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Tino’s Greek Flies Two Flags

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With one, Cincinnati having such a large Greek population; two, the Mediterranean diet being so popular; and three, Greek food being the best stuff on the planet, it stymies me that there’s not an “authentic” Greek restaurant on every corner here. Sure, we have plenty of chili parlors, and it seems almost every diner is Greek-owned, but when you want the mouth-melting pork of a souvlaki or those amazing layers of meat and eggplant in a moussaka, where do you go? Well, now you’ve got Tino’s.

This little west side establishment is the real deal, with both Greece and America well represented on the menu. There’s pastitsio (noodles with spiced meat layered with a béchamel cream sauce, kind of like moussaka with training wheels), homemade spanakopita (a fresh spinach and feta phyllo pastry that Tino’s dad hand rolls in the back daily), and their ever-popular and juicy gyros. Tino also knows his American fare, with roast beef and fresh-mashed potatoes, still-sizzling half-pound Angus burgers, liver and onions (for those who must), and double-deckers galore with homemade tuna, chicken, and egg salad. You have to end it all with some homemade baklava. Honestly, Tino’s food is so good it’s the kind of place you’ll want to order five entrées, take a bite of each, bring the rest home as leftovers, and consider that your grocery shopping for the week. I know this for a fact, because, well, I did that.

Tino’s Greek American Family Restaurant, 5826 Cheviot Rd., White Oak, (513) 245-0095

Gregorie Styles Tells a Person’s Story Through Makeup

Occupation: Makeup artist, personal stylist, blogger
Style: Always glowing

Did you always know you’d be a makeup artist one day?

Like most people, when you’re younger, you’re not exactly sure what you want to do. I knew I was going to be something creative, so in college I took gen eds and a ton of art classes. I was sitting in a drawing class one day, and we were supposed to draw the person in front of us, and I thought, Who is this person outside of here? Why does she have her hair that way? What made her pick those shoes? And so I decided that I didn’t want to just create work that was flat on a canvas. I wanted to create something that could move and breathe through the world. I woke up one day and told my parents I was going to cosmetology school, and they were like, What’s happening?

You were a full-time hairstylist for nine years before becoming a district educator for Sephora.

As a hairstylist I felt like I still wasn’t quite reaching my creative potential, so I decided to join a major cosmetics company. I was juggling both for quite some time. As a district educator for Sephora, I was in charge of [skin care] education and training. I worked one-on-one with clients to create regimens. I became a skin specialist, and then I felt like that wasn’t enough, so I had to add more things.

A few years ago you got into styling. How?

I was contacted by a woman who owns her own company and said, I need help with hair and makeup, and she struggled with what clothing to wear, so I just picked out what I thought looked best, and she was like, You remind me of Mary Poppins; you just pop in and get people’s lives together and then come back when we need you.

Now you offer hair, makeup, and styling services for weddings, events, and editorial work under your personal brand, Gregorie Styles. What’s your goal for each client?

I always talk about clients being the star of their own life. How do we tell that story from head to toe? How do we create a more empowered version of themselves? For some, that’s for a wedding day, and for others it could be for every business meeting or a promotional video. My entire goal is to make sure I’m telling someone’s story accurately, even if they don’t have the words to necessarily express it. It’s the most fulfilling when you talk to a client and they don’t see their full potential, but you’ve already seen it, and you are literally painting the story that you are learning about them. Then they look in the mirror, and they realize I was this person the entire time.

What’s your personal style like?

My personal style varies depending on my day-to-day life. I’m definitely a T-shirt, jeans, and backward ball cap kind of guy, and then the next day I’m at brunch in all sequins. I think that we all have days where we’re more confident than others, and some days we express ourselves by saying, I’m cool with just being me and being casual, and the next day we’re like, I’m inspired by something, and I’m going to live in this moment and be much more eccentric.

What’s your go-to look?

As far as clothing, texture is my biggest color, so I may not be wearing the boldest color, but I like to layer different textures. I’m [also] a huge believer in glowing skin. Your skin is your biggest accessory. If it’s shine on my skin, highlighter, or something glossy, it’s always going to have some layer of glow.

Do you ever leave the house without applying makeup?

It varies day by day. I always tell people, especially when they ask me if I have a favorite brand or something, is brands are kind of like friends. You call one friend up to go to the movies with you; you call another to go party; and you call another to have a deep conversation. So you select your beauty regimen based on what’s happening with your life, whether that be a big event or a casual hang with friends.

What about people who feel like they’re a lost cause when it comes to makeup?

I grew up with a Southern minister as a father and I started makeup application on Barbie dolls. I used to steal my sister’s Barbie dolls, and I would take Crayola markers and shade in their blush and change their eye shadow, and then I would wipe it all off and start over. You always have time to learn.

