I have been waiting two years for this day to arrive. In 2017 my mom and I attended the opening parade for BLINK, not really knowing what to expect. We hunkered down at Washington Park along with hundreds of other people to catch a glimpse of the parade as it passed by. We heard the event was going to involve a lot of color and light but truthfully didn’t really know what it was going to be like. It was the inaugural BLINK after all!
It didn’t take long for us to fall for BLINK and the magic it created around downtown Cincinnati. The atmosphere alone was majestic. There was a buzz in the air I really can’t explain, but to see so many strangers gathered along the entire parade route to catch a glimpse of the opening action was really memorable. The parade itself was fun, interesting and unsurprisingly featured its fair share of lights and color!
After the parade ended my mom and I walked all over the urban core checking out all the different art installations and light projections. We were on a mission to see everything. There was this energy throughout the city that I’ll never forget, and seeing the joy this art event brought people was just as incredible as seeing the art itself.
Imagine massive buildings with moving light and art installations being projected across them. Words really can’t do it justice because it’s something you have to see to fully appreciate. If this helps paint a better picture, one of my favorite installations of BLINK involved a popular mural of Rosemary Clooney that was brought to life and featured her singing, while also projecting an old video of her performing. There were even moments where it looked like her mouth on the mural was singing the words to the song. Are you intrigued yet?!
I could go on and on and share the hundreds of pictures I shot during this four-day long event, but I’ll keep it short and sweet.
Plan a Staycation
Around one million people attended BLINK in Cincinnati in 2017. Yes, ONE MILLION people in our bustling downtown! BLINK 2019 is going to be even bigger and better. I’m thrilled to be making a weekend of the event and planning a staycation at 21c Cincinnati!
21c’s Cincinnati hotel is located in the heart of downtown. Meaning, it will also be the epicenter for all things BLINK. Whether you’re visiting from out of town for the event or a local Cincinnatian, I suggest making the most of your BLINK experience and making 21c your home base for the extravaganza, running October 10-13. After all, 21c truly has everything you need all under one roof! In case you needed any further convincing, here are five ways 21c Cincinnati will enhance your BLINK experience this year:
1. Go on a docent-led tour through 21c’s Museum
Want to add even more notable art into your BLINK weekend? Take a tour through the museum of 21c with a docent who will guide you through the exhibits and provide a deeper understanding of the artist and the work they’ve created.
Take in the current Dress Up, Speak Up exhibition, which features colorful and bejeweled works aim to represent the present and past and personal, political and social struggles. Many pieces in this exhibit feature everyday materials such as plastic beads and felt.
2. Imbibe at the Cocktail Terrace
The 21c Cocktail Terrace offers sweeping views everywhere you turn. It’s a sleek and charming rooftop that sits atop the hotel. Imagine the bright and colorful sights you’ll see during BLINK perched above the action!
The menu features inventive cocktails, including alcoholic slushies made from scratch, pop-tails and bottled cocktails with the freshest of flavors. If you get hungry while drinking, be sure to get a snack! The Cocktail Terrace offers a range of bites. Whether it’s a savory veggie plate with homemade ranch (which is to die for), or a sweet made from scratch oatmeal cream pie (which my mom says is one of the best things she has ever had the pleasure of eating).
3. Be wined and dined at Metropole with chef David Kelsey
Metropole is a chic restaurant located on the ground floor of 21c Cincinnati. The eatery offers a modern twist on classic ingredients in an intimate setting. Perfect for a date night or catching up with friends.
Chef David Kelsey offers a large menu, whether you’re looking to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner. Whether it’s pancakes with maple mascarpone and candied pecans, the Verlasso salmon, or grilled duck breast, there’s a little something for everyone at Metropole!
4. Unwind at the Spa at 21c
I can say from personal experience that the Spa at 21c is one of the most relaxing experiences I’ve ever had in my life. The first time I visited the spa I had to convince myself I didn’t just teleport to a soothing, peaceful alternate universe because it was an instant sanctuary!
I’ve had the Signature Glow facial which removes surface skin cells to reveal your natural glow. You can read more in-depth about our past spa experience here, but spoiler alert: it was all amazing!
The spa menu has a variety of services, including peels, facials, massages, body wraps, manicures, pedicures and more. Plus, you can also get a number of services done from the convenience and privacy of your hotel room!
5. Enjoy the BLINK installation outside of 21c
You heard that right. There’s a BLINK installation right outside of 21c, so you don’t have to travel far to experience the magic! Let’s just say you may want to check out Gano Alley (which is where you access the Cocktail Terrace) for an immersive experience. The display will involve lights, mirrors and fog machines and you don’t want to miss it!
There’s also a gorgeous ArtWorks mural on the side of 21c in the alley that is worth a visit. I can’t wait to see this space transformed for BLINK!