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BIG PICTURE Detail of Bloom Bloom by Dana Lynn Harper taken at Wonderball at the Columbus Museum of Art. Read more about Dana Lynn Harper on page 30. PHOTO BY BRIAN KAISER




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O N TH E COV E R : Illustration by Sarah Moore



veryone is a work in progress. Consequently, we tend to spend some time thinking about how we can create the better version of ourselves, particularly when things aren’t going well. Most of us know when an aspect of our physical health is out of whack. We’re achy or coughing or out of breath. But when our psychological selves are thrown off kilter, the signs can be a lot more subtle. If something is “off” in your life, you may not even know what that something is, or what you need to do to fix it. You know you need to take action—to do something different—but you don’t know what that is. That’s when a lot of people turn to Google. But searching for answers on the internet can be lonely business, and fairly random, especially if you don’t know exactly what’s wrong. Often it takes an outside perspective to help us to look inside, to give us clarity, and to help us unpack our issues and take a healthy, scrutinizing look. At (614) we like to think we’re always giving you new ideas about where to go, what to try, or what’s coming up next. But this month, perhaps we can do a bit more for you. Maybe we can offer some inspiration. That’s a little ambitious, I realize. I’ve never been a big fan of motivational or inspirational posters. They always seem to be vaguely out of touch and trying too hard. And they’re always there when I don’t need or want them. Inspiration usually works best as a spontaneous phenomenon. But I think it’s safe to say that at some level, the need for inspiration is always on our radar. It’s hard to say where my inspiration comes from. I’d say the following sources are safe bets • Meditation. • TEDx Talks. • NPR’s Hidden Brain. • Rereading the novels I was supposed to have read as an undergrad. • Staring at the sign on my reminder board that says, “What would Jeni Ruisch do?” “Inspiration” in an etymological (word history) sense, is related to “spirit.” Both are related to the Latin “spirare,” meaning to breathe. When we breathe, we take a bit of our outside world inside us. The oxygen is transported throughout our entire bodies and used to produce energy during cellular respiration. I believe that inspiration of ideas works in a similar way. We gather information from the outside, where it becomes the fuel to work with what we already know about ourselves. Inspiration reminds us of the power of one. Inspiration moves us forward in our understanding of ourselves. Perhaps that’s why we’re always in search of it. Inspiration is our spiritual oxygen. So now you’ve picked up our magazine. What’s in it for you? How will you move forward? Whether you’re feeling in balance, you’re walking



PUBLISHER Wayne T. Lewis

MANAGING EDITOR Laura Dachenbach ASSISTANT EDITOR Mitch Hooper PHOTO EDITOR Brian Kaiser CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Rebecca Tien, Emma Kate Low, Julian Foglietti 614NOW EDITOR Regina Fox SENIOR CONTRIBUTORS J.R. McMillan, Kevin J. Elliott, Jeni Ruisch

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Linda Lee Baird, Mike Thomas, Rhea Moseley, Jaeloni Turner, Olivia Miltner, David Lewis, Nathan Cotton, Emma Kate Low

CREATIVE DESIGNERS Jess Wallace Sarah Moore GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Hugo Albornoz Kalyn Schroer


a path to self-improvement, or you could use some help figuring things out, we hope you’ll find some inspiration in these pages. From learning how to organize what gives you joy (and get rid of what doesn’t), finding out what a life coach can offer you, or learning you’re not alone in your struggles for mental health, we hope that the ideas will start percolating as you continue your quest to live your best life now. (Sorry. That sounded like a motivational poster.) Best,

Laura Dachenbach Managing Editor (614) Magazine


(614) MAGAZINE 458 E Main St., Columbus, OH 43215 Office: (614) 488-4400 Fax: (614) 488-4402 Email submissions to:


There are so many amazing events happening in the 614 that we needed to give them a little more room to stretch out. Not only will you get more events each month coming from the magazine staff, but a few will be recommended by your fellow readers. Have an event you want to shoutout? Send an email to


Dwayne Haskins Exclusive Autograph Signing


Can’t get enough of the 2018-19 Buckeyes football squad? Here’s your chance to get a little more by meeting Dwayne Haskins for his only autograph signing in the Columbus area. You will have to purchase a ticket before the event, and autographs are an additional payment depending on the merch you want signed, but the next time you see Haskins, he might be on a NFL field on Sundays.

3.9- Mix and Shake NORTH MARKET

Going to the North Market doesn’t have to just be an early morning adventure, it can be a place to kick back for the night too! Check out the Mix and Shake where Hot Chicken Takeover will be a speakeasy for the evening. Your $50 ticket gets you four 6oz. cocktail tastings from distilleries such as 451 Spirits or Middle West Spirits, plus a $10 food voucher to spend at any merchant in North Market.

3.9- Columbus Blue Jackets v. Pittsburgh Penguins NATIONWIDE ARENA

It’ll be a Metropolitan division showdown in Nationwide as both the Jackets and Penguins find themselves in similar standing positions this season. Both teams are looking like solid playoff contenders and with the regular season winding down, it’s always nice to score some points in the win column to secure that spot. Come out loud and show Sidney we don’t care about his golden boy status in the NHL! 18



MAR. 1-3




MAR. 8-9




MAR. 10




MAR. 12





MAR. 14-17



Free Kombucha Demo (Also on 3.12)

The kombucha craze has grown over the last couple of years and it’s time to learn what a SCOBY actually is. Kombucha is a rich source of probiotics, contains antioxidants, and has a lot of the same benefits of green tea so it’s not just a trendy drink—it seems to have some real health benefits. At City Folk Farm Shop, you’ll have all your kombucha questions answered, and if you buy some supplies, you’ll receive a SCOBY for free!


Whether you know him as Dev from Master of None on Netflix or as Tom Haverford on Parks & Recreation, he’s Aziz Ansari and he’s coming to Columbus. He’s witty and surreal outlook on life provides for some hilarious perspective on subjects and his general personality is just so damn likable. He (co-)invented “treat yo’ self”!


MAR. 18


3.10 - Aziz Ansari





MAR. 20




MAR. 22-23


Coming of the heels of their latest release, Delta, in November 2018, Mumford & Sons is hitting the road for a US tour. The folk group has been riding a huge wave of popularity in the music industry which has helped earn them eight Grammy nominations plus Album of the Year with their 2012 album Babel.







145 Easton Town Center Columbus, OH 43219 RESERVATIONS ARE A MUST!

614-471-(JOKE) 5653 614COLUMBUS.COM




St. Patty’s Day (3.16 -3.17)


Looking for a way to drink green beer all day on St. Patrick’s Day this year? Rain or shine, it doesn’t matter as the giant tent will be up so you can drink comfortably, and most importantly, stay dry. You can even test your luck with the limbo pole, but we recommend doing that before the green beers.




Rent 20th Anniversary Tour (3.19-3.24) OHIO THEATER

Five hundred, twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes times 20! The musical Rent is back on stage and it’s celebrating its 20th anniversary. The show will address social issues like HIV/AIDS, heroin addiction, and the struggles of a starving artist.





Life Sucks. (3.20-4.7)


Despite the fact that it ends with a period, Life Sucks. is asking the hard questions like, “Do you wish were sleeping with someone else?” and “What does this word mean?” and of course, “Does life really suck as much as we think it does?” CATCO stages this twist on Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Yanya. Be ready for a few questions yourself.


Rounds 1 and 2 of March Madness (3.22-3.24) NATIONWIDE ARENA

If you truly don’t want to miss a minute of March Madness, you go to where the madness is happening. Rounds 1 and 2 will be taking place in Nationwide so get your bracket ready, get your backup bracket ready, and you might as well get that third backup bracket ready too because those upsets are always brutal. May the perfect bracket ever be in your possession.


Alternative Fashion Week Grand Finale (3.16-3.23)


Hey Fashion Capitol of the Midwest, at the Alternative Fashion Week, you aren’t going to find things you’ll see at your favorite retailer. These outfits, pieces, and creations are done by the work of innovative independent designers who look to push the envelope when it comes to fashion. The grand finale runway show will take place on March 23, and they will be hosting events leading up to the day of the runway.




Paula Poundstone


Author, HBO comedy veteran, and NPR host of “Wait, Wait... Don’t Tell Me!” Paula Poundstone returns to Columbus, bringing her ever-spontaneous, unscripted wit. You won’t want to miss one of the most talented standup comedians of our time.


Justin Timberlake NATIONWIDE ARENA

Justin Timberlake is one of the best performers in the music industry right now and it’s for good reason. His singing voice is incredible and his dance moves are topnotch. His latest album dropped in early 2018, Man of the Woods, and you’ll surely hear some of his material off that as well as his classics like “Sexy Back” or “Suit & Tie.” 614COLUMBUS.COM




Craftin’ Outlaws


Interactive art seems to be on the rise in Columbus right now and Craftin’ Outlaws is here to spread some of that experience for a family friendly day. At this free event, you can check out and celebrate all things crafty with the hope being you’ll find some local independent artists, designers, and crafters who can help provide what you’re looking for. Plus, the first 100 people to show up will receive a swag bag with handmade items so you know what they say: The early bird gets the swag!


April Gallery Hop THE SHORT NORTH

Stroll through the Short North as you stop by art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants and enjoy your Saturday night. Maybe you can stop in Candle Lab and make a candle. Perhaps you just have drinks at Pint House all night. Both are perfectly acceptable options, and it’s reasonable to do both.



3.31 - 400 Market 400 WEST RICH

Check out local artists and vendors as they set up shop in 400 West Rich on the final day of March. Whether you’re looking for healing energy crystals or something to hang in the living room, odds are good you’ll find it here. With spring right around the corner, it couldn’t hurt to find some new art pieces and projects for the house!

4.4-6 The Nestival Comedic Arts Festival 2019 THE NEST THEATER

The Nestival is back and it’s time for some improv! Grab your tickets to see all the improv teams perform their skits and sketches while you kick back and laugh until your belly hurts. They are officially in year three of the comedic arts festival and comfortably set up in their space so this year is primed to be an even better one.

4.6 - Rhett and Link Live THE PALACE THEATRE

The famous YouTube duo, Rhett and Link, are making a stop on their Tour of Mythicality right here in the good mythical Midwest. Their channel is a wide range of content varying from turning Cheetos into milk (you read that correctly) to drinking pig blood (that’s just the tip of the iceberg my friends). They are bringing that weirdness and a lot more so don’t miss your chance to watch these two work their mythical magic.

An Otherworld is Coming!

R A team of designers from escape rooms, haunted houses, and Burning Man has taken over an abandoned mall BY LINDA LEE BAI R D • P HOTOS BY BR I A N KA I S E R

emember the OASIS, from Ready Player One, the immersive simulation game that sucked in players around the globe to escape from their dull existence? Columbus might have just gotten a step closer to that virtual reality. At least the escape part is down. I need an escape. It’s a classic winter-in-central-Ohio gray day when I turn into the enormous parking lot of an abandoned strip mall off of Brice Road—a layer of fog has settled five feet above the pavement, and the faded lettering of a former Office Max marks the building in front of me. In the middle of the gray is a futuristic and intriguing sign: Otherworld. I park next to a car with the license plate “MORBID 1.” Despite the fact that I haven’t yet entered the building, I’m already transported. Jordan Renda, Otherworld’s Creative Director and Founder, takes me on a tour of the building—formerly a Sports Authority—that’s being transformed by a team of designers. Their goal is nothing less than developing a brand-new genre of “gamified” entertainment. Renda describes it as a combination of an escape room, a role-playing game, an art installation, a children’s science center, and a haunted house. “It’s an interactive art installation that’s tied together with an

overarching story,” he said. “We’re sort of blending all those things together to create something that’s totally new.” When visitors arrive, they’ll learn their role in the story that’s about to unfold—serving as beta testers for a company called Otherworld Industries. “This company’s been developing this new sort of technology. It [...] manifests this dream realm. So you’re unlocking this archetypal dream world that you can explore and go through,” Renda said. Visitors may also choose to follow a different path to learn the backstory of the company. In total, there will be roughly threehours of content to explore. • 614COLUMBUS.COM



"A lot of this tech is just emerging where we can actually make a whole room change around you by, like, the touch of a small button."

