March 29, 2015
Day in the Life is a quarterly editorial by members of the Columbus community. Read more below for insider tips and tricks to the Short North Arts District when the sun is shining. To see nighttime activities, see A Night Out.
I’m originally from Philadelphia, PA and moved to Ohio to attend The Ohio State University. That was over 15 years ago. I settled in the Short North Arts District, living just a few blocks from the heart of neighborhood I consider this area the heartbeat of the city. It’s diverse. It’s full of life. It’s home.
What makes Columbus special, and the Short North Arts District in particular, are the people. No matter where you go there’s someone passing by with a friendly hello, often ready to strike up a conversation. Just a few months ago, my brother Joshua and sister-in-law Amy were visiting from New York City. As we passed a stranger on the street, I smiled and said hi. Amy was a little stunned, “You don’t know that guy!? We don’t do that in New York!”
Well, we do it here. We are a community of many, full of diversity, creativity and a passion to support one another. My family is 400 miles away but the community that comprises the Short North Arts District is my adopted family and I couldn’t be happier.
My days are full of Short North Arts District living – shopping, lunch meetings, after-work cocktails, and of course dinner. Here are some of my favorite everyday stops.
MISSION AND ONE LINE FOR A FANTASTIC CUP OF COFFEE
Mission Coffee Co. and One Line Coffee are two of the District’s great places for coffee and connecting with creatives. Your fellow patrons are working away on interesting projects, so don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation. You’ll be sure to learn something new about the creative talent in Columbus.
Pro tip: Both places are always busting at the seams with people. Get there early to grab a seat.
LAUGHLIN’S BAKERY FOR AMAZING BAKED TREATS
I’m the Executive Director of the charity Besa Community, and Laughlin’s Bakery generously donates baked goods to our cause. When I stop in to pick up their weekly donation, I always leave with a peanut butter cookie sandwich. Jonas, the owner, is usually baking up a storm in the kitchen. Be sure to say hi – he’s the nicest guy you’ll ever meet!
TAKE A CASUAL STROLL
For me, an absolute must in the Short North Arts District is a stroll down High Street to Goodale Park with my partner, Ian, and dog, Ariel. We pass tons of people and soak in the energy of the community. Goodale is always full of life. Sitting at a bench by the Elephant fountain, with the cityscape in the background, is a nice escape from everyday life.
Pro tip: Stop by Jeni’s for a waffle cone and venture down the side streets – there’s a ton of public art and beautiful architecture around every corner. You’ll also discover some smaller shops tucked in the alleys. Photo: Eric Rausch.
GO SHOPPING AT GRANDVIEW MERCANTILE AND BINK DAVIES
Grandview Mercantile is like an urban flea market, and I always discover something new that I can’t live without. Last time I stopped in, I picked up a wool Lazarus blanket that came from the original store. Be sure to also stop by Bink Davies for fun and creative gifts and a greeting card fix; they have a fantastic collection! Photo: Bailey Lytle.
HAPPY AT MOUTON FOLLOWED BY DINNER AT RIGSBY’S
MOUTON crafts some of the best cocktails in the city and the team at Rigsby’s Kitchen is among the best cuisine in the city. They are professional, courteous, and the food is second to none. You’ll likely see Kent Rigsby, the owner and head chef, in the back preparing meals. Photo: Rigsby’s Kitchen.
Pro tip: Get to Rigsby’s on Monday for $1 oyster night, but get there early, as they go fast!
One last note: As with any bustling neighborhood, parking can be a challenge. With meters along High and on side streets, and parking garages around, there’s plenty of parking to go around. However, I would recommend skipping the hassle and taking an Uber. (Their home offices are located just off High Street in the Short North Arts District!) There’s nothing better than door-to-door service.
Welcome to Columbus and enjoy your visit!