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Cleveland VS Cincinnati

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So, say hypothetically that Mother Earth comes and smites Columbus for our dumping into the Scioto/Olentangy… and you must move to either Cincinnati or Cleveland…. Where would you go?

To be fair I will answer for myself… I like Cleveland better personally because I’m a downtown guy, and downtown Cleveland doesn’t feel like a gun fight will break out at any minute. The lake is pretty cool too. Not to mention of all of Ohio’s cities, Cleveland feels the most genuine.

However, the winters in Cleveland are horrendous, and Cincinnati has its positive attributes as well. I mean, Newport on the Levee, Mount Adams, Eden Park, etc. are all very cool. And quite frankly, the downtown of Cincy looks awesome from across the river… best skyline in Ohio.

I take Cincinnati in the end… I’d just find a nice place in Mount Adams or maybe Newport…

So which would you guys and gals choose??? And Mother Earth doesn’t has to be taken into account, she will be too tired from smiting Columbus to bother with the other two…

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  • Walker

    Hrm… that’s a really tough call. Both cities have their ups and downs as you mentioned. I guess I’d probably go wherever the job market for my profession is better since I really don’t have a strong preference either way.

  • Anne

    I don’t know what I would do either! Very true about Cleveland winters…and I do hate winter. But last winter in Cincinnati was horrible as well! Maybe I’d live in Cincinnati for awhile. (or, wherever Walker decided to move to. :) )

  • ballbrite

    That is a tough one!! I do love downtown Cleveland, but the winters are rough. I think Cincy has a vibe that feels more like Columbus. I think I would pick Cincy.

  • gold42

    And I forgot a very important attribute for Cincinnati… SKYLINE CHILI!!!

  • Brewmaster

    Clevelend all the way. Culture and sports are the tiebreakers. The warehouse district, rock hall, little italy, coventry, and the flats. I’d root for the Browns, Indians, and Cavs over the Bungles and Reds anyday. I complain about the winters in Columbus, what’s another two weeks and two feet of snow?

    The crime in Cincy scares me. I’ve only been there a few times, but it seems like you’re always surrounded by the ghetto. Typically in big cities, you know what areas to avoid, but in Cincy, those areas seem to be spread out all over the place.

  • gold42

    The Warehouse District is nice… but it’s a far cry from what the Flats used to be!!! I heard someone was investing a bundle of money in renovating them… I hope that’s true :o

  • Douglas Black

    the flats are being redeveloped into lofts, restaraunts and the like. A lot of construction is already underway.

    As for my pick…definitely Cleveland. Much more diverse culture, more things going on. The winters suck (lived there for one), but I’d still take it anyday over Cinci.

  • brothermarcus

    cleveland. even though i’m a bengals/reds fan i won’t even go to cincinnati for games anymore. i have nothing good to say about cincy. i’ve had a good time in the greater cleveland area every single time i’ve been there.

  • shroud

    I’d take Cleveland in almost all areas… I’ve always been a Cavs and Browns fan, I enjoy what I’ve seen of the culture up there, and the weather doesn’t bother me at all – I’d LIKE more snow.

    BUT…. I’ve got family in Cincy, and more importantly, there’s a Shadowbox Cabaret in Newport on the Levee, so I could still feed my Shadowbox addiction in Cincy.

  • gramarye

    I’d probably have to go to Cleveland for the job market; the legal market in Cincinnati isn’t really all that big, especially for a city Cincy’s size (Columbus’ market is substantially larger). But Cleveland also has some great things to do and good neighborhoods to live in, so I’d be comfortable with the choice, assuming staying in C-bus was really not an option.

  • Columbusite

    Cleveland, hands down. Cincinnati is too stiflingly conservative, not to mention the race problems the area has like in nearby Hamilton where there is a small, but active KKK.

  • brutal

    I spent most of my life in Cincinnati and after five years here I *shudder* finally call the city we all made fun of ‘home’. But were Mother Earth to smite Columbus I would pick Cincy over Cleveland in an eyeblink.

    Cleveland is nice but it’s also much more blue-collar, without the cultural depth of its counterparts to the south; it’s all beer, Browns and bowling up there…

    As for Cincinnati’s unsafe neighborhoods, they’re more distinct than Columbus’ — you just have to know where they are and plan accordingly.

    Better weather, better economy, more diversity, a killer skyline, great new public facilities, elements of Southern culture and history, and the largest metro population [encompassing three States] make Cincinnati much more of a real city.

    That said, I still like Columbus best — but I wish we had a better skyline and that y’all said “y’all” more :) .

  • Walker

    brutal wrote the largest metro population [encompassing three States] make Cincinnati much more of a real city.