As we walk through the rooms, Renda shares more about who—or what—will inhabit them. Expect to meet a 19-eyed creature whose orbs can track you, a seamstress in a room of spiders, a monster with an oversized bed, and a botanist experimenting with wild plants (Renda describes him as “Willy Wonka meets Rick Sanchez from Rick and Morty.”) Even without having met these characters, I’m taken in by the design. With light projections, fantastical creatures, infinity mirrors, interactive control panels, and a central surreal-looking tree, Otherworld functions at a core level as a giant immersive piece of art, designed to be enjoyable even if visitors don’t want to solve any puzzles. “A lot of this tech is just emerging where we can actually make a whole room change around you by, like, the touch of a small button,” Fabrication Director Leland Drexler-Russell said. “There’s an interactive, or multiple interactive elements in every single room.” These features include spiders whose legs visitors can control and gems that guests can explode. There are even opportunities to influence other visitors’ experiences. While Otherworld aims to be something entirely new, it’s inspired by the creators’ experiences with different forms of immersive art. Renda and Drexler-Russell both credit visits to City Museum in St. Louis as a formative early experience with large-scale interactive exhibits. Renda also spoke of attending Haunted House trade shows. “As a teenager I thought, ‘Man, wouldn’t it be great if you could add a story to this, add some themed elements,’ ” he said. I wondered whether Otherworld could be compared to immersive theater experiences where guests wander through the set, often staged in multiple rooms, watching bits and pieces of story unfold along the way. Drexler-Russell confirmed my hunch, but added that in this case, the story is told with video and audio logs instead of actors. “It’s kind of like immersive theater, if it was combined with like a Burning Man art installation and a role-playing game,” Renda added. Renda felt Columbus was the right place to bring Otherworld to life, and not just because of the abandoned retail space that’s available. “There’s a lot of people looking for, you know, culture, cultural activities like arts and entertainment, so it seemed like a good spot to do it from that angle,” he said. Our proximity to other large cities also convinced him. “We’re looking to not only attract people from Columbus, but to make it more of a regional thing.” With the uptick in interest in escape rooms and other forms of immersive entertainment, it seemed to Renda like the right time to take things to the next level. “There’s so much information coming at us all the time; we just need to be interacting with it somehow,” he said. How far Otherworld’s guests will take these interactions remains an open question, even to the designers. As the storyline and the art evolve, so do the possibilities for the experience. It’s “taking that idea of this immersive entertainment and really branching it and seeing where the limitations are,” DrexlerRussell said. So how many levels could this world go? Plan a visit to Otherworld and find out for yourself. •

Otherworld is located at 5819 Chantry Drive in Reynoldsburg, and is scheduled to open in April. Discounted presale tickets are available at otherworldohio. com until April 1. 614COLUMBUS.COM



Gallery Space

Dana Lynn Harper Installations Illuminated BY JA E L A N I TU R N E R -W I L L I A MS | P H OTOS BY B R I A N KA I S E R



• Dana Lynn Harper Bloom Bloom 10’ x 20’ x 18’ chicken wire, flagging tape, light, balloons


ana Lynn Harper wants her art to be considered a playground— not just any playground with a standard jungle gym and swing set, but a colorful utopia where fascination roams free. Recently featured at Wonderball at the Columbus Museum of Art, her interactive art space Bloom Bloom, created from construction flagging tape, chicken wire, tinsel and flashing lights becomes a place of transcendence where the “outside world” temporarily ceases to exist. Harper is gracious that the installation received a glowing reception, but she secretly wishes the occasion could have been a pajama party rather than a gala. With works currently featured at the Franklin Park Conservatory and the Vanderelli Room, Harper spoke with (614) on her Wonderball experience, finding inspiration through biological forms and her future artistic plans. (614): Is tapping into your childhood often a source of spawning extraterrestrial-like, brightly colored pieces?

DLH:I think that children are pretty much better than adults. They’re just better people. Like, the world hasn’t ruined them yet; they’re closer to the source. They tell you the truth. They love better. They’re just better humans. When I’m in studio, I’m trying to strip down everything that the world has put on me. The expectations, things that I need to do, and I’m just trying to come back to who I was as a child and not care about the result and feel a little release. In that, when people walk through the installation, it’s like I want them to be in that headspace too, where you’re forgetting about all these things that weigh you down and feel a little freer. Even if it is for ten seconds, I think that we need that. We live in an awful world. It’s hard to live here, so I’m just trying to offer a space that releases some of that stress. The Bloom Bloom installation attracted a mass of selfie-taking, which was a fan favorite during Wonderball. Do you mind when pictures are taken of your pieces, or does it take away from the experience?

I don’t mind. I think we live our lives through our phones, so to expect somebody to put it down, or to not want to capture is a lot to expect, you know? I don’t really mind. I don’t want to control how someone interacts with it or what they’re doing with it. It’s sort of about freedom, in a way. I read somewhere that you don’t necessarily begin pieces with any set plan, but rather, the idea ultimately finds you. What practices do you use to get to that place of discovery?

I like to collect a lot of material, like going to thrift stores, but I also like searching online for materials that I feel I can transform into something else. So, it sort of transforms itself; it’s not necessarily recognizable. [Part of it is] being able to take a risk and get over the fear of losing $50 to $100 every time, and allowing yourself to lose that material. I spend money where it doesn’t really manifest into something bigger, but it helps me get to the next material. To me, it’s worth it, I look at it like this investment in myself and this investment in an experiment, like a scientist. •




• Dana Lynn Harper Waning Light

“We live in an awful world. It’s hard to live here, so I’m just trying to offer a space that releases some of that stress.” In what artistic spaces or communities do you feel most grounded?

I really enjoy working with people who are aware of the world outside of the art world. I get really uncomfortable when it’s art collectors and curators trying to direct things. I’m on the board of Second Sight Project and it’s run by Mona Gazala. She owns these houses and she brings artists in and lets them live for really cheap, but she’s also making sure that the surrounding Franklinton community has access. I’ll put on free workshops where all the supplies are free; anyone’s allowed to come. I do that through Mona because I trust her connection; I know that she’s not going to abuse her power and I know that other people respect her. I feel that if I came in by myself, it would feel very “art savior” or something, but because it’s her—she has all these relationships—so I feel really comfortable doing that. Do you often revisit nature as a catalyst for your future works?

I do. I look at a lot of microscopic images and recently I’ve been looking at a lot of foliage, like leaves and how they form. I just think, when you can recognize a formation from nature, then it’s not scary. Or it takes away this fear because your brain recognizes it. I’m using that to help me, because I never want to make anyone feel scared of anything. It’s all about joy, happiness and peace by using these biological forms as inspiration. 32


Are you going to keep expanding Bloom Bloom?

I look at all of my installations as continued processes, so if the material will last and it stands up over time, then I’ll continue doing it. But there’s some projects where I make it, I hang it and I pack it and all of the sudden, I take it out again and something’s wrong with it. Like, the fishing line is bent or the petals stick together, so then I’m like, “I don’t want to continue.” Especially when using plastic, I don’t want to continue a project that’s not going to withstand over time, because then it feels like a shame—like I’ve wasted time, money and the Earth. Bloom Bloom is just the easiest. It just stands up over time in a way that other things don’t, so it’s continued. That’s why it’s grown so big, so fast. •

View Bloom Bloom and other works by Dana Lynn Harper at 614COLUMBUS.COM



maker’s space






efore essential oils were an Instagram trend, Columbus native Tina De Broux has been distilling the mystic beauty of botanicals. In fact, her expertise with essential oils and natural cosmetics predates Instagram itself—she first began apprenticing under an aromatherapist in 1999. After leaving town for a few years to work at art museums in Portland, OR and Brooklyn, NY, De Broux returned to Columbus in 2011. She soon founded Under Aurora, a skin care and essential oils business she and her husband have run out of their home since 2014. Today, their plant-based products are sold in 25 states, as well as by retailers in Canada and Australia. De Broux recently sat down with (614) to talk about her products and why Columbus is the right place for her headquarters. (614): Is this your primary gig, side gig, or hobby? How did it come to be? TDB: Primary. It started off as more of like—I wouldn’t necessarily say “side gig” because I didn’t have a full time job it was going along with—but it was one of many different ways I was making money. So the other ways I was making money, I’ve set aside, and now this is my full-time gig. What’s the leap in taking your work from “this thing I do” to “the thing I do?” How do you put your work out there? I guess it wasn’t like a huge leap for me since it happened so slowly and organically, where it was just like a natural progression. So it never felt like this scary thing that I jumped into. So yeah, I guess it didn’t really feel like a leap. My primary [way to market my work] is all social media, run by me personally. It just kind of started as an extension of me and the things that I personally was into, or am into. Instagram has been my primary way that a lot of the stores that carry my products have found me, [as well as] connecting with customers directly. All the stores that I’m in are either independently owned or non-profits like museum stores. I’ve kind of made a stance against chains, where there’s been interest. But I decided that’s not the direction I want to go with my business. • 614COLUMBUS.COM



What ingredients come together to make Columbus fertile ground for makers, designers, and creatives?

How have you been able to grow your business while maintaining your commitment to using plant-based and high-quality ingredients?

Columbus is just […] such a great community of people doing stuff and it’s very much like, let’s not just talk about doing things, let’s do them— like starting businesses, being self-employed, making things and selling them. And I feel like it’s still inexpensive enough to live.… Living here you can be supported by this kind of work, where it’s more difficult in other cities.… That’s part of the reason I feel I’ve been able to be so successful in what I’m doing is my location. It’s such a tight-knit community here that I’m friends with a lot of the people that own these [stores that carry Under Aurora products]. A huge thing for me as well, specifically for getting my name out in Columbus, would be the Columbus Flea, which is an event that I started doing right from the beginning to sell my products there. A lot of the community of other makers and vendors and store owners and stuff all do the Columbus Flea, so we all know each other through that connection.

Everything’s made by hand, and I’ve been blending the essential oils in bigger batches since business has grown, but the process is basically the same [as it’s always been]. I’ve done a little bit more research and delving into sustainability and sourcing of the essential oils, and I work directly with different distillers so I know their growing practice and who it is that I’m getting things from… I hang on to the quality just because I make sure that I’m sourcing quality ingredients.

What’s your six-word creative story?

In honor of March being Women’s History Month, what are some other female-owned businesses that inspire you? Yes! So many. Dough Mama, One Six Five Jewelry, Preserve on Calumet, Wholly Craft, Replenish. So many of the businesses that I work with are women-owned. It’s such a large part of the community that I’m part of so I know I’m leaving out like a million. But those are all businesses that I love working with. Together we support each other. •

Making magic with essence of plants. Under Aurora products are available locally, or order online at



Letter to a Fanzine Hanif Abdurraqib examines fandom through his love affair with hip-hop




t the time of my deadline, Hanif Abdurraqib’s third book, Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to a Tribe Called Quest, had just debuted on the New York Times’ best-seller list. For the Columbus author it was unexpected, but for fans of Adburraqib’s poetry and essays, it was necessary. His observations and critiques of popular culture and a generation of youth entrenched in instant gratification is a pulse that is impossible to ignore, or put down. His prose has become a mirror reflecting the zeitgeist with heart-breaking honesty. •

"No one is who we think they are... 614COLUMBUS.COM



...I’m barely who I think I am. That’s the thing I kept thinking as I was writing this book is how wild it was that I had built this huge affection for people I don’t know." Those looking for a firm timeline of events in the career arc of the hip-hop collective A Tribe Called Quest, or salacious tour stories, or extensive interviews, are not going to find them in Go Ahead in the Rain. When finished reading you will certainly feel like you’ve assembled a grand knowledge of a group that Abdurraqib gushes was responsible for a sound that “shifted the direction in hip-hop” by offering “alternative windows into the world of samplings, cadence, and language,” but more so, you begin to understand their greater importance in his life as a guide, a cultural touchstone. Abdurraqib is the only talking head, and many times he’s only talking about his past, his adolescent abandonment of the trumpet, the dynamics of his high school crew, a physical altercation with his older brother, or the various ways one can make Kool-Aid. Elsewhere he searches for answers from his favorite group in personalized letters to each member, knowing they won’t likely be answered. In many ways, these literary devices, and the deftness with which Abdurraqib structures them to tell this story of fandom, are parallel to those windows that Tribe were opening since their debut in 1990. I recently spoke with Abdurraqib to get some insight into the making of the book and why A Tribe Called Quest was the perfect point from which to launch his fascination with obsession.



KJE: Was the book originally going to be a straight biography? When did you realize that it was going to become something more personal, and less traditional? HA: Early on I wanted it to be a biography and I didn’t know any other way to write about the group. But I think biographies are written with the artist in mind; they are the vehicles to tell the history. In order to do that well, the writer has to be an expert, and in order to [be an expert] the writer needs to have countless hours with the group, or loads and loads of archival footage. I was confident I could do that, but realized I wasn’t writing the book for the group, I was writing it more for myself, and my own examination of the absurdity of fandom—or what it means to live a life tethered to your affection for a group of people you’re never going to meet or actually know. You get very deep in your attempts to interpret what this group was doing musically and thematically, but you temper it with your own history and experiences—so it works. I love how you even apologize for over-analyzing or “loving” the music so much. Is there a word for that? Is that your job as someone who writes about music? I wouldn’t say that’s my job per se, but I think most of my obsessions are driven by a curiosity to force me to excavate meaning out of the things I love. Music, film, or art in general; if I truly love something I’m driven to make sense of it in a way that will allow it to have a lasting life beyond my immediate consumption. With so much music now, and with so much popular culture, things are consumed and then forgotten. Part of what the whole project of writing this book was—was to build out a history that could be touched, that could be looked back on, that could be part of a grander conversation. So I’m not just writing about Tribe, I’m writing about how they sit in the world, how their music also populated the world around me, how they responded to the world and how the world responded to the music. I’m building an ecosystem. There’s a kind of eulogy in the book for rap’s golden era with the advent of sample clearing. Do you feel like there’s been an era since that’s on par with ‘88 - ‘93, when Tribe were at their pinnacle? As hip-hop is something that is always adapting, what to you sounds innovative in the same way today? What do young people making music have to do to create that same connective tissue that Quest created? Kids are doing it in different ways. For a lot of young rappers today, they are at their best when they are playing reporters of their moment. That’s something I think A Tribe Called Quest were essentially doing, or perhaps N.W.A. was doing more explicitly. Vince Staples’ latest album, FM, struck a chord with folks because beyond the fact that the rapping was good and the production was good, underneath

that the narrative was bringing to life a very specific feeling, and a very specific place, where if you have never been to that place physically, you can close your eyes and be transported to it. It was very much like what The Chronic did for me growing up in Columbus with not a lot of relationship to the West Coast. I did not know what a ‘64 Impala looked like, but listening to that album I could visualize it. As much as you know about them and reflect on them and adore them in this story, are you at all worried that Q-Tip, or the others are not who you think they are? Something about, meeting your heroes? No one is who we think they are. I’m barely who I think I am. That’s the thing I kept thinking as I was writing this book is how wild it was that I had built this huge affection for people I don’t know. How fandom is all about projecting whatever you need onto the creations of people who you’ll never speak to. My hope with this book is of course that people will fall in love with Tribe like I did, but also grasp how to articulate their own complications with fandom, and how to work through that. We’re at a very real point, particularly in film and music, where people are asked to work through their allegiance to celebrity, and their allegiance to the celebrities they love. I’ve seen some really exhausting and frustrating missteps on that, particularly around R. Kelly. What I set out to do was write about how fleeting all of this shit is, how fleeting fandom is, and how fleeting fandom can be. It’s about how to know when an attachment to an artist who is building an architecture for your life is vital, but also to know when that artist is no longer yours, and being able to let go. •

