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Old 03-13-2008, 09:18 PM
51 posts, read 133,099 times
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I'm likely moving to Cincinnati in 2009 with my wife and four kids (elementary school age). I'll be working downtown and we will only be there for two years. We have lived in Asia for the past six years (we are Americans).

Since it's likely we'll only be there for two years we will probably be looking to rent a house. I suppose the most important thing is good schools (elementary) and a place where we could rent a big enough house, budget not too much of a concern....but always looking to save money.

Being close to parks/libraries etc, would be great, don't want my wife to be isolated in far suburbia. Cincy or N. Ky is fine but access to nice grocery stores, restaurants would be a plus. In the U.S. we have lived in San Francisco and Washington, DC.....

thanks for any suggestions
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:33 PM
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your best choice, hands down, is mariemont
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:08 PM
Location: Cambridge, MA
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My vote would be for Wyoming, the northern inner-ring suburb where I grew up. Nationally top-ranked public schools (#1 in Ohio), safe neighborhoods, less than 30 minutes' drive from downtown ("Metro" express buses too.) Two apparent secrets about the town are that there's a good supply of housing affordable to working- and middle-class families, though finding a rental could take some doing, and that its ethnic composition is more diverse than its reputation for being WASPy/preppy in "tone" would indicate. (Roughly 15% African-American and 5% Asian/Hispanic/"other," with as much as a third of the "White" population identifying as Jewish.)

Finneytown, Wyoming's neighbor to the west, is more uniformly middle-class. The schools are decent, and have historically boasted one of the pioneering and stronger soccer programs in the Midwest. Some people I grew up with chose to settle there since Wyoming's "snobbery" can rub folks the wrong way.

Mariemont is well worth a look, to be sure, as would be Terrace Park, but rentals in either community might be hard to come by. Anderson Township, on the same (east) side of Greater Cincinnati, should be included as well. Within the city limits, good neighborhoods to investigate would be Mt Washington, Clifton, Pleasant Ridge, College Hill, Kennedy Heights, Mt Airy, Westwood, Roselawn, Hyde Park, North Avondale/Paddock Hills, Oakley, Mt Lookout, and Hartwell. The public schools are a decidedly "mixed bag," with many magnet programs of varying quality in place which could mean a long bus trip for the kids. Urban dwellers who've gone the public-school route think highly of the Montessori curriculum at North Avondale Elementary and in some other schools; there's even K-12 Montessori now.

If the Asian country you've lived in happens to be Japan, that'd give us even more to discuss via private messaging since I spent three years there myself. Best o' luck!
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Old 03-14-2008, 12:07 AM
51 posts, read 133,099 times
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Thanks very much for the feedback, the Asian countries have been Thailand and China (Shanghai). You raise a good point about diversity, our kids have never lived in the U.S. and are used to being the "outsider", so diversity is a big plus. Other folks have suggested Kenwood, Glendale, Sharonville and Springdale, any thoughts?

Thanks, I'll add Mariemont ( I see a house is listed for rent there right now on Craigs list) and Wyoming to the list.
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:59 AM
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I'd suggest somewhere in the Princeton School District (Glendale, Sharonville, Springdale, Evendale), a cheaper alternative with good schools and the best diversity in the Greater Cincinnati area.
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:11 AM
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Glendale is good, as is Wyoming. They were both little towns before the metro grew around them, so they aren't just bland strip mall suburbs, same with Mariemont
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Old 03-14-2008, 11:23 AM
Location: Pendleton County, KY
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Lots of good options on the Kentucky side, too. Ft. Thomas and Ft. Mitchell have highly rated public school systems, and you’ll be within 10-15 minutes of downtown. Private schools include Covington Catholic/Notre Dame Academy, Covington Catholic, Newport Catholic, and a bunch of other parochial schools across Northern Kentucky. Other nice areas not far from downtown that might have rental homes include Park Hills, Lakeside Park, Ft. Wright, Crestview Hills, and Edgewood. You’ll find great restaurants all over Covington’s Main Strasse area, the Newport riverfront, and, of course, downtown Cincinnati.
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Old 03-15-2008, 08:37 PM
Location: Cambridge, MA
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Here are some "snapshots" of communities mentioned already, and more:

Madeira: Decidedly upper-middle-class, adjacent to Indian Hill, which is Cincinnati's wealthiest suburb. Very good schools, but the same reputation Wyoming has among many for snobbishness. Few non-WASP residents. Convenient to the mall sprawl of Kenwood.

