Friday, November 6, 2009

Day Tripping – Columbus Pt. 1

Every now and then, we run over to Columbus and just bum around – galleries, bookstores, some shopping and maybe lunch. Tuesday was just such a day – we voted early and decided to take a free day.

Fifty miles and 45 minutes later we’re at the Grandview Ave. exit on I-670. Turn right at the traffic light, go one mile north and you’re in front of Stauf’s - the best coffee shop that’s not in Yellow Springs. This is our standard starting point. A cup of coffee, something a little sweet and then plan the rest of the day. Stauf’s is always busy - people working on their laptops and Blackberries, just chatting and I suppose closing some big business deals. My travel partner bought her last laptop based on a series of observations on what was being used by the customers at Stauf’s – 3 times in a row, the Mac outnumbered the PC by 2 to 1. Interesting way to pick a computer – one of those things I know better than to question.

If you continue along Grandview Ave, you’ll find lots of restaurants, more coffee shops and also Jeni’s ice cream – worth the stop and they will gladly indulge you with a couple of free samples. Spagio’s, about two doors up from Stauf’s, is one of the many good places to have lunch in Columbus.

After coffee, we continue north a few blocks on Grandview Ave. and turn left on Fifth Ave. Almost immediately on the right is Acorn used books. Nice place, owner operated and packed, but well organized, with good reads. I like the place because they have so many entertaining posters and cartoons to read while “someone else” is deep in the back row trying to find an undiscovered rare book – so far, that’s never happened but it’s the search that’s fun, or so I’ve been told. And, they gave 10% discounts if you could show your “I voted today sticker” – nice touch. Wonder if we could promote that in the Village?

Leave the Acorn and continue on west for a few blocks. On the left side at 1165 W. Fifth you’ll find the Ohio Craft Museum ( It doesn’t look like much from the outside but they manage to have 3 or 4 good shows each year. Right now they’re just closing out a contemporary quilt show that was very good and getting ready to open their annual holiday sale of handcrafted items from 50 artists around the country. In past year’s this was an excellent show and well worth a stop.

The day was going along fine but quickly went downhill. We hadn’t been to the Columbus Art Museum (which incidentally is free if you have a Dayton Art Museum membership) on E. Broad St. for several months. They were advertising a big Chihuly glass show. However, at least 75% of the museum is closed for a year of remodeling. The glass show was “ok”, Chihuly is not my favorite, but that’s it – not much else to see. My recommendation is to forget this stop until late 2010.

For some reason, the CMA stop got us off track and the day ended with a terrible lunch at Whole Foods (I was going for cheap) which I heard about most of the way home and again today. I suppose this means a trip to the Wind’s or Sunrise to make up for a not so great day trip. More on Columbus in a coming blogs….

A. Reader

No comments: