(614) Magazine: FEB 2019

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feb 2019



the big day | john cusack | lox bagels 614columbus.com

FEBRUARY 2019 (614) Magazine


BIG PICTURE Cirque Du SoleiI Crystal performers practice their routine ahead of their show at Nationwide Arena. Photo by Brian Kaiser


CONTENTS Cov e r Se c t ion 28 ways to beat the winter blues 62

opera columbus: the flood 28


pysch out: melted festival 32 John Cusack hits columbus 36 now open: ambrose and eve 44 lox bagels lands in short north 48


fashion: small talk, big shots 54 614home: antiquing 60 self-driving cars in the city 66 the big day: columbus says “i do” 78

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(614) Magazine FEBRUARY 2019 614columbus.com

O N TH E COV E R : Photo by Brian Kaiser Cover M o d e l s : Courtney Rosina D’Angelo

and Brock Dupont wearing King & Fifth Supply Co.



pring cleaning? I clean in winter. You really want to stay inside and clean in nice weather? Moving up the masthead, as it often does, means moving to a new desk. My new desk—well, the whole office actually, bookshelves, drawers, mini-fridge—needed a bit of cleaning. Many people, especially creative types, avoid cleaning because they believe tidiness undermines their creativity. The presence of clutter is rebellion against societal expectations, which supposedly makes one gravitate towards novelty and fun and less conventional thinking. I hate to trample on anyone’s pile of dirty laundry, but I humbly disagree. The universe gravitates towards entropy. Disorder is the natural result of a closed system. Therefore, expending energy to counter disorder is the good fight. The truly revolutionary among us get organized. My philosophy is that cleaning is not just a way to create a nicer-looking environment, but it is also a way to engage with both your present surroundings and your past influences. And that interaction is what unleashes your creativity. (How do you become inspired by stuff you don’t even know you even own?) There is no better challenge for your creativity than pulling some mystery item out of a drawer and musing, “What the hell is this? How did I acquire one (several) of these? And what do I do with it now?” My cleaning spree unearthed some such enigmatic items: a couple bottles of spirit gum, poker chips, bungee cords, and plastic things with random cords dangling from them. But I also find some business cards of David Lewis, old intern agreements, a professional reporter’s notebook once belonging to T. Hoewischer (phone number redacted here), and a copy of the first (614) Magazine—a circularsized thing with the quaint cover headline “Single in Cbus,” Soon, scattered about the room are the editorial fingerprints of the minds and the passions that have driven this publication for nearly ten years. It’s a lot to take in, this weight of the past. But at the same time, it’s a relief to be the one who gets to carry the torch rather than the one who has to light it. It feels a bit wrong, putting someone’s old notes or mark-up in the recycling bin, but I guess it’s my way of sending of sending those ideas back to the universe where they came from. I’m sure they’ll return in another form someday. In these pages you’ll get to read about my first downhill skiing lesson. It was something I didn’t think I could do. But I stood at the top of the hill and didn’t deliberate about what could happen or what might happen—only what was happening. So that’s what I’m planning to do in this new role of Managing Editor of (614) Magazine, hang on to my poles for dear life, lean forward, find my edges, and enjoy


(614) Magazine FEBRUARY 2019 614columbus.com

Publisher Wayne T. Lewis

managing editor Laura Dachenbach Assistant Editor Mitch Hooper PHOTO EDITOR Brian Kaiser Contributing Photographer Rebecca Tien 614now eDITOR Regina Fox senior Contributors J.R. McMillan, Kevin J. Elliot, Jeni Ruisch

Contributing Writers Linda Lee Baird, Aaron Wetli Paul Meara, Danny Hamen Mike Thomas, Rhea Moseley

Creative Designers Jess Wallace Sarah Moore graphic Designers Hugo Albornoz, Ryan Caskey Kalyn Schroer


every minute of the ride. In addition to skiing, we’ve got all sorts of fun winter suggestions for you this month, whether you decide to tough it out in the Cbus or if you decide to jettison off in search of warmer temps. Taking a cocktail class, getting in shape, blowing glass, or finding your new hidden talents, winter in Columbus isn’t all overcast skies and salt trucks and piles of gray snow in the parking lot. Try a winter cleaning, and let your creative self go. Tell me how it goes.

Advertising Director Meggin Weimerskirch SENIOR Account Executives Derek Landers, Liza Worthington Account Executives Becky Hart, Nikki Harris Manager of Audience Development Stephanie McFarland VP of sales and Marketing Lindsay Press


Laura Dachenbach

(614) Magazine 458 E Main St., Columbus, OH 43215 Office: (614) 488-4400 Fax: (614) 488-4402 Email submissions to: editor@614columbus.com www.614columbus.com


#HAM4HAM Lottery in Columbus

Welcome to The Insider!

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 events@614columbus.com.

hamitonmusical.com/ lottery (1.27-2.15)

No, you are not throwing away your shot. Go to the website above (or download the Hamilton app) to enter the online lottery for Hamilton, the musical sensation as it comes to Columbus. 40 tickets will be sold for $10 for each show, two days in advance of the performance. And may the odds ever be in your favor.


FFN’s Date Night MadLab

Have a great love story? What about an okay one? Or maybe even a really bad one? Full Frontal Nudity wants to know! At FFN’s Date Night, they will take the best (or worst) of audience submissions of love stories and reenact them for your enjoyment (or dismay). Just be prepared for them to add a twist or two to really spice up the story.


Columbus Winter Beerfest The Greater Columbus Convention Center

Columbus Winter Beerfest is back and full of craft beers you’ve probably never even heard of! Beerfest is a great chance to fall in love with new beers, or rediscover your love for a beer you haven’t had for a while. With food trucks and craft beer from more than 130 different brewers, you’ll be hard pressed to find something that doesn’t please your palate.


(614) Magazine FEBRUARY 2019 614columbus.com


Steakhouse Date Night

Franklin Park Conservatory

When it comes to a romantic dinner, sometimes it’s the simple things with added touches. At the Franklin Park Conservatory, you’ll be having a meat and potatoes style dinner, but with more flair. Your meal with consist of pan-seared and oven-roasted steak with garlic mashed potatoes and Parmesan-roasted broccoli. And if your mouth isn’t already watering, you’ll finish off the night with a dessert of chocolate covered strawberries.


Valentine’s Day Cocktails & Candles The Candle Lab

At The Candle Lab’s Cocktails and Candles event, you’ll be putting a whole new spin on “pouring” one out for the evening. While you sip on a cocktail of your choice, you’ll be mixing and combining fragrances with hot wax to create a personalized candle. The Candle Lab knows all that drinking and candle creating can work up a serious appetite, so they made sure to have Mikey’s Late Night Slice drop off a few pizzas for the evening.





FEB. 7



Distinguished Diversity Lecture Series Mershon Auditorium

Author of The Beautiful Struggle, We Were Eight Years in Power and Between The World And Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates, a distinguished writer in residence at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, will spend an evening at OSU’s College of Education and Human Ecology for a lecture and question session. The discussion is free, but reservations are required.

FEB. 8-10



Columbus Blue Jackets v. Washington Capitals

Nationwide Arena

Join the Jackets as they face off against the 2018 Stanley Cup champs in a contest with major implications in the Metropolitan Division standings. Cheer on Panarin and the boys as they look to topple the Caps at home and pave the way to another playoff appearance and a shot at the NHL’s top prize.



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FEB. 22-23


Social Circle Gala “Love is Love”



FEB. 28


Love is in the air all of the month of February, and TRISM is hoping to spread some of that love with their “Love Is Love” event that will benefit Equitas Health, a nonprofit organization offering health services to the LGBTQ+ community. It’s a black-tie event so wear your best digs and you’ll be enjoying live music from a DJ, cocktails, and complementary food. Later in the evening, there will be a variety show featuring renowned comedian and magician, Erik Tait, as well as aerial acrobats, assorted cirque acts, and burlesque.






VISIT US ON THE WEB www.columbusfunnybone.com TEXT FUNNYBONE TO 31279 TO JOIN THE VIP FUNNY BONE TEXT PROGRAM (msg & data rates may apply)


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

614-471-(JOKE) 5653 614columbus.com

FEBRUARY 2019 (614) Magazine



“The Price is Right” Live The Ohio Theater

Columbus, Ohio! Come on down! You’re the next city hosting The Price Is Right! If you didn’t read that in announcer George Gray’s voice, you need to brush up on your pop culture references. The classic game show is here, and let’s be honest, who isn’t dying to spin the big wheel?


Stand Up for Choice: Women Have Options Ace of Cups

Ready to be silent no more? Try laughing instead. Stand-up comedians Amber Falter and Pat Deering co-host a lineup of local comedians with a connection to reproductive rights to tell their stories through stand-up. Proceeds will benefit NARAL of Ohio.


“The Little Mermaid” The Palace Theater (2.22-2.23)

Pleasure Guild of Columbus continues its tradition of raising funds for Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Hospice and Palliative Care Program with their annual musical. This year, take a plunge under the sea and sing some of your favorite Disney tunes with Ariel, Flounder, Scuttle, Sebastian and Columbus drag queen favorite Nina West as Ursula the Sea Witch.


(614) Magazine FEBRUARY 2019 614columbus.com


Winter Classic Motorsports Expo Ohio Expo Center

Car fanatics, find a way to scrounge together every penny you can find. The Winter Classic Motorsports Expo is here. With just one stroll through this event, you’ll talk to enough vendors that will convince you that you need to change every single thing about your vehicle down to the wax you use to clean it. But hey, those magnetized buckets for nuts and bolts are on sale for $99.99… It’s a steal!


Travis Scott

Schottenstein Center

Travis Scott is becoming one of the biggest names in the hiphop game right now, and it’s for good reason. He’s consistently produced hits and his albums just keep getting stronger. Catch the Houston-native rapper at the Schottenstein and save some money for merch because it’s a collab design with Virgil Abloh, creator of Off-White.


FEBRUARY 2019 (614) Magazine



Ohio State Buckeyes Men’s Basketball v. Iowa Hawkeyes

Schottenstein Arena

Big Ten Basketball returns to the Schott as the Ohio State Men’s Basketball squad takes on the Iowa Hawkeyes. The ranked Hawkeyes have been on a hot streak, with four straight wins from late December through January. A big division victory for the Bucks could be just the thing to get the season back on track for Chris Holtmann’s team.


(614) Magazine FEBRUARY 2019 614columbus.com


Arnold Sports Festival

Greater Columbus Convention Center (2.28-3.3)

Calling all gym bros and #FitGirlsOfInstagram, your favorite weekend event dedicated to protein powder and shaker bottles is back. Are you ready for all the free samples? From scantily dressed buff dudes to video game tournaments, there’s seriously something for everyone at the Arnold.


FEBRUARY 2019 (614) Magazine



Cody Johnson Live The Bluestone

Nashville comes to Columbus as singer/ songwriter Cody Johnson comes to The Bluestone hot on the heels of the release of his album Ain’t Nothin’ to It. On several “artist to watch” list “CoJo” is a veteran of the country’s most popular country music festivals and will be headlining RodeoHouston for the third time later this year.


2019 Wine and Girl Scout Cookie Pairings Serendipity labs

Name a better duo than wine and Girl Scout Cookies…. We will wait. That being said, pairing wines with these delicious cookies is a bit more of an art form than you might think. At Serendipity Labs, you’ll find out just what to sip when you eat an entire sleeve of Thin Mints as well as the best wine to pair with Tagalongs while you binge watch Netflix (Netflix bingeing tips not included in pairings class.)


Demetri Martin: Wandering Mind Tour The southern Theater

If you mix deadpan comedy with witty humor and word play, you get Demetri Martin. His comedy shows are much like a variety show; sometimes he’s singing a funny song while playing the guitar. Other times he’s creating a comical sketch to illustrate the joke he’s making. If you want a taste of what this show should be like, check out his comedy special The Overthinker on Netflix!


(614) Magazine FEBRUARY 2019 614columbus.com

The Beat of his Own Drum Days of producing for celebs aside, BBanga starts to focus on his own musical journey By Paul Mea ra ph oto by brian ka i s er

I didn’t grow up listening to rap,” said Bryan Johnson. A native of Livingston and Linwood, Johnson began making beats when he was 12 years old. “I used to listen to old school stuff since my parents were older. When I started listening to rap I would hear the beats. I wouldn’t listen to the lyrics but I’d hear the beat and wonder how they do that. So I looked into it and kind of selftaught myself producing.” Fates collided quickly once Johnson was out of high school and had made music his full-time profession. His journey began with some heavyhitters at the time, making beats for Murda Inc. artists Cadillac Tah, Black Child and label head/executive producer Irv Gotti. By way of Murda, Johnson connected with Chubbie Baby (currently the Senior VP of A&R at Hitco) who was at the time a major conduit between the Columbus and New York Hip Hop scenes. During the early to mid 2000s, Cam’ron, who at the time was hot off of the release of The Diplomats’ landmark 2003 debut LP Diplomatic Immunity, made a pilgrimage to Columbus and opened up Club Envy that same year. It was then that Cam and BBanga, as Johnson had become known, began working together. “[Chubbie] and Cam was like best friends,” Johnson said. “They was always here and everything so we just kind of building a relationship and ended up getting real close.”

“I’ve been kind of soul searching for the past five years but I’m real comfortable with who I am right now.” That connection produced (pun intended) the hometown beatsmith’s most successful run, which culminated in the 2006 hit “Touch It Or Not,” featuring Lil Wayne. Originally, the track was to feature the rapper Webbie, but as the song’s hype level grew, Lil Wayne was called on to replace him. It also surfaced on both satellite and local radio, which was crazy to Johnson at the time. “I made the beat in 2004. I think it was the first beat I did for Cam,” he remembers. “I didn’t even think twice about it because I made a bunch of beats after that.” “They were my two favorite artists,” he said. “To me it was like what the fuck? How did this turn into this so quick? I think it was just built on us having a good relationship with everybody and I just had access to people like that. After that it just blew up.” Johnson would go on to produce for fellow Diplomat rappers Juelz Santana, Hell Rell and more while bringing the heat for other artists who were popping like Gucci Mane and Meek Mill. He also continued to work with Lil Wayne, which created an unexpected run-in during a studio session in Atlanta. “In the corner there’s this little light-skinned dude, sitting at a desk with his headphones on,” Johnson described. “It ended up being Drake. I had no clue. I remember his face and everything.” The session also proved to Johnson one widely-rumored element of the great New Orleans emcee was indeed legitimate: “He really do go in there and rap off the top of his head.” With success came adversity though. Alcohol and substance abuse became a problem for Johnson, a result of years of touring. He also spent 18 months in prison for conspiracy. But difficulty helped him focus on what was important after he was released. “All of that was a wake-up call,” he said. “When I got out, I hit the ground running. I got right back to producing.” Locally, BBanga’s production catalog isn’t extensive, but he’s worked with a few acts, particularly rapper Hodgie and vocalist Kim Joyce. BBanga’s production style featured high-paced drums for bass with layered trumpet samples which has created a distinctive sound for the producer. He said he wants to continue this sound, but expand it with whoever he works with. The birth of a daughter last year also put a hold on Johnson’s music for a bit. In 2019 though, he’s looking to return to the profession that’s provided for him for so long. By June, fan can expect to hear something new. “This year I’m gonna get back to it,” he said. “I still have all my industry contacts and people still call for beats, but I want to update my sound. I want to have an updated sound that people know me for,” said Johnson. “I’ve been kind of soul searching for the past five years but I’m real comfortable with who I am right now. I’m just trying to get some other stuff in order, then I’ll be back at it.” •


FEBRUARY 2019 (614) Magazine


Common Time, Common History Opera Columbus and ProMusica Chamber Orchestra team up to tell a story about The Great Franklinton Flood By J e n i R u i sch


know plenty about rivers. I have a natural science background, and I’ve grown up creeking, canoeing, and kayaking. I know a lot about the floods that happened in Columbus in the early part of the last century. Through a year of research I did for a (614) story that came out in 2015, I interviewed dozens of experts, spent time on and in the waters of the Scioto and Olentangy, and acquainted the tip of my nose fondly with the pages of ancient surveying books from the county auditor, and histories of Franklinton and the surrounding areas. I even know a little about Franklinton. But I know absolutely zero about opera. I don’t know, and didn’t grow up with, anyone who is an opera fan. And when I choose the music that I listen to or go see, it is decidedly not opera. So, my interest was piqued when I heard that a new show was rolling into town. Opera Columbus and ProMusica have collaborated on a commissioned opera, The Flood, a modern story sung in English about events that rocked these very streets over a hundred years ago. The Great Franklinton Flood happened in March of 1913. Days of rain and a spring thaw raised the level of the Scioto river past the wooden flood wall’s capacity.

