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  • Author: Danny Hamen

California Screenin’

Allow me to spare you from the disappointment of hyperbole—there is no surfing in Ohio. Much like  jumbo shrimp, the Hell’s Angels, and Christian Scientists, the popular apparel brand SURF OHIO presents a playful contradiction….

Photo by Brian Kaiser.

Skip The Room

Three iconic hotel bars that aren’t just for tourists. There is something intrinsically sophisticated about going to a ritzy hotel for a drink. Often complete with ornate fixtures, angular modern furniture, and that glass bowl of…

Photo by Brian Kaiser

Straight Up

Laidback cocktail bars juxtapose class with character. I once was in love with a girl who had bright pink hair and a taste for craft cocktails. She was 4’11,” wore platform combat boots, and swore…

Photo By Megan Leigh Barnard

Pucker Up

A few centuries ago, sour beer was just called beer. In those days, all beers were inherently sour due to the lack of proper sanitation practices that were eventually developed to keep extra yeast and…

by Megan Leigh Barnard

Sour Batch Kids

It’s all tart on tap at Pretentious Barrel House It wasn’t all too long ago that you couldn’t be pretentious if you were a beer drinker. In America, the can-crushing culture of cheap beer—cracking open…

Square One

What would you say if I told you that you could talk to your television? That you, the viewer, could digitally participate in political surveys, game shows, football broadcasts, children’s programming, the local news, talent…

The Offal Truth

When I was five years old my dad and I would snack on tongue. This may sound like the antics of a sadistic parent giving their child gross food for yuks, but the truth is…

By Megan Leigh Barnard

No Quarters Required

“We are in between your mom’s basement and a Major League Gaming facility.” Like most things, it all started in a bar. Well, an arcade bar to be exact. Meet Blake Compton, a competitive gamer…

Art Wire

Three Voices Through August 13 • Decorative Arts Center Three women artists from three Ohio cities, three mediums, and three visions—each artist tackling a similar subject matter while keeping to their unique, individual form. Running…

by Megan Leigh Barnard

A Space to Jam

Ever since he was a kid, Jeremy Miller fantasized about building his dream home. Admittedly, his vision back then had a few more bells and whistles. “The older I get, the more I value simplicity…

Photos by Collins Laatsch

Glaze the Trail

“A donut challenge, you say? I once ate 33 Krispy Kremes in under 15 minutes,” boasted the bartender, polishing a pint glass while behind the bar at the AC Marriott hotel in Butler County, Ohio….

Art Without Borders

Wildflowers color the hilltop meadows… open air art These words—emblazoned on a goliath stone resting alongside a zigzagging woodland trail—reverberate through the trees as they are read aloud. The Japanese translation of the haiku, along with the…

Avant-Anna

Amongst a psychedelically patterned backdrop enter five dancing fembots. Their faces are brushed white with dense makeup, contrasting fervently with bright red lipstick, cobalt eyeshadow, and fluorescent, multicolored wigs. Four of them move and sway…

The Big Short

Comedy knows no limits—and neither does Patton Oswalt. His work is honest, and with honesty comes indecency and, in Oswalt’s case, vicious self-deprecation. “My circle of friends has always been funnier than me,” Oswalt jeered…

Smile or Die

There is something absurdly relatable about Smile Inc. If it isn’t the ceaseless coffee overconsumption, the avoidance of humdrum office parties, or the subliminal “be happy” messages decorating the virtual workplace, it is the overarching…

Newer Grow Up

Hanging off an entry wall in the Gateway Film Center is a colossal wooden sandworm—a zebra striped serpent with dull red eyes and conical teeth, hosting a smaller, fiercer snakehead inside of its mouth. Beside…

Built to Last

Indie rock innovators Built to Spill retains relevance after all these years In Cincinnati earlier this year, hundreds of fans chatter and stir before Built to Spill takes the stage. Onstage an unassuming balding man…

Food Wire

Delivering the Goods Yeah, sit down restaurants are great and all, but wouldn’t it be nice to have that handmade lobster roll from The Walrus delivered right to your office during lunch break? Well, in…

Alterna-Fit

The ever-steady popularity of the treadmill accurately represents America’s attitude toward fitness—that it’s repetitive, monotonous, and probably going to be boring as hell. It’s hard to get excited about creating a killer new body if…

Photo by Nick Fancher

Goodnight, Owl

I don’t particularly enjoy watching movies alone. For me, having another person to kick around with and reflect on the impeding action or drama makes the experience more valuable. Well, in the golden era of late…

Epic Flail

I am atop a 70-foot wooden landing, the timbered horizon of Butler, Ohio set before me in full view, a scenic panorama flanked by low, rolling hills and a buffet of marshmallow clouds in my sights….

Photo by Collins Laatsch

Meat Men

My papa was a butcher—one of those gregarious, old school, Buddha-bellied guys. The larger than life, cleaver-wielding stereotype whose rosy cheeks matched his stained work apron. The type of person who knew the first name…

Lexicon Over Lexus

In 2014, a data scientist named Matt Daniels created a diagram that visually ranked 85 prolific rappers, old and new, on a horizontal graph on their use of unique words in their song lyrics. For…

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