CityBeat’s Living Out Loud – Cincinnati Blog

{November 27, 2006}   Ghost Town

ghost-town.jpgI’m not really a shopper but I’ve always heard that the day after Thanksgiving is the busiest shopping day of the year. Maybe that’s the case with all the malls outside of Cincinnati, but downtown was a ghost town.

When I got on the bus to head downtown to work a few hours at Elgin Office Equipment, it was me and the bus driver. That’s it. No other passengers.

I walked around downtown for a bit. Restaurants were closed. Businesses were closed. Stores were closed. Welcome to downtown Cincinnati. How bad can it get here?

Larry Gross

Update: a very lively exchange here today which has generated another record views – now close to 800. If I wasn’t so busy looking at the comments on this post and deleting comments on LOL Girl’s I’d be smiling.


Matt says:

Yeah, I know. We have a downtown like no other.

Brenda says:

Why in the world would I want to shop downtown? It’s basically dead and I would have to pay for parking.

Nick says:

Why don’t the assholes on city council give us some free parking during the holiday season. That would help in getting people back downtown.

scprideandms says:

Why don’t the assholes on city council give us some free parking during the holiday season?

Beacuse they’ve got to pay for the MILLIONS of $ spent on the “cosmetic” improvements and moving the fountain (again)…

Oh yeah and the cameras/security so when its below 0, and the shelters are full they can roust the homeless.

Nick says:

Thanks sc, it’s all so clear now.

Matt says:

Have you ever seen a downtown area so fucked up? I say bring over the people who got Newport going and let them try to fix what’s wrong over here.

Roger says:

I know it will never happen, but there should be free parking downtown during the holiday shopping season – at least on Saturday. This town is so good at shooting itself in the foot, ya know?

Marilyn says:

Wasn’t the justification for the new fountain square, skating rink and all, supposed to be that it would draw people like a magnet?

Bill says:

Yeah, Marilyn, but so far that magnet ain’t working.

Marilyn says:

I gotta wonder what kind of refrigeration unit it takes to make ice when it is 50 degrees outside (as it typically is in December here in Cincy). And what the cost of that little item?

Jean says:

Here Larry goes again trashing this city.

There never is a lot of activity in downtown because most businesses closes that Friday after the holiday. If you came down on Saturday you would have found more activity.

Larry, if you don’t like Cincinnati, you should just leave.

hard as nails says:

You’re full of it, Jean. Downtown was dead over the weekend.

Debbie says:

I kind of like the skating around the square or at least my kids too.

I’m not one of those people who have given up on downtown. I think the new look of fountain square will change opinions, just give it some time.

Matthew says:

I think having free parking downtown on a Saturday during the holidays in an excellent idea. Therefore, the people who run this city will have nothing to do with it.

Yes, yes, yes. People who run this city is fucked up. Take the no smoking thing that goes into effect soon. We won’t be able to smoke in bars soon over here so I’ll be across the river giving them my business. I think Northern Kentucky should send Cincinnati a thank you note for all we do for them.

Kris says:

Listen. Can you hear it? The people over in Kentucky laughing at us?

Gregory Flannery says:

I vote for Larry to leave.

Griff says:

Larry, if you are going to cherry pick a story from your early morning arrival downtown on Friday, why didn’t you stick around to the Fountain Square Celebration? All reports there had the crowd quite large. You should be glad there are not idiots going to big box stores at 5 AM in DOWNTOWN. WE (I say we in the sense of those who want a vibrant and culturally classy downtown) DON’T WANT BIG BOX RETAIL DOWNTOWN.

I don’t really think retail should be the focus, it should be what follows when a good area is built up.

Are you just looking to prop up your number of comments with this type of baseless post or what?

Jean says:

I totally agree with Gregory. Larry Gross should leave this city and move somewhere where he will be happy. I’m tired of the trashing.

Chuck says:

It amazes me that when someone states a problem in this city that people want them to leave, you know, the old love it or leave it approach. Maybe Gregory and Jean should leave.

Karen says:

Greg was kidding. Larry and him are friends. This Jean person I don’t know.

Gregory Flannery says:

Oops! My comment was cut short. I meant to say Larry should leave me his money.

Matt says:

I sort of wondered how long it would take for cheerleader Brian to pick up on this. He’s on Larry’s ass anytime he says something negative about downtown.

I was also downtown on Friday morning, midday, and no – not much going on at all. Sorry, you stand corrected.

Susan says:

I haven’t been downtown in years. When I shop, I don’t feel like paying for parking and besides, downtown isn’t safe.

Jake says:


Are you crazy? You don’t want big box retail downtown? What do you want – more dollar stores? You’re not thinking, man.

Mike says:

Crime, violence, drugs, business closings, restaurant closings and on and on and on.

Anyone who doesn’t think Cincinnati is a dying town has their head up their ass.

Scot says:

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

Larry and his rants get old.

Biscuit says:

Do people really think that if parking were free shoppers would flood downtown? It’s not a parking issue its a fear issue. White suburbanites are afraid of black urbanites and so they go to Kenwood Mall. Kenwood Mall becomes more popular, attracting better shops. Downtown looses shoppers and therefore they loose the better shops. It has nothing to do with free parking- its perception and ignorance which drives the people away.

If this blog is any indication the best way to get people to go downtown is to have a naked LOL girl tied up in the Saks window.

Peter says:

I like the way this Biscuit guy thinks. Having LOL girl tied naked in a Saks window might get me to come downtown, but I insist on the free parking.

Lew says:

I have to agree with the Biscuit guy. Suburbanites are afraid to come downtown because of the black people and crime. Sorry that’s just the way it is. However, not all are and I do think an incentive of some free parking would help some. I mean, it’s a start.

