Thursday, August 02, 2007

How to survive in Cincinnati

The girls and I were all over Cincinnati today, and it made me think of all the stuff that makes Cincinnati unique, fun or just weird. I thought about the times I have traveled in different cities, not knowing the layout, or the best restaurants, etc. Trixie will be passing through Cincy this month, so I get to meet another bloggeress! And we will be hitting us some chili parlors, oh yeah.
So here's Susan Gets Native Guide to Cincinnati:
  • The circle freeway in Cincinnati is I-275. I think of it as a clock...Tri-County Mall is at 12, Northern Kentucky is at 6, and so on. and I-275 goes through three states: Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.
  • The two main "artery" expressways are I-75 and I-71. I-75 travels along the west side of town and I-71 goes along the east. They also merge to become I-75/I-71 in Northern Kentucky.
  • The two big sports teams are the Reds (Baseball) and the Bengals (football).
And some years, they don't suck.
  • Food that Cincinnati is famous for: First and foremost, SKYLINE Chili. It's not a Tex-Mex is a Greek recipe developed by an immigrant who will now go down in history as the Father of Cincinnati Chili. Two of the best ways to have Skyline...with spaghetti and topped with cheese, or a coney: Hot dog, steamed bun, chili and cheese. Another Cincy favorite is Montgomery Inn ribs. And Graeter's Ice Cream. If you come here, I will personally take you out to get all three.
  • Cincinnati was founded mostly by German immigrants, and you can tell by some of the traditional foods: One is Goetta. (That's pronounced ged-da) It's basically oatmeal sausage. Don't knock it until you try it. Some smart-ass called it "Cincinnati Caviar".
  • Our airport isn't in Cincinnati. It's in Kentucky. I know, I don't understand it either.
  • With the northern growth of the metropolitan area, it is theorized that someday Cincinnati and Dayton will be merged. (Like Dallas/Fort Worth)
  • You can guess someone's age by what they call State Route 126. If you are over 30, you call it "Cross County Highway". If you are younger, you call it "Ronald Reagan".
  • Old timers here don't pronounce Cincinnati the way the rest of us do. I remember my grandmother, who was born in 1900, calling it "Cincinnatah".
  • We hold the second largest Oktoberfest in the world. "Eins, zwei, drei....G'SUFFA!" Come enjoy Gemutlichkeit in your Lederhosen!
  • If you need a hospital while you are here, most of them are near the University of Cincinnati. All of them are sitting on top of what we call "Pill Hill". University (General), Good Samaritan (or Good Sam, as we call it), Deaconess, Christ...all in the same area.
  • Unfortunately, the majority of Cincinnatians are Conservatives. But there are small pockets of good ol' pinko in Clifton, an area near University of Cincinnati. That's where you go to see (or be) the freaks. Independent films, hemp clothing, forward thinking can get it all in Clifton.
  • Famous people who were born in, or lived at one time in Cincinnati:
Benjamin Harrison- 23rd president
William Howard Taft-27th president
Albert Sabin-creator of oral Polio vaccine
Tony Snow-current White House Press Secretary (Yuck)
George Clooney (Oh, yeahhhhhhhh)
Rosemary Clooney
Doris Day
Ted Turner
Carmen Electra
Annie Oakley
Sara Jessica Parker
Tyrone Power
Roy Rogers
Stephen Spielberg
Jerry Springer (he was a news anchor, mayor, and that guy who got caught when he paid a hooker with a check)
Andy Williams
98 Degrees (Boy band from the 90's...lead singer was Nick Lachey, that guy who married Jessica Simpson)
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Pete Rose
Charles Guggenheim
*from areas surrounding Cincinnati or just from Ohio, because I like making lists:
Neil Armstrong
John Glenn
Erma Bombeck
Dorothy Dandridge
Clark Gable
Thomas Edison
Dean Martin
Paul Newman
Halle Berry
Drew Carry
Arsenio Hall
Gloria Steinem (Burn those bras, ladies!)
Warren Harding-29th president
Rutherford Hayes-19th president
George Custer
Ulysses S. Grant-18th president
James A. Garfield-20th president
William McKinley-25th president
*Notice all the presidents from Ohio? Ohio is called the "Mother of Presidents". Eight were from here.

