All the buzz around the Queen City this week has been a New York Times article praising the city's commitment to revitalization. My Facebook and Twitter feed blow'd up with links from my urban dwelling brethren, excited about the national recognition. As much as I'm the city's biggest cheerleader, I'm left wanting. A few observations:
1. There was no mention of our current struggles. You always give both sides of the situation to keep grounded in reality. Although I'm loving what's happening in the lower bowl, our city's finances are jacked up and there are about 45 other neighborhoods where the outlook isn't quite as rosy. Although things are looking good, there are systemic issues that must be dealt with. Using the Banks as a barometer of the city's progress is no different than using plastic surgery to assess one's health.
2. We really aren't that bad anyway. My thesis work will be centered on Cincinnati. When I was at school in Boston, I was asked by classmates to describe the city. One thing I shared is that people from our city generally have a poor outlook of it. We're haters. That's why some of us latch on so tightly when a paper like the Times publishes something positive about Cincinnati. Our town isn't utopia, but it's surely much better than many realize. I'm still uncertain as to why locals are so skeptical of this being a great place to live. I think we have father issues.
3. Why can't we aim for more? The most laughable reaction is that our local paper, the Cincinnati Enquirer, actually published a link to the NYT article as news. I'm sure the reason that they did was to try to catch some search engine pull as it was moving through the local news cycle. It's sad, really. Instead of relying on a reputable East Coast paper to offer quality reporting,we don't we strive to create our own form of excellence? With technology, the ability for us to have more/better is accessible.
4. If you're from the Cincy 'burbs and angry about this, just stop throwing stones. You can complain about the city all day long but the reality is that, without it, you'd have nothing. Don't bite the hand that feeds you.