Don’t Call Us the Next Brooklyn

Is Columbus the new Brooklyn? Nah. Columbus is pretty happy to be Columbus. But we’ll happily brag on our cool factor (and pay lower rents, enjoy shorter commutes and launch businesses in a totally supportive environment while doing it).

Gallery Hop in the Short North

Vintage and resale? Check.

Check out stores like Rag O Rama, Boomerang Room and Flower Child. And don’t miss the quarterly Columbus Flea extravaganza, where you’ll find a mix of vintage, crafters and makers, food trucks and random surprises (crystals, anyone?).

Record stores that sell records? Check.

Columbus does Record Store Day right, and the other 364 days of the year just as nice. Even Brooklyn doesn’t have a record store called Magnolia Thunderpussy! Put Used Kids, Lost Weekend, Elizabeth’s, Roots and Spoonful on your regular weekend hunt for great vinyl, too.

Fashion? Check.

Columbus ranks third behind New York and Los Angeles among large metro areas for fashion designers. CCAD’s Senior Fashion Show has production values and an after-party to die for. Fashion Week Columbus showcases the city’s talent, and the annual Highball festival is a feast of wild costume-design imagination.

Neighborhood for emerging artists? Check.

Actually, we have a few. Check out Franklinton, just west of Downtown. Visit the neighborhood during a Franklinton Fridays event (the second Friday night of every month) and visit galleries and artist lofts at 400 West Rich, Vanderelli Room, Glass Axis, Second Sight Studio and 129 Studios. Olde Towne East (that’s OTE) is another neighborhood where the intersection of affordable housing and a simmering scene for music, food and art is attracting new people all the time. Check out Milo-Grogan just down Cleveland Ave. from CCAD, home to Milo Arts, Corrugate Studio, and 934 Gallery. And watch out for the near South Side — businesses are popping up along Parsons Avenue and in Merion Village (see: Mint Collective).

Big-name contemporary art? Check.

For 25 years, The Wexner Center for the Arts has drawn boldface names like Laurie Anderson, Louise Bourgeois, Annie Leibovitz and Andy Warhol right alongside artists on the cusp of becoming household names. The Columbus Museum of Art (a stone’s throw away from CCAD) just opened a brand-new wing, fully half of which is dedicated to the museum’s rich contemporary art collection. World-famous art collectors Ron and Ann Pizzuti opened the Pizzuti Collection a few years ago, showcasing works by contemporary artists from around the world. And let’s not forget CCAD’s own Beeler Gallery, where cutting-edge artists’ work is on exhibition year-round.

Cheap city cuts? Check.

Lucky 13 in Clintonville is a cult favorite for all your asymmetric/undercut/rainbow color hair needs. Dudes, head to Old Familiar Barber Shop in Olde Towne East or see Mitch Geiser at Vice Barber for a slick ’do.

Local food and ethnic eats? Check.

Chef Kevin Caskey at Skillet changes his menu almost daily, depending on what’s fresh and inspiring from his trusted local purveyors. Rick Lopez at La Tavola makes fresh pasta in the kitchen and writes his menu by the seasons. And Bill Glover at Gallerie Bar & Bistro has made a national name for himself cooking with Ohio-made ingredients. These guys are just three examples of many chefs in Columbus putting local and seasonal ingredients first. And, thanks to our incredibly diverse population, we eat truly globally here — you’ll find Ethiopian, Somali, Korean, Japanese, Nepali, Vietnamese, Filipino, Mexican and Venezuelan food within a 20-minute radius of campus.


Want to read what others are saying about Columbus? Check out these articles:

Forget Brooklyn. Could Columbus Be the Next Hot Millennial Enclave? 

Why All the Cool Kids Love Columbus, Ohio


Read more in our series CCAD & Columbus.


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