    According to the 2000 Census, Cleveland is the 23rd largest metro area in the US with 2,148,143 people and Cincy is the 24th with 2,009,632 people. I’m not sure how much those numbers have changed in the last five years, but I’ve read that both cities are losing population.

    I agree with your other reasons though. Better weather and the really nice skyline are both appealing to me. ;)

  • brutal

    When I researched this my data, also based on the 2000 Census, put Cincinnati ahead, but I imagine results can vary by how the ‘metropolitan area’ is defined; thanks for paying attention to detail*.

    In any event you have corroborated that most locals are wrong in their assertion that Columbus is Ohio’s largest city. It’s only true if the city proper is taken into consideration, as over the years Columbus has annexed whatever couldn’t run away… what really determines a city’s ‘size’ is not how many residents dwell within its borders but the number of people who consider it their social center.

    So, there. Cincinnati’s bigger. It also has the longest beltway in the US… but I’m still choosing to stay in Columbus.

    *By your statistics, where did we rank in metro population?

  • Walker

    brutal wrote In any event you have corroborated that most locals are wrong in their assertion that Columbus is Ohio’s largest city.

    What? Wrong? Columbus IS Ohio’s largest city. Cincinnati or Cleveland (depending on stats) is Ohio’s largest metropolitan area (cluster of cities). There’s nothing wrong with those statements.

    what really determines a city’s ‘size’ is not how many residents dwell within its borders but the number of people who consider it their social center.

    I’m sure there are people in New Jersey that are within the NYC Metro Area that do not consider NYC to be their social center. A Metro area is just another type of government-created border to define population groups.

    *By your statistics, where did we rank in metro population?

    I linked to my source above. It only shows the top 25 though, which Columbus is not in.

    According to this page though:

    According to the 2000 U.S. Census, Columbus has a population of 711,470 residents, making it the largest city in Ohio and the 15th largest in the United States. The greater Columbus metropolitan area has a population of 1,612,694, ranking it third in Ohio (behind Cleveland and Cincinnati) and 31st in the United States. With regard to the Combined Statistical Area (which includes Chillicothe and Marion), Columbus ranks 24th in the country with approximately 1.84 million residents.

    Chillicothe? Marion? I don’t really consider those cities to be a part of Columbus. :P

  • gold42

    Damn Chillicothe people can go and get their own metro area! :x

  • brutal

    …kinds of lies: Lies, damnable lies, and statistics. :)

    My interest in this matter began when I moved to Columbus in 2000 and encountered provincial beliefs that the city is some MegaUberOpolis it is not, treating my hometown as though it were perhaps, only maybe, a bit bigger than New Rome. Pride is great, but false pride is bloody annoying.

    It got me to thinking just what does make a city, hence my research and the conclusions I presented here. You’re right, Walker, when you note that Chillicothe isn’t very ‘Columbus’, even though some lump it into our statistics [and, yes, it should hold a fundraiser or something to get its own darned area].

    The matter ultimately transcends quantification, though, with cities larger than Columbus by all measures still lacking the synergies that contribute to a place being a destination rather than the butt of a joke. We Ohioans are fortunate to be having a discussion of which of three cities is better — the question sure as heck couldn’t be raised in Iowa.

    Iowa. Eeek.

    On second thought, Cleveland ain’t so bad.

  • honavery

    Metro population is a much better way to compare cities in general. If you look at some of the cities that are below Columbus in actual population, they def. have that bigger city “feel”, aka Boston. I’m pretty sure that some stats include Akron and Canton in the Cleveland metro, boosting it up to 3,000,000. And that Dayton and Cincinatti are about to be considered in one metro, boosting Cincy to over 3,000,000. Ohio is rather unique in having 3 relatively large cities in such a small area. The only other states you can really have any type of discussion about more than one city are Florida, California, and Texas (all of which are consiederably larger land wise than Ohio).

    I’m not sure which I would pick…I haven’t really spent enough time in either place to make a call on that. I’m tempted to say Cleveland, but I’ve grown to be a sports fan of the Cincinatti teams. Too many factors!

  • Walker

    brutal wrote My interest in this matter began when I moved to Columbus in 2000 and encountered provincial beliefs that the city is some MegaUberOpolis it is not, treating my hometown as though it were perhaps, only maybe, a bit bigger than New Rome. Pride is great, but false pride is bloody annoying.

    Really? I’d say the majority of the residents I talk to seem to think of Columbus as nothing more than the city where OSU football is played. I don’t see a whole lot of pride in our city, let alone false pride, but I agree that if someone thinks our city is better than another based on population stats alone, then they couldn’t be more wrong. :roll:

  • fangbpner

    Cleveland hands down. Definately a bigger urban big city feel compared to Columbus and even Cincinnati.
    The city itself is a third world country, but It is the best metro area in the state. Excluding the winter months of course. Moved from Cincinnati to Cleveland a few years ago, then to Columbus……big difference in weather. More pronounced in Winter.

