February 25, 2009
Steve Mullen - [email protected]
Those familiar with Facebook, the online social networking site, know that the big thing right now is to make a list of "25 random things" about themselves and share it with friends. The idea is, if you are sent a note, you have to, in turn, create your own list and send it to 25 more people, and so on.
So, thousands of these lists are going around, with items such as "I drink 8 to 10 cups of tea a day," and "Giving birth was my proudest accomplishment so far in life" (two actual things my friends have written). Totally random.
In that vein, and in the light-hearted spirit in which it''s intended, I offer these 25 Random Things I''ve Learned About Columbus:
1. Columbus was originally called Possum Town a million years ago. I haven''t seen any possums, and Columbus has a better ring to it, so I''m glad they changed the name.
2. It''s also called the Friendly City. That''s a pretty good nickname, as it''s tough to find an unfriendly person.
3. The recession has definitely hit here, but it doesn''t seem as dire as elsewhere. I moved from one of the hardest hit places in California, so my view might be a little skewed.
4. Mississippi Coffeehouse, on Main Street, has lots of really cool pictures of old downtown Columbus on the wall by the coffee station. It''s hard not to linger there, studying them, when filling your cup.
5. There are 140-150 apartments in the historic buildings downtown, more than in any other downtown in the state.
6. Living downtown can''t be beat. There''s nothing like walking right to work, to restaurants, etc.
7. That said, crossing Main Street at Fifth Street on foot is rarely uneventful. I haven''t been run over yet, but it''s not the world''s most pedestrian-friendly intersection.
8. When moving here, I was amazed by the number of antebellum homes, and the fact that so much of the historic downtown is intact. As someone new here, I can tell you that this is a rare and special asset.
9. For a very small fee, the Princess Theater will put a personalized message on its marquee for your birthday.
10. Speaking of the Princess ... they have nearly 50 different varieties of bottled beer, three on tap, and they''re adding in three more taps.
11. If you ask real nice, Harvey''s will split the fried mushroom and cheese-stick appetizers, and give you half of each for the price of one. They have excellent cheese sticks.
12. I haven''t been, but I hear that the new Krystal is so busy, cops have been over there directing traffic. A company official said in an industry publication online that the Columbus location has set sales records for the company.
13. That reminds me ... traffic on 45 through Columbus is bad, bad, bad. But what are you gonna do? Krystal and McAllister''s are there now.
14. It pays to live above Broussard''s. Mary and Beth are good people to know, especially at dinnertime.
15. It''s difficult, if not impossible, to be a vegetarian here. If you are a vegetarian, be prepared to allow for bacon -- it''s cooked into all the vegetables. Please understand this is a Mississippi thing.
16. Cafe on Main has really good fried pickles as a vegetable choice on the plate lunch menu.
17. It''s not a good idea to write lists like these on an empty stomach.
18. It takes right at two hours to get to Rankin County, where my folks live, from Columbus on Highway 25. It''s a nice road too, four lanes all the way. It also takes about two hours to get to Oxford, where lots of friends and family live too.
19. Yesterday, Birney, photographer Kelly Tippett and I were climbing up a rooftop downtown to scout out photos for our upcoming Progress edition, and I chickened out. I''m no good with heights and am allergic to ladders and rooftops, especially when the two are put together.
20. No offense to what''s already out there, but this town could use a really good independent bookstore. This is a college town, right?
21. My kids are moving out in June, and we face a decision on schools. There are good ones here, both public and private.
22. The Market Street Festival is May 1-2. I haven''t been to one of these, but have heard people talking it up. I''m fired up that Blue Mountain, a band from Oxford I remember from my college days, is scheduled to perform.
23. Pardon the shameless plug, but The Dispatch has a redesigned Web site that we''re pretty proud of. Check it out at www.cdispatch.com.
24. The Dispatch also has a Facebook fan page, and 40 people have joined so far.
25. Do you have a random fact to share? Get on Facebook, become a fan of The Commercial Dispatch, and add some in. If we get enough, I''ll share them in a future column.
Steve Mullen is the managing editor of The Commercial Dispatch. His e-mail address is [email protected]
Steve Mullen is Managing Editor of The Dispatch.