Columbus – July 2018 – It’s Doo Dah Time Again

July 4th in Columbus can only mean one thing – It’s Doo Dah time again – let’s have a parade.

As usual there is some political satire.

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Some play on words (read the sign)

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Characters

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Apparently now since Mexico is off limits we now get our weed from Canada

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The block party was going full tilt.

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More characters

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Primed for the parade.

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The toaster car lady in a moment of reflection.

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Clearly the saddest thing this country has recently done is the separation of children at the border – you knew this would be called out today.

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More characters.

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The wrestlers are here every year, but always welcome.

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For some it was just too much.

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The Grand Marshal.

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An eclectic band.

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I think we missed her at the washboard music festival a few weeks back.

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One of the ‘art cars’

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Miss Liberty made an appearance.

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An alien made it across the border to join the band.

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Even more characters.

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Mixing sci-fi and political satire.

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Mixing middle aged hula dancers with zombies.

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The neighborhood (Short North) is undergoing tremendous growth where they are tearing down 2 floor buildings along High Street and replacing them with 8-12 floor buildings. All of the construction is causing much chaos in the area, and making just walking around tough with all of the closed sidewalks.

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Not really sure.

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The whole stupid MAGA thing has spawned a number of parodies.

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They may protest but they are as patriotic as the rest of the country – they just believe it could be better for all.

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A dancer from the Rocky Horror Picture Show burlesque group.

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Even the Swing Dancers of Columbus were making statements this year.

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And with that the zombies headed home and the parade was done.

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Columbus – June 2018 – Hot Baseball

It’s literally 100 degrees (38c) and humid so what should we do, go to a baseball game. So some decisions are dumber than others, but we lasted about 2 hours and gave up (although we found seats in the shade).

It did provide enough time for some views of the game and the crowd.

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After some casual stretching.

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It was time to play.

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Dad is a great role model for the  little ones – what most people consider an insensitive hat and a shirt asking for beer with the baby on his lap – sitting in the sun on this hot day. The kid of the left’s face says it all.

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Swing and a miss.

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The play was sketchy at times, there were 4 credited errors in the first 3 innings.

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Although there were some good plays too.

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An Indianapolis player launched a massive home run into the bleachers, which the guy in the pink shirt clearly does not want to catch.

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Nor do the stunned little kids (or anyone around them)

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Jake the Wonder dog brought drinks to the umpires.

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While the manager is trying to figure out how to get through to his pitcher.

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What brings the crowd to their feet – free t shirt toss!

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Why is it when a pitcher is doing so poorly he gets pulled, yet they always pat them on the butt?

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The players look at the fans taking cover from a foul ball wondering why.

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Finally the 4th inning was over and we gave up and went to the air conditioned car.

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Columbus – June 2018 – Old Oaks Neighborhood House and Garden Tour

Like many cities in America Columbus had significant growth in the early 1900s. One of the main drivers of this growth was the development of streetcars, which allowed people to live further than walking distance from their place of work.

One of those neighborhoods in Columbus is the Old Oaks neighborhood just southeast of downtown. When the streetcar line was electrified in 1891 the neighborhood followed shortly after.

On this sunny warm June day they had their annual Home and Garden Tour. But before we could tour the homes we made a stop at Holy Rosary St John Church to purchase our tickets.

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The church has impressive stained glass throughout.

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But we were here to tour the neighborhood …

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As with many inner city neighborhoods there had been a long period of lack of investment leading to deterioration. Many neighborhoods, including Old Oaks, has had an infusion of gentrification over the last 20-30 years.

While many Columbus neighborhoods have had a near complete gentrification, Old Oaks still has a mix of the original residents and those who have come in and rehabbed a home.

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The neighborhood is nearly all stately brick homes.

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There is an interesting mix of those that are in dire need of repair, those that have been fully restored, and then those like this one that are in between. It is understandable with the amount of work and money it takes.

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Amongst the large brick homes is this beautiful Craftsman style home – note the house on the left is boarded up – waiting for the right person to come in and bring her back.

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Not all of the homes shown here were on the official tour, but grace the streets of the neighborhood.

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With the flags it is clear you are in Ohio – USA.

