Friday, December 22, 2017

Willoughby Barrio Will Open on Jan. 15

Posted By on Fri, Dec 22, 2017 at 8:39 AM

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Update: For those of you who've been eagerly awaiting the opening of the Barrio in Willoughby — and judging by how many of you shared the original post announcing the new location, that number includes just about everyone who lives on the east side — you don't have to wait much longer.

Barrio announced yesterday that its newest location in the former Olivor Twist location in Willoughby will open on Jan. 15. Get a sneak peek of the project below.


(Original story 9/6/17): Barrio will be opening yet another location soon — this one in Willoughby this December in the former Olivor Twist location. The fifth outpost had been rumored for a while; the taco and tequila restaurant confirmed the news this evening.

"We love downtown Willoughby and have been looking for the perfect location for a while. Considering Barrio means 'neighborhood,' we feel this is the perfect neighborhood to further expand our brand east," Sean Fairbairn, President of Barrio Restaurant Group, said in a press release.

When it debuts, Barrio Willoughby will be open Monday - Thursday 4 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., and Friday - Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

It'll join Barrio's locations in Tremont, downtown Cleveland, Lakewood and Cleveland Heights.

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Q Deal is Officially Alive

Posted By on Wed, Sep 6, 2017 at 2:08 PM

  • Courtesy: Cleveland Cavaliers
The Q Deal's back on.

Here's Mayor Frank Jackson.
First, I want to thank the Cavs for revisiting the Q Transformation Deal. Throughout the process, my support for this agreement never wavered. My efforts have always been to create vibrant neighborhoods and a vibrant downtown. I’ve said it before –this deal is one of the best I’ve seen because it provides opportunities for all of Cleveland.

Those who demonized this process were shortsighted, and I encourage them to ask themselves what they can do for the future of this city. Strong leadership requires doing the right thing, not just saying what you think people want to hear.

I want to thank the local elected officials who publicly supported this project, including Cleveland City Council President Kevin J. Kelley and Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. We received tremendous support from almost all members of city and county council. I also want to thank Congresswoman Marcia Fudge for her continued leadership, State Senator Sandra Williams and the countless community leaders, unions, churches and organizations who have assisted in this process.

Everything we’ve done in Cleveland that has been successful, we’ve done together as one city. This has always been a collaborative effort and I look forward to the opportunities it provides our citizens.
And here's council prez Kevin Kelley:
I am very pleased that Cavaliers have agreed to continue with the Transformation Project. This deal is an economic boom for the City of Cleveland. It saves and creates thousands of jobs; generates tens of millions of tax dollars for the city’s general fund; and keeps the Q competitive in attracting events and concerts. The lease extension guarantees that the Q will be the home of the Cavaliers and continue as an economic engine until at least 2034.

This is the deal that began about 22 years ago, a deal that saw the city receive more money in 14 of the last 22 years than what it paid toward arena debt. A deal that has so far generated more than $60 million from admissions tax alone into the city’s general operating fund.

The Cavaliers have guaranteed that the city’s portion of admission tax collections will always be at least as much as the amount collected for arena debt payments. And that money, I want to stress again, comes from the pockets of those who buy tickets to get in The Q arena. It is not a municipal tax on Cleveland residents. 
Expect more glowing statements from other elected officials soon.

Meantime, here's the background info.
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The Velvet Tango Room is Up For Sale

Posted By on Wed, Sep 6, 2017 at 1:58 PM

  • Walter Novak
Progressive Urban Real Estate announced today that the Velvet Tango Room has hit the market. The storied westside craft cocktail lounge opened in 1996.

The asking price: $2.75 million, and that includes "the building, fixtures, furnishings, licenses, business and trademarked name."

We've reached out to owner and founder Paulius Nasvytis for more information.

In 2003, Scene opened up a sizable expense account for our reporters to learn about the spirit of the VTR. The resulting story is a timeless piece of cocktail journalism, and an important addition to archive of Cleveland's history of excellent drinks.

Meanwhile, from the realtor's listing:

Walking through its doors you are uncertain for just a moment. Have you slipped through some portal in time? Are you IN that film noir movie playing on the black and white TV? The filtered sunlight coming through the slatted venetian blinds creates shadows that play across faces, the sultry vocals of Billie Holiday or Keely Smith playing softly below the laughter and conversations of patrons. The music is as much a part of the magic as any other thread in the fabric Paulius has woven. He has long supported live music on the two Baby Grand pianos in the establishment.

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Study: Antidepressants Found in Brains of Great Lakes Fish

Posted By on Wed, Sep 6, 2017 at 11:56 AM

  • Walleye, Wikipedia

Antidepressants were found in ten species of fish from the Niagara River analyzed by a team from the University of Buffalo, a new study from the school says. The Niagara River connects Lakes Erie and Ontario.

