The Short North
The Short North
The trademark arches of the Short North
The Short North is a neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio, United States, centered on the main strip of High Street immediately north of downtown and extending until just south of the Ohio State University campus area. It is an easy walk from the convention center or Nationwide Arena district to the south. The Short North is often crowded on weekends, particularly during the monthly "Gallery Hop" and other local and downtown events.
The Short North has been described as "colorful", "offbeat", and "trendy". The district is heavily populated with art galleries, specialty shops, pubs, nightclubs, and coffee houses. Most of its tightly packed brick buildings date from at least the early 20th century, with traditional storefronts along High Street (often with brightly painted murals on their side walls), and old apartment buildings and rowhouses and newer condominium developments in the surrounding blocks. The city installed 17 lighted metal archways extending across High Street throughout the Short North, reminiscent of such arches present in the area in the early 1900s.
The name "Short North" traces its roots back to the vernacular used by police for the area during a period of decline, namely as the neighborhood that—from a suburban commuter's perspective—had fallen 'just short' of the central business district's north end—both physically and economically. A reputation for diversity and an artistic, Bohemian atmosphere has marked the Short North, with land prices and local rents rising steadily from the humble beginnings as a squatter’s neighborhood in the 1980s. Prior to this gentrification of the neighborhood which originated from artists, it had suffered prolonged decay and from latent, street-level crime and gang violence as Columbus affluent residents followed the economic bubble outward—into the suburbs—during the 1960s and 1970s.
The 1980s saw the neighborhood's rebirth enter into full gear as galleries began to open up and started to flourish. As Maria Gallowy owner of pm gallery the oldest gallery in the Short North once put it "It was one of those neighborhoods that artists love to move into because the possibilities are there." In 1984 two Short North area galleries —the now defunct Art Reach and the still thriving pm gallery— began opening new exhibits on the first Saturday of every month to help cross-promote their businesses and build a more unified community. This loose coordination later evolved into the Gallery Hop which is still held every first Saturday of the month. The Gallery Hop today features most businesses keeping their doors open late into the night, jam-packed streets, and sidewalks populated with street musicians and other performers.
Since 1983, the Short North has also hosted the annual Doo Dah Parade, a parody of typical Fourth of July parades that includes politically slanted paraders and floats as well as absurdities such as the "Marching Fidels," a band of Fidel Castro lookalikes. The parade starts in neighboring Victorian Village, at Goodale Park, and winds north to finish coming south down High Street.
The Short North also hosts HighBall Halloween, Masquerade on High, a fashion show and street parade that closes down High Street. In 2011, in its 4th year, HighBall Halloween gained notoriety as it accepted its first Expy award. HighBall Halloween has much to offer for those interested in fashion and the performing and visual arts or for those who want to celebrate Halloween and with food and drinks from all around the city. Each year the event is put on with a different theme and it increases in size and popularity.
Al fresco dining in the Short North
Trains mural by Jeff and Gregory Ackers
Axis Nightclub, a gay bar in the Short North
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- Biddle, Julie King; (MLS.), Barbara White (2010). The Power of We: The Ohio Study Group Experience. IAP. p. 85. ISBN 978-1-61735-029-0.
- "Parade". Stonewall Columbus. Stonewall Columbus. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
- "Hello, Columbus", Ingrid Williams. New York Times. 14 mar 2010. Retrieved 6 sept 2010.
- "The Doo Dah Parade". The Doo Dah Parade. The Friends of Doo Dah. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
- "HighBall - You Are What You Wear". HighBall Columbus. Retrieved 15 January 2018.