Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Few Words on Ohio

I came to Columbus for Thanksgiving.

I am knocking on Winter's door. The snows seem not too far off. It is definitely long-sleeved t-shirt weather and although yesterday the skies were blue, today they are a smear of grey. My brother and I took advantage of the blue-sky day yesterday and drove to Kirtland: my first ever travels to an Eastern U.S. Mormon history site. I was surprised at how hilly the area around Kirtland was. The temple there is a beautiful building, and we had a very good tour guide. Afterward, we went to the Johnson home where Joseph Smith lived for about a year.

Well. Columbus has a great Italian food scene. Last night we got takeout from Carfagna's Kitchen. Homemade pastas, great sauces. I got the Carfagna's combination - lasagne, gnocchi, a meat raviolo and a cheese canolo. I was in heaven. I got their creamy pomodoro sauce instead of the regular marinara, and I could not believe how wonderful it was. So today we went to the original Carfagna's, an Italian grocery. It was so much fun. They had so much wonderful stuff - if I lived in Columbus, it would not be hard to live una bella vita all'italiana, except for the whole not-sure-I-could-find-a-job-teaching-Italian-here thing. I came out with snacks for my brother's afternoon watching football (Brigham Young v. Utah State) - a box of breadsticks and some prosciutto di San Daniele, some Genoa salame, and some cheese: principe, a pecorino from Sardegna, and smoked scamorza, which was my favorite cheese when I lived in Italy. (My all-time favorite cheese now is vento d'estate, which is cured in hay and tastes like the summer wind it is named for.) I also picked up some gelato from a company in Cincinnati: burnt sugar and star anise. Wow.

Columbus also has a pretty good radio station: CD101 which used to be on 101.1 but now is on 102.5, just because. So I have heard some good music here. Most notably, Mumford & Sons. I'll post some below. Mumford & Sons wowed me with the inclusion of a banjo in the lineup.

Mumford & Sons - The Cave

Mumford & Sons - White Blank Page

My brother is down in the basement watching the game. In spite of the fact that I am listening to music on my headphones, I can tell how the game is going from his shouting and screaming at the TV. I just don't get football. Anyway, after the football game, it's to Target to replace the MP3 player that has died (I'll need it for the return trip) and then Harry Potter. Funny to think that 10 years ago, I was at the midnight showing of the first movie, and now here I am lollygagging more than a week after the release of the latest show in going to see it.

Well, here is a big thumbs up to Columbus. I must admit that despite having never wanted to visit the Midwest when I was growing up, I have been most impressed with my travels in Ohio and Indiana. It is a lovely stretch of the country, homey and cosmopolitan all mixed together. Very nice, indeed.

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