The wall burst, and millions of gallons of rushing river pummeled the settlement that had for two centuries been building up on the west banks. Those that were able fled for high ground in what is now the Hilltop area as the torrent stripped the low-lying land bare. Schools, homes, churches were destroyed and swept downriver. Some buildings in Franklinton still testify their survival with water marks, far above the heads of 21st century spectators. When the frigid waters receded, 93 were tallied dead. (The actual number is possibly higher.) Rebuilding efforts were hampered by mud and cold, and the fact that the bridges across the river—bridges that would lead to help and supplies—had been torn away. It would not be the last time the flood wall was breached. Subsequent floods would rock the bottoms until a high, strong wall was built in 2004. It stands now at 30 feet, higher than the waters have ever risen. This is a story few have heard, even within the confines of our city. Despite its devastation, the Franklinton Flood is a story that, like the waters of the modern rivers, has receded quietly. Opera Columbus aims to change all that. They have spearheaded a movement which has borne a new story from history. Using a groundbreaking custom set, and meticulous costumes, •


FEBRUARY 2019 (614) Magazine


The Flood ventures to tell the story of a Columbus family afflicted by the disaster, people who gaze out over the same river many of us pass by every day. This connection should not be lost on the viewer. But who is the viewer? To whom does this history belong? Frankly, I did not believe it belonged to me. A Columbus resident, I hunger for more information about our shared history. But I never thought I was an opera goer. There was someone who knew better. The Creative and General Director of Opera Columbus, Peggy Kriha Dye is a Julliard-trained, world-traveled opera singer who allowed non-opera-going me to sit in on a rehearsal of The Flood in Opera Columbus’s downtown headquarters. What I experienced was transformative. After some quick notes and feedback, the artists launched into an aria sung at the side of a dying woman’s bed, palpable sorrow in the man’s huge round voice. The power that came from the singers stupefied me as the skill-honed and diaphragm-supported crescendos filled the high-ceilinged room. I could feel the reverberations through my sternum. I looked downward, overwhelmed by the intimacy promised from eye contact with a singing performer. Am I an opera person? I just might be an opera person.

( 61 4 ) : How is creating a commissioned opera is different then re-creating a classical opera? Dy e : We are starting from scratch! We chose the composer,

librettist (writer) and topic to get the show created. That takes approximately one year. We have two workshops with singers to work out the kinks. We had one in NYC and one in Columbus. Then the librettist and composer take the notes from the workshops and make the necessary changes. The parts for the orchestra also have to be created. Once all that is finished (a three year process) we start a five week rehearsal in Columbus. That is normally where we would begin for a typical production. In addition, the cost is double that of an average production...so lots of fundraising!

What was the inspiration for deciding to tell the tale, over a century after the terrible flood?

anet Chen, my co-producer and Executive Director of J ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, and I wanted to commission a piece that is about Columbus and would give references to the city. We wanted to bring Columbus into the art that is being created here. We met with WOSU to discuss their series, “Columbus Neighborhoods,” and asked them, what neighborhood has a story that is epic, i.e. operatic. The flood of 1913 that affected the neighborhood in Franklinton the most, was the obvious choice. Nothing has shaped the city more than that event. Its traumatic effects and stories have been passed on through generations of those that live here.


(614) Magazine FEBRUARY 2019 614columbus.com

“The story is about an event that shaped our city. It’s a drama full of suspense and mystery with music that was created for this production and for this Columbus premiere.” There is a juxtaposition between the state of Franklinton as it exists now, and the perceived target audience for opera. West Franklinton has a lot of poverty and homelessness. While opera is seen widely as a refined, high art. What can build a connection between these worlds?

We didn’t want to produce a show about Franklinton, only to exclude the residents from the actual show. We have made thoughtful decisions about how we can marry the show to the people of Franklinton. We are bringing Korine, the composer to schools in Franklinton to share insights about the production with them. Janet and I gave a presentation at LifeCare Alliance. We answered questions and brought some performers with us so that they could get a taste of the opera. With the help from some generous donors, we are bringing coach busses and offering premium seats for free to approximately 100 Franklinton residents. Opera Columbus is striving to change the perception of what an audience member has to be. Our logo says it for us, “Make it Yours.” Our regular tickets start at $25. We realize that $25 is still substantial to many, and we are hoping Franklinton residents will take us up on the free tickets we are also providing. Can you tell me how opera has changed as it has evolved into the modern day?

The operas themselves have evolved. We often take a traditional opera, and shorten it to no more than two hours, translate to English and use surtitles. We might also take an opera traditionally set in the 1700’s and produce it into modern day or in a setting more relatable. We don’t cast according to color and sometimes even gender, but according to talent. If that means we need to modify things, we do. We incorporate technology, film, and sometimes modern instruments like electric guitar. I think it’s foolish not to use all the modern resources we have if it can tell the story better. The music is timeless and olympic. It’s the story that I’m interested in evolving. The topics are going to always be relevant; loss and tragedy, love and passion. Why should someone who has never been to an opera before consider seeing The Flood?

The story is about an event that shaped our city. It’s a drama full of suspense and mystery with music that was created for this production and for this Columbus premiere. ProMusica is playing! You will witness a world premiere. It’s only just over an hour. Tickets start at $25. We have a bourbon bar. •


FEBRUARY 2019 (614) Magazine


This month’s Melted Music Festival is the first of its kind in Columbus By K ev i n J. E l l i ott | I l lu str ati o n by rya n c as k e y


(614) Magazine FEBRUARY 2019 614columbus.com


et’s face it. The large-scale music festival is synonymous with summer, or like Coachella or Primavera Sound in Spain, at least associated with warmer climes, little clothing, and sunshine. But a music festival in the dead center of winter? On a Sunday night no less? While it might not be an ideal situation, or a recipe for success, it’s something that Tim Peacock, the founder of the Nelsonville Music Festival, and Bob Miller, of Archie Fox Live, hope to pull off this month with their inaugural Melted Music Festival—an all day celebration of psychedelic rock and art. “For as long as Tim and I have been friends, which has been over ten years now, we’ve thrown around the idea of wanting to put together a psych fest,” says Miller. “We are both huge psych rock fans. The big fests that people think of first are Levitation in Austin and Desert Daze in California, and we saw a niche for something like that here in the Midwest.” Choosing February was fortunately a decision that came with convenience. Headliner Ty Segall—perhaps the most prolific garage savants in the world right now—is someone who has never graced a Columbus stage before, someone Miller has been trying to book for years...and just happened to be available. The obvious choice then was to build a festival around this wealth of luck. When the duo started eventually spitballing other acts who would fit the Melted line-up, the stars aligned, quite literally, and the festival was born. “For some bands and agents, it’s perception,” says Miller about the assumed flyover stigma of Columbus when bands map tours. “Our geography can help us, but it also hinders us. We do benefit from being within a couple hours drive from a lot of different markets, so a lot of people who like this type of music can make the trip.” In addition to Segall, who will be playing alongside White Fence for this appearance, Melted boasts sets from perennial Atlanta raga-punks the Black Lips, the pastoral folk-psych of Heron Oblivion, a rare American performance from Tokyo’s sprawlingly potent Kikagaku Moyo, and the beach buzz of Cherry Glazerr. The incredibly spastic Deerhoof from San Francisco should provide a highlight in the middle of the day, but if they’re not your forte, Melted will also include a record and poster show to provide a diversion. Cleveland’s Ma Holos and locals DANA, get things started early. Given Peacock’s Nelsonville brand and Miller’s myriad past fests in Columbus—Sick Weekend, Helter Swelter, the annual Rock Potluck—Melted will certainly turn the confines of the Bluestone into something else entirely. It will be a full-day experience, another cultural notch, or just a fine example of how the city is becoming a more desirable place for bands to land. Miller’s taken that chance many times before. “In a lot of ways, concert promotion and putting together a festival like this is a lot like legalized gambling,” says Miller jokingly. “You’ve got to make the math work, you’ve got to have the chutzpah. It’s difficult to articulate, but the bigger the risk, the better the reward.” Hopefully, this is just the beginning of an annual tradition. Why can’t we make the winter work for us? There seems nothing more Columbus than trying to make a festival a success in the bowels of our icy hell, especially if it involves a cool light show, tons of reverb, and an infinite amount of searingly wild guitar jams. • Melted takes place Sunday, February 24th, at the Bluestone. For tickets and more information visit meltedmusicfest.com. 614columbus.com

FEBRUARY 2019 (614) Magazine


Meditate with 808 Raw Yoga 614 studio combines hip hop, fitness, and relaxation By R hea M os e l e y • p h otos by r e b e cc a ti e n


n a scale from one to awkward, I am awkward AF. If that isn’t enough, the extent of my flexibility is being able to sit crisscross applesauce with my two-year-old son as we watch “Baby Shark” for the nine-hundredth time. Except when the “run away” part of the song starts, he is up running and I am still trying to uncross my applesauce. I’ve done my fair share of trying and then ultimately avoiding yoga. Every time I work up the nerve, I walk into a class full of strangers who don’t look like me and who do things that I have no idea how to do, and they do it in pure, unnerving silence. So, needless to say, my hesitation was real. But, this upcoming yoga experience was one that already sounded more intriguing than any that I had dabbled in before. I was going to attend “Trap Yoga,” one of many exceptional classes offered at Raw Yoga 614. Co-Owners Derrick Bond and Yaizmen Fayne opened the Raw Yoga 34

(614) Magazine FEBRUARY 2019 614columbus.com

studio less than a year ago in April 2018, after the pair attended a yoga class in a popular yoga studio and noticed they were the only people of color. Both armed with education—Fayne with a bachelor’s degree in business and financial management and a master’s degree in education, and Bond, with a degree in communication and African-American history, the two set off on a less conventional path. The synthesis of brains, passion, and experience motivated the couple to both earn certifications as yoga instructors, which Bond could then affix to his previously-earned title as a certified personal trainer. Together they created a space that was needed in the black community, but also welcomed any group of people who were interested in pursuing mental and physical health. “We wanted to create a space for people of color, and everyone else to feel comfortable and welcome, regardless of age, social, racial or financial demographic or skill level,” said Bond.

“We wanted to create a space for people of color, and everyone else to feel comfortable and welcome, regardless of age, social, racial or financial demographic or skill level.”

Before class, I searched the website, scouring for any information that would put my less than flexible nerves at ease, and I was pleased to find disclaimers or a friendly “heads up” about every class that was offered. Friday night arrived and I was ready, well ready-ish, having reservations about what to cloak my mom-bod in. Should I wear something super stretchy or super loose? Deciding to split the difference and go top loose, bottom stretchy, I was finally dressed. A short drive later, I’m parked and sitting (so much sitting). The space is quaint and soft. The lights are dim and soothing. The vibe is like entering a kickback littered with old and new friends. Everyone greets me with smiles and hellos. The space finds a balance of intimacy—without encroaching on personal space—while remaining versatile enough to accomodate the 10+ different types of classes that are offered, including R&B Slow Flow and Abs and Ass. As Fayne offers yoga mats and soft blankets for our knees, I felt like a friend had invited me over for girls night and she just happened to be a dope-ass yoga instructor. “Just a disclaimer. This is Trap Yoga, so we will be playing hip hop music. Some lyrics are explicit. But it’s all good,” she beams. Fayne was right. it was all good. As my nerves began to reemerge at different points of my child’s pose, I hear a voice ooze through the sound system. Cardi B! Bye anxiety, I’m a bad bitch now. Cardi said so. Midway through the gradually challenging class, my heart rate began to match the accelerated tempo of Kendrick Lamar & Jay Rocks “Kings Dead,” 2 Chainz, and a hosts of other artists. As impressive as this playlist was, it couldn’t overshadow the instruction. At no point during the class did I lose Fayne’s serene and self-assured tone, creating a little capable bubble of space for everyone in the room. Gradually, Fayne warmly coached us into the cool down portion of the practice whose playlist was just as fitting. I had finally learned that even I could do yoga, and I discovered (as I suspected) that I wasn’t the only learner in the room. “We are as committed to learning and open to learning as [our clients] are supposed to be,” said Bond. Fayne nodded in agreement. “We don’t claim to know everything there is to know, but we want to share and teach what we do.” Raw Yoga Stu dio i s l ocate d at 73 39 E M a i n St . i n Rey noldsbu rg. Book cl a ss e s at m i ndbodyonl i n e.co m. 614columbus.com

FEBRUARY 2019 (614) Magazine


John Cusack Still willing to ‘Say Anything’ by J.R. McMillan Il lustration by sa r a h M oor e


f actors are fortunate, they’re remembered for one film that epitomizes the angst, anxiety, and aspirations of a generation. John Cusack has a career full of them. From cult to iconic, acclaimed to obscure, it’s perhaps impossible to overstate his influence or put him in a box. Indelible ensemble performances in Sixteen Candles and Stand by Me, along with leading roles in The Sure Thing and Better Off Dead, earned Cusack an early reputation as a relatable and reliable talent just as the prospects for many of his teen comedy contemporaries were flaming out after puberty. Then came Say Anything, which remains the anthem for every misfit who’s punched above his weight, and every girl who’s fallen for the one guy her friends and parents were quick to dismiss. Cusack could have quit at the end of the credits and we’d still be talking about Lloyd Dobler and his boombox 30 years later. But instead of subpar sequels, he offered a second act we rarely see—one built on personal passion, purposeful projects, and the crisis of conscience that closely parallels the teen rite of passage that could have easily typecast him into oblivion. “I had the luxury to work in film when it was a little less corporate. People who ran the studios were individuals. They would have a portfolio they’d take to shareholders and say, ‘Here are our tentpole films,’ ” Cusack explained. “But they had six or seven movies a year they would give to artists they liked. I got to make Grosse Pointe Blank and High Fidelity, Spike Lee got to make Summer of Sam, and Wes Anderson got to make Rushmore. It was because of the tastes of a guy named Joe Roth who ran Fox, and ran Disney. We never had to beg for money, and we never had to protect the cuts.” 36

Even if not for Roth’s old school style and reluctance to treat test screenings as more than just another metric, Cusack also wrote and co-produced Grosse Pointe Blank and High Fidelity. Wearing multiple hats in Hollywood doesn’t always mean you get your way. But at the time, Cusack’s artistic vision and authority on both films were nearly absolute. “I sort of bridged the gap between the 60s and 70s filmmaking culture and from about 2000 on when the film companies became a very, very, small fraction of multinational corporations,” he recalled. “All I had to do for those movies was tell Joe, ‘We’re going to shoot this in 48 days.’ I wasn’t going to go a day over schedule or waste any of his money. We didn’t have to deal with financiers or studio interference. I never felt like any film I made with Joe was compromised artistically. It was a different era.” Cusack has an impressive history of prophetic films that seemed to predict everything from the rise of mixed martial arts to the renaissance of vinyl records. And even though politics can be polarizing, his films never shy away from them.

