Court Street: my favorite place in Athens

Between the crowds of students, the look and feel of red Athens blocks, and the unique shops and local restaurants that line it, there is nothing quite like Court Street in Athens, Ohio. My own father, a 1984 alumnus of the communications school, always told me, “it is like a whole other world down there.” I never truly understood what he meant until I visited Athens for the first time when I was touring the Ohio University campus with my family back in 2012, but after I saw Court Street for myself, I knew exactly what he had meant.

Court street has a feeling that is special, there is something unique and indescribable about its character. It is my favorite place in Athens because it is the heart and soul of the city. This is where the culture and conversation of the town has been originating since 1804. The history and charisma of this place can be felt by walking up and down the brick lined sidewalks of Court Street. So many generations of students and staff have had unforgettable college experiences on that street, growing up and growing together as a community. Court Street feels as though it is part of Ohio University because of its architecture and closeness to the campus.

Court Street only stretches for about a half mile, but that is all it needs to be one of the most picturesque and charming I have ever seen. Somehow it gives you the feeling of being in a lively city without ever losing that small-town charm that Athens has. Running into friends or professors, attending nationally recognized events like the Halloween parade with 25-foot-tall puppets and live music, or going to the Ohio Brew Week, there is always something new and exciting happening on Court Street.

Students and staff walking down Court Street

Local businesses like The Athena Cinema, Bagel Street Deli, Casa Nueva, or Tony’s Tavern make Court Street and Athens a one of a kind destination. These shops give the street a home-grown, connected community feeling that I have not experienced anywhere else.

Taking a stroll down Court Street never fails to remind me of just how lucky I am to be in a place like this and that it will not last forever. It is my favorite place in Athens because I know it will be where I come back to when I visit my fellow Bobcats in the future as an alumnus, just like my brother and my father before me. The street reminds me of the bonds that I have made here and the relationships that I will never forget with some of my best friends in the world.

Court Street and college green were the first two places in Athens that I saw, they left me in awe, giving me an affinity towards the town and the University. These places made me want to be part of the Bobcat legacy. They are still a large reason why I have such a strong affiliation to this place today. Court street has helped me to grow both socially and professionally as a human being. My favorite place in Athens has taught me life skills that I will take with me forever from this community.

Building community through art with Honey for the Heart

For the last month local artists, both townie and student have collaborated making puppets for the annual Honey for the Heart parade. This year the various projects had to work around the central theme of birds, with each project taking on a different interpretation. Each puppet is unique not only in look, but how it operates, what it’s materials, and overall theme itself. Honey for the Heart is done on a volunteer basis where even the artistically challenged can help. This week anyone can stop by to help finish the puppets from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this week before the parade at 6 p.m. this Saturday at Central Venue on Carpenter Street.

7 reasons why dolls are actually the worst

 

Dolls are universally known as being horrifying. There is a very good reason why B-list directors base their horror films off these little lifelike creatures.  Sure, they can be all cute and super fun for kids. But there is also a huge reason why a large portion of them are haunted or just flat out creepy.

 

1. Like this doll who is definitely going to watch you sleep.

You know that if she were on your nightstand, her head would turn.

 

2. This lil’ fella who will laugh at you at the creepiest times.

There is literally a horror film (Dead Silence) that is all about these ventriloquist dummies that kill people? That right there is enough to make any person, no matter how brave, run for the hills.

 

3. And this one that probably has a purpose besides being the worst, but is not doing it properly.

Why can you take the organs out? Is this really necessary for anyone to use? I do not think so.

 

4. This doll that has black eyes very unnecessarily.

This young lady looks like she is the reason an entire house was abandoned in the middle of dinner because she walked in and asked for a bowl.

 

5. And her eyes actually move because she is alive and totally horrifying.

Her face is cracked because something was trying to get out and you know this is totally true and probably one of the worst things ever.

 

6. This one who’s smile gets bigger, and scarier, the longer you look at her.

That’s either a smile or a grimace and it is unknown which, but whichever it is, everyone knows that it is what nightmares are made of. And can we talk about the incredibly lifelike eyes? And the wrinkles that have occurred because she neVER CLOSES THOSE SCARY HUMAN EYES.

 

7. And finally, this army of dolls that can’t wait to meet you.

There is one looking directly into the camera and into your soul.

 

Dolls are the worst. There is no way around this fact.

Good luck sleeping tonight!

‘The Post’ has the scoop on Halloween arrests

Halloween is one of Athens’ and Ohio University’s most notorious parties.  The annual block party blowout is one of the most anticipated nights of debauchery all year.  With so many people coming in for the weekend, Halloween usually has its fair share of troublemakers.  This Halloween was no different.  While the town was busy partying, the increased police force was busy keeping the peace.  In case you were were wondering how many Halloween arrests were made over the weekend, The Post has you covered here.

