“Cincinnati is the most beautiful inland city in America.”
— Sir Winston Churchill, during his American tour
 
“I love the West Side. It’s very family oriented and a tight-knit community.”
— Andy Kneflin, Delhi Twp., Cincinnati Fire Department
 
“It’s a big city, but it feels like it’s a small town. I love the small-town atmosphere.”
— Tim Hedrick, Bridgetown, Local 12 meteorologist
 
“I can still remember sitting on the closet floor of my buddy’s house, completely broke. My friends would want to go out to dinner, to get a hamburger, and I couldn’t afford to go.”
— Struggling NKU student George Clooney (current salary: $15 million per motion picture)
 
“I love Kings Island.”
— James Wear, Lebanon, Army Recruiting Cincinnati Company

“The citizens of Cincinnati loved their Reds, no matter what their addresses had been the year before, because they won.”
— John Thorn, historian for the Ken Burns documentary Baseball
 
“I like it because my friends and family are here.”
— Julie Baker, Hyde Park

“Chicago sounds rough to the maker of verse. One comfort we have — Cincinnati sounds worse.”
— Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes
 
“I’ve seen some of the guest books. People who visit from Cincinnati say Behringer-Crawford Museum in Devou Park is Greater Cincinnati’s best-kept secret.”
— Pat Frew, Northern Kentucky CVB, Covington

“People there knew me before I was a virgin.”
— Doris Mary Anne von Kappelhoff of Evanston (better known as Doris Day)

“It’s a friendly place, and it’s easy to get around. I like that there’s so much diversity.”
— Jerri Goehler, Loveland, Circle Tail Inc., with hearing dog Graydan

“I went on to Cincinnati. I had got a taste of the big city and them bright lights. I stayed there until I was about 18 or 19.”
—Blues musician John Lee Hooker
 
“A favorite summer activity of mine is going to church festivals. We never miss St. Ben’s (St. Benedict’s in Covington).”
— Donna Kremer, MainStrasse Village, Covington
 
“It’s a true city. It’s old. It has history. It’s hilly — I don’t like flat places. I think of it as a real city.”
— Scripps CEO Rich Boehne
 
“Findlay Market. The entire experience is like stepping back in time to an old-fashioned public market, where the sights and smells tickle the senses and excite the palate with unlimited possibilities.”
— Susan Hisle, AXA Advisors, Downtown
 
“Eeeee-levennnnn o’clock in the Tristate, time for the Al Schottlekotte News.”
— CNN founder Ted Turner’s most vivid memory of his childhood here, watching the legendary local newsman whose show served as a prototype for CNN Headline News
 
“You’re all a bunch of Parrotheads.”
— Jimmy Buffett band member Timothy Schmit, commenting on the audience’s attire and unwittingly launching the Parrot phenomenon with this offhand remark at TimberWolf Amphitheater
 
“I love going to Reds games. I love all the festivals. There’s always something to do. My favorite thing is the Cut-in-the-Hill when the city pops out at you. I’ll never forget the first time I saw that. I defy any city to come up with that view.”
— “Big Dave,” B105, Park Hills
 
“You’re all Cincinnati liars.”
— Adolf Hitler, in repeated comments and speeches regarding the “Voice of America” Bethany transmitter station in West Chester
 
“Just go to the parking lot across the street from the Jimmy Buffett concert (at RiverBend) in August. It’s a zoo, and it’s great.”
— Steve Hoffman, Justice of the Peace, Covington
 
“Lincoln’s shot!”
—Thomas Edison’s most memorable telegraph message while working here

“It’s a smaller city with everything a bigger city offers as far as the arts.”
— Jen Carr, Westwood
 
“Over-the-Rhine has gotten a bad rap, but it’s the most classic part of this city. It has great architecture, and it’s going through a renaissance right now.”
— Nick Lachey, national singer and SCPA graduate

“When Bob Hope came through Cincinnati, he wanted a girl singer to be on his show. There was a local contest.”
— Rosemary Clooney of Augusta, on her Big Break
 