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“But I’ve always been pretty consistent about needing to say what you feel and the need to put provocative stuff, dangerous stuff into art.” Have his outspoken opinions closed some doors, or opened others? If so, he hasn’t noticed, and doubts any such differences or decisions run that deep. Much like his earlier characters, Cusack still isn’t worried about winning a high school popularity contest or becoming prom king. “Hollywood financiers have become far more shallow and the ethics are so transactional, I don’t think people pay attention long enough to consider politics as much as what’s hot right now,” he opined. “But I’ve always been pretty consistent about needing to say what you feel and the need to put provocative stuff, dangerous stuff into art.” Cusack’s characters are often an everyman at odds with the status quo, though he can still pull off the affable anti-hero— as a serial grifter, a contract killer, and a political assassin. But Cusack is also an underrated chameleon, having transformed into a surprising range of real-life characters, from Nelson Rockefeller in Cradle Will Rock and Edgar Allan Poe in The Raven to Richard Nixon in Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Brian Wilson in Love & Mercy. Inhabiting someone else’s skin is a challenge and responsibility he doesn’t take lightly. “You immerse yourself in a character. Obviously Edgar Allan Poe and Richard Nixon aren’t going to give you any notes. But I hope the real-life characters I’ve played represent the essence of them, the spirit of them. You don’t want to do a literal imitation, but you hope you capture some part of them that’s eternal.” With the advent of streaming services and digital downloads, Cusack’s earlier work is connecting with new fans, often the children of those who came of age in the 80s and 90s. And though some actors may cringe at the prospect of their earlier endeavors becoming easier to find and effectively lasting forever, the timelessness of Cusack’s films, old and new, still rings true. “There’s a great story about one of my favorite films, Sweet Smell of Success. It came out and got savage reviews. People can’t see new art when it comes out. So it sat on a shelf until someone at WGN said, ‘We have this Burt Lancaster/Tony Curtis movie. Why don’t we start playing it?” It got a cult following being screened at 10 o’clock or midnight on,” Cusack explained. “Then Barry Levinson had one of the characters in Diner quoting from the movie all the time. It finally started to get looked at again, and it’s a classic. It’s easily considered Lancaster and Curtis’ best work, but it was gone for 30 years. Now, you can’t kill a film. No matter what you do to a film, it’s going to find its audience sooner or later.” • CAPA will be presenting a live Q&A with John Cusack following a screening of High Fidelity at the Palace Theatre on February 15. Visit www.capa.com for details and ticket information. 614columbus.com

FEBRUARY 2019 (614) Magazine


Lalese Stamps, Ceramics

maker’s space

p hotos by b ri an kai ser


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By Mik e T homas

alese Stamps has always felt driven to create, no matter what form that creativity may take. The Milwaukee native initially pursued a degree in architecture at Columbia College in Chicago before deciding the field was not for her. After relocating to Columbus, Stamps found a home among the city’s thriving arts community, eventually earning a degree in advertising and design from the Columbus College of Art and Design. In addition to a fulfilling design career, Stamps has found success as a potter, crafting ceramic pieces that are at once functional and aesthetically charming. Recently, Stamps spoke to (614) about her ceramic work, her creative process, and what inspires her to create.

(614): Is this your primary gig, side gig, or hobby? How did it come to be? Stamps: Making ceramics is NOT my primary gig. I work as a designer for Ologie. Managing Lolly Lolly Ceramics has been a side hustle of mine for the past two years. I first started when I took a class at the Cultural Arts Center a few years ago. I never really thought it would take off as a small business at that time, but eventually I started selling my work and never looked back. No one will really let me stop at this point; people keep asking for more. 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 love being a designer. My focus is in branding. Growing as a designer has been very fulfilling so I don’t entirely feel like making ceramics is “the thing I do” yet. I think others would disagree with me [...but] most people probably don’t know that I’m a full-time designer. People usually reach out to me with, “Hey, my friend has a ceramic mug of yours and I would like one too!” This happens mostly through Instagram. I’m only selling at the Columbus Flea at the moment, so I don’t think people even know how to find me. I just designed and launched a website, which is so exciting. Part of me feels like I should’ve done that a while ago, but at the same time I’ve let the process of growth happen naturally and at my own pace. What ingredients come together to make Columbus fertile ground for makers, designers, and creatives? I’ve lived in Columbus for nearly seven years now and I’ve met so many creatives here, really talented people, and it seems like the most important ingredient is support of one another. As a black woman, it can be a struggle to relate to other artists. What other ceramic artist do you know that is a person of color? Showing up for one another across creative outlets is so important especially when space and financial support can very limited to emerging artists. What is your six-word creative story? Diligent, curious, patient, kind, honest, fearless. • 614columbus.com

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“ Improvisation is necessary in all facets of life. ” With your work in ceramics, is there always a set plan, or is some level of improvisation involved? I put together a general plan of action. This typically revolves around the Columbus Flea. I ask myself how many pieces I can prepare to sell at the Flea and go from there. This mindset is shifting for me though. As the awareness of my brand expands, I’ve adjusted my plan of action to take into consideration handling other platforms such as wholesaling and ecommerce, for example. There are a lot of steps that go into making a ceramic piece. It can be exhausting sometimes. I try to plan each step ahead of time so that I don’t get stuck in a situation where I can’t make a deadline. Improvisation is necessary in all facets of life, of course. I learned that really early on in my career. Do you work alone, or have you ever collaborated on a piece? If so, with whom? Who would you like to work with in the future? I work alone for the most part. It’s really therapeutic for me. I have collaborated on a few pieces with my good friend, Annie Russell. She has this really incredible illustrative style. We collaborated on a candle that is super cool. I made the ceramic vessel from porcelain, she painted her illustrations on them, and then we made the candles together. This sounds like a stretch, but in an attempt to put good energy into the universe, I would love to work with Solange! She’s so magical. At the very least, I would love for her to have one of my mugs. It’s the best feeling when people you admire have one of your pieces. •


FEBRUARY 2019 (614) Magazine


Gallery Space

John Waters: Indecent Exposure By Danny Hamen | This exhibition is organized by The Baltimore Museum of Art

• John Waters ....And Your Family Too , 2009 4 chromogenic prints Agnes Gund Collection, New York Image courtesy of Marianne Boesky Gallery © John Waters

My first exposure to the work of John Waters is as banal as it gets—a pubescent 15-year-old boy greedily popping in a VHS tape of a film that touted itself as the filthiest movie ever made: “Pink Flamingos.” But as the years rolled by, my palate matured to appreciate Waters’s contribution to the American cinematic lexicon beyond baseless shock value. Sure, the experimental Baltimore-based filmmaker has certainly deconstructed the 50’s puritanical model in which he was raised with sleazy, postmodern zeal, but there is much more to Waters than freaking out audiences. A cultural icon for individualism, Waters is emblematic of artistic force and deviant expression—a shining star of queer and racial identity. His newest art exhibition, “John Waters: Indecent Exposure.” is a wide assortment of Waters’s visual art, presenting over 160 photos, sculptures, writings and films that has been waiting in his arsenal over the past decade. By bringing his darkest fascinations to light, we get to see inside the mind of the 60-something sophisticate, armed with a camera, a pencil thin mustache, and anecdotally, a lifetime supply of poppers.

•J ohn Waters Beverly Hills John , 2012 Chromogrenic print Rubell Family Collection, Miami Image courtesy of Marianne Boesky Gallery © John Waters

•J ohn Waters Jackie Copies Divine’s Look, 2001 Vinyl doll in fabric clothing with glass vitrine. Collection of James Mounger, New Orleans. Image courtesy of Marianne Boesky Gallery © John Waters

(614): Tell me about the genesis of Indecent Exposure. Waters: It began, I guess in 1992, which is probably the date of the earliest

piece that is in here when I secretly took pictures off the television screen. Then Colin de Land, an art dealer in New York who I really enjoy, asked me if I’ve ever done anything with them. I guess you can say I’m celebrating familiar and insider knowledge of the film and art business in a way that’s hopefully humorous, because I like to make fun of things that I really like.

Do you think this work shares the same artistic goals of your films? • John Waters Study Art Sign (For Prestige or Spite), 2007 Acrylic and urethane on wood and aluminum Courtesy of Sprüth Magers Gallery © John Waters


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W: I think saying “artistic goals” might be a little lofty. You could say it, but I wouldn’t say it about myself certainly. I think everything that I do—my spoken word shows, my books, my movies, my photographs, my sculpture—all have the same value, which is that I am trying to make you laugh at things that things that maybe aren’t funny in real life and to get you to see something in a different way and to accept things that go wrong and fail and that are incomprehensible to the regular people that go look at art.

Give us a couple of examples of your work and what it means to you. W: Well, I love to do jokes on minimalism. I have a piece in there called “21 Pasolini Pimples.” At first, you think that they are just nipples, but they’re not. From seeing so many Pasolini movies, I realized that he liked men that had pimples. So, I went through all of his movies and just cut out all of the pimples as artlessly as I could, glued them down in a kind of kindergarten way to show a very obscure fetish that maybe no one ever noticed about Pasolini.

I did the same thing by collaging Grace Kelly’s elbows, because I think she has such beautiful elbows. But do men ever say, “Wow nice elbows?” I just wanted to have a piece that wasn’t sexist that was calling out “Hey! Great elbows you got there!” Each time I try to notice things you’re not supposed to notice. Would you describe your exhibition as a comedy showcase? W: Sure, because my entire goal is to make people laugh. But there are parts that are also serious. You look at this piece called “9/11” and it’s just the name of two movies that are completely forgettable that were on the planes that crashed that day. A terrible detail can be something that makes you makes you go “whoa.” When you look at it, it is completely benign, but when you find out why it makes you think of those movies in a whole different way. I am always trying to take the original meaning of whatever the original films were and convert it into something completely different than the writer or film director ever imagined. How do you define trash? W: Trash as a word is kind of overused. I did “Mondo Trasho” when Warhol did “Trash” and we had no idea we were using those terms at the exact same time until the films were released. I once had a critic say, “Why do you beat us to the typewriter by calling your own work trash?” I wanted to take that word and make it my own. How has your audience reactions changed since you first started your career? W: Well what I did in the beginning of my career is on television now…. So what I am saying is that it is much closer to what American humor is today. Today I think what you have to do is make people laugh at something they wouldn’t normally laugh at to get people to listen.

“Indecent Exposure” runs from Feb. 2 to Apr. 28 at the Wexner Center for the Arts. 614columbus.com

FEBRUARY 2019 (614) Magazine


No Place Like Home At Ambrose and Eve, comfort defines more than the food By K ev i n J. E l l i ott | p h otos by b r i a n ka i s e r


everal months back, when I first interviewed the dynamic duo of Catie Randazzo and Matthew Heaggans upon opening their now omnipresent Preston’s burger joint, they had been prepping and planning Ambrose and Eve for a significant time. But they had very little to reveal other than saying that the restaurant would be an upscale dining experience—as opposed to the luxury junk food of Challah, the food truck, and Preston’s—and that it would be like “the best dinner party ever thrown, but every night of the week.”

“I’ve always felt frequent, but wellexecuted change is the way to see people often.” Sure, that’s a bold statement, but think about who’s doing the talking. If you’ve come to recognize Challah and Preston’s as institutions in the Columbus food scene, then you should trust in the words and culinary aspirations of Randazzo and Heaggans. And with Ambrose and Eve being the all-encompassing gem in their growing empire, you should trust that despite major setbacks, this is the duo at the height of their conceptual powers. The cozy South High Street spot has only been open a little over two months, but it’s already become a regular haunt for foodies in the know, and a buzzy destination picked by national publications eager to find the next great food city. Repeat business proves they’re doing something right, especially with a menu that aims to challenge as much as it does comfort its guests. “I’ve always felt frequent, but well-executed change is the way to see people often,” says Heaggans. “We try to keep the food fresh and interesting so people don’t get bored. I’m super grateful to a lot of our diners who come here over and over again. Our reservation system tracks who’s dining with us and a really large chunk of our reservations day to day are people who have dined with us before, and we’ve only been around for a short spell.” • 614columbus.com

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Indeed, comfort is key in creating a culture. And seeing that there was a particular need in Columbus dining for what Heaggans calls a “homey sort of restaurant,” the simple-yet-refined design of the space—like stepping into a farmhouse dining room or a grandparent’s generational home—and familiar-yet-elevated scope of the menu, creates an experience that few places in the city could replicate. The menu has a number of traditional staples inspired by comfy diners and home-cooked meals. Chicken and dumplings, fried chicken, pot roast, shrimp scampi, and spaghetti-o’s, mingle with pastrami carrots, veal sweetbreads, and the show-stopping red oil tatare: all delicacies for all palettes. Yet each plate is presented with a particularly leveled-up crux of flavors. The aforementioned lunchtime snack that came from a Chef Boyardee can, is prepared instead with a housemade anelli pasta and sauce with meatballs culled from a mythical secret recipe. While the red oil tartare, though perhaps a challenge for some, is raw beef tendon expertly mixed with garlic chips, sesame, sunflower, rice, vinegar, and served with the spot’s signature scallion rolls. With snacks, shares, unparalleled veggie dishes, and over-the-top family dinners, the duo’s collaboration to distill their influences into a comfortable but challenging menu, guarantees those return visits continue, as it’s ever-changing, and as everything is worth a try. “When one of us has an idea for a dish, we talk about it,” says Randazzo about the creation of a new dish. “We talk about the integrity of it, how to manipulate it, update it, the texture, the plating, the acidity, all facets of what we want the dish to be. Then we make the dish. We eat it. We discuss if it needs more salt, acid, fat, or heat. We remake the dish. We discuss it again.” But as comfortable as Ambrose and Eve can seem on a relaxing night out, or as compatible as the menu can be given its range and warmth, semantics rule. Randazzo and Heaggans will always prefer “lost sleep” and outright “exhaustion” to keep the restaurant outside too much of a comfort zone. As much as they provide the simplicity of a great meal, they are always keeping Columbus diners on their toes. “Columbus still has room to grow,” says Randazzo. “I often find people saying, ‘Well it’s good for Columbus.’ I don’t want to hear that; I think it’s a cop out. We as chefs need to push ourselves, and push the boundaries that has made the food scene in Columbus comfortable. If we really want to get on the food map then we need to take chances. I love Columbus and I always will. It is my home, and I want to do as much as I can for this city. Whether with food, volunteering, or lending a hand to whomever I can. But there is still work to be done, and I am ready to put the time in.” • Ambrose and Eve is at 716 S High St. Visit ambroseandevecolumbus.com for a menu and reservations.


FEBRUARY 2019 (614) Magazine


Former Northstar partner opens Short North bagel shop by Regin a Fox Ph otos by bria n ka i s er

Did you know there’s a place in the Short North where you can find an Instagramworthy cheese pull and parking? Sturgill Simpson and salmon? Bread dough but not dollar dough? This enigma is not really an enigma at all, but rather The Lox Bagel Shop. Cash-free and as delectable as can be, Lox Bagel is drawing crowds and pulling “likes” for its hand-rolled, boiled, and baked bagels with such gaily-colored innards as beet and thyme cream cheese, pastrami, cucumber, capers, avocado, and, of course, lox. The schtick and schmear is all courtesy of Cincinnati transplant-turned Ohio State Buckeye, then Italian Village resident, Kevin Crowley and his partner in crime Silas Caeton. The burgeoning bageler got his start at Northstar, a quick half-mile walk down High Street. From his more than five years at the environmentally-conscious cafe, Crowley gleaned the importance of exceptional food and service and treating people with respect. “We chose to put our employees as our top priority, even above our guests,” Crowley wrote in an email. “We do this because if we can have an engaged, happy, healthy, and balanced team, then the obvious next step is guests that are well taken care of, as well.” And well taken care of we are. What writing lacks in monetary benefits, it more than makes up for in freebies and invitations. I, along with another (614) staffer, was lucky enough to get a sneak peak of “Lox” a few days before it opened. As soon as we got there, I took note of Crowley’s composure during the chaos that ensued on the eve of opening day. Crowley strode throughout the dining area and kitchen—signing papers and crushing inspections—with the one thing business owners who believe in their product are afforded: confidence. He took us back into the small and toasty kitchen to show us where the magic happens. The kitchen is small in a way that not even a petite, 48

(614) Magazine FEBRUARY 2019 614columbus.com

agile person would be able to navigate without the constant “Behind!” or “Ope, I’m just gonna slide right past you” warnings. Tall baking racks with peeled-back plastic reveal trays of post-boiled bagels in their proofing phase. The boiler itself which resembles an art classroom kiln, an assembly line complete with all the best bagel accessories, and tables covered with bread in various phases cluttering the kitchen. But, perhaps the biggest obstacle of all for the busy bakers is the massive Wood Stone oven. The glow of the XL-refrigerator-sized oven warms the faces of those keeping a watchful eye over the bagels, making sure each and every one receives a perfect tan and crackling crust. Also in the kitchen are shiny metal tubs filled with the finished product. Crowley caught me eye-flirting with the bagels and encouraged me to try one.

