You may have recently unpacked from our wildly successful #NSNC17 conference in Manchester, New Hampshire, but mark your calendars again, because you’ll be traveling to the Midwest next spring!
In a unanimous vote on the final day of our June conference, NSNC’s general membership picked next year’s event location. Known as the Queen of the West, Porkopolis, the Blue Chip City, the Beer Capital of the World, and the modern-day Capital of Cornhole – Cincinnati will host the National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ 42nd Annual Conference, June 7-10, 2018.
“Cincinnati is where the North meets the South. Not only does the weather clash, but ideals, too. That makes this city the perfect place to discuss opinion writing in our ever-changing American culture,” says Bonnie Jean Feldkamp, a native of the Queen City, NSNC’s Communications Director, and 2018 Conference Committee Chair.
Non-natives think of Cincy as a sporty midwestern city on the banks of the Ohio River, but Greater Cincinnati is a quirky mash-up of old-school and high-tech; modern racial diversity and preserved ethnic neighborhoods; twangy, bourbon-swilling Kentucky and industrial, urban Ohio. Conference attendees will get to experience this fascinating collision of culture, geography, industry, and cuisine in 2018.
As the home of the first newspaper of the Northwest Territory, Cincinnati is an apropos location for column writers. Founded in 1793 as the Centinel of the Northwest Territory, the weekly publication had the motto: “Open to All Parties – but influenced by none.” The Centinel eventually became today’s Chillicothe Gazette, Ohio’s oldest newspaper.
Speaking of Chillicothe – or rather, chili – Cincinnati has over 250 chili parlors, more than any other city in the world. Texans might get their stirrups in a bunch over the definition of “real” chili, but Cincinnatians consume more than two million pounds of it annually, flocking to Gold Star Chili, Skyline Chili, Camp Washington Chili, Empress Chili, and other joints in search of the beef-based stew laced with unexpected ingredients such as cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon.
This unique version was created by Macedonian restaurateurs immigrating to Cincinnati in the early 1920s looking for a unique take on the Coney Island hot dogs they had experienced at Ellis Island. Today, patrons order the chili slathered over a coney, or several “ways” over noodles. For example, a “five way” is chili served over spaghetti, topped with kidney beans, shredded cheese, and onions.
After sampling Cincinnati’s signature dish, visitors may set their sights on Fountain Square, the Great American Ball Park, Art Deco architecture, the Brewery District, the Roebling Suspension Bridge, the Underground Railroad Museum, Esquire Theater, Findlay Market, or the world-famous Cincinnati Zoo.