Cincinnati: Eight Great Conversation Starters
Did you know....? Stumped for words after landing in Cincinnati? Here are eight great conversation starters about Cincinnati that you probably weren’t aware of.
Cincinnatians eat more than 2 million pounds of chili each year topped by 850,000 pounds of shredded cheese. In Cincinnati USA, chili is done differently. In place of chunks of meat and sizeable beans, you’ll get savory soupiness and creative accouterments like spaghetti, hot dogs and mustard. In place of an overtly tomato-y base, you’ll taste hints of cinnamon, cloves, allspice and maybe even chocolate. Residents tend to be loyal to one of two Cincinnati-based chains, Skyline Chili or Gold Star Chili, and enjoy their chili atop spaghetti as a 3, 4, or 5-Way.
In 1869, the nine-player Cincinnati Red Stockings became the country’s first professional baseball team (all paid players, no amateurs) and finished with a perfect 57-0 record. And the total salary outlays for the season? A cool $11,000. Today, the Cincinnati Reds are an integral part of the region’s culture.
3. ICE CREAM
This renowned ice cream company all began when a German immigrant to Cincinnati in the mid-1800’s started making high-quality ice cream out of his home. Today, the family-run company continues to use the original French Pot process to make the product that Graeter’s is famous for. A favorite of Oprah’s, the signature flavor and must-try experience at Graeter’s is the Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip.
By 1890, Cincinnati was the third largest beer producing city in the country. At that time, the city had 36 breweries, largely due to the high percentage of German immigrants, with hundreds of drinking establishments throughout the streets of Over-the-Rhine, the predominant brewing neighborhood. Prohibition was a death sentence for most of the city’s brew scene, but today’s newfound interest in the historic lagering tunnels under city streets and rich brewing history of the area has brought a resurgence in craft breweries.
As one of America’s oldest cities and an early haven for immigrants, Cincinnati’s architecture is stunning, ranging from skyscraping Art Deco towers to the largest preserved historic district in the country, Over-the-Rhine. Some of the most notable architectural landmarks in Cincinnati include the Art Deco masterpiece of Carew Tower and the Hilton Netherland Plaza Hotel, as well as Union Terminal, a historic train station that now serves as the home to the Cincinnati Museum Centre.
At the crossroads between the South and North during the Civil War, Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky are home to a rich Underground Railroad history. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Centre, built on the banks of the Ohio River, commemorates the region’s important role in the Underground Railroad and the Civil War. Rotating exhibits, available to view Tuesday through Saturday, tell stories from the past and honor modern abolitionists and freedom heroes.
Cincinnati is home to a thriving arts scene, made up of an incredible diversity of both performing arts and museums. In fact, Cincinnati is one of only 13 U.S. cities with professional companies in all five arts: ballet, opera, fine art museums, symphony and theatre. One way that visitors can enjoy Cincinnati’s rich arts scene for free is through the public art throughout the region. The non-profit organization ArtWorks has created more than 100 public murals.
From being the first American city to establish a weather bureau, have a municipal fire department, and own a major railroad, to being home to the development of the first polio vaccine, Cincinnati has a history of being an innovative region. Many Cincinnatian innovators are household names, including Neil Armstrong, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and President William Howard Taft. Today, the innovative reputation continues, with Triple Pundit recently calling Cincinnati one of the most innovative cities in the country, and TechInsurance naming the city as a top city for tech entrepreneurs-architecture, as well as one of its largest urban historic districts.