When done well, a city magazine is an instant time capsule of the “here and now.” If a future alien race wanted to understand human life in the Midwestern United States in the early 21st century—or our grandkids wanted to recall the good ol’ days—this issue of Cincinnati Magazine would be a great resource. “Best of the City” is a snapshot of this moment in time: our favorite places to eat, drink, and shop; local people who break through the clutter with fun ideas or interesting products; shows and diversions that entertain us; and trends that are either ramping up or coming to an end.
I do wonder how those aliens and grandkids will regard us when they gaze back at Cincinnati life in 2019. How many of the people, places, and institutions highlighted in this issue will resonate with future generations, and how many will become the forgotten answers to trivia questions? Looking elsewhere in these pages, will future readers be amused at our hesitance to embrace stem cell treatments? Or will they be shocked that we almost made a huge mistake with an untested medical procedure? When Amber Gray runs for President in 2044, will they enjoy our profile about her early struggles? Will they be surprised that four high school friends providing shoes to poor kids was such a novelty?
I also wonder if future Cincinnatians (and aliens) will look back at the decade now coming to a close as the city’s “new golden age.” That’s certainly how it appears to us today, given the incredible list of accomplishments this community has managed in the urban core. Ten years ago, we were trying to find our collective feet after the banking meltdown and recession, and we couldn’t have imagined the growth and development evident today from Over-the-Rhine to the riverfront and across to Northern Kentucky’s cities.
The city isn’t perfect, and we have a ways to go to solve our more intractable problems, but we deserve to celebrate how far we’ve come. Where we’re going is yet to be written.