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Cincinnati In The News

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New York Times does Cincinnati on a budget


The New York Times' "Frugal Traveler" section visits Cincinnati via a new report from Lucas Peterson, who takes in "a former boomtown that was once called the 'Paris of America' because of its inspired architecture and ambitious engineering projects."

"I discovered that Cincinnati has a complicated and fascinating history that bridges (quite literally) the Northern and Southern United States," he writes. "There are, of course, great opportunities for the budget-conscious traveler: gorgeous buildings, interesting museums, open-air markets and good food, including Cincinnati's famous chili."

Peterson tries Skyline in Clifton and Camp Washington Chili, spends time at Findlay Market and Museum Center at Union Terminal and experiences a transcendent moment at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

"There’s an odd quietness in the (slave) pen, which visitors are allowed to enter: an almost ghostly chill," he writes. "It's a potent piece of history, and one of the more impressive artifacts I've encountered in any museum, anywhere."

Read the full New York Times story here.
 

Cincinnati is home to unique food and drink not found elsewhere


Cincinnati is known for goetta, Skyline Chili and of course, beer, but those aren't the only things putting the city on the map. Chefs like Todd Kelly and restaurateurs like Jeff Ruby strive to provide diners with something different and tasty each time they visit.

Whether it's a five-star dining experience you seek or an ice cold pint, you're sure to find it in Cincinnati.

Read the full USA Today story here.

Four area colleges crack Forbes' list of Top Colleges


Four area colleges — Miami University, Northern Kentucky University, University of Cincinnati and Xavier University — made it onto Forbes' list of top colleges.

Forbes ranked 660 colleges and universities across the country that are "well worth the investment." Miami came in at #180, Xavier at #341, UC at #375, and NKU at #641.

See the full ranking here.
 

Greater Cincinnati ranked #9 among regions "where manufacturing is thriving"


Forbes Magazine says manufacturing in the U.S. has enjoyed a renaissance since 2009, gaining back 828,000 jobs since the recession. And the industrial heartland has been leading the charge, in sharp contrast to other areas of the economy.

Forbes has released its ranking of the 48 metropolitan statistical areas with at least 50,000 manufacturing positions, based on employment growth in the sector over the short-, medium- and long-term, going back to 2005, and factoring in momentum (whether growth is slowing or accelerating). Greater Cincinnati is ranked #9.

"Perhaps no sector in the U.S. economy generates more angst than manufacturing," Joel Kotkin writes in the list's introduction. "Over the past quarter century, manufacturing has hemorrhaged over 5 million jobs. The devastation of many regional economies, particularly in the Midwest, is testament to this decline. If the information sector has been the golden child of the media, manufacturing has been the offspring that we pity but can't comfortably embrace."

Yet over the period from 1997 to 2012, he continues, labor productivity growth in manufacturing is 3.3% per year, one-third higher than the rest of the economy. In addition, "a dollar of final demand for manufacturing generates $1.33 in output from other sectors of the economy, considerably higher than the multiplier for information ($0.80) and more than twice as high as such fields as retail trade ($0.66) and business services ($0.61). Other estimates place this impact far higher."

Forbes says manufacturing employment in Greater Cincinnati grew by 3.29 percent in 2015 and 11.92 percent from 2010 to 2015.

Read the full Forbes story here.
 

Arnold's celebrated as "truly a piece of history"


As most Cincinnatians know, Arnold's Bar and Grill was established on Eighth Street downtown in 1861 and is the city's oldest public house. The National Trust for Historic Preservation is now sharing that knowledge with the world via its website "Stories" section.

"With only minimal changes over its more than 150-year lifespan, Arnold's is truly a piece of history. It’s also a rocking place for live music and hearty food," the blog post says.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately funded nonprofit organization working to save America's historic places.

Read the full blog post here.
 

