Sunday, June 19, 2005

Baby, If You've Ever Wondered

I spent last Friday in Cincinnati. It had all the trappings of a city--but without the crowds. A couple of examples:

1) I arrived early for my meeting. I went to a Starbucks downtown around one o'clock. Plenty of open tables.

2) I went to park my rental car in a downtown garage. Plenty of spots in the early afternoon. Plenty of spots in the late afternoon, even as the first pitch of a Reds game was drawing closer.

3) Most amazingly, I've got an early evening flight out of CVG. I am expecting the usual Friday zoo, like LaGuardia or Baltimore. Not even close. Not much traffic on the outside, and no chaos on the inside. Minimal lines going through security. Easy to get a table to catch a quick dinner. Yes, the ticket on Delta was about twice what it would have been on a Southwest flight of the same distance. But imagine spending more and actually getting more. That's a rarity.

I tip my hat to the Queen City.

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Michael Carroll said...

While your tiping your hat maybe you should bow your head and say a prayer.

A city with out crowds is not a good thing.

Maybe your leaving something out but it sounds like a weak local economy

Andrew Samwick said...

It wasn't that there weren't any people around--it was more that there was enough room to put them all without feeling crowded.

I did some investigating on the web, and this article from late 2001 seems to have a lot of interesting things to say about what's happening with growth in Southwest Ohio. Jump down to the sections on "Move to Middle Worsens Big-City Problems" and "Downtown Efforts Help, More Is Needed" if you don't want to read the whole thing.