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Old 09-09-2008, 09:35 PM
 
14 posts, read 30,496 times
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Well, I've always had a soft spot in my heard for underdog neighborhoods. In college, it was OTR. Now it's places like Westwood.

I'm just not sure if doing so is the *responsible* thing to do anymore. I mean, I have two boys, I don't necessarily want to worry about that apartment complex three blocks away.

I'd really like to find us a place where we're not in the suburbs, can live in an older house, make use of public transportation, be within walking distance of restaurants, shops, what have you. But I'm not so sure I'm up for dealing with car break-ins or that creepy apartment building three blocks away. Maybe if we were younger and w/o kids, it'd be different.

Maybe I should take a look at Pleasant Ridge or Kennedy Heights.
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Old 09-10-2008, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
31,193 posts, read 57,317,340 times
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What everyone -- except Hillside -- is telling you is that much of Westwood is perfectly safe. As far as car break-ins and creepy apartment buildings, there isn't anywhere in Cincinnati that isn't three blocks away from that sort of thing, even the sainted enclave of Hyde Park. That's just the way the city is. And I don't think the 'burbs are that much different.

What you want, from what I'm getting from your posts, is an urban neighborhood made that much safer because people take the trouble to get to know one another and watch out for one another. In that respect, I wouldn't have a problem moving my family into Westwood.
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Old 09-10-2008, 10:52 AM
 
1,071 posts, read 3,938,998 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jersey_too_expensive View Post
OK, you grew up here, I grew up there -- we each know our respective states better than the other -- but I've lived in both. ;-)

There is much to admire about Cincinnati. I wouldn't have moved here if there wasn't. I disagree with an outright rejection of any one of Cincinnati's regional neighborhoods. To paint with such a broad brush in a city where pockets of decency are defined street-by-street is a knee-jerk response.

"...migration means problems between races and cultures" -- is there another race beside the human race to which you are referring?

"...when problems arise, people need someone to blame" -- and what are those problems? Generally those problems aren't being caused by working, tax-paying, homeowners. They have worked hard to maintain their way of life. They take care of their property. They take care of their families.

Shall I be more concrete? Whenever you watch the news in Cincinnati, nearly every "victim" of a crime already has a mug shot to display on screen. I don't care what color your skin is, or where you're from -- if you live your life in an honorable manor, if you work for a living, if you pay taxes, maintain your property (owner or tenant), take care of your children/spouse/parents, then what kind of tension would there be? None. And your face wouldn't be on file.

Racial profiling = a bunch of cr*p. You know what I see when I turn on the news? Brothers killing brothers. People stealing copper. Lots of decent people trying to figure out what to do about it. And the constant perpetuation of the poverty cycle: destroying people's lives with non-stop government assistance. Housing, food, child-care. More kids you have, more checks you get. One generation after another. And unlike previous generations, these folks aren't shamed by their condition; rather, they often posses a warped sense of entitlement.

This is off-topic, but giving people stuff rather than helping them earn it for themselves has proven to be a failed policy. It diminishes people's self-worth. Human beings need tasks, we need something to do, goals to accomplish. Cincinnati needs to wake up and stop embracing this cycle of poverty if it ever hopes to become a grand city once again.
cincinnati is the premier national example of racial profiling. this city has a long history of racial and ethnic tension. look it up.

the family values argument? lol....
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Old 09-10-2008, 10:58 AM
 
1,071 posts, read 3,938,998 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
What everyone -- except Hillside -- is telling you is that much of Westwood is perfectly safe. As far as car break-ins and creepy apartment buildings, there isn't anywhere in Cincinnati that isn't three blocks away from that sort of thing, even the sainted enclave of Hyde Park. That's just the way the city is. And I don't think the 'burbs are that much different.

What you want, from what I'm getting from your posts, is an urban neighborhood made that much safer because people take the trouble to get to know one another and watch out for one another. In that respect, I wouldn't have a problem moving my family into Westwood.
first you say it's perfectly safe, then you say nowhere in cincinnati is exempt from heavy property crime and drug dealing? what exactly are you saying? westwood isn't the most dangerous neighborhood, but completely safe it is not. with the "pushing around" of the downtown drug trade, westwood will continue to be a popular destination.
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Old 09-10-2008, 06:46 PM
 
14 posts, read 30,496 times
Reputation: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillside View Post
with the "pushing around" of the downtown drug trade, westwood will continue to be a popular destination.
Yeah. That's my biggest concern; with the "amazing progress" we're seeing in OTR, the trouble is going to move to a place like Westwood.
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Old 09-11-2008, 02:20 AM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,730 posts, read 10,936,243 times
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That's largely already occurred, but again, most of the problems are in so-called East Westwood and are being addressed. Neighborhoods are funny things, they have to be looked at on a street-by-street basis. I've lived on the same block in a "mixed" urban community for sixteen years, less than a half-mile from a "project" and even closer to a playground where nighttime shootings happen and a notorious intersection where curbside drug dealing has gone on for decades. Yet my street and the surrounding ones could easily be in Mayberry RFD: zero crime aside from the incidental GPS theft from a parked car or potted plant grabbed off a porch. It all points back to what I've said about neighbors making a neighborhood. 'most everybody around my way is acquainted at least by face and name; I and some others on the street host get-togethers that include folks living nearby; people are out and about at all hours making 7-Eleven runs, exercising their dog(s), etc. If a Saturday/Sunday test brings positive results, that's what matters most.

