[[ Read our 2008 Love CINCY Awards article ]]


More than 90 reasons why we believe Greater Cincinnati is a terrific place to live, work and play

Cincy. The Queen City of the West. River City. Porkopolis. The Blue Chip City. The City of Seven Hills. The Tristate.

Whatever you choose to call our metropolis, Cincinnati is a great city that’s grown to be much more. All the communities that compose “Cincy” have their individual identities, characteristics and pride, yet most of the people feel part of our larger collective place we call home.

We set out to ask people what they love about Cincy — some of them well known, some just folks who happened to be out and about. We also looked to celebrate a sampling of the special places and people that nourish that love, with a special eye on those things that make our area a great place to be an aspiring, hard-working business professional.

When asked, many people we met spoke of the Cincinnati rooted in our traditions, built on a century or more of history: Opening Day. The Reds and Bengals. Findlay Market and its Opening Day Parade. Oktoberfest Zinzinnati. Graeter’s ice cream and Aglamesis chocolate. Montgomery Inn ribs. Grippo’s. The Crosstown Shootout. Cincinnati-style chili.

Even those who grew up here still rhapsodize about our unique physical environment, beginning with those stately hills, our winding and grand Ohio River, and those scenic skylines. Note we say plural skylines: We have the famous Cincinnati view, burned into memories and postcards for generations, now paired with the emerging Northern Kentucky skyscape that is vibrant and exciting, too.

During events such as Tall Stacks, Paddlefest and the Labor Day Riverfest and WEBN Fireworks, Cincinnatians still get thrills from the picturesque panorama, rolling from paddlewheelers and the grand Roebling Suspension Bridge to the Great American Ballpark. The poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow crowned us “Queen of the West” in tribute to the spectacular views from our hills and mounts.

What’s in our blood? Beer, brats and baseball, for beginners. Many of us love a day at the ballpark or stadium — when we’re not busy with kids’ athletic practices, games and meets. Those who were there “back in the day” enjoy swapping tales about the Big Red Machine, or how close we came to beating Joe Montana and those 49ers in the Super Bowl.

We’re fond of our heritage as Porkopolis, a city that was once the leading pork-packer in the world. From the Flying Pigs sculpture at Bicentennial Commons to the annual Flying Pig Marathon and Big Pig Gig, we like to ham it up.

German settlers introduced beer gardens, breweries, German language newspapers, street signs in German, even a whole architectural style dubbed Sauerbraten Gothic. When prohibitionist Carrie Nation visited the city at the turn of the century, there were so many saloons she didn’t bust a single window. “I would have dropped dead from exhaustion,” she declared.

Although many people here treasure influences of past generations — including those whose roots were established by the toil of escaped slaves — we’re also learning to love how Cincy is growing and changing. As our businesses become more globalized, our communities are diversifying with people from dozens of national, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Thirty years ago, Cincinnatians wouldn’t imagine going out for a Korean, Guatemalan, Lebanese or Indonesian dinner — nor could they picture a sushi bar at their local supermarket.

Why do you love Cincy? One person we asked is entrepreneur Victoria Henderson, who we met at a business expo in Blue Ash. She moved to Bellbrook, near Dayton, in 2000, then returned here last year. She has always been fond of Eden Park, the Krohn Conservatory and our stimulating array of live theater productions. Her fresh perspective, however, gave her new respect for our metro vitality: We love many of our old ways, but we’re not stagnating.

“It’s so different now than what it was then, in so many different ways,” she observes. “It’s a big city without knowing it.”

That says plenty about how most Cincinnatians are known for being friendly, courteous, welcoming and quick to help neighbors in need. We can be as cosmopolitan as the next city, yet we’re not letting loose those small-town values that make so many people say “It’s a great place to raise a family.”

