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Old 11-07-2012, 06:11 PM
 
31 posts, read 63,958 times
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Okay,..

So, I'm a gay black male who is relocating to Cincinnati from Columbus with a friend who is a gay white male. We already pretty much know what areas to look at as far as where to live, but it's hard to get a good idea of what life might be like there by searching online. To be honest, my online research has me convinced that my world would be limited to just a few blocks because of lingering issues with race relations and homophobia.

Columbus isn't as progressive as people like to think it is especially when it comes to race. It's still pretty divided here, although there are some mixed areas like Olde Towne East where we both currently live. But, I do feel like I can go pretty much anywhere without much issue. Maybe a stink eye every now and then.

In your honest opinion, what kind of experience do you think I/we can expect?

I appreciate your input.
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
4,007 posts, read 4,835,758 times
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Depends on where you live and how far out into conservative territory you go. Personally, I think CUF, Northside, Clifton, OTR, Mount Adams, and downtown should all fit the bill.

And please put Prospect Hill to the top of your list.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,730 posts, read 10,954,480 times
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Northside and Over-the-Rhine are the most diversely populated out of that list. Both are somewhat Gay-friendly (relatively speaking 'cuz you'll never get the illusion you're in a major-city gayborhood like Houston's Montrose or NYC's Chelsea.)

OTR is "climbing back" after decades of being one of the poorest parts of town. It still has a large contingent of homeless persons as well as people living in poverty. But its centerpiece green space, Washington Park, got a massive overhaul and reopened last summer to huge acclaim. And yuppie-oriented restaurants/bars are opening left and right. Plus, two things never left that neighborhood even in its lowest times: Music Hall (the gorgeous 1880's pile of bricks that's home to the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops orchestras, ballet, opera, etc) and Findlay Market (where you could pick up organically grown vegetables and artisanal meat/cheese long before the word locavore was invented.) The LGBT "hot spot" of the moment is Below Zero, a mixed-clientele bar that falls into the category of "place to sip creative cocktails and be seen after work."

Northside has been a multi-ethnic and working-class enclave throughout its existence, and by the '80s had become a magnet for "artistic types" priced out of Clifton. There's where you will find trendy hangouts like The Comet thrown right in with perennial favorites like the Blue Jay Diner. As opposed to OTR, Northside is more accommodating to "weirdos" who might choose to get pierced and tattooed all over while rocking a multicolored Mohawk. It's also not quite as densely populated compared to OTR with its block after block of row houses crammed together.

What's left of the same-sexer bar scene in Cincy is concentrated around the NW and NE fringes of downtown in addition to OTR + Northside + CUF (which stands for Clifton/University/Fairview and is the area to the south/southwest/west of the University of Cincinnati.) There's also a large club in the far-flung neighborhood known as - for real - California, despite there probably being no openly Gay persons living in the vicinity. And near the edge of the northern city community called Roselawn is Brandy's, said to be "Gay-friendly" by cautious management but definitely LGBT by the looks of their promo ads. Roselawn itself is an odd hodgepodge of classic "brick box" apartment houses, many of which are in decline and "voucher accepting," and appealing tree-lined streets full of homes ranging from tidy Capes to roomy Tudors. The commercial districts along Reading Rd and Seymour Ave look nasty but most of the residential sections sure don't. And there may be a "tolerant" or better social atmosphere in effect since 1960's-70's White flight wasn't as bad as elsewhere and the paler folks who stayed put have been joined by some drawn by the affordability.

Along the same lines as Roselawn, minus any Gay bars, is Pleasant Ridge. Because of its public Montessori school and a history as a WASP community (as opposed to Roselawn's having started out as heavily Jewish) P-Ridge has been a stronger magnet for progressive-minded folks looking to live in the city. For many years it was home to a beautician school called "The Larry Moore Université of Hair Design" which had radio ads delivered by the, um, flamboyant voice ("UniversiTAY") of its proprietor who lived nearby. Today the sidewalks are shared by humans of all shades, as are its popular chili parlor that stays open 'til 3 (4?) AM + The Gas Light (bar with excellent burgers, built in the 1920's and never "modernized") + Irish pub + classic-record store + Ethiopian restaurant. As a rule its brick boxes are in better shape and its houses a tad bit on the upscale side. But (especially if the OP hasn't yet reached 30) P-Ridge as well as Roselawn may be too family-oriented to suit.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,386,808 times
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people211...

