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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Can I count my chickens yet?

The two biggest projects going on right now in Cincinnati would be The Banks and the streetcar proposal...and the old saying goes, "don't count your chickens before they hatch." But it seems like both are chugging along now at a pretty good rate, and while there is some opposition for both, that opposition doesn't seem to have much traction.

The people making the decisions are generally supportive of both efforts and seem ready and willing to pass both through. The Banks is happening right before our eyes and looks like it will have all the political approvals it needs to move forward; ground breaking seems like for the 1Q of 2008.

The streetcar proposal has really gone public now and the naysayers have come out as everyone expected they would. However this is a project that will not require a public vote (which I don't think would be an issue anyways) and simply has to gain the approval of City Hall. After that you'll see tracks being laid and quite possibly streetcars running by the 4Q of 2010 (roughly the same time that people will be living at phase 1 of The Banks).

I don't want to get ahead of myself, but it seems as though this city is finally moving forward with The Banks and is moving very quickly to get streetcars running soon. I'll just say that I've got my camera ready for the ground-breaking ceremonies that are going to be held in the very near future.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Early bird gets the Metro worm

Metro is going to be giving away a "Night on the Town" package courtesy of Downtown Cincinnati Inc. This started in September and will be lasting through December. If you buy a monthly pass (either online or in person) before the 22nd of each month may enter to win the package. So what's in this wonderful sounding "Night on the Town" package?

A gift certificate from downtown restaurants like Boi Na Braza, Cadillac Ranch and Washington Platform, a free night at the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati and admission for two to the Cincinnati Museum Center's" Real Pirates" exhibit. To enter you can go to the Metro Sales office at 120 East Fourth Street downtown or click here to complete an online contest entry form.

Another incentive to buy a monthly pass and get it early is to get one of these cool commemorative mouse pads that Metro will give out to the first 200 people to purchase a monthly pass. Here on some details on how to purchase your monthly pass and what they cost:

End of year "Clearance Sale" for Online Customers Only
Starting Sept. 1, pre-order your monthly passes on-line for October, November and December and save! Your credit card will be billed on the 15th each month when the pass is mailed to you. Discounts available on advance orders placed between Sept. 1 and Sept. 30, 2007 only.

Sale Prices
Zone 1 Pass - Just $38 (save $2)
Zone 2 Pass - Just $57 (save $3)
Zone 3 Pass - Just $91 (save $4)
Zone 4 Pass - Just $100 (save $5)
All Pass - Just $119 (save $6)
M/T Pass - Just $68 (save $2)

Keep the movies rolling

Citykin just recently was discussing how Fountain Square will be showing some Halloween type family movies this Saturday (10/27). This is due in part to the great turnout they saw over the summer and the somewhat mild weather we are experiencing.

Personally I love the idea of movie nights on the square. It is a really neat thing for families to do and it's free. Not to mention the unique social interaction opportunities the children have. But I have been wondering this since the summer was drawing to a close. Why is it that we have to stop showing these movies regularly after Labor Day? Sure this marks the end of summer, but the weather doesn't start to get all that bad here until about mid-November. I also think they should start earlier in the year than the typical Memorial Day weekend start.

I think it should be a week-to-week decision following Labor Day and before Memorial Day. This would allow the great movie nights, on the square, to continue. Lets really capitalize on this great activity on the square. Keep the movies rolling.

Photo credit:

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Young Professionals and streetcars

Well a brilliant young individual had some delightful commentary in today's Cincinnati Enquirer editorial section, enjoy...

I am by definition a young professional, part of the creative class, and I am enrolled at the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning.

As you may know, Cincinnati is not exactly a hotbed for the creative class and has struggled to retain/attract young professionals.

As a creative person, it can be difficult to make it work here over a place like Chicago, New York or Atlanta, but it seems as though people are afraid to even try at times. We need to continue to prioritize the arts and place new emphasis on things like mass transit.

