A few weeks back, former LGHL contributor DJ Byrnes and I were talking on Twitter about the things in Columbus that really irked us. We decided the only way to get the self therapy we so sorely needed was to have an airing of grievances of sorts about the various Columbus suburbs that really got to us.
The following is a tongue-and-cheek, informal power rankings of sorts, for all the things about the C-bus suburbs that bug us. If you're extremely thin skinned, lack a sense of humor, or just like to get mad about stuff on the Internet, this probably isn't for you.
Matt: While I grew up in the Columbus area (Granville, then campus), I've also spent significant time in places like Washington DC, New Orleans and currently, Chicago. One thing the latter cities all have in common are sets of highly unique neighborhoods. Different parts of town have totally diverse architecture styles, food choices, ethnic backgrounds; it can be like hitting an entirely different city by just going a few blocks away.
Columbus doesn't really have that. Despite being a fairly big city, an awful lot of Columbus proper is too spread out, or too similar, to have a unique neighborhood pride or feel. What we have instead, are suburbs.
DJ: I inherently like the guttural aspects of life much more than strip malls and developmental apartments which seem to populate every single one of Columbus' suburbs. Drive in any direction and you will encounter the glorification of the corporatocracy that is slowly nibbling away at any semblance or attempt at culture.
However, only a seasoned Columbus..ian? Columbusite? Columbian? (COLUMBIAN!) can truly appreciate the little shrines to white flight each suburb of Columbus brings to the table.
Let's start with Dublin – Dublin, Ohio is little more than a poorman's Upper Arlington, and for that, it will always be the suburb of most ill-repute to me. That, and they spit on their hands before the MARION HURRICANES dumped their sorry MOSSL squad 2-1 back in the 90's.
Then there's the whole fake-"Dublin, JUST LIKE IRELAND" thing they have going on. I've never been to Dublin, Ireland, but I doubt it has anything in common with the wretchedness that is Dublin, Columbus, McMansions, and 95% of the people who still own and drive Hummers in 2013.
Matt: Really, the entire "fake-Irish" business permeates a ton of white America, and I think it's ridiculous. If your great-grandparents were born in the US, and you can't name more than two cities in Ireland, you aren't actually Irish, even though you like to drink. Dublin then, is a suburb of frauds. PERHAPS EVEN CLOWNFRAUDS.
DJ: Let's shift gears to Upper Arlington itself. I lived in Upper Arlington, and short of the majestic cougars grazing in the wild, that suburb has little to offer if you don't wear $3000 suits or drive your dad's BMW to high school every day. Golden Bears? More like Golden Honkeys. And it will go on too, because awful people with money will continue to live there, and so will their kids. DID WE MENTION THE OVERT RACISM?
Matt: Also, I hate that UA likes to pretend it's the UCLA of Metro Columbus. Their stupid high school likes to brag about their 44 state titles, and how it's the city of champions or whatever. Look Upper Arlington, you're not fooling anybody. Nobody gives a crap about your 26 tennis or water polo titles that you get because you're the rich school surrounded by the poors. Let's see how much you're bragging when they can finally afford to build swimming pools in Youngstown.
DJ: We move on, this time to Hilliard. Oh, Hilliard I have never seen the Rivers Hades, but when God inevitably casts me there, I assume the on-ramp will look a lot like Hillard Rome Road and 70 West. I had to help my girlfriend drop some things off in Hilliard, AND HOLY S***; thirty minutes driving through some random doctor's park off Fishinger Road and taking the easy way out seemed favorable. We were able to find some BS physician's office that was "across from the Movie Tavern" as were the only directions that the secretary could give.
I also went there to watch a Browns game once, some random crappy corporate bar you tend to find in 21st century strip malls, and it was just a collective of tools wearing BEN ROETHLISBERGER and SUPER BOWL #7 jerseys.
Matt: I lived in Franklin and Licking County for 21 years and I think I've been to Hilliard exactly once. What's the reason to ever go to the west side of Columbus unless you own property there?
DJ: Next up is Powell – I haven't spent a lot of time in Powell, but LOL at the time I have. Will the 315/750 intersection ever be fixed? Ever? Or will it continue to be the blight on the beautiful drive that is the 315 scenic route? You know, I'm old enough to remember the 315 scenic route before Powell blew up and everybody else ruined it. Screw Powell and the people who drive 35 down 315 and take 20 minutes to make a left hand turn into ROCKAWAY BAY or whatever BS name developers gave to their park of Weeds-esque "little boxes".
Matt: When I went to Ohio State I drove a beat up Mitsubishi Mirage from 1995 or something. It was gray, had lots of dents, a political bumper sticker that was halfway scratched off from the last time I made the mistake of parking in Upper Arlington, and a broken windshield wiper. When I stopped at red lights, I'd roll down the window and wipe everything down with a sock. It was par for the course in my campus neighborhood, but you could absolutely tell it didn't belong to a trust fund kid.
I drove that car three times in Powell. I got two parking tickets and was tailed by a cop the third time. Don't go to Powell if your car's blue book is below 20 grand, or they'll try to find a way to haul your ass to jail.
DJ: Next up is Westerville – Bland land of people not rich enough to live in Dublin or Upper Arlington but still think they belong in the same tax bracket. Has anything original ever come from Westerville? People from Westerville are either super bland, or they go out of the way to make sure you know how much of a unique snowflake they are against the snowscape that is Westerville, Ohio. Westerville can be summed up with a resounding 'meh'.
Matt: Yeah, this is pretty accurate.
DJ: And then there was Grandview - Grandview is okay. There's a lot of young people there, but a lot of them just wear ties to bars and act real serious and disappointed at any attempt to have fun. Last time I was there, we saw a bunch of bros stagger out of Marshall's, climb into an SUV, back-into a telephone pole, speed off, and were apprehended a few blocks over when we left. There was also the time at Marshall's where my friend got into an argument with a bartender about beers being bought at 8:58 still qualifying for a special that ended at 9, and it ended with bar patrons ganging up on my friends and I while screaming things like "THIS IS GRANDVIEW YOU CANT ACT LIKE THAT HERE, BRO" and blockhead stuff like that. Haven't messed with it since.
And how about Whitehall – I like Whitehall, other than their ridiculous police force that looks at you like they want to fight at an intersection. REAL RESPECT REAL. *RESPECT TO WHITEHALL*
Matt: Also, Whitehall's football stadium gives free food to sportswriters and sells walking tacos. MATT BROWN TESTED, MATT BROWN APPROVED.
Don't forget to check out DJ's surreal recap of President Warren G. Harding's magical resurrection and fight in the cocaine wars, "The Most Hated On". Available online now.