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Old 01-07-2013, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Lebanon
204 posts, read 275,262 times
Reputation: 391

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TomJones and Ohiogirl, thanks for the kind welcome. I just found this forum and am amazed at all the information it offers. I'm not sure how much I will post but I expect to keep reading here a lot.

Ohiogirl, I don't know how you enjoyed living in Lebanon or if you ever come back to see it (since it is your ex) but if you ever need a place to park for the carriage parade or blues fest let me know - we are on Cincinnati Avenue just two doors out from Glendower.

And I should have mentioned for the OP that we have a farmer's market on Thursdays right downtown, just a block from the Golden Lamb.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
31,232 posts, read 57,405,335 times
Reputation: 52099
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott SW Ohio View Post
Ohiogirl, I don't know how you enjoyed living in Lebanon or if you ever come back to see it (since it is your ex) but if you ever need a place to park for the carriage parade or blues fest let me know - we are on Cincinnati Avenue just two doors out from Glendower.
Cool location. Back when Lebanon hosted the Honey Festival, I'd come home on East Mulberry Street and find strange cars parked in my driveway.

I did enjoy living there, even though the social scene for 20-something, college-educated, single people who didn't know everyone in town was quite limited. As we all got jobs elsewhere in the region, our little clique of transplants moved out of town, but one of my friends from the bad old days still lives there, out off Miller Road in a former cornfield. I was in Lebanon just last summer.

After I moved, I missed being able to walk downtown on a Saturday afternoon when I had nothing else to do, or walking into the bar at the Golden Lamb and knowing 90 percent of the people in there. My sister used to say it reminded her of "Cheer" when Norm walked into the bar, LOL. The first time I voted for Cincinnati City Council, I looked at the list of names and thought: "I can't vote for any of these people! I've never had a beer with them ... "

There are some joys in living in a small town.

I pulled my old tinsel Christmas tree out of the box last month, and found it wrapped in a trash bag that read: Lebanon Keep It Clean. Does the city still give out free trash bags?
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Lebanon
204 posts, read 275,262 times
Reputation: 391
I never got free trash bags, so I guess they stopped doing that a while ago. We do go into the bar area of the Golden Lamb, which is called the Black Horse Tavern now (was it then?), for their great hamburgers.

I think of Lebanon as being two distinct communities; the historic downtown and closely attached suburbs, and the cornfielders beyond the sidewalks. If you lived on East Mulberry you're one of us old town types. Previously we lived on East Main, just a block over from you. East Mulberry has the liveliest trick-or-treating in town - huge crowds of little witches and goblins. What a great scene that is on Halloween! You should see the Orient Fire House now. The city sold it to a private owner who has painted it - appropriately - fire engine red. It looks great.
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:29 PM
 
Location: A voice of truth, shouted down by fools.
1,086 posts, read 2,225,467 times
Reputation: 894
Grudgingly I agree with Scott. Lebanon is the most decent nearby suburb/exurb of Cincinnati. It is close in enough to be driveable but doesn't suffer from a ton of sprawl and is probably one of the more authentic towns in its own right than most other Cincinnati burbs.

Brill's probably gonna chime in about Mason but to that I'd say that Mason sort of blends over from West Chester in one contiguous blob. Honestly and seriously, if you drive into Mason along Rt 42 it's one continuous stretch of suburb from Sharonville, West Chester and then Mason.

Lebanon *is* SW Ohio and Lebanon was "Romney Central" this last fall. Quite, quite over the top conservative here. You won't find hipster, bohemian or counterculture types around here at all unless you personally know some.
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:27 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,383,973 times
Reputation: 1920
Ohioan58...
I will agree Lebanon is one of the most distinctive recognizable towns close to Cincinnati with the exception of places like Lawrenceburg Indiana, maybe the OP should give that a look.

But I do not feel Lebanon has the walkable characteristics expressed by the OP. Certainly there is the old original downtown. But there is little there which caters to the needs of everyday living. It is an old historic town with a lot of quaint charcteristics which has not yet been totally run over by sprawl. But all of the new expansion on all sides has the same appearance as the sprawl in any other suburb, subdivisions, lookalike houses, etc. And the commercial is pretty well spread out and I would hate to be required to walk it on any regular basis, for example to get to a grocery store.

I would never attempt to sell Mason to someone asking for a compact downtown where they can get most daily needs in a walkable arrangement, as it does not have that. Nor do I believe Lebanon has that, it is too spread out. But Lebanon does retain more of a quaint and distinctive downtown appearance.

Frankly what the OP described is more of a utopia I feel currently exists in very few places.

