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Old 08-16-2011, 12:31 PM
 
5,807 posts, read 10,367,791 times
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Hi everyone,

I wanted to let people know of my visit from Thursday night through Saturday afternoon.

I've become fasinated with Cincinnati as I have acquaintances/friends in the Chicago from there, and became interested in getting to know the city.

My last visit was around St. Pats day in March where I was at a little St. Pars festival at Fountain Square, walked along the riverfront from Sawyer Park to the ballpark, where I checked out the Reds Hall of Fame. That trip, I also went for a hike in Mt. Airy forest, ate at the Montgomery Inn boathouse, and went inside Music Hall and Memorial hall in OTR. Obviously I had some skyline and graeters (both of which I can find at Meijer by me) and had a happy hour at the Cincinnatian. Oh, on my way back home I had lunch in downtown Oxford.

That was that trip.

This trip was even better! And I like it even more now. Probably because it is warmer, and people were out more and the city felt more vibrant.

I had to do a little shopping, so I checked into a motel in Sprindale so I could do a bit of shopping at Tri-County Mall. (Which I did the next morning) The 275/75 area felt very racially integrated, from driving around, and going to the mall, despite Cincys reputation.

I wanted to try a non-chain chili parlor, so I went to Pleasant Ridge chili, since I was staying at the qualit Inn and hotel off the Norwood lateral and Montgomery. (And it is great quality, very reasonably price, and convenient). I walked around all Over Eden Park, and checked out the art museum for a couple hours, as well as the conservatory (and the views overlooking the river. The museum may not be the largest art museum in the country but for being free it is outstanding. Had dinner at the Celestial/Rookwood Pottery in Mt. Adams.

Relaxed for a little bit at my motel, then hit up downtown. There was a concert going on at Fountain Square and I had a drink at Scene on Walnut. Cool lounge.

The next day I did a tour of OTR with Architreks. I'm so glad I did that. For safety reasons, as well as simply getting the most out of it, I recommend an tour with architreks. I then went to the zoo for 2-3 hours before going home. They got a great collection of rare species. I found the monument to the Passenger Pigeon sort of emotional. I have a backgrodn in studying ecology.

Altogether a great trip, your city is on the top of my list of places I would relocate to! As it is only 5 hours from friends and family.
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,335 posts, read 5,739,263 times
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didn't know Architreks did those tours. It is amazing, when you have a guide, how much it opens your eyes about architecture and can be a catalyst for learning more. I feel like once I learned about architecture there was this whole world, that had always been right there in front of me, that I never noticed. It is pretty awesome.

man, two sentences in an i'm already off topic. what'd you think of Pleasant Ridge Chili? It is a fairly popular spot. The chili is decent and i've heard the double deckers are outstanding. I always seem to find myself at skyline though. Something about it.

Glad you had a good time and am very glad you stepped out of your comfort zone to check out OTR - it is a real gem and someday you'll say, "I remember when this place was ...."
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati, OH
279 posts, read 576,794 times
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Thanks for relaying your awesome experience here. It amazes me how anyone could ever say Cincy is boring or has nothing to do. This city is absolutely packed with great things to do, great things to see, great places to eat, etc etc. Come back anytime!

I also go to Skyline the majority of the time I eat Cincy chili out. But...the real gem is to work on a recipe of your own and make it that way. I have made chili at home dozens of times now and that's the way to go. Or, at least just buy the canned chili and make your own coneys or 3 ways. Last time I was at Skyline in Oakley, you'd think chili was a rare commodity the way they hardly put it on the food!
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Old 08-16-2011, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Clifton
34 posts, read 63,872 times
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I recently had Dixie Chili in Northern Kentucky and I do believe it's better than Skyline.
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Old 08-17-2011, 01:17 PM
 
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What an awesome account of your trip here! Glad you had a great time. Do you live in Chicago, Tex?

It never ceases to amaze me how people who aren't from Cincinnati love the city, drool over its potential, laud its character, marvel over how attractive it is, appreciate all it offers, see strong elements of the East Coast, the Midwest, the South, San Francisco and even Old Europe in it and overwhelmingly think it is an incredibly charming, fascinating, elite city.














... and then you have the cynical, cranky natives who have always lived here, rarely ever go anywhere, love to complain about it, trash its potential, scoff at its ambitions, oppose all its efforts to better itself and don't really want to see it grow and prosper.

