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Old 01-30-2009, 04:09 PM
 
2 posts, read 9,051 times
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Hello Cincinnati!

I've seen, while browsing that a number of you are familiar with the St. Bernard/North Avondale area. As my wife, dog, baby to be, and I have been looking with some interest at a house in the 500 block of E Mitchell (St. Bernard side, directly North of what was and may still be North Avondale Montissori) I thought I would pose the following questions.

1. How is this portion of the street? I hear things get rough approaching/past Vine st. We've driven by and things look ok to me (I'm originally from downtown Seattle though, so I'm not exactly in touch)

2. My Aunt who lived in N. Avondale claims that Mitchell has a drug problem. Is this true? If so, for which parts of the street? Also, what drugs?

3. My wife is interesting in... baby walking... strollering... pushing the baby around in the stroller. She's petite. Should she feel comfortable doing this?

4. Avon Woods is nearby. Can we walk there? Can I bring my dog?


Thanks in advance for anything you have to share. I'm posting this from work, so I'm sure I'll be back with more questions once my wife has had a chance to chime in.
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Old 01-30-2009, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,730 posts, read 10,931,493 times
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You probably noticed that the street looks better the farther east you go. IMHO none of it is really "bad," but the part between Vine St and the Roger Bacon football field has gotten pretty shabby. I'd be wary of all those tired-looking brick apartment houses with the busted porch railings if I were you. Make no mistake, poverty doesn't equal crime but it provides fertile spawning ground. Any "drug problem" around there would be concentrated in that first couple of blocks. But it's not like dealing runs rampant - anything that goes on would be conducted indoors and at a low level. Avondale has a major problem with homicides, robberies, and other badness which is mainly centered around Reading Rd rather than along Vine or Mitchell. The entire neighborhood's reputation is dragged down by this. The North Avondale area extending from Clinton Springs Ave (south of Mitchell) into Paddock Hills is paradoxically one of the safest parts of the city. And St Bernard could just as easily be a small town in the middle of corn fields for all the problems it doesn't have. All the same, due caution should be exercised at any time when strolling outdoors, especially after dark.
Mitchell Ave as a whole is a street that could "go either way." The Queen City Centre (sic) strip mall just west of I-75, the franchises of Holiday Inn Express and White Castle and KFC and Walgreen's, and the ongoing presence of Roger Bacon High School are all good signs that the worst is over and better days lie ahead. "The worst" took place between the 1950's and '80s, with all the White flight and subsequent decay that occurred. And, almost miraculously, little of this happened in the 400 block and beyond. There have even been some brand-new houses constructed right around the section you're speaking of, and no one would invest in an area with no hope.
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Old 01-31-2009, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Hartwell--IN THE City of Cincinnati
1,055 posts, read 3,561,254 times
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I know the house, its been on the market for awhile. Beautiful wood work and origional fireplace tiles? I think it is because of the location that it is not selling. As much as I love to fight for this City, we all agree that there are a few bad spots in every neighborhood. This, in my opinion, is one of those locations.
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Old 01-31-2009, 07:51 AM
 
2 posts, read 9,051 times
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GOYGUY: Thank you for the Info! This is very much the feeling I was getting. It looked like the worse part was focused to the west. Its also good to know that any 'drug problem' is kept safely indoors.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartwell Girl View Post
I know the house, its been on the market for awhile. Beautiful wood work and origional fireplace tiles? I think it is because of the location that it is not selling. As much as I love to fight for this City, we all agree that there are a few bad spots in every neighborhood. This, in my opinion, is one of those locations.
Hartwell Girl: yes! thats the house! I'm sure that the location is a factor. BUT I must ask, what makes you say this is a bad spot? (have you been to this particular stretch?) Do you mean its proximity to reading/vine or what exactly?
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Old 01-31-2009, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,730 posts, read 10,931,493 times
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I'm a city kid through and through, and proud of it, but don't shy away from realities all the same. The quality of life along East Mitchell steadily improves the higher the house numbers go. I feel more positively about that neck of the woods than I do about certain other "transitioning" places i.e. Mt Airy, eastern Westwood, and Carthage.
One of these days I'll "pin" this topic to the board, LOL, but in the meantime..."Take the Saturday night/Sunday afternoon test as part of seeing whether you want to go forward with purchasing a home. Drive or walk through the vicinity between 10 PM and midnight on a Saturday, and again during mid-afternoon on a Sunday, when it's nice outside. Are the streets deserted, crowded with people, or somewhere in between? What are those people doing - slouching against parked cars, walking dogs, having neighborly chats? On Saturday night, does loud conversation and music emanate from most of the houses or does it look like everyone's gone to bed? On Sunday, are folks working in the yard or on their cars or is there not a soul around? Going in with an open mind, what's your overall feeling as you scout the territory - tranquil, foreboding, or not easy to determine? How do people you encounter react to strangers in their midst? Taking this test and 'seeing for yourself' is far better than relying on the opinions and biases of individuals you've never met."
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Old 01-31-2009, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Hartwell--IN THE City of Cincinnati
1,055 posts, read 3,561,254 times
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One good place to start is talk to the St. Bernard police to see what they say.
I personally never really feel unsafe in the City no matter where I am. That house is really amazing but I just had some gut feeling about it for my younger sister in law and their new baby on the way. St. Bernard has some great people living in the area and they are very proud of their neighborhood and the family feel. That part of Mitchell has see some improvements, St. B wants it cleaned up...the City of CIncinnati seems to have other priorities than taking care of their neighborhoods. The positive thing is that the North Avondale community is a strong united group who continues to fight for the forward progress of the neighborhood. You can talk to Cincinnati police district 4 to find out about crime in that area. You may know this but one side of the street is City of St. Bernard and the other is City of CIncinnati.
Best of luck to you, that house is wonderful!
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Old 01-31-2009, 01:59 PM
StB
 
