At least I was, 10 years ago when I came to Columbus for my undergraduate degree at THE Ohio State University. But when do you actually start saying you’re from a city, not just living there, not just going to school there? Is it when you can tell someone new to the city where the best pizza or sushi in the city is? Or is it when you found your own little secret place that even someone who has lived their entire life here has never heard of? These were the kinds of things I needed to know, wanted to know before I moved out here.
I had my reservations about coming to Columbus. I was a little bit of a snob, (hey, my high school was the basis for 90210. Can you blame me?) a burgeoning foodie, and a shopaholic. Growing up in DC/MD, I had access to all the best shops, concerts, cultural centers and an ethnically diverse population that demanded not only an incredible variety of restaurants but that these restaurants be top of the line. Moving to the Midwest was not as glamorous as moving to NYC or Malibu like a lot of my friends were. But I wanted an adventure and I wanted my wanderlust to take me somewhere I had to work without a safety net like classmates or family.
Before I took the plunge and said yes to OSU, I did my research. I wanted to know all about the shops, concert venues, restaurants, the gay scene, campus life, public transportation, etc. I wanted to have jump off points as places for me to start exploring this city and make it my own. I was not disappointed.
That’s the great thing about Columbus. We have such a diverse population that if you’re a hipster or a punk or a prep or an alt or a gay or a jock or a college kid or a foodie or an art snob or anything else under the sun, you can not only find a niche here, you can carve out a whole new scene and watch it flourish.
Did you notice I said we? Yeah, it slips sometimes. Now and then I say, “Oh yeah, I’m from Columbus,” instead of saying “I live in Columbus” or “I go to school in Columbus.” I have definitely made this city my home for the past ten years and at least the next two years as I return to OSU to pursue my MLHR degree.
Over the year I’ll be taking you to places around the city that are definitively Columbus and to some places you may not have even heard of, so you can make this city your home and whatever else you want it to be.