a heroine’s travel guide to Beijing, China’s Dongcheng District/ by Nikki Dee
Welcome to Columbus, Ohio, the state’s capital and self-described “heart of it all”. The state of Ohio even looks a bit like a heart, and if you could balance the state on its center, that center spot would be the city of Columbus! This city is the home of a few real-life heroines, including Olympic gold-medalist Simone Biles, blues singer Nancy Wilson, and artist Aminah Robinson.
I moved to Columbus about a year ago, and in the time that I’ve lived here, I’ve grown to attached to a few favorite spots around the city. This tour will give you a diverse and magical look at a few different neighborhoods and some of the best experiences that Columbus has to offer.
We begin our tour on campus of THE Ohio State University, otherwise known as OSU, one of the largest and most well-known universities in the country. Students flock to OSU from all over the world, and the city wouldn’t be the same without it. Right across from the OSU School of Social Work sits a true staple of the city: the 24 hour diner-style donut shop, Buckeye Donuts. It’s been in business since 1969. Here, you can feast upon 32 different types of fresh-baked donuts and coffee, bagel sandwiches, hot tea, and even gyros. Buckeye Donuts is also a great place to people-watch, and you can check out all the flyers posted near the door to find a concert or art show to attend.
Park of Roses
Next we head to the Whetstone Park of Roses, located in the laid-back, somewhat bohemian neighborhood of Clintonville. A walk through the13-acre garden park with over 11,000 rose bushes will make you feel like you are in a fairy tale! This was one of the first places I visited in Columbus, and it made me begin to fall in love with the city.
Short North Arts District
Our next stop is the Short North Arts District, which has developed into a trendy little strip along High Street with some great restaurants, local shops, and street art. Be sure to check out this twist on “American Gothic” by artists Mike Altman and Steve Galgas, which is painted on the side of a historic building on the corner of High Street. Other notable stops are Rocket Fizz Candy & Soda Shop, local clothing and gift shop Tigertree, Flower Child Vintage, and Grandview Mercantile Company, which is a giant antique store loaded with beautiful treasures from the past.
While you’re in the Short North, be sure to stop for a bite at Northstar Cafe. Northstar is a local favorite with delicious and good-for-you locally grown food that is always served with a smile. My favorites are the Village Salad and the Sweet Basil Burrito. You’ll feel three times healthier after all those breakfast donuts. Sit outside on the patio and watch the dogs and little birds go by.
The Book Loft
After a walk through the arts district, head downtown towards the German Village, a neighborhood named for its German immigrants in the 1800s. It has been part of Columbus since 1840 on the South End of the City and features original brick roads and beautiful architecture. The neighborhood offers guided tours, which I definitely recommend, but my favorite feature is the Book Loft, a new and used bookstore located in an old-fashioned house, filled with 32 rooms of books! It’s like a labyrinth of pages, and there is a garden outside the entrance where you can read your new novels. They have everything from historical nonfiction, to fantasy, and even comic books for my fellow geeky heroines. Knowledge is power!
Columbus Idea Foundry
Columbus is a really artistic and crafty place. The Columbus Idea Foundry, located in Franklinton, is a giant space dedicated to makers. Set in an old warehouse filled with power tools and artist studios, you can sign up for classes in subjects such as Jewelry Making, Leather Working, and even “Women’s Blacksmithing”! Or you can take an open tour, usually available twice a week. And right down the block, you can check out 400 West Rich, an art space with hundreds of artist studios and its very own gallery.
Curio at Harvest
We end our night at Curio cocktail bar. Despite being featured on many lists of great cocktail bars, this tiny space nestled next to Harvest Pizza in German Village remains quiet and relaxing. Choose from the fun menu of drinks, or ask the bartender to make you something special. Take a stroll through German Village at night, and you might even pass some musicians performing on the street.
Nikki Dee is an ethical fashion designer from New York who currently lives in Columbus, Ohio. When she’s not sewing and designing, she likes to read comic books, ponder over Tarot cards, and hang out with her cat, Bombay.
> Xandra recommends: Ethical Style: Inspired by Leos and Gryffindors
Is your hometown the perfect fit for a heroine? I’m always looking for fabulous locals to contribute to this Fit for a Heroine travel guide series. If you’re interested in writing for Heroine Training, read the guidelines and get in touch.