For more information about Go Ahead in the Rain, and Abdurraqib’s forthcoming work visit




Nowhere Man

Speaking with Michael Ravage is likely always going to feel as if you’ve stepped into a time machine. His ruminations on life in the Columbus music scene circa 1978 beckon to a simpler time—bars with live music had striking names like the Sugar Shack (where Ravage saw the Ramones), Positively 4th Street, and the Travel Agency. Public access television and college radio allowed anyone to broadcast their art, and starting a festival came with just securing a venue and printing up some flyers. But Ravage, who at the time was a self-proclaimed “punk” when the budding genre had yet to infiltrate the Midwest, had trouble getting his band, Screaming Urge, any gigs outside of the DIY enclave known as the Egg House. It was a new frontier, and while Ravage would peddle his group’s “little” demo tape from club to club with the earnest of any upstart, no one wanted to book them. When it was apparent the local scene was only catering to the Southern rock of McGuffey Lane and the biker metal of Soft Leather Touch, Ravage pretty much had to invent the first Nowhere Fest, as there was literally “nowhere” for Screaming Urge, or their friends to play. The very first Nowhere Fest took place in what used to be the United Methodist Campus Center near 16th and High. It cost one dollar. It featured Vorpal Gallery, Twisted Shouts (Ron House’s first band), and Ravage’s Screaming Urge. Of course, he needed some divine intervention in order to make it happen. “I had to meet with the [clergyman] to book the room,” says Ravage. “He was wearing the whole preacher’s outfit and informed me that they 42

After two decades of dormancy, Nowhere Fest returns, gnarlier than ever BY K E V I N J. E L L I OTT | P H OTO BY B RI AN KAI SER

were Methodists and they didn’t want any beer or shenanigans. I still have the contract. I told him upfront that these were punk bands and there would be some language. Turns out there was a lot of language, a lot of beer, and a lot of broken windows by the end of the night. The atmosphere was very intense.” In many ways, that first Nowhere was successful for Ravage, as Screaming Urge went onto a storied career in the recesses of punk, playing all over the country at famed clubs like CBGB’s and Max’s Kansas City, getting “stiffed by Stiff Records,” and continuing the festival uninterrupted for the next 18 years. By the early ‘80s, punk was en vogue, with Crazy Mama’s and the Agora (now the Newport) hosting all-day events curated by Ravage. The scene in Columbus was progressing and growing to the point where he couldn’t keep count of the number of punk and noise bands populating the clubs. Nowhere Fest lasted until 1996, with most of the ‘90s fests taking place at Stache’s and Apollo’s. When bands like Howlin’ Maggie—a decidedly un-punk spectacle—were shoehorned into the line-up, the original spirit was gone. “I wanted to kill Nowhere Fest when it was a teenager,” remembers Ravage. “Because Comfest, they never killed that, and it just got out of hand. When there were bands choosing to play frat houses for more money, and showing up late because of that, I knew it had to die.”

Fast forward to 2019 and Nowhere Fest has been resurrected in a very full-circle regiment. In January, Tim Anstaett released the long-gestating Book of Books, a two-volume collection of his legendary ‘80s ‘zine, The Offense. During the heyday of Ravage’s Urge, The True Believers, Razor Penguins, and The Blunt Stitches, the ‘zine was the literal epicenter of Columbus’ punk movement. At one of the book’s readings, Anstaett connected with local punk’s current ambassador, Ian Graham—a member of Ouija Boys, Terrestrials, and Thee Thees, among others—who took up the mantle to organize a purely inspired and fresh version of the Nowhere ethos. Of course, it would be impossible to replicate Ravage’s “one-bill” logistics and the broken windows of rebellion, but the line-up culls from young and old, further establishing the thread that has always survived through Columbus’ “punk” scene.

“I wanted to kill Nowhere Fest when it was a teenager.” Graham has asked the Cheater Slicks to headline, as they serve as a bridge between then and now, and in many ways, their sound has defined the underbelly of Columbus guitar rock since the original Nowhere dissolved. The rest of the two-stage affair includes a number of bands from the Heel Turn Records roster, including newbies Burning Itch and noise stalwarts DANA, as well as Tommy Jay and Nudge Squidfish of the True Believers. As for Ravage and his role? Screaming Urge is no more, but he’ll take the stage with his wife Baby Lindy and new band the Drug Mothers. But stapling posters up and down High Street or pressing the flesh? “He’s only the inspiration now,” says Lindy with a smile. “But he’s still an instigator.” •

Nowhere Fest 2019 will be held Friday, March 15th at The Summit and Cafe Bourbon St. A pre-party will take place on Thursday, March 14th at Dirty Dungarees with the Unholy 2 and Drunks with Guns. 614COLUMBUS.COM







It’s just become a little easier to be a creative in Columbus, thanks to Seth Stout and Urban Smart Growth. Anyone with a passing familiariarity of the Columbus arts scene is likely aware of the studios at 400 West Rich Street in Franklinton. When developer Lance Robbins and his urban redevelopment group, Urban Smart Growth, purchased the property in 2011, another disused and unloved industrial structure came along in the deal. The former home of B&T Metals, an industrial metal processing plant that in its heyday was one of the largest black-owned businesses in the nation, was the decaying building that adjoined the property at 400 W. Rich St. Hardly used through the latter half of the 20th century before finally being abandoned altogether in the early 2000’s, the former B&T stood vacant for years under its new ownership, waiting for the right concept for the space to materialize. When studio space at 400 West Rich inevitably reached maximum occupancy, Urban Smart Growth looked to the old B&T building to expand operations. Renovations yielded another 26 studio spaces in the structure’s first floor, which were immediately filled by artists eager for workspaces of their own. But the 2,500 square-feet of space on the building’s second story was another matter. Due to zoning and fire-code limitations, no studios could be constructed on this level. “The actual permissible use of the space was very limited,” explains Urban Smart Growth director of marketing and business development Seth Stout. “Coming from a production background, I knew the value of having that large of a production space, so for me it was kind of a dream.” An avid photographer, Stout had a vision to transform the unused space, with its open layout and natural light from several large industrial windows, into a multipurpose production studio that could be rented for a reasonable hourly rate. Based on his experience with the photography community at 400 W. Rich, Stout was confident his concept would be a success. Photographers were frequently interested in renting production space, but the 12-month lease required for a studio was a non-starter for most. Most of all, Stout wanted the space to cater directly to the needs of the artists who would utilize it. Built around the community, the concept would give its clientele the opportunity to develop the identity organically. Stout’s superiors gave him a three-month period to prove the value of his vision for the studio. He quickly got to work crafting a solid business model and concept, furnishing the PH OTOS BY B RIAN K AIS E R



fledgling studio, and booking the first clients for what would come to be called The Photo Lab at Chromedge. “The first time I rented the space out was for a weekly production to [Designer Shoe Warehouse],” Stout explains. Netting a huge commercial client from the jump was a sign of good things to come. Over a year later, The Photo Lab at Chromedge remains a destination for independent artists and commercial clientele alike, with a mix somewhere around 55% corporate-professional projects and 45% rentals from up-and-coming artists. “This is what the community has been missing—a place to come and experiment with a lighting technique or shoot some little documentary, or have a place to record a podcast where they feel comfortable the moment they walk in,” Stout says of the booming business, which he oversees to this day with the help of a full-time manager. On entering The Photo Lab, guests are greeted by a cozy lounge space featuring a number of smart pieces from the likes of Ikea and others. Opposite the lounge setup is a bare-bones kitchenette, should an artist feel the need for a quick snack during the course of a production. A number of seamless backdrops in various colors are available for client use, along with a cabinet full of assorted high-end lighting equipment and other gear provided by local retailer Midwest Photo. The relationship between Midwest and Chromedge came about after Midwest’s employees noticed Stout’s frequent visits to the store to purchase and rent gear for use in The Photo Lab. Midwest Vice President Ken Lewis reached out about a partnership, providing gear to the studio’s clientele to use, included in the price of rental. In growing as a resource for the Columbus photography community, The Photo Lab is expanding beyond its role as a production space with a schedule of curated events and exhibitions. Taking the lead from its big brother across the street, the lab will showcase a series of recurring art exhibitions from local photogs each Franklinton Friday. The Photo Lab at Chromedge stands as an example of the creative potential that has characterized the renaissance of Franklinton. Through its affordable, artist-based approach and a growing list of events and programs, The Photo Lab has opened the city up to a rich new vein of creativity through productions that would otherwise be impossible to conceive of. •

Interested in using the space at The Photo Lab at Chromedge? Visit photo-lab.




Treating Me Right Self care and alternative wellness in Columbus has stepped into the new age BY MITCH HOOPER | ILLUSTRATION BY SARAH MOORE


eing the best possible you is about more than just eating healthy and working out. It’s about mind, body, and spiritual fitness as well. Fortunately the city is home to a bevy of experts, practitioners, and spas to help you find your bliss and be the best possible you.







1. Tune Everything Out Floatation therapy uses a pool of approximately 10 inches of heavily infused epsom salt water as a form of pseudo sensory deprivation to help you achieve complete peacefulness. The idea is to use floating to achieve the same state of mind as right before you fall asleep at night where your mind is at ease and your body has fully relaxed. You’re encouraged to focus on your breathing and meditate. For a fully immersive experience, float tanks can be encapsulated. Drifting away in an hour-long session, users have reported feeling calmer, getting a better night’s sleep, and feeling more in tune with their mind and body. Check out:Ebb & Float, | True Rest Float Spa,

2. Manage Pain Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine in which sterile needles are placed on “meridians,” or lines of energy running along the body which correspond to organ systems. Acupuncture is used to treat a variety of conditions and provide pain relief, possibly by competing with pain signals to the brain. Cupping can be used as a complementary therapy to acupuncture and offers some effects of deep tissue massages by placing glass cups (often on the back) to create suction and increase blood flow, augmenting other benefits of acupressure practices. Check out: Urban Acupuncture Center, | 12 Meridians Acupuncture,

3. Release Tension, Stretch, and Increase Flexibility Thai yoga, also referred to as Thai body work, is not your traditional take on massages. Instead of lying still while a massage therapist works on your body, Thai yoga has specialists that move, stretch, and position your body in a multitude of positions to best help your troubled areas, which could be great for people who struggle with lower back pain or stresscaused conditions. The theory behind Thai yoga goes back to Ayurveda medicine, developed in India, where the practice was based on a balance of mind, body, and spirit through energies in the body. Thai yoga hopes to channel these energies through massage, compression, and stretching and allow them to flow more freely. The practice features various techniques dependent on how your body is feeling that day; this could mean the use of oils, or the use of voice with mantras. Beyond a more well-stretched and massaged feeling afterwards, many users said they feel rejuvenated mentally and spiritually. Check out: Jai Center For Wellness, | Reden Yoga,

4. Breathe Better Halotherapy is the therapeutic use of a room lined from ceiling to floor in large crystal salt to simulate the cool but dry atmosphere of a natural salt cave. A device (appropriately named the halogenerator) smashes salt into microscopic pieces, allowing them to be released in the air through ventilation systems. In 45-minute sessions, users can relax and breathe in the salty air, which has been claimed to potentially alleviate breathing issues such as asthma or allergies. Additionally, the calm, quiet, and dark rooms are perfect for a moment of mediation. The salt has been also said to help with skin bacteria and impurities, similar to popular mud masks made with minerals from the Dead Sea. Check out: Tranquility Salt Cave, |

Philosophi Salon and Salt Spa, • 614COLUMBUS.COM



COURAGE & CHANGE Columbus attorney seeks to provide support and reduce the stigma of mental illness





ead space holds a different meaning for Michael Jarosi. Jarosi seems to keeps an understandable emotional control over the events of his past, where car wrecks and homelessness live. Occasional tears testify to their still-present potency. But Jarosi’s existence is also one of resilience and hope, and his hope is that his story will reduce the loneliness, misunderstandings, and stigma that accompany a path such as his. During college, Jarosi was hit by two things. The first was a bolt of lightning. Just after accepting a soccer scholarship to the University of Virginia, Jarosi was on the field when a thunderbolt hit his father. Standing nearby, Jarosi absorbed the current through the metal cleats on his shoes. He was initially rendered unconscious, then experienced a strong sense of vertigo. Jarosi’s father was quickly life-flighted to Grant Hospital and died in the ICU that fall. In a stupor of grief and trauma, Jarosi went through his first three years of college. If campus counseling services were available, he was unaware of them. The second was an accident that produced a revelation. During his third summer at college, Jarosi began losing sleep and behaving erratically. The pattern of bizarre behavior escalated until he wrecked his car. Instead of remaining at the scene, he went home and took a nap. “When people see that, the first assumption is drugs,” said Jarosi. “My soccer coach took me to the emergency room and they did a diagnostic. They checked my heart and my pupils and those didn’t show any signs of illicit drugs. And then they did a blood test […] and there were no drugs in my blood.” The doctors concluded that Jarosi had type one bipolar disorder.