This is a very important issue to many young people and in particular the creative class. If we fail at creating a city with these elements, then we will fail at attracting that ever-important young professional.

Aside from bus service, Cincinnati offers no transit options. The cities that do a great job at attracting this demographic have much more, and we are falling further behind the likes of Seattle, Portland, Austin, Atlanta, Chicago and Baltimore.

Cincinnati is now looking to build a streetcar system. This is a great first step at creating a wide-reaching transit system.

I would argue that Cincinnati has an edge over many of these other cities in terms of arts, geographic features and affordability, but we simply cannot rest on our laurels.

I know I can not speak for every young person out there, but I say this: Please make the effort to keep us around for our sake and the sake of our community.

If you are not a young professional, would you prefer your child to live in Cincinnati or Seattle?

Streetcars are not the only answer, but they are the opportunity we have the chance to capitalize on right now.

Cincinnati Enquirer, Guest Editorial 10/24/07

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Queen's Crown Jewels

A new Cincinnati blog is up and running, and it is a good one. He posts lots of pictures, enlightens you with his vast knowledge of architecture and the city as a whole. Dan describes himself, and the site as:

"My overviews and observations of Cincinnati, OH. I am a single, thirtysomething living in Over-the-Rhine with a certain point of view on the city around me."

The most recent post covers the history and special features of Cincinnati classics that make the Queen City what it is. This first edition of what will become an ongoing feature, on Queen City Survey, covers the Cincinnati Gymnasium & Athletic Club.

Dan knows his go check out what Queen City Survey has to offer, you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

How 'bout these apples?!

There has been a slew of good news lately for Cincinnati. The cool thing about these recent reports is that they are not as noticeable, at first, as new restaurants and clubs...but in all reality they are MUCH better.

Not only is the most notorious neighborhood becoming safer, but the entire City is seeing the effects of the increase priority of public safety. Programs like Operation Vortex and others have made an immediate impact and gotten criminals off the streets. This is great, but alone these are just quick fixes to a larger problem of crime and bad behavior.

Other programs like the Cincinnati Initiative and Citizens on Patrol programs are being set up as substantial fixes to some of these issues. Instead of just locking up and identifying the criminals we need to confront them and find out how we can get these people to start being productive members of society again. The COP programs are empowering neighborhood residents to take back their neighborhoods and make them safe again.

City Council members continue to make crime their main platform item...maybe it is now time to shift the focus towards education. Lets allow these programs to settle in and take the mean time lets make our public education as great as it can be, and really make Cincinnati a wonderful place to live. Instead of just pumping more money to spend in schools lets see if we can fix the root problems with our school system. How can we make them more exciting, inviting, comfortable and stimulating for our youths? These should be the next issues we tackle.

As for the other stuff...I'll add one of my lists here:

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Stop talking...start doing!

I don't know how many times I hear from the nay-sayers who continually claim that there is nothing to do in Cincinnati...or that it is a boring place for young people. You also hear, from these same people, about how Downtown and OTR are dead and have no chance. All of these statements couldn't be further from the truth, but they are said nonetheless.

What I realized in Atlanta was that the bars and clubs weren't that much better than Cincinnati...but what made Atlanta better for young people was all the damn young people. They were everywhere, and they were active. I saw a lot more young entrepreneurs and movers/shakers in Atlanta as compared to Cincinnati.

My point is that if you want OTR to be cool...or you want Cincinnati to have new fun/exciting things to do. Then DO it already!!! This city has long talked about what we can do, but only in select occasions do we actually act upon those words. I say it's about time we start putting up, or shutting up. If you say that OTR sucks and are doing nothing about it and have no connection to it...then shut it and move on. If you like to bitch about the poor leadership on city council, and live out in the 'burbs...then shut the hell up. You can move to the city and then have a voice, until then all you are doing is taking a crap on somebody else's lawn.

Let's step it up Cincinnati and start being the great city we are...instead of talking about the great city we could be.

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