Archive for the ‘Visit’ Category

Nothing says “Thanks for visiting Columbus” better than Smackies Original Pit BBQ on the corner of Broad and James. The airlines seldom serve food on flights and some good ole BBQ might just make your trip more pleasant.

If you happen to transfer en-route to Port Columbus at the intersection of Main and James you might have enough time to run into BP and grab a soda and a bag of sunflower seeds.

Transferring at Livingston and James will offer no amenities for your flight.

But don’t despair, because if you happen to transfer at Fifth Avenue and James you’ll be able to get in your “greens” with something close to a fresh picked salad of sorts.

I bring these images to your attention because I still find it outrageous that getting to Port Columbus via public transportation from anywhere in town requires a transfer on James Road.

COTA route 92 is the only dedicated route serving Port Columbus, and while it runs from just before six o’clock in the morning until just before ten o’clock in the evening, it is perhaps the last place a visitor would be inclined to venture if they were leaving the city.

COTA routes 1, 2, 6 and 10 connect from downtown to James Road, which gives one plenty of options to get to James Road, but once there one finds themselves in a virtual “no man’s land”. James Road has no “branding” as a gateway to Port Columbus. Additionally, the 92 runs at about 30 minute headways, so if a traveler were to misconnect, they’re stuck there for a period of time that makes waiting a bit uncomfortable.

COTA’s route 52 offers service from OSU to Port Columbus on certain dates in January, March, June, August, September, November and December – likely coinciding with the university’s noteworthy dates (move in, spring break, etc..) but this service isn’t really dependable for the general population.

Port Columbus just opened up the Green parking lot on the corner of Stelzer and 17th touting $4 per day parking. It might have been a better investment had Port Columbus partnered with COTA to create reasonable and convenient bus service in and out of the airport. Another parking lot only encourages automobile use and thus, more congestion.

Considering downtown Columbus is less than ten miles from Port Columbus (Experience Columbus calls it “10 minutes from downtown”), there should be a more convenient public transit option. The current options of transferring at James Road require at least one hour – and take the rider to an environment that will make them think twice before ever using COTA to get to and from Port Columbus.


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Join us next month as WOSU and NPR bring this one-day “un-conference” to Columbus.

We’ll spend the day at the WOSU studios at COSI sharing ideas and concepts that are important to you – because the topics will come from you, the audience.  Let’s see what we can discover together.

Register soon, bring your ideas about community involvement and help us lead the discussions.

Learn more about PubCampOhio by clicking this link.

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There are times when a little daily distraction becomes comforting.  Delightful in a quiet way.  Simple but charming.  Last week one of those popped into my ‘on-line’ world and I’ve found myself looking forward to it, now daily.

Public Transit Magic. Whom ever they are and where ever they’re located, well I’m not quite sure, but last week they showed up in my Twitter feed which led me to their blog as as well as their Facebook page.

The only thing known about them is this:

What is PTmagic? It’s a collective of peoples’ experiences with the public transit system in their cities.
I recently found myself without a car and have been relying on public transportation to get around. I have already become familiar with the good, the bad and ugly of my city’s bus transit system.
I wanted a place where I could share my encounters as well as hear from people in similar circumstances.
Join me in shedding some light on those peculiar, warming, or insightful events that occur inside buses, trains, light-rails, or subways by submitting your stories, photographs, links or videos.

Every day is a new adventure.
Share the magic.

Readers are invited to share their stories, photos and video from their public transit rides.  Have a look and as the editor says, Share the magic!

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We’ve read about your plans, your trips, your nights out, the books you’ve read and we’ve opened the links you’ve sent.  We’ve read the remarks you’ve made to others and  most likely, we even know where you live and what bus lines you ride.  But we’ve never met you.

That’s why we’re planning the Warm-up, Tweet-up this Saturday on Chicago’s north side.  Join us at the Wild Pug on Saturday January 9th at 6pm and finally meet the people with whom you share your daily tweets.  Seriously, we know you’ve been waiting for this.

Mix, mingle and meet face to face at the Wild Pug, 4810 North Broadway from 6p-9p on Saturday.  Name tags will be available for those who would like them, or just introduce yourself to the folks who already know you.

We’re using the ‘hash tag’ of #wutu so that we can follow the progress that evening via Twitter.  Use that hash tag in your tweets as you come, go and participate.   And, if you snap photos that night use the same hash-tag, upload them to Flickr and we’ll organize a post meet-up photo pool.

Accessible via the Red Line at Lawrence,  the 36 Broadway or 81 Lawrence – it doesn’t matter how you arrive, just so long as you arrive.

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“Go to the guys on Broadway.”  It was the hands down answer as to where I should get my hair cut.

