Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Diary of a DAAP Kid: College Life Wednesdays


Hello, readers. Welcome to DAAP Kid Wednesdays - where, every Wednesday, I share with you a little insight on what it is like to be a student in the School of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning... as well as college life in general.

A disclaimer: I don't consider myself an average college student. Don't get me wrong, I like going out to bars and the like as much as the next girl, but it's not an activity that dictates my week (or my weekends.) Sometimes my friends and I will go REALLY crazy and cook up some (regular, non-chemically enhanced) brownies and have a movie night. I also do a lot of outside activities (like this whole blog thing) and run around like a social butterfly on acid. More often than not, my social life intermixes with school life, because us DAAP kids tend to have a lot of work outside class (think projects, not papers.) So, we socialize in studio... which is code for "a gigantic classroom where everyone works at their own desk during and after classes, and is horrifically messy by the end of the quarter"

(photo = jess baker)

There is one thing that ties nearly all college kids together... and that is being poor. My classmates and I are lucky enough to go on co-op (paid internship) every other quarter, but that money gets spent far too quickly on printing, art supplies, and American Apparel clothing (art school kids have to look trendy, you know.)

So what do you do to have fun on the cheap in this here town? Well, you could've gone to the Junior Boys concert last night at Southgate House. Tickets were $15 a piece, and it was a really great concert in a rather intimate setting. Junior Boys is a three man electro-pop band that's not terribly well known (which means it's an attractive band for DAAP kids: electronic and obscure)Not only are their beats fantastic, but the lyrics are throughtful and the vocals are strong (I'm a big lyrics gal)

The drinks are slightly pricey (2.50 PBR, boo) but it was really fun to just jam out to great music. Unfortunately I didn't get any pics of the event. I saw some other DAAP kids there: Dan, Danny, Antonis, Liz and Mark. I of course was accompanied by my former DAAP-kid boyfriend (who loves the Junior Boys and suggested going in the first place)

So, I definitely didn't get any homework done last night, but I saw a great show at a reasonable price and had a great time with my friends. Mission accomplished.


RecycleD Bin update: Thanks to everyone who has contributed plastic bags! My grandpa finished the set of wooden molds for me, so now I am one heat gun away from starting production. Yay!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pecha Kucha Cincinnati!

(pic from PK Jacksonville)

Do you PK?

Do you have any idea what I'm talking about? If so, good for you, thou hip and in-the-know designerly type. I'll fill the rest of you in so you too can be hip and designerly and in the know.

PK is short for Pecha Kucha (say it with me: Peh-Chah Kuh-Cha) Yes, it's a real phrase (that often incites copious amounts of giggling among my roommates, who are halfway convinced I made the whole thing up) Pecha Kucha is Japanese for "chit chat."

It's an open forum for designers and creative types to share their work, research, or a topic they're interested in. There are generally 10 speakers. Each speaker presents a slideshow consisting of 20 slides. They get 20 seconds to talk about each slide. So, 20x20 = a 6 minute 40 second presentation. The timed format prevents wordy types from straying too far off topic, and helps to move the presentation along in a timely and interesting manner.

These PK nights happen in cities all over the globe - from Indianapolis to Singapore. Cincinnati had its inaugural PK night this past Feburary. It was held in the lobby of the Contemporary Arts Center. There were some really interesting presenters from a wide variety of fields and experience levels. It was also very 'see and be seen' for the Young Professional/Hip Designerly Type crowd. The cash bar was a good touch as well.

The second Pecha Kucha night is happening in two weeks: Friday, May 8th. It'll be at the Cincinnati Art Academy. They've asked me to give a presentation on the recycleD bin project!!!! I'm more than a little excited. The doors open at 6pm. Presentations run from 6.30-8.30. Cocktails and discussion follow after. Tickets are $10, which is cheaper than seeing a show. In other words, I'd just fall over from happiness if you came. So... you should!

Check out:

the official PK Cincinnati website: http://doyoupk.org/

PK Cincy's Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/doyoupk/sets/72157614432984000/show/

a Soapbox Cincinnati article on PK night: http://www.soapboxmedia.com/features/53pechakucha.aspx

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Eco Go Go

Just a little update. I managed to hoof it down to the square with my roomie to catch the end of the Eco Go Go Fashion Show. It was really great - cute clothes, cute models, cute vendors... a whole big bucket of cute. See?

New Hybrid Metro Buses. Yay!

The clothes were cute. The bikes were HOT.

Flower Carpet! Stop by Fountain Square on Saturday morning to pick up your piece of the carpet.

Gotta start the OTR love young.

What did you do to celebrate Earth Day? What are you doing to make every day Earth Day? If you need an idea, you can always drop off your plastic bags at Park+Vine!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Window Display!

