Sunday, April 15, 2012

Easton Town Centre - Columbus, Ohio

I had a short business trip to Columbus, Ohio this week. My colleague who lives in Columbus recommended staying at the Marriott Courtyard in Easton rather than downtown (my usual preference). He said downtown is quiet at night and they'd be much more to see and do in Easton. Well we was right. I had a few occasions to walk around Easton Town Centre which is a model-town version of upscale main street with an impressive atrium-like mall at its centre. Lots of good restaurant choices, every shopping destination from the usual mall choices, large department stores to an Apple store and Tiffany's. I even caught a movie (The Hunger Games; review on Flixster soon) at the AMC.

But there were things missing. The feeling of it reminded me of a trip to Disney World where a friend said the boardwalk area was like being inside The Truman Show.

There were people walking on the sidewalks, but the massive parking lots advertising 1000's of parking spaces were a constant reminder that there were very few local residents and it was a suburban destination rather than a true true uptown experience. There were a few strollers, but not a lot of school age kids during the evening and after-school hours Add to that the extreme restriction of not allowing pets on the (private) streets; the absence of many visible minorities and lower income folks; and no people hurrying to/from home, resulted in a feeling of a manufactured cityscape.

A good try Columbus and I will stay in Easton again if I return, but I'm afraid it's not so easy to manufacture the true uptown street feel of a large city. Looking forward to being home to my uptown Toronto neighbourhood.

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