Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Love Where You Live: Cincinnati: Over the Rhine



We've been in Cincinnati for almost exactly 6 months now and while it's not entirely new since we lived here before and all, it still feels very new to us this time around.  I've been a little mopey about embracing this new city as our home.  We have no roots or family connections here.  And yeah we lived here for 2 years a while back, but knowing that it was temporary at the time and never imagining that we would one day settle down here for good, it was easy to embrace it as a temporary rest stop on the road trip to surely a more glamorous final destination.  Cincinnati was supposed to be our Circus Circus overnight stay in Vegas on the way to the amazing Disney Land where our real lives would begin.  So yeah, when you think you're going to Disney Land and you're just stopping at Circus Circus for a night or two, it's awesome!  It's a hotel and a circus in one!  Then someone's all, Guess what?  You get to stay at Circus Circus forever.  And you're like wo wo wo... say what?

So that's how it sorta felt.  But here's the thing, Cincinnati is actually really great.  A lot better than Circus Circus in fact.  The 'Nati (as some say) is really coming into it's own and while there are still lots of locals who look at us and say, "Why did you move here?" with a confused look on their face, there are also a lot of locals really embracing their town and pouring their heart into making it a city they love and that I can get behind.  So I'm going to start a little Love Where You Live: Cincinnati series on the blog.  One, because I want to get out and explore, find the people and places that make Cincinnati awesome for my own sake. And two, I want to convince family and friends to scrap their plans for Hawaii and head to the Queen City instead.  

First up, Over the Rhine.


In the past few years since we've been away Cincinnati's downtown neighborhood Over the Rhine, or OTR has undergone a major shift.  First of all what makes this place so cool is that it is believed to be the largest intact Urban Historic district in the nation!  It contains the largest collection of Italianate Architecture in the country.  Translation:  Lots of cool old buildings.  That is actually one of the things I love most about Cincinnati is the old feel of the city.  Of course there are plenty of new subdivisions and buildings, but so much of Cincinnati is just old and I love it.  (Our first house we ever bought was here and at the time was 96 years old!  101 years old today.  It was my favorite.)  I still have a lot to learn about OTR, but it's become a favorite date night spot with lots of great restaurants, shops and art.  Last weekend B and I had our date night in OTR and saw this amazing (and I think pretty new) mural about Henry Holtgrewe apparently the strongest man in the world in the early 1900's.



During the summer there is the City Flea in the beautiful Washington Park pictured below.  We've taken the girls a few times and always enjoy ourselves.



There is some really great food in OTR as well.  Senate for their unique and upscale hotdogs, Abigail Street for delicious Greek food and B's favorite Taste of Belgium for the amazing Belgium waffles that we eat like cookies.

So that's it!

I know I'm not the only one who had an arranged marriage so-to-speak with a new city or town--what did you do to try and make yourself fall in love?  And more importantly, were you successful?  Tips!  Advice!  Let's hear it.   Some of you may also be familiar with the band Over the Rhine as well, locals natch.  

photos 1/2/3/4

6 comments:

  1. Look at old saint Mary's in over the Rhine. We used to live in the yhere that was our church. It's one of or the oldest in the city. It's beautifyl

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  2. Reminds me of the poem, bringing home holland...also happens to be the name of another blog I follow, you should check it out!

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  3. My husband and I lived outside of Cincinnati in Oxford when he was going to grad school at Miami. We loved finding high ground next to the river to watch the fireworks at Riverfest and all of the old buildings. I think OTR has changed a little since we were there. We took my husbands double bass to a shop there to be fixed and the area was a little scary.
    You should take a day trip to Oxford sometime. Miami's campus is amazing and its considered to be Ohio's Ivy League. Go uptown for great food, catch a hockey match, boutiques and my friend Lisa's pottery studio, You're Fired. (We met at the local LDS Branch) She has great kid's camp classes all through the summer and fun summer concerts on the square. Houston Woods is a great place to camp or do day hikes or rent canoes. Truly a charming town I would highly recommend.

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  4. Yes to all of that - wo wo what?? I think it may be because every place has always been temporary in our marriage... to stay put anywhere feels threatening almost.

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  5. I have family in Cincy and spent my early childhood there. We visit several times a year and while it's not what some would think of as a city to fall in love with, I have. There is just so much to do and so many different areas to explore! As for restaurants, I've heard great things about The Precinct. It's in an old police patrol house. A little pricey but cool location! Also, over Memorial Weekend downtown holds their Taste of Cincinnati, which is a great family event and way to try foods from the area. I believe the month of April is Oysterfest and if you like raw (in a half shell) or cooked oysters, Washington Platform is your place. I'm really looking forward to this series!

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  6. Anonymous12:56 PM

    We didn't have any family or friends either when we first moved out to Cincy 10 years ago. The city has evolved and changed for the better. Sadly, we left Cincy last year and moved out to Westchester county, NY-- the most expensive county in the entire country. Not a day goes by without me reminiscing about the great life we had there

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