It was well said that every city has disparate aspects that often occur in adjoining areas. To name but one example: on one side of Galbraith Rd, east of Woodbine Ave and west of Anthony Wayne Ave, Hartwell is made up of a collection of hard-luck streets which took a big physical hit from the 1969 tornado and then an economic punch from plant closures later in the century. For every house which has been rebuilt or restored, there's another that has deteriorated or stands abandoned (and in some cases burned.) Land cleared by the twister, especially along Wayne, had cheesy apartment buildings constructed on it which were obsolete almost as soon as the first tenants arrived. This corner of Hartwell has been undergoing "saturation patrols" in an attempt to drive out and discourage street crime and drug dealing. Yet, all one has to do is look south from Galbraith to see a totally different picture. The streets arcing from "Parkway Circle" all but dictate that you drive slowly or get out and walk. Mature trees keep the air cool(er) and clean(er.) Bird songs are about as noisy as it gets, except when a train's rolling past. Large turn-of-twentieth-century Victorian houses are being renovated one by one. Kids languidly bicycle around, or lounge on church steps to chat. Neighbors pass the time on the sidewalk or in each other's yards. It's an inviting enclave made no less so by the fact that there's now "integration" where none existed in times not long gone.

The only Cincinnati areas I'd categorically recommend steering clear of are Mt Airy and Walnut Hills (west of Victory Parkway.) The latter area never effectively recovered from the urban unrest of the late '60s and continues to lose businesses and residents. Mt Airy is a sorry example of what can happen when a community is unprepared for new demographics. There's no neighborhood council there, as opposed to Westwood and Roselawn and in other parts of town that are fighting the good fight. Realtors are doing a brisk business as its once-fashionable apartment complexes, i.e. Hawaiian Terrace, become Section 8 slums and street crime along Colerain Ave skyrockets. Much as is the case in Westwood, the single-family homes stay in good repair with neat yards, but in Mt Airy "White flight" is in full swing. Also, Winton Place ("rebranded" as Spring Grove Village) should be low on your list if there at all. The renaming of that community was done as a transparent effort to disassociate it from the huge and troubled Winton Terrace "development" on its north side. I like its cozy houses and convenience to shopping and such, but the streets are getting shady in more ways than one. The "blame game," if it can be called that, is on not only the projects but also the gentrification of Northside. Everybody has to live (and, for a few, perpetrate evil) somewhere. When a block-watch group was organized to reduce muggings, one of its own members was jumped a couple of weeks ago. It's a nice-looking place, but not so desirable now.

If Westwood is sounding less appealing to the TO in light of some of the posts here, the logical alternatives for neighborhood "niceness" and "diversity" are Paddock Hills, Pleasant Ridge, Kennedy Heights, and northern Avondale (North Avondale if you insist.) Each have active community groups and great housing stock, nowhere more so of course than in Avondale along streets like Lenox Place and Betula Ave with their expansive mansions. Not only are there palatial 15-room houses thereabouts, there are also plenty of smaller 2-to-4-bedroom homes in various architectural styles to be found. Along Spring House Lane off Clinton Springs Ave, near the neighborhood swim club (yes!) there's even a "Dreesville" - some houses in the style of that builder which were constructed about ten years ago. The dwellings in adjoining Paddock Hills are less eclectic in appearance - Tudor or Colonial, for the most part, on all the side streets while much of Paddock Rd is taken up by "brick box" apartment buildings. But it's an awesome "family" neighborhood with its own newsletter and regular planned activities. Duffers and pros alike also love having the Avon Fields public golf course close at hand. The main, and major, downside to Paddock Hills is the dying if not dead commercial strip along Reading Rd at the top of the hill. An entire city block once occupied by a deli, pharmacy, and natural-foods market among other businesses is now a conspicuous and raggedy vacant lot. Most of the remaining storefronts are up for rent. It's a jarring contrast to the pleasant and peaceful streets that fan out in all directions from there. But although this community isn't immune to crime, Paddock Hills is by far the sector of Police District 4 which has the least trouble. White yuppies in the latest running "gear" and wearing iPods jog by slouch/walking baggy-clothed AA teenagers without a dodge or cringe on anyone's part. The rotting core of Avondale (south of Dana Ave) and sometimes-sketchy Bond Hill (north of Tennessee Ave) seem worlds away as well as worlds apart.

Pleasant Ridge and its companion Kennedy Heights are more uniformly middle-class in feel. They're also, along with Hyde Park and Mt Lookout in particular, historically two of Cincy's more WASPy communities. (Westwood and other west-side areas were, and largely still are, heavily Catholic. Avondale and Paddock Hills were the center of Jewish life in the city for most of the 20th Century, but the White population is more ecumenical today - perhaps with some influence from Xavier University's being in the vicinity, as well as a Quaker meetinghouse.) The most upscale part of Kennedy Hts is east/south of Montgomery Rd along Kennedy Ave and Red Bank Rd. Streets like Davenant and Aikenside contain large "suburban" houses that could just as easily be in Madeira or Wyoming. Some of the yards have more money put into them than Goyguy grosses in a month's salary, lol. For solid wood or brick bungalows, or Capes, a bumper crop exists in both locales on the north/west side of Montgomery along with larger residences. Although P-Ridge houses considerably more Caucasians (~60-65% of the total head count) than does Kennedy Hts (20-25% White, if that), both places are models of stability and lack of tensions.

Check out Westwood Concern in person at one of their meetings, and Google other neighborhoods of interest for their civic groups, in addition to Saturday/Sunday testing. The rewards of city living far outweigh the drawbacks IMHO.
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