Wow, what a rush! Wednesday morning I stopped into Park + Vine for my IZZE fix, and ended up chatting with Dan and Sandy for a quick minute. Dan had already asked me once if I wanted to set up an area in the store for recycleDbin, and I said yes, but hadn't had the time to come up with a display or anything. He said he wanted something new just in time for Earth Day (three days away!) and then asked if I wanted to set up a window display in the front of the store!!

He asked me to do this Wednesday morning, for a Friday execution. Needless to say I was very distracted all day on Thursday (sorry to my professors who may be reading this!) planning and measuring and figuring it all out. BUT. I did. It's up.

Many, many, MANY thanks to those who helped make it possible - my amazing BF Nick, who stayed up late and helped me construct frame work; Christian Davies at FRCH who helped me brainstorm signage ideas, emersionDESIGN (esp. Nikki Marksberry!) for support and plastic bags, and the nice guy who helped me put stuff together for a minute on Friday morning.

But enough with the talk. I know you want to see the final product!!




So if you have always wanted to come down to Park+Vine but never had a reason... now you have one! Come and bring me your bags!

Posts to come: Pecha Kucha night, the construction process

Thursday, April 16, 2009

It's pretty late...

But that's okay. The point is, it's 12.41 and my boyfriend is AMAZING. AKA, he just stayed up for 2hours later than normal to help me put together my window display for Park+Vine tomorrow morning!

Yup. Check it out starting tomorrow: A chance to see what this whole thing is all about - and put in an order for YOURS! (or just drop off all those bags you don't want anymore.)

Time to get some shuteye. It is going to be a BUSY day tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


It's a good day - and I need your help!

Dan at Park+Vine is letting me set up a window display in the store just in time for Earth Day. It will be informational, a place to take orders, AND a place to drop off material - all your old plastic bags, that is.

I need some bags for the actual display - AND a place where I can plot a 3'x5' sheet in color cheaper than $119 (that would be Kinko's price).

SO - if you feel so inclined, please shoot me an email ASAP and I will personally come to wherever you are and take them from you. OR just wait til Friday and head to P+V. Whichever.

Also, I just got interviewed for an Earth Day piece for the Cincinnati Enquirer. Be on the lookout! :)

Free Parking.. at a Price

I know that this shouldn't grate my nerves the way it does. My mom tells me it's "not my battle" and that I shouldn't worry about it. But I have to face it EVERY SINGLE TIME I walk in or out of my house. And EVERY SINGLE TIME, my insides die a little.

Wait... what exactly am I talking about, here?

The empty lot across the street from my house, owned by Towne Development Group, has a large sign on the corner of Hartshorn and McMillan heralding a new development called "Uptown Commons." According to the Business Courier of Cincinnati It will entail a gigantic office building on the corner of Vine and Calhoun, with parking, housing, retail and more along the strip of deserted land that stretches from Hartshorn to Vine. Back in the day, this area used to be Fast Food Central, with Hardees, Boston Market and some local bars. Those places are all torn down now, but I still walk across the Hardees kitchen tile on my way to class every day.

thanks to UrbanCincy for base picture

The development looks okay, though I don't think that the developers paid enough attention to the context of the site. According to the article, they will keep the new apartment complex at "student friendly prices" - i.e. $800 for a studio apartment, and $1,300 for a two bedroom....

Excuse me? Go up to any college student on UC's campus and ask them if they think that an $800 is a reasonable price for a studio apartment... but don't be offended when they start laughing. I live in a five bedroom house, and OUR total rent is $1500 a month. Divide that among six girls and you've got the low, low price of $250 a month for rent, plus utilities.

Sorry, Uptown, but you're going to be facing a lot of competition... namely, the entire neighborhood of Clifton. You can even get a really nice place in Ludlow for $500 a month or less!

So Towne Properties has this really great scheme in a really crappy economy... and they are obviously not going to be breaking ground any time soon. They've got this empty lot, and, being the entrepreneurs that they are, have divided up a portion of the land closest to the Shell station as a permit parking lot. It worked out okay in the beginning, but is not really monitored. There is a sign warning people that violators will get towed, but it's not taken very seriously.

If you've ever been to Clifton, you know that finding parking is really hard, and paying to park in the garages are expensive. Some people have taken over aforementioned Hardees lots and charge 5$ for parking. People are getting desperate. And now, they are parking on the grass NEXT to the Shell parking lot. The barriers that denote where the lot begins and ends are wooden posts that have been knocked over by large Jeeps. It's a great deal! Free parking, no one bothers you, no tickets, lots of space...

However, the lot itself is paying the price for the parking. It used to be all covered with grass. This time last year, people would play soccer or football, tailgate, go on picnics, tan, etc in this area, because it was really nice. UC's done a great job landscaping the rest of the areas in and around campus, and they are utilized by the community (think Sigma Sigma Commons)

This lot has a lot of opportunity, and it's being ruined by cheapskates who don't give a rodent's rear end about the destruction they are causing.

