Monday, February 02, 2009

Ten Things to Make COMO Better

I realize that my whining gets on people's nerves, but they should realize...

1. Get a Trader Joe's and/or Whole Foods. I'm all for supporting local, organic grocers, but I have my issues with the prices and food care of certain stores in COMO. The competition and variety these two chains would provide COMO would be very welcome. There is a large store that stands empty just west of downtown. One of these stores would fit perfectly.

2. We need a record store that is the equivalent of Used Kids or at least Vintage Vinyl. OK, so I've harped on this before, but it's worth repeating. Columbus' Used Kids was a weekly mecca for me. It is what record stores are supposed to be: grungy, manned with drunk record snobs, and cheap. STL's Vintage Vinyl would also be an acceptable alternative, as they stock a huge amount of vinyl and an impressive back catalog. Either way, there is no record culture here and I'm starving.

3. Establish a beer bar with 40 or so beers on tap and another 200+ in the bottle. If a town like Asheville, NC can boast several breweries and a couple of these monster tap rooms, COMO should be able to support one. And don't give me this recession crap. Craft beer sales have been on the rise over the several years. It seems people are staying home for their vacations. They have to drink somewhere, I guess.

4. Speaking of beer...COMO needs a beer shop the way Top Ten Wines fills our wine needs. Top Ten Wines is a great spot to get some good wine, a little wine 411, and a chance to meet some characters (no, not just winos). Beer is growing in popularity here, but there is no suitable place to hang out and buy some hard-to-find beer. When I saw Seattle's Bottleworks last spring, I knew exactly what we needed in this town.

5. We need a real Thai restaurant. Bangkok Gardens is not an authentic Thai option. You'd know what I'm talking about if you've ever had authentic Thai cuisine. I always forget how amazing great Thai food until we travel and eat real Thai. The spices and flavors are otherworldly. Trust me.

6. Why isn't there a gay bar in the District? There are two gay bars (that I know of) in COMO. Neither are anywhere near downtown. How can you have a hopping club scene or downtown with no gay clubs? I've often complained about the lack of diversity in this town, this is only another example of such hegemony.

7. A Banana Republic would greatly help our clothing options. I realize this seems weird coming from my blog, but a BR or some equivalent would certainly up the shopping options, if not people's wardrobes. Besides, it would make my professional (and tall) partner rather happy.

8. We had this place called North Star in Columbus. We need one here too. There is no place in COMO that combines the tasty, organic sensibilities of Uprise with the down-home earthiness and variety of Cafe Berlin. Even imagining the combination of these two fine restaurants doesn't compare to North Star. This joint paid employees living wages and provided benefits. All there food was within a small radius of Columbus. Oh, and I forgot to mention that it was really good and vegetarian-friendly. (Besides, if the urinals at North Star look this good, don't you think we need one too?)

9. Lawrence, Kansas gets a way better concert lineup than COMO. Why is that? We are located within two hours of two major cities on a major highway. We area bigger town. Why do we suffer through so many seasons (particularly winter) with virtually no worthwhile shows. I guess we could all go see Tapes 'n Tapes again. Ugh.

10. A train. We need a train. With the energy crisis what it is and major cities so-close-yet-so-far, we need another way to travel. A train that connects KC, COMO, and STL would be great for starters, but imagine that line connected to trains that head to Colorado or Chicago or New Orleans? Imagine the energy savings, jobs created, and additional geographic access.

So, those are just a few of my ideas for making this a better place. I'm sure my COMO readers have more ideas than these ten. Also, if you know of any of the places I mentioned, back me up and tell people just how good they are.

This might be my only post of the week. Work has me swamped and I have to finish preparing a conference presentation...on blogging. So, don't worry if Friday hits and there's no more Misery to brighten your day. I'll be back.


ks said...

Trader Joe's location request form:

(too lazy to do the HTML tag)

Pass the link along to your fellow COMO-ians.

comoprozac said...

Oh, we know about that request form. Trust me. I'm 100% sure TJ is aware of our desires.

Juliet said...

Good luck on your Trader Joe's quest. I couldn't live without TJs, even though mine is not exactly close either (but well within acceptable driving distance).

Interesting that you put a train on your wishlist. That was actually one of the big points on Gov. Strickland's plans for Ohio. It's getting mixed response around here, but I'm really hoping that it comes to fruition. Being able to take a train to Columbus or even Cleveland for a show would be a dream come true!

pcup said...

Why stop at just a real *thai* restaurant? Thai, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, etc., etc.

Dwight said...

If you need a road trip to find some great beer bars, NYC has a few and a good place to find them is

Idle Crank said...

Oh you midwestern snob you!

pcup said...

#11: Restaurants that are open on Sundays.

Angela said...

maybe we should do a "town exchange" vacation. You bring your family to our house. Go to TJ's, the Loop, ride the metro, etc. We'll come to Como, visit some wineries, flat branch, etc. Problem solved. New Vaction stimulus package. :)

Elizabeth Hornbeck said...

The Main Squeeze USED to be everything you describe, and way better than Cafe Berlin. Amazing variety, great dishes, fantastic breakfasts. Lee has had to scale back drastically just to stay in business. I really miss the old Main Squeeze. I still patronize the new one, because I don't want to lose it, but it's not like it used to be.