Tag Archives: Covington

Love the Cov – 2016 Calendar Series

I started the @LoveTheCov Instagram account a few years ago as a means of sharing my photography and passion for the city of Covington, where I live. With nearly 200 photos and more than 1,000 followers, I never thought this little account would have a devoted following (at last check there were 6,364 photos tagged with #LoveTheCov).

For a while, I’ve wanted to make something that would allow people to share and enjoy their love of this town- without further ado, I present the 2016 Love the Cov Calendar Series.

Available in Poster or Desk/Wall versions.
Available in Poster or Desk/Wall versions.

First up is the 2016 Calendar Poster, which lets you get a quick 12-month view; it’s printed on premium matte paper and available in 13″x19″ and 9.5″x13″ sizes.

Second is the one I’m most excited about- desk or wall calendars created using premium materials. The first version consists of 1/4″ dark-stained oak bonded to chocolate brown genuine leather. Both the oak and leather will age beautifully throughout the year, and beyond. The metal bulldog clip will keep the months in order. Bonus- after the year is over, you have a pretty awesome rustic photo frame.

The second version of the desk/wall calendar was built using beechwood remnants from a tobacco barn in nearby Aurora, Indiana. I’ve chosen to leave this wood unfinished and keep the markings intact- just as there is a story in our photos, there is a story in this wood.

I’m even more excited to announce that 10% of every purchase will go towards supporting projects listed by Covington schools on DonorsChoose.org as of December 1, 2015. This is a great way to give back to the youth of our community.

Visit the Calendar Shop now to make your purchase and support Covington students!

An Evening at Nuvo at Greenup

Marc Bodenstein was a nomad. On his way out west, his grandmother asked him to come back to Cincinnati to spend some time with her. “Just a few months,” she said, “and then you can go wherever you want.”

That was 10 years ago.

Since then, Chef Bodenstein has become an underground all-star of sorts in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky dining scene. After a stint at Covington’s Chalk Food + Wine, located where Blinker’s Tavern is today, and a first attempt American Modern Nuvo (which moved from Florence to Newport in 2008), he made his way across the Ohio River, heading up the kitchens at Parkers Blue Ash Tavern and Walnut Street’s Nicholson’s.

Business was good in Cincinnati. However, the call of returning to the format of Nuvo was too strong. This time, Bodenstein could do things his way- prix fixe, farm to table, and with no risk of conflict between the creative minds and stakeholders. With a new location at the former Greenup Cafe in Covington’s Licking Riverside Historic District, Bodenstein opened in October of 2013.

There’s a reason that Nuvo was selected as an Open Table Diner’s Choice winner in both 2014 and 2015, and it lies in the artfully prepared dishes that will have you swooning for an entire evening and recalling for weeks to come.

Nuvo at Greenup is open Wednesday to Saturday from 6 PM – 10 PM. Find more information at nuvoatgreenup.com.

The Great American Road Trip, Days 1-3: Mammoth Cave & Nashville

There were no less than 22 different moments over the first three days of this adventure where I thought to myself, “Holy cow, I’m actually unemployed and living out of my car for the next three months.” Luckily, I’ve got a tremendous sidekick in Stef keeping me company on this crazy trip.

With stops at Elizabethtown and Mammoth Cave National Park (1st park of the trip, check), we got into Nashville by 6 and hung out downtown on the famed Broadway Street for a bit before calling it a night.

Saturday morning came around, and after grabbing a phenomenal breakfast at local staple The Pancake Pantry and walking around town a bit, I found myself at a gun range for the first time ever. This impossibly brown guy stood out like a sore, brown thumb at the range, I tell you what. But I’ll be damned if I didn’t hold my own between the 9mm pistol and the AK-74s at my disposal. It was pretty satisfying to hit dead center from 50 meters out with the AK (completely accidental, I’m sure, but overall my accuracy was slightly scary). With that experience completed, I can finally say that I’ve taken advantage of my second amendment rights.

We relaxed Saturday evening and prepared for our trip to Cumberland Island by packing our bags and making sure we had everything we needed to throw into the car. After breakfast on Sunday, we were good to go and get on the road to Waycross, Georgia.

Flow + Cutman, Covington KY

For the longest time, the Mutual Building had been the most prominent building on the most prominent corner in downtown Covington- and its most abandoned. Located on the corner of Madison Avenue & Pike Street, home to Ralph Haile Square, the 94-year old building initially housed the Covington Industrial Club, the Mutual Insurance Company, and several restaurants. When the economy (and Covington) took a turn for the worse, the building was vacated, and stayed that way, for 20 years.

Fast forward to today: thanks to the Catalytic Fund and Ashley Commercial Group, the building is seeing new life as a mixed development, including ground floor retail and 15 luxury apartments on its second and third floors. Just last week, the building’s first retail tenant celebrated its grand opening- and it has set the bar high for future development in the area.

IMG_0006Exterior of Flow + Cutman

Owner Jerod Theobald operated Flow at Scott & Pike Streets for more than 3 years. While the location served him well, he wanted to move closer to the action and pursue a new venture at the same time- a classic men’s barbershop. When Swartz’s Barbershop closed its doors after 80 years in business at 5 West Pike, Jerod jumped on the location- and inherited the classic barber chairs, along with a few other pieces of nostalgia.

