Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Better Late than Not At All

I'm not sure if many of you saw it, or who among you, my reader base, reads Vanity Fair.

But, an article in the most recent issue about the Creation Museum here in Boone County, KY has sparked a LOT of backlash against its author, A.A. Gill. Let's put the museum aside for this one. I'm not here to debate anybody about spiritual beliefs, whether you have any or not. But I'll be a monkey's uncle if I'll let someone who only saw one little piece of my hometown degrade it and more or less dismiss it. (Note: I'm well aware that he's more or less defended what he wrote - with even more scathing remarks about those of us who chose to step to the defense of our fair city.)

Here, let me quote you some of what he wrote:

"It’s not in the nature of stoic Cincinnatians to boast, which is fortunate, really, for they have meager pickings to boast about. They could, though, if they were the bragging sort, brag about a quaint old optician’s shop that will make you a new pair of spectacles in an hour—by chance I am both shortsighted and had an hour to spare."

Oh, really, Mr. Gill??

I can list about a half dozen places that have some sort of significance in this town, be it artistic (Music Hall, Art Museum, Aronoff Center), historical (Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, several Presidential homes/birthplaces), amusement (Kings Island, The Beach Waterpark, two sports stadiums and I don't know how many places to shop if one desires to do so), what have you. Hell, I'd even brag about some of the best eats in town (Graeter's, Montgomery Inn, LaRosa's).

I more or less just did that, as a matter of fact - but chances are, if you've spent more than 1 day here, you know what's here to do and see.

I take issue with the fact that Mr. Gill, along with Paul Bettany, only spent ONE DAY here - heck, maybe not even THAT, got ONE QUOTE from ONE PERSON, and called their observations good.

My friends, they hadn't even STARTED to look around! You can't judge a book by its cover - and you can't judge a place by talking to one person.

No, you need to go to SEVERAL areas of town, not just one or two. Hell, spend a whole WEEK here.

In almost 25 years, I'll be honest... my opinion of this town has changed more than once. Are there things I'd change? Sure - decrease the crime rate and make sure people like myself can get around when 23" of snow falls in 16 days, and I'd be a happy man. Have I wanted to move away? Sure - but in the end, I'd become homesick and I know it. As the Rehab song says, "This town is my home/it's deep in my soul".

You know what? There isn't a perfect place on this planet. I'd like to think Cincinnati is pretty damn close to it, however. Where else can you see a Broadway play on Monday, have some drinks on a Wednesday night, go to a concert or some big event on Friday, and then go to a charity event the next night, and see a lot of the same people while doing it all?? I guarantee you won't find that in New York City. (And by the way, Mr. Gill, some people from the New York Times came here not all that long ago. They sure as hell found a lot of positives about Cincinnati... and they spent 36 hours here!)

The next time a magazine editor like Mr. Gill, or even Mr. Gill himself come back to town, I'd love to see him spend more than one day in Cincinnati. I guarantee you his opinion would change pretty damned quick.

Just one 24 year old NATIVE CINCINNATIAN's opinion.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

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