I've been in Millennium Park in Chicago at times when it was empty. And if he spent any time on the square lately, he would see there are a lot of people enjoying it.
What Downtown needs is fewer people like Weintraub -- irrational, uninformed and pessimistic. Phil, please move to Chicago, and then you can read in their newspaper about all the positive things happening in Cincinnati.
-- Bill Donabedian
Managing Director, Fountain Square
Happy People Downtown
I read a sour grapes Letter to the Editor ("Downtown Needs New Ideas, New Direction," issue of April 25) saying something to the effect that only nine people were in the photo that was featured with Jane Durrell's story about the Fountain Square floral display ("Flower Power," issue of April 18).
When I was at the square on a recent Saturday evening, there were many more people than that, dozens for sure, and the floral carpet was breath-taking. I have been in cultural capitals all around the world, and, believe me, this holds up in a first-class way. If we can hope for more of the same, say, at Central Riverfront Park or at the Krohn Conservatory, this is a happy anticipation of increasingly "green" arts.
It seems to me that people are coming back into town for shows and openings.
The Friday and Saturday night crowds are happy, smartly and imaginatively turned out, and I for one have a feeling we might have turned a corner.
-- Jan Brown Checco,
It's Our Job to Build the City
After reading a Letter to the Editor from a fellow Cincinnatian ("Downtown Needs New Ideas, New Direction," issue of April 25), I became frustrated with the comments the writer expressed on the failure on the renovation of downtown Cincinnati. To begin with, let's get some facts out of the way comparing Chicago with our fine city based on the 2005 Census he presented in his letter.
Chicago covers 234 square miles and has a population of 2.8 million, a density of 12,604 people per square mile and a metro area population of 9.4 million. Cincinnati covers 79.6 square miles and has a population of 331,000, a density of 4,163 per square mile and a metro area population of 2.1 million.
As you can see, there's a major discrepency when comparing Cincinnati with Chicago, the nation's third largest metropolitan area. Cincinnati is one-third the size of Chicago and one-eighth the population. Nearly 33 million people visited Chicago in 2005, making it No. 9 out of the top 25 tourist cities cited by the U.S. Census. Neither Cincinnati nor any city in Ohio is even mentioned.
With regard to these facts, residents must realize that the heart of a city relies on citizens to give it the "beat" that can make it great, and those citizens must also understand what kind of city they're living in or -- in the letter-writer's case -- around.
I'm not disagreeing with the writer's assertion that progress in downtown renovation is a measure to be used when judging Cincinnati, but I also don't like to resort to pointing fingers and bashing the developers and the accomplishments that have been happening all around us.
You can sit at home as the letter-writer did and look at a photograph in CityBeat or you can venture out beyond the confines of your suburban villages and experience what the city really has to offer. Responsibility for the face of Cincinnati lies not only with those who develop property but even more in the hands of the citizens who occupy it.
-- Josh Singhoff,
Putting My Foot Down
Katie Laur's slam of contra dancers is unwarranted in her recent guest editorial ("Don Imus and the Dulcimer Players," issue of May 2). Contra is both fun and wonderful exercise.
I couldn't be more happy that an old dance form dating from our country's colonial period which I first learned many years ago as a young teen in New Hampshire has been revived and invigorated. Our forebears knew how to have joyful fun, and so do our present day contra dancers.
-- Ann Black,