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Cincinnatians, we can do better than this

By Rachael Harris
On December 9, 2012

Local students of Xavier - you disappoint me. Too many of Xavier's Cincinnatians, many of whom have lived in the city their entire life, don't know what Queen City has to offer.
I'll admit - I'm one of these unaware students. For the past 21 years, I have lived in Cincinnati - a city full of history and rich in culture - and been oblivious to most of its local scene. I tend to stick with the places I know and love,
like Kenwood Mall (a five-minute walk from my house), Rookwood Commons and Target. Have you noticed I'm naming large-scale business? What about all the hole-in-
the-wall joints and small shops that give Cincinnati its local flair? I, for one, am sick of meeting some out-of-town
student who knows more about the city than I do. This has
to change. Cincinnatians, embrace your home and start exploring the area. Let's start with some basic history
of the city. Cincinnati was settled in 1788 by John Cleves
Symmes and Colonel Robert Patterson (yes, I read that as
Robert Pattinson when I first saw it too...Godforbid our city
was founded by a vampire) and, at the time, was bigger in
size and wealth than some of the coastal cities. Aside from
being known for steam boats and the Underground Railroad, Cincinnati has other quirky inventions in its
history, including the reclining barber chair, incubator,
beer faucet, Pringles, Benadryl and soap that floats seriously). We are also the home of the first professional baseball team (go Reds!), the first municipal university (University of Cincinnati) and the first fire department. We
were also the first city to build and own a major railroad. Crazy, huh? Let's continue. We received the nickname
"Porkopolis" in 1835, when we were best known for hog packing and the pigs that roamed our city. Henry Wadsworth
Longfellow called us "Queen of the West" in the early 1800s, giving us our ever-popular title of "Queen City."
We have the obvious places, in terms of local food - Graeter's, Skyline, Frisch's (please try their tartar sauce, it's famous) and LaRosa's. However, have you been to Melt (Northside) or Sitwell's Coffee House (Clifton)? What about Aglamesis (Oakley), a nostalgic ice cream shop reminiscent of a 1950s diner, or Izzy's (downtown), known
for their reubens and potato pancakes? Have you explored Findlay Market (Over-the-Rhine) for some crazy good gelato (Dojo Gelato) nd to support our local farmers and artisans?
If you're feeling really adventurous, you can even order an entire roasted pig's head for dinner from Cumin (Hyde Park). As locals, we also tend to neglect all the "tourist attractions" the city boasts, like the Freedom Center and Union Terminal. However, I think it's locals that need these attractions the most. I still haven't been to the Freedom Center or the Cincinnati Museum Center, and I hope to visit both before the semester is over. Finally, a few places to explore before you get cozy in your out-of-state, post-graduation job. Mt. Adams has a lot to offer, in terms
of nightlife (The Pavilion and the Blind Lemon) and shopping, if you have the cash. Northside, a city full of
quirky hipsters and artsy-folk, is lined with cozy cafes
and coffee shops. Ludlow Avenue (Clifton) is home
to Esquire Theater, an indie movie theater and host to bi-weekly, interactive viewings of Rocky Horror Picture
Show, as well as some eclectic gift shops.
My point is this: Cincinnatians don't know the city. We should take the time to explore and learn about the place we live. That way, when your friend from New York asks you to grab dinner at Teller's (Hyde Park), you'll know exactly where to go. Take that, you out-of-staters.


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