Odd Man Out: Nature Boy

I've had some of the best times of my life in our parks. Fully clothed, of course.

Why Libraries Still Matter

Eons before Amazon and the Kindle, centuries before Barnes & Noble, mankind conceived of a place where a large number of books could be gathered together for the enjoyment and edification of an enlightened citizenry. On the occasion of the Mercantile Library’s 175th anniversary, its executive director explains why that idea has endured.

Game Changer: Hal McCoy

What can you say about a highly esteemed, exceptionally insightful, legally blind sportswriter? They don't make 'em lie that any more.

The Town’s Hall

Cincinnati has one of the world’s grandest concert venues. But do we have the will—and the money—to re-make it for the 21st century?

The Ballad of Chuck and Lisa

For Chuck Cleaver and Lisa Walker, the left and right ventricles of the bighearted (and occasionally heartburned) band Wussy, the song rarely remains the same.

Thom Shaw: Dead Man Working

Cincinnati is woefully small for black artists. It’s not that everybody knows everybody else; it’s that everybody knows everybody else’s business. Case in point: Back in November 2005, when Thom Shaw fell gravely ill shortly after being named the Taft Museum of Art’s Duncanson Artist-in-Residence, the news crackled across the black grapevine at gallery receptions, jazz shows, even the grocery store. Everyone was concerned. For two decades, Shaw, a world-renowned printmaker, had battled a succession of illnesses exacerbated by diabetes. But that fall, he slipped into a coma caused by a severe neck infection brought on by kidney failure. He came close to death...then got a reprieve. Last May, concern for his health bubbled across the local scene again when an infection of flesh-eating bacteria led to the amputation of his right leg. And yet, less than two months later, Shaw fastened on a mocha-brown prosthesis and headed back to the studio. Super-animated Batman fight sounds seemed to hang in the air, narrating the resilient artist’s fight to live: KAPOW! KIDNEY FAILURE...BANG! DIABETES...TAKE THAT, MORTALITY!

The King Is Dead, Long Live the King

King Records, the fiercely independent, fully integrated brainchild of the cigar-chomping iconoclast Syd Nathan, set the wold on its ear.

Flash Dancer

Jerry Springer describes the thrill of no victory and the agony of da feet on his 2006 "Dancing With the Stars" run.