New Job in Blue Ash - Need Moving Advice (Cincinnati: apartment complexes, rental)
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Hi everyone, I'm taking a job in Blue Ash that starts in July and will last 1-2 years, depending on if I want to change locations, so I'm trying to figure out where to live. I'm coming from New York City where I've lived all my life and have very little knowledge about the Cincinnati area.
I'll be 23 by the time my job starts, so I don't want to be in a family area. Preferably, I want to be in as fun/busy/"trendy" an area as possible, where I could walk out of my apartment and into lots of stuff to do, but I also want to balance that with a reasonable, relatively easy commute. The job pays pretty well for entry level, and since I come from New York, everything is going to seem inexpensive, do I don't mind spending a little more to get something nicer.
I'd really appreciate any input anyone has to offer. Again, I know nothing about Blue Ash or Cincinnati, so please don't be afraid to be as detailed as possible about the areas, or even specific housings.
Also, I would appreciate any suggestions on more resources to find out more about the areas, or even recommended brokers.
To summarize: I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to Cincinnati, PLEASE HELP!
Get yourself a great little place near Hyde Park Square or Mt. Lookout and you will meet tons of other young professionals and live in a fun walkable neighborhood. Then all you have to do it hop on I-71 North for about 15 minutes to be at work.
Another area to consider would be Oakley, which is just north of Hyde Park.
Closer to downtown, but still a reasonably easy commute up I-71, would be either Mt. Adams or Prospect Hill. Both are chock full of younger people; Mt. Adams has an especially active night life. Both also are within walking distance of downtown -- Mt. Adams is connected to downtown via several pedestrian bridges. Both are a little more expensive than Hyde Park, Mt. Lookout, or Oakley.
Let us know if you've got any more questions. Good luck!
Mainstrasse Village in Covington is also trendy, youthful and has a nightlife. It's basically the same commute to downtown or Blue Ash as Mt Adams. I've live at both locations while working in Kenwood.
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Clifton and Northside are also hip, happening areas that are close to I-75. (Realize, though, that "hip" and "happening" should be taken with a grain of salt. Those adjectives apply relative to Cincinnati in general. Remember that all the jokes about Cincy being behind everywhere else are true!) Clifton is the home of UC, so there are students galore. They're concentrated mainly west and south of the campus. The "gaslight" area north of Ludlow Ave is where you'd want to dwell - still close to the "ethnic" restaurants, cool bars and shops, a Graeter's ice cream parlor (you haven't lived until...) and the Esquire movie theater. Northside is a more cutting-edge neighborhood, housing what may be the city's largest number of Lesbian/gay residents (again, relatively speaking) and boasting some of the trendiest bars and dining-out places. You'd be more likely to find a nice, small older house for a rental there, while in Clifton it's Apartment City (everything from duplexes to "brick boxes" to rambling 100-plus-year-old apartment buildings or 3-to-5-unit houses.) Both areas offer excellent back-to-nature opportunities: Cincinnati's "garden cemetery," Spring Grove, forms one boundary of Northside while Burnet Woods and Mt Storm Park grace Clifton. And, from Clifton you're a short downhill hop to the zoo. The other city neighborhoods already mentioned are also all worthy of a look-see.
Wherever you live within the city limits, if that's where you choose to be, you'd be "reverse commuting." It's always fun to cruise along and laugh at everybody sitting and stewing in the opposite lanes. But if you'd prefer a "suburban but not dead" area, I recommend Fairfield, Montgomery, or Blue Ash itself. Excepting "Olde Montgomery" in the center of that city, though, those are not especially walkable locales. What each of them do offer is a lot of shopping and dining opportunities, not all of them in national-chain establishments by any means. (One example: Jungle Jim's in Fairfield, a humongous grocery store that, with its aisles and aisles of "international" foods, could no way could be confused with Costco.) There are also scads of apartment complexes that are well-kept and hold a lot of twenty- and thirty-something people who work at the big Procter & Gamble research facility and all the other myriad companies that are located thereabouts.
There's one last thing to add about Montgomery and Blue Ash, though it may hold zero relevance. A great deal of Greater Cincinnati's Jewish population, probably a half to two-thirds of the total, resides there. Its gradual, and sometimes not so gradual, dispersal from the Reading Rd corridor in the city is largely complete now; longtime fixtures of the community such as the Weil Funeral Home and the JCC are situated in Blue Ash and that town is sometimes snidely termed "Jew Ash." Most of the synagogues in town are in neighboring, affluent, and totally "family" Amberley Village. Whether you happen to be Jewish or not, I think any New Yorker is used to that presence and influence, and Blue Ash and Montgomery would be where you'll find it.
Thanks to everyone for their responses, with special thanks to goyguy for going into an excellent level of detail. I now have a great starting point that I can work off of.
If I combine the suggestions from everyones posts, I'm left with these options:
Hyde Park Square
Mainstrasse Village - Covington
Clifton - "gaslight" area north of ludlow Ave
as well as fairfield, montgomery, and blue ash for more residential areas, which I don't think is what I'm looking for.
So that leaves 8 different locations. Goyguy did a great job describing the ones he talked about. But could anyone possibly give me some more detail on the others? I hate to sound like a high school teacher, but I would love some compare/contrast analysis. Also, as goyguy pointed out, different neighborhoods have different make ups. I'm pretty tolerant and a large population of any race/religion/orientation would not bother me in the slightest. That being said, I would like to avoid feeling out of place or unsafe, but I can't imagine Cincinnati has a lot of problems like that, please correct me if I'm wrong.
Again, I'm looking for areas where I wouldn't have to use a car, or at least limited use, on the weekends to do some shopping and have some fun at night. Also, I don't really have an understanding of the scale of some of these areas. are we talking about the equivalent of a few blocks? streets? bigger than that?
Thanks so much for your replies, and to any future replies, this thread will definitely make my transition much easier.
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