“Cincinnati is great because of its people. The city has some of the best, hardworking people in America. ”
— Chris Monzel, Spring Grove Village, Cincinnati City Council
 
“I love Newport on the Levee, especially Hofbrauhaus.”
— Richard Chall, Florence, U.S. Army
 
“When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati, because it’s always 20 years behind the times.”
— Mark Twain, a frequent visitor when he was still working the riverboats as young Sam Clemens
 
“I heard a pistol shot behind me and something whizzed past my ear, nearly grazing it, in fact.”
—Telegraph operator Thomas Edison, on how he was almost killed while working at Western Union in Cincinnati
 
“It’s laid back. It’s not a big city, not a small city, but a comfortable-sized city with down-to-earth people. I love the rolling hills and changing seasons.”
— John Rainey, Western Hills, Cincinnati Fire Department
 
“And this Song of the Vine, This greeting of mine, The winds and the birds shall deliver, To the Queen of the West, In her garlands dressed, On the banks of the Beautiful River.”
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his poem “Catawba Wine,” inspiring the phrase “Queen City”

“I love Cincinnati because you can meet up with a few thousand of your friends on Opening Day.”
— Jordan, Kiss 107 FM, Oakley
 
“I love the diversity of the people. I’m from a small town.”
— Megan McLaughlin, University of Cincinnati Cheerleader
 
“It is called Cincinnaaaah-tie in Boston, and I am from Boston. We are going to explain to you how to pronounce it.”
— John F. Kennedy, on a campaign stop
 
“If I determined a walk up Main Street, the chances were 500 to one against my reaching the shady side without brushing a snout fresh dripping from the kennel.”
— Frances Trollope in her travelogue Domestic Manners of the Americans

“Whatever may have been the squealing celebrity of Porkopolis, Cincinnati seems destine to merge the glory of that name in the more agreeable title, City of Vineyards. ... Whether it be pork or iron, or gardens, or vineyards, or observatories, Cincinnati is acknowledged on all hands to be the Queen City.”
— Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, preacher and newspaper editor

“The beasts [Cincinnati’s pigs] are impudent. They know enough to give way to a carriage, but as to a foot passenger, he must always turn out; they won’t budge for a whole regiment.”
— Cyrus P. Bradley, travel writer

“The very gutters are congested with them, as a the dull monotony of pigs is visible everywhere.”
— The Prince of Wales in the London Times, on his American tour

“As there is a railway system and a hotel system, so there is also a pig system, by which this place is marked out from any other. Huge quantities of these useful animals are reared after harvest in the cornfie1ds of Ohio. At a particular time of year they arrive by thousands — brought in drove and steamers to the number of 500,000.
— Lady Emmeline Stuart-Wortley in her Travels in the United States
 
“Cincinnati presents an odd spectacle, a town which seems to want to get built too quickly to have things done in order. Large buildings, huts, streets blocked by rubble, houses under construction; no names to the streets, no numbers on the houses, no external luxury, but a picture of industry and work that strikes one at every step.”
— Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
 
“Cincinnati is one of the grandest cities of this great Republic.”
— Harry S Truman, on a visit
 
“Cincinnati is prospering marvelously. This Valley of the Ohio is one of the great seats of the future industry, not only of this country, but of the world.”
— Teddy Roosevelt, on a visit
 
“I am very glad to come to Cincinnati. What is a little rain between friends?”
— Franklin Delano Roosevelt, on a visit
 
“My grandmother taught English to Hungarian Holocaust survivors when I was only 3 years old, living in Cincinnati. I learned my numbers based on all the numbers that they had tattooed on their arms.”
— Director Steven Spielberg, who grew up in Avondale
What do we love about Cincy? Let us count the ways ...

In this, our second annual “Love Cincy Awards” issue, we celebrate — with the help of hundreds of readers who sent in their votes — all the attributes that make the city a great place to live, work and play.

