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Cincinnati, OH

Underrated City - 8/13/2020
I've lived in Cincinnati for 30 years (most of my life, save for a brief stint living in Denver), and even as a native I can tell you that this city is grossly underrated. The city has a beautiful skyline and an abundance of historic architecture and modern architecture. The Italianate streets of OTR, the painted ladies of Columbia Tusculum, the art deco masterpieces of Union Terminal and Carew Tower, the modernist Terrace Plaza Hotel, and the Zaha Hadid-designed CAC all come to mind. We have three major league sports teams, a redeveloping urban core, and an arts scene that rivals that of much larger cities due to our generous local philanthropists. Our public library system, paid for through tax dollars, is among the largest in the country. Add to that a low cost of living, and you have a great place to live.

This is not to say that everything is perfect. We have a higher-than-average homicide rate. Our regional economy, while not as affected by "rust belt city" problems as other cities in the region, is still struggling to transition in a knowledge-based economy. Our neighborhoods are highly segregated, both by income and race. Public transit is mostly unreliable buses with a small downtown streetcar system. The county (Hamilton) just recently passed a transit levy that will hopefully address some of these underlying issues. Ohio tends to swing moderate-to-conservative in state and local elections. Progressives and liberals moving to Ohio may find this frustrating if they are transplanting from the coastal areas. At the same though, the people here are incredibly friendly, and most folks in the urban core are very tolerant and open-minded. True, we do not have nice beaches like other cities (the Ohio River is virtually un-swimmable), but we do have a host of gyms and taxpayer-subsidized rec centers with swimming pools that (until recently due to COVID-19) have been open during the summer.

Come give us a visit. You may be surprised by what you find!

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