“Don’t feel like you have to finish it, though,” he assured. Crowley demonstrated by picking one up, tearing it open with his hands, biting off a mouthful, and discarding the rest in the trash. My eyes bulged. That was a perfectly good bagel, I thought. Great, in fact. I followed suit by carefully selecting what I thought was the most blue-ribbon grade bagel in the bunch. But, instead of tossing most of it in the trash after one bite, I enjoyed it down to the last sprig of rosemary. Great indeed. As we left the kitchen, I gave one final glance to the fallen bagel that wasn’t worthy of Crowley’s time or appetite. Splayed open atop a mess of plastic wrap, latex gloves, and a slew of other kitchen-related garbage, I realized that despite my non-discriminatory palate, not all bagels are created equal. “[The perfect bagel for us] is a product that has been cold fermented for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days, has a nice, golden exterior crust with a nice textural difference between the exterior and the soft, chewy interior,” wrote Crowley. “[It’s] well seasoned and well seeded in order to provide both a great sandwich making bagel but also a great bagel on its own.” Starting out, Lox will offer four bagels: everything, plain, seasalt and herb, and sesame. These pieces of bread can be dolled up with several different spreads and jellies. The breakfast bagel is egg and cheese, but can be made your way with bacon, sausage, pastrami, or avocado for an upcharge. The Lox bagel is ready to go at breakfast and/or lunch.There are rotating sides and salads for sale and breakfast sandwiches like pork and veggie. For the featured sandwich, just ask. I was wiping cream cheese from my cheek with the corner of my fried chicken skin bagel sandwich (cute, Regina, real cute) when Crowley came over to hand me the “perfect bagel.” Browned to perfection, bubbly, full of body. To me it looked like every single one of the bagels coming out of the Lox kitchen. But who am I to argue? • The Lox Bagel Shop is located at 772 N High St Suite 106 in the Short North. It’s open 7:30am to 2 pm Monday-Friday and 8 am to 2 pm on the weekends or until it sells out. 614columbus.com

FEBRUARY 2019 (614) Magazine


Southern comfort in Norther n Columbus


(614) Magazine FEBRUARY 2019 614columbus.com

Dublin-located Hen Quarter Restaurant puts a twist on classic southern fare By Linda Lee Ba r d • P HOTOS BY BRIAN KAIS ER


felt a moment of guilt when the $16 Hen Quarter house burger was placed in front of me and I immediately thought of fast food. It was the double patty that did it. At higher-end restaurants, I’m used to a thick single patty that’s mostly left to speak for itself. Hen Quarter’s burger, by contrast, stacks two four ounce patties atop one another and covers both with gooey American cheese and classic fixings reminiscent of a drive-thru. My first bite only made the association stronger. General Manager Alison Armstrong then explained that she’d challenged Executive Chef Cullen Flinn to reinterpret the In-N-Out Burger for their menu. Suddenly, I understood. I was not eating fast food, but rather a stellar tribute to it. And it was delightful. Serving a southern-style menu, Hen Quarter opened in Dublin’s Bridge Park this past October—the result of a “gentleman’s bet” between owner Ron Jordan and his friend Warren Thompson, who owns three DC-area restaurants by the same name. “Ron was at the grand opening [for one of Thompson’s DC restaurants] and said, ‘I bet you I can do it better,’ ” Armstrong explained. The challenge was quickly accepted. The two men partnered closely to prepare for the Columbus opening. Armstrong and other staff spent some time working in Thompson’s east coast kitchens to get a feel for the concept, while at the same time coming up with ideas about how to adapt Hen Quarter for the Columbus market. “We had full autonomy—this is not a franchise— we’re a licensee of the brand. So the name is the same, and other than that it is quite different,” she said. The wine program at Dublin’s Hen Quarter sets it apart not only from its peers out east, but also from other restaurants in Columbus. Armstrong, a certified sommelier, assembled a collection of over 700 bottles of wine that are stored in temperature-controlled glass cases throughout the restaurant. The rare offerings include a 2015 Sassicaia, rated the best wine in the world by Wine Spectator in 2018. “I believe we are the only restaurant in Ohio, let alone Columbus, that has two Sassicaia bottles,” Armstrong said. No need to be intimidated if you, like me, are learning about this vintage for the first time. Above all, Hen Quarter aims to keep it fun and make sure everyone feels welcome. Chef Flinn’s approachable food menu all but assures this. The dinner options include pork chops, shrimp and grits, and fried chicken (served with or without a waffle). Mac and cheese and collard greens are among the traditional • 614columbus.com

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“ You come here, you can have a thousand dollar bottle of wine. You can have a $400 pour of liquor, and you can just, you know, wear your sweatpants and chill. ” side offerings. Flinn sources his food locally whenever possible, acquiring everything from meat to maple syrup to moonshine from nearby purveyors. “We do have a really good food program here in Columbus, and that’s our biggest thing, is we’re trying to drive this restaurant to showcase what we have and what we can utilize just inside the city itself,” he said. The standout cocktail menu is worth a look, even for wine drinkers. Each of the 10 signature cocktails is named for a classic hip hop song, and the list is likely to leave you humming your favorite college dance tune while you wait for your drink. Options like the “Empire State of Mind,” Master Mixologist Tyler Plymale’s smoky take on a manhattan, and the “Five on It,” featuring a secret-recipe green chartreuse sourced from French monks, strike the balance of whimsy and complexity that distinguishes the restaurant. The staff is invested in creating an atmosphere that is different from other local dining experiences by combining a “lounge-like vibe” with an upscale menu. As for a dress code? It’s very much come as you are. “You come here, you can have a thousand dollar bottle of wine. You can have a $400 pour of liquor, and you can just, you know, wear your sweatpants and chill,” Plymale said. And their approach seems to be working. The restaurant recently had a record-setting day during what is typically a slower period—post-holidays, and the DC Hen Quarter restaurants are now looking to their Columbus sibling for inspiration. Indeed, Jordan’s bet with Thompson that brought Hen Quarter to Columbus in the first place appears to have paid off. “I don’t know if the words ‘You won’ were said,” Armstrong speculated, “But I think that they might have been said in private.” •

Hen Quarter is located at 6628 Riverside Drive in Dublin. It will hold regular wine and bourbon-themed events beginning this Spring. To learn more, visit henquarterdublin.com. 614columbus.com

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SMALL TALK, BIG SHOTS By Regina Fox Photos by brian kaiser

Clintonville clothing shop boasts inclusivity, quality 54

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o ming from a town where Wrangler jeans and Carhartt are worn strictly by farm boys and the edgier kids continue to sport floppy Osiris shoes, I’m still taken aback at the progressiveness of Columbus fashion after more than six years of calling this place home. So, when I heard about Small Talk and its unisex clothing, my interest was piqued. Small Talk is a clothing shop in Clintonville starting some big conversations here in Columbus. The owners, Suzanne Riska and Chloe Crites, are on a mission to provide Columbus with a destination for “ethically made apparel for all walks of life.” From XXS to 4X, Small Talk carries the kinds of clothes you have to stop and touch—the kinds that can’t fully be appreciated online. The pure denim, wool, cashmere, knits, cords, linens, and stretchy cottons just wouldn’t translate properly in a thumbnail image. The colors of the blouses, sweaters, and jumpers all fall into the same non-abrasive color pallet. You won’t find any loud blues or bright yellows, but rather more of the colors you’d find in nature. The styles are also more natural to accommodate all customers and evolving fashion trends.

“Life is too short not to wear what makes you feel the way you want to feel, whether that is fulfilled, comfortable, represented, happy, or something else.” “From the beginning we wanted to carry unisex clothing because we love the aesthetic, and we love that it is already made to be for everyone,” Riska said. She explained that fashion as a whole is beginning to blur the lines between stereotypical masculine and feminine clothes to create what Riska feels are “blank canvases for the person wearing them.” “More and more we see that our customers don’t care for the idea that a certain style is already decided for them ahead of time. Life is too short not to wear what makes you feel the way you want to feel, whether that is fulfilled, comfortable, represented, happy, or something else.” she said. The clothes are irresistable, and the shop with its wood floors and wicker furnishings is straight from your Instagram Explore. But, to walk out with just a couple items is likely to set you back a couple Benjamin Franklins. Riska promises their products are worth every penny, though. “Would you rather have five things you kind of liked that might last a year, or one thing you absolutely love that would last 10 years?” questioned Riska. From $30 Cincinnati-based Parative Project tees all the way up to $250 Ace & Jig dresses, Small Talk clothes are built to last. And, given the choice, Riska and Crites would rather provide people a place to buy an investment piece rather than another hub for mass-produced, over-consumed fashion, even if it means compromising their own monetary gain. “We have thought of how easy and profitable it would be to order merchandise from brand-less companies that would allow us to sell things for cheap and have a bigger markup,” confessed Riska. “But honestly, if that’s what we wanted to do we might as well work for any of the department stores already doing that.” • •M odels : Adam Elkins and Sarah Jean Achor Chaqueta in Colorblock: $176 Lounger Pants in Colorblock: $124 Noon Top in Colorblock: $122 614columbus.com

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“Would you rather have five things you kind of liked that might last a year, or one thing you absolutely love that would last 10 years?” Another reason for the steep tags is the way in which the fashion is produced. “For each item [in the shop], somebody was paid a fair wage to make it and is able to support themselves off the wages earned,” said Riska. “It’s giving power back to the makers of the clothing we carry.” Makers. I’m glad she brought them up because they are pretty special. Each designer in Small Talk’s carefully curated catalog has been handpicked not only because of their high-quality products, but because of what they stand for. These are people from all over who Riska and Crites have been admiring from afar for years and are finally getting a chance to support right here in central Ohio. “We choose to support these particular designers because they stand for everything we believe in as a company,” explained Riska. “Every brand we work with consists of wonderful humans who care about making beautiful pieces for all types of bodies.” She added that the designers also align with the shop’s commitment to the environment. “For example, we carry an amazing designer from Austin, Texas named Miranda Bennett and she uses 56

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• ( Top Right)Models : Adam Elkins and Sarah Jean Achor Poet Sleves Ribbed Sweater from 7115 by Szeki: $168 Mila Top in Navy Corduroy from Sugar Candy Mountain: $154 (Bottom Right) Owners Suzanne Riska (left) and Chloe Crites (right).

every scrap of fabric to create something useful [like children’s clothing, handkerchiefs, and head wraps],” said Riska. “She only uses plant-based dyes, and has shifted towards using only recycled materials for her dyes, like sawdust from a local mill and avocado pits and skins from local food suppliers.” Small Talk has also cultivated a safe space for the community to gather, not for botox parties, but rather for valuable human connection. The events range from meet and greets with Small Talk designers, to workshops with local vendors like Wild Origins to teach the community how to make tea. “It has been an amazing opportunity for us to meet new people in Columbus who are interested in what we do here, and it’s also extremely rewarding to be able to provide a space for local makers and creatives to teach and expand their own businesses,” wrote Riska. “Being a part of this community in Columbus has been our favorite part of this whole process.” • Small Talk is located at 3337 N High St. and is open Tuesday-Friday 10am-7pm, Saturday 10am-4pm, Sunday 12-4pm, and closed Monday.


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No booze? No problem. Non-alcoholic cocktails are making a splash in Columbus By Mi k e T homas • photos by b r i a n ka i s e r

The N/Agroni at Watershed Kitchen


or Columbus writer Shelley Mann, the lifestyle that came with her role as food and beverage editor for publications such as Columbus Alive and Columbus Monthly came to be too much. Nights spent drinking with friends coupled with work that found Mann in several bars a week began to take a toll on her creativity. “All my spare time before would be spent at a bar, or hung over, unable to string words together,” Mann explained. “I made the decision to stop drinking because I wanted to, because I thought my life would be more manageable and enjoyable if I wasn’t hung over every day.” Mann gave up alcohol three and half years ago, and has since gone on to launch her own marketing firm, Umami Consulting. Though steadfast in her commitment to leave booze behind, she continued to feel the pull of certain aspects of the bar scene. “I really missed going to a bar and ordering a cocktail, all the ingredients and effort that goes into it,” said Mann. “I missed that part of drinking, and I have been looking for substitutes— ways I can go out and feel like nothing’s different.” Mann is not alone in her desire for normally-priced, expertly-crafted non-alcoholic options. Still, large segments of the population who avoid alcohol for many reasons are often left out of consideration in bar menus. Though choosing not to partake, many non-drinkers nevertheless find themselves in these spaces due to the role that bars play as hubs for social gathering. In order to reach non-drinkers with options tailored to fit their needs, several Columbus area watering holes have added “n/a” options to their menus. ( Just don’t call them “mocktails,” a word that is viewed with growing disdain among fans of expertly crafted zero-proof drinks.) Leading the charge in the push for non-alcoholic options is the kitchen and bar at Watershed Distillery in Grandview.


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While the primary business may be all about the hard stuff, n/a drink options have been on the menu since May 2017. “I spend a lot of time in Chicago, and I noticed every cocktail bar I went to included options without alcohol, or at least some language on how to start a conversation with your bar person to concoct something no-proof,” explained Watershed bar manager Josh Gandee. “So we thought, ‘Why not here?’ ” Currently in Watershed’s growing n/a rotation are drinks such as the Banana Up-Do—an alcohol-free take on the classic pina colada, and the Winter N/Agroni, which is, you guessed it, a booze-free Negroni. Drinks in the n/a section are priced around eight to nine dollars, reflecting the quality ingredients and technique involved in their service. Joining Watershed in the n/a movement is Franklinton bar and restaurant Strongwater, whose line of alcoholfree libations come in the form of drinking vinegars known as “shrubs.” A passion project for general manager Lauren Conrath, Strongwater’s n/a program launched in June of 2018, with offerings rotating seasonally. “I think my interest in the non-alcoholic beverage program came from when my best friend was pregnant. It wasn’t until then that I realized how much casual socialization revolves around drinking or being in a bar,” said Conrath. “Once I started thinking about it, I realized there are people who don’t drink for religious or dietary reasons, so it just seemed like a really fun thing to play with that there would be demand for.” Not satisfied with alcohol-free spins on standard cocktails, Conrath sought a unique take on the n/a concept. This path eventually led to shrubs as Strongwater’s primary zeroproof offering.

“It’s a lot of educating people about what [shrubs] are. When you say, ‘It’s a drinking vinegar,” that doesn’t necessarily sound that appealing,” Conrath explains of the unique beverage, which dates back to the American Colonial period. Tart and subtly sweet, Strongwater’s pomegranate-rosemary shrub is refreshing, with mild effervescence suggestive of kombucha. The blackberry shrub is infused with allspice and anise, evoking holiday memories through generous use of spice. Joining Watershed and Strongwater, local favorites Mouton, Comune, and Veritas, are among the growing list of Columbus establishments to feature n/a options as part of their regular menu. This phenomenon speaks to the fact that those who choose not to partake in alcohol are still likely to meet socially in bars, and they’re willing to pay for a full experience. While n/a cocktails might never overcome their boozy peers as top-earners for bars and restaurants, many still find value in providing their guests with the option. This is not just another menu item, but a move toward better inclusion, offering those who choose not to imbibe with an equal spot at the table— or bar. •

The No Worries at Comune


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By J eni Ruisch • photos by b r i a n ka i s er

Treasure Chest: A Gal Named Cinda Lou


ulia Bennati has been running her vintage shop for over a decade now, and shows no signs of slowing. 12 years of being a business owner in her hometown of Westerville have taught her a lot. With her shop dog, Boston Terrier Henry, and an array of mid-century finds, Bennati enjoys her uptown niche. (614) caught up with Bennati and chatted about her role as a vintage finder and business owner. She gives us a peek into her brand, and some of her favorite finds.

skinny body. They have a pull string on the back of their heads you can pull to change the color of the doll’s eyes! They weren’t super popular so the vintage dolls are rare. You can easily find new Blythe dolls but I am in search for a vintage one of course. When did you develop your passion for collecting?

Bennati: We sell a mixture of vintage. We have home decor, records, clothing, and jewelry, plus, handmade and novelty items. We specialize in items from the mid-century era. I personally love all the colorful patterns and prints from the 60s and 70s.

I’ve been collecting vintage since I was a teenager. I even had a “hope chest” with items I saved for my future house! I got my everyday dining plates when I was 16 years old. I still use them every day. My mom and I loved to go to antique malls and vintage shops growing up. She collected antiques but I liked the newer vintage things that weren’t as commonly found in these place yet [...] stuff from the 60s and 70s. My older brother decorated in the mid century style so I guess I’ll say he was a big influence in me getting into vintage myself.

What’s your vintage holy grail?

You have a pretty big vinyl section, too...

A Holy Grail I am always looking for and have yet to find is a vintage Blythe doll in the wild. I don’t collect a lot of toys but do like weird dolls. Blythe dolls came out in the 1970s. They have a large head and a

My dad influenced me with his record collecting. I grew up around a huge collection of music. Saw and smelled a lot of strange things in record stores growing up. Family vacations were often centered

(614): What can one find at A Gal Named Cinda Lou?


