Columbus, OH

Arenacale

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Over the 4th weekend I took a trip to Columbus, OH to hit up the nearby Mid Ohio Sports Car Course for their annual IndyCar race. While I was there I briefly stopped downtown to take a look at COSI and the general area. I didn't have much time to spend in the downtown section, but I did stop along the river to take some skyline shots. Seemed like a very pleasant place to be, generally. The riverfront park was blocked off while they prepped for their "Red, White and Boom" celebration. Don't know what was up with the deer statue on the bridge, though.

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Arenacale

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COSI itself was pretty awesome - I wish I had my little guy with me as he would have had a blast. Lots of basic science museum stuff, but had some unique features - their water exhibit included a giant Poseidon's palace, and they had a Progress exhibit that showed streetscapes from the turn of the (19th to 20th) century and the 1950s. And they had Rat Basketball! Also, COSI was behind the "Square Wheels" and "Liquid Vision" touring exhibits that visited MoS in my childhood and that I dragged my mom along to see multiple times each (the piston car is still in COSI today, permanently mounted).

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Arenacale

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My hotel was in the Easton section of the city, well to the northeast of downtown. I specifically stayed there despite the commute to the track because of the restaurant options - I have a restricted diet so I wanted the most available to me. We have nothing like this around here - it's a sort of massive upscale power center with an indoor mall in the middle and hotels and apartments around it. There's luxury car dealers adjacent as well as more normal big box stuff. It's like someone crossed Shoppers World and Providence Place with Assembly...but cut down on the building sizes and then isolated it in Hanscom's footprint. We had a conversation on here about "Disneyfication", and this is as Disney as it gets. But it was convenient and nice, so I'll definitely stay there again if I head back for next year's race. These photos were taken on the way to the airport early Monday morning, which is why it looks so empty here.

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Arenacale

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Finally, a look at Mid Ohio itself. Obviously a sprawling place but not as huge as, say, Watkins Glen. The facilities were pretty rough though, only 2 permanent bathrooms, both in rough shape, and one in the paddock so it's constantly got crew guys lined up to use it. The garages were particularly cool - these ancient wooden structures with stairs that are falling apart that let you look down on the crews and the cars. There's definitely something very cool in the juxtaposition of these million dollar, finely tuned machines in garages that look like will give you both tetanus and splinters.

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