Yeah, I flew 270 miles out of my way for pasta.
But the miles traveled were the least of my troubles in a day that started at 3:30am.
From Milwaukee I flew to Detroit to catch my connecting flight to Columbus. But, after landing in Detroit and having to taxi to the gate for 15 minutes, we just sat there. Finally, after 10 additional minutes with nothing happening, the captain announced that the key-card system for the entire airport was down. Nobody could come out to guide the plane to the gate because they were locked inside. F#@%ing stupid Detroit International Airport.
When the airport finally gets their shit together so the pilot can dock the plane, I have five minutes left to run the fifty miles across the terminal to catch my connection. Totally exhausted, I arrive at the door just as they are ready to close it. And, even though there's no chance for my luggage, at least I'll make it to Columbus.
But then something amazing happens. The plane has ice on it, and they need to go out for de-icing. As I sit there waiting, I feel a bump and look outside my window... and there's my suitcase being loaded on the plane! Things are finally looking up...
What happens next? The answer to that is in an extended entry...
I haven't been to Columbus, Ohio in seven years.
Turns out everything is exactly as I remember it. This is no big feat, because I only remember two things about the city...
Despite the fact that I flew in first class, was the third person off the plane, walk fast, and made no stops along the way... my suitcase had just exited onto the carousel as I rounded the corner into baggage claim. I have no idea how they manage this freakish... almost magical... instant delivery of luggage at the Columbus airport. I'm guessing it either involves quantum physics or the devil.
Anyway, I grab my rental car and head to the opposite side of the city so I can meet fellow-blogger Delmer for lunch at Salvi's Bistro on this beautiful afternoon...
After chatting with Delmer for a bit, pasta perfection was served...
That's lasagna noodles layered with white sauce, rolled in bread-crumbs, then deep-fat-fried and covered with marinara sauce and baked with mozzarella. Heaven on a plate.
Since they're a bit small, I ordered two. This was kind of a mistake because the crispy bread-crumbs get mooshy after a while. Next time I order more than one Pasta Salvi, I'll wait until I'm finished with one before moving on to the next. After saying goodbye to Delmer, it's back downtown for Degas at the Columbus Museum of Art.
The Degas exhibit was kind of disappointing (they were all landscapes that I didn't particularly care for) and the best part of the show was a beautiful Monet on loan from The Shelburne Museum of Vermont to illustrate where Degas got his inspiration or something. Feeling dejected by the less-than-stellar Degas paintings, I walk around a corner and find a nice Dale Chihuly piece...
Then I walk around another corner and am knocked on my ass...
And here's the real reason I'm in Columbus (in addition to my favorite pasta)... there's a Kehinde Wiley show going on! I totally love the way this brilliant artist blends contemporary styling with classic themes of the old masters. I was so impressed that I bought the pricey hardcover show book. Amazing. After that, I head south so I can visit one of the largest book stores in the USA... The Book Loft! At least I WAS going to visit, until I couldn't find a place to park. Frustrated, I finally give up.
It's then that I decided to check into my hotel back at the airport so I can dump off my luggage. That's when I notice my rental car has a flat tire. Lovely. It's back to the rental car agency to pick up a different car (and, thanks to my Loss-Damage Wavier, I don't have to pay a dime). Then it's off to The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum...
It's kind of cool, but not nearly as big as I had thought it would be. Still, they have quite a collection of award-winning race bikes...
And now it's time to visit Easton Town Center so I can finally see the latest James Bond flick... Casino Royale. At one time, the mega-theater complex here was a "Planet Hollywood: Planet Movies" venture, but switched over to an AMC theater chain after the implosion of both Planet Hollywood and All-Star Cafe. The shame here is that I only got to see Planet Movies while under construction, never after it was completed, and now it's gone.
The movie was excellent, with Daniel Craig turning in a performance that totally killed. I never thought there could be a better Bond than Sean Connery, but Craig actually managed to pull it off. Sure there was a boring bit of "Texas Hold'Em" bogging things down in the middle (and two dumbasses sitting in front of me that could not shut the fuck up, and ended up talking THROUGH THE ENTIRE MOVIE!)... but I loved the film just the same. I can't wait to see what they do with the franchise next.
It was at this point that I had planned to head back for another round of Pasta Salvi for dinner, but I was dead-tired from lack of sleep this week, and it was starting to snow. The idea of driving all the way across town again filled me with dread, so I decided to eat at the Easton Johnny Rockets instead, then dropped by The Apple Store before calling it a night.
Not a bad day's work considering I was only here to eat pasta and say "hi" to Delmer!
And here it is 11:00pm back at my hotel, and I finally have the opportunity to get some sleep. Tomorrow morning it's off to Chicago...
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pity, you should really try schmidts in german village next time you’re in columbus.
best. creampuffs. ever.
they’re literally the size of a florida grapefruit.
plus, they have the bookloft bookstore (http://www.bookloft.com/). 32 rooms of delish bookages. been hitting that place whenever i visit fam for years.
Dang, that pasta looks luscious!
Really enjoy reading your travel entries. Feels like I’m there (other than feeling hungry after you’re done).
I swear, you go to more places in ONE WEEK, than I could ever hope to go to in my ENTIRE life….
Sounds like you had a lousy start to an otherwise great day!
