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Louisville's Urban Bourbon Trail

Van Winkle bourbon flight at The Hog and The Barrel Dinner @ Proof on Main, Louisville, KY.

Yes I am lucky and spoiled (see above photo). What a terrible assignment - drinking bourbon and bourbon cocktails with the folks who know it best...

The best way to get to the heart of Louisville (pronounced Lou-uh-vul — no “i” ’round here) is through one of the main arteries. Yes, racehorses (Churchill Downs) and baseball bats (Louisville Slugger) rate highly with visitors to Kentucky’s largest city, but it's bourbon that runs through everyone’s veins.

Through the 1800s and until Prohibition, a portion of SoHo-looking Main Street was known as Whiskey Row because of the sheer number of distillers (50!) in operation. The city is revitalizing this area now, bringing back the designation and celebrating the influences of “America’s Native Spirit.”

Bourbon, in case you’re confused, is whiskey with specific rules, the federally mandated kind. Namely — percentage of corn in the recipe, and aging in new, American white-oak barrels. Nearly all bourbon is made in Kentucky — mostly outside of cities these days, but the bourbon folks know a good bar crawl is as good a reason as any to stay in town. So they created the Urban Bourbon Trail...

If you missed it in print, read complete story on Louisville's big on bourbon - A drinking crawl unlike no other is the best way to soak up Kentucky’s largest city

Eat Your Frozen Vegetables

from Getty Images
If you've been paying attention to the news from southern California and Arizona you're rightly concerned about the coming months of fresh vegetables (please don't kid yourself into believing that your frozen part of the country was somehow producing most of the vegetables you see in your supermarket or at your favorite restaurant).
All the more reason to take frozen vegetables seriously. Can there be texture issues? For sure. But if you're cooking them into something else, frozen vegetables are a great way to get the vitamins and minerals your winter diet is likely lacking.

If you missed it in print, read "complete" story (I could write a short book on the subject at this point) at Freezer pleasers - Fresh, shmesh! Frozen veggies aren’t just for TV dinners, say city chefs who use them in secret

Rookwood’s Sexy Tiles Revive Cincinnati Landmark

Rookwood Pottery has a hand – or an ear – in the complete renovation of Cincinnati’s landmark Metropole hotel, reborn as a 156-room boutique called 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati. The local studio, founded by Maria Longworth Nichols in 1880 as the first woman-owned manufacturer in the U.S., was tasked by design firm Deborah Berke Partners to produce eight types of bathroom tile mimicking ears, lips, breasts, noses and other human body parts.

Read story on Designwire: Rookwood’s Sexy Tiles Revive Cincinnati Landmark

Toronto is in the groove

The Natrel Rink, Harbourfront Centre
Toronto in winter! Go! Yes I took an ice skating lesson at this gorgeous (above) rink. No that white coated skater is not me...

Toronto is home to nearly 2.5 million people, the majority of whom seem to believe their city, Canada’s largest, runs at approximately the same temperature as ours.
They’re right if NYC life revolves around windy Battery Park — and you really don’t understand Celsius. But though it’s far from tropical up there on the northwest shore of Lake Ontario, there are plenty of reasons “El Toro” (in 2011, this nickname was floated) is hot. Toronto was sure-footed during the economic crisis, opening many hotels, restaurants and art galleries, with more in the works.

Read complete story at Toronto is in the groove: From books to bacon, there’s a lot beyond ice in Toronto — but we like the ice, too

Share American Sign Museum Worships Design Doctrine

It's hard to believe that I sometimes feel I never go anywhere or do anything. Lately I've been running all around and doing and seeing all sort of cool things, like this:

Tod Swormstedt opened the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati just last year, installing 42,000 cataloged items across a 40,000-square-foot former factory that produced parachutes during WWII. The project sports 28-foot ceilings and a working neon shop, Neonworks.

Read complete story on Designwire: American Sign Museum Worships Design Doctrine

Cocktails that just might help kill a cold

We may not have attended medical school but we are well versed in two studies: the placebo effect (you know subways are faster now that we have the clocks) and the countless benefits of socializing. Oh yes. Research published by Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Psychology says that people with the most diverse social networks – friends, family, work - are less susceptible to common colds and their symptoms. Which is great because colds don’t end because of drugs or other treatments. They end when they’re ready to end, usually about two weeks.

Continue reading "Cocktails that just might help kill a cold" »