Gift guide for the foodies in your life

While it may be easy to find gifts for the trend-setters, the adventurers, and the tech-savvy individuals, what can you get that the chefs and hosts don’t already have stored away in their kitchens? With a quick stroll down Court Street, it is easy to find the perfect gift for the beloved foodies in your life.

  1. Bobcat Cookie Cutters from College Bookstore

cookie cutter

These cookie cutters will please any Bobcat Baker. Holidays cookies will have more spirit than ever.

2. Coasters from College Bookstore

coasters

For the obsessive host, these coasters are an ideal gift.

3. Dips, Jams, and more from Mountain Laurel Gifts

dips

Local dips and jams will impress any foodie.

4. Coffee from a local shop, such as Donkey

coffee

Surprise your loved ones with their favorite Athens coffee, perfect for those that live too far to stop in to get a cup.

5. Cutting Board (Cheese Block) from Kiser’s BBQ

cutting board

A fancier gift for a fancier food-lover, this cheese block is great for cutting up fresh organic vegetables or for displaying cheeses during a party.

 

Featured image from Flickr.

Experience the Athens Farmers Market

Whether the sun shines down, baking everything to a sweaty crisp, or the first frost of winter blows through the barren tree branches, the Farmers Market in Athens, OH stands strong. The hardworking farmers welcome patrons with friendly smiles and tantalizing samples of crisp produce. For two days each week, you can count on these farmers being set up and ready to go before many people even open their eyes in the morning.

Pumpkins grown by Mitch's Produce and Greenhouse
Pumpkins grown by Mitch’s Produce and Greenhouse

Every Wednesday and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon, the Athens Farmers Market thrives. When the chill of December sets in, the event is cut down to a Saturday-only time frame until the weather warms again in April. The fresh produce changes with the season, but the vendors are (for the most part) the same year round.

You can always count on the little old man selling his wife’s delicious pies, complete with cut-out-heart-crust toppings. His favorite is black raspberry, and I agree with him. The filling-to-crust ratio is nothing short of perfection.

“Sometimes, when there are leftovers, she scoops up the extra black raspberry filling into crust, and folds it over. Like a little fried pie! It’s delicious,” he says.

Continuing down the line of vendors, it seems there are endless amounts of fresh produce. With fall fading to winter, baskets overflow with sweet potatoes. Boxes showcase piles of pumpkins and butternut squash, ready for baking into sweet Thanksgiving dishes. The sweet corn of summer is no more. Instead, farmers provide the beautiful Indian corn, fine for popcorn or fall décor.

Enjoying the sweet almond raspberry tartelette from Z Bakery
Enjoying the sweet almond raspberry tartelette from Z Bakery

While the farmers are aplenty, you can also find local bakeries and restaurants selling their products under tarp-covered tents. Artisan breads, warm pizza, and sweet tartelettes are sold by Jackie O’s, Avalanche Pizza, and Z Bakery. These treats don’t disappoint. The sweet almond raspberry tartelette from Z Bakery is the perfect size to enjoy for breakfast while walking down the extensive aisle of fresh foods.

On a lucky day, you can be greeted with any number of free samples. Savory cheeses, vibrant salsas, crisp apples, and bold dips await the leisurely shoppers toting environmentally-friendly bags filled with fresh finds.

“Do you like this garlic dip?” says one farmer. The dip is flavorful atop a crunchy slice of sweet potato. “Here’s the recipe. I made it because I really need to sell more sweet potatoes,” she says. I fall for her sales tactics and buy a basket of sweet potatoes.

Many people receive more samples as they pass the Cantrell Honey table.

“Didn’t you know that redheads get honey straws today?” The vendor’s smile and attitude is sweeter than the honey he hands to me. Oftentimes, there are children at the market, with tiny feet running from parents and tinier fingers clutching tightly to their free honey straws.

At the Market, kindness overflows more than the produce overflows its containers. Warm chitchat fills the quiet morning air. The farmers extend graciousness to shoppers, maintaining a strong relationship and making regulars of the customers. The volume of voices increases as the late-risers bustle in before noon, when the sun is directly overhead and the vendors start folding in their tents and packing away their leftovers.

When leaving the Athens Farmers Market, there is excitement. The excitement of farmers, who leave with a reward for their hard work. The excitement of shoppers, ready to craft meals from the produce made by all of the hands they just shook while buying that produce. The excitement to return within a week, hungry for more.

Learn the history of the Ohio University Women’s Center

Paige Bennett | Court Street Stories

Feminism: the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes. Although feminism seems to be a “trend” to some people, it dates back many years. Ohio University in particular has its own timeline of feminism on its beautiful campus, and thanks to the Women’s Center, feminists have a safe place to meet, inform and learn.

