Walkable neighborhoods in Cincy? (Cincinnati, Findlay: buy, live, restaurants)
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Otherwise, seems like dude will be at home in Oakley/Hyde Park.
You're right on! Somehow, in my own food-obsessed cravings for all things suburban, I accidentally overlooked this vibrant and fascinating culinary treasure house! Most certainly, Findlay Market rivals any food store in either Oakley or Hyde Park, and although it's technically neither in either CUF nor Clifton, it's just a short distance "down the hill," so to speak. (My only advice to our OP, before visiting this market, is to prepare a viable plan on how to transport all his grocery bags home.)
Me and the Mrs. are die-hard foodies. We get nearly all of our food at Findlay Market now. Fresh produce? Farmer market in season and Daisey Mae's year round. Local, farm raised meats? Eckerlain Meats. Seafood? Inside the main market are many choices. More produce and Snoville Creamery milk? Madisons.
I think it would be easy to live in either location without a car, but I'd prefer to be in CUF / Clifton...
...Oakley is walkable, too, but unlike CUF, most of the residents use a car for their daily needs. The Hyde Park plaza is an example of something that although theoretically walkable for many people, is generally a nightmare for the pedestrian. Fresh market isn't much better...
Much agree with progmac on the actual walkability of numerous specific locations in/near Oakley or Hyde Park. For example (as previously cited), the Kroger store there is indeed a Taj Mahal food outlet, but the parking/entering/leaving Hyde Park Plaza is routinely nightmarish, especially for pedestrians. And the shopping at the "two Rookwoods"? Car-country, folks, all the way! Lastly, those Oakley big boxstores... The only sidewalks found there will be at exact entrances to the stores themselves. (in defense of walkability, it needs mentioning that both Hyde Park Square and Oakley Square be best placed in a separate, more positive category, but they are another story entirely)
In 17 years, I never felt a need to walk to Target, Sam's Club, or anything over in Rookwood. Too many other things in Oakley and Hyde Park closer and better. Since the Op is coming from Chicago, he will likely view the Hyde Park Plaza as child's play. I never had any problem with it, and plenty of local residents walk there with regularity. And, if you hadn't noticed, the multi-million dollar redesign of the Oakley neighborhood business district was done with pedestrian access as a primary objective. Bump outs traffic islands were added specifically for shortening distances across the street and to make it easier for pedestrians to get around. The activity around Oakley Square indicates to me that it has been successful.
yes, no one walks to rookwood or target or those places, that was my point (although 17 years ago, why would you have walked to the site of target or rookwood unless your friends lived there ?).
True! Although the first phase of Rookwood was done about then. I didn't really count any of those in my "walkability quotient" to begin with. When I think of walkable, I think of local, neighborhood businesses...like Loesch Hardware, Habit's Cafe, RP McMurphy's, The Wine Merchant, Aglamesis Bros Ice Cream, King Arthur's Court, Essentia Tea House. And, like I said, the Plaza isn't too daunting...I did it all the time.
Cincinnati may not be among the largest big cities in the country, and it may not have the endless things to do that 5 million plus metro areas have, and currently it doesn't have the public transit system, BUT the one thing that is very true.
Cincinnati, believe it or not, has walkable neighborhoods that are on par with the east coast cities and Chicago. I'm serious when I say this. And there is reason for this: Cincinnati was the first city to become large in the midwest.
Take a look for yourself. While still, in the very early stages of being gentrified after hitting rock bottom with crime, poverty, and neglect, Over-the-Rhine (as well as West End, Pendleton) are really the only urban neighborhoods in the midwest that have the architecture and structure of a historic neighborhood in Manhattan like Greenwich Village, Harlem.
It may not have the safety you are looking for certainly, but thought I would throw it out there.
Neighborhoods that are very safe and walkable/dense that would charm you off your feet would be Mt. Adams, as well as Clifton/Clifton Hts. Hyde Park and Mt. Lookout are more suburban-urban neighborhoods with quaint downtowns. Living in Cincinnati proper would still put you in commutable distance of anywhere in Northern Kentucky.
As a former Cincinnatian currently living in Chicago, Tex hits it right on the head. Though I'd argue that OTR is more like Hoboken, the North End of Boston or Brooklyn instead of anywhere in Manhattan, though parts of dowtown feel like the older lower rise buildings that you'd find in either Manhattan or San Francisco but on a way smaller scale.
The problem is Cincinnati is about 15-20 years behind Chicago in terms of gentrification/urban amenities, I'd say it will at least be 5 years until OTR gets to a point where it starts to feel like Wicker Park, though I have been totally shocked to see it advance as much as it has, abeit on a limited scale. With the way OTR is going though if you are willing to take a bit of a risk, then go to the "Gateway Quarter" and check it out, however dog walking areas might be a problem, though at the very least Washington Park will be remodeled with a dog park. On the flip side the restuarnts that are opening every other month there are all top notch by Cincinnati standards (you will have to lower your standards a tad from Chicago).
If I was in Cincy with your requirements I'd be in Prospect hill (just north of OTR and gentrified) before climbing down the hill, or Mt. Adams. At least in these places you can get a cab, though cabs are way more expensive in Cincy than Chicago, think 2x the price and they aren't as easy to come by though Mt. Adams, downtown, OTR, and parts of Newport/Covington (the riverside historic district in Covington is real nice and there are good restaurants/bars in downtown and its only a $10 cab ride to get there - plus the megabus is downtown if you need to hop back up to Chicago) they aren't too hard to come by.
If the older neighborhoods in the city (everything victorian era) would ever be revived, then Cincy would be more walkable than Chicago and much easier to get around, well if they ever fix the transit .
There is a difference obviously between walkable and food concentric. Those who want to embelish on Whole Foods in Oakley have my sympathy. We have one of those stores out in my neighborhood. I recently told the wife if she continues to go there I will definitely find a way to cut off her food allowance. What a low level of quality. Plain ground beef which is dry, full of ground grizzle, and just plain nasty. Then we went up the chain from there. There was virtually nothing she brought home I felt was even up to typical standards established by Kroger, Meijer. etc., even Wal-Mart. Seems like all you are expected to do today is label something organic and people should fall all over themselves to buy it - good or not.
And yet, I have friends in Chicago who love to come to Cincinnati because they can get a good meal for half the price they would pay there.
Thus Cincinnati's best kept secret.
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