Best of Columbus 2020: Editors' Picks for Around Town

Columbus Monthly staff
One of Cecily King's encouraging banners

New Albany teenager Anna Calcaterra has redrawn a perfect map for these unreal times—an American continent in an alternate reality. In February, Anna’s father, NBC baseball writer Craig Calcaterra, posted a photo of her creation online, where it generated quite a buzz. New Hampshire and Vermont are combined into New Hampsmont; Ohio 2, a replica of the Buckeye State, replaces the four-corners junction in the southwest; Wyoming is eliminated. Florida’s panhandle stretches nearly to the Pacific, where it meets Long Chile, which now dominates the western seaboard—a land grab that sparks World War III. Anna’s imaginative, hilarious hemisphere has garnered 345,000 likes on Twitter.

Signs of HOPE (“Hang On, Pain Ends”)

Last summer, well before Covid-19 highlighted the issue of social isolation, drivers in Columbus began to spot encouraging messages around town, painted on bedsheets and zip-tied to overpasses. The sign-bomber, Cecily King, said lonely commuters were her target audience. “We are all looking for signs all the time,” wrote the poet Maggie Smith in a Columbus Alive article about King. “And thanks to Cecily King, sometimes we find one exactly when we need it.”

Canine Athlete

Westminster has been claimed by a new top dog, a superfast border collie named P!nk. Co-owned by Sharon Anderson of Gahanna and Jenn Crank of Pataskala’s IncrediPaws training center, P!nk is the only three-time champ of the dog show’s agility competition, dominating the 16-inch division since 2018. She also won the 2020 overall title, a first for any 16-incher, according to Crank. “She just has an incredible intensity and work ethic unlike any other dog I’ve seen before,” Crank says.

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Horrifying Photo

It’s been an extraordinary year for protest photography, from the face-to-face confrontation between angry anti-lockdown resisters and stoic masked police officers inside the Michigan State Capitol to a lone man carrying an upside-down American flag silhouetted against a burning Minneapolis liquor store. But if pure virality is the judging criterion, perhaps nothing can top Columbus Dispatch photographer Joshua A. Bickel’s shot of a motley crew of protesters against stay-at-home orders, pressed against the windows of the Ohio Statehouse like the zombies of “Dawn of the Dead.” Comedian Patton Oswalt summed up the online appeal in a one-word retweet: “BRAINS!!!”

Light Show

When the National Veterans Memorial and Museum eventually reopens, consider visiting the Scioto Peninsula attraction close to sunset. That’s when the Remembrance Gallery on the mezzanine really comes to life. Natural light shines through the west-facing, floor-to-ceiling stained glass, creating a spectacular, multicolored display.

Suburban Span

A soaring, swerving, S-shaped bridge across the Scioto—the namesake of Dublin’s new Bridge Park development—was finally completed in March. Three years and $22.6 million in the making, it links the new Riverside Crossing Park on both banks for walkers, runners and cyclists. The bridge, which is suspended from a 169-foot-high tower, is touted by the city as the world’s tallest single-tower S-shaped bridge. It’s also the only one.

Best of Columbus 2020

41 reasons to love our city, plus 98 top picks from Columbus Monthly readers READ MORE>>

The Remembrance Gallery at the National Veterans Memorial and Museum