Next to New York, [Cleveland] is probably the best-run big city in the country.
Cleveland has about as much charm as an automobile cemetery; Cincinnati is packed with charm. Like all the river cities partly German in origin (Louisville, St.
Louis, Milwaukee), [Cincinnati] has a certain stately and also sleepy quality, a flavor of detachment, soundness and je m'en fiche-ism....Cleveland lives in the competitive orbit of Detroit, Buffalo and Pittsburgh more than with the rest of Ohio. I asked Cleveland friends what they thought of Cincinnati. Answer: "We're quite friendly to Cincinnati, when we happen to think about it."...I asked some Cincinnati friends what they thought of Cleveland. Reply: "Cleveland is contentious, introspective, and not really part of the United States!"
The capital of Ohio, Columbus, does not think of itself as a metropolis; it is in transition from what Cincinnati was to what Cleveland is...Columbus today is a spacious and friendly town; a big issue is apt to be whether or not to cut down the trees and so make a street broader. It is a fanatic and frenzied football town; if you don't go to football games on Saturday, people think you're an odd fish and a pariah. It is a strong religious town; there are more Methodist, I hear, within a hundred-mile radius of Columbus than any other city in the world. Roman Catholic influence;, though not nearly so weighty as in Cincinnati, is also considerable; for instance the film Mission to Moscow was withdrawn from exhibition after one day's showing...As to politics, the "Catholics can nominate, but not elect," I heard it put.
October 14, 2011
From 1947 Book Inside USA by John Gunther