by Maddie Ogden
While it is no secret to Clintonville residents that it is a wonderful place to live, the neighborhood is now receiving state and national attention because of this. Clintonville was nominated by Larry Ziniel as one of the nicest places in Ohio and is now a finalist for the “Nicest Places in America.”
The neighborhood started gathering attention when quarantine first started back in March. Clintonville has always been a tight-knit community, but it became even closer as people started helping each other adjust to life under COVID-19. It started with an online group for groceries.
“When one neighbor would head to the store, he or she would message others to see if anyone needed anything, limiting the number of trips,” an article in Reader’s Digest about the nomination explains.
Pretty soon, neighbors were organizing socially distant picnics and birthday celebrations. On one street in Clintonville, West Dunedin Road, resident Diane Erwin organized weekly beer deliveries to support Combustion Brewery & Taproom, a new local brewery. Other neighbors wrote birthday messages on the sidewalk and put out cake to celebrate local birthdays.
“You get to pick your friends, but you don’t get to pick your neighbors necessarily, but somehow we have a really great neighborhood,” said Diane Ray, another resident of West Dunedin Road.
This nomination is not the only thing that has brought national attention to Clintonville. Back in March, a video of 9-year-old Taran Tien and his sister, 6-year-old Calliope, went viral. The two kids put on a porch concert for their neighbor Helena Schlam, 78. Schlam’s grandchildren could not make it for Passover due to COVID-19, so Taran and Calliope decided to put on a show for her to give Schlam some company.
These heartwarming stories are just a few examples of what makes Clintonville such a special place to live. It really is a tight-knit community where everybody knows everybody, and people are more than willing to help out their neighbors. It is nice to see this beloved neighborhood getting attention and this nomination is well-deserved.