After nearly a year in development the new space is home to a hybrid- part men’s clothing store, part barbershop- and it’s absolutely beautiful.


The entire space, designed by Theobald and Corey Rineair at Plume Interiors + Light, is well-lit, incredibly clean, and modern. The custom tile includes the Cutman logo (“Cutman” references the person responsible for fixing up a boxer between rounds), designed by Durham Brand & Co., located just across the street. The racks and custom bench in the fitting room were fabricated by Dayton’s Ink & Hammer.

Flow + Cutman is easily the best looking retail space in Covington, and maybe even Northern Kentucky. It’s almost too nice considering the state of most of the other buildings and spaces lining Madison Avenue. Hopefully this is a wakeup call to other business owners that a changing of the guard is in order, and Flow + Cutman sets the standard.

Flow is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 AM to 7 PM. Find Flow and Cutman on Facebook.


Last year, BLDG, one of Covington’s most notable creative agencies, put on an event titled 199C. On the Friday evening before the Reds’ first home game of the season, downtown Covington’s Pike Street shut down between Madison and Washington Avenues. Within a matter of minutes, Short Pike became Wiffle Ball Alley. BLDG’s interior space had become a gallery full of art dedicated to the game of baseball, with plenty of favor for the Reds. And hundreds of people, primarily Covington residents and artists from both sides of the river, flooded the street and gallery. And that was just Year 1.

This year, BLDG one upped themselves. 199C, also known as the color red in the Pantone palette, was billed as the “All-Star Edition” as a reference to Cincinnati hosting this year’s MLB All-Star Game. Artists from all over the country contributed works to what BLDG calls the region’s only Opening Day art show. I call it a great idea, and an awesome event for an up and coming area like Covington’s Pike Street.

Goebel Goats

I’ll be writing more in depth about the changes coming to Covington’s Goebel Park, but I did want to highlight the recent efforts to bring a special addition to the park- goats.

Long a staple of rural America and funny YouTube videos, goats are experiencing a new-found presence in urban centers. Their ability to eat almost anything has led to enterprising farmers and upstarts bringing them to cities and towns, where land overgrown by weeds and invasive plants has taken away from an otherwise useful park, space, or attractive hillside.

Goebel Park is no different; its west-facing hillside has been overwhelmed by weeds and other plants. Instead of tasking humans with attacking the fairly steep incline, Gus Wolf, local farmer and co-leader of the Covington Urban Agricultural project Grow the Cov, is planning on bringing as many as 13 goats to the hills of Goebel Park sometime this spring.

To mark the occasion and raise awareness, the Make Goebel Great group held a painting party a couple weekends ago. Kids from around the neighborhood gathered to paint wooden cutouts of goats, which will then be placed along the hills in the park.

Soon enough, folks traveling north on I-75 are going to be seeing a gang of goats tackling Goebel park and helping beautify the area for its patrons.

Covington from Above

Well, not above as in from a plane, but 350 feet above the city’s lowest elevation of 500 feet isn’t so bad when it affords you views like these. Armed with my telephoto lens and a sturdy tripod, I made my way up to Devou Park’s always beautiful lookout at Drees Pavilion and decided to focus on Covington instead of the tried and true Cincinnati skyline (which is absolutely beautiful in its own right).

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From left to right, Madison Place & Domaine de la Rive, Rivercenter II and Rivercenter I, and Daniel Libeskind’s Ascent.
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A glimpse at a portion of Mainstrasse Village and its 6th Street Promenade.
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Mutter Gottes Kirche in the foreground, and murals by national artists Faile in the background.
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Goebel Park, located in Mainstrasse Village, is undergoing a renovation to make it more family-friendly. The tower is known as the Carroll Chimes Bell Tower.
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The Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, dedicated in 1910 and still to this day incomplete.

Ohio River at Flood Stage

Took a short walk down to the Ohio Riverfront on Sunday to check out the river. Plenty of folks were walking along Riverside Drive in Covington, taking in the newly widened river and gorgeous sky.

Officially, a flood warning is declared when the river stage rises up 52 feet. Sunday morning registered at 53.1 feet, far from the 64.7 feet in 1997 and further still from 79.9 feet in 1937. The Cincinnati Enquirer has a pretty interesting timeline of the floods to hit the region.

The Gruff

Situated immediately to the east of the Roebling Bridge in Covington’s Historic Licking Riverside District sits a building on 2nd Street. With a contemporary facade and empty interior, it didn’t really lend itself to fit in with the historical architecture of the surrounding neighborhood, so it sat, unused, for several years.

Finally, though, two entrepreneurs have taken it upon themselves to bring something new to the neighborhood: a pizzeria and upscale delicatessen, complete with a grocery section. And of course, because this is the Greater Cincinnati area, a 30-foot bar has been installed with the intention of serving craft beers and cocktails.

I’m definitely looking forward to stopping in. More information will hopefully be found soon at The Gruff’s website– in the meantime, keep it bookmarked!


For more information, check out these articles from The River City News, Cincinnati Enquirer, and Soapbox Media.