Thursday, May 21, 2015

Purple People Bridge

Written and Photography by:
Andrew Livelsberger

Starting its existence as a railroad bridge in 1872, the Purple People Bridge, as it is now known crosses the Ohio River - one end starting in Cincinnati, OH and the other in Newport, KY.

The bridge became a pedestrian bridge in 2003.  There is an official website for the privately owned structure, so read more detail about it's history there at this LINK.

There are lot of scenic view from the bridge - you have the Ohio River, you can see the Newport Aquarium, Great American Ballpark, and the Cincinnati skyline.

Also, as is popular with many a pedestrian bridge, people have taken to putting locks on the fences to either commemorate their love or to honor those no longer with us.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Cincinnati Museum Center - Natural History Museum

Written and Photography by:
Andrew Livelsberger

The Cincinnati Museum Center houses multiple museums.  The front of the complex was built around the Union Station Terminal, which was originally opened in 1933.  Once inside, you can buy tickets to many of the museums (COSI members get discounts) including The Museum of Natural History and Science, The Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children's Museum, OMNIMAX Theater, Edge of Appalachia Preserve, and the Geier Collections and Research Center.

It all is quite impressive when you enter.  There is something about the massive build of the Art Deco structures that is just very pleasing.  While the windows may not be the original, they are definitely inspired by them and keep the building looking and feeling as it once must have back in the mid 1930's.

Union Terminal, when you see the ticket booth, turn around and look up!

Since the museum center is so large, we decided to not see everything in one day.  You never want to be rushed for these kinds of things!  We investigated the Natural History and Science Museum on this trip.

The first thing that you'll notice is that you get a sense of immersion when going into the exhibits.  There is a replica ice cave, rock caverns and fossil exhibits that have you right next everything.  My wife liked the cavern exhibit so much that she went through it multiple times and now wants to research and go to an actual cavern!!

There is plenty here to entertain the youngest and oldest of visitors.  If you've never been, make sure to stop by and see what this great complex has to offer.

Mammoth skeleton
Graeter's Vinatge Rookwood Ice Cream Parlor
Giant Dinosaur
From within the replica ice cave

Door to the storage area for the museums collections

Giant Sloth

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Bob McDorman Car Museum

Written By: Andrew Livelsberger
Photography By: Andrew Livelsberger

Nestled in among the other buildings on Waterloo Street in Canal Winchester, OH is a relatively new museum.  Bob McDorman has taken his love of cars from a dealership to a car museum.  The Bob McDorman Auto Museum houses classic favorites as well as new renditions.

When first approaching the museum entrance, you'll see vintage signs and gas pumps, almost making you think that it is a gas station of some kind.

Upon entering the museum, the first thing that jumps out at you is just how spacious it is.  It doesn't seem like that when you first see the building from the outside.

I then noticed the great condition some of these vehicles are in.  Some of them are from the 1940's and 1950's, but they look like they could have just come off the showroom floor.  One of my personal favorites is the Buick Skylark you see above.

I'm generally not a car buy, but this place is great.  I saw cars and trucks her that I never knew existed.  It was great fun and the staff that works there are all "car people" and know a lot about not only the inventory, but cars in general.

Please stop by and enjoy this beautiful museum, you'll be glad you did.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Downtown Canton On A Lazy Saturday

Written: Andrew Livelsberger
Photography:  Andrew Livelsberger

We visit downtown Canton on a Saturday afternoon to see all the sites of this northeastern Ohio city.  We took a road trip to see the McKinley Museum and Memorial and decided to branch out a bit and explore the downtown area as well.

Not knowing a lot about the downtown area, we did some exploring on our first night there.  There are lots of beautiful churches, the art district has some great sites to see.  The Palace Theatre is a good stop as is the interesting architecture of the Stark County Courthouse.

Downtown looks to be a city on transition.  There are abandoned store fronts and buildings intermixed with active businesses, which leads me to believe that the city might be actively working to rebuild.

Please take note:  According to the locals, Stark County claims to have a funding issue when it comes to road repair.  I'm not sure what the case is, but I have to say that once we got off interstates 71 and 77 in Stark County, the potholes are like running into a minefield!  I've lost 2 tires and possibly 2 rims during our trip.  If you visit anywhere in Stark County, please be cautious and don't take your eyes off the road for a second.

Lets take a look:

St. Peter's Church
726 Cleveland Avenue NW
Canton, Ohio 44702

Located directly behind the Stark County Public Library, St. Peter's Church is a wonderful structure.

Canton Arts District
Information about the area can be found HERE.

Sculptures can be found on various street corners, sides of buildings are decorated with 2D and 3D art installations unique eateries and galleries abound.  Even on the relatively low traffic day we visited Canton, the art alone is worth the look.  Some truly unique art can be found here.

Stark County Courthouse
115 Central Plaza North
Canton, Ohio 44702

We have an architecture theme going here and for good reason.  Canton has a lot of unique buildings!  The Stark County Courthouse was designed in 1895 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The tower, adorned with angels is very striking.

Muggswigz Coffee and Tea Company
137 Walnut Ave NE
Canton, Ohio 44702

Not your chain coffee shop and it shows in the employees and the beverages.  They can make you just about anything with their extensive inventory.  I had a Chai tea Latte and it was probably the best one I've ever had, BAR NONE!

Plenty of locals enjoying the fair and facilties, definitely a place to stop if you are in the area.  We walked there from the arts district in just a few minutes.

Palace Theatre
605 Market Avenue N
Canton, Ohio 44702

The Palace Theatre is considered the cornerstone of the Canton Arts District.  We did not get a chance to go into the theatre, but it has such a presence, even from the outside!

Various Downtown Places
There were plenty of sites to see walking around the downtown while going from place to place we visited above.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Akron Zoo - Small But Packs A Punch

Written:  Danielle and Andrew Livelsberger
Photography: Andrew Livelsberger

Going just 25 minutes north of Canton is the Akron Zoo.  After visiting the McKinley Memorial and museum and downtown Canton, we push further north!

It can be a hard comparison when you live so close to the number one zoo in the country, The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.  The big difference here is that Akron's Zoo is within the city limits, while Columbus is on the outskirts, where land is plentiful for expansion.

We are happy to report that the Akron Zoo does a wonderful job with the limited space it has, providing a fun experience.  We didn't really need a map of any kind as the layout of the zoo provides you with a path that leads you through everything.

We were happy to see the habitats were clean and well maintained.   Being a smaller footprint has it's benefits.  You got a lot closer to the animals than you might at other zoo facilities.

There are a great variety of animals to see as well.

While this might not be an "all day" zoo, you can spend a few hours walking around and see it all!