Intersection: Clifton Gaslight

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Esquire Theatre

Photograph by Aaron M. Conway / OMS

1. Kilimanjaro African Heritage
Hippopotamuses carved from soapstone, beaded bracelets, silver earrings, framed painted tapestries, wooden masks, and brightly-patterned tunics are just a few of the handcrafted goods that owner Titus Mbindyo Nzioki brings back from Africa. Growing up in eastern Kenya, he learned woodcarving from his father, and after graduating from NKU with a degree in economics and political science, he made it his mission to share his heritage and the artistry of his homeland in his new home. 310 Ludlow Ave., (513) 221-0700, africanforus.com

2. Pangaea Trading Company
This shop, which started as an import business, is one of three in Cincinnati—with Toko Baru across the street and Kismet in O’Bryonville—owned by the Williams family. With floral dresses, flowy tunics, sun hats, bright rain boots, and maxi skirts from brands like Tulle, Cut Loose, and Obey (and of course locally-made T-shirts), the store shouts on-trend hippie. Don’t miss the jewelry display  either: Fair Trade, sterling silver, copper, and big, funky costume items are available from all over the globe. 326 Ludlow Ave., (513) 751-3330

3. Lentz & Company
Leigh Ann Lentz realized her vintage collection had gotten out of control, so in November 2013 she took stuff she’d found on her own at estate sales and auctions, and opened Lentz & Company. The store doubles as an art gallery, with local artists’ work hung among vintage posters. You’ll find a complete 1950s kitchen dinette set ($475), a set of 1960s fiberglass lamps ($90), and vintage board games ($10). Welcome to Don Draper’s living room. 339 Ludlow Ave., (513) 739-0193, facebook.com/lentzandcompany

4. Ludlow Wines
Owners Mike and Julie Anagmostou are happy to share their deep knowledge of wine (and of Cincinnati history) with anyone willing to listen, and their nearly 300 wines and 150 craft beers should satisfy most every palate and budget. Wines average $10 to $20, but they stock bottles priced anywhere from $5.99 to $200. Stop by on a Friday or Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. for a $7 wine or craft beer tasting, or subscribe to the wine club to have a bottle of Ludlow’s finest ready for pickup for $25 a month. 343 Ludlow Ave., (513) 751-3727, ludlowwines.com

5. Om Eco Café
Sip on organic, direct-trade coffee or flowering tea. If you’re vegan, gluten-free, or just want a light, healthy lunch, you’re in luck. Try the vegetarian mama zen (hummus and greens in a house-made pita) or curried salmon salad pita wrap, with fresh veggies and curry yogurt vinaigrette. 329 Ludlow Ave., (513) 381-3436, aquariusstar.com

6. Esquire Theatre
If you’re looking for first-run, limited-release indie and foreign flicks—not easy to find on a big screen these days—then Esquire Theatre’s the place. Every other Saturday night, head over for a midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show—and don’t miss the stocked bar or the spread of pastries fresh from Cincinnati State’s Bakery Hill. 320 Ludlow Ave, (513) 281-8750, esquiretheatre.com

Originally published in the September 2014 issue

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