THE HURRICANE WITHIN Bipolar disorder, previously known as manic depression, is a mental disorder that causes both clinical depression and phases of escalating hypomania—an elevated mood characterized by sleeplessness, increased energy, intensified emotions, a decreased inhibition, a lessened regard for consequences, and sometimes psychosis. Despite the turbulence in his life, Jarosi continued to function in many areas. He finished school with a professor commenting that Jarosi’s final exam was one of the best he’d ever received. After graduating, Jarosi got a job at a consulting firm where he could use his research and Spanish-language skills. He established significant relationships along the way. For a short time, he believed that bipolar disorder was merely a developmental stage that he could leave in the past. However, the increasing productivity Jarosi was experiencing was actually an ominous sign of hypomania that once again led to unstable behavior. The series of hospitalizations that punctuated Jarosi’s adult life began their cycle. “My hospitalizations could have been the result of a loved one persuading me to go to the hospital. Unfortunately, that was very rarely the case. It was generally court-ordered and by force.” Gradually, Jarosi came to accept he had a chronic and incurable mental condition that had changed what he had believed would be the forward motion of his life and career. The ebb and flow of his life has contained seemingly contradictory events such as escaping from a psychiatric hospital in Alabama where he had been chemically and physically restrained, as well as graduating from Capital Law School. Jarosi often uses the metaphor of a hurricane to describe the cycle of mania and depression, and how it can result in a life that is both productive and destructive. “Whatever you might try to achieve, you might be on a path to achieving it, or you might achieve it. But then it gets wiped out • 614COLUMBUS.COM



because of the manic episode and the consequences of [that episode]. Essentially you’ve ruined your life. Significant others, relationship, job, finances, everything is destroyed,” said Jarosi. “So when you then become stabilized, you have to decide what you’re going to do. And that can be different things for different people. You have to make the decision as to where you’re going to pick up with your life. You can be very much starting from scratch.”

JOURNEY TO WELLNESS At one point, Jarosi became homeless, as many people with mental illness do. For no particular reason, he went to Chicago. “What many people don’t understand about homelessness, especially when it involves substance abuse and mental illness, is that it’s not that people don’t have anywhere to go. It’s that people don’t have anyone anymore,” Jarosi said. “With serious mental illness, family members and friends can simply no longer handle that person because of the toll the illness has taken on relationships.” In Chicago, Jarosi was taken in by a Salvation Army shelter and began some of the practices that he continues today to walk the balance. He attended services at the Salvation Army and witnessed the power of spirituality. He became particularly interested in the Old Testament book of Job. He found a counselor who had served 25 years in prison and gave him a new perspective and a message of hope. He began exchanging letters with his wife to heal their relationship. Today they spend time together after dinner each day, listing things they are thankful for. “I want to do all the things that I can—all the things that are possible— to stay healthy. I try my best to assemble those things in my life. At the same time, none of those things, and the combination of those things is not a silver bullet.” 52


“Don’t be ashamed of those things and don’t be ashamed of those feelings and those struggles.” Jarosi also follows a regimen of appropriate medication, light therapy, fitness training, and equine therapy. “Horses help me a lot. They’re a different animal; they’re much different than a dog or a cat. They have different instincts. And they can be very, very dangerous animals. But they can also be incredibly compassionate,” said Jarosi. [There is] power that horses have when you trail ride and you go up and down these very, very steep hills in the Appalachians that humans could not get up and down. You feel the power of the horse underneath you and it’s very primal. I enjoy it and it’s good therapy.”

FIGHTING THE STIGMA The public stigma surrounding mental health issues is an additional layer of weight for a person living with mental health issues. For Jarosi, it has meant that in career situations, he must conceal much of his past, or find different ways to account for time he has lost in treatment. “There’s also hard evidence if you do a background check,” Jarosi added. “Somebody wants your academic transcripts. They see semesters off, a dive in your grades.” As part of his wellness journey, Jarosi has undertaken a personal mission of reducing that stigma, starting with the Columbus Bar Association. He has presented his story for continuing legal education credits, encouraging the legal profession to become a profession where workers can be open about mental illness and the work environment can be part of an individual’s supportive network. He’s also working on Thunderstruck, a memoir. “If I can help the message of stigma and start in the legal profession, there may be a […] trickle down effect where some people who have the ability to make changes will understand the stigma better. I think that’s possible.” While bipolar disorder is still a relatively unusual diagnosis, Jarosi believes that his experience and message is helpful for anyone coping with the stresses of life, even if they do not have a specific mental disorder. “Don’t be ashamed of those things and don’t be ashamed of those feelings and those struggles,” Jarosi advises. “Just because something isn’t a diagnosable mental illness doesn’t mean that [issue] is not something a person is struggling with in their life. Mental health services, I think, can be of assistance to people with different issues, not necessarily [ just] a diagnosed psychiatric issue.” •

The Columbus Bar Association is hosting a series of free, public Community Wellness forums beginning this spring, including topics such as “The Science of Happiness,” “Living a Life of Purpose,” “Emotional Intelligence and Wellness,” and “Student Mental Health Issues.” For updates, visit 614COLUMBUS.COM



Winning at the Game of Life Columbus life coach Sharon Pope helps you navigate the relationships in your life BY R E G I N A F OX I L LU STR ATI O N BY SA RAH M O O RE

The meaning of life is a certified enigma, but most people can agree that a lot of it involves finding love. A lot of people can also agree that finding love and, more importantly, keeping it is one of the life’s toughest-fought battles. If you need some extra ammunition, a therapist can help you dig into your past, but a life coach can help you get “unstuck” in the present. Sharon Pope is a certified Master Life Coach and a six-time #1 International BestSelling author, specializing in love and relationships. Recently (614) caught up with Pope to ask her some of our most pressing questions about L-O-V-E.

(614): I know everyone is different, but what are some textbook symptoms or signals that lead people to consult a life coach? What if someone feels their life is “a little off?” SP: The short answer is this: If you have a problem in your life that you haven’t been able to solve through other paths or on your own, why wouldn’t you try coaching? Here’s the longer answer: When people are a “little off” in their lives, being



mildly impacted by a small problem they’d like to overcome, they will look for a simple, straightforward solution that aligns with that small problem. The people who find their way to my work aren’t just a “little off” in their lives; their marriage is crumbling around them and they’re paralyzed in fear and doubt. They don’t know how to stay and make the relationship work, but they are also terrified at the thought and impact of making the decision to leave. They don’t know what the right answer is for their lives, they’re unable to concentrate at work and sometimes, the stress has already begun to negatively impact their health.

What can life coaching do for people?  e can help people create the necessary changes in their lives W quickly because it’s very focused on where you are, where it is you want to be, and what’s been getting in the way of you getting there on your own so that we can overcome those obstacles. Coaching can take someone who is already mentally and emotionally stable and help them get their life on track, or even help them achieve

things they previously thought were impossible. In the case of my clients, they are able to have absolute clarity about their marriages inside of eight weeks, plus they feel confident and equipped to navigate what comes next—whether that’s how to stay and re-connect to their spouses or how to lovingly release the relationship. Some of my clients are able to create what I refer to as the “2.0 version” of their marriage inside of two months. Some make the decision to leave the marriage, but they are able to do so gently, peacefully, even lovingly as emotionally mature adults.

 hat do you think is the most important W quality in a relationship and why? If readers finds themselves lacking this quality in their relationship, how would you advise they strengthen it?  here is a quality that no one ever wants to have or readily T admits to themselves; that is easy to see in others, but much more difficult to see in ourselves; that will consistently leave you feeling powerless in your own life if left unchecked. The most important quality to have in a relationship is the ability to absolutely refuse to be a victim. If I’m not happy, the victim part of me wants to blame that on something outside of myself (my husband can feel like an easy target). The empowered part of me knows that no one else can make me happy; that’s my responsibility. If I’m not having the results I want in my marriage, the victim part of me wants me to get in my pajamas, go to bed, and curl up with a sappy movie and a bottle of wine so that I can distract myself from the pain. I will also give him the silent treatment and withhold love for some period of time. The braver version of myself will be willing to express what it is I need and desire in the relationship and listen for what I can do better to meet his needs as well. If I feel like my relationship is lacking something, such as love or affection or spontaneity, the victim part of me complains to my husband about all the ways he’s falling short and then I’m waiting for him to do those things for us. The deeper part of me knows that if I want something, I have to be willing to give that of myself first.

What would you say to people who feel they will never find their “person?” T  he person we’re all ultimately looking for is staring back at us in the mirror. We want to know that we matter, that we’re loved, and we want to feel valued, seen, and heard. The problem is we’re searching high and low for someone outside of ourselves to do that for us. When it comes to finding love, if you think all the good ones are taken, that most people are liars/players/ cheaters, or that it’s going to be difficult, it will be. But, if you genuinely love your own company, value yourself, and think it will be easy to find someone that would value and appreciate all the love you have to give, it will be easy. If you want love...become love and be loving [...] and you will always have an abundance of it surrounding you. •

To learn more about Sharon Pope, visit




A Place for Almost Everything (And Joyfully Get Rid of Everything Else) Local business owner uses the KonMari method to declutter spaces, improve lives BY J EN I R U I S C H | P H OTOS BY R E B E CC A TI E N




arie Kondo’s best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has changed more than just the lives of the hopelessly cluttered. It has spurred small business owners into action to help those that mire in their piles of clutter. Michell Domke has always loved organizing (save for a foray into messiness as a teenager) and was in the process of starting a professional organizing business. But she found herself in a bit of an entrepreneurial slump, feeling like she didn’t know which direction to go in. “I picked up The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, which had been sitting on my bookshelf, unread, for a couple of years. As I was reading it, I thought, ‘This is exactly what I want to do and this is exactly what I want to bring to my clients’.”

“I fell in love with KonMari because it’s about more than just putting things in order. It’s about reflecting on your current state, visualizing your ideal lifestyle, setting your intention about where you want to go with your life, and making choices about what to keep based on what sparks joy.” Domke utilizes Kondo’s method, called KonMari, to help her clients pare down their lifestyle. The method purports to have ripples that spread out to all areas of the user’s life. And Domke lives her philosophy as she teaches it to others. She is quick to discard things she no longer wants, but she’s not above the ebb and flow of organization versus chaos. And she takes all the phases in stride. “My house is an active space. I live in it and run my business from it, so it fluctuates between very clean and organized, and a total disaster. It is super joyful, though. It’s full of plants, art, joyful sentimental items, small pretty things; it’s comfortable and cozy. I’m an entrepreneur, so when it’s a mess, I’m definitely in a creative, or growth phase. I won’t allow myself to clean or organize it, because that’s my distraction from doing the hard thing that I really need to do to get to the next phase.” The KonMari method is singular in its approach to organizing. It provides a therapeutic purging process that seeks to remedy the hangover of consumption. It is a mindful approach to surrounding yourself with things that make you happy, and shedding the psychic weight of the things that are left hanging around. “I fell in love with KonMari because it’s about more than just putting things in order. It’s about reflecting on your current state, visualizing your ideal lifestyle, setting your intention about where you want to go with your life, and making choices about what to keep based on what • 614COLUMBUS.COM



sparks joy. The ideal lifestyle is the roadmap for the entire journey. Keep what sparks joy and let go of the rest.” Domke finds joy in helping people sort themselves out of rough patches. “I meet people where they are at, and typically that’s in some kind of pain. [This can be] because of disorganization, clutter, or maybe the loss of a loved one, or the addition of a new baby to the family which is very joyful but comes with a lot of stuff! I’m 100% supportive of people where they are in their current state and help them to tap into where they want to go.” The best part seems to be the way the method changes not only the surroundings of the user, but their internal compass, as well. “Typically in our culture we don’t tap into our feelings about anything, so making decisions based on what makes us happy can be revolutionary. You hone your sensitivity to joy through each category so that by the time you get to sentimental items you can look at them differently. Many of us have items that we keep out of guilt or obligation. They take up space, cause stress and really we have permission to keep or let go of any sentimental item we have.” Sure, you might say: This all sounds nice. But what about those of us with real messes? The ones that keep certain doors in our houses shut permanently, as mess colonizes entire rooms. Or the ones who feel like their basements and attics are more deep, dark secrets, than simple storage areas? “No one is beyond organizing,” Domke offers, benevolently. “But if someone doesn’t want to organize you can’t make them and you can’t do it for them. I get calls all the time from people who want me to fix their spouse, kids, roommates. My advice is start with yourself. Take care of your own things and maybe it will rub off on them. It happens! I’ve had spouses tidy their own things after they see the results of their partner. No one is hopeless. And you don’t need to clean or organize things before I come over. I’m here to help in the current state.” You hear that, dear readers? There’s hope for us yet. • To put your house and life in order, visit



Some concrete and sage advice from a professional organizer Visualize Take some time and consider the following: How do you want your life and your space to feel? What and who is important for you to have in your life? What hobbies or activities do you want to do? How do you want to feel in your clothes, and what message do you want to convey with your style?

Take the Steps KonMari has a specific order to it. Start with clothes, then books, then papers, next is komono (or miscellaneous), then sentimental items are last. “The order is very important,” Domke points out. “It starts with clothes because clothes are closest to us, we put them on our bodies, we typically have a lot of them, and they are typically easiest to begin making decisions about.

Stick to the Method Proceed by category, not room, and put everything in a pile so you can get a good look at everything you have. Hold each item, ask yourself if it sparks joy. If yes, keep it. If no, thank the item and let it go with gratitude for whatever role it had in serving your life.

Be Decisive There is no “maybe” pile. If you can’t decide, keep the item joyfully. If you can’t keep the item joyfully, maybe it’s time to let it go.

Let go of Guilt “People feel like they can’t ever get rid of anything that someone gave them.” Domke points out. “The power of the gift is in the giving and receiving of the gift. All the love that was behind the gift isn’t actually attached to the physical item, so if the gift doesn’t spark joy, it’s ok to let it go.”