Part of the lot not being driven on

Disgusting Dirt Hole *you should see it when it rains...*

Towne Properties has tried in vain to get people to stop. They put papers on cars and EVERYTHING!

However, they have not followed through on their threats. No one has been towed, or even ticketed, and so it continues.

I know it's none of my business. I know people reading this are thinking "Why the heck does she care so much?" It's because I've looked out on that lot every day for the last two years. My roommates and I jokingly refer to it as our "front yard" (seeing as how our real front yard consists of Mr. Tuxedo)

I'm angered by the lack of respect by people driving on the lot, and by the lack of action on the part of Towne Properties and the City to just "let it slide." It has a lot of potential, and now it's being squandered. I mean, at the very least, TP could make some money off of their land by ticketing violators, ACTUALLY having them towed (though that would tear up the grass even more...) or charging a fee daily.

I don't know what else to do, on my end of things. I've emailed and called, to no avail. Maybe this will catch the attention of someone more important than me, who can actually get things done.

I am the Lorax. I speak for the grass.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Know Theatre/Fringe Fest Night

It's been another busy couple of days. What else is new, right? Yesterday I went to a Jelly Tweetup - where professionals who work remotely can have some human interaction for the day. Despite some unfortunate spotty Internet connection, it was really neat to meet some Social Networking type people - including Debba from Girlfriendology and tell them about recycleDbin.

It looks like the next steps for me (business wise, anyway) are to make some sweet business cards and get a display and bag collection set up in our favorite green general store! (wink, wink) seriously, though. No time like the present. I'm just one heat gun and 300 plastic bags away from my next set of prototypes. Let me know if you would like to unload your bags on me. I'd love to have them.

Ah, yes. The point of the post! I hopped on Cincinnati Imports earlier this week and saw they were having a sign up for Fringe Festival volunteers. I conned my lovely (er, amazing and incredibly masculine) boyfriend into coming with me. Not only did we get to meet Mr. and Ms. 5chw4r7z, we also signed up to volunteer as Art Hosts for an evening of the Fringe Festival - that would be May 28th, come visit. I'm also working a promo booth at Findlay Market some Saturday in May.

Not only was there delicious nacho cheese and discounted Moerlein OTR.... we also got to preview Know's new show: Vigils, for free! In case you're interested, it's another great show from this season's stellar cast including Fang Du, Jenny Guy, and the always delicious and occasionally almost naked Daniel Hines. BF and I have had the pleasure of seeing these folks in Reefer Madness and I Love You Because... so we were looking forward to another great delivery. We were not disappointed.

Vigils is an play that explores the grieving process in an emotional (and occasionally humorous) way. Being no stranger to grief, it was like watching myself on stage as Jenny Guy (playing the leading lady, a widow) learns to let go of her dead husband. (note: I am not a widow. but still.) Vigils is a touch experimental, so be prepared to have an open mind and simply enjoy yourself. Fang and Daniel play stellar supporting roles. They both have great senses of comedic timing, and who doesn't love a quick aria on stage? I guess you'll have to go see it to see what I mean!

Jenny Guy, Daniel Hines, Fang Du in "Vigils." copyright Know Theatre Cincinnati, 2009.

Vigils opens April 11th and runs through April 29th. Tickets are $12 (yay endowment money!) Cast also includes Chris Wesselman and an adorable Ilana Frankel.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Opening Day

Despite having to finish an enormous homework assignment that was due at 5 pm today, I still got to get out and somewhat enjoy Opening Day festivities today. I am not native to Cincinnati, and never got to experience what the fuss was all about... before today.
I missed the parade (check 5chw4r7z for some great pics!) but managed to hoof it down to Fountain Square for the opening pitch.

Since the weather was so terrible today, I am not surprised that there were so few people out on the Square watching the game on the big screen. There were a few brave souls, including the two nice ladies sharing the umbrella/table with me, and we chatted about how awesome Cincinnati is during the commercial breaks. The TV network managed to stretch a 1:00 start time into an almost 1:30 opening pitch, so I retreated under the Skyline tent to snag a coney before my fingers froze together.

I'm not a huge fan of coneys - I feel like by the time I'm finished eating one, the bun is all soggy and gross - but this was quite possibly the most delicious meat and cheese covered hot dog (with mustard and onion of course!) I've EVER had. My theory is that they become exponentially more delicious according to how crappy it is outside.

Anyway, the first pitch came and went, and I ran for cover (and warmth and Internet access) at Ingredients, the restaurant inside the Westin. The staff was nice enough (and the place was empty enough) to let me stay much longer than my croissant and yogurt warranted. However, I was able to finish aforementioned homework assignment and get it printed off at the Kinko's next door.

