Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Columbus, Mississippi

Now that I've been here three full months...update on Columbus

A Contestant from a previous Stella Shouting Contest
I'm looking forward to the Tennessee Williams 15th Annual Tribute coming up in the first week of September, including the Hollyhocks sponsored "Stella Shouting Contest." When I was first anticipating the humid, languid, hot summer months, here, I had jokingly said that I might soon find myself shouting "Stella!", but looks like someone beat me to it. The thing is, it's a contest held during the tribute, and the contestants stand in front of the Hollyhocks store overlooking 5th Street South, around six o'clock in the evening, and each contestant is judged on volume, originality, and emotion, as he or she (I assume women can now participate) shouts "Stella!" like Marlon Brando does in the movie.

I missed the annual Market Street Festival held this year in May (didn't get here until May 26th), but it has been named a Top 20 Event in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society. A crowd of nearly 40,000 gathers each year to enjoy the two-day festival that features over 250 arts, crafts, and food vendors, as well as dozens of special events, musical acts, and other activities.

There are a whole host of festivals and events that I am just now learning about, after three months in Columbus. I've of course already participated in three of the writer's group meetings held at the Columbus Arts Council building in downtown Columbus, but if you're interested in finding a complete schedule of other events, visit this events and festival website.

During my three months, here, I have discovered where I can go for coffee in the middle of the night or before daylight. There are several cool coffee houses, here, as well, and my favorite is The Coffee House on 5th Street. That's the actual name. There are two Thai restaurants, a handful of Chinese restaurants, a few Mexican food restaurants, Southern Diners and BBQ places, close by and fun bars (where I will probably never go), except that Huck's Place is kind of a big bar and restaurant combination on 4th Street. For a city of only 24,000, Columbus has a bunch of great restaurants, an active downtown, lots of Antebellum, Victorian, Italianate, and Craftsman houses, a very cool and history-drenched Friendship Cemetery. I've only driven through part of it, and I was told that the Civil-War-Era portion is in the southern part of the cemetery. Even more delightful, which is what I was hoping for when I moved here is the stunning beauty of parts of Columbus, from well kept neighborhoods, to lush, tree-lined backroads inside and outside of the city, and even the area of town where the shopping centers and big-box stores is located offers the shopping you'd expect to find in a much larger town. Instead of the ubiquitous Barnes and Noble in the local mall, there is a Books-a-Million bookstore, tailored to fit the size of the town, with its own coffee and snack shop. There is a B&N bookstore on the MUW campus.

I've just about made it through the worst part of the year, here in Columbus, and even though I dreaded the muggy summer, it wasn't so bad, and I didn't need to yell "Stella!" even once.

I've solved the comments problem, if you want to leave a comment on any of my posts. Just scroll down and look for the "button" that will say "no comments" (ask me why?! I don't know) but if you click on that you can leave a comment. I hope you do. You can even comment anonymously, as I have done to test the functionality.


  1. Sounds like you have a plethera of restaurants to chose from. Makes me hungry just thinking about it! I am bored to death with our restaurants although having Salud open up has been a good change! Cheers, Joyce

  2. He Joyce! I hope all is going well. I miss the Mexican food. They have those here, too, but they're not the same. For anyone else reading this comment, The Mississippi University for Women (which is co-ed) has a culinary arts school and will be building a new structure dedicated to it. That's one of the reasons Columbus has good restaurants as the students graduate and some move out into the surrounding towns.