Tuesday, April 9, 2002

Faces of Over-the-Rhine

Greg Badger poses at the Emery Apartments where he lives in Over-the-Rhine. (Photo by Craig Ruttle)
Greg Badger

        Greg Badger, 44, former national sales manager for a company that sold research journals, is rehabbing townhouses these days.

        A few steps from the back door of a Race Street townhouse that he is fixing up, Greg Badger sees a large group of men urinating. Several days later, he notices others smoking crack pipes in the same place.

        "I think I've been more cautious and I keep my eyes open more," he says. "You're much more aware of the problems here when you live here - the little things like going to Main Street to go to a gallery, and you get asked for change three or four times."

        He doesn't feel threatened. "But those are the things that keep people from coming downtown," Mr. Badger says.

        Recently divorced, Mr. Badger moved into the Emery Center at the end of June, three months after the riots. He has always lived in racially integrated neighborhoods. He loves the architecture of city buildings. But it was also a lifestyle decision: he walks to the library, to restaurants, to buy groceries, much like his friends in Germany do.

        His spacious corner apartment in the Emery has a drop-dead panorama from two sides.

        "I never considered not living down here," he says. "People talk down about Cincinnati, about how it's so racist. And I think, what town isn't? Where's the model? I think we're trying down here."

        A short walk away in his gutted townhouse, sun streams in through high windows. He gazes out, toward Washington Park.

        "In some ways, we're still in the middle of last year, with the first anniversary coming up, and the far too late reports on the Officer Roach story," he says. Worried about break-ins, he has thought about getting a gun, "just to have to protect my property," he says.

        "If anything's changed, I probably care more now about what's going on. In some ways that's selfish, because I've got an economic interest in what happens to downtown."

        He spends more time reading the paper - not just the headlines, and "making an effort to understand both sides."

        "We need to take the city back from the thugs," he believes. "I want to be in a mixed neighborhood, both racially and socio-economically mixed. But I don't want to be around thugs. We have the power to stand together, black and white, and take the city back."

- Janelle Gelfand

Faces of Over-the-Rhine
Restaurant owner Paul Sebring
Taft senior Darrel Shields
Social worker Angela Coleman
Sarah Center director Sister Jeanette Buehler
Jordanian grocer Taraq T.A. Adwani
Filmmaker Steve Gebhardt
Gallery owner Suzanna Terril
Beauty shop supplier Chong Kim
Teacher's aide Kemberley Alexander
Waitress Karla Davis
Teacher Sharon Brooks
Dock worker Leo Sneed
Police officer Michael Ammann
Soup kitchen manager Denise McPherson
Artist Joseph M. Winterhalter
Janitor Latrell Walker
Fund-raiser Torren "T.J." Partridge
School social worker Joe Wilmers
- Rehabber Greg Badger
Medical student John Eckman
Treatment counselor Calvin W. Wooten
Photographer Jimmy Heath

The Police
Violence up, arrests down
- Changes made since April 2001
Q&A with Police Chief Streicher
Q&A with former F.O.P. president Keith Fangman

Neighbor to Neighbor
Community meetings produce results
Going beyond polite silence
What your neighbors said
What do you think?
What's happening in 145 communities
A sampling of communities:
Mount Healthy
Pleasant Ridge
What institutions are doing

Related Links
Neighbor to Neighbor home page
Matters of Race: Bridging the divide in Greater Cincinnati
On the Same Page Cincinnati
Live Without Hate
Common Ground
Cincinnati 2001: Year of unrest
Unrest in the city: Archive of riot coverage
Unrest photo timeline
Jim Borgman on race

One Year Later
What were they thinking?
Too early to assess impact
Micheal Basnight's resolve
Violence part of life in OTR
CAN co-chair has no doubt
ACLU adds its Y-E-S to deal

Restaurant owner
Taft senior
Social worker
Sarah Center director
Jordanian grocer
Gallery owner
Beauty shop supplier
Teacher's aide
Dock worker
Police officer
Soup kitchen manager
School social worker
Medical student
Treatment counselor

Violence up, arrests down
Changes since April 2001
Q&A with Streicher
Q&A with Keith Fangman

Meetings produce results
Beyond polite silence
What your neighbors said
What do you think?
In your community
Mount Healthy
Pleasant Ridge
What institutions are doing

Neighbor to Neighbor
Matters of Race
On the Same Page
Live Without Hate
Common Ground
Year of unrest
Riot news archive
Unrest photos
Jim Borgman on race