Five Fall Veggies You Can Grow at Home

Peter Huttinger, community garden program director at Turner Farm in Indian Hill, gets down to the roots on five cool-weather crops you can plant in your garden at home.

Lettuce and Leafy Greens

Lettuce varieties that do well in the fall include Black-Seeded Simpson, Buttercrunch, and Oakleaf. If there is going to be an early freeze, harvest as small, tender leaves for salads and sautéing.

Beans

Sow seeds in early August in a sunny spot. Bush beans are low growing, and runner beans need a trellis. Varieties are available in different colors and sizes, making them a lovely edible ornamental.

Root Crops

Radishes, carrots, beets, and turnips make good cool-weather crops. Radishes mature in 25–30 days; carrots in 60–80 days; and beets and turnips in 45–70 days. Their greens liven up a salad or stir fry.

Cabbage

First-time gardeners should go with cabbage; if there is an early hard freeze, the young leaves are very tasty. Transplant seedlings (do not sow seed) in late July and early August.

Garlic

Plant individual cloves from seed garlic in late September and in October. They will begin to grow in the fall, go dormant over the winter, then come back in early spring and be ready to harvest by late June.

Dr. Know: An Empty Alcove, Greenacres, and Union Terminal’s Woes

Social distancing had me standing in line outside Trader Joe’s in Kenwood. As I moved, I noticed a recessed alcove near the entrance, its brick awning covering a park bench. This makes no sense. The nook clearly had some other purpose, but I didn’t want to bother the very-busy staff about it. Can you? —SAY WHAT’S SO, JOE

DEAR WHAT’S:
The slower pace of our post-quarantine lives has made many trivialities spark into significance—a perfect stimulus for the Doctor’s inbox! Your hunch was correct: The staff at Trader Joe’s, while courteous, did not regard this topic as the best possible use of their uncertain time during these uncertain times. Our own research, however, provides an almost-certain answer.

Back in the olden days of the 20th century, customers often paid for things with quaint, bacteria-covered pieces of paper called “cash.” These disgusting green sheaths regularly depleted themselves, requiring a resupply from the nearest Automated Teller Machine. In 1995, the new OfficeMax in Kenwood put an ATM outside its entrance, secured in the very alcove you observed. The machine vanished when OfficeMax folded, and by the time Trader Joe’s arrived in 2004 the PNC Bank next door was providing its own repulsive-sheath dispenser for the area. Even though PNC has now also left, don’t expect an ATM to reappear in your alcove. Cash is going the way of OfficeMax.


Before gatherings stopped, I went to a wedding in Indian Hill at an estate called Greenacres. I’m fairly new to Cincinnati, so forgive me, but why are such lush and beautiful grounds named after a tacky, stupid old TV show? Did one of the writers retire there? None of the guests seemed to know. —GREEN ACHE

DEAR ACHE:
Being a non-Cincinnatian is no excuse here. If you were born anywhere in America, odds are good that you were not far from a farm, manor, or bedroom community called Green Acres (sometimes two words, sometimes one). The name long precedes the plebian comedy dating from the era inexplicably described as “the golden age of television.” (Seriously, have you seen My Little Margie?)

Greater Cincinnati itself features multiple versions of Greenacres/Green Acres. It was once a country home near Florence, and it’s been a Bridgetown-Cheviot subdivision since the 1950s. Unlike the TV show, the Greenacres you visited has a connection to an actual family named Green. In 1949, their generations-old Indian Hill farm began to merge with other nearby properties, starting a process that’s evolved into today’s Greenacres Foundation. Besides hosting events like weddings, the vast acreage supports a wide variety of activities around farming, conservation, and the arts. In other words, the worst TV sitcom ever.

No word on how other residents of Indian Hill feel about having a “commoner moniker” in their midst. Would Hyde Park ever tolerate a stately manor named Mayberry?


I’m happy to see the Museum Center at Union Terminal reopen, but sad that so much of it is hobbled by the economic disruptions of late. That magnificent building has faced the wrecking ball so many times. Is its very existence in danger once again? —TERMINATED TERMINAL?

DEAR TERMINATED:
Cincinnati’s beloved Union Terminal has suffered many rounds of bad timing, bad management, and bad luck. Bad timing hit first: Nobody seemed to notice that maybe 1933 wasn’t the best year for a railroad palace. Then, bad management: The 1980s at­tempt to make a shopping mall out of a defunct train station became a train wreck. (At this point, let us pause and be thankful that the next rescue idea never happened: moving Cincinnati City Council to the Terminal’s rotunda. Imagine Council’s sniping mixed with those acoustics.)

