Downtown Columbus smells like a giant donut today. Go outside and breathe. Zero calories. On a related note (calories fast approaching): that pink frosted Dunkin’ Donut I was obsessed with as a kid? The Red Raspberry Hibiscus from Destination Donuts is my new, grown-up version. As you can see, this sweet thang got a little melty in the pic below, but trust me, it’s an upgrade!
Columbus Food Adventures Alt Eats Ethnic Food Tour
Disclaimer: I put most of my obsessive picture-taking aside to enjoy this food adventure—so worth it!
For as much as I thrive on veering off the well-trodden paths, I tend not to be as ambitious when it comes to seeking out unfamiliar foods. Can you relate? Let me tell you why I loved the Columbus Food Adventures’ Alt Eats Tour, and why you should give it a go. The trip starts with a curious group, a tour van, and a drive on up to the north-east side of the city, where a large number of Columbus’ immigrants have made their homes.
What makes this tour an adventure is that you may be very unfamiliar with the dish in front of you, or the culture from which it came. In fact, you may not know any of the 12-plus other people who are along for the ride. Exploring authentically ethnic flavors in one’s own Midwestern city is rather fantastic; your guides, Bethia Woolf and Andy Dehus, have already put years-worth of taste-testing to work, and can speak to the quality and history of each restaurant—it’s simply up to the tourists to partake and bond over what they think of each new bite. We were all smiling and getting to know each other by the first taste of banh mi (and there wasn’t even a drop of alcohol on the table.) I didn’t expect to emerge a fan of both Vietnamese and West African fare, but here I am…wanting to return for more. I could go on, but as usual, I’d rather you see (and taste) for yourself!
Just visiting Columbus? Got a friend coming into town? Simply bored with your every-day-grind? In addition to Alt Eats, Columbus Food Adventures offers a coffee tour, a dessert tour, a meat-lover’s tour (!), private tours and MORE. Go on, it feels good to play tourist! In this case, it will also taste really good.
I’ll take this opportunity to note that the majority of people in our tour group that day happened to have a food allergy (including, but not limited to: nut, dairy, or gluten sensitivity.) Bethia and Andy could not have been more conscientious in making sure that all involved were safe to indulge.
Dave Kellough, of the University District History said you mentioned our fellow Clintonville resident Billy Cash. Your site is amazing! It's wonderful! As a life-long resident of Columbus, I recognize many of the locations in your images. I used to spend Saturdays with my grandparents at the Westland Mall in the 80's. My wife and I show BMN! at Studio 35. We also used to be photographers, taking polaroids very similar to your images: The Lovely Road. Keep up the good work! -Scott Hammond
Thanks for the message, Scott! Bad Movie Nite has been on my list of things to do in Columbus for a while…and I just love your website. It warms my heart to see the collection, as I’m always just dying to see snapshots that were taken in the years before social media went BOOM.
For anyone who grew up in Columbus, Ohio, or simply moved here before the nineties came to a close, you’ll remember our Center of Science and Industry's old location. In the vein of Forgotten Ohio, this is a website that I hope never gets a facelift. It’s a trip back in time within a trip back in time. And aww, sigh…you’ll see pics of the original Wendy’s (R.I.P., dammit) across Broad Street at the beginning of your tour. Happy browsing!
Visit Flickr user jflauer for a detailed map of the Columbus neighborhoods. It’s an image from 2010, but the accompanying text (with links to each area’s website) was updated in 2011. Happy walking/biking/driving around town!
In 2011, Columbus native, Jess, and Brooklyn native, Rob, began chronicling their quest to go on dates in this city (once a week), AND…stick to a budget. Have a look at their $20 Date Resource Guide, via twentydollardates.com.
How ADORABLE is this couple? I mean, really. Let me tell you—I have been longing to find this Man Who Knits, ever since scoring one of his wool hats about two years ago at a boutique (formerly known as Loot) in the Short North. Nope, no website or email address on the hang tag attached to it; kind of refreshing these days, if you ask me.
The hat in question is my FAVORITE; so naturally, I fangirled a bit after finding The Man Who Knits at a bi-monthly farm & goods market, just west of downtown in Franklinton. Made entirely from salvaged wool goods, each find is unraveled and then knit again into something new. Even the original garment tag is saved—you’ll find it pinned to every one of his pieces, leaving you with another little token of its past life.
To those who knit for themselves, skeins of reclaimed wool yarn are also available at his post for $10. And below: (don’t pay attention to my mug) it’s the hat I love so much.
Catch EJ (The Man Who Knits), and his wife Nancy (whose style I’m nuts about) at the 400 West Rich Market, every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month. I’ve been going on-and-off since the event’s first tiny incarnation, and am really pleased to have seen it grow so much.
Hey,I'm visiting Columbus next weekend (From Thursday to Sunday). It's my first time there! What are the best places you suggest? any good music? art? awesome food? hehe. Thank you!