Princeton School District: Serves a half-dozen communities that span the socioeconomic spectrum and does a remarkable job of providing a better-than-average educational experience. Glendale, Cincy's old-money suburb (where Procter and Gamble's founders, among others, settled after they struck it rich) has a small and established AA population to go with all the well-heeled WASP's. It's one of those places that has streets lined with mansions "to die for" and an almost-too-cute shopping district. The eastern and northeastern areas are most affordable. Sharonville, to the east of Glendale, is distinctly more middle-class and more predominantly White. The Hamilton County Park District's sprawling Sharon Woods park is there. Evendale is historically blue-collar but has upscaled considerably with some McMansion developments. If the Wal-Mart at Tri-County is too far away, they have one of their own. Its populace is also monochromatic for the most part. The other "dale," Springdale, in the Princeton district consists of a few aging 1940's to '70s subdivisions clustered around the humongous Tri-County shopping area: two-level megamall with car dealers, gardening centers, strip malls, big box stores, franchise restaurants, etc fanned out in most directions. It's the most "integrated" of the school district's towns, with its principal liabilities being traffic snarls and stagnant property values. But wait, you say, only four communities have been described, and there are six that use Princeton schools. Well...the other two are Woodlawn and Lincoln Heights, which are mainly (though not exclusively) poor to lower-middle-class enclaves. Woodlawn is 5-15% White, and Lincoln Heights was deliberately constructed in the early 20th Century to be a "Jim Crow" suburb - Black-only.

Anderson Township: East-side suburb bordering the Cincinnati neighborhoods of California and Mt Washington. Post-WWII subdivisions rule the housing market. Plenty o' shopping. Congestion on Beechmont, the main drag, but decent traffic flow on 275. Good-quality schools, predominantly WASP and Catholic residents.

Fairfield: Home of the amazing Jungle Jim's, a megasupermarket with a phenomenal stock of foods from all over the world. There are aisles of Asian foods in that place. Fairfield itself has a less "worldly" citizenry, though, some diversity but not a lot. Its neighborhoods mostly range in age from sixty years old to almost new. 275 crosses its southern perimeter, with the main north-south highways (routes 4 and 127) connecting it to Hamilton and Cincinnati.

Deer Park and Reading: Adjoining inner-ring suburbs with separate, good-but-not-great, public school systems. Older town centers, and residential areas mainly built during the mid-20th Century. (Scads of roomy brick ranch houses, with some Capes thrown into the mix.) Historically German-American, with one wave of change courtesy of job-seeking rural Midwesterners and Appalachians and another more recent one brought by a small influx of Hispanic and AA households.

Sycamore School District: One of the highest ranked in the state, right behind Wyoming and Indian Hill. Serves the cities of Montgomery and Blue Ash, both of which are middle- to upper-middle-class towns that evolved similarly to Reading and Deer Park but a few steps up the economic ladder. A fair number of relocated Asian professionals hang their hats in these communities (as well as in Fairfield, Mason, and West Chester.) What AA population there is, is mainly concentrated in a historically segregated sector of Blue Ash. This school district is now sought after in particular by Cincinnati's Jewish community in the wake of their having largely forsaken the last in-city bastion, Roselawn, and its adjacent village of Golf Manor. Bilker's delicatessen (recently closed), Weil Funeral Home, and the Jewish Community Center itself are among the transplants to what's referred to - accurately if snidely - as "Jew Ash." Montgomery and Blue Ash both offer myriad shopping and dining opportunities and would, I think, be a "good fit" for your tribe.

Winton Woods School District: Made up of the communities of Greenhills and Forest Park, which actually do partially live up to their names in that the vast Winton Woods county park separates them. A separate thread (also rambled in by Yours Truly) goes into these towns and schools more in depth.

Had enough?
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Old 03-18-2008, 03:22 PM
Location: Cleveland Suburbs
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I really enjoy Mariemont, not far from downtown Cincinnati either. Great schools too!
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Old 07-14-2008, 09:01 PM
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Default I vote for Terrace Park, then Mariemont

Lots of P&G families rent in Terrace Park. You need to talk with the relators, because you won't see for rent signs. Especially with the housing market as is, most of the families work with the relators who work it out with the homeowners. We had one family just leave back to Germany, one just in from Italy, and one just came from Latin America. Great schools, lovely people, great neighborhood. Every corporate family that I have known in the last three years, esp from overseas, cried when they had to leave.
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