9
   

Columbus, Ohio

 
 
sozobe
 
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2003 09:27 am
Columbus.

Ohio.

I don't know about you, but those two words strike fear into my heart. Especially when contained in the following sentence, uttered by my husband; "We will probably end up in Columbus, Ohio."

Shocked

Many of you have followed the story through the previous two job cycles. Would he get the job in Madison (2001-2002)? Would he get the job in Minneapolis (2002-2003)? My husband is an academic who currently is beginning his 4th year of a 5-year position. His job situation is kinda like a college basketball player who can stay in college his entire allotted time if he'd like, or he can jump to the pros early if he's REALLY good. So the previous two attempts at getting jobs were with the expectation that he probably wouldn't, but he applied anyway because a) it's good practice, b) it helps with exposure, and c) what the heck, worth a try.

There is a specific job season in academe -- ads (job announcements) go out about now, application deadlines November-January, interviews January-March, notifications some time after interviews. (He was on the short-short list both previous years, so we were on tenterhooks from about November to May. Fun. Confused)

At any rate, there are a few job possibilities this year (professorships), and we are still totally unsure where he will wind up. But he seems to think that a job in Ohio is quite possible.

So, what can you tell me about Columbus, Ohio?

Thanks!
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2003 10:39 am
hmmmm

i kinda like it.

Setanta lives verra verra close to Columbus. So close that the postcards at the gas bars are of Columbus. I would want to live IN the city, vs. the burbs there. Some nice neighbourhood groups. The zoo is famous, and some of the sports teams are doing well (my boss keeps asking me to get him tickets for some event involving jackets).

Lots of nice parks/green space in the city itself.

My only problem with it is not enough water. I like being on a lake or ocean.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2003 10:45 am
I was hoping to hear from you and Setanta especially.

Yeah, I've been looking on net and it seems less objectionable than I thought at first. College towns + decent sized cities are generally pretty good. Midwest. Parks. Hadn't thought of the zoo, good point. Sports teams I'm neutral about.

I think we would probably live very near campus. Don't know yet if that's IN the city or not. (Still investigating.)
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2003 10:55 am
There are a couple of university neighbourhoods downtown. I'm not sure where the actual campuses are though. Nice coffee shops, book stores, that sort of thing.
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mac11
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2003 10:57 am
I lived in Columbus off and on in the early 90s. There's a thriving arts community. And I agree about "college towns + decent sized cities" - I find that to be a good combination for me.
0 Replies
 
Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2003 05:03 pm
My neice and her family live in a suburb of Columbus. They really like it there. I haven't been to visit them yet, so I have no firsthand knowledge.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2003 05:11 pm
Thanks, mac. That makes me feel better. Nice bookstores and coffeeshops helps too, ehBeth.

Still investigating. The "family" thing was one thing I was curious about, Swimpy. The Columbus homepage has this list of rankings, and they're #11 this, #10 that, and #1 for singles. Hmmm.

Overall, Columbus seems to have a lot more culture and greenery than I expected. I was thinking more industrial and boring.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2003 05:51 pm
sozobe - it really is quite a green place. I haven't seen too many very industrial areas there. I know they must be around, but I haven't spotted them. Really, really lots of city parks, and nearby state parks. There are city parks you can go canoeing in. I'm pretty fussy about the greenspace thing - Columbus is very impressive in that regard.

Big Greek and German communities. Quite a substantial gay community with the resulting benefits to some of the neighbourhoods they seem to have white-painted.
0 Replies
 
Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2003 08:22 pm
And it's a college town.
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Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2003 08:59 pm
sozobe wrote:
I think we would probably live very near campus. Don't know yet if that's IN the city or not. (Still investigating.)


Bite your tongue girl. I wouldn't live within three miles of that campus with the proverbial gun to my head.

Columbus, with a population of more than 670,000 is the largest city in Ohio (Although Cleveland, with the inclusion of its metro area, is the most heavily populated area). It occupies most of Franklin County, and the countryside quickly gets rural and agrarian as you leave the city. The Sciota (pronounced by the locals as "Seye-oh-tuh") river passes through the center of the city--this river drains almost all of Ohio into the river of the same name. A smaller river, the Olentangy (Oh-lin-tange-ee), runs into the Sciota, as does Alum Creek. The zoo is truly excellent, and if you've ever seen Jack Hanna on the Tonight Show, showing off his animals, you've seen the heart and soul of the Columbus Zoo. On the west bank of the Sciota (the flooding from which has wreaked havoc on the city on many occassions), the old Central High School building has been taken over by COSI (central ohio museum of science and industry--maybe, i ain't sure), which the sozlet would just love. Lots of exhibits for kids, and cool stuff to do.

