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Columbus an Architectural Delight
Imagine my delight when I opened the computer and saw a story that said one of the places you have to visit before you die is Columbus, Indiana, one of my hometowns.
Yes, I mean to make it plural. You see, I’ve never gone by the rule that says you’re limited to one hometown and one only. I’m proud of all the places I’ve lived, and love each one for different reasons - Peru, Indiana because I was born there; LaGrange County because it’s where my family has such deep roots, and where I grew up; Indianapolis, where I’ve lived longer than anywhere else ...
And Columbus because it’s where my career really began, and because it’s such a wonderful, interesting town, as noted by the people who chose it as a place you have to see before you go on to that Big Travel Agency In The Sky.
"For a small city, Columbus is a major repository of modern architecture, with works by luminaries like Eero Saarinen, Cesar Pelli, and Richard Meier," they wrote. "This destination says design from the get go-you enter the city over a futuristic quadripod bridge. The Visitors’ Center dazzles with work by famed glass artist Dale Chihuly, while Eliel Saarinen’s 1942 First Christian Church (its rectangular windows and brick tower glow like corn in the sun) faces I.M. Pei’s Cleo Rogers Memorial Library (a brick pavilion with long deep recessed windows). In between, Henry Moore’s whimsical massive sculpture, Large Arch, is his tribute to Stonehenge."
Now, I always knew it was a cool place to visit. The five years I lived there, I was forever exhorting friends and family to come see this amazing place, and even now, more than 25 years after I left, Columbus still tops the list of Indiana places I’d want to live if I suddenly had to leave Indianapolis because of a parole violation or something.
And look at the company it keeps on that "See ’Em Before You Die" list: New Orleans, Times Square, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone Park, the Monterey Peninsula, Cape Cod National Seashore, the Las Vegas Strip, Mesa Verde National Park, and Charleston, S.C.
All in all, the article was a splendid recommendation for a place I love, except for one thing:
The picture with it wasn’t of Columbus. It was downtown Indianapolis.
This is precisely the sort of thing that makes me think that most of today’s big-time media, online and off, has decided that relevance is relative - that it’s ok to be correct, but let’s not go overboard. It’s more important to use that energy scrabbling for every last dime we can find.
Oh, and don’t think this is restricted to the nationals, either. It wasn’t that long ago that I read in my morning paper that Indiana has 86 counties. Close. Very close. They only missed it by six.
Oh well. You should still go visit Columbus. Really. The architectural tour is a delight, the people are friendly and some of my best memories live there. I’m sure they would all enjoy some company.
So yes, the travel people are right. You really SHOULD it. And yes, it should probably be before you die. Something tells me it’ll be much easier that way.
© 2009 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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