would like to know if such a thing exists here. The closest I have found is Boxcar Books which is in Bloomington, Indiana, about 2 hours away.

Artist supply stores - well you have 2 basic choices, all in Ohio. There is Suder's with one location in Over-the-Rhine and Wilson's a chain with several stores around town (although known as Lance's in Clifton, it's the same store). There is a bigger artist supply store in Dayton, and of course we have both Michael's and Hobby Lobby.

Thrift stores in the area are: Goodwill (generally the most expensive but with half off days at least twice a month), St. Vincent de Paul, Valley Thrift and Village. It depends on what kind of junk you like, but I'm fond of Village Thrift's 50 cent Mondays (there is one in Newport, KY) and half-off small goods at St. Vinnie's, also on Mondays (this sale may just be the store on Este Ave., near Northside, where I live (in Ohio). I used to be partial to Valley Thrift (with 3 locations: Evendale, Fairfield (very close to a big Goodwill) and close to Dayton in Kettering) but the prices have risen a lot so I go there less often than I used to.

Independent movie theaters are Esquire and Mt. Lookout (both in Ohio). They are owned by the same people. I live close to Esquire and go there fairly often. It's a nice place, although parking can be a pain sometimes (it's in Clifton).

There are bunches of hispanic grocery stores around town these days, but Jungle Jim's in Fairfield is not to be missed for all kinds of ethnic food. - you have to see the store for yourself - it's THE place to find exotic vegetables and many other hard-to-find ingredients.

Good luck exploring the town.
posted by daneflute at 6:15 PM on April 13, 2008

Hello, Rykey,
Check CityBeat's Best of Cincinnati issue for answers. I write for them, so I can vouch for the credibility, heh.
The NKy area has lots of the things you're looking for, especially in Newport and Covington. I live in downtown Covington in the Mainstrasse area, and there's not much you can't find within walking/biking distance. I'll try to make a better, more detailed response tomorrow, but my e-mail is in my profile.
posted by tizzie at 7:07 PM on April 13, 2008

Actually the other indie theater is the Mariemont which is located surprisingly enough in Mariemont. The Esquire is located in Clifton which is in the heart of the neighborhood next to the big university. This makes it great for pre-flick food or post-flick beverages but assy for parking. However, it is still great that a city of our size has two multi-screen indie cinemas. The theater in Mt. Lookout was trying to be our version of the Alamo Drafthouse, but it didn't make it. It currently is a restaurant/nightclub.

As food/grocery goes, Newport has La Mexicana which contains a restaurant + Mexican grocery/butcher shop.

As for jazz, I think you want to check out The Blue Wisp. It's in downtown Cincinnati but everyone that I have heard that goes to it speaks very highly of it.
posted by mmascolino at 8:22 PM on April 13, 2008

For independent coffee shops, check out Sitwell's on Ludlow Ave. It's one of my very favorites.
posted by Quidam at 9:58 PM on April 13, 2008

Via a friend from Cinci:
Cincinnati Natural Foods and Highland Coffee House
posted by o0dano0o at 8:20 AM on April 14, 2008

Hi Rykey,
I second Tizzie's post about the Citybeat's "Best of Cincinnati"...by the way, I was just in Village Thrift today, 1813 Monmouth St., Newport, which was voted best thrift store.
posted by pepcorn at 12:43 PM on April 14, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks so much for the answers so far-- keep 'em coming!

Oh yeah-- one more addition to my list-- independent video stores that carry what Blockbuster doesn't (Netflix doesn't count!).
posted by Rykey at 1:13 PM on April 14, 2008

Response by poster: On review-- about those video stores, I'm not referring to porn video shops-- I mean obscure indy films, foreign stuff, film history buff-type selection.
posted by Rykey at 1:17 PM on April 14, 2008

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