Yesterday marked our “One Month Anniversary” of moving to Ohio!
Jan 1, my fiancé and I got on a plane in NYC – we left as New Yorkers, and landed as Cincinnatians!
Steven has been living downtown in our condo for a month, and I have been living 30 minutes away at my parents – until we’re married in June!
It has been an exciting time, and definitely a bit of an adjustment to the Manhattan living that we’ve grown accustomed to these last 12 years.
So – I thought it could be fun to examine 10 idiosyncrasies of Cincinnati, as told by a *former* New Yorker. And please note — these all are LOVING little “wink wink-nudge nudges!” We are extatic to be Ohioans…this is all lighthearted and in good fun!
1). CINCINNATI MEN LOVE A VEST
In the Midwest, men love vests! You know the type — a thin puffer, Northface style VEST! It’s the perfect article of clothing for those chilly days where it’s just warm enough to get away with going outside briefly without a coat!
2). DRASTIC WEATHER CHANGES — SOMETIMES HOURLY
The trope is true: you can experience all four seasons in a day here in Cincinnati. The weather can – and does – change on a dime!
3). THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS WHO DEY — EVEN ON NON-GAMEDAYS
No matter where you go, no matter what day it is, no matter the time of year, you will ALWAYS see people wearing Bengals jerseys, or some sort of NFL Bengals paraphernalia. WHO DEY BABY!
Also: All city lights on the buildings are lit up in orange, for the Bengals during the football season. Every house has a Bengals flag out front. Cars have flags, bumper stickers, liscense plates. This town has reinvented itself as “The Jungle.”
4). THE CITY SHUTTING DOWN ON GAME DAYS (except for the bars with Watch Parties)
If it’s Sunday during football season, the city is zoned in on the Bengals. The only places that are open are in operation solely because it’s a place to watch the game! And the workers will, of course, be wearing Bengals gear.
5). DRIVING ACROSS THE PARKING LOT, INSTEAD OF WALKING
I think the motto is: why walk when you can drive? In New York, our threshold of whether to walk or call a cab was 17 minutes. If the walk was 17 minutes or less, we’d walk. Here…if it’s across the parking lot, you drive to find a closer spot.
6). STORES/RESTAURANTS CLOSE EARLY/NOTHING IS 24 HOUR
This was a difficult one to get used to: especially pharmacies. I made many a midnight trip to CVS for this and that in the city. Now, I’ll have to wrap my errands up by 7pm.
7). HIGH SCHOOL IS THE GREAT CONNECTOR
It’s a funny Cincinnati trope, but everybody knows somebody you went to high school with. It’s the great connector…a la, the “Bacon Number” — which is the number of degrees of separation you have from Kevin Bacon. When you meet someone out somewhere, you WILL, FOR SURE, WITHOUT A DOUBT have someone in common that you or one of your siblings went to high school with. There are really only a handful of high schools here: Public, Private, Catholic, and All Girls/All Boys. And they’re all interconnected — you’re neighbors, your club sports teammates, your church, your youth group — you know people from everywhere, and yet you’re fiercely loyal to yours. It’s just the law of the land here. You just accept the quirk, and know that this city is ultra connected.
8). PEOPLE SMILING AND GOING OUT OF THEIR WAY TO BE HELPFUL IN STORES
People are SO NICE HERE! You don’t realize how border-line rude New Yorkers are, until you interact with people that actually give you the time of day, make eye contact with you, and — shocker — speak to you with kindness! And it’s such a beautifully courteous culture here, often times you’ll see people wave you through a 4-way stop, just to be nice!
9). HAVING NORMAL SIZED TABLES AT RESTAURANTS AND AN APPROPRIATE AMOUNT OF SPACE BETWEEN TABLES
This was also really hard to get used to in NYC: dining on top of people. Obviously in NYC, space is at a premium, and restaurants need to maximize profits in order to pay their rent, so as a result, table were obnoxiously small, and to boot: about 2 inches away from other tables. To the tune that, the host would move the table out so you could squeeze in past the other tables beside you to the back chair. Good luck if you needed to use the bathroom during the meal.
10). GROCERIES DON’T COST HALF YOUR PAYCHECK
I can go to the grocery store and not spend $100 on one day’s worth of food. That…and I don’t have to go everyday because I have a normal-sized fridge that can hold a week’s worth of groceries, AND I have a car to drive them home in…instead of walking and carrying them a mile. Life is good!
11). GOETTA (Bonus)
Cincinnati is famous for this unique breakfast “go-with!” This savory patty, made with a mixture of pork and oatmeal — yes you read that correctly — was born during hard times as a way to “stretch meat” and people loved it so much that it stuck! And it now has been elevated to “gourmet status” in many restaurants around the city! Don’t knock it ’til you try it!
So there you go! We have loved Cincinnati, and can’t wait to experience more of the little things that make it what it is! What are some quirks of YOUR city?!
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