Wednesday, March 28, 2007


CityBeat - Larry Gross

Seriously... I've seen Cincinnati Blog comment time and time again on Larry Gross from City Beat, and I never really cared much.... but this weeks article really bugged me. How do you open CityBeat's 'Best of Cincinniati' edition with the drivle from Mr. Gross? The 'Best of' Edition is far and away CityBeat's most upbeat week of the year. So why ruin that with this article.

Apparently Mr. Gross (maybe it's his name that's the problem) can't make a friend if his life depended on it. I've never met the man, so maybe I'm wrong and he's actually very pleasant to be around. But he claims that he talked to 80 people on Main St (near the courthouse) and 40 people on Fountain Square and couldn't get more than 2 of them to answer a question about what they like about Cincinnati. I am calling complete BS on this, and might even do my own experiment to prove it.

How hard did he try? Did he present himself in a positive manner, or did he approach people as if he was giong to ask them for a buck? I can't believe that if he held a notebook in his hand, or a voice recorder, and went up to people and said, "Hey, I'm a reporter from CityBeat, and I need 2 minutes from you to tell me what you like best about Cincinnati." that he would have gotten only 2 responses. It's just not true. People in this city are friendly, and I've had dozens of people from out of town tell me that.

Give it up Mr. Gross, the gal you met on the street that day was correct, Smoking is bad for you, and if it really is miserable here, no one is keeping you hostage. America is a very mobile-friendly country, so moving to a new city is only a U-Haul away!

Maybe Larry needs a camera in his hand? When I am walking around the city taking photos of street life and architecture I am approached by friendly people that are curious what I am doing, when they find out they usually smile and on occasion express there enthusiasm for Cincinnati.

I agree, if you are unhappy with a place, you should move. I was quite unhappy when I lived in St. Louis and couldn't wait to find a new city to relocate too, thankfully I discovered Cincinnati on a road trip that year and a year later I had a new job and relocated my family here. After almost 4 years here, I have no regrets outside the cynicism I sense in the locals. I have been around the world and Cincinnati fairs well in my comparisons. Many people think the grass is greener somewhere else and usually end up regretting their relocation from the Queen City. Several of them have commented in my photo gallery on my website about how much they miss Cincinnati.
I'm a videographer; in my experience, cold-talking people when you have a camera is even harder.

Why? Marketing!

After a few decades, we've come to assume that unknown numbers are telemarketers, and unknown people on the street are hustlers (or worse, want you to take a survey), just as unknown email is spam.

Furthermore, Larry's question is basically unanswerable--he'd've had much more success with "what's ONE thing you like about Cincinnati", and he's either being disingenuous or else he's a crappy writer.
then please do your own experiment. i know larry - worked with him for a few years. he's a cantankerous sort, but he's a genuine, true person. and he does love cincinnati. you cincinnati apologists sound like george bush on iraq - "but, but...there are good things happening too." i', sure there are, but to turn a blind eye to negative is self-destructive.
Ghost, You sound like a Larry Gross fanboy or Larry himeself.
I'm going to (sort of) vouch for Larry: When I had my unfortunate incident with Fifth Third bank (they bounced a check because I had too much money in my account - yes, really), it was Larry Gross who called me to tell me about the problem with the check. He was exceedingly nice about it, and after I'd given him my debit card details so he could run the payment, I told him I would come into the store with a copy of my bank statement and a letter from the bank verifying that the bounce was not my fault (which I did later that day, unfortunately after he'd gone home). "You don't need to do that," he told me, "but I'd like you to come in and say hello anyway." He also told me about the story he was working on for the 'best of' issue of City Beat and said that he'd like to talk to me about what I liked best about Cincinnati. Like I said, though, I came in after he'd left.

So while I don't know Larry, I can certainly vouch for the fact that he was putting some effort into gathering opinions.
I thought it was incredible only two people could answer that question, but then I started thinking about my experience. I've noticed that most people like me who are not from Cincinnati are really upbeat and love the place. The people born and raised here are very negative. I think people who've never lived anywhere else, realize just how awesome Cincinnati is.
nope, anon, i'm neither. i just tell it like it is.
"I've noticed that most people like me who are not from Cincinnati are really upbeat and love the place"

I have noticed the same thing. That is not to say I am naive about the problems that go on with Cincinnati. I am as irritated as the next person that we still have surface lots on the riverfront.

When you look at the big picture though, Cincinnati offers an incredible experience with a beautiful topography for an amazing price. I always said that if I ever move from Cincinnati it will be to Boston or Europe but I wouldn't trade this place for a similar sized city anywhere in the country. Cities like Raleigh might rank high in a bunch of top 10 lists but if you ever walked through the streets of this North Carolina capital, it would blow your mind how run down and trashy this city is... You end up asking yourself, "How the hell is this considered a great city, let alone a city period?"
I am not so sure he was claiming to be scientific; just trying to have a little fun with the question.

I think y'all hate him because he smokes. Additionally, he writes well, which probably pisses folks off - especially those in the blogosphere.
I wonder if you and Travis noticed that there was a very similar article in that most alternative of newsletters the April issue of the East Row Voice ( - select the April 2007 issue from the drop down menus the article is on page 4.)

Two major differences:

1) The reporter
2) Newport instead of Cincinnati.

To give you an idea of the difference in the responses let me offer this quote:
"...deadline time drove me to hit the
streets seeking comments about the good things about
Newport. Turns out the research was thoroughly enjoyable. I
made the acquaintance of several new folks and learned a great
deal. Many people I just stopped in the street and questioned.
So many said they loved Newport’s friendliness and I concur as
evidenced by the fact that not one person interrupted turned
me down and all I met were friendly and cooperative."
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