Halloween costumes are serious investments for those attending the block party on Court Street

DSC00002Re-selling Halloween costumes is not a popular option for attendees of HallOUween. Plenty have bought their unique costumes (sometimes with future use in mind) and are planning on keeping them if not to use again, then at least for the memories.

 

Hannah, 24, bought a yellow jumpsuit from an adult website to complete her version of The Bride from the Kill Bill movies, but she has no plans to sell it, saying, “On naughtyfox.com, it was either this or an $80 display costume.”
DSC00003
Chad, dressed as Indiana Jones, says he would consider selling his costume on eBay or Craigslist only if he had to.DSC00004

 

Garret says he’s never going to sell his WWII style bomber cap which he got from Athens Underground in “one of the best deals I’ve come across in a while.”DSC00007

 

For Jacob Solether, his Stormtrooper costume is going to continue being useful by the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and he plans on wearing it at baseball games. The only place he would ever consider selling it, however, would be at comic-con.

For many, dressing up for the block party on Halloween is a valuable investment that is not taken lightly. For these few, it’s one they’ve made for most of the foreseeable future.

History of the HallOUween t-shirt

Traditions are rich in Athens, Ohio. A crowd favorite: HallOUween and the famous block party that brings hundreds of out-of-towners to the small town to dress up and celebrate. What would this tradition be without proper annual documentation?

Kevin Morgan, a local artist, has spent the past 34 falls creating specific t-shirt designs to coincide with the wild weekend’s events. From sugar skulls to this years “OU Attack Cat”, his individual style remains consistent but the design never repeats. The t-shirts are sold annually at Uptown Dog, on Union Street, the store Morgan started himself.

According to the Post, Morgan makes about $2,000 each Halloween. But for him, it’s not about the money. He simply loves creating art.

Starting October 25 and continuing until November 25, Morgan’s work from the past 34 HallOUweens will be on display at Jackie O’s Taproom and Brewery at 25 Campbell St. Here’s a glimpse of sketches Morgan has etched over the years. To see more make sure to stop by the brewery!

IMG_1542 A retro skeleton in 2000.

IMG_1539
A flaming design for the 1993 sketch.
IMG_1538
A red sugar skull in 2012.
IMG_1544
This design was in honor of his 40th anniversary.

 

 

Inside the HallOUween block party

The Halloween human parking meter.
The Halloween human parking meter.

The beginning of the fall season beckons the imminence of the Halloween celebrations. Straightaway, the almost forgotten city of southeast Ohio, Athens, becomes the name on everyone’s lips — both young and old.

All roads lead to the brick city, the undisputed “home of HallOUween,” to have a feel of the wind of fun and craziness blowing through the county.

During this time the hash tag #HallOUween trends on social media, to give everyone an idea of where to be for the celebration. Don’t be surprised to see “OU” in the middle of the word itself. Halloween is Athens. Athens is Halloween. Period.

Saturday night was not different. It was a sight to behold on the brick-lined Court Street of Athens. The famous Athens Halloween Block Party was making progress.

With a charged atmosphere and a massive show of youthful exuberance, students, community members and visitors sang along and cheered performers throughout the night. The excitement was beyond description.halllll

Aside the music, dance and ear-blocking cheers from revelers, I observed one thing. Some eateries and bars had a pocket swell. Long-winding queues stretched from their entrances with a spill onto the streets. Obviously, food could never be left out of the night’s pleasure, which translated into what could be described as a very good business day for some Court Street business owners.

Another thing caught my attention. A human parking meter with the popular campus yellow bag with the inscriptions “no parking” worn on his head. You just questioned won’t he suffocate to death? Huh? Exactly my thoughts when I first saw him.

halllThankfully, he had punched holes around the eyes and nose to allow for breathing. He stood still with one arm stretched. You ‘park’ in front of him, he fines you. Just as simple as that. (Hahahaaa!).

Returning to my humble abode, scores of people were having their own mini block parties in front of their apartments. As to whether it was a warm up to go down to Court Street, or their own way of celebrating the night, I can’t tell but all I can say is that, Athens #HallOUween Block Party was a blast with a variety of activities for both young and old.hall

Halloween in Athens: Social media recap

Another year, another Halloween weekend filled with debauchery on Court Street and in Athens.

Students took to their phones before, during and after the Athens Halloween Block Party to share their experiences, both good and bad, on social media.

It turns out the Halloween block party actually began in 1974, as The Post tweeted out, when rowdy students blocked traffic on Court Street. The tradition continued each year until the City of Athens began sponsoring the event.