The Women’s Center, also known as the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, is located in Baker Center. Although the feminism definition includes the equality of the sexes, the Women’s Center and many feminists at Ohio University support equality for all genders. If you are confused on the difference, it may be time to take that WGSS 1000 class.

The Women’s Center helps to “promote awareness, education, and advocacy about women, gender, and diversity, among faculty, staff, and students at Ohio University and its surrounding communities.”

Throughout each week, several events and meetings are held by the center to work toward their mission of educating. Thursdays are well-known within the Women’s Center for the Brown Bag Lunch and Learn. Brown Bag is held at noon, and is exactly what the title suggests: you pack a lunch and head to the Women’s Center to learn about different diversity topics.

The Women’s Center has also been known throughout the years for offering film showings and theater productions to students, faculty, and community members. If you’ve heard of the Vagina Monologues, you should know the support behind it. The original play was written by Eve Ensler in 1996. The Women’s Center holds open auditions at its location. Performers have a chance to act out the stories told by 200 women from almost 20 years ago about sex, relationships, and abuse. The stories are still relevant and occurring today. Regardless of your gender, you should stay tuned to the Women’s Center calendar in order to check out this important theater performance.

The Women’s Center has also been known to welcome student organizations for gatherings and planning sessions. FEM (Feminist Equality Movement) meets here on Mondays, and FRC (Fuck Rape Culture) meets here on Thursdays. The organizations are able to plan and organize protests in the Center.

A few times each month, the center holds an International Women’s Coffee Hour, where women of all nationalities are welcome to visit the offices for coffee and tea. Through these coffee hours, the center again accomplishes its longtime mission of being inclusive to diversity.

Although feminism has been occurring in waves since the late 1800s, it has been harder for feminists to find a welcome space. The Women’s Center has provided that space for students on the Ohio University campus, but with the welcoming vibes, has also provided space for community feminists in Athens.

Regardless of your gender, nationality, age, or ideals, you should stop and check out the Women’s Center. The experience is sure to be enriching, and you might just decide to change history and swim in this third wave of feminism.

Ohio University graffiti wall layers hold years of memories

The graffiti wall near Bentley Hall has weathered many storms … and students. For years, messages ranging from student organization marketing, to artistic murals to marriage proposals have been painted and repainted on the old mass of cement (although it is made more of layers of paint than cement at this point). Each layer holds another message and another memory.

graffiti wall ou
Chipping away at the top layer reveals many more layers on the OU Graffiti Wall.

 

 

 

 

graffiti wall ou
The OU Graffiti Wall is a way for students to express their opinions. When brought to social media, this pro-Romney message started a debate.

 

graffiti wall ou
The wall provides an outlet to bring attention to social issues, such as these messages bringing awareness to the subject of cat-calling and sexual harassment.

 

 

Learn more about the Wall here.

How to choose a salon in Athens

Hair is an important physical feature to many people. The thought of letting a stranger touch your hair, let alone cut, color and style it, can be terrifying. But what else are you to do when you are away at college, possibly hours from your trusted stylist who has been working magic on your locks since you had more than three wisps of hair?

Although it may leave you feeling nervous (maybe even a little ill), you should face your fears and head into a salon in Athens. Aside from offering traditionally popular services, many salons in the area have personnel who are skilled in popular trends, such as ombre, balayage, and bold color. Most salons in Athens also offer additional services, such as waxing and spa treatments. Before choosing a salon, it is important to inform yourself of each salon’s services, prices, hours, and most recent reviews. (Facebook is a great tool for reviews, where people have a harder time lying about their experiences because their full names, pictures, and profiles are attached to each review.)

Aveda reviews
Facebook reviews for Raphael’s Aveda Concept Salon & Spa

At 18 S. Court St. is Raphael’s Aveda Concept Salon & Spa, commonly known as Aveda’s. For hair, they offer cuts, styling, coloring, perms, and relaxers. The prices range from $8 to $199. The salon also offers manicures and pedicures, massages, facials, waxing, bridal stylings, and conditioning treatments. They offer waxing services for nearly every part of the body, including backs and legs. Call (740) 592-4779 for more information or to make an appointment. The hours are 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Monday, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Attractions reviews
Facebook reviews for Attractions Hair & Nail Salon

Without leaving Court Street, you will encounter another salon (19 N. Court St., to be specific). Attractions Hair & Nail Salon (formerly Hair & Tanning) is also located on this well-known street. Although they no longer offer tanning bed services, spray tanning is still available for $25. They offer a variety of hair services, from children’s cuts to Brazilian blowouts, in prices ranging from $15 to over $325, depending on the stylist. At this salon, you can also have your makeup done. Manicures and pedicures are offered, as well as facial treatments. They offer waxing services for eyebrows, lips, and chins. Call (740) 594-4231 for more information or to make an appointment. The hours are 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday.

