Visiting Cincinnati: Where Pigs Fly
I spent two wonderful days in Cincinnati before boarding the Great American Queen Steamboat and had a very nice time.
The city is named after the Society of Cincinnati, to which General George Washington belonged. Thanks to river traffic and the importance of the railroad network, Cincinnati prospered. I am not sure how they got associated with pigs or hogs, but there are wonderful painted pig statues all over town, snow globes with pigs, etc.
On my first day I took a cab to Fountain Square. It’s the center of the downtown with restaurants, shops, music and of course a great fountain. Then I went up the Carew Tower, an art deco building built during the Great Depression. Go up 50 floors and you’ve got a great view of all of Cincinnati, the Ohio River and the beautiful bridges. Met a lovely family from Indiana who treated me to the admission. Everyone I am meeting is so nice! It’s true what they say about people from the Midwest – very sweet and very friendly.
Drove past the Great American Ball Park but the Cincinnati Reds were on the road. Walked to the wonderful Taft Museum. It is the former mansion of President Taft’s half-brother and featured a very extensive art and interiors collection in the most beautiful setting. It is wonderful to see beautiful art and artifacts in such an elegant and gorgeous setting. Had lunch across the street from the Government Center at a wonderful chain restaurant called Currito’s. They make the best salads and burittos. Boy was it busy!
Took the shuttle trolley to the Natoinal Freedom Museum. It had great movies, exhibits and the wonderful music exhibit called Music of Change: hymns, Blues and Rock. It examined musical artists like Billie Holiday, Little Richard, Joan Baez, the Beatles and many more. I was very moved by the exhibits about current day slavery: Sex slavery, child labor, forced labor, illiteracy. It is terrible that this still exists and it is great that the museum exposes it and helps to make a positive change. Being originally from Brooklyn, New York, imagine my surprise to see the Roebling Suspension Bridge, created by the same architect before my beloved Brooklyn Bridge. Lunch at White Castle – pulled pork and cheeseburger sliders. I grew up in NY but I think maybe I had White Castle once when I was in college. It was tasty!
Also in town that week was the 2012 World Choir Games, featuring choirs from all over the US and the world. In our hotel we had the Phillipino and Canadian choirs so there always live music in the air. There were performances all over the city. Our hotel front desk receptionist said it’s the closest Cincinnati comes to the Olympics. For dinner I went to the MainStrasse Village and had a wonderful chicken and andouille sausage jambalaya at Chez Nola on their rooftop, overlooking the beautiful lighted skyline,listening to jazz music. Just the best!
If I had more time I would have visited: The Contemporary Arts Center, a Cincinnati Reds game, the various theatres, Carrol Chiems Bell Tower, Newport on the Levee, Newport Aquarium, Cincinnati Museum Center, the Smale Riverfront park, the Newport Gangster Tour, the Flying Pig Marathon, Bonnybrook Farms, Whitewater Valley Railroad.
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