When I find myself needing a break from the daily grind, German Village offers the perfect local escape. One can lose themselves in the serenity of the brick-paved streets, and perhaps even lose themselves in time :)
In the 1830's, German immigrants began moving into the neighborhood just south of downtown Columbus, and by 1865 1/3 of the city's population was German. The area began to decline during the early 20th century, due to anti-German sentiment during World War I. Interestingly, due to this sentiment, many streets were renamed. Germania Street became the present-day Stewart Ave., and Schiller Park became Washington Park. German language textbooks were banned, and the schools that the German immigrants had produced began to decline. These schools were once so superior in quality that English speaking residents of Columbus chose to attend them.
Once home to 29 breweries, the further decline of German Village was escalated by Prohibition. By the 1950's, the area had become a slum, and 1/3 of the neighborhood was demolished by the city. The 1960's and 1970's brought a renewal effort by the newly established German Village Society (Source: www.germanvillage.com, via Wikipedia). Akin to Victorian Village, I am grateful to the efforts of the city's residents who dedicated themselves to the preservation of a piece of Columbus history.
What is truly to be appreciated about historic neighborhoods in Columbus is their unique character and local flavor. Something you will never get in cookie cutter suburbs. My favorite place to visit in German Village is the Book Loft. 32 rooms of books!
As a librarian, I rarely buy books, but when I do I'd much rather give my money to a local business. Last year, a book whose release I was eargerly anticipating warranted a trip to The Book Loft to make my own quite "event" of it. It was such a beautiful warm day in May, my newly purchased book just had to be read outside with a coffee from Cup o Joe next door. It may not sound like much, but the beauty and character of German Village helped me to create this quite little memory of happiness for me. You gotta find those little moments in life, it's all about the little things :)