Wednesday, September 11, 2013

HuffPost: Columbus, Here I Come..!

The story is here
I just returned from a short trip to a city that, to be honest, I knew very little about. So why did I bother? Out of the blue, I received an invitation for the opening of a new private museum of contemporary art. Checking out the artwork on the museum's website, I got intrigued. So, after a long flight with a layover, I arrived in the city, which turned out to be full of surprises.
If someone were to blindfold and drop me in the charming historic district of this city -the meticulously maintained German Village with its Victorian architecture and lush gardens -I would believe I was someplace in Europe. But no ma'am! I'm walking the streets of Columbus, Ohio, pinching myself in disbelief. The artistic hub of the city, known as Short North, is bursting with hundreds of restaurants, cafes and galleries. My hosts made sure that I visited several dozen of them.
And still, the main reason for my trip was attending the opening of the Pizzuti Collection in a renovated historic building, with its display of contemporary artwork assembled by major Columbus art collectors Ron and Ann Pizzuti. Several large-scale sculptures that greet visitors in front of the building set a tone for the whole collection, which is anything but ordinary. Take a look at the photos at The bronze sculpture by acclaimed LA based artist Thomas Houseago makes you think about menacing ghosts from horror movies. The stainless steel figure of a pissing boy by Tom Friedman is both amusing and impressive; first you giggle, then you admire the texture and fluidity of its form. However, my favorite was the larger than life bronze sculpture of a young boy on crutches by Enrique Martínez Celaya, a well-known American Cuban artist currently living in Miami.
In over 40 years of collecting the work of established as well as emerging artists from around the world, Ron and Ann Pizzuti particularly fell for Cuban artists. And that's why their museum opened with an exhibition titled Cuban Forever featuring works by young, mostly native Cuban artists. I was not surprised to see so many excellent photographic works in this exhibition as photography, in my opinion, is one of the most interesting and original aspects of contemporary Cuban art.
The rest of the diverse collection, occupying two other museum floors, is an impressive variety of major works by John Chamberlain, Louise Nevelson, Frank Stella, Jean Dubuffet and the rest of who's who in modern and contemporary art. The morning after the opening, I attended a panel discussion with three visiting Cuban artists, who turned out to be exceptions to the British rule saying that "children should be seen but not heard," which is how I feel about many artists -even those I admire greatly. But, these three Cuban artists turned out to be great conversationalists with good stories to tell.
Another high point of my visit to Columbus was a chance to see the Wexner Center for the Arts, with its edgy, unnerving architecture by Peter Eisenman, a big star in the 1980s. Since then, his light has dimmed considerably, and now this ambitious cultural center on the university campus looks rather dated. However, it doesn't stop the Center's stream of high profile exhibitions, one of which, Blues for Smoke, is scheduled to open on September 21st. You may remember this excellent exhibition, which originated here in LA at MOCA last year.
One day, late at night, I joined a group of journalists to see the sprawling Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, with its surprising display of contemporary art -both indoors and outdoors. I trust that you've already seen the amazing exhibition of James Turrell, either here in LACMA, at the Guggenheim Museum in NY, or at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. And still, you will be surprised and seduced by the magic of Turrell's colorful, slowly changing light emanating through the glass roof and dome of the Conservatory.
This magic spell was not broken when I returned back to my hotel room at midnight and turned on the TV to find President Barack Obama speaking to journalists while attending a G20 summit in my home city of St. Petersburg, Russia. And I'm listening to him while still here, in Columbus, OH, where the large sculpture by Enrique Martínez Celaya now proudly stands in front of the Pizzuti Museum. What does it have to do with Russian, American and Cuban interaction? Believe it or not, last year, another cast of this same sculpture was on display in the courtyard of my beloved Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Go figure...

Edward Goldman is an art critic and the host of Art Talk, a program on art and culture for NPR affiliate KCRW 89.9 FM. To listen to the complete show and hear Edward's charming Russian accent, click here.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

April home sales in Central Ohio set record high

April home sales set record high

(May 22, 2013) Central Ohio home sales last month (2,390) showed an increase of 30 percent in the market from one year ago (1,834). According to the Columbus Board of REALTORS®, April saw the highest number of home sales on record, followed by the 2,286 homes sold in April of 2004.

In addition to the increases in sales, home prices continue to rise also. While the average sale price has increased every month in 2013 from $149,477 in January to $163,084 in April, the average sale price year-to-date ($156,386) is up almost one and a half percent from 2012.