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around finding records. Our basement was our own personal record store. I would learn about different music by pulling out records and if I thought the cover looked cool I’d try it out. It’s so fun to have a shop that includes a mini record store inside because I see kids with their parents looking through the records and it brings back fun memories. What does your house look like? Is it a treasure trove? I would say 80% of my house is decorated in vintage. Don’t be afraid to try something different. Buying vintage doesn’t have to be expensive and that makes it easy to try things. I’ve helped my friend decorate her nursery with a mix of vintage and new. My most recent project was decorating the apartment above our shop. We now rent it out as an Airbnb. My dad always says that I keep all the good stuff for myself [...] although there are times items will come live at my house for a while then end up in the shop. I like to change things around. Collecting good merchandise is always a good start to opening a vintage shop. A lot of people that sell vintage start out as collectors. I think it’s because we are treasure hunters and eventually want to share our finds with others. Any tips for hunting? Not all vintage is created equal! Make sure to invest in vintage that is unique. If there are fewer of something, all the better! To say that there is value in all vintage would be a lie…. There are things that just aren’t worth the space in our shop. Not to say someone wouldn’t want them in the world. Unfortunately some vintage items don’t fit into our modern lives [...] like sets of fancy china that serve 12. Why did you choose Westerville as your HQ? I grew up in Westerville so we decided it was a good place to start. Uptown Westerville especially has a special place in my heart. It’s got that old-fashioned, small-town vibe. My mom and I started the business together. My dad also plays a huge role in the business. We work well together. I live a half a mile away from my work! I can walk when I want to. You can’t beat that. • Stop at 20 N State St. in Westerville for your antiquing fix. See cindaloushop.com for hours. 614columbus.com

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Coming from a small town, I am baffled whenever I hear someone say they are bored in Columbus. Are you serious? Do you know what we did for fun in my hometown when winter time hit? We did laps around WalMart and drank $2.29 PBRs at the local Applebee’s. If we were lucky, they’d hand us the AUX cord after 10 p.m. I won’t take it any longer, Columbusites. Sure, it’s cold out, and getting anywhere in this weather adds an extra 15 minutes to your drive, but there’s only one way to beat these winter blues and that means distracting yourself until warmer weather returns.

Omega Artisan Baking | 59 Spruce St.

Columbus, let’s get this bread! Better yet, let’s make this bread! These classes offer a variation of breads from flatbreads to sourdoughs, and it offers refreshments midway through as the bread baking business is a lengthy process (about three hours in total).

North High Brewing: Brew Your Own Beer 1288 N High St.

This is a hobby that is best done with friends, and with patience. North High Brewing offers a brew your own beer event where you and your friends will be using a recipe from North High Brewing to craft your own beer. The cost is in the $190 to $240 (plus taxes) range plus an additional $90 for the bottling process, but that’s per batch, not per person, so load up on friends so the price per person drops significantly. After three hours at North High, and a three week waiting process, you’ll be looking at about 15 gallons of beer (roughly a keg) that can be bottled with your own customized logo!

Bareclay Pottery Classes 734 E Lincoln Ave.

Whether it’s Monday afternoon or good old date night, Bareclay Pottery Classes is probably hosting some sort of pottery class. Here you will learn how to use the pottery wheel which is visually satisfying alone, plus instructors will be on hand to dish out tips for glazing and the addition of other art media to your creation.

Studio 614 | 2487 Summit St.

All the crafty people on Pinterest create the illusion that these DIY projects are quick, simple, and fun for the family, that is, until you sit down and spill your glue on the carpet. Don’t let this discourage you. You just need some assistance, and with Studio 614’s myriad of DIY classes, painting courses, and anything in between, you’ll have the skills necessary to start crafting your very own decorations for your home.


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The Seasoned Farmhouse | 3674 N High St.

Isn’t it weird how our day revolves around our eating schedule, but when it comes time to whip up a meal in the kitchen, we hardly venture from the norm? At The Seasoned Farmhouse, each class is a chance to learn how to cook with seasonal ingredients so you can go home with the knowledge on how to wow your guests at your next (and potentially first ever) dinner party, or simply add a new recipe to your wheelhouse.

Planthropy: Public Workshops and Private Planting Parties planthropy.co

Living in the city doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your green thumb; it means you have to get creative. Luckily, the interior designers and “plant people” at Planthropy are here to help an urban gardener in need. With their private parties, you and 12 friends can dive into the world of planting and maintaining succulents. Alternatively, the public workshops offer classes at places like The Candle Lab.

The Candle Lab | thecandlelab.com

The Candle Lab hosts tons of events each month pairing different things with candles. Events include the aforementioned succulent and candles class, or the Lights and Flights events where patrons can create an 8 oz. candle in addition to enjoying a flight of wine. There’s also chances to get active while you’re here where you’ll pour your own candle, and while they harden, you’ll spend time practicing yoga.

Glass Axis | 610 W Town St.

It’ll take a little time and lots of patience, but once you get the hang of it, glass blowing could be the most satisfying crafting hobby on this list. From learning the basics to venturing into sculpting and flamework, Glass Axis offers an extremely comprehensive course load to flame your glass blowing fires.

The Nest Theatre Improv Classes 894 W Broad St.

SNL has streamlined the improv comedy bit, but an insider’s view shows it’s much harder than it looks. Reigning in from Chicago is Tara DeFrancisco and Rance Rizzutto who are here to help a potential improviser. Courses are broken up into four levels, and each one is a prerequisite for the next so don’t worry about being in over your head with more experienced improvisers.

Columbus State Language Institute 550 e spring st.

Sew To Speak Sewing Classes | 752 High St.

Sew a man a shirt, clothe him for the day. Teach him how to sew, and he’ll be clothed for life… probably. Sew To Speak hosts sewing classes for anything from knitted stocking caps to medallion quilts to roll rugs. And if your sewing skills are subpar, they offer a general sewing class to stitch together your loose ends.

Westerville Public Library: Meet The Authors | 126 S. State St.

Book worms are probably invested in many groups, forums and clubs for reading, but the Westerville Public Library gives readers the opportunity to meet some of their favorite authors. Each session is a chance to hear more about a book, ask the author questions, and get your book autographed.

Learning a language is tough, and it’s nearly impossible to break your native language habits on your own. That’s why Columbus State’s Language Institute is a great way to keep you learning week-in and week-out, plus the camaraderie of a classroom helps you grow with other like-minded individuals!

House Wine: Wine And Cellar Club 644 High St.

Oenophiles have the option of two different clubs here. The first is the Wine Club where members pay $30 per month to be apart of a revolving door of two bottles of red or white wines that are delivered to House Wine at the first of the month. The other club, Cellar Club, is a bit more expensive, $60 per month, but you’ll be sipping exclusively red wines—sometimes two bottles of the same blend, other times it’s different blends. •


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First Choice Music Studio: Learn An Instrument | 25 North St.

It’s cliche, but at some point in our lives, we’ve probably uttered the phrase, “I wish I knew how to play an instrument.” First Choice Music Studio has a staff of qualified music instructors to teach you anything from piano to guitar. Courses are offered at $115 for one 30 minute private session per week, or $240 for one 60 minute private session per week.

Seabolt & Co.: Makeup Classes 225 E Fifth Ave.

At this point, makeup is a master’s work of art when it comes to contouring and other makeup trends which is why it’s best to learn from an expert. With Seabolt & Co.’s three-hour makeup and cocktail class for $120 per person, you’ll learn how to do anything from smokey eyes to what skin care products work best with your skin type. Plus, you know, cocktails!

Columbus Craft Cocktail Tour | Varies

Going to the bar and ordering a craft cocktail is like watching a work of art. But have you ever tried to recreate one of those cocktails at home? Inevitably, your drinks are either too strong, or just mixers. Pump up your cocktail crafting game by hopping on the Columbus Craft Cocktail Tour where you’ll explore some of the best bars like The Citizens Trust to learn how the talented bartenders create some of your favorite drinks.

Wine & Canvas | 132 Graceland Blvd.

Bob Ross makes painting on canvas seem like the easiest thing in the world, but anyone who has attempted to follow along with his painting tutorials knows it’s hard as hell. Your beautiful nature scene looks more like something your three-year old whipped up with his fingers. Instead of getting frustrated, check out Wine & Canvas with their public and private workshops where talented artists will walk you through step-by-step on how to create on canvas, plus you’ll be sipping on wines at places like Camelot Cellars.

Idea Foundry | 421 W State St.

When it comes to the Idea Foundry, you’re only limited by your own imagination. Looking to get into welding and sheet metal work? There’s a class for that. Want to learn how to create your own mini speaker? There’s a class for that too. There’s even lectures, guest speakers, social nights, and just about anything you can dream up.

Columbus Scuba: Open Water Certification 4680 Indianola Ave.

Sure, scuba diving in Ohio doesn’t exactly sound like an exciting hobby with our lack of beautiful beaches, but this is more of a long-term hobby. With an open water certification, you are certified to scuba dive for the rest of your life, so book that cruise vacation whenever. This course will teach you everything you need for $399, or you can dip your toes in the water with their $49 trial run of scuba diving basics.


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Columbus Dance Center 1000 B Morrison Rd.

People always say dance like nobody’s watching, but with the viralness of social media these days, you can never be too cautious. At the Columbus Dance Center, you can remove all those fears of being embarrassed on the internet with their private lessons that will teach you anything from the Waltz to the Tango to the Foxtrot. Best of all, you can dip your toes into the waters of these private lessons without shelling out some money as the first lesson is free!

Parkour Horizons | 7020 Huntley Rd.

Crossfit Grandview | 880 Kinnear Rd.

Parkour might look dangerous on the surface, and well, that’s because it is. It’s best done with experts who have taken many of bumps and bruises to perfect their craft, and that’s what you’ll find at Parkour Horizons. Their classes will work your entire body from head to toe with strength, endurance, and flexibility training. I won’t lie to you—you’ll probably get a few bruises during the learning process, but being able to seemingly scale walls like Spiderman seems like a fair trade-off.

Alright, Crossfitters of the world, you win. This is clearly not just some fad in fitness that will go by the wayside once a newer and trendier workout routine comes into play. Crossfit is a great way to work on all the core muscles in your body, and the beginning prerequisite courses here are affordable, $10 per class, while also making sure you don’t venture into a more experienced form of crossfit that could cause you to hurt yourself.

Cycle614 | 1636 Northwest Blvd.

bikram hot yoga | 937 W third ave.

It’s cold outside and finding a way to stay fit and warm is always a challenge. But with Bikram Hot Yoga, you can get your stretch on while you get your sweat on with their studio that’s heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Just make sure you bring a towel and water because you’re going to work up a serious sweat by the end.

GOLFTEC | golftec.com

When it comes to improving your golf game, heading to the driving range and crushing a few with the driver really isn’t going to do much. At GOLFTEC, they take the coaching aspect of golf to a whole new level. I’m talking iPads that tell you why your swing sucks. Coaches that will also tell you why your swing sucks. Hell, they even have clubs that will break down statistically why your swing sucks!

Columbus Recreation And Parks: Sports Leagues | Varies

The weather outside is unpredictable. Is it going to snow today, or will it be sunny and 55? That might put a damper on outdoors sports, but the Columbus Recreation and Parks Sports Office has the solution. While the weather is still not ideal, they offer indoor leagues like basketball or volleyball (sign ups end Feb. 15 so don’t hesitate!), and once the weather gets back to being warm, you can put together squads for other sports like softball.

Ah, cycling. All the leg-burning fun of running without having to deal with the unpredictable weather. Just like the Columbus Dance Center, don’t worry about sinking too much money into something because your first class is free here. Clip-in shoes are recommended and not provided, but obviously if this is your first time, rocking the some good old running shoes will get the job done.

REI Rock Climbing Classes rei.com

If there’s anything on this list giving parkour a run for its money for “Hobby Best Done With An Expert,” it’s rock climbing. With rock climbing, there’s not a lot of room for error so getting educated is an absolute must. With REI’s rock climbing classes, you’ll travel to an outdoor location where an expert will provide you with the knowhow as well as the gear to get you off the ground.

Orangetheory Fitness orangetheoryfitness.com

Orangetheory takes the idea of “keeping up with the Joneses,” but makes it fitness. At Orangetheory’s fitness classes and courses, your heart rate is monitored and quantified into five different stages of effort with the goal that you’ll enter the “orange effect” zone where your body is operating at optimal caloric burning. These stats are displayed on a large board in the class to keep you honest, and creates a mild competition to have the most time in the “orange effect” zone. •

Better, Faster, Smarter Self-driving cars land in Columbus


By Mitch Hoo p er

t seems there are two schools of thought now when it comes to car. The first is your classic hot rod or muscle car approach: make it bigger, faster, and stronger. That means beefier engines with cranked up horsepower and torque that guzzle gas, but burn down any highway or drag strip with a loud and satisfying rumbles. This group is all about the hardware— engines, transmissions, exhausts, headers—and you can probably hear them roll into town in July for the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association car show each year. The other half of car aficionados are often laughed at by the first half. Instead of dropping in a new Dodge Hellcat engine, these folks are looking into the software of the car. This includes looking into alternatives that sacrifice power and brawn for efficiency and fuel economy. Advancements have brought vehicles like the Chevy Volt where the engine serves more as a generator to provide energy to a battery, or Tesla which exclusively operates on electricity. Laugh all you want, hot rodders, they are getting more than triple the gas mileage of your 390 Ford

FE engine block. However, the next step in car engineering doesn’t deal with how the engine produces movement, rather, who is producing the movements. And with May Mobility, the answer is nobody. Well, kinda. That was dramatic, but the point still remains: May Mobility is a company that specializes in working with communities in designing self-driving vehicles. Thanks to Columbus’s standing of a “Smart City,” May Mobility has partnered with DriveOhio, Smart Columbus, the Columbus Partnership, and the Ohio State University to provide transit around the city. We caught up with Alisyn Malek, CEO of May Mobility, to get the details and the rules of the road with these autonomous cars. How does a self-driving car work? Self-driving vehicles, like human student drivers, need to know the roads before they can really navigate them. Before our shuttles are deployed, we familiarize the vehicles with their routes and various traffic conditions. In addition to using 360 sensors to see the road around it, May

Mobility has developed an algorithm that allows the car to make predictions about how a situation will play out, taking into account the likely behaviors of all the other cars and pedestrians around it. It is this technology that enables the shuttles to make decisions that help prevent hazards from occurring—sometimes by driving more cautiously, sometimes by driving more assertively. I think people have a lot of fears when it comes to self-driving cars and the dangers that come with them, can you explain how these cars are safe, if not safer, than a human operator? Ninety-four percent of all car accidents are caused by human error. We believe self-driving technology can make our roads much safer, and make transportation more reliable. We’ve built trust with the public through our low-speed self-driving vehicles because they operate in ways that are safer for pedestrians and other road users, and people are more comfortable riding in them. Through this approach, we help our customers and riders understand the self-driving vehicle space—both their capabilities today, and the promise they can provide for the future. How do people typically react when they first enter a self-driving car? Not everyone is ready to jump into a selfdriving vehicle the first time they see one, so we take great care to help people become comfortable with riding. What we have found through our early work in Detroit, is that people’s opinions start to change once they can see and experience the vehicle operating safely. Educating riders who enter a self-driving car is also an important step in getting people comfortable in our shuttles. That is why our Fleet Attendant,

illustrat i on by rya n c ask e y


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who monitors the vehicle while it is in action, [is] integral to May Mobility’s success in educating and making first-time riders feel safe in our shuttles. Our Fleet Attendants engage with the community on a ride by ride basis, letting riders know what the self-driving shuttle is doing, how it is able to make the decisions it does, and when they need to go into manual mode. Is this one of the first steps of getting more autonomous vehicles on the road? Our deployment in Columbus serves as a milestone to getting more self-driving shuttles on the road because it was our first service open to the general public. Our partnership with the city has allowed May Mobility’s self-driving vehicles to easily integrate into the fabric of the city, providing a transportation experience riders enjoy, and rely on. May Mobility’s service in Columbus has showcased the benefits of our self-driving service to a larger audience and is setting a precedent that other cities will follow. What are the benefits of having more autonomous cars on the road? May Mobility’s self-driving service compliments Columbus’ transportation system by connecting people to their final destinations and alleviating congestion. Our shuttles help the city provide their citizens with secure, reliable and shared mobility with a personal feel. In addition to bringing aid to existing parking dilemmas in Columbus, the shuttles bring people to shopping, businesses and local points of interest. How does the system work in unpredictable weather patterns like rain or snow? Our main priority is to provide a safe and enjoyable experience to riders. There will be weather conditions which we’ll deem unsafe for our vehicles to drive autonomously and will have our Fleet Attendants intervene by driving manually. May Mobility Fleet Attendants oversee the operation of the vehicle and ensure that each rider has the best experience, helping to answer questions and explain a bit about the tech. If someone were to use one of your vehicles to travel, would it have an operator in the car for “just in case” instances? Currently, there is no company that is able to put Level 4 or 5 vehicles [i.e. fully autonomous vehicles] on the road without a human monitor behind the steering wheel. We call these monitors Fleet Attendants because, for us, they are much more than a monitor, they are an important part of our community engagement and education team.