Madeira comes closest to fitting the bill around here in that the walkable downtown has the grocery store, pharmac(ies), butcher shop, hardware store, dry cleaner, bank(s), and assorted other businesses which are part of daily living, all within close proximity walking distance. The only problem is do you want to live near downtown Madeira so you are close to everything? Madeira as a whole has some very nice housing, but you are not going to feel invigorated to walk into downtown very often. You might drive, park the car, walk arouind to the various establishments after you fill up the trunk at the grovery, but walk the whole round trip not likely.

The often expressed Mariemont is even more restrictive in terms of how many businesses actually exist there to satisfy everyday needs. If your desire is to be able to meander around in a parklike setting, Mariemont is great, but to do your everyday shopping not so much.

I can't express whether Cleveland or Columbus has these idyllic type of neighborhoods since I am not familiar. But I fankly doubt whether they exist there much anymore. Since the neighborhood grocer was overrun by the supermarket, they tend to put their larger stores on the outskirts, cheaper land, more parking, etc. The same goes for the pharmacies replaced by the large national chains. Go right down the line, mom and pop stores are not the current wave.

When I first moved to Madeira back in the 40s with my parents it was exactly what the OP was describing. We were five blocks from downtown, on the last street. The whole city had a similar grid, 5 blocks from the center and you were at the limits. The business district was not too much different than it is today, other than the fact where one pharmacy now exists was a combination building housing a small Kroger and the Camargo Theatre, our local movie joint. It was great growing up there. We had a 5&10 store, a local pharmacy with a soda fountain serving phosphates, and we all walked to school.

So I grew up in exactly the same environment many are pining for today. Remembering those days I definitely feel the tugs at the heart strings to bring them back. But frankly I just do not feel it is going to happen.
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:06 AM
 
Location: A voice of truth, shouted down by fools.
1,086 posts, read 2,225,467 times
Reputation: 894
I agree with that, too and thank you for deepening the critique. Lebanon's downtown IS walkable but the range of different types of things that you can walk to readily is very limited. A couple of banks, a realtor or two, a couple of ice cream shops, a few sandwich shops, a few bars. There isn't even a downtown general retail store in Lebanon. The pressure from the antiques businesses for retail space really hammered downtown Lebanon into conformity - tons of antique shops all selling the same overpriced dusty crap - and did so well before WalMart moved in. And most of the foot traffic is touristic. No class of professionals makes the downtown "theirs."

What you get from Lebanon is the facade, the movie set version of downtown small town USA. Not a fleshed out reality with depth. I just added what I said above in case for someone that version is good enough for them.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
31,232 posts, read 57,405,335 times
Reputation: 52099
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohioan58 View Post
I agree with that, too and thank you for deepening the critique. Lebanon's downtown IS walkable but the range of different types of things that you can walk to readily is very limited.
Not everything in Lebanon is downtown, just as in larger cities. Even though the commercial establishments are spread out, Lebanon is still small enough that many of those establishments can be reached on foot. No one's going to be hiking out to Kroger, no doubt, but there's plenty in between.

Being able to walk to Goodwill and the Golden Lamb's bar was good enough for me.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,383,973 times
Reputation: 1920
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Not everything in Lebanon is downtown, just as in larger cities. Even though the commercial establishments are spread out, Lebanon is still small enough that many of those establishments can be reached on foot. No one's going to be hiking out to Kroger, no doubt, but there's plenty in between.

Being able to walk to Goodwill and the Golden Lamb's bar was good enough for me.
But as you know everything changes. How long since you lived there? What is there between downtown and Kroger, a few gas-station mini-marts? Is this where you are going to grocery shop? I will simply state as the utopia walk to everything you need during the week Lebanon is simply not it. I am not knocking Lebanon, just stating it is by no way the utopia some would like to describe it to be.

I will go further than that. I will state just as large a percentage of Lebanon residents get into their car to drive to the supermarket for the weekly shopping as residents in Mason. So where is the major difference?
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati (Norwood)
3,386 posts, read 3,705,890 times
Reputation: 1758
^ Agree with you fully. After a short while, Lebanon and environs can become pretty tiresome (and small). It's a "nice town," but it ain't all that.
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:21 PM
 
Location: Lebanon
204 posts, read 275,262 times
Reputation: 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
But as you know everything changes. How long since you lived there? What is there between downtown and Kroger, a few gas-station mini-marts? Is this where you are going to grocery shop? I will simply state as the utopia walk to everything you need during the week Lebanon is simply not it. I am not knocking Lebanon, just stating it is by no way the utopia some would like to describe it to be.

I will go further than that. I will state just as large a percentage of Lebanon residents get into their car to drive to the supermarket for the weekly shopping as residents in Mason. So where is the major difference?
If I gave unbalanced "utopia" feedback for Lebanon, and that set anyone's teeth on edge, I certainly apologize.
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