together around the table
we gather and we meet
journeys afar, friends old and new,
but all that come we greet.
with every week a new collective forms
a unique perspective from each seat.
we’re bound together by the joys of life
our meals. our plates. our drinks.
those seats that bring us close
are more than centered around the table,
but on the lives of those surrounding it.
everyone has a story to tell, and we’re all learning to share our own.
but for now our stories unite.
together around the table.
Just this week, the summer dining series reached it’s halfway point. I have had a wonderful time gathering old friends, meeting new friends, and getting together on a consistent basis over beautiful meals, delightful spaces, and local businesses.
When I dreamt up this series, there was a single, simple goal: get all of my friends out together, without the large group text messages on a Friday afternoon or the frenzy of planning that happens at the last minute on any given minute. But when Columbus Underground decided to showcase the event series, An Intimate Pursuit of a Whimsical Summer of Dining took a turn for the best, as new friends have come into my life thanks to their willingness to take a chance and try something they read about online or heard of through a friend. I’ve had some of the best conversations of my summer with people that I had only met moments beforehand; talks ranging from rants about our favorite local foods to the recognition of the ode to Wes Anderson on the postcards and materials. But the best conversations come when you start talking with someone that was once a stranger, and instantly becomes connected. You make incredible connections and realize just how fun it is to share your story as well as hear a new one. And there’s something special that happens when you step back and realize that you just met someone who has the same obsession with a cult film from your childhood, or that grew up going to the same dairy bar or church camp as you.
If I had it my way, every single friend that I have would be at one of these events, and no excuse would keep anyone from taking a moment to meet someone new. My pride in the city of Columbus is at an all-time high, and I couldn’t be more humbled by the appreciation shown by attendees,and even from afar. As I begin to dream on what comes after the 7-week series, I can not help but imagine the ways that we can take these relationships to a new level; one which has a lasting impact on our communities while continuing to provide the same enlightening experiences for everyone. Our city is full of greatness, and we’re in a season where there is space to grow, to create, and to invest in the things that keep us up late at night.
A few moments worth recognizing from the first four weeks:
Week One: My new friend Cortney drove all the way from Marysville to try Ray Ray’s Hog Pit and meet some new people from Columbus. Then she tried her first ever rib. Obviously a success.
Week Three: Porch weather blessed us at Rishi Sushi as each of our cocktails was passed around the entire table (friendships happen fast with us) as we watched the sun set on the city.
Week Four: A picnic-style gathering, including a wide assortment of cheeses, breads, and other treats and my first try at a blue cheese cabbage cole slaw. Jessica recently moved back to Central Ohio after a few years hiatus and Amanda celebrated her move back from 8 years in Nashville.