There are a lot of things to complain about in Cincinnati, just like in any other city in the United States. Why do the Bengals insist on breaking our hearts (and hurting our minds) every year? Why are plane tickets so expensive at CVG? When will the county wake up to the desperate need for improved public transportation? And why can’t I find a good breakfast burrito when I really need one? But the complaint that we hear the most is this: There’s nothing to do here. It’s the cry of the chronically misinformed, or the willfully dull—take your pick—and something that we have to do battle with every month in the pages of this magazine. For what is a city magazine if not, in part, a cheerleader for all the things that make a city worth living in?
Since February is essentially the poster child month of nothing-to-do-itis—dark, dismal, cold—we decided it was the perfect time of year to lay waste to this fallacy. Because if you can have a good time in Cincinnati in February, you definitely can have a good time here year ’round. Sound dubious? All right, I know it’s hard to deny that deep-seated Queen City tendency to doubt and disdain. But take a stroll through “Great Nights Out.” Undeniably, there is a ton of fun stuff—highbrow and lowbrow, for the young and old, in the city and outside it—to do this month. A few highlights that I’ve penciled in: Paavo conducting Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 at Music Hall; Last Call Trivia night at Oakley Pub and Grill; the Keith Haring exhibit opening at the CAC; catching a performance of The Piano Teacher at the Playhouse; and sampling craft brews at the Cincy Winter Beerfest. Oh yeah, and finally checking out Dance_MF, the “sweaty hipster extravaganza” at Northside Tavern.
On a slightly more sobering note, Linda Vaccariello gives us the lowdown on the alarming resurgence of bedbugs in the city and across Hamilton County. When our little pest problem made national news late last summer, it got us wondering why these insects—long considered dead and gone—were suddenly back in force, and what local and state health departments were doing to beat back the new invasion (let alone the various civic tourism offices, for whom this is a bona fide public relations nightmare). To say that Vaccariello’s piece (“Sleep Tight”) reads like the synopsis of a sci-fi horror flick is putting it mildly. If you thought bedbugs only happened to “other people,” read her piece and think again, because we’ve crossed the line from quaint nursery rhyme to all-out war.