Happy birthday to meeeee … I’m 29, and feelin’ fine! (I had to make a silly rhyme out of it like you always see in people’s birthday announcements in the newspaper.) My birthday coincided with the moving date of one of my closest friends, Beth, so Eric, Suzi, and myself drove up to Ohio to assist and take a look at her new town. Beth received a full scholarship to Bowling Green State University’s prestigious Master of Fine Arts-Creative Writing program and was one of just a few poets accepted! She also holds two bachelor’s degrees from our alma mater, Virginia Tech (Art & Art History, and English). She’s quite talented and we are very proud of her!
Bowling Green is located in Ohio’s northern Wood County and is not far from Toledo, and only a couple hours away from the Canadian border. It is surrounded by miles and miles of cornfields. To navigate this town, you only need to know two streets: Main and Wooster. They intersect with one another and can be used to get just about anywhere you want to go. The streets that branch off of it are very easy to figure out too. It’s truly hard to get lost here.
Downtown Bowling Green is bustling and filled with lots of wonderful shops and eateries. Knowing the struggle of many downtown areas to stay alive and thriving, it was a pleasure to see the success of this mostly-local business area.
CSX trains run through the town, including on the other side of the field shown above. I love hearing trains pass through at night. I love trains, period! (My granddaddy Popsi worked on on a rail yard just a few miles from where I live presently, at what’s now known as the Potomac Yard shopping district. I think we have some CSX connections on the other side of the family too.)
School was out for the summer, but it’s pretty clear that BGSU, with a student population just slightly less than that of Virginia Tech, is very lively when it’s in.
Bowling Green is filled with pubs and restaurants to keep the students and any other visitors happy as clams. The number of bars they have alone puts my old town to shame. (If you are a Hokie reading this, please don’t kill me! I report the facts!)
The establishment shown above, with the flames on the canopy, is Jed’s, which we were attracted to because of a “Home of the Famous Fireballs” slogan in the window. The fireballs are small boneless chicken chunks that aren’t really ball-shaped but are indeed pretty fiery. I had the medium hot sauce on mine and they were delicious. You can get them covered in various toppings; I had the Greek Balls which come covered with lettuce, tomato, onion, tzatziki sauce, and yummy gyro meat. Very interesting concept that I found most delicious. I washed it all down with a light, lemony Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy. Appetizers were fried pickle spears and “Spudsters” – deep-fried balls of mashed potatoes. Positively tasty. The inside of the spacious bar and restaurant was covered in cool movie posters and was fairly empty due to the lack of students. Our waitress was very friendly and, after hearing that I had just had a birthday the day before, said my beers were on her. What a sweetheart!
This Cla-Zel place is an old theatre that doesn’t seem to be running movies anymore, but I’m eager to come back and check out those 50 beers on tap.
We finished off our Saturday evening with beers at Reverend’s. Tried two different things, and sadly I cannot remember the name of either. One was a darker beer with strong cherry overtones. The other was a light beer made by the local Great Lakes Brewing Co., and it was strongly spiced with sage or something similar … very lip-smacking.
Bowling Green has Big Boy restaurants, complete with the recognizable statues of the mascot running away with a hamburger! Sadly, Eric got in the way …
So that was our trip to Bowling Green … as we were only there for one full day, there was much that we didn’t get a chance to sample. I look forward to returning!