“Even with more homes being sold and sale prices up, the average time on the market continues to fall: down over 20 percent from a year ago”, said Chris Pedon, 2013 president of the Columbus Board of REALTORS®. “With such excellent market conditions, we’re seeing inventory move quickly.”

There were 3,965 new listings added to the market in April, up 8.9 percent from April of 2012. New listings also saw increases from one year ago, and have been rising every month this year. 

“Central Ohio continues to see improvement in nearly every aspect of the market,” Pedon continued. “We have not seen the number of new listings this high in any month since April 2010.” 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Italian Village - Street Sweeping Is Tomorrow, Don't Get Towed!

Street Sweeping is tomorrow!

Italian Villagers,

The first street sweeping of the season will be tomorrow, Wednesday, May 15 on the south and west sides of some of our streets. Please pay attention to signage when you park on the street tonight because vehicles must be moved by 8AM tomorrow in street sweeping areas or you will either get a ticket or your car will be towed.

Sign up for text message reminders at!


Thursday, April 25, 2013

10TV Video - Realtor Warns of New Real Estate Scam

A new real estate scam is targeting would-be tenants and their hard-earned cash.
It surprised even an experienced realtor, and nearly cost a young couple big.
Brian Barker and Jaime DeBois spent Wednesday night packing up their Grandview apartment, preparing for a move to the Short North.
"It was a big weight off our shoulders to finally find a place," says Barker.
Especially after the bullet they dodged during their search.  While apartment shopping online, they thought they'd found a perfect place in an Italian Village rental on 2nd street.  So they responded to the ad.
"We started to correspond," Barker says, "and the emails were a little strange, so I just decided to drive past the house one day. And I saw that it had the 'for sale' sign, so I decided to give the realtor a call."
Terry Penrod was that realtor.  "I got a couple of phone calls asking me if the unit was for sale or for rent. And I said 'no, this unit is definitely for sale.' And they said, 'well, it's on the internet for rent,' which raised my eyebrows very quickly."
Penrod says someone swiped his online listing, even using the photo he'd posted.
But they listed it for rent, at a too-good-to-be-true price.
"For $800 a month, this would be a huge buy," says Penrod. "Someone's scamming the system and trying to get people to send in an application fee or first month's rent."
"And that's how we kind of obviously found out that whoever I was corresponding with wasn't the owner," says Barker.
Penrod says in 20 years in real estate, he's seen a lot of scams, but this is a new one.
Brian and Jaime happily didn't fall victim, but fear someone else might.
"I always thought I was doing pretty good due diligence in weeding out the scams versus what's actually real," says Barker, "but it shows you that even on a legitimate website where there are legitimate people on there posting houses for sale, people can sneak these things in."
Penrod contacted police, but says he was told since money didn't actually change hands, there wasn't much they could do.
Watch 10TV News and refresh for the latest.

Friday, April 5, 2013

7 Tips for Staging Your Home

Make your home warm and inviting to boost your home’s value and speed up the sale process.

The first step to getting buyers to make an offer on your home is to impress them with its appearance so they begin to envision themselves living there. Here are seven tips for making your home look bigger, brighter, and more desirable.

1. Start with a clean slate

Before you can worry about where to place furniture and which wall hanging should go where, each room in your home must be spotless. Do a thorough cleaning right down to the nitpicky details like wiping down light switch covers. Deep clean and deodorize carpets and window coverings.

2. Stow away your clutter

It’s harder for buyers to picture themselves in your home when they’re looking at your family photos, collectibles, and knickknacks. Pack up all your personal decorations. However, don’t make spaces like mantles and coffee and end tables barren. Leave three items of varying heights on each surface, suggests Barb Schwarz of in Concord, Pa. For example, place a lamp, a small plant, and a book on an end table.

3. Scale back on your furniture

When a room is packed with furniture, it looks smaller, which will make buyers think your home is less valuable than it is. Make sure buyers appreciate the size of each room by removing one or two pieces of furniture. If you have an eat-in dining area, using a small table and chair set makes the area seem bigger.

4. Rethink your furniture placement

Highlight the flow of your rooms by arranging the furniture to guide buyers from one room to another. In each room, create a focal point on the farthest wall from the doorway and arrange the other pieces of furniture in a triangle around the focal point, advises Schwarz. In the bedroom, the bed should be the focal point. In the living room, it may be the fireplace, and your couch and sofa can form the triangle in front of it.