How Cincinnati salvaged the nation's most dangerous neighborhood


Politico Magazine presents an exhaustive, well-researched overview of how the City of Cincinnati and 3CDC "salvaged" Over-the-Rhine, tracing the neighborhood's political battles since the 1930s and putting today's renaissance into historical context.

"It's a transformation that's happened in a blink of an eye, turning a neighborhood that in 2009 topped Compton in Los Angeles for the 'most dangerous' title into something that looks and feels like Greenwich Village," writes Politico Contributing Editor Colin Woodward. "And it didn't happen by accident. Virtually everything that’s occurred in Over-the-Rhine — from the placement of the trees in the park to the curation of ground floor businesses — has been meticulously planned and engineered by a single, corporate-funded and decidedly non-governmental entity."
 
That would be 3CDC, and Woodward retraces how then-Mayor Charlie Luken and then-Procter & Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley cooked up the idea for such an organization in the wake of the 2001 civil unrest. He also does a good job explaining how 3CDC went about accumulating OTR buildings, how it's developing Vine Street block by block and why so many neighborhood residents feel left out of the comeback.

It's a well-written story with excellent photography and meticulous detail on German immigrants, the "OTR naming" story, population shifts, Buddy Gray, Jim Tarbell, The Brandery, the Brewery District and much more.

Read the full Politico story here.
 

Streetcars: If you build it, will they come?


Slow to build and expensive to operate, streetcars could be the most maligned mode of transportation in America, Governing Magazine says in its June issue, but cities keep building them.

This could be a banner year for streetcar openings, Daniel Vock writes, with a total of eight streetcar projects opening or about to come online, including five in cities with no previous service: Cincinnati; Detroit; Kansas City, Mo.; St. Louis; and Washington, D.C.

"What generally distinguishes streetcars from light rail is that streetcars are smaller, travel in traffic, have shorter routes and make more frequent stops," he writes. "Light rail is built to move people between neighborhoods, while streetcars typically help people get around within neighborhoods. Although the distinctions may seem small, they help explain why streetcars seem to get a lot more criticism than light rail projects, even though both have proliferated rapidly in recent years."

The most emulated streetcar system in the country is Portland’s, Vock says, and a "pilgrimage to Portland is virtually a prerequisite for any city leader serious about building a streetcar system at home. Cincinnati’s delegation has visited Portland 39 times because it’s an example of how a streetcar can both improve transportation and create a vibrant neighborhood out of an overlooked industrial area."

Read the full Governing Magazine story here.
 

Walkable neighborhoods in U.S. cities are both wealthier and more highly educated


Urbanist Richard Florida writes in CityLab about a new report from the George Washington University School of Business regarding the effects of walkable places on the wealth and equity of U.S. metro areas. Cincinnati is rated #18 of the 30 metros studied and is ranked in the "lower-middle walkable urbanism" grouping, the second lowest of four tiers.

Florida explains that the report ranks walkability for America’s 30 largest metros using data on 619 walkable urban neighborhoods based on their high walk scores and large concentrations of office and/or retail space. It then examines the connection between metro walkability and factors like economic development (based on GDP per capita), educational attainment (the share of adults with college degrees) and social equity (based on housing and transportation costs, as well as the number of jobs near a given residence).

"While walkable neighborhoods occupy only one percent of land mass across the 30 largest metros, they account for the majority of office and multi-family rental development," Florida writes. "Between 2010 and 2015, the market shares of walkable urban places increased in all 30 metros, with 27 metros seeing their growth double since 2010."

The top-ranked tier of walkable cities includes (in order) New York City; Washington, D.C.; Boston; Chicago; San Francisco; and Seattle. Other cities ranked in the same tier as Cincinnati are Cleveland, Detriot, Houston, Miami, Los Angeles, Kansas City and St. Louis.

Read the full CityLab story here.
 

Food tours are a delicious way to explore Cincinnati


A new Travel Diary post on the family travel website Taking the Kids explores Over-the-Rhine via a day with Cincinnati Food Tours.

