Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Clifton in Verse (Part Two)

Map of Clifton

Dear George,
I meant to add these Clifton photos and poems a while back, but that’s how it goes.  As a bit of background, our Clifton neighborhood was incorporated as a village in 1850.  Located out in the countryside, it was a wholly separate entity from the city of Cincinnati which was three miles to the south.  Clifton was perched high on a hill and quickly became a favorite destination for wealthy Cincinnati families who built mansions along Lafayette Avenue for their summer homes.  Ludlow Avenue, Clifton’s business district, became the center of the village’s commercial activity, growing particularly with the extension of the streetcar system from the city below in the late 1800’s.   Ludlow Ave. is still the center of the action in Clifton and one of the most vibrant neighborhood business districts in the city.  Part One of “Clifton in Verse”, which I posted a couple of months ago, covered some of the highlights of on the southern side of Ludlow Ave.  Here’s another bunch of our neighborhood attractions, this time along the north side of the street (moving from the west end of the four-block business district to the east).  I’ve only included about half of the places on this strip.  While we don’t have any ocean beach or salt water, my sister-in-law Ami says a walk along Ludlow is sort of like visiting a seaside resort.  My hope is to inspire some visitors to come and check out our neighborhood.

Clifton Performance Theater

CPT puts on the most modern plays
The last dealt with undersized peepers
It seemed to elicit the critics’ praise
I thought to myself, “Jeepers Creepers”

Favorite Vapors

E-cigarettes have become the new thing
Now Cliftonites have their own shop
I thought for a moment of having a fling
Then worried that I wouldn’t stop


Habaneros has mucho delicioso stuff
I go for the burrito or the taco
Their regular platter is more than enough
You’ll think that you’re back in Morocco

Ambar India

Ambar’s a trendy spot for dining
It draws in the crowds by the dozens
If it’s curry for which you’re pining
It’s here you should bring all your cousins

Ace Hardware

Ace is the best for a gizmo or tool
You can buy a fine drill or a saw
But each time I work on our vestibule
I wind up with flaw after flaw


Olive’s has a delicious menu
With corned beef and cabbage and soup
It’s Katja’s and my favorite venue
We go there so we can regroup

D. Raphael

This is the place for wife gifts to shop
For birthdays it’s utterly handy
I’ve found that their jewels are never a flop
Katja likes them much better than candy

The Hookah Café

I don’t know what’s up with the Hookah Café
It’s Ludlow Ave’s newest “in” shop
The customers smoke in a very odd way
Makes you wonder just what kind of crop


Graeter’s should be in a fairy tale
Their rasberry chip is delicious
Their cakes and cookies never go stale
Best of all it’s completely nutritious

La Poste

La Poste is our finest eatery
It’s just off Ludlow on Telford
My family would say it is “Peter-y”
It’s where you might see Robert Relford


Sitwells is our neighborhood coffee place
It’s a hangout for hippies and such
When younger it used to be my sort of space
But at fifty I grew out of touch

Esquire Theater

Each year the Esquire wins “Best of City”
For art films it can’t be beat
Some are weepy and others are gritty
But they all keep you glued to your seat

Thai Cafe

The Thai Café has closed its doors
No more Pad Thai for the folk
I hope that the new place will feature smores
(But, of course, that’s my silly joke)


Kilimanjaro’s our most unique store
It stocks carved masks from Tanzania
I always peek in when I pass by the door
Those masks could well be my next mania


Biaggio’s features Italian cuisine
Plus the finest of pound cakes and pies
The sauces are spicy, the pork is quite lean
And the pasta brings tears to your eyes

Adrian Durban -- Clifton Florist

Katja buys flowers at A. Durban’s shop
They create such fantastic bouquets
For Valentine’s Day be sure to stop
Your sweetheart will be in a daze

Skyline Chili

Skyline is what we locals crave
Once you’ve had it you’ll never turn back
Cliftonites eat it from cradle to grave
It’s sort of like smoking crack

J. Gumbo’s

Whenever we miss the Big Easy
We go to J. Gumbo’s to dine
The pasta is never too cheesy
And the red beans and rice are just fine


Clifton has blocked the fast food chains
They’ve even rejected McDs
Nonetheless Subway still remains
All those veggies put Cliftonites at ease

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