Why do we love Cincy? Let us count even more ways ...
Why We Love Cincy

For us, Cincy will always be home. But the question is: Why do we love it? So we asked! Take a look at the answers and find one (or several) that ring true for you.
Collette Thompson and daughter Laura, Westwood
“What’s there not to love? We like to go to Krohn Conservatory and Mt. Airy Dog Park. Now that I’m a mother — there’s so much for kids.”
Kenny Christo, Western Hills
"I love Cincy because it’s a big city with a small town feel.”
Kim Nuxall, Son of Reds’ Legend, Joe Nuxhall
“Opening Day is the highlight for me. Seeing young kids and the span of generations that baseball has inspired.
Vicki Gianfagna, Florence
“There’s so many fun things to do: summer Reds games, fall football and wonderful shows at the Aronoff.”
Sandra Ali, Channel 5 News Anchor
“I love the neighborhoods. Getting coffee in Mariemont. Taking a stroll in Clifton and checking out the shops after catching a movie at the Esquire. And walking my dogs in Ault Park.”
Mark Mallory, Cincinnati Mayor
"It’s a great town, great family, a lot of tradition.”
Bill Vezeau, West Chester
“It’s a metro area that has all the sports and arts a city has to offer, but a hometown feel.”
 John Rizzo, St. Bernard
“I love the river and all the businesses around town.”
Constance Brenneman, My64 Co-Host
“I love Cincy because it’s got everything I want in terms of shopping and entertainment, but is livable at the same time.”
Todd Portune, Hamilton County Commissioner
“The people, hills, culture, arts, entertainment, sports. But if there’s one thing that sums it up, it’s Opening Day.”
Booker T. Hayes, Dayton
“I love Cincy because I am a diehard Reds and Bengals fan.”
Sean Fischer, Downtown
“I like that Cincy is the underdog. We don’t get enough credit, but some amazing people still come through and make a difference.”
Jim Scott, 700 WLW Radio Host, Jim Scott Morning Show
“I love that we have four seasons, three states, Oktoberfests starting in August and very friendly, giving people who say ‘please.’”
Suzanne Lucas, Northside
“I love Cincy because of Eden Park, the Ohio River, Northside and Findlay Market. I love Saturday breakfast at Tucker’s in OTR, followed by free admission to the Cincinnati Art Museum. I love that it’s affordable and diverse. I love that I encounter friendly and interesting people here every day.”
Jim Tarbell, Former Cincinnati Vice Mayor
“I love Findlay Market, the oldest public market in the states. I’ve been coming every Saturday for 37 years. And of course, Over-the-Rhine: the largest historic district in the national registry.”
Trisha Maddux, Okeana
“I love Cincy because it’s a great place to ride motorcycles — you can ride in the city and enjoy the city lights and the river, and then in a short time be out in the country enjoying completely different scenery.”
Kathleen McGuirk, Downtown
“I love that Cincy is finally coming together and going green and becoming more aware.”
Ariel Underwood, Team Lachey Member
“I love the unity that we have here. I think doing the show [Clash of the Choirs] showed how much people support each other.”
Private James Boyd, Blue Ash
“I love the chili, the food, the camaraderie and how Cincinnati isn’t just one community. It’s a great example of America.”
Mayor Junior, Rabbit Hash Mayor
“I love the Ohio River and the numerous bodies of water in this area for swimming.”
Joshua Scarpaci, Latonia
“It’s a great place to raise kids and have a good time. It’s old-fashioned. I grew up in a place (Oakley) where kids felt safe playing outside, not cooped up inside playing video games.”
Yvonne Robertson, Mt. Lookout
“I love the arts organizations. And that they had the courage to build the Underground Railroad Freedom Center.”
Ron Felder, Downtown
“It’s a very large small town. It’s large enough to have all the arts, the greatest schools, and Fortune 500 companies. It’s small enough so that everyone is like a neighbor and you can get involved in whatever you want to.”
Cesar Geronimo, Former Cincinnati Red
“All the fans — they make us feel really good and play much better than we would without them.”
Buddy LaRosa, LaRosa’s Pizzeria Founder
“The entrepreneurial spirit of our business community is exciting. Big names like Powel Crosley and Carl Lindner (and little guys like my uncles who worked in the produce business) all had the spark that inspired me.”
Elizabeth and Jim Durrell, Westwood
“Cincinnati is more civilized than most other places — the culture, arts, music and an interest in nature.”
Chris Wharton, Colerain
“I love Cincy because it’s a great place to raise kids.”
Amy Hattersley, Associate Editor, Cincy, North College Hill
One of the things I love about Cincy is goetta. I love that it is a truly unique creation that cannot be found anywhere else. I love that we celebrate goetta with not one, but two festivals every year: one held in Mainstrasse in June and one held on the Levee in August. I love that this delicious blend of pork, beef, oats and seasonings can be translated into so many different dishes — goetta grilled cheese, goetta burgers and even goetta fudge brownies. I love that I can walk to The Corner Cafe in N.C.H and have hotcakes, eggs and a healthy portion of goetta on a Sunday morning for $5.25. And lastly, I love that Newport’s Robert Glier transformed something that was considered “peasant food” into what is now referred to by some as “Cincinnati cuisine.”
Lindsay Kottmann, Associate Editor, Cincy, Oakley
Whenever I leave my apartment, I know that there’s a good chance I’ll see someone I know — whether it’s a former coach, neighbor or McNick grad. Sometimes I pretend I hate that, but it’s one of the things I love about Cincy. It goes along with looking down the table, not just on Thanksgiving, but on Mother’s Day and even casual summer birthday parties, to see my entire extended family. There are plenty of things I love about Cincy, including the skyline nestled between colored bridges and steeple covered hills, and the energy in the Cintas Center right before tipoff. But people value family here, and they generally stick around, so that’s what I love the most: Each time I see my godson, I don’t have to be amazed at how much he has grown.
