My screen time was down 8% last week, according to my phone. But that’s like getting the “most improved” award in third-grade math. It’s better, but that doesn’t mean it’s good.
And I know I’m not alone. We’re all spending more time on devices, and though having such access within an arm’s reach may make us a bit detached from real life, it does help us answer life’s questions, both big and small.
With all those hours online, we’ve gotten used to finding the “About us” pages on websites to learn who – or what – is behind the sites we’re clicking through.
There, we can read the history of the company. Or learn the founder’s origin story. We can learn the “why” behind our favorite places, products and people. It satisfies our curiosity at a time when our access to knowledge is at an all-time high.
But what if what we want to know isn’t as easily found? Or worse, we think we know the answer and then we find out we’re dead wrong?
That’s the idea behind this “About Us.” We’re off in search of the answers to questions you didn’t even know you wanted to ask. Such as:
- How does the Cincinnati Ballet create costumes for The Nutcracker?
- How exactly do you paint a bridge?
- What’s it like at the top of Great American Tower?
- How – and when – does the zoo plant allllll those bulbs for Zoo Blooms?
- How does anyone not giggle when they visit Big Bone Lick?
I’ve been asking questions my whole life. What was once fairly annoying as a child (OK, super annoying) is now working to my advantage.
This area is one where having three generations of a family within walking distance is par for the course. That means you grow up just knowing things. You don’t have to ask, they just are. You’ve always eaten chili over spaghetti, you don’t like crossing the river, and you know the correct answer to “Please?”
As a transplant to Cincinnati as a young adult, I found myself starting from scratch to find that information. Being a journalist helped; asking questions was quite literally my job. But as it turned out, not everyone knew the answers.
Like when I wanted to know what the seven hills of Cincinnati are. Turns out, no one can agree.
In 1958, The Enquirer listed these: Mount Adams, Mount Auburn, Walnut Hills, Fairmount, Fairview Heights, Clifton Heights and Price Hill.
The University of Cincinnati took the “hills” part of seven hills quite literally, and sticks squarely to Mounts for its list: Mount Adams, Mount Airy, Mount Echo, Mount Healthy, Mount Lookout, Mount Storm and Mount Washington.
Anecdotally, people will tell you Mount Lookout, Mount Hope, and some veteran Cincinnatians might even add Vine Street Hill.
The seven hills are supposed to form a crescent from the east bank of the Ohio River to the west, which would mean any and every one of these hills could be on the list.
Maybe we should put this up for a vote in May’s special election.
And what about the rumor that there’s chocolate in Cincinnati chili? That’s my next quest, friends.
I’m sure you have plenty of questions, too. If you do, drop me an email at [email protected] and I’ll do my best to find the answers. Check back here to find them.
So, welcome to a place where we can learn about Cincinnati, about the people and places that make this place tick, about our “why” – about us.
You can catch Nero on Coffee Break with Kathrine on Facebook Live weekday mornings at 10 a.m. on The Enquirer's Facebook page. You can also sign up to receive her weekly e-newsletter at cincinnati.com/newsletters.