Just had a nice weekend in Cincinnati visiting my girl Rachel :-) So I thought I'd go over a few of the places I went and give them a proper review.
Cincinnati is a very simple place to get to from where I live. You see, the highway 74 runs straight through Champaign-Urbana, and hey, it also runs straight through Cincinnati! Actually, I think 74 begins in Cincinnati. So that's good for you to know, if you live in Champaign-Urbana. Just take 74 east and you'll hit Cincinnati eventually. It'll take you 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
Cincinnati is a very cute town, in my opinion. Especially near the university. And Rachel enjoys living there very much. The first place we visited was the UC art gallery, where some of Rachel's professors and fellow students had some work displayed. The art gallery is actually downtown, apart from the university. The theme was "Bad Drawings". So there were all sorts of drawing displayed from the department. It was a fun time. Especially of note was the work of Rachel's favorite professor, Denise Burge, who specializes in drawing and fabric art/quilting. She put together an amazing fabric composition that was hung on a wall in the gallery. She basically made a painting with fabric cuts laid out over each other. Some of the designs were quite intricate.
The Krohn Conservatory is an excellent place to go and relax, especially when the sun is out. It's not as large as the US Botanical Garden, but the layout is basically the same. If you've never been to a plant conservatory you must go. It's like a zoo of plants. The Krohn Conservatory is peacefully situated on a hill near the pristine Eden Park. Particularly impressive at the Krohn Conservatory was the Orchid show going on while we were there. They had prize-winning orchids, bred to appear extremely beautiful, or delicate, or even bug-like and creepy.
The UC Campus Recreation Center was an interesting experience. As I've previously mentioned, I have an exercise/relaxation routine that I do every three days at one of the Illinois gyms. UC just opened their new rec center a few weeks ago so everything was all shiny. Well, as shiny as grey and black can be, which is the color that dominated the entire complex. The architecture was impressive, but I think not so conducive to an optimistic attitude while exercising and relaxing. You must understand that UC has the best architecture department in the whole country, hands down, and the architecture of the university is very interesting and creative than most universities I've been to. I think the person who designed this building might've been depressed, though. And the guest fee was $10. Compare to $7 for the UIUC gym. I did my routine as best I could. The facilities were very nice for the most part, but they still evidently did not check with the design of the UIUC gym. The lockers are all lockable only by having a combination lock of your own, which you must buy or bring. Compare with the UIUC gym's electronic combination locks that anyone can walk up and use with no additional hardware. Another problem was that the whirlpool's engine was placed too close to the whirlpool, so that it vibrated and made a sound like a subwoofer. But it was a nice experience being there with my girl and getting some exercise. I'm sure it will be very enjoyable for most people and a nice addition to the university.
While you're in Cincinnati, you may also want to visit Sitwell's on Ludlow Ave. It's a nice coffee shop that I've been to a couple times. They have good selection and better service than most coffee shops.
So, take that drive down 74E :-)