It's incredibly frustrating, to say the least.

Last edited by abr7rmj; 08-17-2011 at 01:29 PM..
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Old 08-17-2011, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Clifton
34 posts, read 63,872 times
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I work with a lot of clients that are moving from out of state that have never been here before. Every once in a while I'll give them a tour of the city and it's amazing the response I get. People that have been here their whole life take for granted just how beautiful Cincinnati is.

Just this weekend, my brother who lives in D.C. came back to visit, after a five year hiatus and he was absolutely shocked to see all the new development in the downtown area. He was talking about moving back, from D.C.! That tells you something about our beloved Queen City
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Old 08-17-2011, 02:01 PM
 
Location: NKY's Campbell Co.
1,821 posts, read 3,897,590 times
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Man, after 5 years, I probably want out of expensive, crowded, busy DC too. Not saying DC isn't a wonderful city. I'd love to live there again for another short stint and love visiting (which, as many know, is different from living). I've always loved SW Ohio and will always call it home, and I would not be surprised in the least if I moved back here when I finally have a family and need to settle down.

Tex, glad to hear you liked your visit. Eden Park is a true gem, as is the rest of Cincy's park system. While I live a little too far north (Dayton suburbs), to enjoy Cincinnati on a daily basis, I do try to get down there as often as possible. It helps having a brother at UC too.

Between Dayton and Cincinnati, Southwest Ohio offers a ton to do. Of course, the biggest drawback is the 3 months of the worst part of winter, but beyond that, I really do like the area.
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Old 08-17-2011, 02:45 PM
 
5,807 posts, read 10,367,791 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abr7rmj View Post
What an awesome account of your trip here! Glad you had a great time. Do you live in Chicago, Tex?

It never ceases to amaze me how people who aren't from Cincinnati love the city, drool over its potential, laud its character, marvel over how attractive it is, appreciate all it offers, see strong elements of the East Coast, the Midwest, the South, San Francisco and even Old Europe in it and overwhelmingly think it is an incredibly charming, fascinating, elite city.


... and then you have the cynical, cranky natives who have always lived here, rarely ever go anywhere, love to complain about it, trash its potential, scoff at its ambitions, oppose all its efforts to better itself and don't really want to see it grow and prosper.

It's incredibly frustrating, to say the least.
Yes, I live in the area. And apart from a few enclaves that I like in the city and suburbs, its just not for me. In terms of Americas huge cities, there is only one that really appeals to me, which I'm planning on moving: LA.

That particular city is not one I am planning on living my whole life, but I think it would be good for my single years. With women who stay young/good-looking longer (I'm talking naturally NOT plastic surgery) with men who are supposedly more commitment phobic and don't know how to be gentlemanly . . . well you know how it goes in the midwest, as a 31 year old guy, it starts to get slim pickins, (unless a women gets divorced), out there not so much. Plus, I love the outdoors/natural scenery mixed with a huge dynamic city with beautiful stucco and tile architecture.

Other than that I actually love the cities of Ohio and Michigan.

I am a more "chill" person, and so apart from certain areas, of Chicago. I don't care for driven, densely built, ambitious, fast paced and "white collared job with blue collared attitude (prefer just one OR the other)" vibe of central Chicago. I would never move to east coast cities. Apart from the many "enclaves I like where I have friends" I find some way to avoid the things that make Chicago Chicago, while still living there.

