I’ve always wanted to write an advice column. I’ve rarely used the advice in a newspaper column, but that has more to do with my stubbornness than with the veracity of publicly offered advice. And even though I live in a time when everyone has a public platform, the desire persists. There is something about asking a question and getting a straight answer that sings to me, especially in an age when lying is so profitable. As this is the time of year when many of us transition into a more reflective mood, I thought it would be a fine time to check “advice columnist” off of my bucket list. I’m sorry I don’t have a witty title for this. I’ll try to make up for it by changing the names of the respondents to something mildly entertaining.

Q: If done "correctly," could guerilla art be a welcome addition to the city’s culture or would it possibly cause more harm than good?

Dear Banksy,

If you’re doing guerilla art correctly it would never be welcomed in a city like the one we’re becoming... which is totally why it should be happening. People generally don’t know what they want or need out of art until they see it, so my advice is to always do art and let the chips fall where they may.

Q: What kind of community reinvestment can an individual investor do, i.e. rehab houses in neighborhoods, open a small business, etc.? I’m talking people with money around $25-100k

Dear Trading Spaces,

You answered your own question. At this stage of the Columbus game, it’s imperative that people who don’t want to spend the rest of their lives arguing about gentrification start owning things, and that includes homes, businesses and pretty much any plot of land you can lay money on. You don’t need to flip a house in this city to make a profit anymore. Buy an empty plot of land a mile away from a gentrified area and the city will come knocking within five years, maybe less. Just look at what they did in Whitehall along Broad Street and Hamilton Road while everyone has been arguing over Crew Stadium for the past year. They’re basically building Columbus Commons on the East Side from scratch and no one said a word, despite the fact that they bought up a ton of acreage for less than $10 million. It was a steal, and it was a steal because no one is paying attention to the East Side. Well, no one WAS paying attention.

For more advice from Scott Woods, continue reading on Columbus Alive.