Before the chaos started, Court Street was completely empty. One clever Instagram user created a side-by-side comparison of how Court Street looked before and during the Halloween festivities.

Before and After #HallOUween ??

A photo posted by Nigel Harris (@scoob_96) on

Early on Saturday, students began donning their costumes, some perhaps getting a little too into the whole dressing up thing. One student’s tweet garnered over a thousand favorites on Twitter, featuring students dressed like animals acting in their natural habitats.

https://twitter.com/emma_lee_h/status/660821923031552002

Many a clever costume could be seen on Halloween. One Instagram user, depicted below, dressed up as Forrest Gump, the titular character of the 1994 film. It’s pretty clear the bench was an essential part of this guy’s costume.

Jenny and me was like peas and carrots. #HallOUween

A photo posted by Spencer Holbrook (@spencerholbrook) on

Squirrel costumes were extremely abundant this year. It’s not clear why this was so. It could be a result of OU students’ obsession with Athens squirrels or an immature need  to make jokes about “nuts,” or both. Regardless, squirrels were seen all over Athens on Saturday, both human and rodent.

Squirrel. Fucking. Squad! #HALLOUWEEN

A photo posted by That's So Athens (@thatssoathens_) on

As the evening progressed, the actual block party on Court Street took off. A photographer posted his photos from the event to Twitter, capturing the color and craziness of the festivities.

Here’s another photo of the block party someone tweeted, this one showing the immense crowd at the first stage at the intersection of Court and Union. A corner usually traversed by students walking to class or Uptown to get food was transformed into a massive rave.

https://twitter.com/NickBolin_/status/660714302639353856

One of the musical artists who performed Saturday, DJ B Funk, took to the stage dressed as the Man in the Yellow Hat from Curious George. It’s safe to say Curious George would be very curious about B Funk’s performance at the block party.

DJ B Funk expressed his gratitude on Twitter after the block party had ended. Other performances on the block party’s two stages included such names as Get Weird, 2 High Crew, Ape Mode, Ghostowl and Blond. The Post reported about how those performances went.

Students weren’t the only ones walking the uptown streets on Halloween night. Local law enforcement was out in full force, including officers — and their horses — who patrolled the area. Martha Compton, director of Community Standards at Ohio University, tweeted her gratitude for the officers.

But another student wasn’t quite as excited about the horses as Compton was…

Not all the festivity occurred on Court Street during halloween. While students danced in the mosh pits on Court Street, others dressed as Jedi Knights from Star Wars battled it out on West Green. Whether the dark or light side prevailed that night is hard to say.

Much festivity also occurred on Mill Street, as massive crowds headed to and from from the block party. And with such festivity came more law enforcement, as officers shut down parties on Mill Street. Post News Editor Emily Bohatch tweeted about one incident.

Many students may have been surprised when the Daylight Saving Time change hit at 2 a.m. Student Senate President Gabby Bacha tweeted about her frustration experiencing 1 a.m. all over again.

The rain started to calm things down toward the end of the night. Many costumed individuals could be seen drenched by the rain, which was a sad sight. One Instagram user captured the night’s end as crowds left Court Street while the rain poured down.

That night, police made a total of 71 arrests, not including the arrests made on Friday. And not all of those arrests were OU students, however, with many of them being visiting students from other colleges.

The morning after, Post staffer Will Drabold captured the lines at Court Street eateries, presumably filled with many hung over students. Bagel Street Deli’s line ran as far as the curb, with customers staring at their phones waiting for breakfast.

One student summed up the Halloween festivities’ best features in one Tweet:

While this year’s Halloween in Athens may have seemed like a typical one, it’s safe to stay that students still enjoyed themselves and continued to document their night on social media.

Want to share your Halloween experience on social media? Tweet this article’s author @AlxMeyer.

LeBron’s not the only star getting his Halloween game on

By now we’ve all seen LeBron James posing as Prince. But he’s not the only sports star who got his game on for Halloween. Here are a few other sports stars who went above and beyond with their costumes …

Deron Williams gave a nod to another “athlete” by dressing up as “Macho Man” Randy Savage, one of the late great professional wrestlers who won championships on the WWF and the WCW.

“You rang?” There are several photos of Dirk Nowitzki from this Halloween in his Lurch get-up, and all feature the same bulgy-eyed look you see here. It’s terrifying. Good for the 7-foot-tall NBA veteran for not slacking on his Halloween effort, and also for finding something that suits his stature so well.

  Tony Stewart showed up Tony Gibson, a NASCAR crew chief, when he showed up to a party in drag. It’s safe to say Stewart doesn’t cut corners in driving or in dressing up.

And finally, here is Rob Gronkowski on Colbert …

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This story was reported and curated by Karli Bell, Kim Oswald, Tony Wolfe and Austin Erickson.