The List: The nine circles of Columbus Hell

Andy Downing
A crowd at the American Girl store at Easton

The Hell City Tattoo Fest, which celebrates everything ink-drenched, begins on Friday, April 26, and runs through Sunday, with action centered Downtown at the Hyatt Regency (visit for more information). With that in mind, and in the spirit of Dante's Inferno, we thought we'd assemble our own, localized Circles of Hell.

The First Circle: The Earth Day line at Northstar

Like Purgatory, the queue for free Earth Day veggie burgers at this local favorite can be interminable, though the payoff can be akin to breaking through to Paradise. (I mean, it is a damn good burger.)

The Second Circle: I-71 in a light drizzle

Traffic jams are to be expected in truly terrifying weather (snow-induced white-outs, ice storms, etc.), but for some reason highway traffic in Columbus always seems to slow to a crawl when there's even a suggestion of rain.

The Third Circle: A sold-out show at the Basement

If you're not 7 feet tall and you don't want to stand in the packed pit in the front of the stage, then you'd better enjoy watching musicians perform on the small televisions above the bar, because that's the only way you're going to see anything.

The Fourth Circle: Trying to street park in the Short North at 8 p.m. on an unseasonably warm Friday

Admittedly, this was a tough task prior to the new, much-maligned parking rules in the neighborhood. Now, it's a goddamned calamity. Good luck trying to spot an open meter while dodging the tipsy pedestrians stumbling free from Cameron Mitchell concepts.

The Fifth Circle:The Burger King on West Fifth Avenue

The fast-food locale is a long-running joke on the Columbus subreddit, popping up in posts every few weeks or so, most recently (checks Reddit) … Tuesday. In the most recent edition, a commenter responded to a photo of a Burger King sign, allegedly taken at the BK5, with a degree of skepticism, writing, “This is so fake. The real sign would be broken or have a ‘out of burgers' note taped to it.”

The Sixth Circle: Red, White & Boom!

Ideal if you love insane crowds, sweat and sunburn.

The Seventh Circle: Facebook's Clintonville Discussion Forum

The Clintonville Discussion Forum (CDF) combines some of the worst of humanity (message board commenters and faux-liberal NIMBYs), which means members are subjected to eye-rolling posts complaining about sound bleed from the rare concert at Ohio Stadium (post-Beyonce was… something) and the pair of sunglasses that was taken from a resident's unlocked car the night before, which is clearly a sign of the neighborhood's steady decline into a crime-ridden hellscape.

The Eighth Circle: Three beers deep and waiting in the game day bathroom line at Ohio Stadium

You're not going to make it.

The Ninth Circle: Easton on Black Friday

Where is your god now, Columbus?