Our German settlers introduced beer gardens, breweries, even a whole architectural style dubbed Sauerbraten Gothic. (A bit of the Teutonic touch remains today, when we roll out the barrel for the annual Oktoberfest Zinzinnati and a dozen other beer fests and brew-ha-ha’s.) 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.

Cincinnati is a town with a slang all its own, shorthand that owes much to this Teutonic heritage. We call pork “city chicken.” We say “melk” instead of “milk.” And we mouth “Please?” when we actually mean “Excuse me?” or “Could you repeat that?” (Blame the town’s Germanic roots for this confusion: The word “bitte” can be translated as both “please?” and “excuse me?”) Speaking of pork, we’re a city once known worldwide as Porkopolis, a proud and hammy heritage due largely to our pig industry. Yes, author Frances Trollope bashed us in her best-seller Domestic Manners of Americans for all the hogs we allowed to wander in the streets. But the 19th century was definitely our days of swine and roses — the pork-packing plants were a hugely successful going concern. (By way of example, Cincinnati once supplied all the cured ham to the Great Britain’s palace as well as to the Royal Navy.) And not incidentally, the by-products from the plants allowed two soap-makers named Procter and Gamble to start their own little business.

The Ohio River, of course, defines us geographically, cutting a swath through this valley that — with a little help from the Ice Age’s glaciers — created our spectacular hillsides. Many still debate what seven high-points actually constitute this “City of Seven Hills,” but we’ll go with the favorites: Mount Adams, Mount Auburn, Clifton Heights, Price Hill, Walnut Hills, Mount Airy and, yes, Mount Rumpke.

What characterizes Cincinnati today? Largely, our traditions, built on two centuries of history: Opening Day. The Findlay Market Parade. The Flying Pig Marathon. Oktoberfest. Graeter’s. Montgomery Inn ribs. Grippo’s. Goetta. The Crosstown Shootout. Cincinnati style chili.

Read on and you’ll find there’s lots more to love about River City ...

 
 

 
LOVE CINCY AWARDS
We love Cincy for its people, attitudes, accomplishments, traditions —plus the places and services that can make life here easier, better and more fun. The staff of Cincy, with help from our readers, honors some of those places here.

BEST ICONIC IMAGE
The St. Francis de Sales Church steeple on Madison Road. When architect G.F. Himbler designed this Gothic wonder in 1879, little could he know this East Walnut Hills church and its magnificent steeple would become a landmark for generations of Cincinnatians.

BEST DENTIST TO THE STARS
Downtown’s Dr. Glen Meyer, who’s known for taking care of both local media stars and the corporate elite.

BEST SUMMER PARTY
The annual soiree thrown by Mary Armor at her Mount Adams digs. The party attracts everybody from Enquirer political columnist Howard Wilkinson to that well-known party animal, county sheriff Simon Leis. If you’re an influential judge, journalist, politico, council member or candidate for office, you’re likely to get an invite.

BEST UNUSUAL VIEW OF THE CITY
From any perch on the Christ Hospital high-rise in Mount Auburn, especially from the maternity unit. It offers the best view of the skyline from a different perspective.

BEST CONSERVATIONISTS
The Hillside Trust, a nonprofit agency in Alms Park that’s been busy preserving the numerous, and fragile, hillsides on both sides of the Ohio River since the 1970s.

BEST NEWS FOR THE URBAN CORE
CDC (short for the Cincinnati Center City Development Corp.). With high-profile folks such as Bill Donabedian and Kelly Leon, the private initiative has infused new life into downtown, particularly into Fountain Square, as well as the emerging Gateway Quarter in Over-the-Rhine.

BEST SHINE
The shoeshiners at Batsakes Hat Shop downtown. Quick, friendly service and a spiffy shine.

BEST FRONT DESK
The helpful wait-staff at the Garfield Hotel downtown. Friendly, and in-the-know about all things downtown.

BEST OUT-OF-THE-ORDINARY MEETING VENUE
Boost! For Meetings Sake, located on Reading Road near Central. This out-of-the-box site in the heart of the city’s meeting district features a playful spirit, non-traditional meeting furniture and distinct décor.

