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.