Recently I helped my older daughter move into a new place. She lives in Cincinnati in one of the named neighborhoods. Cincy has several that are quite distinct from each other. She lives in Northside.
Northside is situated in the north west corner of Cincinnati. It is an old neighborhood, dating back to the early 1800’s. The houses and buildings reflect its history. It started out as the first commuter neighborhood of the Queen City. People from all over the area flocked there for fashionable clothing, beer gardens, and flowers. It was a part of the Underground Railroad. The Crosley family (Crosley Field was the name of the original baseball stadium for the Reds) got their start here. It thrived for decades, but eventually it fell into disrepair.
In the 1990’s the Victorian houses began to be renovated. There are flowering trees lining most streets and you can almost imagine it being 1890.
The “downtown” or business section is a mixture of business and pleasure. Along with clothing stores, groceries, and medical offices, there are coffee shops, and restaurants, several offering live music in the evening. There is a garden coop for anyone wanting to grow their own healthy food. And a bicycle coop where you can rent bikes.
The rest of the neighborhood is made up of townhouses, 99% of which are Victorian. Some are single family, some are duplexes. There is also an old school building that has been converted into apartments. Some of the corner stores that have been abandoned are being converted also.
The essence of Northside is progressive. In the 1990’s people started moving into the area who were creatives. Writers, artists, and craftspeople found the older houses to their liking. They refurbished them and now the homes are stately again. Young professionals have found it again to be an easy commute to downtown Cincinnati. It also has become a welcoming place for the GLBTQ community. Buildings have been painted with murals. There are signs all over advertising shows and concerts The local food coop has hundreds of members. And its all extremely pet friendly. You can take your dog into stores and the library.
Citizens of the neighborhood are proud of their location. The online newspaper , the Northsider Monthly, has profiles of business owners and influential persons, along with historical information.
I really love the atmosphere of Northside. In fact, I’m thinking about incorporating it into my next novel. We shall see.