September 27 2012 by Sam Lowe
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Now that I have advanced into seniordom, I can say this without hesitation - this is MY kind of town. It's comfortable, has a nice blend of the old with the up-and-coming and, perhaps most importantly, it's a place where I can see most of the good stuff simply by walking there.
My concept of a great city is one that has a solid downtown, and Columbus has it. Even better, most of the attractions that bring me here are in, or near to, that downtown. For example, the state capitol and the magnificent old Ohio Theater are within a couple of blocks of each other, and each is an architectural delight, although from different eras. Within easy walking distance from those two structures, the Scioito River courses past four well-designed parks and the Scioto Mile, an urban green space where the Santa Maria, a full-scale replica of one of the three ships sailed by Christopher Columbus (the city's namesake) to the New World is berthed. It's a floating history museum that heralds life at sea during the 1400s.
The riverbank is also the site of the Scioto Audubon Metro Park, a 94-acre downtown oasis that contains hiking trails, fishing spots and bird-watching perches, all of which capture my interest in case I feel a need to exercise, plus a playground, sand volleyball courts and a large climbing wall, none of which appeal to me since wisely joining the rank of senior citizens.
My favorite stopping spot, however, is the German Village, which is adjacent to the Brewery District less than a mile from downtown. The Village, one of the original settlements in the city, has quaint brick streets and sidewalks, and it features comfortable old taverns where the beer lunges out of the tap with a curse and the suds run down the side of the glass with an enticing "whish." At least, that's what it feels like to me.
Bricks were a major building material in the city's evolving days, and brick structures feel like stability. We seniors like that. There are some glass buildings here, also, but brick is always more comforting to those of us who have witnessed architectural progress over a span of several years. From my personal perspective, brick buildings feel welcoming while glass structures feel sterile.
Anyway, Columbus is a delightful walking town and if all that traipsing around on foot results in a bad case of the wearies, there are five Best Westerns located in the metro area, waiting to help rest those tired bones.