Sunday, July 15, 2012

Escape From Mount Adams

Mt. Adams is gorgeous. A trip up the hillside affords beautiful views of the city and the river. The narrow streets are lined with unique and pretty homes reminiscent of an old world European village. Eden Park, a wonderful art museum, the Playhouse, Krohn Conservatory and Mirror Lake all add to the neighborhood's charm. On Friday and Saturday nights though, the mountaintop becomes invaded and overrun - like a college town bar strip with just the assholes and no college.

- A street in Mt. Adams.

Now, don't get me wrong, I like Mt. Adams. The views from up there have provided a lot of angles for my #224Cincy series and I think it's a great place to bring visitors or just go for a bike ride, but what I saw last night made me sick.

I went with some friends to have a few drinks. I've driven through Mt. Adams on the weekends before and seen how crowded it gets, but I had never actually gone to any bars up there. Knowing the parking situation, we got a ride to drop us off. We started the night at a place called Crowley's where the bar tenders were more interested in talking with their regular customers, but it was still a nice Irish bar that didn't have all the "fake Irish" charm of the joints in Mason strip malls. We eventually moved over to Longworth's and after paying a cover and grabbing some beers - most of us avoided the dance floor and found a nice place to sit and enjoy a cigarette outside.

The bars that are more like "clubs," I don't like or normally attend. Not my thing, but I understand that's what some people like and if so that's great. The more variety in Cincinnati, the better! For example: I don't like country music and although I checked it out once, I probably won't regularly visit Toby Keith's at The Banks. I realize a lot of people like it though and it's always packed - awesome, glad you have a place you enjoy and glad to see it brings folks to the city.

Despite the crowds though, it was a good time. A little after 2 AM, the bars began emptying out and people filled the streets looking for a cab. We were doing the same thing, playing it safe after a night of Jameson shots and beer. It became apparent that getting a cab was going to be tougher than first thought. A lot of the cabs were already full or wouldn't take on riders because they were looking for someone who called them. We tried to go a littler further down the street to see if we could grab one before it hit the main crowd of people, but the crowd continued to grow and the cabs jockeyed for position in the streets.

Now, I get it, no one is really behaving "normally" when drunk, but this crowd was nuts. Everywhere you looked there were people prying open the doors of already full cabs, trying to offer the driver more money to kick the current riders out. People would stand in the middle of the street, flailing their arms at cabs only to have the driver rev his engine to get them out of the way. The police did the best they could to control people and keep them on the sidewalk, but the crowd even got an attitude with them. One man was screaming at the police for "not having more cabs."  People would open cab doors when they were successful at flagging one down only to be physically pushed out of the way by another group who wanted it more. One man was slamming on the hoods of cabs that were already full as they passed. Shoving between groups broke out on the street and at one point an argument over who had a cab first clogged up the flow of traffic which just pissed off more impatient cab drivers. If you wanted to get a cab, you didn't have to just be agressive - you had to be a complete asshole to everyone around you.

It was like watching a bunch of rats trying to dive off the sinking ship that was a closed street of bars.

We gave up waiting patiently and went up the hill to quieter place where we arranged for a ride to come get us.

Maybe Mt. Adams isn't normally like this, maybe it is? But, I'm good on going back there. If it's your "scene" or "thing," cool, but I don't get it.

In the future, I'll avoid what's normally a nice neighborhood when it becomes invaded by random ocks and drunk girls weeping in the street all clamoring to get their photo in MetroMix before fighting over a cab to take them back to West Chester.


  1. Imagine living there and seeing this every night on the weekend. You'd have to be a twenty-something to enjoy that.
    Wow. Imagine the WEBN fireworks. Like Gatlinburg in October.

    1. As a twenty-something, even I wouldn't want to live there specifically due to the bar crowd... and I'd hate to imagine what it's like getting your car down and up the hill when the occassional snow fall comes. As for the WEBN fireworks - I don't even both with them. That whole day is just a mess and living in NKY it makes getting anywhere tough with the bridge closures. Last year I got stuck in traffic and it was go sit at a bar and wait for it to be over, or go out of town to 275 just to come all the way around and go home.

  2. Well things are looking up then because when I was young and we cruised Mt Adams for fun there were hookers on all the corners.

    1. Prostitutes in Mt. Adams, when was this? Never knew the area was seedy once.

  3. This is a good argument for mass transit night routes after the bars close. There totally is the demand but not the will.

    At the very least a private operator should do something...

    1. Couldn't agree with you more. On the QC/D Facebook, some of us were discussing how the return of an incline or an aerial tram like the one in Portland would be a great connection via Mt. Adams to downtown/the casino/the basin. I use TANK regularly for my school commutes and Reds day games. I would use it to get downtown more often, but it stops running too early to have a good night out. If there was a simple route for Metro in Mt. Adams, imagine the ridership they'd get when all those buses let out.

      When I was watching the commotion, I was thinking that if I need to make a few bucks, I could just start running a gypsi cab service on weekend nights.

  4. MetroMix & West Chester. Two of my least favorite things.

  5. What's wrong with West Chester?!? I live in West Chester but I don't I still get grouped in with the "West Chester Assholes"?!? Haha

    I am a photographer that came across your blog searching for something new to photograph in the city. Not everybody that lives in WC is an ass...there are some for sure, but no more than in a lot of the other areas around Cincy!