Paul Astleford, the subject of this month's Who to Know, says visitors to Columbus often recognize its strengths more than the natives do, and I tend to agree.
With the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Columbus Crew and the Blue Jackets, amateur sports R-Us. And when it comes to restaurants, concerts, shopping and cultural events, there is something for everyone -- think Polaris Amphitheatre, Ohio Theatre, Palace Theatre, Polaris Fashion Place, Easton, COSI and the Columbus Art Museum, not to mention the Columbus Zoo, Franklin Conservatory and the Metro Parks.
German Village, Short North and the Arena District are all doing their part to revitalize downtown and draw visitors and businesses. And Mayor Michael Coleman's downtown revitalization plan is an important piece of the "Destination Columbus" puzzle.
While we may never compete with the likes of New York or Los Angeles, if we play our cards right, we can become a major contender.
It takes a great deal of support from the local powers that be to make that happen, including the Greater Columbus Chamber, local big businesses and most important, the citizens. How many of us have visited the zoo lately? Attended a Concert in the Park? Have you seen the new COSI?
It's time for us to put our money where our collective mouths are and support these local landmarks, not just for the benefit of visitors but for those who live here, and value what they bring to our community.