This is the canal that is responsible for giving Over the Rhine its name. This is a surprisingly cool set of photos to look at from the Enquirer's site. Check them out!
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
I'm sure no one is reading this blog anymore since I've basically stopped posting anything new for months on end. However, if there are ANY stragglers still hanging on by the thinnest of threads...Here's a relevant post!
Check out Ken Burn's Prohbition on pbs.org. If you're at all like me and you spend a significant amount of time day-dreaming about the way things used to be, especially in Over the Rhine, this movie really lets your imagination run wild!
There are even a few specific shout outs to Cincinnati! However, what's most fascinating to me is the amazing descriptions of life in the late 1800s. It really gives you a renewed appreciation for the stock of buildings we have still standing here in OTR and all the history we have just dripping from our streets.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
This is very exciting news for OTR and especially for myself since I live right around the corner from where this will be! Thank you to Taste of Belgium for believing in this neighborhood and taking the plunge to open a new cafe/restaurant here. Its places like this that will go a long way to helping the city and OTR prosper.
Taste of Belgium to OTR
Great new streetcar video on Soapbox Media today! Check it out:
Friday, April 1, 2011
USA Today agrees, its worthwhile for cities to invest in their urban cores because young people are flocking to cities with strong downtowns. READ HERE
"Every metro area has good suburbs, but if you don't have a strong downtown and close-in neighborhoods, then you're not offering a choice that many of them are seeking. Offering that choice is a real competitive advantage for cities."
Our streetcar plan will strengthen OTR and Downtown and help create the competitive advantage people are talking about.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
For a more detailed explanation read here: PRESS RELEASE
At a staff meeting for the Ohio TRAC (Transportation Review Advisory Council) today, staff members recommended that funding for the Cincinnati Streetcar Project be withheld due to "fiscal balance" issues.
The decision was made to withhold these funds despite the fact that the Cincinnati Streetcar Project was rated as the highest ranking project in all of Ohio as reviewed by TRAC just months ago. This is the same Streetcar project that TRAC unanimously voted to support 8-0 just last year. Under obvious dictator like tactics by Gov. Kasich, the money will not be used to reduce the state deficit, but will instead be reallocated to much lower ranking road, highway, or bridge projects around the state.
Just yesterday, according to a press release from All Aboard Ohio's Ken Prendergast, a proposed amendment to ODOT’s biennial budget request would change the laws in Ohio to prevent any state or federal funds from being given to the Cincinnati Streetcar project. "The Ohio Senate Transportation Committee is expected to approve today an omnibus amendment which includes provision SC-0257-1. A summary of that provision says it “prohibits state or federal funds appropriated by the state from being used for the Cincinnati streetcar project.”
All this happening to a project expected to return huge dividends in economic development to a city struggling to make ends meet year after year. Investments like these are what help cities climb out of holes, yet our Gov. is taking away funding and channeling it instead to road and highway projects that have absolutely no value in giving this city or the entire state what it really needs.
This is an absolute abomination happening in our state right now and I fully believe that Ohio and Cincinnati citizens deserve better than this. Regardless of where you stand on the Streetcar Project, this sort of abuse of power and political wrangling should not be allowed to go unchecked!
Please write the people below today and express your anger towards their shameful behavior.
ODOT Director Jerry Wray:
Jerry Wray, Director
Ohio Department of Transportation
1980 West Broad Street
Columbus Ohio, 43223
Phone: (614) 466-2336
Gov. John Kasich: (614) 466-3555 or http://governor.ohio.gov/ShareYourIdeas.aspx
Governor John Kasich
Riffe Center, 30th Floor
77 South High Street
Columbus, Oh 43215-6117
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Front view of the John Hauck mansion on Millionaire's Row in the West End
First, I must take a minute to apologize for my last post in which I threatened to leave Cincinnati if the streetcar project doesn't happen. This is not going to happen. I suppose I sometimes let emotions get the best of me when it comes to standing up for downtown and OTR:)
Moving on...The Enquirer ran a story today about Dayton St. in the West End in reference to Mallory's recent appearance on Undercover Boss. In the article, they felt it necessary to explain to Cincinnati viewers what the term "Millionaire's Row" was referring to. I suppose in some sense they did an okay job explaining its historical importance, but it seems to me they went a little too far in making sure to let everyone know that the neighborhood is no longer full of millionaire's, but instead mostly low-income families. I got the feeling that they wanted to keep people thinking negatively about that part of town. They went out of their way to explain how many of the mansions are boarded up and even went so far as to call it Skid Row instead of Millionaire's Row.