And I just saw the new Bond a few nights ago..fantastic! Way better than any of the Brosnan Bond movies. I had my doubts about Craig walking in..but had none walking out.
I hated almost everything about living in Ohio and I still hate Ohio State with all of my heart, but going to Columbus was always fun. It’s a surprisingly cool town. Too bad I missed out on that pasta.
hey…weren’t you fasting?
Before I forget, did you know about Hard Rock Cafe being sold to a tribe of native americans?
Well, my day now seems really boring…
So want some Pasta Salvi.
Good Italian food is hard to find in Podunk, PA. It looks delicious. I’m drooling.
Snow? What’s snow? Still none here.
Sounds like a great trip. Lots to see (in spite of the disappointing landscape stuff).
Sounds like a great day. If your job gives you the opportunity to travel and have days like this, maybe the occasional crap-storm is worth it…
I am so intrigued as to how they manage to get the luggage off the plane so quickly in Columbus… whatever they are doing I wish they would just hurry up and tell all the other airports. Unless it actually is the devil of course, in which case I can see why they would want to keep that to themselves.
Sounds like a good day’s fun!
T.L… Yeah, well, as I said… i TRIED to go to The Book Loft, but couldn’t find a place to park. Drove by it three times though!
Kapha… If you WERE here, maybe you could have changed my flat tire so I wouldn’t have to go back to the rental agency! 🙂
Adena… I have ADD when I travel. 🙂
James… Totally. I was actually mad that they dumped Pierce Brosnan, but Casino Royale didn’t have me missing him at all.
Brandon… I actually don’t mind Ohio one bit. I used to come here often, and always found something interesting to do.
Karla… I start my fast four days after I get back. I’m trying to gain weight now so I’ll be able to accommodate the weight loss that goes along with it. 🙂
MRK… Yep, that interesting bit of news flashed across my Google news ticker last night. I have no idea what this means for the franchise… hopefully good things?
Francis… Me too. If Salvi’s was open for breakfast, I’d be there right now!
JavaJabber… The snow hit hard for a while, but let-up and is gone now. Looks like I might be able to fly out after all. 🙂
Jon… Ah, but Columbus wasn’t for work, it was for pasta! 😀
Serap… I give up trying to figure it out. All I know is that it’s nice not having to wait for your suitcase!
Avitable… Always. 🙂
I second the recommendation for Schmidts.. Also, you might want to try The Bexley Monk..
Easton Center is definately cool.. We live about 10 miles away, and go there whenever we get a chance..
I swear you lead the most interesting life.
A small part of me hates you for that y’know.
it’s not even 8 in the morning and that pasta looks delicious. mmm! you’re such the jetsetter dave. 🙂
Have I ever mentioned that my uncle owns the best bar EVER in Chicago? If you’re a beer lover at all, it’s a can’t-miss (just ask Jenny — she can vouch). The Hop Leaf, on Clark at Foster.
One of my most vivid memories about Columbus is taking the school bus down for field trips to the Center of Science and Industry (COSI). Sadly, I went back there about 7 years ago when I was still living in Ohio, after they redid it, and it could not even compare to my childhood experience. But they did have Juno, the talking transparent woman. She had just moved into the top floor with the other “retro” displays. *sigh*
I haven’t been to German Village in forever–I loved it! I may be overdue for a Columbus visit myself…
Picture #1 : Mmmmmmmmm… Pasta… They look delicious !!! Délicieuses !!!
Picture #2 : Chihuly makes a beautiful work… Vraiment très original !!!
Picture #3 : This rap drawing seems to be a piece of Kitsch art… I don’t know if it is. But I think it’s kitsch !!! Kitsch and Rap in the same sentence… I never could think that happened to me !!!
Picture #4 : Those moto are so cool !!!
James Bond : I think that the movie is great. But during all the movie, I said to myself : “wow, James Bond is BLONDE now… How is it possible ?” But, but, I appreciated it… (and Eva Green is french… Cocoricoooo) 😀
Chicago : Happy Davecago Pizza Party !!! 😀
Loved the new Bond movie. It was very good and one that I thought they did an excellent job on. Looking forward to another with Mr. Craig.
Wait, Sandra–your uncle owns the Hopleaf??? Why aren’t you and I friends?? 😉
They have a very grand beer selection–especially Belgian brews. And the fruit and cheese plate is tres’ decadent! Plus it’s stumbling distance…er, walking distance from my house!
I forgot to sign my comment… But I think that you have recognized me !!! 😀
Je suis tête en l’air !!! There’s nothing I can do about it ! 😀
I am so miserably jealous of the art work you have no idea.
I spit on you.
Love Kehinde Wiley. Love love love his work.
>>I haven’t been to Columbus, Ohio in seven years.
Seven years ago it may not have been a big deal, but these days, the good people of Columbus are suffering from a “comma Ohio” inferiority complex.
They prefer to be plain old “Columbus” and expect “Ohio” to be understood unless an indicator, suggesting one of the lesser Columbuses, follows. Eg. “, Georgia” , “, Indiana” , “, Kansas” etc.
It looks like you made it safely out of the state without any type of action being taken against you, but you might want to watch your P’s and Q’s from this point forward. Otherwise, next visit you may not have such good luck with your luggage.
Once again, it was good to meet you. I hope the luck you’ve had with your luggage continues on the rest of the trip.
That was me driving the tow truck. 😉