5. Add color to brighten your rooms

Brush on a fresh coat of warm, neutral-color paint in each room. Ask your real estate agent for help choosing the right shade. Then accessorize. Adding a vibrant afghan, throw, or accent pillows for the couch will jazz up a muted living room, as will a healthy plant or a bright vase on your mantle. High-wattage bulbs in your light fixtures will also brighten up rooms and basements.

6. Set the scene

Lay logs in the fireplace, and set your dining room table with dishes and a centerpiece of fresh fruit or flowers. Create other vignettes throughout the home—such as a chess game in progress—to help buyers envision living there. Replace heavy curtains with sheer ones that let in more light.

Make your bathrooms feel luxurious by adding a new shower curtain, towels, and fancy guest soaps (after you put all your personal toiletry items are out of sight). Judiciously add subtle potpourri, scented candles, or boil water with a bit of vanilla mixed in. If you have pets, clean bedding frequently and spray an odor remover before each showing.

7. Make the entrance grand

Mow your lawn and trim your hedges, and turn on the sprinklers for 30 minutes before showings to make your lawn sparkle. If flowers or plants don’t surround your home’s entrance, add a pot of bright flowers. Top it all off by buying a new doormat and adding a seasonal wreath to your front door.

The story is here

More from HouseLogic

Spring cleaning guide

Green cleaning products for the bathroom
Green cleaning products for the kitchen

Other web resources

How to make a small room look larger

How to arrange bedrooms

Read more:

NBC: Columbus Named Most Intelligent City In America

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If you are feeling brainy it could be because you are part of the smartest workforce in America.  The Intelligent Communities Forum has named Columbus in the top seven most intelligent cities in the world, and it is the only American city to make the cut.    

ICF founder Robert Bell came to Columbus to present an award marking the achievement, and to also judge the city for signs of intelligence that could lead to the city being named the most intelligent city in the world for 2013.

Bell said that more than 400 cities around the world vie for the intelligence designation.  An international team of academic leaders whittles the list down to about two dozen and eventually the final seven are named.  Each city goes through a rigorous process of identifying the factors that set it apart, then an international panel of judges – from business and academia – will determine the overall smartest city.

Bell is spending three days gathering information, and making sure Columbus lives up to the claims it made about technology and collaboration.  He is looking at a number of criteria, and likes what he sees in Columbus.

"Is what's taught in your universities and your technical schools informed by the needs of business? Is government at the table trying to shape the outcomes for the good of all the citizens not just the top-tier citizens? Columbus has those things in abundance. While I've been here I've heard two words over and over again, you want to be open and want to be smart, and those are great advantages in the 21st century," Bell said.

City business and government leaders are taking Bell on a whirlwind tour of research, education and technology centers.  Bell visited Battelle, Nationwide Children's Hospital, The Ohio State University, the OSU Super Computer, the Columbus Metropolitan Library and TechColumbus.

But, he said, "technology is just a tool.  It's an enabler.  The magic happens when people all up and down the income ladder, all up and down the education ladder, of many cultures come together and use it to create something new and exciting."

ICF will name the overall most intelligent city in the world at a conference in June.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

NBC News - First-time buyers struggle as home prices rise

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

First-time buyers struggle as home prices rise

Home prices are rising at the fastest pace since 2006, making it difficult for the first-time buyer to close a deal. NBC’s Diana Olick reports.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

VIDEO: Hills Market Downtown set to open doors on March 19

The Columbus Dispatch Friday March 8, 2013 2:48 PM

Drum roll, please: Hills Market Downtown is set to open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, March 19.

The Downtown version of the longtime local and organic food market in the Worthington Hills neighborhood of Columbus has been in the works since October 2011.

At 95 N. Grant Ave., the 12,000-square-foot former auto repair shop is a few blocks north of Downtown and several blocks south of Columbus State Community College, hoping to draw customers from both areas, said Jill Moorhead, its marketing director.

It's also on the edge of the area being renewed with the help of the Neighborhood Launch housing development, which stretches from from 4th Street to Grant Avenue along Gay and Long streets. The closest grocery store to the neighborhood is the Kroger in the Brewery District on Sycamore Street.

More here

Friday, March 1, 2013

Gallery Hop March 2nd - Exhibits & Highlights

Short North Arts District
Gallery Hop 
Saturday March 2, 2013 

In the galleries...

