Athens’ little secrets

Here is something that may surprise you: Athens has a lot to do! But not every student makes the effort to check out some unique spots in-and-around Athens. So we decided to take you to a few places beyond Court Street that students may not think about when they explore Athens.

 

Athens Farmers Market

Make sure to check out this market on Saturdays from 9am-12pm on Saturdays, 9am-12pm Wednesdays (April-December) and 4pm-7pm Thursdays (May-September). Athens favorites such as Jackie O’s and Casa Nueva have booths where they sell some of their best foods (such as bread and salsa). Check it out though to see all the vendors, you can even grab a slice of pizza or a vegetable taco for lunch!

The Athens Farmers Market is located on 1000 East State Street, inside the parking lot of the Athens Mall. Here is the map if you want to find it. Starting in the fall of 2016, there will be a bus that will take you to the farmers market if you do not have a car.

Directions to the market from Court Street (in front of College Green)
Directions to the market from Court Street (in front of College Green) via Google Maps

 

Strouds Run State Park

About 15 minutes outside of Ohio University is a state park that stretches over 2,606 acres and includes hiking trails and a beach for anyone to enjoy. On a perfect day, this is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the weather. At Strouds, there are almost 80 campsites and 35 miles of trails that you can hike on (25 of those miles can be open to bikes).

The park is located on 11661 State Park Road in Athens, here is a map for directions.

Directions to Strouds Run from Court Street (in front of College Green)
Directions to Strouds Run from Court Street (in front of College Green) via Google Maps

Premiere Video

 

 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzNVtHkqNKw

In an age where video stores close in favor of websites like Netflix and Amazon, Premiere Video serves as the exception that video stores cannot compete against the Internet. This store has hundreds of movie titles (both DVDs and VHS tapes) and offer great deals on a regular basis. So if you have a DVD player and/or a VCR, look no further than Premier Video for your movie needs.

Premiere Video is located on 284 East State Street.

Directions to Premiere Video from Court Street (in front of College Green)
Directions to Premiere Video from Court Street (in front of College Green) via Google Maps

 

ReUse Thrift Store

You can't miss the colorful facade of ReUse, their sign is just as quirky as the store.
You can’t miss the colorful facade of ReUse, their sign is just as quirky as the store.

ReUse is located on 100 Columbus Rd. On a nice day, enjoy a 40 minute walk from Campus taking W Carpenter St. all of the way until you hit Columbus Rd. There is also a bus that you can take for that costs a dollar per trip. Honestly, this thrift store has character. They have everything from clothes for 25 cents to cheap silverware and the occasional Hula girl. If you want to pull together a complete look for under five dollars while simultaneously getting a taste of real Athens county, ReUse is a must-go.

The Antique Mall 

I had a hard time leaving the antique mall without feeling sentimental.
There is something about antique malls that makes one feel mighty sentimental.

Make a day of thrifting on the West side of Athens. Just down the road from ReUse at 180 Columbus Rd. rests an AMAZING antique mall. The Athens Antique Mall is two floors of Appalachian gold. They have vintage clothing, mirrors, old books, records, trinkets and boxes galore. Even if you don’t have the money, making a trip to look around and see artifacts and history is well worth it. Plus you never know what you will find …

https://www.instagram.com/p/BEm5rXPEzgf/?taken-by=dap_menny

 

Hopefully none of you will say, “oh I wish I visited…” once you graduate from OU. These three places are just the tip of the iceberg, there are many places around town to visit and experience.

So what are you waiting for? Go out and explore Athens!

 

 

 

 

To paint the wall, or not to paint the wall?

On a slow day, I like to pick up the pace and talk a nice jog around the town. I have learned during these jogs that for such a, “small town,” Athens has many places that I need to discover. Good, bad or ugly.

A few weeks ago, I jogged across Walker Street and noticed a plain, gray, ugly and deteriorating wall that stretched along the sidewalk. What is ironic about this wall is the fact that ARTS/West, an art facility that serves the citizens of Athens as part of the City of Athens’ Arts, Parks and Recreation Department, is located nearby. I look at these walls and I can only think that they beg for some kind of transformation that only Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb can perform on The Today Show.

On Monday night the City and Safety Services Committee listened to proposals on issues ranging from snow removal to an art project. I did not know that the art project in particular would affect the same wall that I came in contact with a few weeks ago.

That wall that is considered an eyesore may get its makeover, or at least a fresh coat of paint.

The Athens City Council listened to a proposal from local artist and Ohio University student Jolena Hansbarger to transform the wall for Athens Beautification Day in the form of a mural.

Hansbarger wants to paint Greek mythological figures such as Poseidon along with multiple constellations in her current plans for the mural.

Councilman Kent Butler, D-1st Ward, is a member of the City and Safety Services Committee and supports the proposal.

The Athens City Council discusses matters relating to the ARTS/West mural on February 8th, 2016.
The Athens City Council discusses matters relating to the ARTS/West mural on February 8th, 2016.

“I embrace art outside of an art complex,” said Butler, who also stated that the proposal is privately funded and would not require city money.

The mural would allow residents of Athens to take part in its creation by being the artists themselves and painting the design that Hansbarger put forth in her proposal. Yes, this includes children, and Hansbarger knows that she may need to add some extra hours fixing the potential mistakes those novice painters could make.

“I don’t expect them (children) to paint inside the lines of my design, so I plan on working to fix those problems,” said Hansbarger.

Now children who aspire to be the next Picasso may not be the only problem with the mural, but elderly citizens who see the project as a distraction for the neighbors of the wall brought up objections to the committee.

