Columbus: A Gem in the Rust Belt


August 5, 2013 by ebostick1212

It is strange.  As much traveling as I do, there is still one city that I love going back to:  Columbus, Ohio.

Now I know what you are thinking.  ‘Columbus…isn’t that farmland, boondocks, and football fanatics?’

CAM00039 (1)
The fact is, Columbus is a deceivingly complex city.  It isn’t New York or LA, but in my opinion, it is a lot more interesting.  I head back to Columbus once or twice a year, as my awesome aunties and grandmother live out there, but once I am there, I like to experience CBus to the fullest.

Just why is this small city so high on my list of go-to places?  Have a look for yourself:

1.  Young people:  Columbus is a hotspot for young adults.  As the home of the nation’s largest and best universities, there are a ton of fun things to do.  Funky coffee shops, stores, and bars line the streets downtown.  It is really an up-and-coming university city.

source: Urban Ohio

source: Urban Ohio

2. Politics:  One would think that being in the heart of the Midwest might steer Columbus’s politics in the conservative direction, however this isn’t the case.  Sure, there are plenty of conservatives in Ohio, but Columbus is like a little liberal haven smack dab in the middle of the state.  There are many liberal minded people, and it even has one of the best gay pride marches in the country.  Not to mention Ohio is a swing state, which always makes elections there exciting.

Source: Politico

Source: Politico

3. Food: Several years ago, Columbus had down home country cooking restaurants as far as the eye can see.  With a huge increase of immigrant populations came a plethora of different ethnic restaurants.  You can still go get your biscuits and gravy, if that is what you are looking for, but there are now thousands of other options.  I actually had my first taste of Ethiopian food at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Columbus (delicious!), and can’t wait to hit up a Somalian place next time I am there.  (With the country’s second largest Somali refugee population, it is bound to be authentic and tasty!)

4. Festivals:  If Sevilla lays claim to Feria, Columbus lays claim to the Ohio State Fair.  Now, I may be biased, as I am an Ohioan, born and bred, but I will put it out there:  Ohio has the best fair.  They have concerts, agricultural events, and a full sized cow sculpted out of butter, presumably an homage to the area’s dairy farming history.

Other festivals include the thinly veiled hippie extravaganza known as ComFest, or the super entertaining alternative Doo Dah Fourth of July parade, that pokes fun at current events, and political figures.

Ohioans know how to celebrate!

Source: Ocj

Source: Ocj

5.  CBus Pride:  People from Columbus bleed gray and scarlet from the moment they are born.  Sure, there are the obnoxious OSU football hooligans, but quite honestly, people are just proud to be from this city.  I have worn an OSU sweatshirt to a gym in England and had someone tap me on the shoulder to express their ‘Buckeye Pride’.  People from Columbus are proud to the core of their being, as they are from a small, tight knit city with a TON going for it.

Columbus isn’t a city with a bad rep, nor is it one of the American All Stars.  It is small, quirky city.  People skip over it on their trips to New York, LA, and Washington DC…but it is worth a look!  In my reintegration to American life, I have come to realize that there are so many small cities in our country that are taken for granted.  While they might be small, they are more than corn, soybeans, and cows.

                                                       Go Bucks!


2 thoughts on “Columbus: A Gem in the Rust Belt

  1. Cassandra says:

    Two of my Arkansan pals moved to Columbus for grad school, and consequently I’ve learned a lot about the city since then! I’m envious of all the great bands that come through, and the quirky fair photos have attracted my interest more than once. Hope I get the chance to visit one of these days!

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