Archive for October, 2007

another way to market a city

October 31, 2007

do it yourself:


Columbus Announced as Indie Art Capital of the World

For Immediate Release: Monday, October 29, 2007
Contact: Mike Reed, 614-348-9800, or Daniel Fox, 614-746-0333

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The title of “Indie Art Capital of the World” was announced and awarded to the City of Columbus last Tuesday, October 23rd. This announcement marks the beginning of a new grass-roots effort in Columbus to help clarify and boost the cities image throughout the world as a place where all types of art produced with an independent spirit are embraced. Already forging a strong foothold in the community, this title is anticipated to be adopted into the marketing and promotion organizations throughout Central Ohio by the end of the year.

Local indie artist Mike Reed says that he’s ready for the new title to be embraced from top to bottom. “Have the Greater Columbus Arts Council adopt the moniker”, Reed stated. “Not only is this something Mayor Mike Coleman can start mentioning it in speeches, but every artist has the opportunity to insert it into conversation. Events should buy into the marketing. We are at such a time in our cities history where we can really brand Columbus for one of the things we are great at, fostering independent arts.”

Reed, along with fellow members of local artist cooperative, Couchfire Collective host the Agora art events turning out several thousand people. He sees their success as proof of the opportunity to capitalize on Columbus’ Indie Art happenings.

He also projects that the title of Indie Art Capital of the World will have a sweeping economic benefit throughout all of Columbus – not just the arts scene. “There are opportunities to generate several millions of dollars in revenue for this city as a result of this branding push”, he said citing similar success stories in other US cities such as Austin, TX.

Shortly after the recent announcement, the influence of the title has spread quickly. Daniel Fox, a local entrepreneur and indie artist has already taken note of this growth in the past few days. “Independent Art and Columbus Ohio have always had a strong connection”, Fox said. “Our independent spirit extends from crafters to entrepreneurs, from the music scene to theater and beyond. There’s so much going on here just under the radar.”

The Columbus Indie Art Capital vision unifies and promotes all aspects of the Arts in Columbus, Ohio. It emphasizes the spirit and business of art making at all levels and is discipline and media inclusive – dance, film, visual arts and literature, as well as animation, design, music and poetry.

Centered around the first ever Columbus Indie Arts Conference in 2008 this movement exists to affirm Columbus’ status as a hotbed of innovation and ideas. The Columbus Indie Arts Conference hopes to attract a variety of speakers and art makers worldwide, and to celebrate the rich cultural Arts tradition of Columbus.

We envisage this movement as our bridge to the rest of the world to demonstrate our vibrant Arts scene, attract business and economic investment, foster and incubate ideas and innovations, and to contribute to the growth of Columbus.


one way to market a city

October 31, 2007

in january of 2007, the new orleans convention and visitors bureau launched an international re-branding campaign, created by trumpet and peter a mayer advertising, to promote new orleans culture and hospitality.

“forever new orleans” features print ads run in business magazines, travel and trade publications, and collectible posters, complementing an outdoor, billboard campaign introduced in 18 major markets across the country in december of 2006.





the campaign also features tray-table ads on 35 domestic u.s. airways and america west planes nationwide, with images of classic nola dishes to make you drool (soft shell crab pictured below; click the image for a head-on look):


as was evident from the bob belden video we posted last week, there’s still an unfathomable amount of work to be done — particularly in the 9th ward where in some areas it simply looks like a bomb went off and it hasn’t been touched since.

and from listening to wwoz and harry shearer, it sounds like anything that’s being done’s being done by folk themselves, and the road home is a joke.

but what’s clearly not a joke is the moving livesconnected project from the folks at peter mayer — an oral and visual chronicling of their experiences during and after katrina. an interesting solution for organizing and cataloging boatloads of data. plus for making sense of the nonsensical.

and new orleanians certainly haven’t lost their sense of humor:


people say

October 29, 2007


(the meters with stevie wonder on drums, new orleans jazz & heritage festival, 1973)

writer/professor/dj/cultural-critic-at-large (not necessarily in that order) oliver wang had a great post on soul sides last week about “cissy strut” and the seemingly inexhaustible supply of covers out there.

thinking back, “cissy strut” was certainly the first meters tune i was exposed to, if for no other reason it was the first track on the indispensable funkify your life: the meters anthology 2-disc set a college roommate had who at that point was waaaay cooler than me (one look at that cover and you just knew those guys were good).


so good, in fact, that it didn’t seem unreasonable for us to move to new orleans based on the fact that it was where they were from. seemed unreasonable not to, more like. then again, music’s always been a source of inspiration for me, so maybe that’s neither very odd nor unreasonable.

and, because i’m human and self-involved and often tend to make the assumption that everybody else around me operates the same way i do, it was a curious suprise when i met daniel from skreened last week and found out that he sits in his office pretty much all day not listening to music. go figure. he’s democratizing the t-shirt business with sweat-shop-free labor, though — plus he’s got interns blogging for him, which, frankly, makes me jealous; i just don’t know if we’ll ever be able to co-work together.

read more about co-working here.

listen to more meters covers here.

watch the meters with professor longhair here:

new totes

October 24, 2007


lower 9th

October 23, 2007

been back to new orleans twice for brief trips since katrina (my wife, three) and though we made it as far as vaughan’s in the upper 9th, we never got beyond. last month, bob belden did, and he brought his video camera. take a look at how the lower 9th ward stands today.