    In regards to the census stats, The Cincinnati area has a pop of roughly 2.2 million. This includes 15 counties.
    The “immediate” greater Cleveland area itself (5 counties) roughly 2.1 million. The 13 counties around Cleveland… aka NE Ohio is broken down into many census figures.
    Cleveland (MSA) 2.1 mil
    Akron (MSA) 900K
    Canton (MSA) 400K
    Youngstown (MSA) 600K
    Cleveland/Akron (CSA) 2.9 mil.
    Ashtabula (MSA) 100K

    Cincy (15 counties 2.2 mil)
    Cleveland (13 counties….4.5 mil)
    Cleveland……definately bigger, and census stats deceiving because of all the breakdowns.

    Doesnt really matter. Columbus is booming and will eventually exceed the populations of both Cleveland and Cincinnati….which is wierd because other than OSA, Columbus truly does suck.

  • http://www.columbusunderground.com Walker

    What is OSA? 

    I’ve always said that any city is what you make of it. Geography is a commonly used scapegoat.
  • http://www.zettlerhardware.com ZHC

    OSA= Ohio State Area I’m guessing?

  • themesforone

    Columbus feels like the boondocks, its difficult to travel transit unless its inner city travel. the parks are man made, the water holes are man made, alum creek” for example. basically your out of luck! It provides no rails, no trolley, no downtown life, just prop Hollywood type attractions, the whole entire city shuts down around 6-7pm. with the exception of a few stores open. The Culture there I would say is the most conservative of the three cities contrary to anyones belief! if its not about Ohio state football “go home”. Columbus is neat and clean ( a plus ) and very tight knitted. (people live too close to each other) but its sucks and is very boring if you are NOT into daily routine. work, come home, sleep, do it all over again, it could be a family “oriented city if it wasn’t so white collar and had a servitude style of living were you work, work, work! it has a brand new city feel and if it wasn’t for German village the entire city would feel artificially put together. there are not that many attractions for men or children. despite what people would say. Its geared more towards women and rich people it seems, LOL but if you just want to make money go home and mind your own business its the best place to live. in Ohio hands down!!!

    Cincinnati is a city with benefits! you get to enjoy Ohio, and Kentucky both as a package deal. it has vast landmarks, historical architecture, the downtown has a “big downtown Feel” Cincinnati is more of a tourist type of city people from all over the world come to visit its German festivals, jazz festivals, kings Island, Tri county mall, Fountain Square, the Ohio river, Casino boat, famous foods from Queen city, without Cincinnati, Ohio itself would be a hole in the wall State with only Ohio State University to show for itself! all in all its mostly good for touring and taking children to experience beautiful parks and festivals. the outdoor life during autumn is relaxing and the forest, lakes and mountains are amazing!!! not to mention its famous skyline, as far as a place to live its still repairing itself so the decision on that is still in the making.

    Cleveland is a blue collar industrial world, a manly mans city despite Cincinnati being known for its ghettos being right near you on every turn. this entire city caters to the urban feeling, art, and culinary it has some speed to it! and easier access as far as transit. you have bus and light speed rail, the neighborhoods are spacey so there is room to breath, it also has great architecture just as Cincinnati, but also has the new city feel of Columbus the economy is reminiscent of a new yorkers style of living, your by the biggest lakes in the country, the downtown is a cross between the big cincy feel and the tight knit of Columbus pressed together feel, you get an option of natural parks, a sports theme, tower city, living is moderate and is more family oriented compared to Columbus and Cincinnati, in my opinion there is alot more to do for children and families as a whole,the night life is the only life still alive. Cleveland has a good vibe, overall

    so depending on your own preferences Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus, make Ohio the state that it is. Columbus is newer so its just now becoming a big city when it once was as small as Springfield Ohio, so it still has to collect value and expand from its work town conservative feel. Cincinnati is a tourist spot with a down home jazzy feel,ancient architectural landmarks and history behind it, Cleveland is a industrial town factories, and warehouses make up the initial design of the
    “manly rock and roll feel” you get soon as you enter into its crevice,

    so take a visit to decide forget what the census says you have own own likes and dislikes only you can decide….

  • themesforone

    Cincinnati= jazz, tourism, and culture,

    Cleveland= rock n roll, nightlife and food.

    Columbus= working, shopping, business

    these are the basic foundations that build each cities theme

  • DavidF

    @themes, I really couldn’t disagree with you more.

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