(c) January 2008 Oliver Bonten
In January 2008 I had the opportunity to visit Cincinnati, Ohio, on a business trip. Cincinnati is not exactly the place you are likely to visit as a tourist, and I thought it may be the only time in my life I'll ever be there, so I took my camera and had a good look around. Unfortunately, the only day on which I had some time to roam and take pictures - Sunday - was also the only day with leaden grey sky. On the other days there was a brilliant blue winter sky outside, while I was inside.
Cincinnati is quite a pleasant place - I was surprised. I somehow expected all midwestern cities except for Chicago to be dull but Cincinnati seems to be a decent place to live. It is a very affluent and (for the U.S.) old city, nicely located on the Ohio river, with apparently good living conditions. On arrival, Cincinnati reminded me of Vientiane, Laos ... I arrived on a Saturday afternoon, just like in Vientiane, and the city was almost deserted of cars. I could cross the main streets without paying much attention, maybe now and then a car would drive by. There were no bamboo restaurants on the river, though. But the city also acted as if there were a nightly curfew and at 9pm, it was hard to find a fast food shop or something similar.
One of the good things about the U.S. is the variety of choices ... even though, for example, on average the supermarket food is much worse than in Europe, you still have an ample supply of really superior food. There was a coffee roaster who sold green bean varieties I have to mail-order in Germany. Graeter's ice cream was really superb. For fresh food, there is Findlay Market in the city (admitted, we have something like it in Frankfurt as well, in an unremarkable building, but that's not the point). There was an organic food supermarket with the size and variety of a regular supermarket. BTW., I did't see a single McDonalds until my last day, except at the airport. I also didn't see a single KFC, not even in Kentucky!
There is an observation deck on Carew Tower, the highest building in Cincinnati, from which you have a view over the city. It was windy on the day I was there, and so the deck was empty. Fortunately.
Cincinnati is located on the river Ohio, which is the boundary between Kentucky and Ohio (the state). If you walk across a bridge, you're in Kentucky. No fried chicken though. The two towns on the Kentucky side, Covington and Newport, are separated by the small Licking river, and are rather affluent and sedate towns. This seems to be unusual for Kentucky, which is one of the poorer states in the U.S..
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