Day 198: Look for a place to live

March 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

While we’ve lived in a couple different apartments, Steph and I have never actually had complete freedom when choosing where to live.

In North Portland when we were going to UP, we lived in the Queen Jeanette complex because my Aunt Tam owned it and we were able to get a big unit for a good price. In Chicago we didn’t have the money to fly out and go apartment hunting before school started, so we trusted the pictures of Northwestern’s graduate housing and got stuck in the 70’s-style concrete insane asylum that is Engelhart Hall.

Cincinnati is a whole different situation. Real estate in this city is cheap, and there are some really cool neighborhoods. Considering we may live here for a few years, we wanted to learn all about the potential places we could live. Thus Eric, our host from P&G, spent a significant amount of the day driving us around so we could get oriented (This also included a pit-stop at famous Graeter’s Ice Cream, a chain around the city, where we loaded up on creamy, fattening heaven).

This is a view of the city from Mt. Adams, an older neighborhood for young professionals that is our top contender for potential habitation. If you look closely in the distance you can see the ballpark where the Cincinnati Reds play, which stands along the Ohio River.

Eric took us to a place called Findlay Market, which Steph described as a mix between Portland’s Saturday Market and Seattle’s Pike’s Place Market. It had a lot of independent meat and produce sellers, as well as restaurants, artisan tea and homemade crafts.

There are a  lot of neat neighborhoods that have interesting architecture and a lively downtown. I didn’t realize how much history Cincinnati has – it was an integral part of the Underground Railroad, and for a number of years, home to Harriet Tubman. Slaves would be carted across the Ohio River from Kentucky (a slave state) into Ohio (a neutral state).

Another cool part about living in Ohio is that the state borders five other states: Michigan, Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania. It is prime real estate for a lot of exciting weekend adventures that we would never have taken otherwise, such as expeditions to Civil War landmarks in the south, Nashville for some outstanding music, West Virginia for white water rafting, or Philadelphia and Pittsburgh for some real colonial history.

One of the final highlights of today’s tour was the house pictured in the photo below. It is well known throughout the city as being the home of an eccentric retired professor from the University of Cincinnati. I have yet to learn how or why he built this beauty/monstrosity, but I’m excited to learn more. It reminds me of a birdhouse or some sort of clubhouse from a children’s television show.

While unfortunately this house is occupied, we definitely identified a number of hip, fun areas where we could see ourselves living. We’re talking a home that might even have granite countertops, stainless steal appliances or a view of something more exciting than a parking lot.

Man, I guess I’m finally growing up.

 

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