Wednesday, September 22, 2010


We're off to Ohio! A couple weekends ago, Kurt, Erik, Silvia, and I all headed to Columbus to see an Ohio State football game. The Brothers Martig and I were flying to Pittsburgh and Silvia was meeting us later in Columbus on the Friday before the game. 

Don't the brothers look cute in their matching t-shirts?! Kurt and Erik had recently purchased Ohio State NYC Alumni Club shirts (made by their favorite t-shirt company, Homage...but more on that later) and were eager to show them off in their old stomping grounds.

I flew with the boys from JFK to Pittsburgh. This is us trying to navigate the poorly labeled and extensive Delta terminal at JFK. Thankfully, we got there ridiculously early because I failed to correct Kurt on his timing. Traveling makes me nervous! I like to be there with plenty of time to spare.

Once we found our gate, we had enough time to choose a bar to eat at and then sheepishly escape once we realized how expensive it was. They wanted $11 for a Blue Moon! Ridiculous! We found somewhere slightly more affordable (airports are much too expensive!) and hung out until our flight boarded.

We flew like this the entire way. He was my "infant in arms". We are that frugal.

We arrived in Pittsburgh where Mr. and Mrs. Martig were waiting to hand off a car to us. We had a nice little dinner then left straight for Columbus.

Welcome to Ohio!

Once in Columbus, Kurt and I were staying with his friend Scot, so we dropped our stuff at his apartment and then headed to one of his favorite neighborhood spots, Johnnie's Bar and Grill (although no one can ever recall them serving food). Erik had to run to the airport to pick up Silvia and then convene with their host Jesse, so they all joined us later. I met a few of Kurt's old friends and coworkers and enjoyed ridiculously cheap beers. It's nice to escape the NYC markup occasionally!

For a late night bite, we headed to Surly Girl for a yummy pizza and Columbus brewed beer. Silvia is dead set on recreating our pizza because it was so delicious. I remember it having several cheeses, including Gorgonzola, and a sweet balsamic drizzle, so I look forward to taste testing her attempts!

Kurt and I also overestimated the ease of catching a cab (we must be too used to the city) and ended up walking quite a distance back to Scot's apartment. Normally, I wouldn't have minded but it was late and we needed to conserve all our energy for our big Saturday!

The next morning, we all got moving pretty slowly but met up to head to a local bike shop to rent bikes for the day. I'm such a fan of this way of exploring a new city. Biking allows you to get around easily and quickly without having to deal with the hassle of driving and parking--especially on a game day.


We toured around campus a bit while the boys pointed out all the buildings. They must be building like crazy at OSU because it seemed like every other building they described was new. I was blown away by their new recreation  and aquatics centers. I'm jealous! Auburn's facilities seem quite shabby in comparison. In the above photo, you can see us walk along the axis of the Oval which terminates on the library.

You could take an elevator to to the 11th floor of the library where there is a reading room with great views of campus and Columbus. You can see the "'Shoe" in this picture. They call the stadium the Horseshoe because of the shape. Kurt can tell you much more than I can about the history of their stadium.

This is the Ohio State architecture building! A little more impressive than Dudley Hall, no? Apparently they received a generous donation for the construction of a new building but one stipulation was that it had to be clad in white marble. The architect was Mack Scogin Merrill Elam

Column examples reused from the former architecture building.

The building was locked but luckily Kurt and I spotted a random girl inside who decided we looked sane enough to admit in. I was excited to see the studios where Kurt and Erik toiled away countless late nights and crits. The building is practically one large space with levels connected by ramps and stairs. 

You can't live without random studio furniture.

The architecture building has a large terrace with a great view of the stadium.

Insert game experience here. The post was getting so huge, I decided to split it into our Columbus fun and actual events directly related to game time! Intermission time!

Well, after the game, we rode our bikes a little distance from campus to beat the mad rush for dinner. The boys raved about this pizza place nearby. Sadly, we had a little setback and weren't able to try one of the best pizzas you will ever eat. We continued on the quest for food on our bikes. The next place we tried had a band so they had a steep cover! Jeez! By this point we were cranky and ravenous. We weren't too far from where the boys used to live, so they wanted to check out what had replaced Taco Ninja, one of their constant go-to meals while in college. I had no idea what to expect. It turned out being a small little burrito outfit tucked inside a dive-y bar (see above). Perfect. I was sold. Kurt and I ordered burritos and cheap beers and settled in to watch Alabama beat up on Penn State on the bar's TV. Food always seems to taste best when you are starving and these burritos were no exception. Delicious! Unfortunately, Erik and Silvia did not share our burrito love and we split up a little later so they could find something else to eat.

We eventually ended up back together at a bar in Short North, a really cute neighborhood south of campus. There were tons of shops, bars, and restaurants with a great street presence along High Street, a main thoroughfare through campus. Of all the places in Columbus, I think I liked this stretch most. It probably reminded me of my beloved Brooklyn :) After a pretty extensive night of partying to celebrate the WIN, we finally headed off to bed.

The next morning, Kurt and Erik were excited to visit Nancy's, a diner north of campus. They used to frequent this place and get tons of food for next to nothing. Apparently, that isn't the best business model, so the restaurant had some financial trouble while the boys were in school. A facebook group got started to Save Nancy's! and actually worked! It helped them get back on their feet and continue to serve delicious food! I had some great biscuits and gravy and Kurt had an omelet. We were stuffed by the time we left.

One of our last stops on the Columbus tour before heading to Salem, Ohio to visit the Martigs was the HOMAGE store. Homage is this t-shirt company based in Columbus that Kurt has fallen in love with. They mainly produce Ohio State graphics but also have a random assortment of other themes. The catch is that most of the shirts are reproductions of vintage shirts from the past--therefore paying homage to those periods. The graphics are awesome and the shirts are soooo comfortable. I even have one :) Kurt has too many to admit. While browsing their newly opened shop (they used to just be online), Kurt and Erik chatted up the salespeople and expressed their love for the store. One of the guys was like Hey, do you guys want a coke? and got them a couple of glass bottles out of their retro coke machine. It was such a feel-good Coca Cola ad from the 90s but the boys were elated. They could not have been happier. I think it was a great conclusion to our couple days in Columbus.

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