Now, no post of mine would be complete without a bit of humor.
Check out this ad from back in the day:

Are YOU everyone's PAL?


Dave said...

Roy Rogers was born in Cincinnatah?

Susan Gets Native said...

I think so. Or at least lived here.
You old-timer.

Lynne said...

The first record I ever got was Roy Rogers and Dale Evans singing "Happy Trails to You"

The Swami said...

Goetta. It may look like oatmeal, but it has the full flavor of compost!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for an interesting read about Cincinnati! LOvely city with so much to see! One of the most beautiful buildings is the old
Hilton Cincinnati Netherlands Plaza. Mr. T. J. Mobilio gives a superb tour of this showplace including the Pavillion Caprice, the room that boasts Doris Day's first professional appearance! This Hotel is a MUST SEE!

Just wanted to add that my upcoming book:

An Indiana Girl's Sentimental Journey
To Doris Day's Hollywood & Beyond

(from Hawthorne Publishing)

is due out in October! I had the pleasure of knowing, working for and living with one of Cincinnati's natives, DORIS DAY, in the 1970s. What a Great Lady!

I know she still has relatives there and I am anxious to share my story with all of you and hope to be doing some book signings there later this year.

Mary Anne Barothy

Mary said...

Susan, this is great! The first thing that pops into my head when I hear Cincinnati is "WKRP". Loved that show.

I'll need to use this post idea one day and research Charlotte. I've only been here two years and I'll learn a lot!

Beth said...

You forgot LaRosa's!

Also, it's not just young people who call it "Ronald Reagan" - people who aren't from here call it that too. You can also spot someone not from here if they call it REEEEDing Road (or the city of REEEEding), as opposed to the correct REDDDDing.

Lynne said...

OH- I loved WKRP too!

And no, I'm not THAT kind of Pal!

mon@rch said...

I have never been their before but when I do make it in Cincinnati that I have the printed somewhere!

Juli Rose said...

You forgot the odd custom of saying "Please?" instead of "Excuse me?" This is due to most Cincinnatians having a German background. Germans say "Bitte" when they want someone to repeat themselves, and "Bitte" translates to "Please". *That's* how I tell if someone is a native or not.

And a bit of trivia from Second base [of Cinergy Field] occupied the spot where the home of Roy Rogers, the singing cowboy, once stood.

I always love hearing Cincy Trivia - thanks!

NatureWoman said...

Cool Cincinnati list Susan! I lived in KY for 11 mos. and travelled up to Cincinnati a couple of times and thought it was pretty cool!
George Clooney - I never got into the big deal over him. He just doesn't do it for me like some other men do!
And nooooo, I'm not everyone's PAL in the way the ad talks about, LOL!!! But you already know that!

KatDoc said...

Nice Cincinati post - I just blogged about Graeter's ice cream myself. :)

My additions:

1) Yup. Roy Rogers was from Cincinnati. There was a chain of Roy Rogers' Restaurants here, now I only know of one left. (SR 32, between Batavia and Newtown.)

2) You know someone is not from Cincinnati if they ask for a menu in Skyline.

3) I am a transplant, not a native, to the Cincy area, but I picked up "Please?" which I think sounds more polite than "Huh?" and less perverted than "Come again?" Unfortunately, it doesn't translate outside this area.

4) I have never eaten goetta or done the Chicken Dance.

5) I live in Ohio, but have to drive through Kentucky to get to downtown Cincinnati.

6) I have freaked out fellow plane passengers who are flying into the Cincinnati Airport by telling them we are about to land in Kentucky. "What? I am supposed to be going to Cincinnati, OHIO!"

7) The big debate in Cincy is not Ford vs. Chevy or Coke vs Pepsi, but "Skyline or Gold Start?" (For the record, Skyline is the only Cincinnati-style chili for me.)

8) The Tyler-Davidson Fountain, "The Genius of Water," is my favorite landmark. If you watched 'KRP, you saw her every week in the opening sequence.

~Kathi, inviting you all to visit sometime

KatDoc said...

Gold STAR, not START

Anonymous said...

Virginia is also known as "Mother of Presidents".

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