The center of the city is at Broad Street and High Street, on the rising ground just east of the river. City Hall stands on Broad Street at the river's edge. To the south east of that intersection is the state Capitol building, and just north of that block is the Rhodes office tower (named for former Governor Jim Rhodes, the sonovabitch who sent the national guard to Kent State--had his eyes on the white house, and thought he was gonna drum up some good publicity for his hard-nosed stand). To the west of Capitol square is another state tower, named for the long-time speaker of the state house--and i think he's still in that position, was when i came here, anyway. It has a first class restaurant on the top floor, and there are theater productions there regularly--can't remember the name of the damned place.

South of the downtown area is German village--founded in the early 1800's, it was then out of the city limits, which attracted the German artisans who came there because the properties were considerably less expensive. Sleeping in shabby gentile retirement in the 1980's, the area was invaded by gay men and yuppies with children; a neighborhood association with a planning board was established. Property values skyrocketed, and they pushed through a measure whereby the city agreed not to pave any streets which had not already been paved. The rest of the streets in German village are red brick. Many homeowners have replaced their sidewalks with red brick to conform, and by ordinance (thanks to that planning commission) if you remodel, you have to follow guidelines, and you cannot repair a sidewalk, you must replace it with red brick. Schmidt's sausage house there is as sleepy as all the village used to be, but the sausages are locally famous, and sell very well. Schiller Park is a "dog park," and quite a lovely place. Beth's diminutive four-legged friend, Mr. Bailey, took exception to Schiller, and barked at him furiously. We had not hitherto known of his bent for literary criticism.

West of downtown is the area known as The Bottoms, which has suffered from flood more than any other part of the town. In the late 1980's, it was the crack capital of the world--so much so, that the New York Times put Columbus on the front page in a series they did on crack and its profoumd social effects. Most folks in Columbus would likely prefer that the constant flood control projects directed water onto the bottoms to wash it away, but it's not as bad it once was--sad more than bad. This was the site of the first settlement in the area, Franklinton, which was founded in 1797. To the west of the bottoms area, is The Hilltop. This is a vast area of closely packed houses on long, narrow streets--the population is predominantly working class.

Broad Street divides the city north and south, and High Street divides it east and west. To the north of Broad Street, beginning more than a mile to the north, are the numbered avenues, running east and west. Wets of High Street are the remnants of First and Second Streets--numbered streets run north and south. To the east of High Street is Third Street, and with many interruptions, the numbered streets march off to the east, to about 30th Street (I think, can't remember sure). After 6th Street is Grant Avenue. South on Grant Avenue--opposite Grant Medical Center, on the site of the first major hospital in town--is the Columbus Metropolitan Library. The facade is a Carnegie Library, beautifully ornate; however, the heart of this central library of a vast and well organized library system in the county, is a three storey extension wing running east from the old Carnegie library (which portion has been taken over by administration). Its a great resource, a fun place, and has children's hours and a good deal of cheerful staff to help out in the children's section. Behind that is the old Library Park, with some interesting topiary. The neighborhood east of that is known as Old Town East, and is mostly a nice neighborhood, althoug it runs with some of the poorest neighborhoods in town, which are predominantly black. The nicer parts of Old Town East are being gradually spiffed up, much like German village, but at a more sedate pace. Expensive in the nicer parts, but beautiful in many places. There is a botanical garden on the north side of the Old Town East neighborhood.

To the immediate north of downtown, in the area between the railroad and King Avenue ( = 7th Avenue), is the area known as The Short North. It is comprised of Italian Village (no longer very Italian) a commercial strip along High Street, Goodale Park in the center, in what used to be known as Irishtown, and Railroadtown, is an area which is moving up scale rapidly, largely from a migration in of a lot of gays, who have driven up property values, and insisted on good accomdation and a police presence. In the 1980's, before that occured, it was the easiest place in town to find a whore, and crack only made that more true. Those days are gone, however. To the west in the Short North is Victorian Village. A great many lovely old Victorian housese survive, with many nice quality "Depression era" houses filling the spaces which i imagine were once the broad lawns between the Victorian "mansions." Gay couples, but more especially, young middle class couples with children, have really fixed up the neighborhood, and property values have taken off with a bullet.