8 posts, read 31,321 times
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I live in St. Bernard, and I know exactly what house you are talking about, also. I would definitely recommend it. My sister lives in a subdivision off of Mitchell a little farther up (Redwood Terrace is the street), so we walk by that house all the time to get to her house, and I never feel unsafe. And yes, you can walk to Avon Woods from there. There is a little entrance that we use to get to Avon Woods up in North Avondale where all the big houses are. If you have any more questions let me know.
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:14 PM
 
13,710 posts, read 22,826,319 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goyguy View Post
. Drive or walk through the vicinity between 10 PM and midnight on a Saturday, and again during mid-afternoon on a Sunday, when it's nice outside. Are the streets deserted, crowded with people, or somewhere in between? What are those people doing - slouching against parked cars, walking dogs, having neighborly chats? On Saturday night, does loud conversation and music emanate from most of the houses or does it look like everyone's gone to bed? On Sunday, are folks working in the yard or on their cars or is there not a soul around? Going in with an open mind, what's your overall feeling as you scout the territory - tranquil, foreboding, or not easy to determine? How do people you encounter react to strangers in their midst? Taking this test and 'seeing for yourself' is far better than relying on the opinions and biases of individuals you've never met."

I think that you have posted this about fifty times. It is also about the best advice that you'll find on buying in ANY midwestern city.

Unfortunately, you have to wait until the warmer months to try it out.
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Old 02-01-2009, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Hartwell--IN THE City of Cincinnati
1,055 posts, read 3,561,254 times
Reputation: 904
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
I think that you have posted this about fifty times. It is also about the best advice that you'll find on buying in ANY midwestern city.

Unfortunately, you have to wait until the warmer months to try it out.
I'm sorry but I disagree. He may post this a few times but it is great advice. And you can drive by right now to see how the streets are treated with the snow, if neighbors are out helping eachother and pretty much the rest of the items he listed. This isnt only a summer thing, and to have someone know what kind of things to expect around a home they are interested in. We did this 4 times before we bought our house and even chatted with a few neighbors about the house and neighborhood. You cant do enough homework about quite possibily one of your biggest investments ever.
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Old 02-01-2009, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,730 posts, read 10,931,493 times
Reputation: 6449
No offense taken, I repeat myself with that a lot! My rationale is that the T.O. on each of the posts I put it in is different. But it's cool to have a "following" that notices, LOL.

I dispense that same advice to people in the Boston forum, 'cause it can be used anywhere in the world. It helped me out during the multiple relo's I went through before getting settled as a homeowner. But it's of course not foolproof. I was lucky enough to find a place that was a mere block from the last apartment I rented. So I had everything about the neighborhood down pat and knew I wanted to stay. YET...one of the people I encountered while I was visiting the place before buying was full of negatives. It's quiet like outer suburbia around here, despite two main drags through the city being close at hand along with lots of commercial activity a hop skip and jump away. And you can walk the streets at any hour. But she was totally negative on anyone buying, saying she and her husband had made a terrible mistake and rattling on and on about all the noise and gang violence. She turned out to be nuts!!! It was all in her head.

St Bernard was once known as a "sundown town" and probably still carries that reputation: "If you're not White, be out of the area by nightfall." I'd like to think that racial tolerance has improved at least some. Reading, and Norwood (or so I'm told) were two other sundown towns where it's no longer unusual to see a face "of color" on the street. Sundown towns coupled with "steering" by realtors are what drew a line down streets like East Mitchell, where the first blocks appear to have only Black residents on the south side and exclusively Whites on the north. The North Avondale Neighborhood Association was founded in the '60s to push back against those forces, and deserves the lion's share of the praise for the area's remaining "good." Remember the "Yes We Can" slogan of the Obama campaign? They used it first.

Now that StB has chimed in, maybe s/he can get together with the T.O. and his family! There's nothing quite like already having acquaintances someplace when you relocate there. It's what sold me on Boston when I had the $$$ saved up to bail out of Cincinnati.
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