The 1990s finally brought a vision that worked. Cincinnati Museum Center’s popularity helped support the grand renovations of recent years, restoring the building’s Art Deco look while simultaneously modernizing its innards. But then came this year’s bad luck of our economic crisis and its layoffs. Will this finally kill off Union Terminal? Here is the Doctor’s opinion: The first crisis came from changing times, the second from a stupid idea. This time, a gut-punch from external forces has injured a well-established and popular venue fresh from a gorgeous makeover. Our town adores this place, and we will recover together. All aboard!

Three Local Restaurants Using Local Products

What’s better than supporting local restaurants? Supporting local restaurants that use locally produced ingredients. These three restaurants (and many more!) feature menus that evolve with the bounty of the seasons.

Bouquet works with local farmers and producers to build its changing daily menu.

Photograph by Lance Adkins

Bouquet

Area farmers determine the menu, says chef-owner Stephen Williams, who calls Bouquet’s planning a “constant evolution.” The kitchen works with about 60 area farms, fisheries, and other local producers, and soon they’ll be launching an interactive map online to spread the gospel of sustainable local food systems for home cooks.
519 Main St., Covington, (859) 491-7777, bouquetrestaurant.com

Bite

With a passion for scratch cooking with wholesome ingredients, Marc and Rachel Seeberger opened Bite in 2012 with a goal of supporting the slow food movement and local farmers. Since then, the casual eatery has gone further in reducing its carbon footprint by growing organic produce and keeping beehives on its two-acre property.
1279 State Route 131, Milford, (513) 831-2483, bitefoodie.com

The Baker’s Table

Chef-owner Dave Willocks calls Local Food Connection and area farmers our local restaurants’ “secret weapon.” He founded The Baker’s Table on the concept of nourishment through local, seasonal foods, and his menus change on a near-monthly basis—substituting on the fly based on ingredient availability on any particular day.
1004 Monmouth St., Newport, (859) 261-1941, bakerstablenewport.com

Cincinnati’s Cure for Sickly Children: Open-Air Schools

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As our community wrestles with the details of reopening schools in the midst of a global pandemic, it might be instructive to look backward 100 years to the so-called Spanish Influenza of 1918-19 to see how schools coped then.

It is likely this postcard shows Cincinnati’s initial open-air classroom at the First Intermediate School in the West End.

Image courtesy of the collections of the Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County

A century ago, many of your juvenile ancestors huddled frigidly in unheated classrooms open to the elements or even in classes conducted entirely outdoors. The belief at the time was that any fresh air was good, and the more fresh air the better. Entire schools were designed on this “open air” concept. What’s intriguing, however, is that these open-air schools had little or nothing to do with influenza. The impetus derived from an entirely different disease: tuberculosis.

The open-air idea originated in hospitals, specifically in the pediatric wards. In Cincinnati, Ward B of the Cincinnati General Hospital was assigned in 1902 to the pediatric medical staff. The pediatricians almost immediately created an open-air ward for tubercular children. The University of Cincinnati Medical Bulletin [June 1921] claimed a first for this idea:

“Shortly after Ward B was assigned to the Pediatric Service, Dr. [Benjamin K.] Rachford utilized the pavilion connecting Ward B with the Administration building as an open-air ward for children suffering with pneumonia and tuberculosis. This was the first open-air ward for children to he established in this country.”

An editorial in the February 1922 issue of the Medical Bulletin by Dr. David Lyman clarified that what is good for the sickly tubercular child is even better for healthy children:

“It was the work for the tuberculous child that was responsible for the open-air school now so generally used for sickly and backward children, and I own up to the ambition to live long enough to see those in charge of our educational institutions awaken to the fact that what increases the health and efficiency of the sickly child will also produce like results in the well ones.”

Cincinnati Public Schools got the message and trumpeted the implementation of their first open-air school in the annual report for 1911:

“The opening of the first open-air school late in the year was probably the most important step in the anti-tuberculosis campaign ever taken in this city. Experience has abundantly demonstrated that prevention is of vastly greater importance than cure. The children from the open air school will become fresh air missionaries in their homes, and a prolific predisposing cause of tuberculosis will be eliminated.”

That inaugural icebox school was First Intermediate School, located on Baymiller Street between Court and Clark in the West End. The Enquirer description [October 10, 1911] sounds somewhat less than encouraging:

“The children will be provided with ‘Eskimo suits’ and will study and recite their lessons in the fresh, life-giving air of winter, fully prepared to withstand the cold.”

By 1916, Cincinnati Public Schools operated open-air classrooms with maximum enrollments of 25 pupils at Guilford, Dyer, Sands, and Douglas schools. Much to the dismay of the city’s health officer, an additional rooftop open-air classroom at the new Bloom school was being used as a regular classroom due to overcrowding. Additional open-air classrooms were placed in operation by December at Rothenberg, Washington, and Cummins schools.