That neighborhood ends at 9th Avenue, with the southern limit of the OSU campus. The Ohio State University Medical Center stands on the southwest corner of the campus there, and the original hospital, a modest affair now known as Starling-Loving Hall, sits within the now sprawling complex. (Dr. Loving had helped to found Grant Hosptial, which is now equally as sprawling just east of downtown. Colonel Starling was a member of the Secret Service, who assured himself a footnote in history when he calmly took a pistol from his coat, and shot dead an assassin who tried to climb into a carriage in which he was riding with Woodrow Wilson and Georges Clemenceau in Paris in 1919--did it without rising from his seat, for which Clemenceau greatly admired him his cool demeanor.) The campus of the Ohio State University then runs from there north to Lane Avenue (at about where 18th Avenue would be, if the University didn't own about everything there not already in the hands of the student slum Lords). On the east, it is bounded by Third Street, and to the west by the Olentangy river.

To the west of campus is Grandview Heights, generally just known as Grandview. It is an independent municipality, one of many now marooned within the voracious habit of annexation by the city of Columbus. It is a curious mixture of upper middle class and working class--typical of a small town, but badly out of balance because it is surrounded by Columbus. North of Grandview is Upper Arlington, resolutely middle class, and a by word for bland suburban values. To the west of Grandview is Marble Cliff, a little enclave of Upper middle class homes. Eat of all of this, on either side of High Street and north of the campus, is Clintonville, very trendy, very middle to working class, and largely liberal.

The surrounding towns vary: Worthington is very upper middle class, to the north of Columbus, and just southeast of Dublin, which wishes it were Worthington, and pretends it doesn't. Dublin has the Muirfield Golf course, and the Memorial Tournament, and therefore has no problem keeping it's collective nose resolutely in the air. It's a nice town, kinda pricey. To the southwest of Dublin is Hilliard, which is where i live. It has exploded in population. I live on the Rome-Hilliard road (as everyone calls it--officially its the Hilliard-Rome Road, as the old Hilliard people call it, but they're the only ones). When i first came here in 1988, there were probably not 50 people living on the Rome-Hilliard road between New Rome (a pimple on the western buttocks of Columbus) and Hilliard--now there are about 5,000. Columbus is creeping out here to engulf this city as well. (There is sufficient confusion that when you go to vote, you get to vote for Columbus and Hilliard officials and initiatives--neither side is willing to check too closely, for fear they'll screw their claims.)

New Rome has one of the most famous speed traps in the country. It's so bad there, that the Mayor and his cronies are trying to find a way to sue council, who are trying to comply with an order from the Ohio Supreme Court to enact drastic reform, or dissolve the corporation. Nobody there is really too happy about things, but the population has shown a hardy resiliance in ignoring the officials, all of whom they have elected, all to their regret.

To the north of Columbus is Powell, near which is the Zoo, and Wyandot Lake (which is not a lake) Water Park. Powell sleepy and quiet, altogether bucolic. East of Powell is New Albany, created by and with the wealth of Les Wexner, the founder and owner of The Limited, Victoria's Secret, etc. To the east of Worthington is the town of Westerville, very large, but almost engulfed now by Columbus. All around the city, both within it and one the periphery, are metro parks. Many are quite large and rural, and a lot of fun. Darby Creek Park to the west of New Rome, has a working farm set up with the intention of showing urban kids what a farm is and how it works. The Park has many areas meandering along the course of Darby Creek--eBeth and I took Mr. Bailey there for a romp in their dog section. To the southwest, near Lithopolis is Slate Run Metro Park, which is usually quiet in the daytime--and a make-out spot for desparate farm kids at night. It's quite a lovely park. Alum Creek State Park to the north is quite nice--eBeth and I got a "rustic cabin" there for a long weekend once, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

If i can think of anything else depressing or silly, i'll stop by and drop it off.

In all seriousness, this is a great town for kids.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2003 09:12 pm
Incredibly beautiful Greek Orthodox Cathedral there, which they built in the early 1990's. I was told there are more than a million bricks in the ediface. If you're walking up the hill on the south side of Goodale Park, on a sunny day, the cathedral against a blue sky with fluffy white clouds is like something from a travel brochure. It is designed along the lines of the domed churchs you might have seen in photos of the Greek islands, but done in tan brick, rather than white washed. It's on the south side of the Short North.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2003 09:15 pm
Whoo-hoo! Just opened this one, E.G. was nearby, I said "here's the motherlode!"

Thanks. Don't have time right now to read properly, a quick scan confirms the impression of lots and lots of good info.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2003 09:17 pm
Cheers, Boss . . . if E.G. is so inclined, they have an NHL franchise--the Columbus Bluejackets (major silliness in the naming of that team), a major league soccor team, the Columbus Crew, and a New York Yankees farm club, the Columbus Clippers.
0 Replies
 
mac11
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2003 07:33 am
Wow, great Columbus write-up there, Setanta.