Consider the Root of the Issue Think deeply about your purchasing habits. Domke bears witness to this part of the process: “Personally, I shop a lot less and buy fewer things. I’ve had clients tell me that it’s focused their shopping as well. I’m not saying shopping is bad. I’m saying remember your vision for your ideal lifestyle when you go shopping.” 614COLUMBUS.COM



Tappas at El Lugar



A Tale of Two Cuisines Alpine and El Lugar restaurants share space, different menus in German Village



isplayed proudly along the wall behind El Lugar’s bar are rows and rows of canned seafood—not the ingredient of choice one might expect from an upscale tapas and pinchos restaurant, located in a city with a culinary scene that typically fawns over either traditional American, or fresh and local food. Nevertheless, the Espinaler cans of tuna, razor shells, and cockles reside there like a dare for those with adventurous enough appetites to try some of the finest seafood in the world. El Lugar is a shared effort by co-owners Enis and A.J. Ndreu and Elidon Hizmo to bring new and authentic European flavors to Columbus. Their two new restaurants, El Lugar and Alpine, sit next door to one another and provide different, yet complementary experiences of Spanish and German cuisines. One side boasts a more family-friendly selection of meats, cheeses and hearty vegetables, while the other is fresh Mediterranean flavors of citrus and seafood. Both share an intriguing selection of signature cocktails. In contrast to El Lugar, Alpine features cuisine that showcases flavors from across Germany. Nicholas Paxton, the executive chef at both restaurants who was tasked with transforming the owners’ vision into menus, is neither German nor originally familiar with German food, so he brought in consultants more familiar with the region to help develop the recipes. “I love the • 614COLUMBUS.COM



“We don’t want you to fill up on it. We want you to taste some amazing flavors that nobody else is doing.” authenticity that we provide here on the Alpine side,” Paxton said. “There’s a broad spectrum of what German food can be.” Alpine is continuing the tradition of authentic regional food that has helped characterize German Village, where it and El Lugar are located. The two restaurants replaced Juergen’s Bakery, a community staple that provided Columbus with Bavarian-style fare for 50 years. Co-owner A.J. Ndreu said they’d been looking for a spot in the area to open up another German restaurant (they also own Wurst und Bier in Worthington), so when the opportunity presented itself, they jumped. “I used to buy all my pastries from Rosemarie [Keidel, Juergen’s Bakery’s owner],” A.J. Ndreu said. “We just connected and she’s like, ‘I’d love for you to take over and make a German restaurant out of it.’ ” With that, he and his cousin launched into bringing to life their concepts for German and tapas restaurants, which they’d been developing for a decade. One of the most instrumental sources of inspiration for A.J. has been traveling around Europe. He lived in France, where he fell in love with French food. But once he experienced all the different ways Spanish cuisine used seafood, beef and pork, he was convinced otherwise. “I thought French food was the best cuisine in the world until I started going to Spain.” The simplicity of Spanish food is a challenge for Paxton, who says



his tendency when developing a recipe is to mess with its components. Spanish cuisine, in contrast, consists of ingredients that can speak for themselves; all Paxton has to do, he says, is figure out how they work together and wait for inspiration to hit. Back in 2008, Anthony Bourdain traveled to Catalonia for his show “No Reservations” to explore the same flavors that intrigued Ndreu and Paxton. At a little bar about half an hour outside of Barcelona, Bourdain tried Espinaler’s canned seafood, and asked, “How can any chef do better for you than that?” Ndreu was captivated. “I was like, ‘What the hell is he talking about? It’s canned,’ ” Ndreu puzzled. “So […] I went, and I was amazed. It’s unbelievable. It’s some of the best seafood I ever ate.” After that, A.J. spent years trying to find a way to bring Espinaler’s products to Ohio, and he finally uncovered an opportunity in El Lugar. But besides the seafood, El Lugar also features Vermut Lacuesta—not the vermouth used for lining a martini glass, but a wine-like drink to be enjoyed on its own or in a cocktail. It also offers the Spanish serrano and ibérico hams, which can be cured for years. The more expensive of the two, ibérico ham comes from black pigs fed an acorn diet and can take up to five years to reach peak flavor. Next door, Alpine’s menu describes dishes like leberkäse (a meatloaf ) and wurstteller (a selection of sausages). Diners can also order raclette, available by the scrape, over any meal. But not forgetting that it’s still in the United States, Alpine offers a handful of American classics during happy hour. These include mini cheeseburger sliders, tater tots with beer cheese dip, and fried chicken wings, among others. Alpine and El Lugar present their guests with foreign foods that encourage diners to explore the culinary diversity of Europe. Portion sizes, particularly at El Lugar, may be a bit smaller, but Paxton hopes Columbus diners will recognize the value in great, unique-tasting food and finding excellence in unexpected places. “We don’t want you to fill up on it. We want you to taste some amazing flavors that nobody else is doing,” Paxton said. •

Alpine and El Lugar are located at 525 S 4th St. in German Village. Find out about Alpine at and El Lugar at








ou know that first warm-ish day in March or April when a sliver of sun breaks through the grey winter sky, warming the dry, pasty faces of overzealous people packing every patio known to man? The General Manager of the AC Hotel by Marriott Columbus Dublin Orcun Turkay wanted to give those people an outdoor dining experience they didn’t have to wait until spring to enjoy. On a windy, rainy day in mid-winter, my trusty (614) confidants and I crowded into the elevator at the AC Hotel Columbus Dublin and selected the top floor. It was the first time visiting for many of us and we were excited to finally experience it. When the elevator finally stopped, the doors glided open to reveal an inviting hostess. She welcomed us to VASO. The rooftop bar and tapas restaurant is absolutely gorgeous. All its features are round—orb lights, half circle bench seating, circular rugs, curved bar—and the natural lighting made the happy faces of happy hour-goers at the bar look even happier. The panoramic view of the Scioto River and downtown Dublin is one of the best in Central Ohio. But, for the next few months, the view will be slightly obscured for folks dining in.

__ __ “They answer the phone, take a reservation, hang up, answer the phone, take a reservation, hang up.” __ __ The hostess led us out onto the patio where three geometric-looking igloos sat, poised for hospitality. Made of plastic and PVC pipes anchored by sandbags, these seethrough huts are simple and wildly attractive. They’re unique, cozy, and, most importantly, warm. I couldn’t wait to get inside out of the cold and actually have an enjoyable patio experience in the dead of Ohio winter. The hostess unzipped the doorway and we filed in across the oriental rug. The inside was surprisingly spacious, even with six chairs, a few side tables, and one communal table in the middle. I took a seat in one of the faux fur-covered chairs (which I later found out cost $1,200 each), covered my legs with a soft blanket, and switched on the heater. I was perfectly comfortable without the extra accommodations, but I was in an upscale igloo and, dammit, I was going to act like it. We were all quick to draw our phones to begin snapping photos. We could see rush hour traffic inching down Riverside Drive, but being in the igloo felt like we were our own little Instagrammable world. After putting in orders of hot chocolate and the Ohio spiked cider from the exclusive VASO Igloo shareable menu and the popcorn and Halibut Ceviche (which landed itself on the [web]pages of Esquire Magazine), Turkay humbly explained how his establishment became one of 66


the first in the Midwest to introduce igloo dining as a light rain pinged the top of the plastic igloo. He told us about how strongly central Ohioans have embraced the new eating and drinking adventure. Turkay knew he’d have to hire more people this winter to staff the igloos, but what he didn’t count on was the manpower it would require to simply manage the influx of calls. “They answer the phone, take a reservation, hang up, answer the phone, take a reservation, hang up,” Turkay said of the three hostesses he brings in at 10 a.m. every day just to man the phones. I laughed in disbelief, choking a bit on my popcorn ceviche (delicious, by the way). I washed away the kernels with a swig of boozy hot chocolate (also delicious). Suffice it to say, the VASO igloos are a raging success, so much so that you won’t be getting in on a weekend this winter. The tiny ecosystems are booked up through March, which is

when they’ll be retired for the season. Turkay promises to have them back up in November. After everything from cheese-filled churros to seafood paella (which were ordered by hailing our server with a remote that buzzed her wrist piece), the sun set and was replaced by LED light beams illuminating our cozy clubhouse; it was our time to go. I took one last look around and felt thankful to be on the inside looking out, even just for the evening. •

VASO is located at 6540 Riverside Dr, Dublin. The igloos can be reserved for a minimum of $100 per hour SundaysWednesdays and $200 per hour Thursdays-Saturdays. Visit for more information.




Building A Kingdom Through Cheesesteaks

OSU alum Charley Shin returns to his roots with his famous Charley's Philly Steaks



t started as an idea while he was attending school at Ohio State in the mid-1980s. After taking a trip to New York, Charley Shin had his first ever cheesesteak. That day brought a new love into his life, and that love is flat-iron grilled, covered in mushrooms, peppers, and onions, and smothered with melted cheese. Charley Shin is the founder and CEO of Charley’s Philly Steaks. His first ever restaurant grew roots at OSU’s campus on High Street in 1986 when he was still a junior in college. Though the dollar signs were increasing while he was still finishing out his degree in business administration with a focus on finance and real estate, Shin said he knew he had to graduate from college before he completely went in on the business. “There was just something nudging me [saying], ‘It’s just not the right thing.’ I decided to go back and finish, and I am so glad I did!” Thanks to the recent overhauls and remodeling on High Street and the businesses located near it, Charley’s Philly Steaks was placed on the chopping block and had to leave the area in 2016. That little break away from campus didn’t last long, and three years later Charley’s has returned to its original home 68

spot as an off-campus eatery. Just like High Street and its changes, Shin has been able to stay adaptive and perceptive of growing trends with his restaurant. The fast casual experience is an evergrowing trend, and Shin is aware of that. Consumers want food that is both tasty and not full of processed ingredients and preservatives so they can feel better about eating their meals. Shin said Charley’s is a part of that trend—as they only use ingredients like 100% choice USDA beef. But rather than focusing on the health benefits, Charley’s focuses on the indulgence factor. Shin said he wants Charley’s to be a place for someone to come and grab a meal that just tastes great, and if they want to try something a bit healthier, his wildly successful Asian fast casual restaurant, Bibibop (which originated in Grandview in 2013), is a nearby alternative. This indulgence factor also explains the addition of chicken wings to the menu: people can’t get enough chicken wings. “The generation has changed. When you look at Millennials and Gen-X, their lifestyles are very different and we want to be a lifestyle brand,” Shin explained. “The people who come to Charley’s are not exactly the same


customers who go to Bibibop. One is looking for indulgence and the other is looking for healthier ways of eating.” That mindset of keeping it simple is what Shin said he loves about Charley’s. And it’s a model that he uses to determine locations. If you haven’t noticed too many Charley’s posted up with storefronts, it’s because Shin predominantly sets up his restaurants in places like Army bases, airports, or malls where limited options are available, and a reliable cheesesteak with fries probably won’t let you down. “A cheesesteak made right, I think there’s nothing comparable,” Shin said laughing. “I used to eat a cheesesteak every single day, and now, I’m a few years older…. Cheesesteak is something I still enjoy, and I want to be proud of everything I do. So [...] all the ingredients that we use I can really say, ‘This is some good stuff.’ ”•

The new Charley’s Philly Steaks is located on 1980 N. High St. To find their many of its other locations across Columbus, check out the website at




Don’t be a schlub.

Have a Shrub Vinegar-based beverages from George Washington’s day are making a comeback



MERRY BERRY COCKTAIL Cazadores Reposado / blackberry shrub / lemon simple syrup / prosecco



f all the things that are both greenery and something else, shrubs stand out as something of an oddity on bar menus as of late. In this case, the shrubs in question aren’t of the quasi-bush variety, but rather a category of trendy, vinegar-based drink concoctions. Thanks to the modern obsession with rediscovering and revitalizing all things old, the colonial-era refreshment known as the shrub has begun to make its way back into the cultural consciousness. Also known as drinking vinegars, shrubs are a bittersweet concoction made by mixing fruit, sugar, vinegar, and aromatics. The result is a beverage that can be thought of as the 18th century’s answer to soda. While the term shrub technically refers to the vinegar and fruit mixture itself, the word is often used synonymously with cocktails that utilize shrubs as their base. As a versatile mixer, shrubs are popping up in taverns around Columbus and beyond. While the syrupy and pungent amalgams are a natural match for booze, their acidity and tartness have made them a popular base for non-alcoholic cocktails. •




POMEGRANATE SHRUB Pomegranate / rosemary / red wine vinegar



Trailblazers in the Columbus N/A cocktail scene and shrub revivalists, Franklinton’s Strongwater Food and Spirits offer a seasonallyrotating selection of drinks in which booze takes a back seat to fruit-and-herb-infused drinking vinegars. “Cocktail culture has become so large, and it’s exciting to see what different people are coming up with,” explains Strongwater general manager Lauren Conrath. “People are doing some really innovative things, so I think the next step is asking why are we only applying this philosophy to alcoholic beverages?” Strongwater’s shrub program is the undertaking of bartender Amina Cochran, who crafts the bar’s vinegar-infused syrups to match the flavors and available ingredients unique to each season. “It’s a good option for a non-alcoholic cocktail, because it has that vinegary bite, where if you’re wanting to have a drink you still get that, without the alcohol,” Cochran said of her creations. Strongwater is joined in shrub appreciation by The Crest on Parsons Avenue, where shrubs show up as an ingredient in the locally-minded gastropub’s signature cocktail offerings. The Crest’s Fall Flute cocktail pairs a tart apple shrub with Absolut vodka, allspice dram, lemon, and cava. In the time that shrubs were first popularized, popping over to the corner store for a cold, sugary beverage was simply not an option. Keeping food fresh would have been a constant battle, and finding ways to preserve whatever was available was a necessity. The vinegar in a shrub not only offers flavor, but extends the shelf-life of the syrup used to make the drink. Shrubs are shelf-stable, requiring no refrigeration to maintain their freshness. When properly stored, they can last for as long as a year. While the health-enhancing claims swirling around apple cider vinegar (the type most commonly used in shrub making) range from dubious to absurd, drinking the stuff in small doses certainly shouldn’t harm most people. Though the science supporting vinegar remedies is shaky at best, the fact remains that apple cider vinegar is a potent preservative and has been used for its antibacterial properties for ages. Still, if you’re looking for a cure-all health elixir, shrubs probably aren’t it—vinegar aside, these things contain a ton of sugar. They may not be the cure for what ails you, but shrubs are a novel and amusing alternative to boring old commercially-available sodas, whether by themselves or mixed with your go-to liquor. They’re also simple enough that anyone can make them using a few simple ingredients. Try out this easy blueberry shrub recipe and impress your friends with your mixological mastery. I did it myself, and here are the results:

