Whew! After a 12-hour ordeal, I finally got into Columbus around 1:00 p.m. local time Sunday. I checked into to my room; thanks to German Village B&B for the set up. I’m staying in the German Village (‘natch) which is located right on the edge of Downtown Columbus. It’s a pretty nice area, and I’ll look forward to exploring today. The place itself is pretty sweet; more of a B&B than a hotel. Which is great as it’s large and quiet, and there are plenty of places to have food and drink within walking distance.
I was fortunate to have a few SaveTheCrew folks show me around town. I’m obviously not a travelblog guy, so I’m not going to do a review of the city. But I figured I’d give a few impressions in the context of the ongoing stadium discussion.
Ohio State dominates:
Hardly surprising given the size of the school, but Ohio State is the center of everything here. That also made for a pretty vibrant scene even on a Sunday afternoon/evening, with students filling out each place we went. As school is just about ready to resume, it was perhaps not representative of a typical summer evening when the students are gone, but it made for a nice atmosphere. I’m not sure what the Crew/MLS have done to encourage the student population to come out to games, but one figures they could do more, even with a large chunk of the season happening when school is out.
We hit up several craft breweries, and while it doesn’t have the volume of Seattle, it still holds its own pretty well. They mostly have to same “industrial” vibe as craft breweries all over Seattle (and the country for that matter), but I still enjoyed the look. The selection was pretty decent, but as a reformed hop-head, I could do with a few more pilsners/lagers.
We hit several different locations on the outskirts of what I’d guess is the main “social” downtown hub, which is High Street. I’m planning on hitting that up today, but I did drive through the area while getting a brief look at one of the potential stadium locations, which I’ll talk about in a moment.
As I mentioned, I haven’t gotten to check out the “scene” so-to-speak, but the downtown itself seems to be pretty decent. It’s a mid-size business hub; obviously not the size of Seattle or Philadelphia, but no different from Salt Lake really. And it has the benefit of a large public state school right in the area.
As to the stadium location: the one we took a look at (if they could get it) seems to be a really nice spot. It’s right by the so-called “arena district” with the NHL and minor-league baseball team. It’s right downtown, though located probably five or six blocks off High Street, which again seems to be the main social downtown hub. But it’s easily close enough to walk from the bars, or take a quick bus/ride share/scooter (I’ll get to that in a minute).
The one negative thing I heard from talking with folks is that the transportation generally speaking isn’t great. The bus service seems to be middling, there is no dedicated light rail, and the roads are…yeesh. I honestly thought I was driving off-road, even on main thoroughfares. It’s not so much a problem now, but as the population continues to grow, and more people move into the area…
My lord, these things are *everywhere.* Apparently they showed up overnight over the summer. Everyone is using these things. I hadn’t seen them before, and my guess is they’ll be making their way to Seattle soon. Beware…
My god the humidity:
You’d think that being born in Virginia and having gone to college out there, I’d be prepared. But nope! Every time, it just kills you. The soothing sounds of the cicadas was refreshing though.
Anyway, that was day one of the trip! Again thanks for everyone who took the time to show me around. I’m going to hope to have a preview of tomorrow’s events up later. I’ll link to my review of the specific briefs from each side that I covered, so you can see where I was coming from in my analysis.