A Guide to Columbus OH

A Guide to Columbus OH

I’ve lived in Columbus for three years now and what I thought would just be a stop along the way during my college years has become a home. It’s small but it’s mighty. I have fallen in love with the revolutions and communities here under arches. There is a secret (not that secret) thriving cultural world happening and the city is one of the fastest growing regions in the county. Columbus is super underrated (I kinda want it to stay that way because cheap rent) butttttt if you find yourself in the city for a weekend or just moved here, these are a few of my favorite things!

Cafes

Cafe culture is an essential piece of any good hometown in my opinion. For work, study or eating muffins, check these:

  • The Roosevelt
    • Coffee + social justice = everything good. This social enterprise donates a portion of their profits to 501 c 3 nonprofits and is a great spot for weekday meetings.

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  • Fox in the Snow
    • My favorite for baked goods and coffee and sunshine on Saturday mornings. (no wifi though so don’t try to get work done)

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  • Stauf’s
    • My favorite working cafe, this spot usually has plenty of open tables, plants, wifi and outlets.
  • Pistacia Vera
    • A little french-esque cafe with macaroons and all the beautiful things.
  • Flowers and Bread
    • A little outside of the city center in Clintonville, a slower paced, beautiful cafe perfect with pastries and sunlit tables

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  • Dough Mama
    • Also located in Clintonville, the coffee and cakes are wonderful and there’s plenty of seating + cute merch

 

Places to go

For exploring on the weekends (or weekdays):

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  • Scioto Mile
    • in the summer this is one of my favorite places to go. it has a beautiful view of the Columbus skyline and an extensive bike trail. there’s lots of grassy areas for picnics and this area is conveniently located near COSI children’s science museum, the new Veteran’s memorial center and bicentennial park.

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  • Franklin Park Conservatory
    • Especially or when the weather in Columbus is not so wonderful, the conservatory is my haven for feeling outside without being outside. (also one of my fav spots during the holidays!)
  • The Main Library
    • This is a beautiful building full of books. My favorite. Worth a visit just for the architecture.
  • Grange Insurance Audubon Center
    • Nature in a city, this little oasis is right past the downtown area. There’s rock climbing, paths to walk and green, green, green.
  • The Short North
    • If you aren’t sure what you’re in the mood for you can probably figure it out in the short north. Restaurants, cafes, galleries, local shopping and ice cream available.

 

Food

The important stuff:

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  • Forno
    • My go-to for brunch or din with friends. I recommend the breakfast pizza or the pasta forno!

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  • Brassica
    • The mediterranean version of chipotle. Life changing.
  • Lindey’s
    • This is a fancier spot for brunch or dinner. Kinda pricey but worth it.
  • Hot Chicken Takeover
    • I don’t even know what I love more, the mission of this social enterprise or their chicken. Hot chicken takeover is committed to hiring men and women in need of supportive employment.
  • Condado
    • Tacos, margaritas and queso.
  • Bakersfield
    • My favorite queso in Columbus. You need it.
  • El Arepazo
    • Venezuelan food that makes you realize how much you love Venezuelan food.

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  • Jeni’s
    • Iconic ice cream that’s gone national. Columbus is the home of this splendid brand and it’s worth the long line and the price.

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  • Katalina’s
    • Okay this might sound strange but: pancake balls. It’s important. Try them. Their food is locally sourced and the best

 

Bars

These can range from chill dive to upscale happy hours– enjoy responsibly:

  • Seventh Sons
    • One of my favorite places for a chill happy hour. They bring in food trucks (on Thursdays its periogies) and host community events like the Columbus Flea. Lots of draft beers on tap and seating indoor and out!
  • Oddfellows
    • Trivia night on Tuesdays! + a hip, eclectic vibe.
  • Hoof-Hearted
    • During the summer, the outdoor pool is open for drinking and swimming! They also offer really good little apps and speciality cocktails.

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  • Juniper
    • This is the most picturesque venue in Columbus (imo). It’s a black and white new york vibey place with an incredible view of the columbus skyline. It’s only open to the public Monday-Thursday however– on the weekends it’s a rental space!
  • Local Bar
    • This is the divey-est place on my list. Very homegrown + free popcorn.
  • Tastings
    • Here you can sample hundreds of kinds of wine using a preloaded card + fancy wine tech. There is wine from all over the world and it’s a perfect chiller night out with friends or date thing.

 

Shopping

My other great love besides food:

  • Vamp Official
    • My friend Ellen Shirk opened this brick and mortar store about a year ago and is killin’ it! I want to buy every single thing it’s problematic.
  • On Paper
    • The happiest little stationary/trinket/card shop
  • Tigertree
    • Quirky shop full of perfect gifts that you would never, ever think about. One of my favorite places to just pop in and explore.
  • Little Hawk Shop

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  • Stump Plants
    • Plants, plants, plants! This adorable little shop offers every variety of house plant + creative ways to display them.
  • Valiente Goods

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  • The Book Loft
    • This infamous staple of the Columbus landscape is located in German Village (one of my fav neighborhoods). The Book Loft has over 34 rooms of books and my favorite place to spend a rainy afternoon very very lost.
  • Small Talk
  • Two Dollar Radio
    • My fav book store + coffee hangout spot. They publish their own books with beautiful covers and beautiful stories. You know every single book in there is wonderful because it’s hand curated by the owners.

