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Cincinnati is Ohio's third largest city and second largest metro region, and lies on the north bank of the Ohio River in Southwest Ohio in the United States of America.
Cincinnati is a distinctly Midwestern city, and it has been wrapped up in every phase of American history. It was the United States' first boomtown, and the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood is the largest National Historic District in the country. Today, it's part of a fast-growing metro area, and home to a remarkable blend of industry and architecture. Downtown Cincinnati is surrounded by picturesque foothills that add a beautiful backdrop to the Queen City and its legendary skyline – celebrated in the opening credits of every episode of television show WKRP in Cincinnati.
Formerly known as Losantiville, the city was renamed Cincinnati by the first governor of the Northwest Territory, Arthur St. Clair, in honor of the Society of the Cincinnati, a society named after Roman consul Cincinnatus and founded at the end of the Revolutionary War.
The city's early economy was based on the pork industry, and this was celebrated in the summer of 2000 with the Big Pig Gig, during which large flying pig statues took up residence along the city's main thoroughfares. Many of these pig statues later found homes downtown in offices, parks and even private residences.
Cincinnati also has a charming riverboat heritage that dates back to the days when large, steam and paddle-wheel driven vessels were used to transport locally produced pork products. In recognition of this tradition, the city plays host to the Tall Stacks Festival every four years, during which time the river front is transformed into a mass of color, with river boats of all shapes and sizes jostling for positions along the river banks. Baseball is another Cincinnati tradition, and the Cincinnati Reds were the first professional baseball team in the United States; in deference to that, Opening Day is always a home game for the Reds, held at the new Great American Ballpark.
No, Cincinnatians are not correcting your manners. Cincinnati's linguistic claim to fame is the distinctive expression its residents use when other English-speaking Americans might say "What?" or "Could you repeat that?" Cincinnati was built by German immigrants, whose native expression was "Bitte?", which translates most directly into English as... "Please?"
Cincinnati has a thriving local industrial economy and is home to many businesses ranging from manufacturing to services, including General Electric, Procter and Gamble, Fifth Third Bank, Milacron, Chiquita, Kroger, Federated Department Stores, and the American Financial Group. In World Wars I and II, Cincinnati's local machine tool companies, such as LeBlond (now Makino) and the Cincinnati Screw and Tap Company (now Milacron), played an important role, providing what is commonly considered the best machine tool technology in the world for its time.
Recently, Cincinnati has seen some large scale "revitalization" projects, such as the construction of Great American Ballpark and Paul Brown Stadium, and the reconstruction of Fountain Square in Cincinnati. Despite the progress, county officials, city government, and area residents remain flabbergasted that other large scale projects like "The Banks" – a proposed site for an upscale hotel, shopping and dining center – remain undeveloped, while the smaller cities of Newport and Covington, across the Ohio River, continue to develop their riverfronts and draw visitors away from Cincinnati.
The city center is "Downtown" Cincinnati, sometimes referred to as the "Central Business District." With many major attractions and corporate headquarters located here, the focus of the region revolves around this district. Downtown's north-south streets can be easily remembered by the mnemonic:
Big Strong Men Will Very Rarely Eat Pork Chops
Going East to West this stands for:
Broadway Sycamore Main Walnut Vine Race Elm Plum Central.
The Cincinnati skyline is breathtaking -- especially at night -- when viewed from Devou Park in northern Kentucky, Mount Echo in Price Hill, or Eden Park and neighboring Mt. Adams.
There is a rivalry between the "East Side" and "West Side" of Cincinnati. Historically people from the West Side were blue collar workers, while those from the East Side were white collar workers.
Avondale is a primarily residential urban neighborhood near the center of the city, notable for the presence of the Cincinnati Zoo.
Hyde Park is an upscale, largely white and upper class residential neighborhood. At the heart of the neighborhood is Hyde Park Square, a tree-lined esplanade of boutique shops and restaurants, including Indigo, Teller's, Vineyard Cafe and Graeter's Ice Cream.
Mt. Adams is a trendy upscale neighborhood located directly northeast of downtown Cincinnati. Mt. Adams is known for its lively night scene, beautiful views of the skyline, and the Holy Cross-Immaculata Catholic Church, which was built by German immigrants in the city's early days. German inscriptions can be seen around the church.
Clifton is also located near the city center, and is home to an especially wide range of people, boasting a population diverse in ethnicity, race, sexuality, gender, age, country of origin, and economic status. A number of students at the local University inhabit the stately apartment buildings, as well as many of the beautiful older homes that line the gas-lit streets, though a number of families and other residents are also proud to call Clifton home. Especially notable is the stretch of Ludlow between Clifton Ave and Whitfield, as it is home to a number of restaurants specializing both in American fare (perhaps the best Skyline Chili in all of Cincinnati, as well as local diner the Proud Rooster) and ethnic delights (Ambar and Amol India, Thai Cafe, Mediterranean Foods), as well as a number of independent shops and boutiques, and finally, one of Cincinnati's most historic and popular gay dive bars, the Golden Lions, which features dancing on Tuesday nights.
Mt. Washington is an up and coming economically diverse neighborhood located on Cincinnati's east side. The neighborhood contains a variety of shopping options along its Water Tower business district, ranging from thrift shops to upscale women's boutiques (Magnolia Clothing Boutique originated in Mt. Washington). The neighborhood is known for its variety of homes, ranging from large estates (along Salem Avenue and Wayside Avenue) to affordable apartments. Architecturally the neighborhood is home to several notable buildings, including the Mt. St. Mary's Seminary, Mt. Washington Presbyterian Church, and Guardian Angel Church.
Northside is an economically and racially diverse neighborhood notable for a strong sense of community investment and pride. The neighborhood is home to many unique shops including Shake It Records (an independently owned record store), and two vintage clothing stores, Avant Garage and Casablanca Vintage. Restaurants include culinary delights Honey, Melt, and Slims, and KFC. The nightlife in Northside is lively with a variety of clubs including Alchemize!, The Comet, and the Northside Tavern.
Oakley is an up and coming neighborhood that borders Hyde Park. Oakley has a lively downtown area with many unique restaurants and shops including Kona Bistro, Habits Cafe, Denim, and Bova Furniture. Also notable is Aglamesis Ice Cream, a long-time competitor of Graeter's in the gourmet ice cream category.
Over-the-Rhine is the location of Music Hall (home of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Opera) and Findlay Market, Ohio's oldest public market in continuous operation. Care should be taken when visiting this neighborhood as it houses many of the low income residents of Cincinnati and crime is more frequent here than in other areas of the city. The Main Street Entertainment District is also located in OTR, which is a widely discussed neighborhood in Cincinnati because of the rampant gentrification that has taken place in recent years, resulting in an influx of wealthier residents (or simply bar patrons) into what had previously been a low-income area. When in Over-the-Rhine be sure to drink Christian Moerlein's Over-the-Rhine Ale!