I’ve lived a lot of places. I’ve liked all of them for what they were, but the sheer number of places I’ve lived always makes me a bit of an outsider. I see things that natives take for granted that are special and see things they claim as unique that are really quite mundane.
There are good things and bad things about Cincinnati. I don’t have the feelings for this place that natives have. I never will. There are things people go nuts over that I just don’t get. That’s not unique to here. It’s been the case everywhere I’ve lived.
There’s something unique about today in Cincinnati that’s unique both for what it is and the fact that people here understand how unusual it us. Opening Day for the Cincinnati Reds is a civic holiday. There’s a parade that takes about three hours to complete. Every bar in the city is crowded. I’m sure there are smaller businesses that actually close, but even the big Fortune 500s don’t expect to get much done. A lot of people just take the day off and even more knock off at 2 or 3 PM if they can. The game is always a sellout.
The Reds are going to have a tough year this year. Today it didn’t matter. I hate that MLB has taken away the tradition of letting Cincinnati be the first team to start the season (even if only by minutes) since it’s the oldest professional team still playing. I don’t consider myself a Reds fan in any useful way, but Baseball is making a mistake not honoring the commitment this city has to its team. No other city celebrates Opening Day like Cincinnati. It’s not something that can be described. It’s something I’m glad I’ve experienced.
It only happens one place.