CINCINNATI - For the tens of thousands of "locals" in Cincinnati who have grown up in the Tri-State, Cincinnati's issues are likely clear. But like most cities, many still wonder why issues surrounding crime and development seem slow to come to fruition.
Linda Goetz didn't grow up here. She moved here a few years ago and lives in Liberty Township where she's a firefighter, EMT and mother of two children. She grew up in Phoenix, Arizona but loves Cincinnati for how it's different from her hometown.
"I love the seasons," she says. "The schools, the arts, everything you could want but a sandy beach."
The same goes for Peyton Haley. She grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and is in her first year as a teacher in the Tri-State. She lives in East Walnut Hills and says Cincinnati is affordable, the people are nice and, "there's a lot less traffic". Plus, unlike in her hometown of Chicago, she can afford to go to professional sporting events here, specifically, Reds games.
Former Cincinnati Vice Mayor Jim Tarbell is a well-known cheerleader for the city. He agrees with Goetz and Haley that Cincinnati has a lot to offer including the following developments: The Banks now emerging from the riverfront, the casino currently under construction, the museums, arts organzations, the often bustling Fountain Square and the tens of millions of dollars in development being poured into Over-The-Rhine.
"Last weekend, up at 12th and Vine and all the new bar restaurants there and the galleries and you could hardly walk on Friday and Saturday night," says Tarbell. "And it wasn't wading through uniformed officers, it was wading through people having fun."
Asked if he believes Cincinnatians are too hard on their city, and he thinks some are. Most of the critics, he feels, live outside the city limits.
"Most of the criticism I see comes from folks who are attached to shopping centers. They're not part of a business district, a civic center, if you will. A community center. which you don't really hear that criticism coming from here, or Pleasant Ridge or Hyde Park or Clifton, Ludlow or Northside. You know, where things are happening. And people feel a sense of place there. And they feel like they're part of a community. Those folks are not negative."
Linda Goetz doesn't live inside I-275, but likes taking her children into downtown. She says they like to ice skate on the square, take a carriage ride or, "go experience a new place to eat."
Peyton Haley isn't sure what life will bring her. She knows her parents want her to move closer to them in Chicago, but Haley, for now, isn't going anywhere.
"I'm really liking Cincinnati, so I wouldn't mind staying here for a long term."
Tarbell says he thinks if Cincinnati learned to market itself better, not just to people in the region, but to people who live in the Tri-State, they might have the perspective of those who aren't from here.
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