Things We Love: Picks from Ben Shinaberry

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Ben Shinabery is the creator and executive director of the Dick & Jane Project, which partners middle school students with local music producers and musicians to write radio-ready songs. Students write the lyrics, producers make the music and together they collaborate to bring their musical vision to life. Dick & Jane week, an annual fundraiser where bands and music venues across the city join forces to throw shows and raise money for kids to participate in the Dick & Jane Project songwriting experience, runs through Oct. 9. Visit for more information and a schedule of concerts.

I used to play golf every day when I was a kid; I worked at a course and was able to play for free. I no longer have the time or money to play, so I make up my own courses. I use trees and rocks for holes, whiffle golf balls and every inch of my .25 acre yard. I also do a lot of urban putt-putting. My greatest accomplishment is putting a ball from one end of the Arts and College Prep Academy to the other. Like, 500 feet!

Or, more specifically, the part just north of the intersection at Dublin Road, which is hands down the best section of any bike trail in Columbus. It combines a view of the river with exciting swerves and curves along with a dip under an old railroad track - all within 10 seconds. If you've ridden the trail you know what I'm talking about.

I love the Browns, and I hope one day I'll witness them win a Super Bowl. But I think what I love more than the Browns is the undeniable energy surrounding them that summons absurdity into every game of every season ever. Nothing is more enjoyable than a two or six point differential late in the 4th quarter.

Did you know there is a high school in Columbus that has an improv comedy class? And a class that teaches you how to be in a rock band? And a school that has a skateboard rack? And a 3-D art class? And AP musical theory? And a transgender bathroom? There is. And it's ACPA.

Everyone should stand under a waterfall at least once in their lives. It's an exhilarating experience that tugs at your soul and opens your mind. I recommend finding one that requires at least 20 miles of backpacking to see it and another two hours to build up the courage in order to sit under it.