October 23, 2007

the 4th quarter batch of dine originals gift certificates was released earlier today. but you probably already knew that because you’re on the mailing list — if not, you should be.

you get the standard discount of 30% — $10 certificate for $7.00, $25 for $17.50 — but what’s not standard is that alana’s is no longer conspicuously absent from this notable aggregation of local, independent restaurants, plus luce restaurant and cafe out in powell’s in the mix.

now i don’t know about you, but alana’s is one of my hands-down favorites in columbus — it’s so honest. and i’ve never been to luce — never even heard of luce — but now i’ve got a reason.

dine originals columbus is now 32 esteemed members deep.

my take on the general state of affairs

October 23, 2007

summarized by ann peebles.

bacon fat

October 22, 2007

i’m at work now, listening to a stream of this. before i left for work, at home this morning, mixing together my yogurt, granola & berries, i was listening to this:

“hard hustling” by andre williams

7″. b/w “soul party a-go go.” avin. 1967.

[ed. note: left click to listen, right (or control) click, “save link as…” to download]

as far as getting UP on a monday morning, it’s probably the next best thing to having one of these.


peaches & patchouli

October 18, 2007

back when i was in school, living above bagel & deli, bouncing at top deck, and studying english — yes, bouncing — there was this temptress on campus who always smelled of peaches & patchouli. smucker2.jpg

she was the stuff of poems.

we fell in love at st. alphonzo’s pancake breakfast (an event google will thankfully tell you nothing about); later, we picked up and moved to new orleans—

—uptown. a tri-plex + requisite stoop, the organist edwin miles next door swapping records, streetcar stop #52.

jamo (still wearing peaches & patchouli) took the st. charles line to work everyday at the gris gris house (r.i.p) on bordeaux, the same block as electric ladyland (r.i.p.), where she got tattooed, and le bon temps roule, where kermit ruffins killed it every wednesday night for free.

kermitsmall1.jpgi did time at skippy white’s (r.i.p), in between occasional freelance gigs for superfly, picking up a serious vinyl habit. but also soaking up important life lessons like “how to wear a jaunty feather in your cap” and “never leave home without a pocket square” from uncle lionel, while drinking setups at joe’s (r.i.p).

all of this is, of course, beside the point, which is: the candle lab rocks.


the lab’s got 120+ flavors of soy candles to choose from. but you can also pour your own candles to create (or recreate) your own signature scents — like the peaches & patchouli my wife poured last week, which inspired this whole reverie. plus you can book the shops for after-hours candle-pouring parties (byob); and though i haven’t been in the worthington shop yet after its relocation, the grandview spot is spacious with a comfortable, lounge-y — but uncontrived — vibe. check it out next grandview art hop.

[Update 1/22/09: Come show some love for The Candle Lab after last week’s fire:]

reason #4 we believe in young isaac

October 16, 2007

back in may, strawberryfrog founder and ceo scott goodson announced on his blog that strawberryfrog was getting ready to run a national ad campaign for … strawberryfrog.

here’s the ad that ran that month in fortune:


“why not?” and “it’s about time!” we say. we love creative agencies that run advertisements for themselves. frankly, we wish more did.

sure, a strong portfolio and dynamic client list are important. but there’s something telling in the way an agency chooses to present itself to prospective clients in ad format.

two more from the strawberryfrog campaign:




dropping down (in size) from a global agency running adverts for itself in a national publication, to a local agency with both local and national clients but advertising at the local level, young isaac’s been running full-page ads opposite the top 25 advertising agencies list in business first‘s big book of lists for the past 10 years.

at the s’more party last week, i noted to artie the interesting contrast between the late-’90s, copy-heavy “how to be a supermodel” versus the almost stark-white and copy-less “your ad here” that ran in the 2005 book (young isaac came in at #19; the 2006 book will be published later this fall).

artie’s reply was something to the effect of, “it’s because we didn’t know what we were about that year….” (i beg apologies if my recollection’s faulty here, artie). an interesting and honest answer, i thought.

both ads are evocative; i love the longwindedness and disregard for convention in the first (no one’s going to read all that copy!) but i also reacted immediately to the open space and confident reserve of the second.

expressed another way: the 2005 ad is the one that turned me on to young isaac and compelled me to take note; the 1999 ad is the one that’s pinned to the bulletin board on my office wall.

noting the marked difference between the ’99 and ’05 ads — plus, because young isaac does it so well — i thought it’d be instructive to see these annual ads together in a series….