Hi! I’ll point you towards a mini-city guide post I wrote for a fellow blogger last year…hopefully it will give you something to start with. For your art fix, I recommend the Wexner Center for the Arts. Most people will tell you to try Jeni’s Ice Cream (and they’re right, it’s a flavor experience). The 400 West Rich Indoor Farmers Market on the west side hosts a random assortment of produce, crafters, and food trucks that you might enjoy on a Saturday. Some other food-related suggestions: Brothers Drake Meadery, Freshstreet Yakitori at Double Happiness, The North Market, Mikey’s Late Night Slice. Music is such a hard topic to touch upon unless I understand your preferences. Google the schedules at Dick’s Den, Kobo Live, Ace of Cups, Carabar, Woodland’s Tavern and Rumba Cafe to name a few places. There’s so much more to do, and so much more I could suggest, but I know there’s only so much you can pack in to four days of travel. Welcome to Columbus in advance!
Side notes: try not to overwhelm yourself. EVERYONE has an opinion about where to go and what to see. Take some attitudes local message boards with a grain of salt (they don’t represent everyone who works, lives and plays here…just as this Tumblr doesn’t). My rule of thumb is to pick three things of interest to check off your list—then leave room for some aimless wandering and happy accidents. The best possible outcome is for you to develop your own personal relationship with the place you’re visiting. Getting lost in an unfamiliar town has always been the best thing to happen to me, but…I guess I’d take that advice with a grain of salt too.
I wrote a feature for Pitchfork about Musicol, one of the last places on earth where bands can have their songs recorded, mixed, mastered and pressed to vinyl under the same roof. It’s a lengthy read, but hopefully you’ll find it worth your time.
I’m a bit heartbroken. After walking into The Peanut Shoppe, at 46 N. High Street, getting the scoop on its 70-year-plus history, and taking numerous pictures of the the vintage Planters and Mr. Peanut memorabilia collection within…I accidentally deleted almost every image on my memory card! Oh well—more reason for YOU to visit the place for yourself. The shop owner, Pat, pointed out a 1940’s-era Mr. Peanut costume sitting on the counter in a way-back corner—which her husband wore when he started working at The Peanut Shoppe back in the early 70’s. (Eventually, the two bought the business and have run it together since.) I had an interesting conversation with Pat about how store traffic has changed since the year 2000—people just don’t walk far for lunch anymore, and since direct deposit has become the norm, they certainly aren’t walking to the bank on Fridays to cash that paycheck and pick up a snack while at it. The Peanut Shoppe is truly an old-style business, where not much appears to have changed for decades; but it’s also the only nut roaster in the U.S. still operating with its original neon Planter’s sign above the storefront. I’d like to add that the fresh, roasted-in-house nuts are GOOD. Visit The Peanut Shoppe Columbus on Facebook for special hours and give this long-standing landmark a little love this February.
Now excuse me while I eat deez nuts and read a magazine. I got a heart-shaped container filled with freshly roasted cashews for myself. <3
We’re getting smaller doses of real winter these days; which seems to make cold snaps extra shocking to the mind and body. I’ve found myself outside—and on foot—during these last few freezing weekends…which also means that I’ve ducked in to a few warm places that I usually pass by. Last weekend, I had brunch at the downtown ZenCha Tea Salon. The Lavender Black Tea Latte (I took mine without sugar) was—as the server described—akin to curling up with a warm blanket.
ZenCha’s downtown location is just a really pleasant stop on Gay Street…which is no doubt made possible by who’s on staff (my server’s name was Krista, and she’s delightful), the soft, bright natural light, and a health-conscious menu. I had Curry Zucchini Soup and a side salad; simple and so good. Couldn’t help but notice some wishes scribbled on a paper crane as I left—and to the person who wrote them—may you turn those wishes into a reality.
Oh-muhgawd. I’m a bit too tired at the moment to dive in deep here with words…BUT, I simply can’t wait any longer to share this nail polish that I picked up from Wholly Craft a few weekends ago. I first became aware of SUPER BLACK on Instagram—I regret that I can’t remember whose feed—and decided to give it a whirl when I found myself standing in front of some boxes for sale. Pay no attention to the cuticles you’re about to see…and instead allow yourself to be mesmerized by shinier objects.
Here, I’m wearing two coats of “The Bends”. Directions suggest three coats on bare nails…but I really love how a little transparency shows off the dramatic scale of big and chunky white glitter mixed in with tiny, tiny dark speckles. Apply a good top coat; it helps with shine and thus, enhances the deep turquoise hue. Personally, I think this is a great winter shade (think Polar Plunge), as well as a warm-weather shade (trying not to dream of sunny beaches too soon over here, peeps).
Each box comes with a paper insert—complete with a how–to for removing glitter polish and all the deets on these laquers, which are “handmade in small batches” at Natalie’s home in Columbus. SUPER BLACK is free of Formaldehyde, DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde Resin and Camphor.