I worked for a theater company (now defunct) in that state tower with the pricey restaurant on the top floor. I don't remember the name of the building either. We had many opening nite parties in the restaurant. There was a huge fancy mall nearby - we called it "the Gucci Mall".

And I lived near the Metropolitan Library - spent lots of time there on days off. The topiary park to the west was a sort of re-creation of Seurat's "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" - most amusing use of topiary I've ever seen.

Thanks for reviving the memories, Set!
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2003 08:23 am
Just read it properly... wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, and THANK YOU so much. This is all quite heartening. The countryside quickly getting rural and agrarian when you leave the city is another thing I like to see. All of these areas with history, old houses... excellent!

Gonna go Google for deaf organizations... usually where there is a large gay population there's a good-sized Deaf population too. ('s true, though I'm not sure why.)
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2003 08:29 am
D'oh. The Ohio School for the Deaf is in Columbus!

That's a good sign. (I had no idea.)
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2003 08:53 am
Many people in Columbus refer to it as a "cow town." This is absurd, of course, for a city this size. What they mean is that this is not New York. For those of us who prefer a more leisurely pace and less ado, that's fine; we advise the discontented to move to New York. Columbus is a major metropolitan area, however, and has many of the attributes. The radio market here is large and aggressive. Sadly, that means that many of the stations run "programmed" music: QFM96 is the "classic rock" station, Sunny95 is the "light rock" station, WCOL is the country station, etc. There are some good independent stations, though, and public radio is in fine form. WOSU has an FM station, which has a free-form classical format; an AM station which is talk radio and news; and, of course, a television station. Additionally WCBE (Columbus Board of Education) operates a public radio FM station which has an "alternative music" format. It is a very competetive radio market. In television, there are at least three cable outlets, as well as many broadband internet access services. The "big three" networks are represented, in addition to PBS at the WOSU station; both Fox and Warner Brothers have television stations here.

One aspect of a large city is present in Columbus, with a vengeance. Columbus is a restaurant town, with a very competitive market. Columbus State Community College offers a program for potential chefs which is certified by the Culinary Institute of America. Oddly, in a town with such a large Greek population, Greek is about the only major cuisine not represented. There are a few good Greek delis, though, and Zeta's, on High Street in the Short North, is the best (in my never humble opinion). There are Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Carribean and Mexican restaurants, both white table cloth and casual, as well as many "world cuisine" style of restaurants. In Grandview, one finds Spagio, which was formerly the Gourmet Market. Chef Hubert Seifert (the old nazi) has trained a good many first-class chefs, by virtue of exploiting them shamelessly as students. It was previously a white table cloth haute cuisine restaurant, classic European style, but he's switched, and renamed the place, originally offering exotic pizzas and single-serving casserole dishes baked in wood-fired ovens. It still owes much to the European tradition, but it is now updated and very trendy. The Grandview café has a seedy look, but offers some first class traditional American diner food-and is especially noted for its pickerel, which is what Ohioans call walleye. This is one of the wonderful secrets of Columbus-the town is full of really good diners, and small family restaurants.

Education is big in this town as well, apart from the Ohio State University. Devry University, which was originally called Devry Institute, has one of the best computer programming programs in the nation. Many locals still scoff at a school that has long advertised on television, but it is really a community college writ large, with full degree programs, and first class instruction. Absent the emphasis on sports or research of many a major university, it is free to concentrate on excellence in education, and it does. Franklin University originally focused on pre-law and law school, but has recently concentrated on "adult" education, expanding night courses, and offering "life experience" credit to older students. Central State University is one of the old, traditional black colleges. Ohio Wesleyan University and the Pontifical College Josephinum are the large religiously sponsored schools, and the Pontifical College is the only such institution outside of the Vatican. The University of Dayton has a campus (very small) in Columbus, largely to service correspondence and on-line students. I've mentioned Columbus State Community college, and very nearby to it is the Columbus School of Art and Design-which also enjoys a national reputation for excellence. More when i think of it.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2003 08:55 am
Thanks Mac, i couldn't remember the name of that piece, or i'd have included it in my post. The mall to which you refer is the City Center Mall, which tried to be very upscale, and failed. It's withering away now.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2003 12:19 pm
Thanks for those greta descriptions! I really liked reading all that

(Setanta: an aside: most Pontifical Colleges/Univeristies(institutes are outside the Vatican, situated in different places in Rome/Italy.)
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2003 05:18 am
I assure you, Walter, that i don't give a rat's ass about how the Vatican categorizes its educational institutions. I was simply repeating the boast they make here.

Soz, i forgot to mention the Colubus Museum of Art, on Broad Street, east of Grant Avenue, and north of the topiary park i was speaking off. Tartarin reminded me of it on another thread.
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