 

Have a recommendation or would like to be featured? Email me at oliviamuguetteadkins@gmail.com!

 

London Weekend Guide

London Weekend Guide

So I began my adventure abroad in the chaos of London, England. London is a safe little step into Europe without excessive culture shock and bonus: you can already speak the language. There are actually many more differences than I had expected, but in subtle quiet ways like a lack of free public bathrooms, no salt or pepper on restaurant tables, people voluntarily eating outside in 50 degree weather and the best part, drinking wine at 11 am.

You definitely can’t experience everything London has to offer in a singular weekend, it’s a world of its own. But if your international flight lands in Heathrow, here are a few things to keep you occupied in the land of fish and chips and queens.


Places To Go 

The Royal Burroughs of Chelsea and Kensington

This is actually where my hotel was located and a perfect little neighborhood to explore. It’s called a Royal Borough because it’s actually where Queen Victoria was born but now the property value here is greater than the entirety of Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland combined. It’s a perfect little fairytale land of pink houses, Mercedes and lots of pastries.

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Buckingham Palace

Always a classic tale, Buckingham Palace really connects you to the magic of the royal family. This gorgeous and historic structure is a symbol of architecture, the past few hundred years and Prince William’s house is not too far away, so.

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Things To Do

Take photos at a red telephone booth

These things are literally everywhere and no London trip is complete without it. Get brave, don’t be afraid of looking like a tourist and do it for the ‘gram. Still not sure if the pay phones inside actually work…

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Feed the birds at St. Paul’s Cathedral

Toppins’, toppins’. Mary Poppins was one of my favorite movies growing up so this was cathartic. St. Paul’s is a beaaauuutiful church with a gift shop, cafe and pigeons to spare.

 

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Afternoon Tea

Obviously Brits love their tea. I thought I loved tea but I never really got it until I drank tea at 3 in the afternoon and ate fancy cakes in a cafe style sunroom. Afternoon tea can be expensive (up to 200 American dollars!) at the big hotels but we stumbled upon this cute little hidden tearoom at the Fan Museum– yes a museum of fans. You get tea and cakes plus a beautiful environment for only 8 pounds!!! You’re welcome in advance.

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Food to Eat

Kensington Square Kitchen

This cute little place tucked away in Kensington Square had the most amazing caramelized banana french toast I’ve ever had in my life. They have lots of English style brunchy options that are maybe life changing.

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Pizza Express

I threw this in here for a quick and easy lunch option while you’re out exploring! There’s basically a Pizza Express on every corner and a decision made out of hanger and stress actually was a shockingly delicious find. This is also a chance to drink wine at 11 am so don’t miss it.

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Sketch

Sketch is a place you’ll often see on instagram or any trendy travle blog ever. But this place lives up to the hype. Incredible environment, wonderful French cuisine, fantastic cocktails. Dinner so good it is slightly making up for the face that European Netflix doesn’t have the American version of The Office.  And the bathrooms are weird little bean pods that play nature sounds (see photos below.) 10000/10. Pro tip: usually people have to book a reservation months in advance but we checked the day before and there was randomly an open one at 10:30 pm (the night before I had a 7 am flight and it was still worth it.)

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PS. Water isn’t free and they will try to give you fizzy water every single time. Say hello to a life without ice cubes. Good luck and enjoy your stay!!!

5 Books to Ask for this Christmas

I always panic when anyone asks me what I want for Christmas. I instantly forget anything and everything I have added to my mental wish list ever. So when in doubt– ask for books. Always the right size, right fit, right color. Even the craziest of aunts really can’t mess this one up. These are five of my favorite books that I read this past year that I would recommend to anyone. These books are also all coincidentally written by women so I’m a big fan of that too. Give strong female writers some love, read these things:

The-Opposite-of-Loneliness

This book is a collection of essays and stories written by Marina Keegan, a Yale English student that was tragically killed in a car accident shortly after she graduated. This is one of my favorite books I have ever read; the writing is authentic, raw, beautiful and haunting. The essays span from fictional deep see voyage horror to nonfictional pieces on the consulting industry; works of art, all of them.

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I don’t typically love most young adult fiction but this is one of the best written books I have read in forever. Beautiful writing that tells a beautiful story. A story of a midwestern girl who moves to New York City is relatable and funny and sad and lovely. Please read.

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Shonda Rhimes is one of my favorite people in the world. Her internationally renowned TV shows like Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away With Murder are incredible and her book is almost somehow even better than her shows. The book features amazing and unique takes on life, motherhood, creativity, feminism, pretty much everything good on the planet.

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This book should be mandatory reading for all women. Actually in a dream world, all humans. Roxane Gay is a phenomenal writer and her perspectives on the universe are complex, fascinating and the truth. A modern take on realistic feminism, intersectionality and how we might all accidentally be bad feminists sometimes. Love, love, love.

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You’ve definitely heard of this one. Rupi Kaur has taking the Instagram world by storm. It takes some damn good writing to make poetry mainstream again, and Rupi has done just that. I actually had the chance to see her perform last month and she is probably the most eloquent, graceful and breathtaking individual I have ever seen. Pretty convinced she’s a real life angel. Political, powerful, perfect.