Look how cute that signed note is! I haven’t thrown away the box or the packaging yet because I know she put her heart into it. Duh, it’s right there in silver ink. You can also find Natalie’s comic work here on Tumblr at nataliedeecomics.com.
Note: oh no! The Fall 2012 Collection is SOLD OUT online. In the mean time, I’d contact Wholly Craft to see if there’s anything left in stock, and find SUPER BLACK Lacquer on Facebook to keep up-to-date on the upcoming spring line.
Deardurff House—the oldest known structure (and first post office) in Franklin County—got a new sill plate about two weeks ago. I happened to drive by with a friend while the owner, Walt Reiner, was overseeing this stage of repairs. Remarkably, the building has remained on its original foundation for over 200 years and was occupied by families up until the 1960’s. Can’t wait to see the results of this restoration.
My buddies Mike Altman and Steve Galgas (who painted that cheeky version of American Gothic found at the corner of Lincoln and High St.) both shared this link today. A few Short North murals pop up in the latest ColorSnap Studio by Sherwin-Williams commercial—when a frustrated couple puts aside their wall paint swatches to scoot around town and get inspired. Fun!
Gotta be honest, I never knew about this whole eating sauerkraut for good luck on New Year’s Day thing until moving to Ohio and being introduced to the world of friends and boyfriends with German immigrant roots. Slowly, one of the things I feared had most in life (yeah)—being the taste, smell and effects of sauerkraut—became a no-biggie. In fact, I almost crave the sour stuff these days. That said, today I was happy to read about Columbus blogger John Schumacher’s experience with making kraut at home. I’ve really enjoyed John’s simple, straight-forward style of documenting his culinary and travel experiences for a while now, so I invite you to visit his blog at jarsloth.wordpress.com. Especially noteworthy: this entry about the former Columbus Watch Company. Happy New Year!
Now, I know there are some of you out there looking for a wacky last-minute gift this holiday season…and that extends into the New Year too. Did you know that in the early 20th century, milk was used to make a variety of plastic ornaments, including jewelry? Yup. The lactose intolerant might recognize the name of a milk protein—casein—as something to avoid when picking out something as simple as a loaf of bread. However, it’s also a binding agent used in a variety of non-edibles that we use every day. The buttery-yellow gems above are made from 100% local, organic, grass-fed cow’s milk (whole milk from Snowville Creamery, to be exact). Columbus-based creatives Katie and Ben Harben are always tinkering with some new project and these milk earring molds are their latest. Each formaldehyde-free piece is perfectly imperfect, with speckles and textures that will remind you where they came from…nature. Find a variety of shapes, as well as Katie’s lovely crochet necklaces in her November 16 shop on Etsy. Who doesn’t love a conversation piece? Well, folks who also hate fun, that’s who.
I have a habit of losing and forgetting things—and while infuriating—I figure I’ll never be short of something to be surprised about. So…I found an old memory card over the weekend, and with it some photos from the 2012 U.S. debut of Canada’s Sexapalooza, “a fun, upscale adult consumer show and shopping experience” that aims for inclusion, “regardless of your sexual practice or preference.” Can’t stand using this word, but, COOL. I got my paws on two free tickets at the beginning of this year. I must admit that my favorite pictures don’t fully capture the spirit of Sexapalooza Columbus…as my husband and I arrived on the last day (Sunday) and at the last hour of the event. So while I was content to be entertained by the contrasting unsexyness of Franklin County Vets Memorial as it emptied of visitors, every exhibitor I talked to was super-excited (heyyy-o) about the huge turnout over the weekend. And they were highly professional too. And spirited. Despite what you might gather from the photos above, the environment was clearly aimed at playful entertainment, educational how-to’s, a healthy outlook on sex, and open-minded conversation. I mean, expect straight-up-infomercial-style demonstrations of things you can strap to your mattress for fun. If you decide to go in 2013, expect to giggle a lot and also learn a thing or two.
Last Summer, I was doing the usual…which is to say, getting lost in my own neighborhood and taking pictures on the weekend, when I stumbled upon the Wagner-Hagans Auto Museum. A man sitting in a classic car across the street from the windowless and relatively signless (aside from reproduction auto service flash hanging just out front) building I was documenting got out of the car and approached me; I couldn’t believe my luck. Not only did the man inform me that there was a vintage auto collection inside, but he was one of the owners and was also happy to open it up for a tour! It’s small and lovely and you’d barely even know these whips were sitting pretty on this quiet end of town. The bite-sized display is perfect for those who know their automobiles as well as the simple nostalgia hound who loves road trips, but couldn’t change the oil to save their life.
476 E. Kossuth Ave., Columbus, Ohio Admission to the museum is free. Appointments may be made by calling Mark Hagans at 614-554-5879 or Steve Wagner at 271-0888.
This post is a branch-off of a Columbus, Ohio City Guide I recently put together for Designer, Blogger and all-around fantastic gal, Allison Lehman. I’m a fan of anything Allie shares…please check out her blog and all of the other city guides at Be Up and Doing!