NColumbus, Ohio
The Final Frontier

Space…  The Final Frontier…  These are the voyages of astronomy programs in the Greater Columbus Metro Region.

You may have heard ColumbusUnderground announce the big news that COSI is remodeling their planetarium to be reopened in November (DETAILS from COSI).  Considering that announcement, today seems like a good time to talk about some of the other astronomy programs in the area.

Living in a fairly heavily developed area, the light pollution makes star gazing pretty difficult ~ but, we’re lucky to have some amazing opportunities.

The most obvious starting point is Ohio Wesleyan University’s Perkins Observatory.  Perkins offers regular, weekly programs every Friday (during July, the observatory offers daytime Solar viewing programs).  Perkins posted a helpful guide for what happens at a public program (as well as the caveat that weather can result in unfavorable viewing conditions) HERE.

The Columbus Astronomical Society meets monthly for a presentation / event and viewing (when weather conditions allow) at Perkins as well ~ 8p on the second Saturday of each month ~ and guests are always welcome.

The Ohio State University Department of Astronomy has a public outreach program that includes:

  • The OSU Planetarium  Information on the public programs offered 2 weekends each month can be found HERE.
  • New Vistas in Astronomy programs at Perkins.  This program is offered as a full year subscription only (so keep an eye out for 2015 registration information) on one evening per month with an array of subject matter expert lecturers.
  • Astronomy Roof Nights (for astronomy students and on a “space available basis” for OSU Students / Faculty / Staff & their immediate family members) are currently suspended due to construction near the site, but keep an eye on their page for updates.

Our MetroParks offer programs pretty regularly as well.  The next astronomy program is being offered at Glacier Ridge MetroPark on Thursday 23 October 2014 at 5:30.  Program information HERE

Past MetroPark programs include Urban Astronomy programs at Sharon Woods, a handful of parks that stay open late for annual meteor showers including the Perseids (August) & Leonids (November), and stargazing events at Glacier Ridge & other parks.

Finally, there’s a guy ~ Duke Skygawker ~ that puts on Barstronomy programs (similar to the Science Pub events, but focusing on astronomy).  You can follow his activity and find out about events on Twitter & Facebook.

I encourage you to check out some of these events, it’s a magical world up there.

  8AM, Sep 23 2014
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Independents’ Day

It’s that time of year again ~ Independents’ Day!  This year’s event will be taking place Friday 19 September 2014 - Sunday 21 September 2014 at its new location: 400 West Rich Street instead of its former home on Gay Street / Pearl Alley.

As expected, all the usual suspects have previews: Columbus Underground, Alive! (non-music must see events), Alive! (bands to see), (614) briefly touches on the event along with the rest of the Summer Festival Season events and WOSU’s All Sides Weekend hosted event lead organizer Shea Scott for an interview last month.

My recommendations include Angela Perley, Craft Alley, Art Displays, Local Comic Book Pop Up Shop and Urban Mini-Golf looks entertaining (descriptions for all of these can be found on the FEATURES tab of the Independents’ Day website).

  8AM, Sep 18 2014
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Best?

I was trolling some of my usual sites looking for something to post for today and I realized ~ everyone has some version of a “Best of Columbus” list.

Are these lists really useful or are they an excuse to get businesses to advertise in the pages of the outlet that designates them “best” in a category?  By my (rough) count - Alive! had ~80 categories in 2014 and (614) had a more reasonable ~25 categories.

What do you readers think?  Are these useful - do you turn to them when looking for something new to do in the city?  Are there too many categories or not enough?  Do you want to see more of these? 

Let me know what you think and I’ll take your opinions into consideration when coming up with topics.

  8AM, Sep 16 2014
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Our Columbus Symphony Orchestra

Since the CSO is in the news this week, having named the Bulgarian maestro Rossen Milanov as Music Director (replacing outgoing Music Director Jean-Marie Zeitouni) after an extensive 10 month search, I thought this would be a good time to talk about our Orchestra.

Full disclosure - I’ve had full season subscriptions to the Masterworks series for a few years now and absolutely love watching and listening to these talented and hardworking musicians.

The Masterworks Series (the classical series, as opposed to the contemporary “Pops” series) kicks off later this month with a production called Twisted, featuring an unprecedented collaboration between The CSO, Opera Columbus, BalletMET and The Columbus Symphony Chorus.  From there, the Masterworks Series will continue through Spring with a series of 11 more concerts, each with a run of Friday through Sunday, downtown at The Ohio Theatre on East State Street and The Southern Theatre on East Main Street.

Additionally, The CSO began a series of events last year called “Happy Hour with the CSO”.  HH with the CSO features a free 60-90 minute ‘after work’ concert and free appetizers at The Ohio Theatre.  Currently, there are HH shows planned for Thursday 02 October 2014 and Thursday 16 April 2015 with the bar opening at 5:30p and the concert starting at 6:30p.

