Monday, October 04, 2004

A North-of-Northsider visits Northside

This Sunday, my friend Kathy and I participated in the “Treasures of Northside” tour of homes ( As a newcomer to Cincinnati, I am still trying to figure out what “Northside” is. I live north of the city (about 3 miles north of the tour) in College Hill, so I figured that I was a part of Northside. I was corrected by a home owner early on in the tour. Evidently, the Northside encompasses a small community along Hamilton Road, just north of I-75, also known as “Cumminsville.” College Hill is definitely not Northside and I am not a Northsider. Despite being denoted an outsider, I enjoyed the tour.

To Mike’s eternal dismay, I love peeking in other people’s houses. I welcome opportunities to gawk at strangers’ personal spaces. Voyeurism aside, I was also hoping for some home decor ideas on the tour. Most of the interiors were not my style, but interesting nonetheless. I listened to one woman describe how she painstakingly removed the layers of paint from an elegant, carved mantel, restoring it to its natural, wooden beauty. I was impressed by the man who had whipped up all of his own bedding, including a canopy. I marveled at the patience of the woman who had embellished her walls with a rococo of wall paper borders and paint treatments.

The architecture and renovations were simply amazing. Cincinnati is filled with beautiful old homes that have fallen into disrepair. The houses have great bones, but often rotten guts. It was inspiring to see how the residents had come together to rejuvenate the Northside. After seeing their pride in their hard work and sense of community, I wasn’t so put out at being seen as an interloper.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am also a self-confessed house voyeur :) I keep explaining to people, "I don't WANT to see people. They would just wreck the view. I just want to see their house."

I don't know why more people don't believe me. It makes complete sense...I want to see what they've done with their ceilings/walls/lighting/etc and then see if I can picture myself there. Duh. Other people would mess up my visualization.

A great side benefit of having a dog is that she needs to be walked in the evenings. Perfect view time.

Take care--

JM @ houseinprogress

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Heather said...

I'm a Northsider in Cincinnati that is also renovating a house. I just discoverd your blog via I'm starting to read your archives to get a good idea of what work you're having to do to your house. Good luck with your renovation. When you went on the Northside home tour in '04 you went into my neighbor's house - she organizes and runs the Northside home tour and puts her house on the tour every few years. Hope you're enjoying Cincinnati.

11:36 AM  

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