… so here’s a ten-year retrospective of young isaac advertising young isaac, in chronological order, from 2005 – 1996, reproduced without permission.

there are only two repeats: “hop out of bed with a smile (and 29 more lessons clients have taught us)” ran in 2000 and 1997; and “every agency on the list is a great agency (a humble, team-spirited statement that we hope will prove self-serving)” ran in 1998 and 1996, though there are some entertaining changes in the copy between the two versions.

[ed note: depending on your browser, it may be easiest to view the below images by first downloading them to your computer and then opening them in a separate application, for image optimization and zooming.]2005-advert-compressed.jpg










kindness, to go

October 15, 2007

stop in at the north market tomorrow and say hello to luann and gay as expressly benevolence opens for its first day of business!expressly-sign.jpg

expect good, freshly-baked things from inherently good people (and also some good stuff that’s not baked, like fresh salads and soups).

(yes, they’re our clients. and, yes, we’re stumping for them. read about the earth-friendly business practices at their neighboring cafe and then get behind them, too.)

mess hall

October 12, 2007

our man, mr. johnny oak! we ain’t mad at you for moving, johnny. we just miss you.

from the pages of alive!

by g.a. benton


“If you like my food, tell your friends. If not, keep your mouth shut,” joked Johnny Oak gently as I was exiting his Po Boy and Shrimp Shack. In my hand I held three of his “half”-size sandwiches and two orders of Cajun fries. In my head their combined massive weight created the image of a white-bagged cartoon anvil and the food’s tempting aromas conjured up nose-lifting, smoky cartoon fingers whisking me off the ground and floating me toward my car.

Half an hour later, still reeling from plowing through Mr. Oak’s spicy comfort food gutbusters, a couple dining pals and I decided to tell our friends: Johnny Oak makes the best junk foody sandwiches on the OSU campus.

There’s just no reason ever to submit to crappy fast food for your fatty fix when Johnny—or one of his stand-ins—is there to hand-craft you an overstuffed, sloppy, satisfying, super rich, French-bread-packed Cajun combo.



October 11, 2007




get more here.

we believe in you

October 11, 2007

who i’m working with currently:

jeni’s; betty’s; surly girl; tip top; element; luck bros; watershed organic; deli in the alley; colonial candy shoppe; ying’s teahouse & yum-yum; boris the tailor; the candle lab; expressly benevolence; wholly craft, royal coffee

who jda was already working with before i started:

lincoln street studio; priority designs; otani; taste of bali; nazareth; north market produce; cafe davinci; shoku; typhoon; johnny oak’s po-boys; french loaf; design central; golden china; ocean seafood & vietnamese cuisine….

who i want to work with next:

rivet; tigertree; sole classics; jinny’s; rowe; skreened; mahan gallery; tasi; rigsby’s; eleni christina; alana’s; what the rock?!; pure imagination chocolatier; pistacia vera; starliner diner; northstar cafe; cafe corner; caffe apropos; banana bean cafe; barcelona; chop chop gallery; black creek bistro; seagull bags; lindsay gallery; young isaac; i love treefort; stauf’s; pink moon; momo²; pretty much the entire north market; the north market; basi italia; mama mimi’s; paul robinette; fibres; substance; studio 35; drexel theatres; fresh; buchanan & associates; gra+d; cafe brioso; pattycake vegan bakery; on paper; fine lines; cafe del mondo; frutta del mondo; lucky 13; new grounds coffee house; maca; peabody papers; omega artisan baking; sparrowfish; q2 bistro; b1 bicycles; octopus incorporated; pretty patti; sweet stella designs; laura alexander; anne holman; flamestitch; locura; umbrella girl productions; creatrix jane; lucky kat; mike reed; everybody at couchfire; craftpaca; pogo; consider biking; local matters; the greener grocer; simply living; the restaurant widow; advergirl; columbus underground; the ohio roller girls; aline yamada; everyone in the columbus crafty cotillion; the snba; brown bag deli, bakery gingham; cd101; orange barrel; carrie rasmussen….

*know somebody who should be on list who’s not? let me know.

year of the trial-size dove bar

October 10, 2007

aaron beck’s little ditty on coffee shops and “experience gathering” in the dispatch today sent me off in, like, five different thought directions on the way to work.

click here for a crude but interactive map of those thoughts. clockwise, from 12:00. crude-looking icons on bubbles indicate attached links. the equally-crude map below is a non-interactive .jpg.