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Old 11-02-2015, 05:58 AM
 
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Would I like Louisville if I dislike Cincinnati? I see them compared sometimes and I'm not sure how as they don't sound all that much alike.
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Old 11-02-2015, 06:24 AM
 
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I was born in Louisville and lived in Cincinnati for three years when I was first starting my profession. They are very different places in many ways, yet similar in others.

Cincinnati is a much more "German" city, and has a lot more heavy industry. It is distinctly Northern in its ambiance. It is also much larger. It is hillier than Louisville, and the older neighborhoods near downtown have more row houses and free-standing houses seem much closer together in many areas.

The German heritage can still be detected in the folkways, distinct accents and speech patterns of many older Cincinnatians with 19th century German-Cincy roots.

Many old Cincinnatians leave their outdoor Christmas decorations up until February...not sure what happens indoors!

Louisville is more Southern/Midwestern, and while it also experienced a great many Germans settling there back in the 1840s (as is true of most of the Ohio River towns of this era), their influence was not as strong as it was in Cincinnati. Louisville feels friendlier and more laid-back to me. It has some heavy industry, but not as much as Cincinnati. It was originally settled by people of English and Scots-Irish backgrounds - Germans were latecomers, and their cultural influence was less than in Cincinnati.

Louisville's older architecture is very different than that found in Cincinnati. While it also has row houses, they are not as severe in style as those in Cincinnati, and street trees in many older areas also soften their impact. Louisville also is blessed with several beautiful Victorian residential "courts": St. James Court and the adjoining Belvedere are the best known.

Both cities are blessed with good museums and parks, and with interesting riverfronts. Cincinnati is a bit more cosmopolitan; Louisville more easy-going. Louisville looks a lot cleaner and well-maintained than Cincinnati, which has a lot of rust belt going on in some areas.

I personally prefer Louisville. Other opinions will vary, no doubt.
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Old 11-02-2015, 07:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
Cincinnati is a bit more cosmopolitan; Louisville more easy-going. Louisville looks a lot cleaner and well-maintained than Cincinnati, which has a lot of rust belt going on in some areas.
Thanks. I was a bit worried that the southern influence would be basically the same between the cities. I think it's the divide between the types of people in Cincinnati is what puts me off.
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Old 11-02-2015, 09:34 AM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
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I was born in Northern KY to parents from Eastern and Southern KY, left before I was school age. I have also lived in greater Russell Springs KY area, Lexington, and Louisville since 2002. There are some similarities but they are also quite different. Cincinnati is an urban Northern city with a good number of Southern transplants. Louisville has some similarities but is way more Southern in culture, especially outside the East End. The Indiana side of Louisville is more Southern in culture than Northern KY is. Louisville feels Midwestern compared to Nashville but it also feels Southern compared to Cincinnati or Indy.

My family that moved to Cincinnati for work from rural KY felt like they were second class citizens due to the large amount of anti Southern sentiment there. Most moved back home after a decade.
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Old 11-02-2015, 10:45 AM
 
Location: IL/IN/FL/CA/KY/FL
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I dislike Cincy also and love Louisville, but Cincy does have some redeeming qualities. To me though, other than the zoo, most of those qualities are actually in Northern KY.
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Old 11-02-2015, 12:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by censusdata View Post
My family that moved to Cincinnati for work from rural KY felt like they were second class citizens due to the large amount of anti Southern sentiment there. Most moved back home after a decade.
What made them feel this way? Not trying to troll, genuinely curious.

I agree with what others have said. Cincinnati feels far more cosmopolitan but in that loses some of the funkiness Louisville has. Both cities have big German/Irish Catholic heritages and both have a similar culture of friendliness and cliquishness. One thing that struck me as different in Cincinnati is that borders of neighborhoods are very well defined, where as in Louisville globs of neighborhoods tend to get bunched into terms like Highlands and West End. Another is that Louisville's parks tend to be larger and emphasize nature more, while Cincinnati's are more high end, urban parks.

And as others have mentioned, Louisville is more of a giant "streetcar suburb" while Cincinnati feels far more urban. While that leads to a far greater walkability within neighborhoods it also eliminates a lot of the green you'll find in Old Louisville or the Highlands.
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Old 11-02-2015, 01:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post

Cincinnati is a bit more cosmopolitan.
Bit is the key word here and is only true in relation to louisville if its true at all. It is easily as provincial and inwardly focused as Louisville, if not more, and just like all of the cities along the ohio that used to be a huge deal.
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Old 11-02-2015, 03:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cubedeathk View Post
Bit is the key word here and is only true in relation to louisville if its true at all. It is easily as provincial and inwardly focused as Louisville, if not more, and just like all of the cities along the ohio that used to be a huge deal.
Ditto. I am just not buying Cincy is more cosmopolitan than Louisville? How so? maybe a "tad?" but acting like Louisville is a small town compared to Cincy? No way.

