Saturday, March 21, 2015


We have breakfast in a place called the Sunny Street Cafe.  It is near the Nationwide Arena in the portion of the city aptly called the Arena District.  This place came highly recommended by our very helpful front desk clerk who identified the establishment when we inquired and then found us a coupon at the concierge desk.

The walk past the arena was far different than it had been last night. Very quiet. Not much is happening where thousands had been lurking near the facility when the first doubleheader ended last night and the second one was about to begin.  The work crew at the Nationwide could not have been happy having to clean out the very large stadium in twenty minutes, usher fans out, and then usher the fans for the second doubleheader in.  I wonder who had been adept at hiding in a toilet stall to see if they could emerge from the can undetected to watch the second set of games gratis.

This morning the relative frenzy-free space outside the building is most noticeable. We see no more than ten people in our walk to the Sunny Street Cafe.  The restaurant itself is busy. We are seated at a booth and then notice that many of the diners are wearing garb from the competitors of the day before. Maryland, West Virginia, several Daytons.

We enjoy our fare, coffee up to compensate for the late night--sort of--and return to our hotel. There we visit the welcome desk for NCAA visitors.  At a table we see Chamber of Commerce type maps, assorted brochures and the Experience Columbus magazine with the US of the city cleverly and punningly appearing in a different ink. Visit ColumbUS.  We ask an attendant about restaurants that are the gathering spots for the teams that remain from this district.  He points to a sheet and see the designated places: The R bar, The Three Legged Mare, and Gordon Biersch in addition to a spot we visited yesterday ironically named, Boston's.

We leave this information center and up we go in the elevator. On our ride is a woman wearing a Notre Dame jacket.  I figure she is here from not so far away Pittsburgh where Notre Dame, sadly, defeated my Northeastern University Huskies on Thursday.  I ask her if she attended the victory over my employer.

She looked startled and explained that she knows nothing about March Madness.  She is here in Columbus to support or coach--I did not know which as she exited soon afterwards--the Notre Dame fencing team that is here at Ohio State this weekend competing in championship matches.  She really had no clue about the basketball fortunes of her school's more well known sports competitors. She knows fencing.

And that is the way it is--it seems to me.  There are all these wonderful and separate worlds.  Yes, many are filled up this March with March Madness, but others are immersed in fencing, others in maybe square dance festivals,  a group no doubt is meeting somewhere to discuss coins or stamps, or pelicans.

When we are in these worlds we are nourished by them and look forward to interacting with like minded others.  And if we do not have such a world, it might be a good idea to find something that can make enthusiasm for life spike.

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