BEST MURAL YOU’VE NEVER SEEN
The stunning mural in the Cincinnati Club building’s Oak Room, on Race Street at Garfield Place.

BEST WORKOUT WITH A HISTORY LESSON
The historic Cincinnati Athletic Club, squirreled away on Shillito Place downtown. Laying claim as America’s oldest athletic club (circa 1853), the executive exercise hot-spot is also known for its social events, speaker series and open-house parties. Everybody from Michael Flannery to Buddy LaRosa to Peter Frampton has shown up.

BEST TEA PARTY
The Robert S. Duncanson Society’s afternoon teas at the Taft Museum of Art. Scones, anyone?

NORTH BEST LINGERIE
Mia Del, the upscale sleepwear shop in West Chester’s Union Centre district. Outstanding personalized service. If they don’t have it, they’ll order it.

BEST SPLASHY INTRODUCTION
The brand-new Wake Nation water park at Fairfield’s Joyce Park. Try wakeboarding (no boat and no experience required; for ages 10 and up only), water skiing, kneeboarding, the works. What a buzz.

BEST REFRESHMENT
At Ritter’s on Wunnenberg Way in West Chester. The dreamiest frozen custard around, perfect on a hot summer’s day.

BEST REC CENTER
The Blue Ash Recreation Center, which includes a state-of-the-art fitness center, massive gym and pool second only to Coney’s in size. The rec commission should also be commended for its terrific summer concert series.

BEST PIE IN THE SKY, NORTH
Fratelli’s, with authentic, New York-style pizza, on Tylersville Road in West Chester.

BEST TUMBLE
Kristi’s Tumbling & Trampoline on Lakota Lane in Liberty Township. This gym is great for instilling a sense of physical fitness in kids, pre-school and up.

BEST NEW RIDE
Diamondback at Kings Island in Mason. Expert steel coaster riders say it’s second only to Cedar Point’s Millennium Force. Smooth, fast, fun.

BEST REACHING OUT
Matthew 25 Ministries, providing disaster aid and humanitarian relief worldwide from its headquarters in Blue Ash.

BEST ROMANTIC RETREAT
The Hatfield Inn in Lebanon. This 19th-century farmhouse makes for a perfect couples’ getaway.

BEST WOOF WITH AN OOF
The Pet Spot on Norwood Avenue in Norwood. Doggie day-care goes luxury. Rover can take a dip in a bone-shaped pool or get groomed by a pro.

EAST BEST PIE IN THE SKY, EAST
Chi-nnati’s (pronounced “shy-nati’s) on Hosbrook Road in Madeira. Chicago-style gets the Cincinnati touch.

BEST RETRO THEME PARK
Coney Island amusement park on Kellogg Avenue in Anderson Township. When Walt Disney went looking for ideas, he came here first. True story.

BEST CHEESECAKE TO APPEAR ON A CINCY MAGAZINE COVER
Jerry’s Cheesecakes on State Route 131 in Milford. Owner Chris Freyler, pictured on our cover with one of his culinary creations, is Jerry’s cousin and has taken over running the business. Multiple flavors, many calories, mucho good.

BEST GROCERY AISLE
The Forest Hills SuperKroger at Anderson Towne Centre in Anderson Township. One of the two largest Krogers in the world, it’s also a test kitchen for the Kroger Co.’s concepts and latest grocery offerings.

BEST NATURAL SURPRISE
Cincinnati Nature Center on Tealtown Road near Eastgate Mall. Covering some 1,600 acres, this private preserve is a wonder for both bird-watchers and hikers alike.

BEST AMATEUR THESPIANS
The Beechmont Players. This Anderson theater troupe has been around for half a century, offering up off, off Broadway entertainment at budget prices. This month, the Players produce the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, with a cast of 40, at the Anderson Center Theatre on Five Mile Road.

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BOOSTER
Bella hair salon in Mount Washington. Committed to the community, as well as to terrific hair.

