Tonight Kish and Richard and I had dinner at The Pearl, made a visit to Whit’s Frozen Custard, and then took a jaunt around the Short North. When I returned to my car at the corner of Park and West Russell Street, across from Goodale Park, I was treated to a spread of red flowers, glowing crimson and looking deep and velvety in the approaching twilight. It’s just one of many beautiful garden areas you find all around Goodale Park.
One of the most iconic signs in Columbus is that of Michael’s Goody Boy Drive-In, located in a transitional neighborhood at the northern edge of the Short North. It’s a neon classic, with a tow-headed kid eying a big cheeseburger. Even though I’ve lived in Columbus for decades, I’ve never been to the Goody Boy — until today.
The Wrestling Fan and I were up in that area so he could run an errand, and we decided to stop to see what the Goody Boy had to offer. On the inside there’s a bar and a large, open seating area with the kinds of ’50s signage you’d expect from a diner. I had a cheeseburger and fries, pictured above; the Fan had the fish sandwich special. The cheeseburger was a half-pound of beefy, cheesy goodness, and the fries were hand-cut and well seasoned. The Fan didn’t comment on his fish sandwich, which was huge — but that probably was because he was too busy gobbling it down to mutter any words of praise.
The cost of my sandwich? Less than $10. The Wrestling Fan and I agreed that we would be back.
We were down in the Short North last night for dinner with friends, and the place was hopping.
Okay, that’s a bad pun. We had forgotten that it was a Gallery Hop night. On the first Saturday of each month, the Short North galleries are open late and all of Columbus seemingly descends on the area. Last night, there was a big turnout, where the Gallery Hoppers mixed with the scarlet-emblazoned post-Ohio State home game crowd and even a small but vocal “Occupy” protest.
I don’t know if the Occupiers were there to protest the rampant — and encouraging — capitalism on display in this area of restaurants, bars, shops, and galleries, or whether they were just there because they knew they would have an audience. I particularly liked one sign carried by a protester: “4.00 GPA and employed! I’m doing this for you!” I guess we should all be grateful for the efforts of that self-aggrandizing yet altruistic protester.
Our dinner guests were from out of town, and I know they liked the bustle of the Short North. For visitors who think of Columbus as a boring, white bread town, the Short North is an eye-opener that really helps to show the cultural diversity Columbus has to offer.
We’re being visited for the weekend by a friend who is new to Columbus. They are from an urban, East Coast location and have never been to the Midwest, so they already are enjoying the charms of backyards, green grass, white fences, and rolling countryside.
But what distinguishes Columbus from other Midwestern towns that have those same features? How do we showcase our fair city? Having never been to Columbus as a tourist, I don’t have the slightest idea of what tourists do when they visit. We’ve suggested Easton Town Center, the Wexner Center, the Short North, and German Village. It’s not football season, so an OSU game is out. The Ohio State Fair hasn’t started yet. What else? The Ohio Statehouse? The Arena District? The Park of Roses? It makes me realize that so much of what I really like about Columbus is not showy landmarks, but instead the people and the pace.
Am I missing anything? I’d appreciate any suggestions!