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sNOw Thank You Three affordable warm vacation spots to avoid the cold By Mitch Hooper | Illustration by jess wallace


t only takes a few days of scraping ice off your windshield and removing snow from your car to realize that you’ll do just about anything to escape the cold. The sad truth is the cold isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but you could be. With these three affordable and warm destination vacations, you can remember what it feels like to wear shorts and have the sun beam down upon you, if only for a few blissful days.

A Stay In The Sunshine State Book your flight through Allegiant Air where you can find tickets for two passengers to Orlando in the $250 range; just make sure you account for luggage and carry-ons in advance because their policy tends to nickel-and-dime you. The first day in Orlando can be spent venturing off the tourism grid by checking out the Tibet-Butler Preserve to take in the scenic sights of Florida’s wetlands and wood flats. The middle of the month, Feb. 15, for Orlando also offers Indie-Folkfest at the Mennello Museum of American Art which is complete with six live local acts, food and booze vendors, and local creations from artists. Day two of the adventure will be spent making an hour and a half drive to Tampa for the day where you can explore the 7venth Sun Brewery (not to be confused with Seventh Sons), or set up shop in a bar near the beach for a cheap afternoon. Round out your final day in Florida with a trip back to Orlando for some light adventuring and treat yourself to an upscale meal at The Oceanaire Seafood Room. 68

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Beer And Couch Surfing In Las Vegas A cheap flight to Vegas often boils down to getting lucky and checking for last minute flights, but by using the CouchSurfing app, you can almost completely eliminate your hotel budget. CouchSurfing connects you with pre-approved hosts in the area who are willing to let you crash on their couch for a few nights for free with the caveat being that you will also allow travelers to crash on your couch back at home when they come through. There is plenty of details on the website for all your questions, but most importantly is you’ll be able to get to know your host through their in-depth profiles as well as a messaging system before arriving to their home. As for your quick stay in Vegas? Go crazy, it’s Sin City after all. The Fremont Street Experience offers free shows with visually stunning light shows coupled with music, and oftentimes they host free concerts on one of their three stages. Or if gambling is more your speed, try to check out the older downtown casinos like The Golden Nugget with relatively low buy-ins so you can keep the “complimentary” drinks coming.

Everything Is Warmer In Texas Prices for a flight to San Antonio run in the $250 range, but that’s per person rather than for two passengers, so keep that in mind when booking. Once you’re in Texas, however, you have plenty to do. The big tourist attractions include The Alamo and SeaWorld in San Antonio, but if you’re looking for some trendy shopping, the San Antonio Riverwalk is something akin to The Short North where you’ll find attractions, dining, nightlife, and boutiques all along the river bank. Events also take place on the river like the Parade Of Lanterns which runs from Feb. 9 to Feb. 23. While in San Antonio, you’re only an hour and a half drive away from Austin where you can spend the day on the water for a stand-up paddle board adventure, or really dive into Austin’s weirdness with their indoor skydiving experience. There’s also a Top Notch Hamburgers in Austin for all my Dazed and Confused fans out there. 614columbus.com

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This Is Madness How to conquer the slopes at Mad River Mountain By Lau ra Dachenb ac h PHOTOS BY BRIAN KAI SER


t didn’t look like it was going to happen, but it happened. After a spring-like beginning to January, the temperature finally dropped. The heavens opened, and snow poured down. Stuff got canceled. And the people at Mad River Mountain Ski Resort had a party. “I went out yesterday,” said Sam Collins, one of the employees at Mad River, which is Ohio’s largest winter resort. “Everyone’s really stoked.” Except me. I’m supposed to take a downhill skiing lesson, and I’m slightly nervous. I’ve never downhill skied before, unless you count a Girl Scout trip which in which our troop barely made it down the bunny hill in sludgy snow that nobody else wanted to touch. (I do not count this experience.) So as I’m introduced to Pat Tynan, my ski instructor, and head out to the practice area occupied by a group of preschoolers, I’m looking forward to a day of falling face-first into the snow and shots of me waving good-naturedly as I slide backwards down the hill. But it turns out that I am some kind of a freak natural downhill skier. I blow past those kids on the practice hill, slicing my way through every set of cones on my


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first try, and end up as one of the handful of students my ski instructor has had in 20 years of teaching snow sports to go from practice hill to chairlift in less than two hours. “Natural athletic ability,” he beams. I tell him I don’t play any sports and almost failed gym. “Excellent sense of balance,” he continues. (I pray he never sees me dance.) So I don’t know what to tell you snow sucks who can’t crush it on their first run. But I will try. • Don’t just hit the slopes. The first piece of signage I saw in the lodge read, “Friends don’t teach friends.” I agree. Let the pros handle this. Tynan first checked my equipment, including the fit of my ski boots, which turned out to be not quite tight enough, and covered with snow boogers (excess snow). Then he took me to level-ish ground to learn how to turn and stop (which I learned, you need to anticipate well ahead of time). Holding your arms out in front of you, Tynan says, is the secret to skiing. You will also feel much better about wiping out when a professional is nearby. Speaking of which… • Don’t be afraid to fall. “If you’re not

falling, you’re not trying,” Tynan says. I’m unsure how this applies to me, since I fell only once when I got confused about which way to turn. But falling does happen, and an instructor will show you how to get yourself back up, even if you need to remove a ski to do it. • Try to visit during a less popular time/day. Obviously, you get more time on the slopes, but I credit some of my skiing success to the lack of other skiers (targets) that I could hit or be hit by. Skiing on a nearly empty run also provides the slightly scary, windrushing-past-you thrill that downhill skiing is supposed to be about. • Just do the helmet. I really didn’t have a choice about this. I was instantly measured for a brain bucket as soon as I hit the equipment rental room. I didn’t even know there was a raging helmet debate. I found it not uncomfortable, and warmer than a hat. It didn’t make me feel overconfident or more reckless. (I’m a damn beginner.) Yes, if you hit your head hard enough, a helmet will not prevent you from sustaining a head injury. But the studies show there’s nothing to lose by wearing one, and the severity of a possible injury can definitely be lessened. Now that I’m used to it, I don’t see the point of going back. Mad River Mountain has 20 trails, 12 lifts, and four terrain parks, including its signature Capital Park. If you make the trip and find that skiing is not your thing, the Avalanche Tubing Park, which requires no special abilities to use, might be—although you will need a separate lift ticket. Alternatively, you could hang out at the base lodge, where the resort often hosts live music at The Loft Bar, including The Reaganomics and Brothers Crush Circus. The $5 grilled cheese sandwich is a nice bargain, and leaves some cash available for a whipped cream-topped boozy hot chocolate. So there you have it—advice from a beginner turned ripper in an afternoon. Keep an eye on the terrain, not your feet. Use the whole mountain. Anticipate everything. And above all, stay hydrated. Always make sure to stay hydrated. • For snow conditions, hours, lift and rental rates, and special deals, go to skimadriver.com.


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Columbus Does Good: Military Veterans Resource Center

MVRC helps veterans meet challenges, find stability in civilian life By Aa r o n W e tl i | p h otos by b ri an kai ser

“I was of the belief that after my Army career had ended, that I would never do anything as important again in my life,” says Ryan Koeth,voicing the struggles involved in returning from active service and transitioning back into civilian life that can result in a loss of identity, a career change, or health concerns. When these struggles rear their ugly heads, the Military Veterans Resource Center of Columbus steps in and lends a helping hand. Located in north Columbus and opened in 2000, the MVRC was originally an employment agency for veterans, but according to retired Marine and Director Len Proper, the MVRC has transformed into a “safe harbor for veterans returning from service,” providing much needed services such as shelter assistance, a food bank, counseling services, personal services, career services and transportation for veterans living in Franklin, Delaware, Union, Fairfield and Licking counties. Other offices are located in Chillicothe, Dayton, and Hamilton. “Our three main areas of support are employment, shelter, and transportation,” reports Proper. During 2016-17 fiscal year, the MVRC helped place 225 veterans into employment, assisted 464 into shelter, and helped transport 357 to job interviews, work, and medical appointments. But aside from the functional, veterans are getting the emotional support they need to move forward with their lives. Each veteran is assigned a “battle buddy,” a service specialist who helps the vet identify goals and barriers and formulate a plan of action. “The MVRC is currently helping me find a quality job,” reports Koeth, who served in the US Army for four and a half years as a fuel specialist and as a lead vehicle driver and gunner for a convoy security team on two separate deployments to Kuwait. “They are also helping me with obtaining benefits that I didn’t know I was eligible for. For a long time I was borderline ashamed for asking for assistance. I am not anymore.” Gainful employment can certainly help a lot in the struggle for shelter, transportation and self-value. In a list of impressive 2016-17 fiscal year feats, perhaps the most impressive is the fact that the MVRC helped 250 veterans find employment and earn over $7 million in wages, money that will return to the Columbus community. 72

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Unlike many other veterans’ services, MVRC services are not limited to vets returning from service. They are available to any veteran or active duty service member in any branch of the military who has performed honorable service. National Guard and Reserves members are also eligible, even if they have never been deployed. Another group of citizens who benefit from these services are the children of veterans. The MVRC reports a number of 140,000 living in Ohio alone. For these recipients, the MVRC donates school supplies and clothing, as well as a food bank exclusive to veterans and their families—a lifeline for those in need. “The MVRC has helped me returning to civilian life by connecting me to others and giving me community resources,” said Gretchen Sherman, who spent nine and a half years as a builder for the US Navy Seabee and is a MVRC food bank recipient. “They even helped me with the holidays.” The MVRC is always grateful for financial contributions and donations of personal hygiene products, clothes, and food. It also participates with the Giving Assistant, Amazon Smile and Kroger Rewards programs to raise money. But empathy is also appreciated and sometimes in short supply. “Be supporting and understanding,” says Sherman. “We are making a career change usually from a job that we have had since we were in our late teens and early twenties. We are changing careers and juggling a family.” The mental health crisis among returning veterans and its corresponding suicide statistics has gained recent national attention. Yet there are many other vets, unspoken for—not part of any study, in a space where life is not devastating, but is nonetheless challenging. “Most veterans have strength inside them,” said one MVRP recipient who wished to remain anonymous. “They don’t quit on life, but sometimes you need help figuring things out. That is what MVRC did for me.” “At the end of the day, we are the coaches for these men and women,” says Proper with an understandable pride in his voice. “They are the ones in the game and we offer a game plan to help them succeed.” • For more information about helping the MVRC or receiving assistance, visit milvetsrc.org. *If you are a veteran or on active duty and find yourself in a state of immediate mental crisis, call the United States Department of Veterans Affairs at 1-800-273-8255 or send a text to 838255. 614columbus.com

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[ in case you missed it ] Important Local News

- Jan. 7-

Whitehall takes top spot in “10 Most Dangerous Cities In Ohio” According to a website dedicated to bringing the public “bite-sized snacks of shareable information” that not everyone wants to hear, Whitehall is the most dangerous city in Ohio.

- Jan. 2 -

- Jan. 14 -

New burger joint to shake up Easton

King Avenue 5 folds permanently

We all knew Shake Shack was coming, but we didn’t know where…until now. The popular burger restaurant will be taking over Tesla showroom at 4005 The Strand West in Easton. An exact timeline has not been released, but a spring/summer 2019 opening is likely.

A Grandview-area sports bar, restaurant, and concert venue has officially ended its 13-year run. King Avenue 5 is permanently closed. The former owner, Nick Pavich, left Ohio State’s Varsity Club to open the business.

- Dec. 28 -

There’s one less place to eat before CBJ games, concerts

Many concert and Columbus Blue Jackets game-goers will have to change up their pre-event food rituals as one downtown staple closes up shop. Flatiron Bar & Diner at 129 E Nationwide Blvd has shuttered.


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- Dec. 26 -

Columbus’ mostordered late night food lands German Village location German Village, make some room for a polish powerhouse that’s coming in hot next month. Pierogi Mountain, Columbus’ most-ordered late night food according to UberEats, will be opening a location at 739 S Third St—the original location of the German Village town hall, but most recently the original Max & Erma’s location.

- Jan. 21 -

- Jan. 14 -

One of Forbes’ “10 Best Bourbons Beyond Kentucky” is here in Columbus

Columbus named a “best city to live in right now”

While Kentucky may be home to some of the best bourbons in the world, it’s not home to all the best bourbons in the world. In fact, Columbus is home to one of the 10 Best Bourbons Beyond Kentucky, according to Forbes. Watershed Bourbon was placed on that list by writer George Koutsakis for its “unique four-grain mash bill.”

Columbus can now add another trophy to its shelf of national mentions. Recently, Travel + Leisure put together a list of the “Best U.S. Citites to Live in Right Now” with Columbus coming in at #10.

- Jan. 10 -

Former CPD Sgt. avoids prison in child porn case 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.

photo by david heasley

Never miss a thing:

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Urban Metamorphosis Construction workers of the Short North Sto ry and P hotos by B r i a n Ka i s er

As the construction continues in the Short North, many bemoan the transition of the arts district to an “entertainment district.� The departure of numerous small businesses, affordable housing, and art galleries to make way for chain restaurants and boutique hotels has many referring to the Short North as Easton West. While rents (and buildings) continue to rise, a small army of workers quietly brave the cold Columbus winter to quite literally reshape the face of the Short North with their hands, hammers, and heavy machinery. Bedecked in neon day-glow vests and brown Carhartt coats, these welders, electricians, roofers, painters, and bricklayers are rarely mentioned in the debates around the the past, present, and future of this constantlyevolving neighborhood. Someday soon though, the dust will settle and the neighborhood will complete its latest transition. Most of the workers will punch out and move on to the next job site in their quest to earn a living. And while they are given scant mention in the arguments that break out on social media whenever a new building is announced or national chain establishes a presence in the neighborhood, their impact is significant and, we think, worth documenting.

Wes D., HVAC

Dustin T., Foreman Electrician 76

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Shawn S., Framer

Adam S., HVAC

Kory C., Electrician

Robert R., Masonry

Lino G., Painter

Allen C., Roofer


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Rya n & Am a n da ’s Big D ay. Page 1 0 0. Pho t o by Cl i n gan Creative


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Justin & Sophia 08.18.2018 | Family Property P hotog r a p hy by Ap er t u r e p hotog r a p h y


or Justin and Sophia, the big day marked not just a blending of families, but a blending of cultures as well, so they set to infuse their celebration with touches of cultural significance From the Chinese banquet provided by Sunflower Chinese Restaurant at the rehearsal dinner to the arak (the traditional alcoholic beverage of Lebanon) and food from Lavash Cafe at the reception, Justin and Sophia, the children of immigrants, were able to support local, immigrant-owned businesses as a part of their wedding celebration. Other special touches included table decorations of olive branches and the gardenias in Sophia’s wedding bouquet, both a tribute to the flora of Sophia’s grandparents’ gardens at their home in Lebanon. The poetry of Lebanese-American poet Khalil Gibran also became an intimate cultural touch during the ceremony.

F ood : Lavash Cafe Appa r el : bhldn.com /pursuityourself.com B ooz e: Couple sourced their own bar Off i c i a n t: Childhood friend Sta n d ou t V en d or : Tracie Zodie,


B u d g et: $50,000

The big day in six words:

Family. Cultural Pride. Love. Precious. Unforgettable. • 614columbus.com

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Who was someone who made your big day run smoothly?

Our wedding planner, Tracie Zodie from Bliss Events and our photographers Hristina and Paul from Aperture Photography, made our day run smoothly. Tracie worked tirelessly to ensure that each phase of the day went according to plan and Hristina and Paul perfectly captured each moment not just as beautiful photographs, but as the cherished memories that they will always be to us. Any standout stories from that day, or something that you’d do over every time if given the chance?

We often relive those moments when we took our “first look” photos. That feeling of giddy excitement mixed with the love we have had for one another all these years made seeing each other in a private moment before the ceremony an unforgettable experience. We also danced our first dance to the song “Do You Realize” by the Flaming Lips and on the last reprise of the chorus, we asked everyone who knew the words to sing along. We finished our first dance with all our friends singing the words: “Let them know you realize that life goes fast, it’s hard to make the good things last, you realize the sun don’t go down, it’s just an illusion caused by the world spinning round.” We tear up everytime we talk about it! This was the first song Justin ever sang to me in high school when we first became friends, talking into the wee hours of the morning on the telephone. It was a perfect moment to dance to it—two adults in love after over a decade of friendship, surrounded by our lifelong friends and our family singing along. Did anything go comically wrong, or was there anything you wish you had skipped?

