Sep 16, 2023

Five Things: Bengals see team as 'catalyst' for riverfront

Good morning, Cincinnati, and happy Friday! Here are five things you need to know today:

The Bengals seem themselves as a "key catalyst to the transformation and development of the riverfront," Elizabeth Blackburn, the team's director of strategy and engagement, said at a Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber event June 8. In the Zoom forum, Blackburn reaffirmed the team's desire to stay in Cincinnati and renovate Paycor Stadium.

Issa Rae, who is best known for her HBO series "Insecure," will serve as the keynote speaker for Black Tech Week, officials announced June 8. The two-day event – one of the country's premier conferences for tech professionals and founders of color – returns to Cincinnati on July 18.

The housing market in Greater Cincinnati has remained fiercely cutthroat, with high demand and little inventory. In this week's cover story, Abby Miller reports that as interest rates have risen, homebuyers increasingly are turning to all-cash offers not only as a competitive tactic but to save money.

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National Logistics Service unveiled a three-year plan to triple its workforce and add an additional $2.9 million to its payroll with the help of REDI Cincinnati and JobsOhio. Based in Colerain Township, the third-party freight broker is a repeat finalist in the Courier's Fast 55 program, which highlights the fastest-growing companies in the region.

A downtown LGBTQ club is moving into the former home of a now-defunct brewery. Ignite Entertainment announced it is moving the Birdcage into the former Rebel Mettle Brewery space at 412 Central Ave. downtown. The move is expected to be completed later this month.

Prolink CEO Tony Munafo joins the podcast to discuss growing one of the region's fastest and largest private companies. He also touches on how his father taught him the importance of leaving a legacy. Elsewhere, our co-hosts Andy Brownfield and Tom Demeropolis talk about Mayor Aftab Pureval's plans for new social programs, including a version of universal basic income in Cincinnati; a Tolkien-inspired brewery opening in Northern Kentucky; a plea deal by an indicted former city council member; and a $150 million development on the West Side.

1954: During Senate hearings, Army special counsel Joseph Welch berated Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, R-Wis., asking, "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

"Fools and Mortals" by Bernard Cornwell

"The Diplomat" on Netflix

"Full Control" by Snail Mail on Spotify

Odyssey New England IPA from Esoteric Brewing Co. in Walnut Hills

I’m happy to have snagged a pair of tickets to the National's Homecoming concert coming to Smale Park in September, though "happy" seems like an oxymoron in any sentence about the National – one of the reigning "sad dad bands."

Last month, I read an article in the New York Times about the attraction of sad music. One survey of listeners found "emotional responses to sad songs fell roughly into three categories: grief, including powerful negative feelings like anger, terror and despair; melancholia, a gentle sadness, longing or self-pity; and sweet sorrow, a pleasant pang of consolation or appreciation." Those are all miserable states of mind, so why do we willingly go there? As is often the case with such stories, no single, simple answer emerged.

It did get me thinking, though, about some of the doleful songs that have stuck with me through the years and why they struck a chord. In "High Fidelity" style, here is my top five list:

1. "Russians" by Sting, from his first solo album, "Dream of the Blue Turtles." This came out while I was in high school near the tail end of the Cold War. It falls squarely into category one: grief and despair. Sadly, it's relevant again.

2. "River" by Joni Mitchell from "Blue," an album that would make my short list of 20th-century masterpieces. Mitchell deftly stirs the melancholy of the holidays with a shot of regret. Category two, please, and make mine a double.

3. "Babylon" from David Gray's "White Ladder" album. Such a breezy melody on the surface, but the lyrics capture a point in young adulthood when you realize carelessness has cost you something precious. Category two.

4. "Father and Daughter" by Paul Simon. Of all the works of sheer genius Paul Simon has produced, why pick a song from the soundtrack of a second-rate animated movie? I never saw "The Wild Thornberrys," but this song started getting air play around the time I was expecting my firstborn. It distills so much of what a parent feels for a child. Category three.

5. "Puff the Magic Dragon" by Peter, Paul and Mary. Contrary to popular wisdom, this is not a paean to pot but to the passing of childhood. Pure schmaltz, you might well say. But during summer vacations to Lake Michigan, we became good friends with a wonderful guy and talented journalist named Jim Ragsdale. He used to strum his guitar and sing that song around the campfire with all the kids. Jim died several years ago, but his daughter Annie took up the tradition. Despite the lump in our throats, we all sing along. Category one and three. Pass the Kleenex.

If you have a favorite sad song, send it my way. I might add it to my "Good Cry" playlist.

5 Things to Know 3) Buyers aren't bothering to borrow in a white-hot housing market 1954: