Even though Columbus is the fifteenth largest city in America, it often seems to be looked over as a major player in this country since it lacks some key features of major cities that tend to gain them attention. Without a major league team from one of the three major sports or a large tourism industry, Columbus is often looked over as a destination city for young professionals. However, after growing up in a suburb of Youngstown, Ohio, I feel like a kid in a candy store spending the summer in Columbus.
Up to this point, I have primarily used this forum to discuss my professional experiences at the Columbus Early Learning Centers. However, this week I will break from this habit to give you a day-by-day of my life in Columbus, Ohio after 5:00 P.M. Based on my week, its clear that there is plenty going on in Columbus to provide the big city feel that could be an easy draw for other young professionals.
Monday- A City with a Hometown Feel
When I came to Columbus three years ago, I joined Club Swimming at Ohio State and have since served in several leadership roles for the club. After I left work on Monday, I joined our club’s advisor and two other members of the team for a swim at Northwest Swim Club located off of Bethel Road. Although this was not my first visit to this pool, it never fails to bring back memories of swimming at my summer swim club back home in Youngstown. It is amazing how living in a city as large as Columbus can still have the small, hometown feel at times. After swimming about 3,000 yards, which we joke is the new 4,000 for those of us who seem to be getting less in shape with time, we all grabbed dinner at Bare Burger, a relatively new restaurant downtown, and caught up as we watched the US women’s soccer team defeat China in the World Cup.
Tuesday- A Day That Could Please Any Sports Fan
On Tuesday, after getting in a quick workout, I joined the other fellows for our first excursion at Huntington Park to watch the Columbus Clippers take on Norfolk. Though not the biggest baseball fan, this was a great opportunity to hear about the experiences of other fellows at their nonprofits. It was also great to be able to catch a great game just walking (okay…I drove) distance from my apartment on campus. In addition to this team, Columbus is the home a major league soccer team, a hockey team, and of course Buckeye football. How could a sports fan not be in heaven here?
Wednesday- For the Food Lovers Among Us
On Wednesday, after our second fellows development session, during which a panel of young professionals in Columbus came in to speak, I joined the other fellows for lunch at North Market. For those of you who don’t know, North Market is located in the middle of downtown and has over thirty food vendors. It is a great pick for those looking for an affordable and quick lunch or an early dinner. Once again, this was a great opportunity to get to know some of the fellows and share early successes, funny stories, opportunities as well as challenges from the first few weeks on the job.
After the workday, I was put back to work as I helped my cousin move from her old house to a new one in Grandview. I will save you the exciting details from this evening. However, afterwards, I was treated to Loops, a great Gyro restaurant located on King Avenue and Northwest Boulevard. At first I was hesitant to break away from my regular Chipotle, Bibibop, and Fusian rotation when eating fast casual. However, I think it managed to nudge its way into my new top three.
Thursday- You Can Still Watch Netflix in a Big City, Too
I wish I had something exciting and adventurous to report from Thursday, but the evening was spent playing Euchre with some friends from Youngstown and finishing up the third season of House of Cards on Netflix.
Friday- Columbus’s Arts Scene
On Friday, I spent the evening drowning in the pouring rain and jumping in the mud with some friends at a Walk the Moon Concert at the LC Pavilion. Originally a small band from Kenyon College, Walk the Moon has gone on to achieve recent success with their song, Shut Up and Dance. (Fun Fact: Their first major single, Anna Sun, was named after a Kenyon Professor. However, the song was not about her; they just liked her name and received her permission to use it). Despite the cold, rain, and mud, the band still managed to put on one of their best shows that I have seen, and this was my fifth. In addition to this concert venue, there are multiple others in Columbus including the Newport Music Hall, The A&R Music Bar, occasionally Nationwide Arena, and the Schottenstein Center, and recently Ohio Stadium. For the arts lover, Columbus also has a wonderful arts district that hosts a monthly gallery hop on the first weekend of the month as well as numerous summer arts festivals.
In the end, even though Columbus is often disregarded as a major city, there was clearly plenty of excitement to keep me entertained for the week. On one hand, Columbus provided me the opportunity to see a minor league baseball game and my favorite band within walking distance of my house in just one week. On the other, it provides the opportunity to go for a swim a few minutes from my apartment and just hang out with friends from back home.