Cincinnati Ohio Real Estate

Uniqueness of Cincinnati


'Please? Yes, I'm from Cincinnata'

The Cincinnati Enquirer

So we're a little strange here, OK?

We say please when we mean "huh?" We divide the city down the middle and never let East meet West. We have flying pigs atop smokestacks and a bizarre concoction called goetta that people actually eat. What gives here?

It's a Cincinnati thang, don't you know. It's confusing as all getout for newcomers, and a goodly number of natives don't quite get it, either.

Whatever can it all mean? We'll begin with -- what else -- the name of the city ..


Welcome to Cincinnata

A lot of Cincinnatians still call it Cincinnata. There's a reason, says Cincinnati author Al Pyle. In frontier days, people thought it more refined to say Cincinnata - just a hint of a proper east coast accent. In linguistics, they call it a "back formation." It still shows up today in the way many locals refer to Miami as Miama.



Sorry, we meant Please? Blame our German heritage for that one. In Germany, it's customary to say bitte when you miss what a speaker says. The direct translation of bitte is, you guessed it, please.


Flying pigs

It's a sculpture, see, saluting the city's one-time status as a hog market so large and so profitable people referred to the city as Porkopolis. Dedicated in the summer of 1988, the flying pigs stand atop smokestacks guarding the entrance to Bicentennial Commons at Sawyer Point. Nobody worries much about them today, but when sculptor Andrew Leicester introduced them, there was a pro-pig/anti-pig controversy so heated that City Council actually summoned the Bicentennial committee to discuss this pig business. The pro-pig people won out and the pigs remain today as a winged symbol of the city's past.



Don't know if you noticed, but there's no Rhine River here. So what's Over-the-Rhine doing in Cincinnati? Well, says historian Dan Hurley, it has nothing to do with that old story about the Ohio River reminding early settlers of their beloved Rhine. What really happened is in the 1830s and '40s, huge crowds of German immigrants moved here.

Being newcomers, they took what land they could get. That was the neighborhood we call Over-the-Rhine. Back then it was the northern extreme of the city. As the immigrants moved in, the area took on more and more of a German flavor.

The area was separated from the city by the Miami Erie Canal (Central Parkway). To get to the neighborhood you had to cross the canal, which many referred to as the Rhine. So going into the neighborhood came to be known as going Over-the-Rhine. OK?



You've heard it before - East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet. In Cincinnati, the old cliche is chiseled in stone. Vine Street, running through the heart of downtown, is generally considered the east-west dividing line.

Somebody once observed, "The reason I-71 and most of I-75 are on the East Side is because they don't need them on the West Side. Nobody leaves." There's a grain of truth there. The rule of thumb is once a West Sider, always a West Sider.

East Siders make fun of West Siders, claiming they don't spend money, they go to Kung-Fu movies but not operas, they get lost when they cross Vine, they consider burgers 'n' bowling a big night out and many of them, it is rumored, still have leisure suits in their closets.

West Siders take shots at East Siders, too, claiming they spend money they don't have, they pay double for a home just to get a fashionable zipcode, they bathe in Perrier because tap water is oh so gauche, and they don't move their lower jaws when they talk (also known as Indian Hill Lockjaw).



Like Mark Twain said, everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it. In Cincinnati, we're especially fond of whining about tornadoes and the humidity.

But we don't have an unusual number of tornadoes, says weatherman Pat Barry. Texas, Florida, the Central Plains and Eastern Colorado have more. When we do get nailed, it's because dry and cool air from the Central Plains mixes with warm and moist air from the Gulf of Mexico.

We really like to complain about humidity. All summer. But it's no worse here then in Lexington, Louisville and Indianapolis. Our humidity comes from the Gulf of Mexico, where the huge body of water infuses moisture into the air. Supposedly, the farther you get from a large body of water, the less humidity you get. Which is to say if you think it's nasty here, try New Orleans in August.


Did you know?


  • Cincinnatians love their beer. When beer-drinking reached its peak here in the early 1900s - when there were breweries all over town - the national average annual beer consumption was 16 gallons per capita. In Cincinnati, it was 58 gallons per capita.


  • Everyone knows about the Bermuda Triangle, but how many know about the German Triangle? Cincinnati has been referred to as one corner of the Midwest's "German triangle," along with Milwaukee and St. Louis.


  • Goetta: Natives love it. Newcomers stare at it and wonder. Goetta, a breakfast food resembling fried mush, was originally made from slaughterhouse scraps which were boiled to a paste, mixed with pinhead oats and, gulp, eaten. Today, it's a higher grade pork, pinhead oats and spices.


  • Cincinnati is home of the world's largest: soap manufacturer (the sainted Procter & Gamble); permanent half-dome (Union Terminal); collection of non-religious murals (Union Terminal); swinging bell (St. Francis De Sales Church); pediatric training program (Children's Hospital Medical Center); hand-made stained glass window (Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Covington, Ky.); church bell manufacturer (I.T. Verdin Co.); number of chili parlors per capita; collection of ventriloquist dolls (Vent Haven in Northern Kentucky).

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