"I recently visited Cincinnati and instantly liked its welcoming vibe," Allison Tibaldi writes. "It is proud of its traditions, but not bound by them. Locals are passionately supportive of their beloved Cincinnati Reds and Bengals, but a thriving contemporary art scene is equally embraced. Nowhere is this yin and yang of tradition and innovation more apparent than in the culinary arena. While this city gets its share of recognition for down-home Cincinnati-style chili, cutting-edge chefs are flocking here like bees to honey."

Tibaldi visited Findlay Market, "a vibrant living landmark and essential community institution," and then joined Cincinnati Food Tours to check out Salazar's, Taft's Ale House and Holtman's Donuts.

Read the full Taking the Kids post here.
 

Local startup Spatial among 12 international companies in auto mobility accelerator


The mobility accelerator operated by Boulder-Color.-based Techstars recently named Cincinnati startup Spatial as one of the 12 companies in its Techstars Mobility Class of 2016. Each is building automotive mobility technologies and services that enable people and goods to move around more freely, according to the announcement posted on Techstars' website.

"The quality of teams and companies applying this year has been incredible," writes Techstars Mobility Managing Director Ted Serbinski. "We saw a world-wide response with applications from 52 countries across 6 continents. There was a 44 percent increase in mobility-focused companies. Most impressive, 50 percent of the 2016 companies include founders with diverse backgrounds."

Spatial uses data from social media platforms to describe the feel of a neighborhood on maps, a big help to people planning trips to cities or areas they aren't familiar with. The startup was part of Ocean's accelerator class earlier this year, graduating in April.

As part of the Techstars Mobility Class, Serbinski says, Spatial will participate in a Sept. 8 demo day "where we expect over 1,000 people to come see and meet these 12 startups."

Techstars has increased its investment relationship with Cintrifuse in recent years and is partnering with Cintrifuse to present its annual FounderCon in Cincinnati in October.

Read the full Techstars blog post here.
 

Mortar turns locals into entrepreneurs in Cincinnati's gentrifying economy


Mortar's nine-week business development program is explained and celebrated in Yes! Magazine, a nonprofit, ad-free online and print publication offering tools for citizen engagement and stories about real people working for a better world.

While Mortar is open to all, Araz Hachadourian writes, the majority of its students are low-income women — like Jasmine Ford, who is featured in the story. After going through the Mortar program and raising funds through a Kiva campaign, Ford is planning to open a storefront bakery, Jazzy Sweeties, in Walnut Hills.

"The (Mortar) idea sprung from founders Derrick Braziel and Allen Woods, who live in Cincinnati’s historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood," Hachadourian writes. "Once a working-class neighborhood made up mostly of German immigrants, the area was later populated by African Americans arriving during the Great Migration. Most businesses then were bars and small shops.

"Over the years, tech firms moved in and more than $843 million was invested in Over-the-Rhine and the surrounding downtown area, bringing an onslaught of development and new residents. Braziel says the neighborhood still has small businesses, 'but they’re serving a different demographic now.'"

"A lot of the entrepreneurs that we work with operate out of the underground cash economy," Braziel says. "They’re running businesses out of their living room or they’re doing business out of their trunk or they’re hustling in some way, shape, or form. There’s talent all around, what’s lacking is the know-how."

Read the full Yes! Magazine story here.
 

Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus to use high-tech tools to fight blight


Next City explores how the Motor City Mapping project, a citywide effort to create a comprehensive property dashboard in Detroit, is now expanding to Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus. Next City is a nonprofit organization providing daily online coverage of the leaders, policies and innovations driving progress in metropolitan regions across the world.

"The Detroit Land Bank Authority used the data to make decisions about which houses to save versus tear down," Lee Chilcote writes. "Officials also inventoried vacant and occupied properties for the first time, concentrating their efforts on tearing down vacant homes and preventing residents who are behind on their taxes from losing their homes."