(614)’s Violet Beauregarde Blueberry Shrub


Mix all ingredients in a large saucepan and set to medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat. Remove from the stove when the blueberries have begun to break down, approximately 5 minutes. Wait for the mixture to cool and store in a container with a tightfitting lid. Leave to sit in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. After 24 hours, strain the mixture over a large bowl, pressing down on the solid matter to extract all of the liquid. The extracted liquid is the completed shrub. Mix with a few ounces of sparkling water to taste, or mix with your favorite vodka. Happy shrubbing! •




Aloha! The Huli Huli Tiki Lounge welcomes classic taste with contemporary flair BY OL I V I A MI LTN E R • P H OTOS BY JU L I A N FO G L I E TTI


erved with an imitation-bamboo straw, an honest-to-god flower, a mint sprig and a totem-pole stirrer, the Mai Tai at the Huli Huli Tiki Lounge is neither neon nor overwhelmingly sweet, which may come as a surprise to those whose images of tiki drinks include bright colors and lots of sugar. This particular iteration, with its amber color and strong rum flavor, is a version closer to the original Mai Tai, the drink that came to symbolize American tiki culture and all the feel-good, relaxed vibes that came with it. Huli Huli’s Mai Tai represents the subdued kitsch that the new tiki lounge and bar, located in Powell, is going for: a mix of traditional tiki drinks and decor in a more contemporary setting. As owner Dustin Sun says, “Colorful, but yet, not cluttered.” “When people think tiki bar, they think [of a…] beach bar type of feel,” Sun said. “There is a wave that’s coming in right now, a new tiki scene, and we want to introduce that, and being in Powell, too, we want to be more modern.” That new tiki scene Sun mentions refers to a re-emergence in recent years of tiki bars throughout the U.S., half a century after they initially took off post-WWII. But tiki actually emerged a year after Prohibition ended in 1933, when former bootlegger Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt opened Don the Beachcomber. This Los Angeles restaurant set the foundation for tiki by blending Polynesian aesthetics and culture with Caribbean spices and—of paramount importance—rum. Tiki first emerged during a time of financial



hardship right in the middle of the Great Depression, but it didn’t truly start gaining momentum until after WWII. At this point in time, veterans were coming home to the U.S. with their memories of the Pacific and into a new era of economic growth for the country. After its heyday in the 50s, tiki fell prey to American food culture’s trend toward convenience at the expense of quality and care. The result transformed our piña coladas, blue Hawaiians and daiquiris into syrupy, pre-mixed concoctions, which, paired with changing cultural attitudes, fell out of favor and led to the unfortunate end of the tiki boom. This phenomenon was illustrated in Columbus with the Kahiki (RIP), a massive tiki restaurant that opened in 1961 and finally closed in 2001. (The brand still exists as a line of frozen food products.) But craft cocktails are once again en vogue, and tiki is riding that wave straight toward Central Ohio. Another tiki bar, Grass Skirt, opened in 2012 and provides a new home to the Kahiki’s “George the Monkey” fountain. Huli Huli is the newest rendition of tiki, although Sun says that was not actually his original plan. At first, Sun was thinking about opening a sushi restaurant in Powell, but he recognized that he couldn’t just offer food because “everybody here loves to drink.” The problem was that people don’t typically think of alcohol when they think about an Asian restaurant, so he and his team had to figure out a way to change that attitude. “What really worked in the past was the old

school tiki drinks,” Sun said. “We thought, ‘Well let’s change that mentality a little bit. Let’s make it still Asian [...] Polynesian, Hawaiian, that’s something that everybody’s familiar with, and then just add the [old school tiki] drinks to it.’ ” And Powell was the place to do it. Sun already had a business in town, a coffee shop called Espresso 22, and he found a promising 2,000 square-foot space up the road. The craft beer and wine audience had already been primed for something new. As Sun and his team started more seriously planning Huli Huli, they ended up changing directions, shifting away from a restaurant and embracing the tiki bar and lounge idea. Huli Huli does offer small plates, such as hala kahiki skewers, a puaa puaa bao bun, and chicken wings. Sun says the small plates will be a hit with the customers, and they also serve a second purpose: buffering the lounge’s incredibly potent tiki drinks. For example, The Zombie consists of rum, falernum, bitters, grenadine, lime, grapefruit juice and Wray and Nephew Overproof Rum with a spray of Pernod. “Yes, it’s a lot of work. You get over 3 ounces of liquor,” Sun said. “You want to make sure people are staying hydrated.” •

Huli Huli officially opened in February on the Chinese New Year, and its menu features classic cocktails and seasonal drinks. For menu and hours, visit 614COLUMBUS.COM



POSTED UP When and where to go to watch March Madness BY MI TC H H O O P E R • P H OTOS BY CO LLI NS LAATSCH

hen it comes to finding a bar to call my headquarters and watch March Madness, I won’t hesitate to say that I’m selective. I spent three years working in a Buffalo Wild Wings, also known as the corporate pinnacle of March Madness, so I have some unwritten rules that must be met.

W •

The bar has to have plenty of TVs. At any given time must be upwards of four games televised during the tournament and I’ll be damned if I miss a single tip-off. This is like Christmas, but better, and there’s no time to waste.

I need food—preferably large amounts of snack food— but the cheaper the better. I don’t have $7.99 to shell out every time I want another order of mozzarella sticks, but dammit, I want more mozzarella sticks!

I need to be able to be a fan. A cozy and quiet bar might be great for any other time of the month, but during March Madness, if I can’t cheer, be excited, or high five and/or trash talk the stranger next to me, I want to be somewhere else. ‘Tis the season, and I’m just spreading the joy.

Avoid the expensive adventure to B-Dubs. There’s plenty of great options in the city that offer everything you’re after, and I already did the legwork to finding a method to all this madness. (You’re welcome.)



Chumley’s | 1516 N High St.

Best time to go: Early games when students are in class/hungover on the weekend Brave the forest of Natty Light cans and JUUL fumes on your way to campus and you’ll find your March Madness oasis at Chumley’s. There’s almost as many beers on tap here as there are teams in the tournament, and a basket of six traditional wings will only run you $5.50.

Bar Louie | 1611 Polaris Pkwy.

Best time to go: Thursday and Friday afternoon tip-offs It’s March Madness so I’m sure you have your excuses to leave work already crafted. Once you escape the office, Bar Louie runs happy hour from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. which means $3.25 draft beers and half-off on select flatbreads and appetizers.

Local Cantina | Varies

Best time to go: Afternoon games Local Cantina might not be thought of as your “typical” sports bar, but hear me out: self-serve chips and salsa. Do I even need to say more?

Gresso’s | 961 S High St.

Best time to go: Afternoon games Gresso’s is all about a laid-back environment, and with the high stress of watching your bracket crumble game-by-game, it might not be a bad idea to kick back here. Gresso’s menu keeps it simple, and if you’re willing to pay a little more (about $14), you can try the sampler platter with three pierogies, two mozzarella sticks, five wings, and pork “waffle waffle” fries so you can safely get one decision right.

Rooster’s | Varies

Best time to go: Early games to beat the rush Rooster’s is no secret to anyone when it comes to being a great sports bar ( just check out Columbest results year-in and year-out), but it might be the best spot when it comes to March Madness. From the $5.99 for five wings to the elusive affordable mozzarella sticks at just $4.99, you can chow down while sipping on 22 oz. domestic draft beers for $2.75 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.





[ IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ] Important Local News

- JAN 28 -

Search continues for missing woman, vehicle found Investigators are asking for help from the community to find a missing woman. Columbus Police are searching for 28-year-old Amber Evans, described as a light skinned black female with dark curly hair. She was last seen wearing a white parka and black leggings. - FEB 5-

- FEB 4 -

Franklin Co Judge arrested for vomit, blood-soaked OVI

Have you been to “12 best new restaurants in Columbus?” New restaurants pop up in Columbus every day. We encourage you to give them all a try, but if we’re being realistic, you should just refer to this list of the “12 best new restaurants in Columbus” by in collaboration with local blogger Beth Stallings of Sixonefork .

One of the people expected to be Franklin County’s most honorable earned herself a blood and vomitcovered OVI charge recently. Judge Monica Hawkins of the Franklin County Domestic Relations Court was pulled over Thursday night after Pickerington police received a 911 call about a car “all over the roadway.” She later plead guilty to her OVI charge.

- FEB 6 -

Short North short on cash: Cardonly bagel shop stirs controversy As plastic continues to be the preferred method of payment, businesses, like Lox Bagel Shop in the Short North, are beginning to adopt it as their only accepted form of tender. However, not everyone is supportive of this newfangled policy. “Start taking cash. You’re not making the short north safer for anyone but rich people. It’s f*cked up.” –@cyber_siren

- FEB 7 -

Multiple women accuse Actual Brewing founder of sexual assault Amid a sea of sexual assault accusations, Actual Brewing owner Fred Lee will be stepping down as CEO, effective immediately, though he maintains his innocence. In wake of this, companies all around the city have pulled Actual product from their shelves, the brewery has filed for bankruptcy, and the Clintonville taproom has closed indefinitely.

- FEB 19 -

No silver lining for this man’s USPS horror story One columbus man has lost more than $1,000 worth of silver and his shot at a vacation after the United States Postal Service failed him. Gil Brano sent a bar of silver worth $1,472 through the mail with insurance, but the silver was never received. He was given $15 as compensation.

- FEB 14 -

Lawsuit: “Beaten with belt, pelted with eggs, nitrous oxide” led to Dublin teen’s death A former member of the Columbus Division of Police will dodge prison after pleading guilty to child pornography charges. Sgt. Dean Worthington, a former public information officer, will have the option of serving 90 days in the Franklin County Jail if he pays a $5,000 fine, or 180 days in jail if he does not. - FEB 15 -

“Man literally rotted to death” at local healthcare facility

A patient at a local healthcare facility suffered one of the worst deaths imaginable after several employees failed to provide even the most minimal level of care. “One man literally rotted to death because of their neglect,” wrote Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. “And we are paying them to take care of our family members. I am apoplectic.”

Never miss a thing:


The Columbus “Crew”sader An unsung hero, Megan Kilgore, uses her superpowers to help save the Columbus Crew. BY DAVID LEW I S | I L LU ST R AT I ON BY SAR A H MO O R E

Superheroes wait in the shadows. They wait for the perfect time to spring into action—to fight a nasty villain in the name of justice. Oh, how I love a good superhero story. And you may be familiar with the story where the Columbus Crew Soccer Club gets saved in the eleventh hour from being relocated to the far-flung land of Austin, Texas. You also may have heard about the heroic acts of the many people who helped save the Crew (more about them later). But there’s one woman who played a huge part in helping the Crew remain alive in the Cbus. Her name is Megan Kilgore, the City of Columbus Auditor— and she kicks ass.

THE VILLAIN AND THE CRIME On October 17, 2017, Grant Wahl, the soccer writer for Sports Illustrated, tweeted: “Columbus Crew owner Anthony Precourt is set to move team to Austin, Texas, in 2019 if downtown stadium can’t happen in Columbus. Story soon.” Reminder: Anthony Precourt is a soccer carpetbagger, an owner of a private investment management firm based in San Francisco, California who bought the Crew in 2013. The Twittersphere went nuts. Crew supporters, former players and Columbus natives were in shock, and livid. A charter member of Major League Soccer and occupant of the first ever soccer-specific stadium built in the United States moving to Austin, Texas? Why? The fine print on the contract between MLS and Precourt stipulated that the owner could move the team if market conditions dictated. At the time, Don Garber, the commissioner of MLS, agreed and added that one other city could be named as a replacement. In this case, Austin. Nobody outside the MLS offices in New York and Precourt really knew about this nuance. Until Wahl’s D-day tweet.

THE SUPERHERO “My mom thinks I am a glorified bank teller,” Kilgore tells me. “The [City of Columbus] Auditor has a very large umbrella of powers responsible for accounting and operations, among other things. Every dollar that comes through City Hall goes through our office. We are also responsible for debt management, issuing bonds, payroll for the entire city; the auditor says how much the city can spend.” But Kilgore also loves soccer, especially when it comes to the U.S. Women’s National team, whom she watched play in the 2012 Olympics. And she fell in love with the Crew in 2000 as an undergrad at Ohio State. 80


“Grant’s announcement was about three weeks before my election,” Kilgore recalls. “I was working my tail off doing as many campaign outreach events as possible […] my involvement with the Crew up to this point was as a fan.” She won the election in large part due to her mentor and predecessor Hugh Dorrian, who served 12 terms and 48 years as the Auditor. “Working with him was like taking graduate school classes over and over and over again; he was brilliant,” said Kilgore. She took her mentor’s advice: “Go out, conquer, get exposure, get on the national scene.” And that’s what she did. She landed on the cover of Time. As the first female Auditor of Columbus—and first lesbian to hold the office—she joined other exceptionally powerful and inspiring women on the cover. The headline read: “The Avengers: First they marched. Now a record number of women are running for office.” Doors were swinging open. Kilgore now had superpowers to fight the villain.

