Thursday, January 30, 2003

Knip's Eve View

'Rag' mag takes up some sassy subjects

Rag is an effort to "bring feminist theory into practice."

Not to torment testosterone freaks, but you need to meet a new publication: Rag. The first edition is a lively mix of opinion and commentary, discussion of women's safety issues, venting about the way things sometimes are (such as masculine skewed language, which is phrased in a less-than-family-newspaper way), entertainment, even thoughts on where Britney Spears fits into feminism in the 21st century.

Born during late night conversations, Rag is produced by a group of women in the University of Cincinnati Women's Studies Department. "We were talking about how to bring feminist theory into practice," says Natalie Mathis, a co-founder. "We realized that a local publication devoted to feminist issues was badly needed and decided we'd be the ones to do it."

That was in October, and planning began immediately. The first edition, a 16-page, 81/2- by 11-inch mag, is free at the same sites around town where you tend to find other free papers, Mathis says.

Oh yeah, since these things take money, there's a debut party and fund-raiser at 8 p.m. today at Mad Frog, 1 E. McMillan St., $5.

Glory days: This for those old enough to miss the days when Newport was full of casinos and brothels: Cathie John is at work on another mystery.

Cathie John is the husband-wife team of Cathie and John Celestri, a Loveland couple who wrote three books about '90s Cincinnati detective Kate Cavanaugh. Then they switched to the '40s and Kate's lost uncle Nick and his nights at the Oasis Club in Newport. That was in the book Little Mexico (Newport's old nickname), which made enough of a splash that a sequel is in the works.

In the Name of the Father, based on true incidents, will be out in May. Reading copies are floating around, and the Celestris already have a handful of testimonials: "Sinful fun," says mystery author Loren D. Estleman. "First class entertainment," adds mystery author Jack Kelly. Find out more (and read Chapter 1) at

Hitting the street: Here's a tasty recipe - Richard Florida with a dash of Nicholas Spencer stirred in.

Florida is the author of The Rise of the Creative Class, which says the health and hipness of a city depend on young, semi-monied professionals moving in and having exciting things to do at night. Spencer is a Xavier University student and a founder of Downtown After5 Walks, which was created after Florida visited town last year.

The group assembles every Thursday to browse downtown and Over-the-Rhine businesses. The goal, Spencer says, is to create "a Cincinnati that's alive 24/7."

The night usually starts around 6 at Kaldi's (1204 Main St.) for a jolt of caffeine. People who can't make it early can call 884-4224 and join in progress. Founded in December with a core of about 50, After5 is open to anyone who shows up.

Tonight's schedule is 6:30 p.m. at Kaldi's, a 7:10 p.m. tour of shops at 13th and Clay, and an 8 p.m. curtain for the drama Copenhagen ($9) at Ensemble Theater of Cincinnati. Find out more at Web site.


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