Levels of the medications found in the fish's brains often outpaced the levels in the water, according to the findings. And while they pose no danger to humans, since they're still relatively low and because we generally don't consume fish organs, there are real questions about how the drugs are affecting fish behavior and biodiversity in the Great Lakes.

“These active ingredients from antidepressants, which are coming out from wastewater treatment plants, are accumulating in fish brains,” says the study's lead scientist, Diana Aga. “It is a threat to biodiversity, and we should be very concerned. These drugs could affect fish behavior. We didn’t look at behavior in our study, but other research teams have shown that antidepressants can affect the feeding behavior of fish or their survival instincts. Some fish won’t acknowledge the presence of predators as much.”

While wastewater treatment plants remove various pollutants from the supply, Aga says they'er woefully behind the times in regards to other substances, like pharmaceuticals, passed through urine, and chemicals from "personal care products."

“These plants are focused on removing nitrogen, phosphorus, and dissolved organic carbon but there are so many other chemicals that are not prioritized that impact our environment,” she says. “As a result, wildlife is exposed to all of these chemicals. Fish are receiving this cocktail of drugs 24 hours a day, and we are now finding these drugs in their brains.”
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Cleveland Museum of Art's New ArtLens Gallery Will Give Visitors a More Interactive Experience

Posted By on Wed, Sep 6, 2017 at 11:29 AM

  • Howard Agriesti, courtesy of the Cleveland Museum of Art

In a world of touchscreens and augmented reality, how do you make a visit to an art museum engaging and unique for new audiences of all ages? The Cleveland Museum of Art might have found the answer in its new ArtLens Gallery (formerly Gallery One), featuring new touchscreen-free digital interactive elements. Although Gallery One was highly praised by local and national visitors, as well as the arts media, the CMA continues to evolve the concept, utilizing the latest technological advances available. This week, the CMA celebrates its new ArtLens Gallery with MIX: Interact on Friday and ArtLens Gallery Celebration on Sunday.

The innovative, multi-faceted ArtLens Gallery experience includes four components. Guests can engage with masterworks through touchscreen-free interactives in ArtLens Exhibition, create original artwork in ArtLens Studio, connect with the museum’s world-class permanent collection at the ArtLens Wall and enhance the entire museum experience with the ArtLens App.
An 18-and-over event, MIX: Interact at the Cleveland Museum of Art offers guests an opportunity to explore the museum’s new ArtLens Gallery. MIX: Interact takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, September 8. MIX tickets are $10 in advance, $15 day of event or free for CMA members. Parking is available in the CMA’s garage. $10 special event parking rates apply.
“MIX: Interact is about introducing (or re-introducing) audiences to ArtLens Gallery and the idea of play at CMA”, says Deidre McPherson, director of public programs. “There will be plenty of opportunities to interact with art and experience the museum in fun and creative ways.”

In addition to exploring ArtLens and the permanent collection galleries, guests can enjoy the experimental and electronic hip-hop soundscapes of DJ Corey Grand and drinks in an animated atrium.

“ArtLens Gallery highlights how innovative and seamless technology can be successfully integrated into a world-class museum, and MIX: Interact attendees have the first opportunity to experience the cutting-edge space during a weekend full of ArtLens celebration events,” says Jane Alexander, chief information officer of the CMA. “Come enjoy the art, dock your device and play innovative, gesture based games while engaging with friends and diving deeper into the museum’s collection. In the atrium, there will be a huge screen mimicking the Beacon screen which will pull live visitor creations from the Studio, Exhibition, and App, as well as feature works of art on view from across the museum's collection. Visitor portraits and collages in the Studio decorate the Beacon, along with the expressions, poses, and artwork visitors make at Express Yourself, Strike a Pose, and Become an Artwork in the Exhibition, and visitor-created tours from the app.”

Proving that its world class experience is accessible to visitors of all ages, the Cleveland Museum of Art hosts a special family-friendly event in celebration of both Grandparents Day and the museum’s new ArtLens. The ArtLens Gallery Celebration and Play Day at the CMA take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, September 10. In addition to exploring ArtLens, guests can enjoy the museum’s permanent collection galleries, as well as art-making activities and programs for all ages.

“ArtLens Exhibition fulfills the promise of how easy interactive technology should be inside any museum,” says Alexander. “While the innovative technology is itself awe-inspiring and fun, the most exciting part of ArtLens is that we are providing new tools for visitors to look at artwork more closely and gain a better understanding of key concepts. We are using digital innovation to promote individual and social participation, and open an enlightened public discourse to advance our goal of helping people start a relationship with the museum’s collection.”

