If you'll indulge me, I'm going to tell you about the perfect weekend I just had in Columbus, Ohio. Should you ever find yourself in this fair city, I encourage you to follow these instructions to a T:
First off, you'll need to get yourself tickets to see Tom Waits in concert at the stunningly beautiful Ohio Theatre. If you live in Brooklyn, like the Freemonster and I do, you'll know this is a bit of a hare-brained scheme, but do it anyway, gas prices be damned.
You should stay at the Sheraton. Yeah, it's 20 minutes outside of the city proper, but the rooms are big and luxurious and dirt cheap. So. So. So worth it.
You should walk right across the street from the hotel to the big movie theater and see Wall-E. Touching, scathing, critical, adorable, epic.
The following day, meet up with a knowledgeable, generous local like this fella, who will show you his favorite spots.
Have a healthy, delicious lunch at North Star Cafe.
Stop by Collier West, an elegant, magical treasure trove of home goods. We're talking taxidermy, Fornasetti dishes, fairy tale chandeliers, the works. It's owned by stylish sweethearts Suzi and John, and shall someday furnish my castle.
Eat ice cream at Jeni's. Their flavors are scrumptious and wonderfully inventive. For example, Sugardaddy is cheesecake ice cream (!) with chunks of brownies mixed in. Hea. Ven.
Go to the Laughing Ogre comics shop, truly one of the best I've ever been to. All the big guys are here, and tons of indie presses and obscure finds, too. Buy a copy of Witchcraft, an out of print graphic novel by Vertigo about Hecate, the triple goddess of the occult.
Pop by the Book Loft, a 32 room multi-story maze of a bookshop. It's completely ill-conceived, illogical, and madly magnificent.
Eat dinner at Lindey's. Have a glass of Malbec, and marvel at their fresh baked bread. It is hands down The Best Bread I Have Ever Eaten. As in, "Can we have another entire basket of this, please?!" Order the crab cake appetizer, the beef tournedos entree, and the molten chocolate cake for dessert. Try not to die of happiness, because afterwards you need to see the time-stopping spectacle that is
Tom. Freaking. Waits. A force of nature. A sweating, writhing, growling, grimacing, crooning, quaking, ass-shaking, stamping, stomping, satin-and-sandpaper-smooth beast of a man. A human pageant of pain and mirth and really awful puns. A show so superbly powerful, I'm surprised I walked out of there without a black eye.
Stick a fork in me, I am DONE.