I was told that not only do they cut the hair for most of the guys in the neighborhood but the endless bantering between the brothers is pure entertainment.  And indeed it is. Father and Son Barber Shop –  It’s kind of like the all-male version of Moonstruck.

“Did you hear about the woman who has a pet hedgehog on anti-depressants…..”
“Did you read about that guy who bought that hotel in Texas……”
“So, like my property values are going down and my property tax is going up?”
“That’s my brother, yeah.  Sometimes he pisses me off, but you know, he’s my brother.  It’s going to happen…….”
“Did you see that car out front?  It was here when we got here this morning and the front end looks like somebody dragged it down the block……”
“There’s the dog!  That dog comes by for a walk every day and every day that dog stops at the front door and won’t leave until we go out and say hello……”

Their shop at 5806 North Broadway is a clean, simple and modern facility.  Four seats across, a couple flat screen TV’s and a waiting area with a few stacks of magazines.  Whether you’re waiting or actually in the chair, plan to be engaged in conversation.  Even if they’ve never seen you before, you’re going to get pulled into the conversation.

“This your first time here?”  That’s what started it a few months ago.  “What’da doing in Chicago?”

Joe’s chair is the nearest to the window.  He’s the father of the operation that started out under the Thorndale L stop in 1967.  He’s been cutting hair in the Edgewater neighborhood ever since. In 2006 the shop moved to North Broadway.

I asked if their father made them go to barber school.
“No”, Pete said.  “I was in college, if you want to call six months being ‘in’.  But I found myself distracted.  It was my mom that suggested I do something else.  My dad had done pretty well and he was the only guy in the shop, so I decided to join him after I graduated from beauty school.  That was almost twenty years ago”.

He went on to tell me that his brother Anthony had been a banker before he became a barber.  “He saw things kind of tightening up – he wasn’t able to help his customers the way he felt he should have been able to.  Anthony joined us about eight years ago”.

Despite looking as though they’re twins, Pete and Anthony are two years apart. “Everyone asks”, Pete told me.  Fit, olive complected, dark-eyed, thick-haired Italians, both sport white toothy grins and both of whom arch their neck backwards when laughing out loud – something that’s quite common in their establishment.

Nino could easily pass as their younger brother.  He’s a friend of the family that joined the shop not long after Anthony.  But he may as well be because the three of them carry on as though they grew up in the same house together.
On my recent visit Nino was trying to convince a little boy that his haircut would be easy and painless.  He placed the vibrating body of the electric clippers against his shoulder.  “See.  It’s going to feel just like that and that doesn’t hurt does it”.  I remembered hearing that line when I was a kid. Everyone in the shop smiled as the young boy continued resisting the inevitable. We all must have heard that line.

Their customers slice through the local demographics – young, old, men, women, straight, gay, Cubs, Sox, hipsters and professionals.  You can expect the conversations taking place in there to slice through the same topics – or not.  It’s possible everyone there might just get caught up in the current game on The Price is Right.

“She’s only got two of those numbers right – and those are the two that can’t be changed,” says one brother sarcastically.
“I’d easily win on this show,” says one of the customers.  “I Know how all the games work and if you make it to the Show Case Showdown, you PASS on any showcase with furniture in it.”
“Why’s that?”
“What the hell you going to do with furniture?  It’s like winning china.  What am I going to do with new dishes?  I already got dishes.”

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MV10 The Merion Village Association proudly presents the   10th Annual Merion Village Garden Tour, Sunday July 12th. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A delightful collection of 10 of the finest residential gardens will be featured, ranging from larger, more expansive gardens to smaller more intimate settings.

Whether you come to get ideas for your own garden space, to explore the historic streets of Merion Village, or just to enjoy the weekend outdoors, you are sure to enjoy this unique, not for profit event.

The Merion Village Garden Tour, this year celebrating it’s 10th Anniversary, is FREE to the public. Gardens may be visited in any order. Explore at your own pace. Refreshments and food will be available at selected tour sites. Plants and garden gifts will also be available at select sites. The event is held rain or shine.

The Merion Village Information Center at 1330 South Fourth Street will be open the day of the tour from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for tour maps, refreshments and rest room facilities. Tour maps will also be available for download at our website www.merionvillage.org. Tour programs and maps will also be available at all tour locations. You can also follow tour preparations on Twitter and Facebook.

As always, the Merion Village Garden Tour remains free, thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and supporting partners. These partnerships have been essential in the development of Merion Village as one of the most diverse and fastest growing neighborhoods in the City of Columbus. All proceeds from the event benefit the Merion Village Association. Please join us for this annual tradition

Contact the Merion Village Association at 614.444.3144 or gardentour@merionvillage.org with any questions.

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