Justin really wanted our wedding day to be 8/18/18 as the number “8” is a lucky number in Chinese culture. Despite me, his mom and his sisters urging him to reconsider for fear of rain and heat, he stood by his choice. And what do you know, it rained the whole week leading up to the ceremony! Luckily, on our wedding day it only sprinkled. But our reception was in an outdoor tent and, needless to say from all the rain, it was incredibly muddy out there. Our friends and family were unphased, and we all ended up tearing up the dance floor getting down and funky in the mud! Our DJ Adam Scoppa was incredible! Was there anything you did or had that made the big day easier?

We are so grateful for our planner and our family and friends for making sure that every detail was paid its due attention! • 82

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Heather & Lindsay 05.27.2018 | Vue Columbus

P h oto g r a p h y by R ac h e l J oy B a r e h l


vid travelers and marathon runners, Heather and Lindsay themed their wedding “Adventure of a Lifetime”—also a shout out to Coldplay, their favorite band, and were totally up to the challenge of planning their special event. Playing up the travel/unique factor, Heather and Lindsay had all of their wedding “flowers” handmade from maps by TreeTownPaper (find on Etsy) and labeled their reception tables after different cities they’ve visited (Sydney, Rome, Toronto, Rio de Janeiro, and Cape


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Town). Their “guest book” was a stack of postcards where guests could indicate a favorite travel spot or bucket list destination. The affair had both its fun and moving moments. Lindsay arranged for a show-stealing performance of two of the couple’s favorite songs, while Lindsay’s dad spoke about gaining another daughter and how some “barriers had been broken,” for a conservative family. Heather’s dad, a lawyer, spoke about the Obergefell v. Hodges SCOTUS case that made the day possible.

Capitalizing on local vendors old and new, the couple offered their guests dessert choices of J-POPS gourmet ice pops, Buckeye Donuts, as well as custom-sized Whit’s Frozen Custard cookie sandwiches. Not forgetting guests’ canine companions, the couple had Platform Beer save up some spent grains, which they turned into puppy treats.

Food: Metro Cuisine Appa rel: All bride squad and brides’

dresses handmade by Coralie Beatrix Booze: Platform Beer Co.

Officia n t: Cory Panning, friend of the


Sta n dout Vendor : TreeTownPaper Budget: $25,000

The Big Day in six words:

Love is Love/Favorite day ever Who was someone who made your big day run smoothly?

We have two people to thank for making our day run so smoothly. Our officiant Cory was so organized and knowledgeable! Our ceremony was simply incredible—so heartfelt, raw and emotional. Our ceremony consisted of two readings (unique love poems by Lindsay’s nephew and Heather’s grandfather), two vocal performances (by Lindsay’s brother and Heather’s cousin; we gave each of them song options, but their pick wasn’t revealed to us until they sang it!), and vows that we wrote ourselves but didn’t share with each other in advance. Our second person to thank is our DJ Ben Wallace (Beat Squad Entertainment). Ben was phenomenal. He was the perfect emcee for our reception entrance: a “starting lineup” roll call (a nod to our college basketball playing days) that combined a custom mix of Beyonce’s “Run the World” and “Formation.” The only time that guests left the dance floor was to grab another Buckeye Donut or Platform Beer, or to witness the closing seconds of LeBron’s final win with the Cavs (which we had projected at the bar). •


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Any standout stories from that day, or something that you’d do over every time if given the chance?

Our friends own Platform Beer Co. and we’ve been proud to support them from the time the business was conceived. Exactly one year prior to our wedding (Heather’s 34th birthday), Linds did a surprise proposal at Platform in front of family and friends by creating a fake beer description (i.e. surprise proposal!) that Heather had to read aloud. Our wedding was exactly one year later, and we knew we had to make Platform a part of the day. We held our rehearsal dinner at Platform, and kicked off the festivities by doing a “unity pour” at the bar to sample our brew: a cherry ginger saison that we named “Perfect Storm.” Did anything go comically wrong, or was there anything you wish you had skipped?

We had three “Ring Boyz,” Heather’s two twin nephews Madden and Mason (age 9) and Lindsay’s nephew Theo (age 5). Mid-ceremony, our officiant called for security by yelling “Ring Boyz!” Our DJ then blasted Drake’s song “Big Rings.” Lindsay’s brother missed the cue to get Theo to the back of the room for the big entrance. So Madden and Mason strutted/ flossed down the aisle as planned, but Theo was late getting there. He ended up going up the aisle the wrong way, dropped his boom box prop, and then awkwardly (but adorably!) made his way back down the aisle. Our photographer captured a cute pic of Theo after he dropped the boom box. Even though this moment wasn’t planned, we describe it the way we describe many moments of our relationship...perfectly imperfect. Was there anything you did or had that made the big day easier?

Both of us are extremely organized, so the first thing we did to start planning was make an insane excel tracking spreadsheet. We organized our budget, vendors, “to do” list and more. We created three really solid timelines: overall wedding weekend, ceremony and reception. All vendors and bride squad members were given the timeline(s) in advance. Everyone knew what was supposed to happen, and when. This honestly made everything run incredibly smoothly. There were no hiccups or glitches. It was really fun to see the whole day pan out exactly as we had intended! • 86

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Abbey + Michael 05.25.2018 | Strongwater Food and Spirits

P h oto g r a p h y by Ape r tu r e p h oto graphy

When Abbey met Michael as a high-school football player, became friends with him, and fell in love with him, she also fell in love with his dog Elliot, who came along with Michael to Brewdog to help propose with a festive balloon that read “Marry My Daddy.” “He was a hit and got a lot of love and attention from our guests,” Abbey said. “He was there just long enough to greet our guests before the ceremony and to pass out treats from ‘Elliott’s Biscuit Bar’ and of course snap a couple of pictures with us, which turned out to be our favorite photos.” Elliot might have been outdone only by Addison, the less-thancelebratory ring bearer, or Michael’s cousin Chloe, who performed the ceremony. From the DC area, Chloe communicated with the couple via FaceTime to write the ceremony herself, filled with stories of the couple’s eight-year relationship and remembrances of family no longer present. “People to this day still tell me how great Chloe was and how they can’t believe we were her first wedding! Chloe gave us memories that we will cherish as we look back on our wedding day and we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect officiant,” said Abbey. 88

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Food: Strongwater catering and late night Adriatico’s Pizza Appa rel: Blovedbridal.com and tuxes from Macy’s B ooz e: Strongwater Off ic i a n t: Michael’s cousin Chloe Standou t V en d or : LovelyGrainStudio B u d g et: $20,000

The big day in six words:

Beautiful easygoing day filled with love.

Who was someone who made your big day run smoothly?

I cannot say enough about the staff at Strongwater. Our day-of coordinator, Ben, made the day run flawlessly. He made sure all of our wishes came true and even let us bring our pup in for pictures! They also let us decorate the day before which helped us out tremendously. Marianne also helped us plan the delicious food and arrange our dessert table. • 614columbus.com

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Any standout stories from that day, or something that you’d do over every time if given the chance?

My dad gave the best, most thoughtful speech ever. I am so glad we got to celebrate our love surrounded by our friends and family. Did anything go comically wrong, or was there anything you wish you had skipped?

I wish I would have skipped going out the night before! We had too much fun at hofbrauhaus after our rehearsal dinner. Too many shotskis! Was there anything you did or had that made the big day easier?

We got ready at the bride bar Gilded Social. The owner of Gilded Social truly helped us out in a pinch and we are forever grateful to her for opening up her stunning space for us. Our getting ready photos turned out beautifully and now you can rent out the space to get ready in! The girls at the bride bar did an amazing job with our large bridal party’s updos and helped us stay on schedule. • 614columbus.com

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Annamarie & Amit 11.03 . 2 018 | T he G r a n d E vent C enter /St. Fr a nc i s Photogr a p h y by Theory Image


t’s stressful enough to plan a single wedding. What about two? Strange as it sounds, Annamarie and Amit’s doubleceremony-plus-reception day was an attempt to keep things simple. “I knew I was going to have a Catholic wedding and [my husband] wanted to do a Hindu wedding,” Annamarie explained, thinking of guests at a distance. “We didn’t want to bring them back two times [...] then we were like, just do it all in one big festive day.” This was already a slightly scaled-down version of a traditional Indian wedding, which typically lasts for three days. Starting with coordinating the church and venue availability dates, Annamarie worked from there to plan a packed but special 92

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day starting at 8am with makeup and dress for one ceremony, a changeover in space and outfits, a second ceremony, and ending with an evening reception, all without benefit of a planner. Most of the crowd lasted through both ceremonies and made it to the reception, where the couple, who joked until the day they were engaged that they were “just friends,” danced to the Marshmello and Anne-Marie jam “Friends.” Amit donned a marshmallow mask for the number for a not-so-inside joke that became an exceptional memory of a very big day. Would they do it again? Probably not. But they’re glad they did it once. “We did it here, and we crushed with all the Columbus Love!”

Foo d: Grand Event Center/ Tadka Indian restaurant/

Dos Hermanos Taco Truck

A p pa rel : David’s Bridal/Authentic Indian garments Booz e : Grand Event Center O f f i c i a nts : Hindi/Catholic priests Sta n d o u t V en dor s : Overeats/B3 Decor B u d get: $75-100,000


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T he big day in si x wor ds:

Fusion. Family. Colorful. Culture. Fun. Long. Who was someone who made your big day run smoothly?

Everyone! Arne Indian Boutique helping me and my family figure out and get dressed in Indian wear. The Grand Event Center Staff. Food was amazing—spicy but completely different and custom menus for our fusion wedding. (Two full meals!) B3 Decorating and Oberer’s Flowers. [They] transformed the space two times in one day to make it look and feel completely different, modern, elegant with Indian inspiration. Our DJ, Vikas, selected all the music. We danced all night! Pure Imagination Chocolates, handmade and customized chocolates with our monogram in our favorite flavors, with tiny silver elephant tied to the box to represent luck and love! My sisters. His boys. Everyone! Any sta ndout stori e s f rom that day, or s omething that yo u’ d d o over every t i me i f g i ven the chance?

Everything! • From the not so normal rehearsal dinner—100 people at a local club house fed by Dos Hermanos food truck—to dancing in the streets of Grandview to getting dressed at the iconic Hotel LeVeque, all was perfect! • The pictures the groom and I took in the most picturesque fall scene: the red and gold tree lined street. • Handing out LED wristbands during the reception that pulsed with the music. Everyone had beautiful colors and it added to the beautiful decor, making it truly a party to remember. Did any thing go comi c a l ly wrong, or was there anything you wi sh yo u h a d sk i p p e d?

One of the kids pulled the fire alarm during the reception. We all kept dancing and eating. No one even worried. We rolled with it! Was there a ny th i ng yo u d i d or h a d that m a d e the big day easier ?

Nope. It was crazy to plan. No planner, but dang it was worth it! •


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Matthew + Eduardo 11.04.2018 | Franklin Park Conservatory P hotogra p hy by R ac hel J oy B a re h l

Columbus weather often doesn’t cooperate, so Matthew and Eduardo lucked out and landed the perfect fall weekend for their wedding at the Palm House at the Franklin Park Conservatory. “The weather and foliage could not have been more perfect. The leaves the week leading up the wedding had not changed to autumnal colors, and the weekend after the wedding all of the leaves had fallen off of the trees. Our wedding weekend had vibrant colors that stood out against a slightly overcast sky. We were really looking forward to a perfect fall day.” As Matthew and Eduardo took the plunge, walking down the aisle sans attendants, they planned their special day in less than two months. But the quick time frame was purposeful and didn’t affect the specialness of the day one bit. “Everything came together as we desired it. This time frame allowed us to focus on our love, rather than planning our big day for a whole year.” On the couple’s wedding team were their personal servers, a married couple of over 40 years who shared tips for a successful marriage and navigated the dance floor to make sure the happy couple got a piece of their own wedding cake. Food: Franklin Park Conservatory Catering Appa r el : Bonobos Booze: His & His Cocktails/Mojito and French 75 Off i c i a n t: Chase Walts Stan dout Vendor s : Rose Bredl/Piece of Cake/Peabody Papers B u d g et: $35,000

The Big Day in six words:

Raw, sophisticated, prideful, effortless love fest. Who was someone who made your big day run smoothly?

There were three people that made our day run perfectly. The first was Mary at Rose Bredl. Matthew met Mary at his first Gallery Hop during his freshman year. He told her the first time he met her that her aesthetic was 100% his vision, and that when he got married one day, she would do his wedding. When Matthew told Eduardo of Rose Bredl for the first time, he fell in love not only with Mary’s work, but also [with] how her work brings out her beautiful personality. 9 years later, she made our dreams come true. Our wedding had zero hiccups and we could not be more thankful for Maria and Teresa, our event and catering coordinators at the Franklin Park Conservatory. • 614columbus.com

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Raw, sophisticated, prideful, effortless love fest.

Any standout stories from that day, or something that you’d do over every time if given the chance?

Eduardo’s best friend lives out of the country and she was not able to attend the wedding. He immediately video called her and her family after the ceremony so they could be a part of the big day. [It’s] something we would do over every time if given the chance: We wanted to have full creative control over the music playlists for the pre-ceremony, ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, and reception. Our DJ, The Wild Path, allowed us to choose every song for each time frame. We chose songs with special moments for us in mind, as well as our guests. It was a hit! Did anything go comically wrong, or was there anything you wish you had skipped?

We partied a little too hard the night before the wedding. That led us to drinking Pedialyte the day of and it became an inside joke between our coordinators, florist, and photographer. Was there anything you did or had that made the big day easier?

Maria and Teresa, our coordinators. In terms of planning, Google Sheets and Google Keep kept us organized. •


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Ryan & Amanda 0 6.16.2018 Grange Audubon Center

P h otography by C l i n gan Creat i ve


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Any standout stories from that day, or something that you’d do over every time if given the chance?

My and my dad’s song is “Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty. My Dad and I decided last minute to do our father-daughter dance to “Wildflowers” by Tom Petty instead. A little later on when everyone was dancing the DJ played “Free Fallin’.” I was looking everywhere for my dad and then I heard his voice singing along on the microphone to “Free Fallin’.” When I looked up at the DJ booth, there he was singing it to me. During cocktail hour he had passed out lyrics to everyone at the wedding so he could surprise me with singing it to me later on in the evening. This was a huge deal because my dad is extremely, extremely shy. Did anything go comically wrong, or was there anything you wish you had skipped?

EVERYTHING went wrong!! The caterers were understaffed so my bridesmaids, myself and my mom had to help set up most of our wedding set-up. The DJ lost our music and cut our first dance song (we had a dance routine) short. My veil ripped out of my hair coming back down the aisle. The bar ran out of ice and our cake was never served. There was more and I was very caught up in everything that went wrong that day for a while, but now looking back we were so lucky to have the people we love with us in one room. I might have noticed every detail that went wrong, but my guests certainly didn’t. Everyone had a great time. Looking back I laugh about those things that I was so caught up on. Was there anything you did or had that made the big day easier?


yan and Amanda took “Don’t see the bride until she walks down the aisle,” seriously. However, Amanda, a hairdresser, wanted to make sure Ryan’s long tresses met her standards. “Before the ceremony I had Ryan face away from me in a chair and I came in behind him and did his hair for our ceremony.” Amanda also pulled out her crafting game and made her own hairpiece, candles, table runners, wildflower teacups, hanging eucalyptus chandeliers, and glass mushrooms as part of the wildflower and mushroom theme for the day. The mother of bride also stepped up to the plate and made all of the bouquets and decorated the primary wedding cake. Ryan proposed to Amanda on a mountaintop in Utah, and as a remembrance, his ring is a wooden band made from a branch of a tree on that mountain. Amanda upcycled her grandfather’s ring and incorporated stones from both of their mothers’ rings. Natural beauty shone through the day as wildflowers and mushrooms became the couple’s theme for their celebration at The Grange Audubon Center. Rather than a traditional guest book, friends and family signed ribbons on a dreamcatcher, a traditional protective charm. F ood : Bosc + Brie Officia n t: Michael DeMaria, best friend Sta n dout V en d or : Nothing Bundt Cakes B u d g et: $20,000

The big day in six words: A party full of loved ones. Who was someone who made your big day run smoothly?

