Beyond the Fold: January 18

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

At Lotus last weekend, I argued with a British girl who works for Abercrombie & Fitch about the value and coolness of Columbus. Her only response to many local highlights, "It's no London."

She didn't want to hear that I pay thousands less for rent than someone living in downtown London. She didn't want to hear the bands, artists or speakers who come to this town. She didn't want to hear that I can walk to work, cab to five-star restaurants and drive 15 minutes to fly-fish on a pristine river.

No, Columbus is no London.

That conversation - with its list of local benefits and drawbacks - says a lot about how I feel about this city and why doing an issue like "What Columbus Needs" was important to most of us here at the paper.

Here's the thing...

An issue with this week's cover spread works only when analyzing a place that offers a lot of good things and is home to people that are actively interested in making those things even better.

It only works with a complicated place.

When Brooke Williams began reporting on the Downtown housing boom, she was amazed at how many developments were going up, but also shocked at the high prices and limited availability of many of them.

When I interviewed the mayor about his streetcar plan, I was jazzed about the thought of an affordable late-night ride home from the bars. I wasn't pleased that this plan is only on the second (of what'll be many) planning committees.

I also got the chance to feature the new initiative about keeping young professionals in town. I was glad to hear of efforts being made to market the central Ohio region. I was a bit confused that it seemed so difficult to do.

Doing this week's Pulse, we re-learned what many around town already know - that Columbus can be frustrating because it's involves so much damn potential.

Most of the local bitching, moaning and dreaming of greener pastures isn't because this town sucks, but because it's a good city on the knife-edge of being great.