THE BATTLE Soon after Wahl’s tweet, Precourt slithered his way from under a rock to announce how disappointed he was with attendance, sponsorship and the overall revenue stream of the team, and said that if he didn’t get a downtown stadium he would be gone. The grassroots Save the Crew movement, led by Morgan Hughes, was taking off and shook the sports world, eventually being cited as the main reason for the Crew staying in Columbus. “I have not seen in my lifetime here in Columbus something so spectacular. To have that much civic engagement just blew me away,” Kilgore says. As the Save The Crew movement was building steam, Alex Fischer, the CEO of the Columbus Partnership, a civic organization of Columbus’s top business leaders to improve the economic and cultural base of central Ohio, was also getting steamed. A massive Crew fan, he is considered the primary engine behind saving the Crew. “I honestly don’t know how Alex Fischer

slept; he did so much to help [the Crew staying in Columbus] happen,” said Kilgore. Strapped with the demands of the MLS, finding new local ownership, exploring legal loopholes, figuring out what to do about this downtown stadium, Fischer needed help. At a lunch in March, 2018, Kilgore met with Fischer. “We actually had a very typical agenda that day that did not include the Crew, and then [Fischer] said he was working on something else,” Kilgore recalled. “They had already done their due diligence and they knew all that they needed to know about the legal stuff, the ownership stuff, but they were asking me questions about some of the capital side of this. At that luncheon we started chatting about stadium finance 101 and how these projects come together.” Kilgore rolled up her sleeves. She was wellversed in stadium financing from her private sector consulting days. She crunched numbers, did matrices and leaned on her staff to create a fiscally responsible strategy to help the stadium plan, one that would help Fischer and others bring in local ownership interest and help put a stadium downtown and create a redevelopment plan for Mapfre Stadium. By July 7, 2018, with the Crew still on shaky ground, Kilgore was fully entrenched in the cause. She sent a heartfelt letter to Mark Abbott, the President and Deputy Commissioner of the MLS. She also finally met Dee and Jim Haslam, owners of the Cleveland Browns. “I first met with Dee Haslam [at a Columbus Partnership meeting] and she was absolutely ready to listen, and I remember her asking me ‘What you think?’ and I thought that was one of the best questions she could’ve possibly asked since she’s not from Columbus.” Ownership interest continued into the fall with Dr. Pete Edwards (former Crew team physician) and his family joining the Haslam family as potential owners. “When we started working with Kilgore I knew that the project had a good chance of being successful,” Dee Haslam said. “Her determination, passion and smarts gave us confidence to commit to going full steam ahead.”

THE VICTORY On January 9, 2019 at a press conference, the announcement came that the Crew was officially saved. Alex Fischer was there on stage. Dee Haslam along with Dr. Pete Edwards, the new coowners of the Crew, were there. So was Mayor Andrew Ginther and MLS commissioner Don Garber. The brand-new coach Caleb Porter and new GM Tim Bezbatchenko were beaming at the podium. Save the Crew was fully represented. And there was Megan Kilgore looking full of civic pride. Her cape was at the cleaners, getting ready for its next use. •

For the Crew schedule, visit 614COLUMBUS.COM



Col u m b u s

D oe s

G ood






or years I drove from the Hilltop (where I worked) to Olde Town East (where I lived) and to avoid the freeway, I often drove through Franklinton. Lying at the tail end of the long stretch of Sullivant Avenue, Franklinton seems to bridge the gap between two very different worlds—almost reminiscent of “no man’s land.” But Franklinton has its charm and potential, its character only stifled by an unsavoriness that exposes itself far too often. No doubt revitalization is needed, but the gentrifying approaches that have been used to renovate the neighborhood have often been dominating and unwelcome. Many disadvantaged young men and women with little work experience are also affected by the wave of gentrification. Not only are the homes and businesses in their neighborhood changing, but their ability to participate in that change has been limited—until the formation of Franklinton Rising, a program whose mission is to help reduce poverty by transforming both lives and property. In July 2014, Tom Heffner and several business leaders, owners of companies, and senior executives, saw a need for youth who had become ineligible for certain youth programs. “There were seven original board members who had association[s] with either Youth for Christ operations in Franklinton and/or the initiation of Franklinton Preparatory Academy, a public charter high school leasing space from Youth for Christ.” Heffner recalls. “[This group] individually and collectively saw great work being done through Youth for Christ and a neighborhood high school, but realized that many youth would likely age out of both organizations.” Heffner also noticed the neighborhood contained a plethora of vacant houses or houses in need of repair. “Because there is such a shortage of good workers today in the building trades, it seemed like a great opportunity to help the youth.” Heffner saw a solution to both problems: train at-risk youth for jobs by rebuilding houses, and consequently, lessen the urban blight and crime that had plagued the neighborhood. With that, the Franklinton Rising Board was formed. Heffner became the president. The program accepts participants who are 17 or older, who pledge to be drug free, and who participate in scheduled classes and work events. Quinton Mayle, a former program trainee, enthusiastically describes the experience as something that “taught me so much, and got me ready for the real world.” Initially intimidated by the prospect of home renovation, Mayle completed the project with a sense of pride. “I was truly amazed that we accomplished what we set out to do.” Now joining two other former trainees as professionals in the building trades, Mayle credits his skill and confidence to Franklinton Rising as well as his own hard work and dedication. Heffner expects about six more trainees to be transitioned into full-time employment by the end of summer 2019. “Young adults coming from poverty need to develop trust and learn that work can be very rewarding. They need confidence in themselves and encouragement,” Heffner said. This is why the contribution of mentors and community members is so vital to the success of each trainee and the initiative as a whole. “We desire mentors to have a Christian background [...], be of good character with maturity in the workplace, have a desire and the patience to teach, and have sufficient technical skills that they can impart to others.” With the hard work and dedication of trainees and mentors alike, two duplex houses (4 units) have been totally rebuilt and • 614COLUMBUS.COM



“I was truly amazed that we accomplished what we set out to do.”



rented, and a third house was finished and then revealed with an ribbon-cutting Open House February 7th. Two more houses are projected to be finished in 2019. Each house, according to Heffner, now “better than new, very attractive, modern and efficient.” Successes like these are one of the many reasons Mayle says that he would absolutely become a mentor if the opportunity arose. “That would actually be a dream of mine.” he says. Mayle exemplifies the long-term goal of Franklinton Rising: to incentivize former trainees to mentor others, and to have the opportunity to take up residence in the neighborhood as productive citizens. However, Franklinton Rising also looks to the larger community for help as well. “You can support the mission through cash donations or donations of specific tools that we use. Others, who may have houses in Franklinton or the Hilltop that they would like to donate or offer at low prices, should contact us,” says Heffner. “We have other specific needs in types of office work and marketing.” While the trainees are clearly the benefactors, Heffner’s initiative has also made my daily commute a bit more inspiring. Because sometimes a little bit of inspiration and a lot of hard work can change a neighborhood, one house at a time. •

To donate, get more information, or get involved, visit





For Ohio Gravel Grinders, roads less traveled make the difference BY N AT HA N COTTO N • P H OTOS BY B R I A N KA I S E R




ycling enthusiasts in Central Ohio have no shortage of resources with which to explore and learn. Cooperatives such as Third Hand and Franklinton Cycle Works refurbish old bikes and teach new riders the basics of care and repair; community rides such as Bike the Cbus and Pelotonia draw hundreds or thousands of participants and have become summer staples; and 72 CoGo bike share stations sponsored by the city offer convenient transportation options for visitors or the occasional bike commuter all over town. But another group has found nirvana far from the predictable, if convenient, trails that wind through communities inside the beltway. It’s not that the Ohio Gravel Grinders don’t appreciate Central Ohio’s many well-kept roads and bike trails. They’ve just found something better. Led by local cycling advocate Ray George, the Gravel Grinders explore Ohio’s rural roads. Established routes extend across the southern and eastern parts of the state, from Ashtabula in the north to Shawnee State Park near Portsmouth.•




On gravel, terrain can vary from dirt to cinders or “rock gardens.” Often, riders float over top as a vehicle would drift. Traffic is light, the scenery impressive, and riders never know what they’ll come across—sometimes the Ohio version of “lions, tigers, and bears.” Gravel Grinders have come across alpacas, chickens, pigs, foxes, and more. And while road cyclists seek distance and speed, gravel grinders value something entirely different: excursions that venture quite literally off the beaten path. “Going out and just getting away is one of the reasons I like to do it,” said George. After moving to Columbus in 2007 and participating in weeknight rides for several years, George shifted his attention to the roads less traveled when a small group of friends began routing rides through Hocking Hills. The idea for the Ohio Gravel Grinders Facebook page soon followed. The first official ride in January 2013 near Mohican State Park had the feel of a pioneering excursion. “It was all sloggy and muddy. We drank whiskey and found all kinds of crazy stuff,” said George. The Gravel Grinders have come a long way since those early days, but the same spontaneous approach remains. Because riders plan their own routes by exploring webs of connecting roads, part of gravel riding’s allure is its unpredictability.

“I just prefer to get out in the nature and you don’t see people, you see interesting things.… You don’t see that in city rides. It’s a variety.” “A lot of times you’ll see route names [online] that say ‘Explorer,’ and that’s because we had to go and explore first. Sometimes we find out that the road doesn’t exist. Or you’re going across private land and you have to change the route. Or the road doesn’t even exist, and we bushwhacked—walked through briar bushes for half a mile,” George explained. The rural nature of the rides is also often cause for reflection. George, a West Virginia native, is used to the rustic scenery, which in some places reaches levels of extreme poverty. New riders often remark on the disparities in living conditions mere miles outside of mid-sized Appalachian towns like Athens or Nelsonville. “They realize that Columbus really is very prosperous,” George noted. While these routes may sound exclusive to the intrepid, the Gravel Grinders are always looking to add to their numbers and acquaint the new and curious to the sport. They recently hosted “WTF is Gravel Grinding?!,” an informational discussion for newcomers to cover the basics of gravel riding and showcase the rigs ridden by veteran group members. Their next adventure will take place in early March on the gravel roads at Francis Marion National Forest near Charleston, South Carolina. But whether at home or away, it’s the beauty and excitement of the trail that calls in a way that ordinary cycling does not. “I just prefer to get out in the nature and you don’t see people, you see interesting things.… You don’t see that in city rides. It’s a variety,” said George. •

To find out more about Ohio Gravel Grinders and their adventures, visit



Family / Getaways

Outside the Box



Shipping containers provide Columbus couple with all the amenities of home and the adventures of away BY J.R. M C M I L L A N P HOTOS BY BR I A N KA I SER

Holiday weekends in Hocking Hills offer ample opportunities for outdoor adventure. But Seth and Emily Britt’s first overnight stay at the site of their modern take on a cabin in the woods was more than either anticipated. The family of four (now five) had recently closed on the lot after an exhaustive search for just the right spot to build what would become known as The Box Hop, a home away from home built from three enormous steel cargo shipping containers assembled in gravity-defying fashion. The sleek aesthetic and amenities break from the more traditional rustic retreats just a short drive from Columbus. Exceeding expectations was always the plan. Getting rescued from rising flood waters in the middle of the night was not. “Emily woke me up at around 2 a.m. freaking out. She’s normally the calm one, but she was terrified,” Seth recalled. “The water was creeping up the side of the RV. The fire department had to evacuate us because we couldn’t get back to the other side of the creek.” When the waters receded, the Britt family found one of the shipping containers had actually floated downstream more than 300 feet into their neighbor’s yard. Rainfall and runoff would continue to plague the construction process. But now after a decade of dreaming, years of planning, and months of delays, their unlikely abode was finally ready to share with friends and strangers alike. “It all started when I was working at FedEx as a third-shift package handler while going to Ohio State,” he revealed. “I grew up in a trailer in Jackson County and realized the shipping container I was loading was larger than the home I grew up in.” Seth was already pretty handy, having rehabbed a duplex in Olde Towne East. The couple’s first home was a HUD house in West Jefferson that had been vacant so long it was overrun with raccoons. Neither was easily put off by hard work, or a little wildlife. A growing family drew them back to the city, but never dampened their dream. •

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ADD/ADHD, colic, torticollis, ear infections, bed-wetting, digestive problems, allergies, asthma, seizures and more. Advanced Wellness Center specializes in the Activator Technique of Chiropractic care. This technique is designed to deliver chiropractic in the most gentle of ways. This technique allows your body to be perfectly relaxed during the adjustment making it gentle and effective for our smallest newborns to our great-grandparents.

1351 King Ave. Grandview • 614.488.6820 92


“I grew up in a trailer in Jackson County and realized the shipping container I was loading was larger than the home I grew up in.”

“We sold that house when the market was up and moved to Westgate. After putting in bids that fell through on several other properties to buy and fix up, we decided maybe it was finally the right time to consider the shipping container house,” he explained. “We spent a year trying to find the right lot with the right size, location, and access. Luckily, Emily knew exactly what she wanted, which helped narrow our options.” Emily had earned her real estate license along the way, and had a natural knack for design. Her father works in environmental construction, so those insights informed and inspired her striking silhouette for The Box Hop. But the functionality grew entirely out of the family’s personal connection to the perennial destination for hiking, rock climbing, and scenic serenity. “We’d been going to Hocking Hills for years, so we had this mental list of things we appreciated where we’d stayed, and things that were missing,” she recalled. “We wanted to create a different spin, the kind of place that would be more than just somewhere to stay, that felt like a place we would want to live.” Much of the meteoric appeal of AirBnB is its authenticity over another ho-hum hotel room. But trying to make a place feel more like a home can easily end up a hodgepodge. The Britts sought the right balance, inside and out, by creating a simple and sophisticated stay unlike anything else in the Midwest. The offset configuration of the two lower containers opened up a surprisingly spacious entertaining and dining area with a private bedroom and well-appointed kitchen at either end. The central spiral staircase leads to the second story patio and rotated third container with wall-sized windows at either end that blur the barrier between the bedrooms and the forest that surrounds them. “We worried they would look boring side by side, so I played around with the design. When we considered options for the second story, I knew the containers were designed to be stacked and I could turn the top container and still support the weight. Then I just tweaked it here and there to try to line up the plumbing,” she said modestly. “The bedrooms would be a little smaller due to the width of the containers, but I knew we could work with that by bringing the outdoors in. The windows open the bedrooms to all of the seasons we have in Ohio.” • 614COLUMBUS.COM



The result is stunning and unmistakable. The steel and glass that should contrast with the terrain mysteriously complement it. And at the right time of day, the reflection of the pines in those oversized windows makes what remains of the structure almost disappear into the tree line like postmodern camouflage. If you somehow combined Henry David Thoreau’s reverence for the natural world with Frank Lloyd Wright’s esoteric style, it would surely look a lot like The Box Hop. It’s Walden Pond meets Fallingwater. “We’ve had a lot of folks ask us if we’d ever sell the place. But for us, it’s personal,” Seth confessed. “We spent countless hours designing every aspect, and it’s still a vacation home for our family and to come with our friends.” Anticipated additions to The Box Hop include suspended seating and an outdoor shower to complete the existing patio area and hot tub, as well as a large-scale mural on the exterior that references and reinforces the emerging brand—all elements that were deferred due to construction delays. The couple coyly hinted that another container getaway isn’t out of the question. With more than 18 acres available, the additional location would offer the same privacy as the original, but with its own unique charm and character. “For now, we don’t want to disrupt our guests with chainsaws clearing a landing spot for another house,” Emily laughed. “But we also didn’t expect to book up so quickly.” •

For details on The Box Hop, visit





Fit for Family: Squats for Tots STORY A N D P H OTOS BY E MM A KATE LOW


rowing up, Lindsay Goodman was always dancing. After high school, she wasn’t too familiar with how to use a gym and the options out there intimidated her. So, with some guts and some risk, she discovered her love of fitness, and eventually even became a personal trainer while studying kinesiology at Arizona State University. From there, she earned a doctorate in physical therapy at The Ohio State University and even became a clinical specialist in geriatrics. Now, as as a mom and a movement expert, she’s decided to channel her knowledge, passion, and experiences into inspiring kids to be active as young as possible. Tell me about why you started squats and tots?

