Some random interesting facts about Columbus, Ohio.

The largest local event happens every year late in June or early in July. It's the community festival, or Comfest for short. It's a free 3 day festival with 6 stages, countless merchants (legal and otherwise), and nearly every eccentric or lefty Columbus native you've ever met. There's bound to be some band that you can at least tap your feet to, no matter how picky your tastes. The beer is reasonably priced and you can easily get yourself and a loved one drunk with the beer tokens from volunteering for one 4 hour shift. You're bound to see many topless hairy hippie chicks. Chill out, they're just boobs. If you're around Columbus during summer, I highly recommend checking it out. Oh yeah, I forgot the best part. The frat boys are back at their parents' house all summer!

Columbus is packed to the brim with queers, artists and galleries. You can't walk half a block in the Short North without seeing a flier for an art opening and a giant rainbow flag. The first Saturday of every month is gallery hop. You can walk from gallery to gallery looking at art, people, or overpriced crap. You will see many middle class liberals, art enthusiasts, fag hags, Guppies, and a handful of kids on mushrooms. Did I mention how queer friendly the city is? Assuming you're in the right part of town, anyway. I must admit, it is liberating to know you can walk around with a skirt and a penis and there will be a dozen folks that have your back if you get into any trouble.

OSU. The Ohio State University. It's a gigantic college, and all of the night life in the city directly reflects that. Downtown has some things going on, plenty of bars and restaurants, but not nearly as active as most cities, and not very residential. Campus, on the other hand, is quite nice if you're poor, like cheap veggie-friendly food, cheap, free beer from kegs and a short walk home. I know I do! The Oval, though currently under construction, is a giant oval of grass and walkways surrounded by university buildings. It's a nice place to people watch if you're bored. Some friends and I actually camped there for a few months once, using social engineering to insist that "Yes, we have a permit to do this" to any official looking people. It's worth a try if you're ever homeless here.

Speaking of homelessness, this is a great place to be homeless. It was better when they had the open shelter, but as long you have somewhat normal social skills, you'll get along just fine. Food not Bombs serves food on and off, usually on Sundays. There are many, many abandoned (or otherwise vacant) houses around Cbus. Combine that with the condensed campus area, and you've got an ideal location for a squat. The smaller landlords tend to be pretty slow about doing anything about people living in their empty properties. If you have access to a car, there are plenty of great dumpsters around town. I won't mention them, just ask around. There are also some soup kitchens and food pantries. Also, campus is near some tracks, if you're into train hopping. Just be smart and you'll live like a king.

If you're walking down High Street one night and you hear the letters "O-H" yelled in your direction, you're expected to yell "I-O" back, completing the word OHIO. I find it much more amusing to yell "O-H" back once again, thereby briefly confusing the intoxicated college caricature. Try it! Be creative! You'll get an array of hilarious responses and maybe even a scar to show your friends! No, fights are not uncommon, but they’re pretty easy to escape unless you’re a moron like myself. Just don’t rip anyone off and don’t let your mouth get out of hand; you’ll be fine.

All in all, Columbus is a quirky little city with plenty of possibilities bubbling just under the surface. It’s one of the weirdest places I’ve ever been, and it’s not without an odd discordian charm. I Sunk Columbus, Ohio!