I like the touch of southern drawl added on to the German heritage, the compact rowhouses, the greenery as a result of slopes too steep to build on, the "corporate economic diversity yet not workaholic vibe" are all some of the things I love about the city.
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Old 08-17-2011, 08:57 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,730 posts, read 10,959,643 times
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I was also in Cincinnati over this past weekend, for a five-day visit. And I agree, in small doses it's a great place to go for architectural eye candy + good eats + friendly strangers etc etc. But like New York City, excursions to Cincy as a tourist (though in this case native-born) and living there are two different animals. Even people casually chatted up at a bar want to know what school you attended - and they mean high school. The "hip, happenin'" areas like Northside look like you'd be able to run the gamut of fun hangouts inside of a month, then wait around who knows how long for the next cool thing to come down the pike. Mass transit is in a sorry state - on the expensive side, slow, and sporadic - while wingnuts scream bloody murder over the very prospect of even a "trolley to nowhere" after the hopefully one-term governor yanked the funds for a longer light-rail line.
Sure, a guided group tour of OTR is interesting and Findlay Market can't be beat for all kinds of good fresh food. The local chili - an acquired taste, to be sure - might be a new favorite gustatory vice. Jaw-dropping mansions and appealing row houses seem to grow on trees in some parts of town; the parks are green jewels; the museums and arts organizations are world-class and the zoo is practically in a class by itself; on and on it goes. All of that makes for a trip to be remembered. When it's on a 52-week-a-year basis it starts to wear thin and become a defense mechanism instead of part of a sales pitch. (Unless, of course, you like living in a provincial city where nothing raises hackles like the "S" words "streetcar" and "Section 8," you're immediately prejudged based on your home community and high school diploma, a Jimmy Buffett concert is THE SOCIAL EVENT OF THE YEAR, the racial vibe is about as "up South" as it gets, blah blah blah.)
Also - important to realize - the weather this past weekend was phee-fricken-nomenal and nothing like a typical 'nati August. Usually you're sweltering in a smog bowl with temps and humidity in the upper 90's day after day. Fall and spring are beautiful seasons, but winters and summers tend toward the flat-out nasty.
But hey, my usual "half-full glass" attitude reflexively changes to "half-empty glass" when we're talking Cincinnati and I'm the first to admit it. There are definitely worse places to settle in. For me, keeping some distance and making 3-6 visits per year works best. Seems that'd be a happy medium for the OP also.

P.S. When in Pleasant Ridge, the best place for food of dubious nutritional value (especially if you're not a Cincy chili fan) is the Gas Light Café on the east side of Montgomery Rd just north of Ridge Ave. Their hamburgers fully deserve to be in contention for the "best in town," taters fried in whatever form are at the perfect level of crispness, the interior of the place looks unchanged since the '50s if not earlier, the employees and customers are outgoing with each other all around while "Cincinnati apartheid" is checked at the door. When I'm back I'll go back!
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Old 08-17-2011, 09:33 PM
 
2,492 posts, read 3,660,179 times
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Goyguy, maybe you shouldn't generalize. Your put-downs of Cincinnati are always very subtle and interspersed with praise, but they're put-downs nonetheless and they're somewhat insulting. I and about 2.3 million people live here full-time. Just because it wore thin on you doesn't mean everyone feels that way. I admittedly did bail on Cincinnati back in 2005 for Denver and a new job, but I came back last year after realizing that I liked Cincinnati better (I still love Denver too). And on that point, I'm sure there are plenty of people who like to visit Boston, New York, Washington, Vegas, etc. for weekends, but would just as soon not have to live there for 52 weeks.

A couple of other points:

- Nice try, but Jimmy Buffet is/was hardly the "social event of the year." In fact, he wasn't even this summer's top outdoor concert at a riverfront venue - Paul McCartney played to a sold-out GABP a couple of weeks ago. And as far as music goes, the crowds that flock to downtown and OTR from Cincinnati and around the country for the annual Midpoint Music Festival absolutely dwarf anything that Riverbend can hold.

- Someone who lives in Boston/Cambridge probably shouldn't be casting stones at Cincinnati for its "racial vibe."
http://www.workers.org/2009/us/boston_0806/
http://www.universalhub.com/2011/dro...-blamed-racism
http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/pos...ston-as-racist

- I doubt many people on this forum go to bars in Cincinnati more than me. And I can't remember the last time someone asked me where I went to high school. And, for that matter, I really don't care where anyone else went. It's a nice little stereotype of Cincinnati, but one that really doesn't hold much weight anymore.

- Cincinnati's August weather is usually a sweltering "smog bowl with temps and humidity in the upper 90's day after day"? Well, not quite. Cincinnati's average August high is 86 degrees - not exactly the exaggerated "upper 90s" you posted. Like just about everywhere else in the Lower 48 states at altitudes below 6,000 feet, August is hot in Cincinnati. Incidentally, the OP lives in Chicago ... what's that like in August - a crystal-clear, blue-sky, flower-covered alpine summit from Sound of Music?

http://weather.yahoo.com/climo/USOH0...?woeid=2380358

Oh, and I'm solidly and enthusiastically behind the streetcar and mass rail transit, as are many others here.

But whatever. There are some people who just can't stand to see someone say something nice about Cincinnati without having to contest it in some way. I'm sure every city has those people. That's just the way it is.

Last edited by abr7rmj; 08-17-2011 at 10:27 PM..
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