The CSO is an amazing cultural resource in our community and well worth checking out (solid date night as well - especially if you meander over to East Gay Street or South Fourth Street for dinner and take a little stroll along the Scioto Mile or through the Commons).

I also recommend arriving at least 1hr early before the Masterworks shows so you can listen to a 25-30min presentation by WOSU Classical host Christopher Purdy.  Mr. Purdy is always informative and entertaining while putting the pieces of music, composers, conductors and guest musicians into context for the audience to gain a richer understanding of the evening’s performance.

Hope to see some of you at this season’s events!

  8AM, Sep 11 2014
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Wild Goose Creative

Quick meta update:  Since it’s been forever since I’ve blogged regularly, I’m going to try to ease back into it.  In the past, you were used to the M/W/F updates.  For the remainder of September, I’ll be doing T/H only to try to keep from burning out already.  Once October rolls around, I’ll see about returning to the M/W/F format.  Posts will still go live at 0855a. 

As before - there’s so much going on in our city, I can’t possibly get to everything, but I’ll try to paint with a broad brush.

                                                                                                                          Wild Goose Creative (located at 2491 Summit Street Columbus, Ohio 43202) is a great not-for-profit 501(c)(3) community arts space that offers programming and support to local artists and the local arts community.

While the Goose relies on memberships to keep the lights on, Wild Art Columbus has become a major fund-raiser over the past few years.  This year’s event is very cool!

Every day for the entire month, the Goose is turning control of its social media outlets to a different local artist each day.  Each artist will be posting between 5-10 works of art - ranging from sculpture to poems to photos and paintings.  At the end of the month, the most popular piece from each artist will be auctioned off at a pop-up gallery event.

You can read about the 29 artists (and see their work after it has been posted) HERE and follow the event on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM & TWITTER.  The # on all three sites for the event is #wildartcolumbus.

There’s already been some amazing pieces posted; the rest of the month should be just as good!

  8AM, Sep 9 2014
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Missed me? I’m coming back.

Loyal Neighborhoodr-Columbus readers:

Thinks have been rough over the past year and a half - after this coming Friday, I’ll be back to giving you previews, reviews and commentary for the (614).

See you soon!

~josh

  6PM, Sep 1 2014
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It’s National Farmers Market Week!

Did you guys know that this week, 04-10 August 2013 is, in fact, National Farmers Market Week?  I was totally unaware of this fact until some random post directed me to the USDA’s PAGE highlighting this.


There’s plenty of Farmers Markets for you to check out through the remainder of the week, no matter where you are in the city.  Worthington is my personal favorite - large selection, good atmosphere & close to home.  However (this goes for almost all farm markets), you have to arrive early to get the best selection! 

(Also, no hate for the usage of Farmer’s, Farmers, Farmers’ - USDA uses “Farmers” and other markets have their own usage, which I have preserved in text. -ed.)

Tuesday:

Wednesday:

Thursday:

Friday:

Saturday:

Midway through writing this, I came across an entry from ColumbusUnderground with a full list of all the markets in the region.  If I didn’t mention your area, take a look HERE you may find one.  The USDA link in the first paragraph can also help you do a search for anywhere in the nation you may happen to be.

  10AM, Aug 7 2013
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Suburban Mixed-Use Developments On Track

Starting up north, ColumbusUnderground REPORTS that Worthington will be seeing further redevelopment around the Shops at Worthington Place with the Crawford Hoying 200 apartment, 23,000 sq. ft. retail space development on West Wilson Bridge Road. 


The first time I went into Worthington Place, it was mostly vacant, dark and in disrepair.  Over the past couple of years, it has undergone a drastic physical transformation, added a host of new tenants and turned into a bustling retail and dining hotspot.

http://www.columbusunderground.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/worthington-03.jpg


Moving over to the near west, Grandview Yard will be entering the next phase of development, pending approval from the Grandview Heights Planning Commission.  ColumbusUnderground REPORTS that Nationwide Realty Investments is planning an additional 120 rental units and adding another 28,000 sq.ft. of retail space.

http://www.columbusunderground.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/grandview-yard-apts-03.jpg

  10AM, Aug 5 2013
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Speak Easy: True Stories Live - Tonight

Tonight at 7:00pm is the monthly meeting of the storytellers’ group SPEAK EASY COLUMBUS at WILD GOOSE CREATIVE.

Speak Easy is a great event for those storytellers who are looking for an outlet and an audience, as well as those individuals who long for a place where they can go to listen to others tell stories.  Many of us know someone - a close friend, an uncle, grandparent, neighbor - that revels in telling stories that are witty, engaging, humorous, serious and, most importantly, entertaining.  Speak Easy is a place where individuals can go to enjoy sharing these stories with one another.