It was a productive, fun (if not freezing!) day, to say the least.


Compost update: I foolishly left the compost bucket and the Bokashi feed outside on the back porch to save room and to prevent any potential smell-age....
and apparently the rodents like the Bokashi probiotic feeder stuff. The bag was ripped open and there was a small mess on the porch.

I hope that raccoon has improved bowel movements and a happy tummy... cuz that stuff is 10$ a bag!! Needless to say, the compost and feed is back in the house. I thought I heard some scratching outside, though. Can't tell if it's the Musical Theatre kids who live on Lyons, or the rodents back for some more goodies.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Park + Vine day!

This morning was pretty great. Park + Vine had a "Composting 101" class that I went to. I always get invited to these events on Facebook (being a member of the group) and so many times I can't make it, for time or money (lack thereof) reasons. Anyway. The class was free and so was my morning. Off I went.

I didn't realize that there was a meeting space in between the P+V building and the empty one next door, but the alleyway there has been roofed over and transformed into a great little room that was packed with eager beavers like myself who wanted to know all about composting.

I grew up with the process, so it was pretty familiar to me. However, since moving to Cincinnati - especially where I am living now - there is absolutely NO yard space. I live with 5 other girls, and together we create a HECK of a lot of organic waste that I hate throwing away. Until today, I didn't really feel like I had much of a choice. It's not like I have room for a 3' diameter wire fence in which to toss in my scraps (nitrogen) and paper and dead leaves (carbon)!

Enter.... the Happy Farmer!!

It's a specially designed bin that ferments food waste instead of allowing it to decompose (a la the regular kind of composting) There's some special Probiotic feed that you have to add to the mix every time you add your scraps:

However, the real treat with Happy Farmer is that you can add meat AND dairy products.. and it doesn't smell. AND it's really easy and straight-forward. These three things are essential for making composting work at my house. I'm a little beyond excited, as my room-mates can attest.

i'll let you know how it works out.


I love Park + Vine, and have been a loyal customer since the first month it opened. Some of the items are a little pricey for a college budget, but every time I'm in I always pick up an IZZE sparkling juice. It's delicious, healthy (helloooo, 2 servings of fruit!) and reasonable enough in price to where I can happily support my local businesses. I'm kind of known for my IZZE obsession, actually.

So I was getting ready to buy my Happy Farmer composter, when I saw that Dan had a NEW flavor of IZZE in the fridge. Get ready for it.... Birch Flavor. I kid you not.

Naturally, I had to try it. It tastes like a cross between home made root beer and that sarsparilla soda you get at the small towne general shoppe. Not too sweet. However, the nutritional value doesn't compare to the fruit flavors - it's just sugar, carbonated water and birch oil, so you're definitely not going to get two servings of fruit in while you're drinking it. It's probably better for you than other root beers, so if you're not looking to squeeze in fruit, you'll probably love it.

I also picked up a vegan gooey bar - chocolate and nuts. I ate most of it before I snapped a picture, because it was THAT freakin' good. I used to think that vegan automatically translated into "healthy, good for you, and yucky-tasting." This bar was exactly opposite of ALL of those things. Delish!!

so I've spent ALL afternoon doing this blog thing, updating my LinkedIn, and figuring out Twitter... now I should probably buckle down and do some real school work. Can't wait until I graduate and don't HAVE to do anything school-like on the weekends or in the evenings (in theory...)

Inauguration Day

well, hey there! I’m Jenny K, a University of Cincinnati interior design student. In my furniture design class last quarter, I designed and built a prototype for a series of containers made exclusively out of plastic grocery bags. They were really well received, and it’s been suggested that I start making more for retail sale online and in the Cincinnati area.

recycled bins!

there are three sizes: the one on the left is 20″ high by 20″ wide - it’s a half circle shape. The other two are both quarter circle shaped - the one on the right is 10″ wide by 20″ high, and the small one in the middle is 10″ wide and 10″ high. In theory they could all fit together and form one big circle.

I am originally from Indiana, but have lived in Cincinnati for four years now. I love being here, and I love the undercurrent of activity that is always going on. Some of my classmates complain that there’s “never anything going on”… obviously they just need to open their eyes and get out of Clifton occasionally! Seriously though, I love (and try to be involved in) the local theatre scene, all the green/sustainable stuff that’s going on, and the amazing restaurants and foodie offerings that are available in this area.

I’ve been stalking keeping up with all the local blogs having to do with aforementioned topics, and these people seem to be really well informed and eager to share their knowledge with the rest of the world. As a student and a designer, I have my own unique perspective to offer on everything going on in Cincy… so, I’m going to give it a shot.

Check back to read reviews of products/places, my take on local events/happenings (downtown, uptown, and elsewhere), the process I am going through in this whole “entrepenuership” thing, and any other crazyness that might come my way. I’d love to hear from you!