The global business publication has taken a keen interest in Columbus. Here are the stories you may have missed.
Our city and some of its notable names have been featured in a certain salmon-pink newspaper more times than we’ve seen sunshine this year. Yes, Columbus has been getting attention from the Financial Times of late. Perhaps it's the Trump effect: The world simply wants to know more about what makes the Rust Belt tick.
In January, FT.com ran an essay by Brooklyn-based photographer John Edmonds, whose work is included in the exhibition “Family Pictures” at the Columbus Museum of Art through May 20.
Then in February, “Hillbilly Elegy” author and German Village resident J.D. Vance sat down for “Lunch with the FT.” If you aren’t familiar with the excellent “Lunch with the FT” series, it’s an interview with a high profile so-and-so over lunch; the lunch itself and its price tag is fodder for commentary. To my wild surprise, Vance chose Hadley’s Bar + Kitchen on Fourth Street to host the FT, which described Hadley’s as “the sort of refashioned, Americana-laden eateries that you find increasingly in heartland cities such as Columbus, Ohio.” An entertaining interview it was; a great reflection on our dining scene, it was not. (Mr. Vance, call me next time, and I’ll point you to Rockmill Tavern.)
In late March, it was Les Wexner’s turn to get the “Lunch with the FT” treatment. The surprise this time was on the interviewer, Barney Jopson: Wexner doesn’t really do lunch—he does PowerBars. Wexner acquiesced and hosted a lunch of salads, sliced Gouda cheese and butter cookies in a meeting room at L Brands’ suburban headquarters. Worth a read but, again, I could only think of what could have been: Wexner and the FT at Little Eater, at Brassica, at Wolf’s Ridge Brewing.
Finally, early this month, the city was the subject of an opinion piece by columnist Rana Foroohar, who wrote that Columbus’ “success shows why industrial policy, not tariffs, is the winning strategy” for thriving in the new world order. Columbus 2020 will surely be happy with that assessment.
So, have a read and stay for the online comments—it’s always fascinating to hear perspectives from across the pond, with wonderful Brit Lit adjectives like “dowdy” for 1970s Columbus, and “elfin” for the 80-year-old Wexner, who explains that his abbreviated lunchtime routine came about as his career blossomed and with it, the pressures of success. He realized he needed to find time away from the office, away from associates and business meetings, so he says he stopped going out to lunch and instead, he tells the Financial Times, “I had a dog. I fed the dog once a day.”
Here’s a little tip: If you run into FT’s paywall, Google is your friend: Search, e.g. Financial Times Les Wexner, and you should be able to access the content for free. But you didn't hear that from me.