"The Midwest is intensely boring and pedestrian."
I came across that statement when perusing articles about cultural differences between Northeast and Midwest cities.
As a born and bred New Yorker and relatively new Buckeye, I can state emphatically that the author doesn't have a clue – and has clearly never been to Columbus or German Village.
I'm embarrassed to confess that when my husband approached me about a move to Columbus in fall 2014, my immediate response was an emphatic "no."
My mind conjured up stereotypical "Green Acres" images of farmhouses, hoedowns and amber fields of grains – everywhere. Boy, was I wrong.
Boring? No. Pedestrian? No. Magical and wonderful – yes!
After close to two years of regrets-only responses from our New York friends to come visit, one adventurous couple – our dear friends, Tony and Terri – decided to take us up on our offer to visit for House und Garten Tour weekend.
I'm convinced their main reason for visiting was to quickly dispel the picture we had painted of quaint, cobble-stoned streets, friendly, educated and interesting neighbors and a weekend of dazzling home design and decor combined with world class shopping, dining and entertainment as a figment of our imagination.
They wanted to confirm that we were indeed growing, and smoking, homegrown marijuana in our backyard and everything we waxed rhapsodic about was a psychedelic delusion.
Fast-forward to June 26.
When Tony and Terri got on the plane home to New York in a combined state of disbelief and awe, Anne and Dave were not trippers – they actually did live in a village that was welcoming to all, where pride of homeownership did seem to burst from the lovingly designed and well-tended flower boxes and gardens that dotted German Village, and where front doors were actually flung open to all – and all were truly welcome.
They marveled at sometimes eclectic, sometimes traditional home designs, always coupled with a deep sense of history, exhibited in all the tour homes.
They oohed and aahed at the latest in edgy and tony interior design motifs and modern home construction, complemented and completed by vintage home accents such as an ice box or a hitching post.
They willingly absorbed all the rich history that German Village had to offer on what life was like a century ago. They savored every single bite of Darci Congrove & John Pribble and Patti Orzano's meticulously prepared "Paisley Park"-themed dinner, while enjoying the warm and inviting ambiance of their beautiful home.
They almost fell off their chairs when a couple we just met that night invited us over for a barbecue. (In New York the first thing you would wonder about that invitation was whether the hosts were serial killers.)
And as cynical and cautious New Yorkers, they were also pretty darn surprised that people let thousands of strangers traipse through their homes and examine their private inner sanctums and precious treasures – and, gulp, some even gave these strangers wine and ginger beer to boot!
They were delighted to put aside their "New York state of mind" and fell fast in love with all that makes German Village, and Columbus, such an interesting and happy place to live.
We just got a beautiful thank you card from Tony and Terry that asked for the dates for the House und Garten Tour 2018 so they could mark their calendar – and maybe we could ask a few other NY couples to join us, they suggested?
Who says you can't teach New Yorkers a thing or two?
The doors – and hearts – of all of German Village will be open to them once again. We can't wait.
German Village Society Trustee Anne Ring submitted the Village Notebook column .