The same technology is coming to Ohio thanks to a $1 million grant from JPMorgan Chase to the Western Reserve Land Conservancy that will allow the agency to create property dashboards for Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus. WRLC will work with Detroit-based Loveland Technologies, which developed the Motor City Mapping project.

Loveland founder and CEO Jerry Paffendorf says the technology has been a game changer for Detroit because it's "the most accurate thing that exists as far as getting a look at occupancy, vacancy and condition" of properties.

"With information in a single, easy-to-use interface that is updated in real-time, Detroit residents can get a much more accurate picture of the condition of their neighborhoods," the story says, which will be the same for Cincinnati neighborhoods.

Read the full Next City story here.
 

Avondale program shows how the arts contribute to creating more equitable places


Local arts leader Margy Waller has published a report about her painting project in Avondale on Americans for the Arts' ArtsBlog. It's her fifth blog post in 2016 related to her involvement with the organization's New Community Visions Initiative, a two-year effort to explore the role of community-based arts enabling organizations, funders, cultural institutions and artists in shaping the future of local arts in the U.S.

Waller's new blog post asks how the arts can contribute to creating more equitable places and offers her Avondale experience as an example of success.

"Leaders at two of the area hospitals seem to recognize the damage done to the neighborhood (by large institutions replacing homes with office buildings and parking lots) and are looking for ways to connect with residents, bridging and bonding with the community, creating a stronger place for all," she writes. "These leaders called for a partner to create an experience, having in mind something like the ArtWalks — community inspired and co-created crosswalk murals — we’ve created in other neighborhoods."

The resulting painting project at Gabriel's Place, Waller says, "might seem a small thing. But, no. Co-creating the art is a major happiness element, enhancing quality of life and connecting the neighborhood residents to people working at the encroaching institutions. Recognizing the damage done, the racist and privileged actions over decades, is large."

Read Margy Waller's full blog post here.
 

Japp's recognized by Esquire as one of the "best bars in America"


Molly Wellmann and her Japp's establishment on Main Street get high praise from Esquire Magazine's David Wondrich, who includes the Over-the-Rhine gem on his list of the 18 best bars in America.

Wondrich writes about the revolution he's witnessed over 11 years as Esquire's Drinks Correspondent, where most U.S. cities are now supporting craft cocktail bars that are full.

"People are paying double to drink in them, and they're not outraged," he writes. "They're coming back, over and over. They're putting their phones away (well, mostly), forgetting about the game, doing their best to act sober. (In my years of visiting these joints, I've rarely seen anybody visibly intoxicated — tipsy, sure; drunk, uncool.) The bartenders, their mustachioed, inked hipsterdom aside, are generally studious and hardworking (if perhaps too devoted to making things by hand that really don't need to be). All of this while the media and the political class are hyperventilating about the irreparable decline of America."

Wondrich suggests getting a Cool Jules at Japp's, "a gin-and-port stunner." Unless it's Tiki night, "in which case, pick something rummy from the chalkboard."

Read the full Esquire Magazine list here.
 

Under Armour deals show how much money UC athletics miss by not being in major conference


The New York Times reports on a new equipment/shoe/jersey contract signed by Under Armour with UCLA that breaks the record for the largest college sponsorship deal ever — the fifth time in the past two years the record has been broken.

Under Armour will pay UCLA’s athletic department $280 million in cash and apparel over 15 years, an average of $18.7 million per year. It extends a trend of rapidly escalating contracts as three sportswear companies — Under Armour, Nike and Adidas — seek greater footholds in the lucrative college sports industry.

The Times story explains that the three companies are focusing their big dollars on high-profile sports programs in the so-called Power 5 conferences, including Ohio State ($16.7 million/year), Michigan ($15.8 million/year) and Texas ($16.8 million/year). It also mentions that Under Armour signed an agreement with the University of Cincinnati, not in a Power 5 conference, worth $5 million/year.

The Enquirer has written extensively about UC's efforts to join the Big 12 Conference, one of the Power 5 that's headed by Texas and Oklahoma.

Read the full New York Times story here.
 
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