When I was growing up in Florida, I figured a good way to know which states were least desirable was to see how many of their license plates turned up in tourist-attraction parking lots. If a lot of your people came to Florida, you probably didn't like it where you were--or so my reasoning went. Based on that line of thinking, I grew up convinced that the least desirable states were New Jersey and Ohio.
Yes, my thinking was flawed, but I was a kid.
Having shared these thoughts with others over the years, I feel obliged to say that Columbus--or, more precisely, the small parts of it I've explored while here--is a pretty nice place. The restaurants have been uniformly decent or better, the variety is wide, the ice cream (Jeni's) is (of course) extraordinary, and all in all it's been a fine place to visit.
I particularly like the North Market complex, which mixes food stalls with some specialized grocers and other vendors. It's hip enough to have the hot chicken I mentioned in an earlier entry,
a nifty looking pretzel shop,
and a surprisingly good barbecue stall.
I had to sample all three key meats--brisket, sausage, and pork--and all three were pretty darn good. I haven't had sausage or brisket as good in Raleigh. In fact, both were up there with comparable offerings from low-end Austin barbecue joints. (High-end barbecue places in Austin still rule.)
The people have been busy but friendly enough, the weather brisk but decent, and the place fun to walk.
I'm happy to have to revise my opinion of (at least this part of) Ohio.