Girl, Walking: Finding Connection in Cincinnati’s 52 Neighborhoods
“We have 52 neighborhoods?” writer Annette Januzzi Wick asked. She was volunteering on the election campaign of a mayoral candidate. “Where are they?” And better yet, “Why?”
Raised near Cleveland, Annette soon learned she didn’t know her adopted city of Cincinnati as well as she thought. In 2016-17, she set a course to walk all 52 neighborhoods and discover what grounded her to each. In some cases, she rediscovered her sister’s first apartment complex, where she spent her first night in Cincinnati. She encountered a man who stood beside a giant oak and carved walking sticks. In others, she connected with a woman in Mt. Airy who gathered her mail or another woman who longed for a home, after witnessing an apartment redevelopment in Walnut Hills. Many neighborhoods surprised her in their similarity, potential and forlorn feeling.
In each instance, she walked the perimeter of the designated boundary and many points in between. After completing each walk, she wrote her observations on Gettin’ My City On (www.getttinmycityon.wordpress.com). In the midst of her quest, she was honked at repeatedly, stymied by rain, heat or snow, and documented her street view of cement sidewalks and cemeteries. In homage to her habit of posting unique discoveries on Instagram, the entire city became her #morningfinds.
“How many miles did you cover?” “What was your favorite neighborhood?” “Were you afraid?” “What will you do now?” Questions Annette is happy to answer. Just drop her a line.
Annette Januzzi Wick is the author of I’ll Be in the Car. She teaches writing workshops through the Alzheimer’s Association and Women Writing for (a) Change. At findyouinthesun.com, she blogs about a daughter grappling with her mother’s dementia. Following her mother’s death, she will publish her collection of essays, tentatively titled, Unintended Consequences of Caregiving, in the spring.
She is a board member of Cincinnati Memorial Hall Society, and serves on
Cincinnati’s Books by the Banks committee. She and her husband reside in Over-the-Rhine where you will find her poetry-to-go box, hidden behind a lavender bush, filled with words she has written.