When my kids were babies and toddlers, I was constantly struggling to balance taking time for my health with quality time with my family. I’d skip a workout to play with them and feel a bit like I was neglecting what I really needed for myself. I’d leave them to with a babysitter to go work out and feel a little mom guilt. I tried to find a workout we would all do together, where the kids and parents were equally involved that “counted” as a real workout and was genuinely fun and engaging for the kids. My search came back empty, so I created Squats and Tots. 96


How should parents/family get their kiddos to engage in physical activity?

Our metro parks have great trails. Bring a cheap pair of binoculars and play “I spy” on a hike. Tune into YouTube and search family fitness. We love Cosmic Kids yoga in our house. Even my husband participates! Enroll in a mommy and me yoga class at your neighborhood studio. Start a walking club with your neighbor friends. You could hit Easton before the stores open or walk the Hoo-Fit trail at the Columbus Zoo. There are also several Fit 4 Mom programs in town, too. What is something someone has never taken the class may want to know?

The grown-ups are always surprised how much real exercise we pack into a half hour. We work! A lot of parents are concerned their child won’t be the right fit for class. Guess what? You can’t flunk out of Squats and Tots. We allow for tons of variation. I love to look around the room and see everyone exploring and making it their own. It’s important to me that every exercise is adaptable for babies who want to be carried, toddlers who are going to flop on the floor, and preschoolers who spend a whole song chasing each other.

Squats for Tots gets down at JCC Columbus (1125 College Ave.). For other ways to keeps your kids energized and engaged: Vertical Adventures • 6513 Kingsmill Ct.

Kids like to climb. We try to stop them when they’re little and it’s horrifying—but eventually they get to the age where they can experiment. Vertical Adventures is a place where they can get out energy—safely—with a helmet and trained professionals closely by. Chiller Ice Rinks • 7001 Dublin Park Dr.

Jackets onnn theeee powerrrr play. Its hockey season. Do your kiddos want to try their hand at ice skating? Buy them a lesson, take one with them! Visit their website (thechiller. com) and look under “classes” for more details. Yoga on High • 1020 Dennison Ave. Suite 202

The benefits of yoga are seemingly endless, even for the little ones in your life. Yoga on High offers prenatal,baby and me, and kids yoga classes—all of your yogi needs are met. •






hy do we find miniature clothing so freaking cute? Even the most hardened soul can’t refuse the inherent “awwww” factor of a knitted hat that transforms a child into a bear, dragon, or princesses. Cub Shrub is the place where all of your sartorial kiddostyle dreams come true— Itself the dream of Tigertree founders, Josh and Nikki Quinn, who spread their retail wings just before the birth of their daughter, Emma. “Once upon a time, an itty-bitty kid’s store was born,” she said. “You may know its parent. Tigertree, an eclectic shop in Short North famous for its carefully curated blend of novelty and nostalgia. Cub Shrub is like that, only for kids.” Any parent could spend hours and hours putting together hundreds of looks in this store—and we admit it was almost impossible to restrain ourselves. But hey, in this

magazine we can let our imagination run wild—and this is what it looks like to go wild at Cub Shrub for a day. Luckily we had our girl model Mila, who killed it in all of her outfits. A favorite of her three looks would have to be the mustard coat with the black dress with a velvet peacock, heart sunglasses, and sparkly shoes...don’t we wish we could all have that much confidence? Our little male models, were a little more demanding, but still pulled off their looks with only slight disapproval. Sawyer in the black and white graphic robot hoodie, with the power red sweatpants, decked out with bandit tigers on the knees, was the perfect amount of power-clash. Kai was dressed in a slightly more refined outfit. This button-down and khaki combo was made kid friendly with the slip on red shoes, and of course a beanie. Street-cred level 1,000! •

Check out Cub Shrub for more children’s looks and accessories

Creative Kids:



fter graduating with an Art Ed degree in 2007— and years of many applications, substitute teaching, and serving tables—Anna Sokol was very desperate to teach art. With a doable $400 rent for a realty company’s box-filled basement, friend volunteers, and all the supplies she owned, she opened her first successful Summer Art Camp. After that, she just kept going. Nearly 10 years later, she’s created a kid-friendly empire in Bexley, her calendar always filled with fun art enrichment for central Ohio kids—and their grown-up guardians.

Tell us about your favorite adult/kid classes? Lately, my favorite events to teach are corporate groups. I love to work with each company to consider intent and mission for the project. Over the years, I’ve learned that for adults, art gets everyone out of their comfort zone and strips us all of egos. It immediately creates a whole, “we’re in this together” vibe that works really well for collaboration and team building. CFO or temp position, in an instant, everyone is on the same level. And if you didn’t already know, creative goal setting or recreating a company logo via paint or collage with your colleagues is more therapeutic than you’d expect. What is one thing you have learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years? How do you feel about the terms “momboss” or “momprenuer?” Less is more. After having our first son in 2015, I finally truly understood this saying. Less classes equated to more students, less stress and angst made room for more brainpower and time to market and strengthen those classes. As for the controversial “momboss” term, it is a real thing. Because I’m a mom first, boss second. This, by far, has been the most difficult lesson for me to accept. After birthing our second son this year, I’ve grasped that my kids need me more than my business does. “If you want to change the word, go home and love your family.” Experience has 100 (614) MAGAZINE MARCH 2019 614COLUMBUS.COM

determined the only way I make this successful is by forming meaningful boundaries, sticking to them, and letting go of the shoulds and guilt of being Mom first. Do you think being a parent has influenced the way you operate your business? I knew (from the experience with our firstborn) that I had to change my role at Art with Anna, and for good. Because of this, and with the help of my business coach, I transitioned from lead teacher/worker-bee into owner/operator. My payroll has doubled, but so have Friday nights at home with my boys. When you’re not working, what is your favorite thing to do in Columbus? I like big sports and I cannot lie. Clippers baseball, OSU hoops & football remind me of my childhood growing up in Cincy. There’s a reason I have two boys, amirite? •

Art with Anna is located at 420 N Cassady Ave., Bexley. Search @ ArtwithAnna on Facebook for a variety of events throughout the spring.




All for Fun! Sensory-friendly activities provide welcoming environments, enjoyable family activities BY L AU R A DAC H E N B AC H I L LU STR ATI O N BY SA R A H MO O R E


enerally speaking, children love bright lights, loud noises, and fast-paced activity. However, for children with sensory-processing issues, such stimuli can result in overload—the feeling of being tuned in to a multitude of frequencies all at once. Fortunately, an increasing number of venues are partnering with special needs advocates and organizations such as Nationwide Children’s Hospital, OSU’s Nisonger Center and the Center for Autism and Related Disorders to adapt their activities to visitors with special needs so that all family members can participate in fun and meaningful activities, from music to games to movies. Laid-back, relaxed, and judgment-free, sensory-friendly events are not only places where children can have their needs met while having fun, but also places where parents and caretakers can meet and socialize with others who understand their needs and not have to worry about explaining their child’s behavior or reactions. Many organizations will post introductory videos on their websites so that children can become familiar with the venue environments and activities before they visit.

Listen to Music: Saturday at the Symphony with the New Albany Symphony Orchestra

Music can be a form of social expression and therapeutic intervention, especially for people on the autism spectrum. This concert series, held at the McCoy Center for the Arts includes an art project in the lobby and an instrument “petting zoo,” where concert-goers can pick up instruments, learn about how they produce sound, and experiment with playing them. The concert is never longer than an hour and the dress code is “comfy.” Guests who feel inclined are encouraged to move and respond to what they hear. Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts | 100 West E Dublin Granville Rd., New Albany |

Catch a Flick: Sensory-friendly films at the Gateway Film Center

This free monthly series of G- and PG-rated films are presented at a lower volume with brighter house lights, no trailers, and a “no-shushing” policy. Movie-goers are allowed to move, bring their own snacks, and be themselves as they enjoy a Saturday morning movie. Watch for Curious George, Despicable Me and Matilda coming up. Gateway Film Center | 1550 N High St. |


See a Show: Sensory-friendly Performances at Columbus Children’s Theatre

With trained staff and volunteers on hand, Columbus Children’s Theatre offers sensory-friendly versions of their mainstage shows. Special effects and light changes are adapted, the house lights are kept slightly up, communication cards are provided for nonverbal patrons, and the lobby is kept as a “quiet area” for anyone who needs a bit of an intermission. (A screen in the lobby allows you to keep watching the show.) CCT also offers a flexible refund policy in case things don’t work as planned. Park Street Theatre or Lincoln Theatre |

Go out for Pizza and More: Sensory-sensitive Sundays at Chuck E. Cheese’s

On the first Sunday of each month, select Chuck E. Cheese locations open two hours early to create a special mealtime for sensory-sensitive kids and their families. The restaurant is less crowded and quieter. The sound effects of shows and arcade games are turned down or off, and Chuck E. Cheese makes appearances only by request. The full menu, including vegetarian and gluten-free options, are available. Speciallytrained staff assist families during their visit. Chuck E. Cheese’s | 2711 Martin Rd., Dublin |

Jump and Bounce: Sky Zone Sensory Hours

Trampolines can be beneficial for children with sensory issues, helping them to increase their coordination and focus. But the music and lights at Sky Zone Trampoline Park can make what should be a fun experience into an overwhelming one. Sky Zone’s special hours turns off the music and distractions and allows special needs jumpers to jump for free, while family and friends receive discounted rates. Sky Zone | 459 Orange Point Dr, Ste. E, Lewis Center | columbus/programs • 614COLUMBUS.COM

MARCH 2019 (614) MAGAZINE 103

Room To

Explore COSI’s new exhibit invites families to explore their sensory perceptions with Rooms@Easton BY RE G INA FOX AND MITCH HOOP ER

COSI, a place for science, imagination, learning, and Instagram? With its newest exhibit, Rooms@Easton now on display inside the Station Building behind the AMC Easton 30 ticket booth, COSI invites guests to challenge their senses through an interactive science/ art experience housed in five themed “rooms.” Visitors are encouraged to post their reactions on social media with the hashtag #COSIatEaston. Rooms@Easton is a pop-up interactive museum exhibit that highlights science concepts that are part of our daily lives, although we rarely think about them. The rooms are designed to maximize your curiosity about your perceptions about the world around you. The optical illusion room is where visitors can immerse themselves in wall-to-wall optical illusions to experience how these visuals can trick the brain into thinking it sees motion in motionless objects. If you are looking for something a little more hands on, the Blue Block Room encourages imagination as you use blue building blocks and engage in hands-on structure engineering--if you need to convince your little ones, think “real live Minecraft.” Other rooms, like the Sticker Room, flip the situation and your involvement is the science experiment itself as guests place colorful stickers on the all-white walls which morph the space over time.

“I think that the sticker room was definitely the most Instagrammable because of the concept of color and it was definitely the most fun and creative.” “I think that the sticker room was definitely the most Instagrammable because of the concept of color and it was definitely the most fun and creative,” explained visitor Emily Blum. “People can aim their cameras wherever they wish at any angle in the room and it’s a guaranteed ‘Instagrammable’ picture.” She added it’s also great for selfies. In the Reflection Room, guests find themselves in a completely mirrored room, experiencing how parallel mirrors produce an “infinity” effect using reflection and light. The Light Room also allows visitors to play with colored lights and their effects on shapes. If Blum had to describe the experience in six words, she said it was: aesthetic, innovative, stimulating, fun, inventive, and artistic. In other words, everything you’re looking for on your Instagram and a fun afternoon. •

The Rooms@Easton presented by COSI will be open now through May 19.


MARCH 2019 (614) MAGAZINE 105


It’s difficult for us here at (614) to catch it all. That’s where you come in: while you’re out there capturing the city, you might as well slide some of your best shots our way. We’ll throw a few of ours in the mix, too. There’s plenty to see in Columbus, so there’s no reason not to share.























Profile for 614mediagroup

(614) Magazine MAR 2019  

At (614) we like to think we're always giving you new ideas about where to go, what to try, or what's coming up next. But this month, perhap...

(614) Magazine MAR 2019  

At (614) we like to think we're always giving you new ideas about where to go, what to try, or what's coming up next. But this month, perhap...

Profile for 614media