One of my summer projects is to get out and do some new things in Cincinnati. Since my list is pretty short, I decided to Google “Things to do in Cincinnati,” and one of the hits on the first page links to a recent article in the Enquirer, “100 Things To Do In Cincinnati Before You Die.”
If you want a laugh, click on the link; maybe the “Before You Die” part of the article title is literal: the list is intended for people who are really about to die. I’ve summed up the highlights below:
- Artery-clogging food: 18 (the phrase “stuff yourself” appears twice, and there are more food entries not included in this category)
- Churches (services, carnivals, looksies): 9
- Reds/Bengals-related: 5
- Christmas displays/theatre: 4
- Cemeteries: 2
Other fun facts:
- The word “University” appears once. (“84. Survey the bulging red brick Vontz Center for Molecular Studies at the University of Cincinnati, designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry.”) There is no mention of CCM or DAAP–the top design program in the nation.
- The word “College” appears once. (“85. (Quietly) check out the Klau Library at Hebrew Union College in Clifton, one of the most extensive Jewish libraries in the world.”)
- There is no mention of collegiate sporting events, or any sporting events aside from the two pro teams. Roller derby, anyone?
- There are no Walnut Hills, College Hill, Clifton, or Northside destinations. This means no businesses from these communities were plugged, either.
And the awards for the most peculiarly worded entries:
- “9. View the slave pen at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Feel the brutality.” Feel the brutality? After which you’ll immediately want to go eat some chili, I’m sure, and stuff yourself with it, at that.
- “71. Nibble cold watermelon on the beach at Hueston Woods State Park north of Oxford.” Nibble cold watermelon? As opposed to, say, chowing down on some freshly baked watermelon?
At this point you might be asking yourself (if you’re still with me), “What of it, Coral?”
Well, aside from feeling totally frustrated at the unhelpfulness of the list, I also feel really alienated. Whose values are these? (Duh, the stiffs at the Enquirer.) I’ll never “Walk through every single home in Homearama and shout: “I want this one!”” (#64) or “Dress up like a Parrothead and drink margaritas at a Jimmy Buffett concert at Riverbend” (#76). And the only thrill I get from booing a Pittsburgh Steelers’ fan is entirely personal.
So here’s where you come in, faithful reader(s). Let’s make our own list: “Things To Do Before You Leave Cincinnati,” for you students, transients, and wanderers, or “Things To Do Before You Die of Boredom in Cincinnati.” Help me compile a list comparable in length to the original, and I’ll shop it around the local weeklies, blogs, etc.
Things to Do in Cincinnati While Young and Lively:
1. Publish something about real things to do in Cincinnati.