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Columbus, Ohio   3 comments

Part of my plan for keeping myself healthy is walking a lot. Walking is very good for you, even if it does make your feet and back hurt. On the day before we set up for the Origins game convention, I took a walk around downtown Columbus and took the following pictures. Columbus is a beutiful city, and it’s the capitol of Ohio. I’m sure there is a lot of history associated with the things I saw.

Rick Looms and I started the morning by visiting the GAMA headquarters offices in a hotel across the street from the Hyatt and the convention center. Rick had shipped the Flying Buffalo product there, and had to arrange to have it moved over to the convention floor. We got a cart and did that the frollowing day. This pic shows some of the Origins Award-winning games that were on display in the office.

More stuff on display in the GAMA (Game Manufacturers of America) office.

Rick Loomis in his “position of power” in the GAMA office. He is President of the organization this year (and next year till mid-summer anyway). The cardboard boxes to his right contain Tunnels & Trolls merchandise and lots of other stuff that he and I would spend the weekend trying to sell to gamers.

Rick went back to the hotel room at the Drury. I went for a walk in downtown Columbus. My first destination was my favorite building in the city. I call it the Ghostbusters building, although it has another name. It’s almost the tallest building in the city.

Looking downhill toward the Ohio River from High Street, one can see the base of the Leveque Tower and the marquee for the Palace Theater.

Cast your eyes upward from the same viewpoint to see the top of the Leveque Tower.

I thought this was an impressive front door. I think it’s a bank.

This is the statehouse in Columbus. William McKinley, 25th President of the United States, stands out front to welcome visitors. 19th century architecture loved the rotunda look on public buildings. The Arizona Capitol had one too. Pillars are also real popular, and lots of statues.

Looking down (south) HIgh Street I saw this other bizarre old skyscraper with its polygonal geometric design.

The Ohio Capitol Building is surrounded by a large open park-like area with extensive lawns and trees. My guess is this is the Ohio State flag.

I entered the Capitol and found this bust of Lincoln dominating the center of the building.

There was also this gigantic painting.

From the center of the Capitol one can look up about 6 stories to see this stained glass window in the top of the rotunda. Very petty and it makes colored patterns on the floor.

The Ohio State Senate Chambers. The Senate had the day off.

Leaving the Capitol behind, I walked through the rest of the downtown area and then down to the Ohio River. I’ve been to Origins in Columbus about a dozen times now–I forget, but it seems like a lot–and I had never gone as far as the river before.

Walking back north along the river, I saw this really impressive old building on the other side. I asked and someone told me it was a science museum. I would have liked to explore it, but there was a huge river in the way.

Bridge across the Ohio River. I did not walk across it. My feet were starting to get sore.

A small park bordered the river. It contained fishy fountains made of metal and spewing water as well as some big old swings where people could just kick back and watch the river go by.

“If there’s something weird in the neighborhood, who ya gonna call?” When I reached my favorite building I left the river and started climbing back up into the city.

I passed another government building. This turned out to be City Hall, pleasantly located close to the river. Chris Columbus himself stands out front, larger and blacker than life to tell you where you are.

I finally learned the name of my favorite Columbus building. You can look this up on wikipedia and learn that the building was designed to be exactly one foot taller than the Washington Monument–what kind of one-upsmanship was going on here?–but due to a construction error, it’s only 6 inches higher.

There is some very cool old Art Deco art inside the tower as well. I was only permitted to see a little bit of the lobby.

It’s not the Sistine Chapel, but somebody did paint on the ceiling. I wonder how many of these great illos are hidden inside this amazing old building.

As I headed back to the Convention Center I caught this distant glimpse of the city’s central police station. It looks like the kind of place where Commisioner Gordon (of Batman fame) might hang out.

I didn’t really want to get up close and personal with the Ohio Police, but what a bizarre building they have!

Next I moved into the Arena District and found the home ice of the Columbus Blue Jackets–a National Hockey League team. Hockey season was almost over–only the NHL finals were still going when I was there last week. Our Phoenix Coyotes were knocked out of the playoffs for the Western Conference Finals by Los Angeles. I used to be a hockey fan. I’m not any more.

Getting to the end of my walk, I entered the North Market from the west and found the Best of the Wurst.

I try to get into this multi-ethnic marketplace at least once during every visit to Columbus. It is an amazing place full of all kinds of food I would never find in Phoenix.

Later on, during the Origins convention, someone brought me a shwarma sandwich from this market. It was delicious.

Looking at the Market facade from the east side. I love the rooster head inside the letter O.

After a couple of hours of walking, I have returned to the Convention Center. You can see one of the entrances to it on the other side of High Steet.. This concluded my self-guided tour of Columbus, Ohio. For the rest of the week I was busy with the Origins 2012 national gaming convention, and I reported on that in the previous blog.

If you have ever walked around and found anything interesting in Columbus, Ohio, why not leave a comment? What did I miss?