O’dell Owens, Hamilton County Coroner
“I love the heart of the people of Cincinnati. People need help. They need assistance. If there’s a tragedy, this city responds.”
Dean Miuccio, Warm 98 Radio DJ
“I’ve gotta go with one of my favorites: Graeter’s ice cream, black raspberry chip.”
Dean Smittle, Delhi
“I love Cincy because it’s a lot like Germany. The valley here is a lot like the Rhine. We need an Autobahn like Germany’s though, so I can drive my BMW fast!”
Diane Whalen, Florence Mayor
“First and foremost, I love this area because it’s home. I have witnessed the changes and the growth, but it’s still home and still filled with people who appreciate what is here and know how far we’ve come. People care about each other, stand up for each other and come to the aid of each other. Florence has true southern charm and all the great attributes of big city life without the detriments that come with it.”
Rob Seitz, Oakley
“I love the bars in Oakley.”
Dan Korman, Over-the-Rhine
“I love Cincy because it’s so easy to meet people and get things done. I own my own business and it’s really been great for me.”
David Crowley, Cincinnati Vice Mayor
“The Opening Day parade — I’ve been watching since I was 4 or 5. Even the rain doesn’t scare people away. I loved it when the mayor threw out the first pitch, and I love it even more that he’s not throwing it out this year!”
Lisa Brown, Hebron
“I work downtown and live in Kentucky. I love the sense of community.”
Oscar Robertson, Basketball Hall-of-Famer
“Cincinnati is a pretty city — it has the hills and the river. The business community has so many anchors — P&G, the Lindner family, Kroger — that keep Cincinnati on strong footing.”
Mike Taylor, Superintendent, Lakota Local School District
“I love the family-focus activities. Raising a family in this area that I’ve spent my entire life in, you have everything from the Cincinnati Zoo to the traditional road races, such as the best marathon in the entire country, the Flying Pig Marathon. You have all the different museums, as well as Kings Island, that makes this a great place to raise a family.”
John Gey, Indian Hill
“I’m from Charlotte and have lived here about a year. There are so many things to do. I have a 3-year-old and the museums and the Aquarium are so close. And the weather is so nice!”
Gary Denzler & Coco, St. Leon, IN, grew up in Western Hills
“There’s no place like Cincinnati. It’s my 41st year with the Cincinnati Zoo.”
Coco, Cincinnati Zoo
“I love the peanuts.”
Greg Loomis, Editor, Cincy, Mount Washington
I love rock ‘n’ roll — and I love Cincinnati’s variety of music venues. There seems to be a perfect place for every band and artist imaginable. In recent years I’ve enjoyed concerts at the Aronoff Center for the Performing Arts and Taft Theatre downtown, Bogart’s in Corryville, 20th Century Theater in Oakley, the wonderfully renovated Carnegie Theatre in Covington and, outdoors, Riverbend Music Center and Moonlite Gardens. Soon I’ll sample The Madison Theater in Covington and the new National City Pavilion at Riverbend. As for low frills, high thrills nightclubs, my long list would include Molly Malone’s in Covington, The Comet in Northside, the Mad Frog and Fries in Corryville, and of course the venerable Blue Wisp downtown for jazzier evenings. My rhythm and blues home away from home is the historic Southgate House in Newport. Friends from out of town often travel here for the pleasure of pulling up a table or chair close to the stage to hear performances from the likes of Richard Thompson, Dave Alvin and Alejandro Escovedo. Those envious out-of-towners know how good we’ve got it.
Felix Winternitz, Senior Editor, Cincy, Anderson Township
Museum Center at Union Terminal is definitely the place I love in Cincinnati. I remember when it was a shopping mall, and how sad it was when they closed the building in the mid 1980s. It’s the largest half-dome structure in the world, an art deco gem that, for all appearances, looks like a Crosley radio set. The gorgeous mosaics in the main rotunda serve as a lush welcome mat. From the Rookwood ice cream parlor to Tower A and the original president’s office, it seems every room in the place has a story to tell. A lot of people don’t know there’s a world-class pipe organ in the building, as well as a newsreel theater and, my kids love this, the “whispering arch.” And, of course, there are the museums: The History Museum, with its richly detailed “Cincinnati in Motion” replica of the city in the 1930s, the Museum of Natural History and its icy cavern, and the Children’s Museum. Finish up your visit with a flick at the OMNIMAX movie theater. Essentially, you could go into Union Terminal for a week and never have to leave ... except if the security guards kicked you out.
Bootsy Collins, Funk Legend, Owner and President of Bootzilla Productions
“What I really love about Cincinnati is that it’s open for vision. Cincinnati is like a wide-open opportunity — it’s a city of opportunity. You just have to have the guts to go after it. That’s what it takes. I learned that from being with James Brown.”
Sean Miller, Head Coach, Xavier University Men’s Basketball
“I enjoy living in Cincinnati because it is a great place to raise a family. The school district I live in (Loveland) is exceptional, and the people are extremely nice and friendly. The people in Cincinnati have a passion for sports with the Bengals, Reds, Xavier and UC all offering great options. And of course, I love working at Xavier University which is a great environment to be in every day