This is my forty-third in a series of walking Cincinnati’s 52 neighborhoods to find what makes each relevant to me. Follow me on Instagram for a hint of where I’ll venture next.
I started my walk in the corner of Mt. Washington, on Beechmont, near the Anthenaeum of Ohio where local men and women fulfilled their vocation to the Catholic Church. The morning was brisk. I could see my breath painted on the air. I chuckled to myself, recalling my previous walk through Kennedy Heights when I wasn’t prepared for the weather and regretted the subsequent cold. The day would eventually heat up, but for a bit, I puffed out my hot air as I chugged up the hillside to the center.
Off in the distance, I detected the silhouette of vineyards and skipped ahead to find a few grapes still hanging stubbornly on the vine. My next effort would be met with consternation, as I could not turn up the street I wanted because there were no sidewalks on the narrow two-lane Berkshire off Beechmont. So, I kept going, passing my niece’s school, Guardian Angels, and Archbishop McNicholas High School. The last time I was at McNick had been my only time. Davis had run in a track meet that day, one that lasted too long into the evening.
When I had the chance, I turned up Honeysuckle Lane, disappointed that I would eventually have to turn around. But, at the top of the hill, I found a path that cut through to Sands Montessori , a magnet CPS school, and landed me on Corbly Road. Perfect.
I meandered along Corbly, turning up Trailwood Drive. If I hadn’t know better, these homes reminded me of a stretch in Loveland and few others runs in my hometown of Amherst. Then, I crossed Corbly again, and trekked up Coffey and along that way for a while. There were newer model homes, small scale homes built perhaps in a manufactured home-style, and others that I would definitely have coveted.
I circled around to Beechmont Avenue and walked along the thoroughfare for a while until I spotted the sign for Stanbery Park. I hopscotched across the street to find the entrance. The park was smaller than I anticipated from reading my map, until I recalled how I had zoomed in on the printout. The “boy reading book” statue was erected after World War I in 1938. The park boasts 125 acres of walking trails of which for certain will be on my list of parks to visit when this neighborhood walking thing is complete.
I returned to Beechmont to stroll along the main street, salivating when I saw the Creamy Whip sign until I read the posted hours. No opening until noon. And Water Tower Fine Wines was not open either!
As I strolled down Campus Lane, I spotted, of all things, Mt. Washington Cemetery, on land donated by the Order of Oddfellows and containing the grave sites of 169 Civil War veterans. Its original chapel was designed by none other than Cincinnati Sam, Samuel Hannaford that is.
I hopped over to Sutton Avenue, and turned down Wayside. It was here I had to make a decision. My sister, Beth, lived off of Wayside. But it was another mile that stretched out before me, when I had already completed about six.
I snapped a photo of Red Oaks and later my sister informed her husband had dated a woman whose family once lived there. We were all just few degrees of separation from wealth.
My strides brought me back to Sutton, then Cambridge, as I past Mt. Washington School, a newer Cincinnati Recreation Center, in comparison to some of the others, or those that were missing one like Villages of Roll Hill. Also, there were other recreation centers that opened four hours later than this particular one. I found plenty of inconsistencies with how the city apparently allocated funding and time in our most needed areas.
I ended the walk along Beechmont again, noting many multi-family units dotting the landscape. This time my legs just gave out. I stumbled the rest of the way towards my car, satisfied in my finds for the day.
Mt. Washington Community Council has one of the most complete websites for a council. Their community development corporation was hosting a scavenger hunt later in the month. Some of the issues concerning residents involved cleanup, lighting around the McNick stadium, and even, with its Washington Cares effort, the impact of drug use on the community.
The main street reminded me of portions of Amherst (though I think Amherst had more bars). The historic homes that dotted several of the surrounding streets were also reminiscent of those in my northern hometown.
A part of me wondered if that’s what drew my sister, Beth, to the area, or was it the home? Their daughter had been young when they moved. They were well into their careers. Maybe the feel of home wasn’t on her radar at all. But it was on mine now.