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Old Posted Aug 20, 2019, 5:10 PM
edale edale is offline
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Cincinnati and Pittsburgh have a lot of similarities in terms of the topography and the relationship of the city to the hills and rivers. There's also a lot of similarities in the built environment. Large sections of Over-The-Rhine remind me of Pittsburgh, just 1-2 stories taller, if you know what I mean.

That said, I think it kind of breaks down on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis.

Hyde Park is in some ways analogous to Squirrel Hill, in that it's an affluent "suburb in the city." However, Squirrel Hill is a far denser, more urban neighborhood (nothing like this in Hyde Park that I can see), has a much larger business district, and is much more Jewish, Asian, and left-leaning.

Similarly, Clifton and other nearby neighborhoods have a bit of an Oakland vibe, and sort of an analogous position in the city (uphill from Downtown, and a bit separated). But nothing up thataway seems to serve as a secondary CBD in the same way that Oakland does.

On the flipside, Pittsburgh has nothing exactly like Over-The-Rhine. We demolished all of our first-ring urban neighborhoods more or less (though a whole lot of second-ring neighborhoods survived). Even if those areas remained intact, Pittsburgh's 19th century density peaked at rowhouse level, meaning there really wasn't ever any great stands of 19th century tenements like Cincinnati.

Cinci doesn't have anything truly analogous to the Mexican War Streets. Cinci never really did rowhouses much like Pittsburgh, pretty much going straight from a tenement core to detached "rowhouse style" buildings set a few feet apart. Some of Mt. Adams reminds me of it a bit, insofar as it's a wealthy white historic urban enclave close to downtown, but - as is generally the case in Cinci - it's a much more conservative neighborhood than the Pittsburgh analogues.

Really, the much more conservative nature of the city of Cincinnati is one of the biggest differences between the cities, along with the different ethnic mixes (Cinci's white population is much more heavily German, while Pittsburgh's "ethnic" populaton is a mix of everything, including lots of Jews and Eastern Europeans).
I am from Cincinnati and my dad's whole family is from Pittsburgh, so these are two of the cities I'm most familiar with. I think this is generally a fair assessment, though I think you're over hyping the difference in conservatism between the two cities. Yes, metro Cincinnati is very conservative. But the core city and Hamilton County are both blue, which is similar to Pittsburgh and Allegheny County being blue surrounded by red suburban counties. Pittsburgh has traditionally leaned much more democratic because of the strong legacy of organized labor and being a more blue collar city (ala Cleveland). But in terms of feeling liberal, Pittsburgh is no Berkeley. Cincinnati has larger black population by a fairly substantial amount, so that is a share of democratic voters that exceeds what PGH has to offer.

From a built environment perspective, I think Pittsburgh feels bigger and denser. Its hills are steeper and there aren't flatter areas surrounding the city like there are in Cincy. Oakland has an intensity in its development you just won't find in Cincinnati. The main drag in the South Side goes on forever with unbroken vibrancy for miles, and you won't find anything like that in Cincinnati, either. Cincy is more oriented around neighborhood squares and contained little business districts rather than commercial corridors (with some exceptions).

I think Squirrel Hill and Shadyside are kind of like if Hyde Park, Clifton, and Northside were all smushed together. That said, there is some density in Hyde Park that resembles your shot of Squirrel Hill (!8i8192)

and some high rises scattered in, too (!8i8192)
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