Multiple residents brought up the potentially controversial subject material, the glow-in-the-dark paint (proposed to be used), and the location of the mural as potential headaches for neighbors.

At the same time, Councilwoman Michele Papai, D-3rd Ward, does not think the wall serves the best interests of Athens residents due to its mythological subject matter and the question of ownership of the artwork once the mural is finished. Papai expressed concern that the city would have to use public funding to keep the wall maintained after the mural begins to wear out or the wall experiences damages.

Athens Mayor Steve Patterson brings up a point during the Athens City Council meeting on February 8th, 2016
Athens Mayor Steve Patterson brings up a point during the Athens City Council meeting on February 8th, 2016

Councilman Patrick McGee, I-At Large, proposed an alternative to the Walker Street wall for Hansbarger to paint the mural.

“I wish there was a portable wall that can display this art for not just the west side, but the entire city,” said McGee.

McGee thinks that the art would best serve Athens if it travels around the city for all residents to see and not just the residents that live near the permanent wall.

Tensions were never high in the room, and each member of the council treated each other with respect. There was never an instance when I thought the council meeting would turn into an episode of The Jerry Springer Show, which is what I would expect from an Athens City Council meeting. They were talking about art tonight, not war.

I learned a lot about the city I live in during the hour that I sat in on the meeting, making it clear to me that these meetings mean a lot to me. Will I sit in on every meeting from this point on? Probably not, but I will surely make an effort to go to more council meetings, or at least appreciate the work these government figures do for their citizens.

As to the proposal itself, the Committee will revisit the matter next week. Until then, I will still be walking by that ugly hunk of concrete on Walker Street when I take a jog around Athens.

Wrecking ball: Athens breaks the wall between rivals from Dayton and creates friendship

As I was walking around West Green leaving my friend's room around 10 pm when I ran in Maslin Cassidy, who was on his way back from a meeting. As we were talking, I found that we lived 10 minutes away from each other and attended each other's rival high school (I couldn't make this up). Once the "tensions" from our high school selves cooled, we started talking about our plans after college. "I would love to return to Kettering and teach english, because when I was at Fairmont (high school), I had a teacher named Mr. Payne who challenged me to read more and write more. That inspired me to go to college to pursue a major in English and education." I asked if he wanted to inspire his future students like Mr. Payne had done. "Of course, if I can be half as inspirational as Mr. Keating in 'Dead Poets Society' I would consider my job a sucess. I'm in love with books like 'A Tale of Two Cities' and I want a new generation of readers to realize that good literature exists in the world." We then bonded over the fact that we both are fans of Rush and we could care less about "Grease: Live," we then went our separate ways. The next day I ran into him on my way to class, and he told me to "Check my Facebook." I found that he requested me as a friend. Who knew that a Centerville Elk and a Fairmont Firebird could become friends, but we are both Ohio Bobcats now so a new friendship is possible. I accepted the friend request. #planetathens

A photo posted by Brendon Embry (@brendonembry) on

A Field of Dreams: Peden Stadium

When I first came to Ohio University in 2008, I was just taking a weekend trip with my family to visit my parent’s alma mater for the first time. The brick roads, the smell of the Burrito Buggy, the exhausting hills, the trees. Everything in Athens to me was picture perfect.

But then I stepped foot inside a football stadium, but this was not just a football field with some bleachers. This football stadium had a spirit like I have never seen at any sporting venue. There was a hill that stretched behind one of the endzones, there was a view of the rolling hills just over the Hocking River, but there also was history written since 1929 stored inside every brick.

My first trip to OU in 2008 included my first trip to Peden Stadium.
My first trip to OU in 2008 included my first trip to Peden Stadium.

This was Peden Stadium.

I stepped foot on the field (though I was not supposed to), and felt a chill down my spine. If that chill was the spirit of Athens hitting me like a ton of bricks or just a cool breeze I will never know. But I realized at that moment that I too will become a Bobcat, just like my parents were 20 years earlier.

This may be considered the moment when I realized that I would become a Bobcat,
This may be considered the moment when I realized that I would become a Bobcat.

Fast forward five years, and it was my first week on campus as a student at Ohio University. I was overwhelmed by all the activity on campus, and I had a hard time becoming friends with my roommate. I decided to go to a football game with my learning community to celebrate my first week surviving college. Was it awkward? At first, yes, but as the night went on I bonded with my new friends about football, art, Billy Joel, Stephen Colbert and Big Mamma’s. By the end of the night, we all decided to go to games on a weekly basis and maybe hang out a time or two at James Hall.

 

This was during my first OU football game, where I met most of my best friends that I've kept at OU.
This was during my first OU football game, where I met most of my best friends that I’ve kept at OU.

Today, two of those guys are my roommates in our apartment on Court Street, and a few others from that night are still some of my best friends.

I still go to games on a weekly basis, even if it means sitting in freezing temperatures just to get a two-second cameo on ESPN. I have sang the national anthem with the Singing Men of Ohio on homecoming, and watched my friends play with the Marching 110. Every week in the fall is a new chance to make another memory at Peden Stadium.

I don’t love Peden because our football team plays well enough to go to a bowl game or because the Marching 110 is the most exciting band in the land when they play halftime (which is true). I love Peden because I felt that chill almost eight years ago to join OU, and because I met some people that would change my life all inside the brick walls of Peden Stadium.

Once I graduate from OU, I hope I can go back on the field and feel that chill one more time.