 

The Standard reviews
Facebook reviews for The Standard

At 79 E. State St., you will find The Standard. Without a personal website, it is harder to decipher exactly what services this salon offers, and increasingly difficult to find pricing. However, the Facebook page states that the team is comprised of “highly trained stylists including one Esthetician with advanced training from around the country.” Through posts, it can be gathered that the salon offers facials and massages, facial and body waxing, pedicures, formal hair styling, as well as cuts and colors (including bold or specialty coloring services, such as ombre). Call (740) 593-3751 for more information or to make an appointment. The hours are 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday, and 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday.

 

The Infinity review
Facebook reviews for The Infinity Salon

At 1002 E. State St. (the Athens Mall), in Suite 23, is the Infinity Salon. This salon offers cuts ranging in price from $14 to $35. It offers coloring services, including ombre and balayage. Infinity offers styling, color treatments, conditioning treatments, smoothing services, blowouts, manicures and pedicures, tanning beds and spray tans, full body and facial waxing, facial treatments and massages. It offers a rewards program which involves accumulating points to receive discounts on services. Call (740) 594-4600 for more information or to make an appointment. The hours (for stylists, not tanning) are 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday, and 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Other than these local salons, there are also chain salons in Athens. The Fiesta Salon is located in the Athens Mall on East State Street, Saturday’s in the Staples Center on East State Street, and the SmartStyle hair salon is located in WalMart on East State Street. These centers offer traditional cut, color, and style services.

Overall, trusting your hair to someone new can be intimidating. There is no true winning salon in Athens: preferences in services, staff, and price will prevail. With some research and planning ahead, you can confidently choose a salon and stylist. Hats off to beautiful locks!

 

Featured image from Travel Salem.

7 Essentials for your fall wardrobe

As cooler weather approaches, it is time to start packing away the thin fabrics of summer in exchange for warmer, cozier materials. Fall is a season with breezy days and chilly nights, and your wardrobe should reflect the changing temperatures. Luckily, Court Street boasts some wonderful shops that provide an array of clothing options to incorporate into the collegiate closet.

I stopped into The Other Place and found seasonal attire filling the store. Racks were full of comfy sweaters and shelves displayed stacks of leggings. From neck to toe, this boutique has you literally covered for the cooler weather.

Although you could fill your closet with hundreds of pieces of fall attire, it would be expensive and wasteful to do so. You can assemble many different autumn outfits using only a handful of versatile items. Grab these garbs from The Other Place the next time you are on Court Street.

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  1. The Basics

Layering is an essential practice in dressing during moody weather. It can be crisp during fall mornings, toasty by afternoon, and bone-chilling when the evening fades to darkness. Simple T-shirts and tank tops provide a base for autumn outfits, and The Other Place offers a multitude of colors.

Leggings are Pants

  1. Leggings are Pants

Don’t let anyone else tell you how to live your life. Leggings are comfortable and warm, and they can be dressed up or down. Not only can you buy different colors and patterns, but you can also buy fleece-lined leggings for those extra-chilly days.

Sweater Weather

  1. Sweater Weather

Fall wouldn’t be fall without sweaters. Cotton or wool, patterned or plain, neutral or colorful – every type is beautiful in its own way. This item is a necessity for an updated fall wardrobe.

Dress it Up

  1. Dress it Up

It may seem strange to wear a dress as the temperatures drop, but the versatility of a dress cannot be ignored. Keep warm by wearing leggings or tights and tall boots with a dress. Layer cardigans and jackets over the top for added style and comfort. The Other Place has a selection of sweater dresses also, which provide the warmth of a sweater in the form of a dress: a win-win situation.

These Boots Were Made for Walking

  1. These Boots Were Made for Walking

The hills of Athens require footwear that is suitable for hiking to class (or the bars). Stay stylish with comfortable and practical boots. Since a pair of boots is more of an investment than other pieces of fall attire, be sure to buy a pair that will match well with a majority of your wardrobe.

Top Coat

  1. Top Coat

After you layer on your tank tops, blouses, and cardigans, the crisp weather can still bite through to the bone. For the extra chilly days, top your outfit off with a warm jacket or cozy coat. My favorite right now is the parka style.

Scarf Season

  1. Scarf Season

Finish off any fall outfit with a scarf. You can bury your face in it when you are walking against the bitter wind, and easily remove it when you find refuge in an overheated academic building. Accessorizing with a scarf adds extra oomph to an outfit in a useful way.