I just don't get the Enquirer. I mean, how can anyone hate Downtown and OTR that much that they take every opportunity possible to put a negative spin on things? The West End neighborhood of Cincinnati, before getting sliced up by I-75, was a magnificent place. It was huge and contained just as many, if not more beautiful 19th century buildings than OTR does today. I always like to remind people, that if they consider themselves native Cincinnatians they likely had great grandparents or great great grandparents who helped build these neighborhoods and likely lived out their entire lives there. Why would you want to constantly crap on your own family history?
Anyway, I just wanted to express my frustration with the Enquirer for again screwing up a perfectly good opportunity to help Dayton St. out a little by publishing an nice article detailing all the interesting historical and architectural facts about Millionaire's row. Why not take the opportunity to educate your readers about all the different brewery owners that once lived there? Or how about point out that the Hatch House (referred to in the article as simply "in need of a lot of work") is believed to be one of the only remaining structures in the area built by the famous architect Isaiah Rogers. Instead, we are left with nothing but negative commentary that I see as totally unnecessary.
I suppose I don't mind it all that much though because what they are essentially doing is preventing rich suburbanites from wanting to come down here and buy up all these old mansions. For my wife and I that's a good thing because we would love to eventually buy one of these amazing properties and fix it up and live there. So, at least they're helping to keep property values down?
Below: A few examples of the type of magnificient architectural treasures still intact throughout most of the West End and especially prominent along Millionaire's Row.
An example of a Carriage House in the rear of the Hauck Mansion. Many of the buildings along Millionaire's Row still have these beautiful structures intact as part of the property.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Well I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it appears we won't be getting a streetcar after all. You can all thank Gov. Kasich for this. He's decided he doesn't support giving Cincnnati the grant money we were recommended for earlier in 2010. Without his support those funds won't find their way to Cincinnati. Without those funds our city will never be able to afford a project like this. It is very sad to see that YEARS of hard work will be going down the drain because of misinformed, close-minded, conservative, out dated values. We can all look back in history and thank Gov Kasich and the current GOP controlled Congress for keeping Ohio and Cincinnati in the same old condition it's been in for the last 60+ years. It looks like my wife and I just found an excuse to move to NYC after all.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Soapbox Cincinnati sent out a great article today featuring news about how attractive OTR is now to young people moving here from other cities. It just goes to show what we've believed true for so long. OTR is the type of neighborhood people are looking for now and will continue to become more and more popular as it fills up with more life. If you think this is good news now, just wait to see how many people start flocking here once the streetcar is rolling around!
Monday, January 31, 2011
I have always been a believer that repopulating Over the Rhine is the most important thing we can do to fix the neighborhood's crime problem. Putting more eyes on the street increases the chances that when a crime is committed someone will see it and be able to help police find the person who did it. One of the most frustrating things about crime in OTR is the fact that the police often have little to no help when faced with finding the person responsible for a crime. So, many people get away with doing bad things simply because there were no witnesses or the witnesses who they do have refuse to talk. This is precisely why we need more people who actually care about the city and keeping it safe living here and spending their time here.
Now I have proof of this concept after a weekend incident reported in the Enquirer. Police Chief Tom Streicher happened to be shopping at Findlay Market this weekend when he heard gunshots going off on a nearby street. He was off duty in regular street clothes and was shopping at the market. He was able to see some men running off to a car and followed them closely in his own private vehicle while calling police to pursue. They ended up catching and arresting the two morons who were responsible for this and both had criminal records and outstanding warrants for their arrests! Ha!
This is a perfect example of how more caring eyes on the streets will help change this neighborhood for the better. The two want-to-be gangsters who got busted this weekend did what they did because they figured there would be no one around to see them do it who would actually cared enough to help the police. It just so happens the person who saw them was an off duty police chief, but it could have easily been anyone shopping at Findlay Market that day.
If we want to see Over the Rhine succeed we need to look out for it ourselves. This means always having a watchful eye over things and being ready to help police when the time comes. Its no different than people in the suburbs keeping an eye on suspicious vehicles parked on their street or something like that. We need to protect our own neighborhood streets and sidewalks so that morons with guns don't get to just walk free any more.
The old philosophy of simply running to the suburbs and hoping the police can solve the crime is flawed. Many Cincinnatians still believe that the solution is to just stay away from Over the Rhine. This upsets me because I know that doing so only makes the problem worse. I've said for a long time that we could pour all the money in the world in to Cincinnati's police force and they would never be able to rid the neighborhood of crime. They need help in the form of watchful eyes on the streets and in windows at all times.
We need to continue to focus on attracting new residents and businesses to the neighborhood so morons with guns can't get away with acting stupid in OTR anymore.