Monday, December 14, 2009

Here We Go...Around and Around...

Shannon over at Everyday Stranger suggested a great idea...Around the World in 80 Blogs. Bloggers who read her blog could post on their blogs about the towns from which they blog. So, I signed up for the OHIO-ish part of the world, more specifically, Cincinnati. And I intended to include some photographs, and time got away from me and so I'm borrowing - and crediting - photos in this post. (I hope that is okay. I don't know what the Universal Internet Commandments are, but I think if I give credit and don't claim these photos as my own, we should be okay. I hope.)

I've lived in the Tri-State area my entire life and while I've spent a fair amount of time in Columbus these last five years, I've never lived anywhere besides Cincinnati.

What is it like?

The people. Depending on what part of town you're from, the folks here are very different. There is a bit of an East Side/West Side rivalry. From my home town, about 12 miles north of Downtown Cincinnati, there is also a little parochial/public school rivalry. As a city, we've had our share of very unfortunate (and embarrassing) racial tension. Generally, people here are morally, financially and politically conservative. However, I've met some amazingly open-minded people here and most everyone is eventually friendly, if not a little reserved at first.

(Photo from

The sights. We're a river city. The Ohio River runs right along our skyline, dividing Cincinnati from our neighbors in Kentucky. The river atmosphere makes life a little more exciting and definitely more beautiful. You can go right across the river into Newport or Covington and have a great time there, too.

The culture and events. In the downtown area, things are very different from the suburbs. Except for restaurants and bars, shops and businesses roll up their carpets really early and many are closed on Saturdays and Sundays. For a number of years, after the race riots, no one did anything in downtown Cincinnati, some due to fear, and some due to protest. Slowly, as the wounds have begun to heal, this has improved greatly and it makes Cincinnati feel like home again. When we have our big events, like the WEBN Fireworks any Bengals game, Reds game, Opening Day, Taste of Cincinnati or Oktoberfest, you'd never know what a ghost town The Queen City can be. We've got the Aronoff Center, the Taft Theater and The Cincinnati Art Museum to appeal to the artistic. The Cincinnati Zoo is one of the best in the country. And if you like to ride on horrifying metal structures that can make you hurl/fear death/scream, you can't do any better than Kings Island. A few food items that come from Cincinnati have earned cult-like followings - Skyline Chili and Montgomery Inn are probably the two items we're most known for.

(photo from Wikipedia's description of Taste of Cincinnati)

If you ever visit Cincinnati,you've got to... Spend an evening in Mt. Adams. Stay somewhere downtown and take the five dollar cab ride up to to the top of this awesome Cincinnati landmark. It is one of our favorite places to go. It just feels special. Sitting on the back patio at the Blind Lemon in winter time, sipping a hot buttered rum, watching the fire, listening to music, looking up at the big, open feel small and significant at the same time. Excited and comforted at once. Like you're starring in some very cool movie. Mt. Adams is home to a lot of neat little restaurants and pubs. If you go before the "beautiful people" get there on a Saturday night (come before 9:00 p.m.) you can kind of have the whole place to yourself and you won't have to share the view tables with anyone, or wait in line to get a drink, eat or whatever you might like to do.

What do I love about Cincinnati? The diversity and the art culture. I know that is like the opposite of what anyone would expect considering how conservative this town is. However, the conservatives embrace the artistic community...they fund it, they support it...they just don't want us marrying their sons/daughters! All this squareness actually makes the arts and diversity pop! You know, kind of like how a red throw pillow can add zing to an all grey room? The arts pop against this plain background. I love that there is so much to do...sports, festivals, just a nice buzz of excitement all around.

What I don't like? It's not as friendly as I'd like it to least not at first. When I head north for Columbus on the weekends, I find that everyone there is very relaxed, down to earth and accepting. Here, it takes a little longer. I'd like people to warm up faster!

So, that's my overall take on this town. Why not mosey on over Shannon's blog and read some of the other city features that are being posted right now? If' you've stopped by here as a result of her Around the World in 80 Blogs post, welcome! I hope you'll come back. (I'm not usually so Julie-Your-Cruise-Director, but I really wanted to participate in her cool project!)


Helen said...

I got sidetracked with "Hot buttered rum". It took me a while to regain focus and clean up the drool.

Do you ever get annoyed that people relate your lovely city to a TV show with Burt and Lonnie? When I lived in Dallas I used to go mental when people asked me if I knew J.R.

Tangents & Tangles: said...

Hey there!

Hot buttered rum (and it's the real deal, with a slim pat of butter melting lazily on the top) is a great motivating force for visiting when it's cold out!

But honestly, I don't mind when people ask me about WKRP in Cincinnati. That show is just quirky enough that I don't mind the reference one bit! In fact, if I stumble across a rerun, I end up watching it. AND, if you do go to The Blind Lemon, there are photos of actor Gary Sandy, who played Andy on WKRP, when he's visited the place. Lots of celebs apparently go there because it's low key, not too crowded and kind of buried in the heart of Mt. Adams.

diamond dave said...

I'm familiar with the northwestern part of Ohio from Lima to Toledo, where my mom lives. I'm actually originally from West Virginia, between Charleston and Huntington. I've always loved to drive through Cincy and see the skyline as you approach the river bridges from the Kentucky side of I-75.