Brandt-Roberts Galleries - 642 N High St    

GAINING SPEED - An Emerging Artists  Initiative  
In an effort to highlight and promote emerging student artists and recent graduates of Central Ohio academic institutions, Brandt-Roberts Galleries will strive to provide a platform for this promising group.
At least one judiciously chosen new work will be shown in conjunction with the monthly Gallery Hop exhibitions. Only those works particularly compelling and have the potential to shape future artistic directions will be selected.  
Join Brandt-Roberts this Gallery Hop weekend featuring a piece by Winnie Sidharta, a recent MFA graduate of The Ohio State University. Her work has been exhibited in Columbus, New York, Indonesia and China. In addition to creating art studio works, she currently teaches as an adjunct lecturer with The Ohio State University.  

Rivet  - 1200 N High St
Ohio, You RAWK!
continues through March 10th. Rivet prepares for the 16th Annual Columbus College of Art and Design's Art of Illustration show; a juried exhibition featuring 40 works by current students.   

There will be an awards ceremony and opening reception on Saturday, March 16th from 7-10PM.  Artists and alumni will be in attendance and complimentary snacks and drinks will be available.

Lindsay Gallery - 986 N High St 

Four Ways of Looking
Bidwa, Fairchild, Gall, Sanders 

Curated by Linda Gall,
Four Ways of Looking
is designed to consider the threads that bind the paintings of seemingly disparate artists. Working independently, all four artists share environmental concerns while expressing their relationship with the natural world in highly individual ways.

Sherrie Gallerie - 694 N High St

Artist Ruth Markus' three sons Helge, Stanley, and John invite you to Sherrie Gallerie for a special exhibition of her artwork to celebrate what would have been her 89th birthday.

Please join us in this March in celebrating Markus: a talented, generous, spirited woman who was a gift to us all.

Paul Palnik Cartoon Studios  - 14 E Lincoln St   

Paul Palnik exhibits "36 Years of Nude Yodeling in Latvia; a retrospective." Meet Palnik and his whimsical, thought provoking works during the March Gallery Hop.

Roy G Biv -  997 N High St 

March's exhibition at ROY features three painters: Agnes Burris paints cargo ships as they sink at sea, Andy Plank dissects the idea of "post," and Kaveri Raina speaks to the compression of time and the received dualities of East and West.

pm gallery - 1190 N High St

Columbus based, self-taught artist Charles Wince will exhibit at pm gallery for the month of March. His unique approach has been described at various times as Outsider/Visionary, Neo-Expressionist, Gonzo, and just plain Weird. He has received a lot of favorable press throughout the years, and has exhibited in over one hundred venues.

Sharon Weiss Gallery - 20 E Lincoln St    

Artist Sophie J. Knee exhibits Pattern at Sharon Weiss Gallery for the month of March.

Studios on High Gallery - 686 N High St  
Studios on High Gallery presents an art exhibit of  "Bolts, Bags, and Bling" by Jacquline Bledsoe, artisan handbag designer, revealing her spring line.  Natural fiber mixes of silk, cotton and leather build the foundation of her handcrafted bags.   Bright embellishments create a fresh look for the season.  Then discover how found objects, rusty hardware and vintage treasures become new again in Barb Swysgood's sculptural assemblages. Her unexpected combinations of up-cycled materials are a visual delight.

Hop Happenings...

Yuengling specials Surly Girl Saloon - 1126 N High St

Stop in to Surly Girl Saloon for $3.50 Yuengling Lager drafts and some of the best food the Short North has to offer.

We recommend the Wicked Western White pizza and of course a delicious signature red velvet cupcake to round out your night.

Dames Bond Marketplace - 1188 N High St
Dames Bond features Mother Artists at Work as the guest artists for the month. Shop Dames Bond this Gallery Hop for fine leather accessories by Of an Era Leathercraft, including hand bags, IPad cases, lipstick carriers, phone carriers, business card holders, journals and wine holders.  Additionally, new artist Barbara Radebaugh will feature her beach glass from Lake Erie.

Short North Stage - 1187 N High St

The Green Room at Short North Stage presents 

Ordinary Days

8:00PM Tickets $23
Four New Yorkers struggle to find connections in a city of contradictions.

Short North Hop Hub - 663 N High St

Stop by the Gallery Hop headquarters for information on all the hot spots of the evening and your chance and great giveaways from:
Betty's Fine Food + Spirits