Ted says:

Seriously, I think we need to talk to the Newport developers and LEARN SOMETHING FROM THEM. I think this town is clueless when it comes to knowing how to develope downtown. Cincinnati and the people who run it don’t know how to shoot straight at all.

Rhonda says:

Having a naked LOL girl tied up in a window might be a plus but what I think we need is more cops on the streets. Back in the 70’s my parents would always go downtown and we would go for walks downtown in the summer time. A question of safety was never an issue because police cars were on the streets looking out for the citizens. Can the cops honestly say that today? The few out there are more interesting in giving tickets.

Jill says:

How come David has commented yet? I know he has a lot to say and his thoughts are always interesting. David – where are you?

Brian says:

Gross has no solutions, just complaints. A typical Citybeat writer.

Dan says:

I went downtown at 5:30pm on Friday for the Fountain Square event – it was jam packed. Walked to and from through a beautifully lit Garfield Park with my wife and 5-year-old daughter with not a worry in the world. Had a most excellent dinner at the Phoenix Restaurant because Palomino was too busy to take us without a reservation.

Went to Balluminaria in Eden Park on Saturday (not downtown – but close enough) and it was jam packed as well.

I plan on doing all my shopping downtown and in city neighborhoods at independent. locally owned businesses. Not a dime will be spent at a big box store.

Oh…and you get two hours of parking for a buck in most city garages.

Matt says:

I went downtown at 5:30pm on Friday for the Fountain Square event

Dan- do you see how fucked up this is? Why the hell would they have their Fountain Square event at 5:30? You say it was packed but define packed. Hell, at that point it’s already dark outside and most at that point probably deserted downtown. You know, for crime reasons.

I pick on downtown, but I also support it. Like you, I’ll shop downtown and in the Northside and Clifton areas too, because I support the little guys, but I don’t support city council – the fools who run this city. They are running it into the ground. They don’t have a clue.

jake says:

you need a big box store downtown to attract some kind of traffic. people are interested in bargains, get a draw downtown. it’s gonna help the little guys too.

Turner says:

I gotta get in on this one.

No doubt Cincinnati has a lot of problems but I think City Council knows what those problems are and they are being addressed. Like Dan, I went to the Fountain Square event and it was very crowded. Progress is being made, the right steps are being taken. Patience is the key here. What’s been broke for a long time isn’t going to be fixed overnight.

Betsy says:

How do I say this in a nice way?

Larry Gross is a fucking jackass who needs to get his ass out of this city and fall off the end of the earth.

Hope he has a nice day.


bill says:

whatever, whatever, whatever.

let’s strip lol girl naked and tie her up in a window in sak’s. i’ll charge five bucks a head to see her.

Nancy says:

Was the photo in this post really taken somewhere in Cincinnati? Just curious.

Bitch from Price Hill says:

Cincinnati’s not a very active city and that’s all right with me and why I live here. The sidewalks are pretty much rolled up at night but who cares? If I wanted to live in New York or Chicago, I’d move there. Know what I’m saying?

David Gallaher says:

Thanks for asking for my comment. You guessed correctly that this is a topic I can’t resist. The Little Woman and I are “urban pioneers” and neighbors of the Tarbells and Mr. Bubbles.
As careful readers of my claptrap may have noticed, I always refer to our fair city as Sinincincinnati, because sin is the secret for reviving downtown… hell, reviving anything. (I love you, LOL Girl.)
First, abolish the police and sheriff departments.
Enjoy the vices which will then flourish… the same one’s already flourishing, but absent the violence caused by police and voters’ war on sin.
Let us understand what we’re striving for here: Excitement, activity and lots of people. What we don’t want is violence.
Human density minus cops equals fun and economic activity freer of violence than what’s going down now.
Work with me. Get jiggy! Come in here LOL Girl!

Babble On says:

You’re full of it – and you know what I mean.

David Gallaher says:

Babble On,
Funny you should say that. Babylon, the city from whence you took your name, had a vibrant downtown.
SIN! And no cops.
Up and down and everywhere there.
Amen, brother!

Jill says:

Hey David,

What you’re saying kind of makes sense to me. Doing away with the police and sheriff departments would really make a difference here wouldn’t it? But that’s not going to happen. I mean the so called society has a certain way of looking at things.

What do you consider your self, progressive? It sounds like it to me. You seem really smart and educated. Do you see the world changing anytime soon?

I also like LOL Girl. She pushes the envelope, ya know?

Are you married? Tell me about how David became David.

I gotta go to work now, work in a factory over in Kentucky. I hope you don’t think I’m stupid. I like what you have to say. I think you’re pretty hot.

c.a. MacConnell says:

Maybe Cin city should provide ice skates that double as switchblade-type samurai weapons, so that common white suburbanites have a chance against mean, dangerous foreign muggers, minorities and other evil street people forces. Yes, I’m all for weapons, capes and free parking.

David Gallaher says:

While I was perusing another of my frequented blog sites, lo and behold what I was able to cut and paste below:
“If you want to drive down crime, the experience of New York shows that it’s ridiculous to spend your first dollar building more prison cells,” said Michael Jacobson, who served as New York’s correction commissioner for former mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani (R) and now is president of the Vera Institute of Justice, which studies crime-fighting trends worldwide.
“I can’t tell you exactly why violent crime in New York declined by twice the national rate,” he said. “But I can tell you this: It wasn’t because we locked up more people.”

So, let’s extrapolate and lock up nobody!
Jill, you are LOL Girl’s Clark Kent, so to speak, aren’t you?
CA MacConnel, I’m for weapons, but I draw the line at having to wear a cape. A bow-tie is about as silly as I will dress.

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