The fresh air fiend health officer was Dr. William H. Peters, who devoted decades to propounding the gospel of outdoor vigor on behalf of children. In a major address in the spring of 1919, with the city still reeling from the influenza pandemic, Peters called for more open-air classrooms as part of his plan to eliminate tuberculosis in Cincinnati.

A local family doctor, J.L. Teuchter, was such a big fan of the open-air school that he took his zeal to the Mississippi Valley Conference on Tuberculosis in 1915 and asserted that nostalgia for “The Little Red Schoolhouse” was misplaced. Those fabled, one-room country schools were breeders of tuberculosis, he insisted, in a speech titled, “Lessons From the Open-Air Schools.”

One enthusiastic believer in Peters’ and Teuchter’s message was Helen Gibbons Lotspeich, who opened the Clifton Open Air School in her own backyard in 1916. The school prospered and was renamed the Lotspeich School, becoming one of the founding entities merged into today’s Seven Hills School.

One significant weakness of the open-air concept, in Cincinnati at least, was that “open air” did not necessarily equate to “fresh air.” According to Janet A. Miller, writing in the Cincinnati Historical Society Bulletin [Summer 1980]:

“In parts of the city, stale air in the rooms had to be endured because opening windows let in ‘great clouds and dashes of soot and dirt.’”

By the 1920s, with a recognition that tuberculosis was fairly contagious no matter the air quality and that, in fact, fresh air did little to prevent the disease, Cincinnati’s open-air classes were largely removed to Dunham Hospital, the city’s tuberculosis sanitarium.

It appears that Cincinnatians who really wanted their youngsters to enjoy the open-air educational experience made arrangements to attend the public and private open-air schools in St. Petersburg, Florida, where “Eskimo suits” were not a requirement.

Here’s the Best Time of the Year to Buy 50-Plus Locally Grown Fruits and Vegetables

It’s easier than ever to buy your food from local sources, as long as you’re willing to abide by Mother Nature. This chart covers popular fruits and vegetables currently being grown somewhere in the Cincinnati region, indicating the best months for buying them freshly harvested from the ground and from indoor and/or hydroponic farms. Some of these items are fairly easy to grow yourself at home, too. We’re not including animal products here—meat, fish, eggs, and dairy are basically available year-round from local sources.

KEY: Green=From the Ground; Blue=Hydroponic Sources

Sources: CORV Local Food Guide 2020, Ohio Farm Bureau, Local Food Connection, Carriage House Farm, and Turner Farm

Illustration by Emi Villavicencio

Jewelry Maker Nikki Zehler Spotlights Natural Stones

If her father saw her at-home, indoor jewelry workshop, Nikki Zehler guesses he’d have a few choice words to say. Not about the workshop, per se. Just about the whole “using a torch inside” thing. “I have a huge, sturdy workbench set up in our spare bedroom,” Zehler says, and she opens all the windows and uses a ventilator to filter the fumes and push them outside. “I work right there on the workbench. It sounds much cooler than it probably looks. It probably looks like chaos.”

Zehler, a Cincinnati native, is the owner of LoveRoot, a handmade jewelry shop specializing in metalwork and natural stones. It combines her childhood interest in rocks and jewelry-making. As a kid, she had a rock tumbler, and loved to polish her stones. She made friendship jewelry out of yarn, and in high school, she took an art jewelry class.

Purple chalcedony and tanzanite accent sterling silver granules in this ring that sold for $187.

Photograph courtesy of Nikki Zehler

She returned to her two interests in the early 2010s, after leaving a few bad jobs and finding herself a lot happier—and with more free time and the capacity to focus on her interests. It started with simple wire-wrapping, a technique of winding wires around stones, often in curlicue or functional designs. She revisited the metalworking techniques she learned in high school and tried her hand at soldering, using a torch, hammering metal, and setting stones.

Today, LoveRoot is her second job—she works full-time writing proposals for drug companies—and that’s just how she likes it. “Part of the fun of this for me is it’s not my primary source of income, so I don’t have the pressure of producing quantity, selling well, doing custom work for people who may not exactly have a good idea of what they want,” Zehler says. “I can do what I want. I can follow the muse. If I wake up one day and I feel like making a long necklace with a green stone, I can do that, and I don’t have to worry about if I’m going to be able to pay the cable bill for that month.”

LoveRoot’s primary home is Etsy, with sales across the country and as far away as France and the Netherlands. “I can’t ever say I want this to be my full-time job,” Zehler says. “I think I’m where I want to be with it. I get to have meaningful interactions with people on a micro level and still have people respond well to my work.”