Monday, March 30, 2015

Italian Food, Contemporary Art

 It's Sunday, March 29, and I'm in Cincinnati for an afternoon with Tom. Originally we thought we'd eat at Chipotle's. I'm always a fan of Mexican food and I love their bean burrito. But Tom's been having some digestive issues and I thought it'd be better if we chose something a little closer to Italy. So we chose LaRosa's Pizza in Clifton.

 The area seems nice enough, though Tom said it was once a high-crime area. Storefronts are clean and new and security cameras monitor the streets (more on that later).

 We arrived early enough - before noon - and there was only one other customer that I noticed. The waitress seated us at a table near the window and we enjoyed the blue-sky view while we looked at the menu.

 The calzones caught my eye. They offer one where you pick three veggies. Cheese is already included. I chose mushrooms, green olives and artichokes. Tom decided spaghetti with plain tomato sauce fit the bill. We both ordered beautiful salads.

 The good window lighting seemed to highlight my whitening hair (the gray days are over apparently). What about that ghostly cowlick at the right rear of my head? My teeth now remind me of how my Dad's mouth looked (though he wore dentures).

 While waiting for our meals we sipped water from light green CocaCola glasses.

 Here's a good close-up of Tom, I think.

 The salads were gorgeous ... fresh lettuce of at least two kinds, olives (green and black), red onions, cherry tomatoes and shredded cheese. I chose an Italian dressing to compliment the meal. Tom picked a mustard-based dressing that looked equally delicious.

 The calzone was plate-sized and perfectly browned. I never located an artichoke, though. Maybe I didn't look close enough? And I'd have preferred the tomato sauce be provided hot. But actually the meal was wonderful and I'd head back there in a moment.

  Here's Tom's spaghetti with marinara and slices of bread with melted cheese atop. Very nice.

 How did my calzone look inside? Full of melted provolone (I had a choice) with liberal amounts of olives and mushrooms. I was still looking for an artichoke, though.

 After the meal we were each given a peppermint.

 As we left, I look a picture of the camera attached to a metal arch that spans Vine Street (see the next shot for a wide view). The camera is placed midway on that span. Big Brother is watching!

 A look back up Vine Street as we walked to the car. LaRosa's is at the left side of this shot, just past the red, white and green sign.

 From there we headed towards downtown Cincinnati. This is still Vine Street. The Kroger building is on the left; on the right is Macy's.  In the far distance the highest building is the Carew Tower. It's 49 stories tall. We're on the way to the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center which Tom understands offers free admission on Sunday's in March.
 Unfortunately they don't. At least not this Sunday. Neither one of us wanted to pay the $7.50 admission charge so I sat down on one of their sofas while Tom made a trip to the basement restroom.

 That sofa mid-shot is my destination for the short wait.

 Once seated I turn back around and photograph the entrance and the registration desk (right). One very nice note is that a young woman (Laura) walks over to me and says that the hotel next door and a shop offer free admission and some of Cincinnati's contemporary art is displayed there. Thanks, Laura! That was a friendly and welcome bit of advice.

 This is the main door to the CAC. A bright neon sign marks the entrance.

 These steps head downstairs. That's where Tom is at the moment. He said the restroom was as modern as the rest of the building: automatic toilets with plenty of chrome. I wish I had checked them out (and even taken pictures).

 This artwork hung above me. It appears to be bent copper tubing on the outside and bright white LED lighting in the center piece.

 The building across the street is equally contemporary and shouts color. This window view was free, too.

 After walking through the nearby shop and hotel, we walked to the next corner and entered the Weston Art Gallery. Again, it's contemporary art.

 Many of today's artists are using LCD panels to display colorful images that change constantly. This artwork makes use of lenses, too.

 How about this one? A video is displayed on the wall and toilets are lined up as "seats".

 And driftwood on a wall ...

 This artwork was on  the floor of a darkened room and a spotlight shone down from above. The image and color constantly changed. The effect was one of sticks floating on water. Sometimes the display was quite bright; other times it faded away to nothingness.

 I'd love to show this collage to our electrician.

 This display was  made of bottle caps in various colors.
 We followed up with a tour of Findlay Market, a favorite stop.

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