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At the edge of the neighborhood, along Livingston Avenue is Greek Revival style home that was built much earlier than the rest of the neighborhood – dating from 1852. Known as the Caroline Brown home, it was a stop on the Underground Railroad to freedom for slaves prior to, and during the Civil War of the 1860s.

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A few of the interiors of the homes were open for inspection.

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They were all beautifully restored and decorated.

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A great use of an old pull down school map – a window shade!

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Some had stained glass windows (you can also see the use of stained glass from the street as well).

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Fireplaces were present in many of the bedrooms.

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All of the homes have excellent wood work throughout.

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Another example of a bedroom with a fireplace.

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An older look was present in one of the homes.

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The highlights though were the garden tours – this one featured a massive pergola leading to the original (apparently un-restored) garage.

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An arch frames the garden of another home.

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If nature wipes out your tree, make it art.

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One of the homes had extensive outdoor living space including a pool and a palm (Ohio palm tree?)

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Another had a number of artistic touches include beer bottles made into candles.

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The garages are in the rear, as originally they were carriage houses, to house horses. Alleys line all the houses in the back.

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Technically not a garden, but the front porches were great – giving the neighborhood a sense of community.

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Old Oaks is a community in transition but as is remains a vibrant part of the city. Thanks to all who shared their homes and gardens!

As our tour ended back on Livingston Avenue, we visited the boyhood home of Eddie Rickenbacker, truly one of America’s great men. Raised in this humble house in the early 1900s, Eddie went on to become a record land speed racer, a World War I fighter pilot, a pioneer in the development of Aviation, and many other things.

For some interesting reading about one of Columbus’s great native sons check out the wiki page on Eddie. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Rickenbacker

Somebody should make a movie (although they did back in the 1940s it could be done so much better now – and Eddie has the stories that would be worth telling).

 

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Columbus – June 2018 – Annual Arts Fair

After our morning and early afternoon in Amish Country we returned to the city to attend the annual Arts Festival.

Our first stop was one of the music venues, where all the spectators were off to the sides to sit in the shade on this hot day (including us).

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There are hundreds of artist and vendor tents, with an expected 3 day crowd of over 400,000 people.

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The young lady playing the violin was very skilled – much to the amusement of the old man.

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An artist who specialized in what appeared to be high end comic art had decoration on top of their tent.

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A demonstration of pottery making.

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Our plans were to check out a baseball game in the evening, but the weather did not cooperate. It was however a spectacular thunderstorm.

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Columbus – April 2018 – Gallery Day

The Riffe State Office Tower in downtown Columbus is the home of a gallery that rotates exhibits every few months. Since January the display has been the 2017 Quilt Nationals, featuring artists from across the country.

Expecting the usual symmetrical circles and patterns of ‘country quilts’, we were pleased to see a totally different approach – more like art in the form of a quilt.

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Many had no patterns at all – rather they resembled paintings as they dealt with the artists emotions at the time of creation. But they are indeed quilts.

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Those that did have patterns were more free form.

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Even the symmetrical ones had a modern feel.

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Not your grandma’s quilt.

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Meanwhile just around the corner is the Ohio State University Urban Arts Center, located on the lower level of an old department store.

This exhibit featured the works of the senior art students.

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While the exhibit wasn’t officially open yet, they let us wander around.

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George Romero would be proud.

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Columbus – April 2018 – SCCA Tech Day

For more than 70 years the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) has lead the effort for grass roots road racing across the country. While it does promote professional racing, it is best known for making racing somewhat affordable to all who want to race.

The Alliance Autosport team is based on the west side of Columbus in a nondescript industrial park building (on the outside – inside it is great). On this cold Saturday they were holding a ‘Tech Day’ to get ready for the upcoming season and hold an open house to encourage others to check out racing.

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Alliance Autosport offers ‘Arrive and Drive’, the ability to rent race cars, thus avoiding the high cost of ownership. Their collection of cars were neatly stacked on pallet racks

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Most of the cars they have run Spec Racer Ford Generation 3 engines. The theory behind these engines, and the car setup in general is that by prohibiting modifications it makes all the cars equal, as well as keeps the cost down.

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A couple of the cars were down on the floor with their covers off for closer inspection…

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While the racked ones gave an interesting perspective. Everyone at the event were passionate about racing and very welcoming for a couple of people wandering in to check it out. It’s time to go racing!

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