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Best of the City 2013
FAUX WREATH: WYOMING FLORIST
Ever wonder why spring seems to arrive just a smidge earlier in Wyoming? We think the credit goes to Dale Kabbes’s sumptuous, hyper-realistic artificial spring wreaths, the first sign of winter’s retreat. deliveringsmiles.com
GREETING CARDS: LIBRARY FRIENDS’ SHOP
Need a Mother’s Day greeting? An “I’m Sorry” card for your girlfriend? Visit the best little greeting-card store you’ve never heard of at The Public Library’s main branch. Manager Tracy Lanham curates a collection of greetings from boutique designers including Artists to Watch and P. Flynn Design’s Phun House. Sales of the well-priced cards (and all the shop’s goods) benefit the Friends of the Public Library. cincinnatilibrary.org
GROCERY STORE FLOWERS: HYDE PARK KROGER
Maybe your mother-in-law is recuperating from hip surgery; maybe your bestie just got engaged; maybe your husband just wants to show you he does think of you during the day (hint, hint!). A trip into the Hyde Park Kroger can net you a quick bouquet and a whole lot of love. Choose from premade bunches of blooms, or tap into your inner florist and pull together your own creative arrangement of stems from dozens of seasonal choices. (513) 871-4142
FLEA MARKET: BURLINGTON ANTIQUE SHOW
Is there a better adventure on a summer morning than trolling the Burlington Antique Show at dawn? With 200 vendors spread over the Boone County Fairgrounds, you’re sure to spot something (Museum-quality 19th century furniture? Gawd-awful kitsch?) that suites your fancy. burlingtonantiqueshow.com
SUCCULENT SELECTION: H.J. BENKEN
It may not be every day you go hunting for Mother-in-Law Tongue, but if you’re searching for succulents, H.J. Benken can help. From Jade to Little Shark, they stock a fleet of the pint-sized succulents with their fascinating chubby, waxy leaves. A family-owned nursery and garden center hidden away on a residential street in Silverton, Benken’s has been selling plants and perennials for more than 70 years. benkens.com
HIPSTER CRAFT SUPPLIES: ROCK PAPER SCISSORS
Art or music? At Rock Paper Scissors you don’t have to choose. The shop—formerly Smartfish Studio—has expanded to sell more art materials plus the music and merch of local bands. The store caters to Art Academy students and their eco-conscious ilk with recycled paper, all-natural paints, and locally-sourced walnut ink. facebook.com/RPScincinnati
CHAMPAGNE SELECTION: THE PARTY SOURCE
If you’re searching for something sparkling, The Party Source has you covered. With over 150 varieties of Champagne and sparkling wine ranging in price from a few bucks to more than $300, the store can supply you with a bottle of bubbly for any occasion, whether you’re looking to celebrate a milestone or to mix up a cheap mimosa. thepartysource.com
POCKET SQUARES: 45/46 XY
Pocket squares are an underutilized accessory, but those in the know understand that they add a touch of personality to any look. The selection at 45/46 XY includes a fantastically quirky selection from lines like Seaward and Stearn, which the owner buys at markdown before passing the savings along to you. Win-win. facebook.com/4546.XY
ECO/VEGAN CLOTHING: SUBSTANCE
Fashion you can feel good about: Comfy organic tees, darling certified fair-trade dresses by Chicago-based Mata Traders, vegan handbags by Izzy & Ali and Street Level, threads by Indigenous Design and looks from pioneering eco-label Stewart+Brown. The real kicker? This OTR boutique donates portions of its sales to local causes like our public schools. Shopping never felt so good. shopsubstance.com
LBD: ALLIGATOR PURSE
There comes a time in every woman’s life when a little black dress (LBD) is a necessity. The selection of LBDs at Alligator Purse ranges from leather-trimmed sheath to slinky fit-and-flare, and has something guaranteed to flatter almost every body type.(513) 871-6171
NEW BOUTIQUE: TRUCKSHOP
Ice cream trucks, taco trucks, now fashion trucks? Truckshop owner Ashley Volbrecht is banking that the traveling boutique craze will appeal to Cincinnati fashionistas. Though she just hit the road in June, this truck filled with bright, trendy clothing and accessories has already been spotted at street festivals and will come to you for private shopping parties and fund-raising events. shopthetruck.com
LETTERPRESS: STEAM WHISTLE LETTERPRESS
Brian Stuparyk opened his full-service Steam Whistle Letterpress in 2011, offering custom services, ready-made paper goods, and workshops. steamwhistlepress.com
FLAG STORE: FLAGGS USA
If you need a flag for any occasion—and we do mean any—this is the place to go. They have holiday flags, seasonal flags, college flags, U.S. flags, military flags, baby announcement flags, religious flags, state flags, sports flags, and custom-made flags. They also have a huge selection of patriotic paraphernalia, kites, flag poles, and yard lights (for your flags, of course). Put it this way: when Romain Sato, from the Central African Republic, played basketball at Xavier, fans found his country’s flags to wave during games here. flaggsusaohio.com
WOMEN’S JACKETS: THE WARDROBE
From classic peacoats to asymmetrical leather jackets, the selection of top designers at this Mariemont mainstay covers all style bases. So when your friends give you the eye and ask, “What’s that jacket—Margiela?” you can answer in the affirmative, and instantly boost your fashion cred. thewardrobecincinnati.com
Work out the kinks at these four top-notch classes—and gear up with one great outfitter.*
Class: Cardio Dance Party
Cost: $6 –$10
Where: Check cardiodanceparty.com for schedule
Instructor: Kimberly Boardman, founder/president/instructor
What It Is: An hour-long, pop-music-fueled dance extravaganza, incorporating a wide variety of styles. You will be challenged, says Boardman. “It can take a couple of classes to really feel comfortable.”
What to Wear: Boardman recommends “A really good sports bra” and non-gripping gym shoes.
Class: TRX Suspension Training
Cost: $10–$22; discounted rates on multi-class passes
Where: It’s Working Out, Columbia-Tusculum, itsworkingout.com
Instructor: Kristen McAuliffe, owner
What It Is: Using straps that hang from the ceiling, you leverage your body weight to create resistance.
What to wear: Dress like you’re going to go running or take a yoga class. “I prefer capri-length pants,” McAulliffe says. “We do floor work, and shorts can be uncomfortable or revealing.”
Class: Booty Barre
Cost: members $10, nonmembers $20
Where: Cincinnati Sports Club, cincinnatisportsclub.com
What It Is: A hybrid of pilates, dance, and yoga, this class adds cardio work—lunges, plyometric exercise—to ballet barre moves.
What to Wear: For this class, you’re barefoot, but you’ll want to be able to move freely, so formfitting gear is best.
Class: Boxing 101 Fitness
Cost: First class free, unlimited classes $75 per month
Where: The Punch House, Norwood, thepunchhouse.com
Instructor: Danny Calhoun, owner
What It Is: Full-body circuit training in addition to bag work and fundamentals. Calhoun recommends an intro class before you put up your dukes.
What to Wear: You might be more comfortable in shorts than pants. Participants need boxing gloves, which can be rented at the facility.
*Whether you’re a hardcore gym rat or just want to look like one, Athleta at Kenwood Towne Centre has you covered.