Summer is Over?

Wait!

Today was the first day of class at Cincinnati Public Schools and I’m amazed. Has Summer really passed by so quickly? Did school start this early for me when I was a child?

I’ve noticed recently how slowly I seem to be moving compared to my surroundings.
Maybe it’s my lack of media consumption that keeps me out of the loop;
Maybe it’s the constant attention I give to my toddler;
Maybe it’s my husband’s busy building schedule;
Maybe it’s our move from busy Vine St. to this quiet, tree-lined street five blocks away.

In addition to the start of the school year, which always signifies the official end of Summer to me, downtown Cincinnati–and Over-the-Rhine, specifically–seems to be moving very fast. New restaurants; new shops; new neighbors. It’s enough to make a girl like myself yell, “Stop! I just can’t keep up!” I swear, even though I leave the house every day and walk these streets, I cannot seem to move quickly enough to participate in all the excitement!

More often than not, in conversations with other young parents who live outside the city, I hear a lot of “Oh… I wish I could move into the city, but….” And then they elaborate on one of many (sometimes legitimate) reasons why moving into the city is unrealistic for their family.

To them, I say that there could not be a better time for young families to move into the City of Cincinnati.

Heck, I will go so far as to say that there has never been a better time to live downtown.

(And this is not the idealism of a brand new resident speaking. I’ve lived in OTR the better part of three years and worked here the two years before that. Even though I may not be a long-term resident yet, I’m definitely not new to the scene.)

It’s an exciting time to be in Cincinnati, no?

I only wish I had more time to spend with neighbors, make new friends, eat new foods, buy new goods, and take it all in. Maybe as the weather cools, time will slow down a bit and I will get a chance to really inhabit our great city.

Happy end of Summer, folks!
Maybe I’ll catch up with you in the Fall?

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2 thoughts on “Summer is Over?

  1. I think you're absolutely right about the fast pace of the changes in the basin. I recently finished re-reading The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs, and her passages about cataclysmic change really resonated with me.I don't have some long-term history in Over-the-Rhine, or in Cincinnati, for that matter. I only moved here four years ago. But, I find the changes sort of alienating and can imagine that longer-term residents might find them even more so. Maybe it's because the economic reality of my life is that I really have to focus to selling our work to outlets outside this bubble in order to sustain our lives within it.I feel like, when I do have a moment to stop and just be in the neighborhood, I find myself so distanced from these new initiatives that they remind me of the fact that, in the long term, I don't belong here. I should find the changes exciting, but it's hard to be excited when so many of the new things seem to be clearly targeting a group that may not exclude me, but it doesn't really include me. So, I guess I'm with you on the "I can't keep up" tip.

  2. I'm with you both to a certain extent. I wish I could just hang out in the neighborhood sometimes instead of rushing around. I also feel that in some ways the neighborhood is passing us up. Talking to new neighbors in the condos quickly opens my eyes that they have a completely different perspective on OTR.

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