As you expressed about Columbus, I do not feel Cincinnati is all that progressive at all. Some specific areas which have already been identified may be. But Cincinnati as a whole suffers from what I call the Hill Syndrome. The hills along the river divide everything into small enclaves physically isolated from each other. These also tend to be both ideologically and socially isolated. So norms change very slowly there.

As an area like OTR is transformed considerably, it is still confined by the hills. Those constraints limit how far the transformation will spread.

As you have experienced in Columbus, expect Cincinnati to be even moreso. Evaluate each neighborhood on its own, as the adjacent neighborhood may be very different. You will need to spend time to see if the vibes match what you are looking for. If you know people of your persuasion who live in Cincinnati, I would put a lot of credence in their advice.

Last edited by kjbrill; 11-08-2012 at 03:18 PM..
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:44 PM
 
Location: A voice of truth, shouted down by fools.
1,086 posts, read 2,225,843 times
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The OP could move into Mason or South Lebanon.

Ok, so I'm joking.

Actually, if you didn't need walkability and if you preferred anonymity, those areas would be just OK. To fit in socially into the northern suburbs you need to be a breeder+squalling kids.
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:37 AM
 
Location: Covington, KY
1,879 posts, read 2,126,595 times
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Perhaps one of the greatest values of the internet in the future is going to be the ability of each person to find kindred souls on places like message boards.

I know for a fact that I am more in tune with a gentleman born in London and relocated to New Zealand as a child than I am with a man born in Pittsburgh, once a resident of Cincinnati, located two floor immediately below me in the apartment building i"m in for a couple of years (and now down the hall two floors above me).

I can argue with the former and still be friends. I can't say hello to the latter with it having any positive effect.
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:48 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
4,007 posts, read 4,835,758 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarpathianPeasant View Post
Perhaps one of the greatest values of the internet in the future is going to be the ability of each person to find kindred souls on places like message boards.
I agree, I feel like you and me have connected on a very profound level.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:42 AM
 
133 posts, read 154,377 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomJones123 View Post
Depends on where you live and how far out into conservative territory you go. Personally, I think CUF, Northside, Clifton, OTR, Mount Adams, and downtown should all fit the bill.

And please put Prospect Hill to the top of your list.
I'd like to echo this. I have some LGBT friends that I've made through work and from what they say the gay scene here isn't something to brag about but they don't feel discriminated against in the above areas. I've seen plenty of LGBT people in the downtown, Mt. Adams, and OTR areas I frequent. It's clearly where you'll find the more progressive groups of people. Cincinnati suffers from "hill syndrome" for sure so take that for what its worth- it's definitely a change for me as I was previously living in a very large city.

As far as race goes, I'm a black male and feel completely comfortable in the aforementioned areas.
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:49 AM
 
Location: The "Sharpest" Corner of Ohio...
363 posts, read 833,782 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serpens View Post
I'd like to echo this. I have some LGBT friends that I've made through work and from what they say the gay scene here isn't something to brag about but they don't feel discriminated against in the above areas. I've seen plenty of LGBT people in the downtown, Mt. Adams, and OTR areas I frequent. It's clearly where you'll find the more progressive groups of people. Cincinnati suffers from "hill syndrome" for sure so take that for what its worth- it's definitely a change for me as I was previously living in a very large city.

As far as race goes, I'm a black male and feel completely comfortable in the aforementioned areas.
Be yourself and don't worry about what idiots ANYWHERE think of you. Simple as that.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:34 PM
 
31 posts, read 63,958 times
Reputation: 10
All the input is appreciated. Had the opportunity to visit this past weekend and we found a place in East Walnut Hills. Looking forward to the transition at the end of the month. It was my first time seeing urban neighborhoods of Cincinnati and I must say I was impressed. Coming from a "newer" city, it was nice to see so much history in the architecture around those areas. Enjoyed driving down Ludlow through Clifton.
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