It’s hard to believe it has been a year.
One year ago today, I began as editor of WCPO.com. What a year it has been: from snowstorms, to John Boehner’s bartender to the All-Star Game, to the pot debate it’s been a newsy year.
For me personally, it’s been a year of reconnecting with friends and family that I had rarely seen after living outside Ohio for 12 years.
It’s also been a year of exploring Cincinnati and all the wonders this region offers.
We like the number nine here at WCPO. So here are nine things I learned after living in Cincinnati for a year:
1. This is a welcoming place. I heard many times that Cincinnati is a city that you can’t penetrate because everyone is from here and has ties that go back generations. I haven’t experienced that at all. In fact, I’ve never even been asked “The Question.” Though my wife has multiple times. Has the transition been a breeze? No, of course not. Moving is always hard. But one year in our social calendar is filling up, and we have rekindled some old friendships and formed some great new ones.
2. There are some amazing restaurants. My wife keeps track of every restaurant she goes to. In the last year, just with her or the family, we’ve been to 26 restaurants. And I’m estimating I’ve been to Skyline at least a dozen times. That sounds like a lot of Skyline, but it’s only once per month. I need to step up my game. My favorites — besides Skyline — are Salazar, Taste of Belgium and The Sleepy Bee.
3. There are some amazing breweries. I don’t know that I ever fully grasped the power of filling up a growler until I moved here. Now, there are few things I enjoy more than swinging by a local brewery and filling up a growler with a beer I probably can’t get anywhere else but right there, from the brewer. My favorites are MadTree, Rhinegeist and Listermann. Listermann is less than a mile away from our house, though I regret that we never walked there from our house during the summer. Missed opportunity.
4. This really is a football town. Yes, we as a city were beaten down by bad teams and disappointing playoff losses. But now this is a city that is seriously energized by the Bengals. I went to the come-from-behind win against the Seahawks. It was one of the greatest sporting moments I’ve ever been a part of. The energy was amazing.
5. There is something spectacular about being in a sports town like Cincinnati. We went to dinner to celebrate our one-year anniversary of living here. We went to Skyline of course. At dinner, we asked my oldest son what his favorite activity we did this year was — my wife quickly added the caveat of other than sports. He noodled that one over for awhile and started to answer about six times before he realized each of those answers had to do with sports. We went to a half dozen Reds games, RedsFest, a Cyclones game, a Bengals game, the Cavs preseason game. We have plans to go to UC and Xavier basketball games.
6. I forgot how much I love (hate) snow. Is there anything better than a snowy day where you have nowhere to be and the stillness and silence that settles in? Or the pristine white that covers everything? Or anything worse than the melty, muddiness as temperatures start to rise?
7. This is a great place to run. There are trails everywhere. There are so many running groups. There are lots of high-energy local races. I’d been hearing about what a great marathon the Flying Pig is, and I was not disappointed. Well, maybe I was with my time. But not with the race itself.
8. Kids can get a good education here without going to private school. Over and over when we told locals or former locals that we were moving here we heard: “Better put your kids in private school.” So far, our kids are getting a great education in public schools. Better than they were receiving in Florida at least. Our oldest son finished first grade at Mount Washington Elementary. His teacher challenged him every day. She was probably the best teacher he’s ever had. The school was active and involved. Now, our kids go to Norwood schools. They are both learning and growing. Maybe all of that will change in later grades. Or maybe we’ve just been lucky. But I believe you can get a quality public education.
9. People will join WCPO Insider once they learn more about what we offer. When I first came here and told people what I did for work, I would frequently get puzzled looks. That happens much less now. And normally once I explain what we offer at WCPO Insider whoever I’m talking to quickly sees the value of strong local journalism combined with exclusive access and great discounts and deals. I tell people all the time: My wife is a paying WCPO Insider so we can access the deals and discounts and our membership has paid for itself several times over.