(Cleveland Museum of Art) 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350,
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Candlelight Vigil for Immigrants Planned in Cleveland After Trump's DACA Decision

Posted By on Wed, Sep 6, 2017 at 11:09 AM

In the wake of the Trump administration's decision to ax the DACA program for immigrants in the U.S., several groups are organizing a candlelight vigil for 7 p.m. Thursday in Market Square (across from the West Side Market).

DACA recipients will speak publicly on the decision and how it will impact their families and their Northeast Ohio communities. Because of the sheer breadth of the DACA program, any conceivable termination will have sweeping economic effects. As the Columbus Dispatch's Darrel Rowland reported yesterday, "Ohio stands to lose more than $251.6M annually in state GDP if [the] state's estimated 3,865 DACA workers [are] removed from [the] workforce."

A young local teenager is also slated to speak about what it will mean to no longer have DACA as an option in the first place.

All are welcome at the vigil; the event is set to run until around 8:30 p.m.
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PhotoNow Exhibition, Opening Tomorrow, Showcases the Region's Best Contemporary Photography

Posted By on Wed, Sep 6, 2017 at 11:06 AM

  • Barbara Howell’s “Reaching”

Presented for the fourth consecutive year, PhotoNow is a juried, satellite exhibition of regional photography organized by the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve. 2017 marks the third time that the exhibition is held at the Tri-C East Galleries, which allows AAWR to host a larger show for a more diverse audience than would be possible in its own gallery. Originally known as the Western Reserve Open Photography Competition, PhotoNow continues to showcase some of the region’s best contemporary photography, and to be used as an educational tool for AAWR’s community outreach programs, as well as classes at Tri-C.

PhotoNow 2017 features 75 photographs by 59 photographers selected from nearly 300 entries submitted by more than 80 artists. Overall, the selected works showcase a wide variety of photographic processes and subject matter, from traditional landscapes and portraiture to alternative processes, constructed images, double exposures, lensless photographs and more. Whether you’re a professional photographer, photography student or just trying to figure out Instagram, PhotoNow 2017 offers inspiration for everyone. These diverse perspectives are sure to inspire visitors to document the intimate and spectacular moments of everyday life.

Unlike other regional photography exhibitions, AAWR selects professionals from outside of Ohio to select the works accepted into the show. PhotoNow 2017 is juried by Los Angeles-based photographer Aline Smithson. Smithson has curated and juried exhibitions for several galleries, organizations, photo festivals and online magazines, such as: Critical Mass, Flash Forward, Griffin Museum and Review Santa Fe. Living and working in L.A., Smithson is a founding member of Six Shooters Collective and has taught at the Los Angeles Center of Photography since 2001.

“Overall Smithson preferred dramatic, impactful images for this year’s competition,” says AAWR executive director Mindy Tousley. “Despite the diversity of subject matter, the chosen works relate well and create a flow for the exhibition.”

Describing the selection process, Smithson says, “As a juror, the first consideration is to look for a level of excellence. I consider if the work challenges, transports and delights, and I also consider the show as a whole. The PhotoNow 2017 exhibition happily showcases a wide range of photographic approaches. From more traditional portraiture and landscape, to alternative processes, double exposures, diptychs and triptychs, constructed images and lensless photographs, it is truly an exciting time to be a photographer.”

Photographers accepted into PhotoNow include: Jim Aho, Joe Alven, Joe Applebaum, Herbert Ascherman, Philip Balin, Darlene Beiter, Jeff Benedetto, Keith Berr, Susan Bestul, Christina Bock, Morris Burke, Rick Carrello, Marsha Carrington, Tim Carroll, Janet Century, Ryn Clarke, Laura D’Alessandro , Joanne Damian, Amber Ford, Al Fuchs, Andrew Gacom, Jacqueline Grimm , Ben Hauser, Bob Herbst, Sheila Hernandez, Zachery Hoon, Barbara Howell, Paul Jacklitch, Eric Johnson, Kelly Joslin, Maria Kaiser, Larry Kasperek, Jack Koch, Joan Lederer, Michael Levy, Susie Lilley, Rosalie Litt , Wayne Mazorow, Marina Neyman, Jeannette Palsa, Robert Parry, Stuart Pearl, David Perelman-Hall, Karoline Pimplikar, Joseph Polevoi, Kolman Rosenberg, John Saile, Jackie Sajewski, William Sheck, Bruce Sherman, Maurice Sherman, Frank Shoemaker, Stephanie Spyker, Barney Taxel, Nico Pico Train, Eric Vaughn, Michael Weiss, Abe Wolf and Hugh Wonderly.

PhotoNow opens with a reception and awards ceremony from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 7, and remains on view through October 12.
(AAWR at Tri-C Gallery East) 4250 Richmond Rd., Highland Hills, 216-987-2095,
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