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Top Soapbox stories of 2014

Food trucks at Washington Park

Par Projects' new development in Northside

Repp could change dating and networking forever

Gaslight work perks

MadTree helps fuel the local beer renaissance


It's the most wonderful time of the year.... No, not gift giving or office parties, but top 10 lists!

Even Soapbox indulges in this seasonal merriment, so join us as we stroll down memory lane and remind you of the biggest stories of 2014.

We've checked our Google Analytics once, checked them twice, and here are the most popular Soapbox stories published in 2014 based on page views (in descending order). Click on the dates to read the original pieces.

1. 30 Must-Try Cincinnati Food Trucks (May 20)
A roundup of the local food truck scene, with schedule links, signature dishes and a bit of owner background. This story created a skirmish in the comments section over readers' favorites and overlooked gems.

2. Greater Cincinnati's 10 Most Anticipated Development Projects (Oct. 28)
Inside information on awesome development projects rising out of the ground in Over-the-Rhine, Covington, Newport, Walnut Hills, Price Hill, Northside and Westwood, as well as a status report on the streetcar project. Lots of cool photos.

3. Four Cincinnati Startups That Could Change the World (Nov. 18)
It's still a little early to know for sure if our world has indeed been changed by these local startups, but this story piqued everyone's interest enough to at least keep track of how they're doing.

4. Cincinnati's Best Workplace Perks (Aug. 19)
It's not just plucky startups offering employees creative ways to enjoy their workdays — even Fifth Third Bank was featured in this story, pointing out their two full-time on-site concierges for downtown employees. The other perks sounded fun: a two-story office slide, foosball tables and a company-wide group vacation in Michigan.

5. Meet Four Locals Who Are Living the Dream in Cincinnati (Oct. 14)
These four entrepreneurs are following their dreams by starting companies that align with their passions. "On a scale of one to 10, with hating every minute of your job being a one and loving every second being a 10, I would say I’m at a nine or 10 almost all the time," says software developer Tarek Kamil.

6. Crossroads Community Providing Fertile Ground for Entrepreneurs with Unpolished, Ocean Accelerator (April 28)
Crossroads already shattered the stereotype of how a church operates, so it wasn't a surprise that a group of Crossroads members formed the Unpolished initiative in June 2013 to encourage entrepreneurs. In 2014 the concept morphed into a high-tech accelerator organization called Ocean, which sought applicants and will announce its first class any day now.

7. Love of Local Brew Fuels Rapid Rise of Cincy's Beer Market (March 11)
The only thing Soapbox readers love more than startups is beer, so it's no surprise that our Spring roundup of the newest brewery entrepreneurs was so popular. The story profiled the people behind the latest and greatest brands at MadTree, Fifty West, Rhinegeist and Blank Slate.

8. Cincy Neighborhood Is Model of Urban Sustainability (July 14)
Located in the heart of East Price Hill, the Enright Ridge Urban Eco-Village is comprised of 90 properties located on or near Enright Avenue, predicated on one inquiry: Does my action enhance the earth?

9. How Cincinnati Stole My Heart (Feb. 11)
Soapbox Founding Publisher Dacia Snider discussed her 15-year warming-up to Cincinnati in an engaging first-person essay that challenged readers to join Soapbox to learn to love and push to change our city. "So what are you waiting for," Dacia asked. "Where will your love for Cincinnati take you?"

10. Ryan Messer: New Kind of Leader for a New Over-the-Rhine (Dec. 9)
Living in a rehabbed home across from Washington Park, Ryan Messer has stepped up to leadership roles with Believe in Cincinnati, which saved the streetcar from Mayor Cranley's cancellation, and as President of the Over-the-Rhine Community Council. The story delves into how he might lead OTR into its next phase as a neighborhood and development magnet.
 
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