Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Travelog # 25 - Back Home

I am still on the road, but felt like coming back home. I got to spend couple of days in Columbus, Ohio and got to meet up with several of our family friends which was really great. We lived in this city for better part of our stay in US and is always close to our heart.

Honda Motorcycles in display @ Columbus Airport
Saw this display of Honda motorcycles in Columbus airport. Marysville, Ohio is home to Honda of America, where they manufacture from Lawn mowers to Motor Cycles to Accord. (Marysviille is about 50 miles northwest (thanks Kartic) of Columbus)

Snow covered roads of Worthington, OH
I understand Columbus has been having mild winter, but not when I got there. We had couple of inches of snow making roads slippery. I haven't driven in snow for a while and that made driving lot more interesting and challenging. (so far so good).

Car gets cold and really cold..when parked outside in the cold weather
Parking the car out in open during the cold days is not advisable, but then if you do (like me) then let the car run and heat up for a while before using it.

I am came back to the Columbus after couple of years and few things stood out:

New Comers: I saw lot more Indians in the malls & freeways than earlier. I got to attend a Sai Bhajan where there were lot more new faces than the familiar ones. This brought home the point as how Time / Life moves on. Richard Carlson talks about this in his 'Don't Sweat the small stuff' series at length. "".. Imagine, in 100 years, it's all NEW people inhabiting in this world

Converged Services: Most of our friends had their cable, phone & broadband all coming through one service provider for about USD 100 per month. For this amount, they get about 50+ channels, VoIP phone service & a solid broad band connection. The growth of VoIP technology has and telephone number mobility has brought in new players in to the market and has made swithing easier.

Moving North: Columbus is perhaps the one the poster child for Urban Sprawl with the phenomenal growth moving the nucleus of the city to north of the 270 belt. Vast expanse of available land and construction of new malls like Tuttle, Polaris & Easton has really made this migration possible.

When we first moved to the North side, there was no Polaris exit (on 71) and the Sancus Blvd was a small patch. We saw the slow but sure growth with the arrival of Polaris exit and huge Bank One (Chase) office complex. But now, I couldn't even recognize that place with huge Polaris Mall bringing in all kinds of shops and traffic.

While the development is welcome, I find this growth lopsided, leaving significant section of the Columbus population to live in rundown neighborhoods and depleting services.

More pictures in flickr

Next Stop: Toronto, Canada