They both have in common:

Old, river cities who based their original economy on industry and river trade
City populations are actually pretty similar. The main difference? Cincy suburbs are just bigger all around. From Florence to Newport, Mason to Westchester...Cincy has a larger MSA simply bc it has larger exurbs with their own downtowns and job centers. Many of these people literally NEVER go into the city unless it is for a Bengals or Reds game a few times a year.
Irish/German heritage...you guys are downplaying this but Louisville is EVERY bit as german and irish as cincy...the difference? Cincy didn't tear down all their row houses 1 mile from the CBD...Louisville did. So folks not familiar with the city see them as so different when they are so alike.

This is a depressing thread that shows the worst side of Louisville and its downtown, but it shows you while Cincy kept her Mt Adams and Over the Rhine, Louisville tore hers down for surface parking:

http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php?topic=18720.0

Thus, while Cincy's streetcar suburbs are a mile or 2 further out, there really is a similar setup to Louisville. Also, you guys really fail to remember what the 1937 flood did to Louisville. The flood made Katrina look like no big deal in New Orleans.

Louisville and Cincy have also historically been provincial, inward cities. This was because from around 1960 to 2000, neither city saw much in migration. For Louisville, in the last 15 years, there has definitely been positive in migration as it really is a "hot" under the radar city. If you don't believe me, drive around with me and let me show you all the rehabs and flippers at work in places like Germantown and Shelby Park.

The cities share a lot in common...both are big in festivals, many of them neighborhood centered, and both are heavily catholic. Both cities are big sports towns, Louisville being college, cincy being pro.

To be honest, there is very little that cincy has that Louisville doesn't, but they also have many differences. To me, Cincy has more large corporations, thus more white collar jobs and some of their workers who can live in a place like mason and florence. Cincy of course has Nordstrom, C&B, RH, and a few other nicer retailers that Louisville lacks. Yet Louisville has this sort of "southern" boutique and style, flair culture that cincy really lacks. Cincy in that regard is sort of like a "poor man's boston."

The whole southern vs midwestern thing....Louisville is more southern and plays that card since it is hot. The bourbon and food thing, along with the ponies, will be major tourism draws for the long term.

Louisville is more compact, easily navigable, and IMO much more friendly. It is cheaper with less traffic, and the overall city has a much more charming and independent/artsy vibe than cincy.
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Old 11-02-2015, 05:36 PM
 
Location: IL/IN/FL/CA/KY/FL
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I assume one relates pro sports and a few more high rise residences in the area with being cosmopolitan.

As wrong as that is, it's notable that 2 of the most prominent "cosmopolitan local" hotels and restaurants (21c and Jeff Ruby's) in Louisville both have locations in Cincy as well.
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Old 11-02-2015, 06:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ServoMiff View Post
I assume one relates pro sports and a few more high rise residences in the area with being cosmopolitan.

As wrong as that is, it's notable that 2 of the most prominent "cosmopolitan local" hotels and restaurants (21c and Jeff Ruby's) in Louisville both have locations in Cincy as well.
21c is totally louisville local. Started here, based here, and was the original hotel from which they expanded. For 3 years from 2009-2011, it was ranked top 10 in the WORLD. Big time deal there.

That is when they expanded elsewhere.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/21c_Museum_Hotels

The highrise thing? Meh...cincy has more height and density in their skyline, but you are acting like highrise living is a "thing there". Very far from it. Louisville has probably 20 major residential highrises off the top of my head. I'd say Cincy has maybe 30. Is that more cosmopolitan? I don't see it.

If anything, Cincy is a much more gritty, run down, old industrial city. Part of that is bc they didnt tear down as much blight as Louisville. That also gives Cincy infinite more potential than Louisville.

Back to the OP's question, while the two cities share commonalities, they are very different, and most anybody I know agrees Louisville is cheaper, easier, and nicer to live in.

Nicer hotels in Cincy? I am not sure about that either. You need to check out Embassy Suites, the Hilton Garden Inn and its swank lounge, 8 up, and also the new Corner Bar at Aloft hotel downtown.

And there are more hotels like this to open...7 to my knowledge. So I think, like I said, Louisville's biggest problem is itself...it doesn't believe it is as cool or cosmopolitan as it is.
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