BEST EXCUSE TO EAT CUSTARD PIE
The drive to Miller’s Bakery in Adams County sure does work up an appetite. And the shoo-fly pie is the real deal.

BEST OFF-THE-CUFF PURCHASE
At J Peck Jewelers on Madison Road in O’Bryonville. The perfect place to buy uniquely Cincinnati cuff links.

BEST PEG-LEG CUP ‘O JOE
At Luckman’s Coffee, which has various east side locations including the Beechmont Levee. The Black Spot brand is pirate-approved local coffee.

SOUTH BEST BUDGET BREWSKI
Herb & Thelma’s Tavern, on MainStrasse in Covington. You can get a cheeseburger, a cup of chili and a beer for under $5.

BEST AMBASSADOR FOR THE SOUTH SIDE
John Steffen, the amiable doorman at Embassy Suites in Covington. Everybody on the south side of the river seems to know him, or know of him. John always has a smile on his face and a handshake to greet everyone.

BEST HOME RUN
Florence Freedom, the Frontier League independent professional baseball team. Major-league entertainment on a minor-league budget, and it’s terrific for families.

BEST CAJUN ROADHOUSE
Knotty Pine on the Bayou on Licking Pike in Cold Spring. This venerable Northern Kentucky restaurant — located along the Licking River — is an institution, but be careful. Some of the tables are lop-sided and things tend to roll off the table.

BEST TASTE OF THE BLUEGRASS STATE
The Kentucky Haus at the corner of 10th and Monroe in Newport. Kentucky crafts, foodstuffs, even literature — this shop has it all.

BEST HIGH-RISE
The Ascent at Roebling’s Bridge in Covington. Architect Daniel Libeskind saw a dramatic new look for the Northern Kentucky’s evolving skyline.

BEST DOG
The Dixie dog at Dixie Chili, in Newport and elsewhere. “Everybody ought to try a Dixie once,” one reader tells us.

WEST BEST TAILOR-MADE CLOTHING
Ramundo and Son on Glenway Avenue in Western Hills. Peppe and his son Carmen know their clothes.

BEST PLACE TO FEEL LIKE A KID AGAIN
The Cincinnati Museum Center in Queensgate. Tote the family to the Children’s Museum or OMNIMAX Theater, or explore the caves at the Natural History Museum and the giant model railroad at the Cincinnati History Museum. Top it all off with a visit to the Rookwood ice cream parlor for some old-fashioned fun.

BEST BOWL ON A BUDGET
The Western Bowl on Glenway Avenue in Western Hills. The “Family Stimulus Package” on Saturday afternoons is one example of the bowling alley’s savings, though it’s tough to beat Wednesday and Thursday “Dollar Days” ($1 bowling, shoes, pizza and Pepsi).

BEST ALTERNATE ROUTE TO THE AIRPORT
The Anderson Ferry on Anderson Ferry Road along the Ohio River. It can be a shortcut around the car-strangled spanner that is the I-75 bridge — not to mention the crowded Cut-in-the-Hill.

BEST HAUNTED HOUSE
The Dent Schoolhouse on Harrison Avenue. Not for the little kids, or the easily spooked. Brrr.

BEST GERMAN FEST
The festive Donauschwaben at Donauschwaben Park on Dry Ridge Road in Colerain Township. The last Oktoberfest of the season, actually held in October (gasp!), and some say the most authentic. Period.

BEST SPOT FOR A PARISH PICNIC
At scenic Oak Ridge Lodge, located in a grove of trees in Mount Airy Forest. Back to nature, perfect for a spiritual retreat or ice cream social.

BEST SNOW TUBING
At Perfect North Slopes on Perfect Lane in Lawrenceburg. Relatives and friends of snow tubers can even watch from the comfort of their computer desks, thanks to a live TV cam installed on the slope.

BEST CARD GAME
The Texas Hold ’Em poker tournament at St. Rita’s School for the Deaf, off I-75 in Evendale. What hand are you holding, partner?