We left Cincinnati in 2001 for the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Then fate took us to North Carolina and when we were presented with the opportunity to return to Cincinnati in 2007, we jumped at the chance. Why were we so eager to return to the Queen City? To the place famously referred to in the quote: “When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it’s always twenty years behind the times?” Anyone who grew up here knows this quote is not entirely false. So why did we come back?
Here are my Top 10 Reasons for Returning to Cincinnati (in David Letterman fashion):
10. The food. There is nothing like LaRosa’s, Skyline and Montgomery Inn. All classics and all Cincinnati institutions. If you are a native, you love it. You know how to order your chili and you never need to look up the pizza joint phone number. If you are an outsider, you either love it or hate it. There is no in between.
9. Affordability. There is no shortage of affordable housing here in all shapes and sizes. Cincinnati, Ohio’s total cost of living is cheaper than the US average.
8. Population Diversity. Not perfect, not yet by any means. But it is improving. International companies headquartered here bring in workers from all over the country and the world. This means more culture, more new people and more new ideas.
7. Location. While I wish the beach was closer, we are positioned no more than a six hour drive away from some amazing places.
6. Downtown. We are a long way away from the years when downtown sidewalks were rolled up after 5pm and tumbleweeds rolled down the streets like an old western. Now you can take your family to a park, a baseball game and dinner – all without moving your car!
5. Family – Friendly. World class zoo, amusement parks, museums, parks and professional sports make this a family – friendly paradise. My friends from all over rave about all our city has to offer. My kids are so spoiled and just assume that every kid has an amusement park practically in their back yard.
4. Festivals. There must be a study somewhere that shows the ratio of festivals to population. I would imagine that Cincinnati’s number is amazing. Food, beer, wine, pigs, heritage, days that end in “Y” – you name it, we have a festival for it.
3. Family. The joke about Cincinnati is that no one ever leaves. That may be fairly true, but it always means you have family here to come back to.
2. The Views. There is a postcard worthy view from just about any place in the city.
1. Two Words: Ice Cream. Totally gets its own category. Pick your favorite – it is all amazing. The worst ice cream place here is better than any place I have ever lived. Choosing a favorite would be like picking my favorite child.
While the quote may say that Cincinnati is a great destination for the end of time, I’d say it’s pretty great right now too. Why else would we leave and come back? Well…because it’s home.