This month’s theme is Mix Tape - Stories About Music and the Songs That Define Us.  Potential speakers are encouraged to bring a CD, MP3 player or similar device to play the song(s) that accompany their story.

Admission is $5 - cash or plastic accepted.

Wild Goose Creative is a community event space that hosts a number of regularly scheduled events throughout the month, community meetings, workshops and special events.  WGC is located on Summit just south of Hudson (2491 Summit).

Image below via Speak Easy Columbus on FACEBOOK

  8AM, Sep 6 2012
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Watershed’s Bourbon Barrel Gin

Local distiller WATERSHED officially RELEASED their Bourbon Barrel Gin this past weekend at midnight on the 1st.  Initial reviews seem to indicate that it is a success!

Off the bat - I need to confess, I am not a fan of gin.  However, the barrel aging takes away a lot of the overpowering juniper flavor and infuses it with a great earthy, smokey taste and scent.  It also allows other, more subtle flavors to come to the forefront - not the least of which is a sweet vanilla combined with citrus (from Watershed’s custom Four-Peel recipe).

I had the pleasure of touring Watershed shortly after they sealed up their first couple of barrels to rest and age, and love the character those barrels added to the very modern distillery. 

This gin is going to be a great addition to the local food / beverage scene and is already making its way into drinks at local bars.  Stop by BROTHERS DRAKE MEADERY and ask for “The New Fashioned”, featuring the Bourbon Barrel Gin and designed by their resident mixed drink developer / bartender Annie.

Image below from my tour of Watershed 4 September 2011.

  9AM, Sep 5 2012
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Good News - Ohio Economy

Last week, Columbus Business First REPORTED that Ohio (and 18 of the top 20 exporting states) are off to a good start for 2012.

Exports from Ohio increased 11% (from $22.22Billion to $24.62Billion) as compared to the same time frame in 2011 and the nation is up approximately 7%.

While I try to focus on local goods / businesses / developments - for better or worse, we do live in a so-called “global economy” - so I thought this might be relevant to those who are in the Greater Columbus Metro Region and are working for / looking for work in those exporting types of businesses.

  9AM, Sep 4 2012
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Weinland Park Groundbreaking Wednesday

Weinland Park has been undergoing a REVITALIZATION over the past few years including a rebuilding of the south campus area Kroger, investment in housing and infrastructure.

Wednesday, there will be a groundbreaking on the corner of North 4th and East 8th for six new single-family residential units on land that was taken over by Campus Partners as part of their effort to raze abandoned and unsafe properties in the area.

Image via www.columbusunderground.com

  8AM, Aug 28 2012
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Buck a Brat & Buck a Beer

Where can you find this magical combination of cheap beer and cheap Ohio-based Bob Evans meat?  At another event going on this weekend!

Three posts this week about three really great things going on this weekend.  Something for your dog, something for the patrons of the arts and now - something for the sports fans.

The Columbus Crew will be hosting Eastern Conference Rivals the New England Revolution for Dollar Night at 7:30pm at Crew Stadium.  Budweiser drafts and Bob Evans brats will be served for only $1 each.

AND - for new and returning students arriving back in town: bring your valid college ID and $15 gets you into a lower bowl seat (limit of 2 tickets per ID).

While we’re at it - arrive early and stop by the Ohio Historical Society as they host the Ohio Food Cart & Truck Festival (11a-8p Saturday & 11a-6p Sunday).  Approximately 35 vendors were hand picked to participate to ensure that you can sample the best that the burgeoning Columbus Food Truck scene has to offer.

Crew Soccer Nation (CSN) photo via www.thecrew.com

  8AM, Aug 24 2012
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Urban Scrawl 6

This weekend, August 26 & 27 is the 6th annual Franklinton arts event - Urban Scrawl - that features artists painting large panels as you watch, local food vendors, live music / DJs, dance performances and an outlet for local involvement.

Taking place at 400 West Rich Street, the event will run Saturday from Noon-10p and Sunday from Noon-6p.

Details about performers, food vendors and other events can be found on their blog HERE.

  8AM, Aug 22 2012
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WAG! Fest 2012

Coming up this Saturday (August 25th, 10a-5p) is the annual WAG! Fest at Prairie Oaks MetroPark.  In its 5th year, this event brings dogs, their humans and sponsors together for a day of fun and treats.  Also, the final hike of this year’s Paws in the Park series will be held during the event - so don’t forget the leash and some hiking boots.

Highlights for this year’s event include:

  • Complementary engraved dog tags (Sponsored by Subaru)
  • Dog agility course & Disc demonstrations
  • Water Bark Beach pond access for your dog to swim
  • An Ice Castle
  • A day out, enjoyed with man’s best friend

You can find directions to and information about Prairie Oaks MetroPark HERE and WAG! Fest’s Facebook page HERE.

Additionally, information about the 17 pet trails at the MetroParks can be found HERE.

  8AM, Aug 20 2012
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