My bridesmaids and mother were so helpful the day of my wedding. I got out of control crafting every little thing for the wedding and they helped bring my imagination to life. I couldn’t have gotten everything set up the day of without them. 102 (614) Magazine FEBRUARY 2019 614columbus.com

Yes! Hire a wedding planner! Just spend the money on it. It’s worth it! We had a wedding coordinator and that was nice, but a wedding planner is there to make sure you think and feel like your day is perfect. •


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Intimate photography gets a makeover By L au r a Dach e nb ach | ph otos by St e f St re b


think my portraits are fiercely feminine, and they hold space for women to feel empowered just being themselves. They’re truthful, soft, strong, and beautiful,” says Stef Streb, owner of Stef Streb Photography, a Columbus-based photography studio, whose photos might be described as “boudoir.” Boudoir photography, with its varying contexts and connotations, has traditionally been an opportunity for women to create a private photo collection for their partners as an engagement, wedding, or anniversary present, or perhaps as a token of remembrance before a period of separation such as a military deployment. “I struggle with the word ‘boudoir’ a lot,” says Streb, who admits to the intimacy of her portraiture style. “But most boudoir photography feels very hypersexualized and unnatural to me. I think there’s this idea that boudoir photography is to make yourself look as ‘perfect’ [or] as skinny, airbrushed, and posed as possible, and there are a lot of body issues that come up for most of us in that sort of situation.”

“Goddess sessions are a time to embrace and celebrate your body. I really believe that women benefit from seeing our bodies in images that show how soft and strong and beautiful we are without needing to be super sexualized.” Streb has instead chosen to refer to her work as “goddess sessions,” reflecting the increasing trend of women to have an intimate photography session as a form of self-affirmation. “Goddess sessions are a time to embrace and celebrate your body. I really believe that women benefit from seeing our bodies in images that show how soft and strong and beautiful we are without needing to be super sexualized,” says Streb. Streb has been behind the camera since the age of 14, when her dad first taught her how to use one. A graduate of Columbus College of Art and Design, she interned in New York City and spent five years in fashion and ecommerce while working with models and portraiture. As part of her own personal journey, she also began using herself as a photography subject and posting her work on Instagram, quickly realizing the power of the experience. It was a power she wanted others to share. A little over a year ago, she made the leap into full- time self-employment. • 614columbus.com

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“We can see a woman’s body without it becoming a sexual object, we can appreciate the female form for its inherent softness and strength. And we can be honest about what that form actually looks like. It’s ever-changing. There is no right body for a woman to have. All bodies are good bodies.”

Women ranging in age from their 20s to their 50s have participated in goddess sessions. Streb finds most of her clients via Instagram or personal recommendations. About half are planning to give the photos as gifts, and half are scheduling the session for their own reasons: to feel good about themselves, or perhaps to document a body journey. In keeping with the spirit of integrity, self-confidence, and ownership, she does not photoshop or alter any of the images. “I’m here to show off the real thing. Rolls, cellulite, stretch marks, all of it. Because we’ve all got ‘em, so why not flaunt ‘em? I want women to feel empowered in their bodies—not like they have anything to hide.” The photography experience tends to be a negative one, full of flaws and bad hair and awkward facial expressions, and the nature of the goddess session can exacerbate the usual nerves. Before a shoot, most clients are unsure what to wear, how to look, and how to calm her nerves. Streb understands. Booking a session is a conversation, rather than just scheduling a calendar time, where every question a client might have is answered. “I’m a big believer in looking like yourself in photos,” Streb explained. “So I encourage every woman to do her hair and makeup in whatever way makes her feel the most herself—which is different for everyone— but [also] to bring things to wear that might be what she wants to feel confident in, but doesn’t yet, because our shoot is the time to change that.” The world of portraiture is often limited to weddings or professional headshots for work. The world of the camera phone has created the “selfie,” which in Streb’s view, is more of a self-reflection—a catch in a feedback loop, rather than a documentation of the subject in the present moment. “When you hand over that piece of the experience, where you’re not seeing yourself reflected but actually being present in having your photograph taken, it opens up a layer of vulnerability that allows you to just be yourself,” says Streb. Goddess sessions exist for women’s personal reasons, but Streb acknowledges her work does challenge traditional ideas of boudoir and the male gaze. “We can see a woman’s body without it becoming a sexual object,” Streb says. “We can appreciate the female form for its inherent softness and strength. And we can be honest about what that form actually looks like. It’s ever-changing. There is no right body for a woman to have. All bodies are good bodies. And they deserve to be appreciated for carrying us through life.” • Interested in a goddess session? Visit stefstrebphoto.com.


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Jermaine & Kara 07.14.2018 | Vue Columbus

P hotog r a p hy by B r i a n G lu ys wi t h 222P hotog r a p hy


lending the traditional and the personal, Jermaine and Kara went for an ambiance of “casual elegance,” ditching the garter/bouquet toss, anniversary dance, and wedding party introductions in favor of a bit more spontaneity and time to mingle with guests. “We did not do a first look, but went for seeing each other for the first time when I walked down the aisle with my father. It was worth the anxiety and the excitement before because we were both so happy and emotional.” Kara and Jermaine’s special day was the culmination of a seven-year (occasionally long-distance) relationship forged during the couple’s time spent at the University of Kentucky in which Kara allegedly made the first move. Jermaine reversed the roles by orchesting a completely surprise proposal in Kara’s favorite park, White Pointe Garden in Charleston, South Carolina, where she had studied. In addition to their wedding cake (and cupcakes) by Our CupCakery and donuts from Duck Donuts, the family pitched in to add snowflake cookies (pizzelle) from a recipes passed through the family for a few generations as a nod to Kara’s Italian heritage. Food: Metro Cuisine, Catering & Event Rental Appare l : White of Dublin/Men’s Warehouse B ooz e: Giant Eagle/Costco Off i c i a n t: William Axtell Sta n dou t V en d or : Madison House Designs B u d g et: $30-35,000

The big day in six words:

Whimsical, elegant, but a great party! Who was someone who made your big day run smoothly?

Courtney Heibel with Aisle & Co., our day-of wedding planner! She was seriously the best human ever, handled all of the small (& big) details on our wedding day. Jermaine and I didn’t have to worry about anything. She made it so enjoyable, unforgettable, and perfect! •


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Any standout stories from that day, or something that you’d do over every time if given the chance?

Jermaine and I wanted to hear “In The Middle” on the dance floor. We were both pulled away greeting guests, heard the song came on, and ran to the center of the dance floor at the same time. Our family and friends surrounded us while we danced and sang together, and now whenever we hear the song, it puts us in the best mood! Our sparkler exit was how we left the reception, as our ceremony and reception were at the same venue. We asked all of our guests to exit and fill in the stairs and patio that lead from the main door to our car. After timing up with the photographer, we were “announced” and we ran out through the arch of sparklers, stopped for a kiss, and got in the car! We would run through that over and over again! Did anything go comically wrong, or was there anything you wish you had skipped?

The air conditioning went out ONLY during our ceremony, so we were a little toasty for those 30 minutes. However, our guests and photographer enjoyed the sweet moments between Jermaine and me dabbing each others foreheads and reminding each other to breathe! Was there anything you did or had that made the big day easier?

We constantly reminded ourselves (or were reminded) to leave the planning and details to the people we hired and to enjoy the day! We also took a couple moments throughout the reception to step back, take it all in, and take mental photos! • 110

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FEBRUARY 2019 (614) Magazine


First Dance Short North studio helps would-be dancers refine their footwork.

By J. R . McM i l l a n • i l lu str ati o n by sarah m o o re

After the ball drops and the last of the confetti and regrets are swept away, the new year inevitably marks our annual cultural commitment to self-improvement that always tends to fall flat. But it also marks the unofficial start of the wedding season. What used to be a decidedly springtime phenomenon has stretched into summer, with autumn now the most popular time to exchange vows, rings, a face full of cake—and plan for that inevitable first dance. So if some regular exercise and overcoming social anxiety are on your New Year’s to-do list—or that awkward waltz from your high school prom could use a little polish before the big day—Tony Meredith might just be the mentor you need. As artistic director at Danceville U.S.A., the nationally acclaimed studio in the Short North, he’s committed to finding the dancer in all of us. “I had a dance studio in New York called Dance Time Square. I’d lived in New York for 20 years and the competitive entertainment environment was a place to hone my skills with that excitement and energy,” Meredith recalled. “I was going to Los Angeles as well, but I really wanted to find somewhere more relaxed, the perfect place where I could still share my work. There’s a competition called the Ohio Star Ball, so I’d been coming here for 15 years. The authenticity of Columbus was inspiring.” Simply describing Tony Meredith as a dancer is like calling Joe Hunter a piano player. Neither is necessarily a household name, but their hidden influence on their respective industries is enormous. Just as Hunter helped craft the Motown sound, Meredith has had a hand in the ballroom dance revival for decades. From film roles in Evita, Let it be Me, The Thomas Crown Affair, and Shall We Dance?, to choreography for television’s So You Think You Can Dance, to host of the PBS series America’s Ballroom Challenge, he also founded ICON DanceSport, an annual event that brings professionals and enthusiasts from around the world to Columbus every October.

“That confidence and how you carry yourself doesn’t stop when you leave the studio. You just have to take the first step.” The former U.S. Professional Latin Champion is technically retired from competition, but has hardly slowed down. “We started five years ago with a few clients; now there are groups doing Thriller every year. We used to do 10 numbers, and I just finished choreographing 40 pieces for our fifth anniversary,” he explained. “Our performers come from all walks of life, college students to CEOs. It’s engaging, interactive, and everyone is involved in the experience.” Much like food, fashion, and film, Meredith hopes Columbus becomes better recognized as a city that cultivates dance as much 114

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as any other art form by breaking down the barriers between artists and audiences, who tend to coexist without much mingling in the middle. “Clients come in for a few lessons and get hooked. I’ve seen transformations in personality. Those who may be shy in their everyday lives come out of their shell,” he explained. “We work with couples before their wedding on their first dance, then they continue as a regular date night. It can be an intimate experience that becomes a part of them.” Meredith doesn’t deny it can be difficult, but the routine and rewards are a tempting alternative to another grueling afternoon at the gym. Professional competition is still fierce, but a casual evening on the dance floor offers encouragement often in short supply. “Our students support each other, and that’s something they may not always find in their jobs or relationships. They cheer each other on,” he revealed. “With our showcases, they’re the only ones on the dance floor. There’s an energy and exuberance—putting it all on the line. And they walk off with a sense of accomplishment.” Even if you aren’t a celebrity searching for your next act, ballroom dance offers an outlet for self-expression difficult to find in a digital world. Sure, gymnasts admittedly have a leg up and wide receivers are already fleet of foot, but if Dancing with the Stars is any indication, it’s less about winning and more about the journey. “Life to me is like a dance, because it can be a life skill—taking risks, trying something new, conquering your fears,” Meredith explained. “That confidence and how you carry yourself doesn’t stop when you leave the studio. You just have to take the first step.” • For more on Danceville U.S.A.’s classes, visit dancevilleusa.com 614columbus.com

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Devin & Kelley 06.23.2018 | Camp Mary Orton P hotog r a p h y by L e i g h t u p l i f e p h oto g r a p h y •


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magine being able to forgo the shopping, measuring, and altering and instead creating your dream dress beginning with your imagination. For Kelley, a wedding dress designer, the big day was an opportunity to do just that. Starting with a piece of lace fabric she sourced, Kelley spent an estimated 200 hours constructing her part-floral, part-geometric gown from silk crepe, inspired by elements of various dresses she liked. “I will say I also played with the total opposite idea of what my gown looked like—something full and poofy. This idea was recycled and ended up being what the flower girl wore,” said Kelley, who (of course) made her flower girl’s adorable dress as well. Devin and Kelly met in their middle school science class and eventually became high school sweethearts. When Devin decided to propose, he arranged for a whirlwind couple photoshoot starting at the Franklin Park Conservatory, telling Kelley that his friend (later to serve as best man) needed some sample photos to build a website. The session ended at the Main Street Bridge where the ring came out for a true photo finish.

F o o d : Condado Tacos Appa r e l : Bridesmaids: Show Me Your Mumu B o oz e : Kroger Off i c i a n t: Tyler Plas, brother of the bride Sta n d o u t V e n d o r s : Flowerman/Pluma Jewelry B u d g e t: $22,000

Who was someone who made your big day run smoothly?

Cathy Tuthill of Buckeye Entertainment/Zinnia Events, Event Coordinator Amber Preston Makeup Artistry, Makeup Michelle Kissel, Hair Any standout stories from that day, or something that you’d do over every time if given the chance?

Our ceremony was intimate, personalized, and very emotional. We would highly recommend asking a close friend or family member to officiate to make your ceremony that much more special. Did anything go comically wrong, or was there anything you wish you had skipped?

We had planned for an outdoor ceremony and it rained the three days leading up to the wedding. The field we planned to get married in was wet and muddy so we made the decision the night before to move everything inside. Always have a back up plan! Was there anything you did or had that made the big day easier?

Having a day-of wedding coordinator and being able to set up the entire ceremony/reception space the night before eased a lot of stress of the day. We were able to enjoy ourselves and not worry about small details. Also when budgeting, figure out what are the most important parts of the day to you and your fiancé. Plan your day and budget around what is or is not important. • 118

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I Doo!

Columbus man wants to wed four different couples during the 2019 Doo Dah Parade By M i tc h H o o p e r | i l lu str ati o n by ryan caskey

When planning for a wedding, you are probably making sure all your bases are covered. Will the menu have options for everyone’s dietary concerns? Do we have enough seats for everyone? Open bar or cash bar? What pictures are on our “must-have” list? These are just the questions a good wedding planner asks couples during the process of getting everything absolutely perfect for your big day. But, if you decide to plan your wedding with Scott Hammond, the list of questions will look a little different. Instead of an event hall or church, you’ll be strolling through the Short North. And rather than your family, friends, and closest colleagues gathering around in chairs or pews, they’ll be standing on the side of the street as a part of the heckling crowds at the Doo Dah Parade. In fact, the one question you’ll be asking yourself the most is: Is this even possible? And if you ask Hammond, he seems to believe the answer is yes. The idea is simple: get four engaged couples to plan a wedding during the Doo Dah Parade. Since the Doo Dah Parade has no strict rules on themes (as long as you are not overtly advertising for a business) or an upfront amount to pay to be a part of the parade, Hammond said

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the permission side is handled. Thanks to a friend who got married last year, he’s already gone through the legal steps of becoming able to officiate weddings. The only thing he’s missing is the couples. Hammond explained that since the parade is an hour long, he could perform four 15-minute weddings during the parade. So why the Doo Dah Parade? It’s a complicated answer, and it all starts with an infamous sign in Clintonville. In early 2018, WOSU was looking into the origins of a “Kangaroo Crossing” sign that had been posted on Clinton Heights Avenue as a joke for several years. Though it wasn’t the intent, the investigation prompted the city to remove the sign for safety and permitting reasons, causing a community outcry to get the sign returned to its rightful spot near Clinton Elementary School. Eventually the sign was ceremoniously replaced, and a large part of that effort was thanks to the work of Hammond. He and a team of community members came together to bring back the weird, yet iconic sign, even creating a Doo Dah Parade entry around the experience. However, the Doo Dah planted a seed in Hammond’s mind: How could he be a part of the Doo Dah Parade the next year? And furthermore, how could he make a unique statement in a parade that is quite literally the embodiment of unique? “What if I’m in the Doo Dah Parade? As in, I’m walking as I’m marrying someone. And even further, what if it’s several weddings?” Hammond questioned. “We’ll have all the trappings of a wedding, but a mobile wedding. We’ll be walking the entire time.” The Doo Dah Parade serves as a time to laugh and poke fun at serious and polarizing topics in the political news as well. While the weddings don’t hold any political statement, Hammond thinks these ceremonies can provide positivity in a political climate that seems to lack it. “I’ve been affected, just like many others have, by this political climate with all this negativity and I thought this would be a way to sort of send out positive energy which I think is one of the points of the Doo Dah Parade.” So, who’s in? • To get in contact with Scott Hammond about planning your wedding during the 2019 Doo Dah Parade, idoodahwedding@gmail.com.


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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. #AsSeenInColumbus @pebbyforevee







@the_bluestone @loveinthechaos


@plentyocookie @natureinspiredphotos









@eastontownctr @sethandbethphoto

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@columb_eats @markowensdesigns


@mmramz @portraits.rakib



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