Whether you're a king or a kingpin, it's good to have people. I'm certainly neither, but I do know a few good folks who call Columbus home and bleed Scarlet & Gray. One them is my pal Nils. Since I decided to throw my hat in the ring with Uncle Sam's Gun Club, he's my consigliere for all things Ohio State. Nils is a Buckeye alum, a successful businessman, a minor star of stage and screen, and an all-around swell guy. Since I don't get a lot of time around Columbus anymore he's graciously offered to fill us in on the places to go and things to do when you're in town to see the Buckeyes beat your team.
You've lived in Columbus for a hot minute now. What are the good places in town to live for the post-college set? Any areas for out-of-towners to avoid?
If you're pre-kids, this is a no-brainer. The Short North Arts District, which includes Italian village on the East of High St and Victorian Village on the west of High St are the places to be. I've been in the 'hood for 5 years now and couldn't imagine experiencing Columbus (or Ohio, for that matter), any other way. The Short North has a "critical mass" of density that makes everything you need a 5-10 min walk away. The bar scene is diverse and relatively affordable to other equivalent scenes in metro areas on the coasts, and there are over a dozen full time galleries you can stop in to browse or shop (thus the "Arts district"). I think my favorite part about the area is that it's just... fucking different (feel free to censor where needed). Growing up in small town Ohio, it's refreshing to know you don't have to be a plane ride away from family to experience a dense, urban culture. I mention "pre-kids" because if you need a big yard and a bunch of bedrooms, it can be pricey.
I don't have any places to avoid. To each his own
As an OSU alum you're an old hand at the Columbus gameday scene. Last year, we pre-gramed at Eddie George's (and saw Eddie George) before taking in the splendor of a night-time snooze fest against the Gophers. What's the standard fare for a game saturday? Does the ritual change from August to November?
This all depends if you tailgate or not. Some people have a regular location and group of people they tailgate with, and that's awesome. I don't, but I really enjoy "crashing" them and seeing how different groups celebrate Gameday in their own, different way. For some, it's "you better have a cold one cracked before Corso gets out his first 'Not so fast.' And for others it's all about comfort food and singing with the band at Skull Session. I like a mix of both, from weekend to weekend, depending on who's up to what and how badly I need some hair of the dog after Friday night.
What's your favorite Gameday tradition and why?
Post-game Catfish Bif's. Best pizza in town, and it reminds me of freshman year living on south campus.
As a student at OSU you founded a successful t-shirt company. Tell us a bit about your endeavors now. You have a great day venture, and a cool "side hustle" on Facebook that's been a lot of fun to watch. Can you share what you're up to these days?
I'm a video producer/director, and that's my full time job. I tell my buddies "we do everything except porn and weddings", which basically means making commercial content for brands and organizations mostly around the Midwest.
A for-fun project I have is a video blog called 'Thusiasm where I interview and film different people who love their jobs. I think it's important we all find a job that gives us a sense of purpose and pride, and I think seeing someone talk about a job they enjoy can be inspiring for others.
Best local beer?
Four strong brass knuckle. Best enjoyed on tap at Short North Tavern while watching "How It's Made" on the bar TVs.
Special thanks to Nils for taking the time to answer. Be sure to catch his Vlog 'Thusiasm on Facebook, but don't hire him for porn or weddings.