One man crouches low, weapon resting on his shoulder. Another stands erect, a pair of binoculars held to his face. An entire military squad of toy soldiers stands ready for eternal battle within a shadow box crafted by Neal Raffensberger. The shadow box is one of 4,000 framing options showcased inside Raffensberger Photography & Framing's red-brick façade, where professional photographer and custom-framing specialist Neal and his assistant help patrons conserve their most beloved mementos. Multitudes of frames, mats, mountings, and glass—including conservation glass that blocks 99% of color-dulling UV rays—come together to display anything from photographs and posters to jerseys and wisdom teeth. Neal, who first dabbled in photography at the age of 5 in his father's basement darkroom, also flaunts his artistic eye behind the camera in the store's onsite studio. Families, couples, and proof-seeking Bigfoots can capture history in portrait sessions, which use digital photography to allow for immediate viewing after each shoot.
Cabfare for the Common Man dazzles theatergoers with seven stories of ordinary people enveloped by extraordinary situations. The intimate, 70-seat theater provides top-notch views of the performance, unlike viewing a baseball game from the inside of a clunky mascot suit. Redeem your Groupon at the box office of this award-winning theater before securing a seat to marvel at the talented cast as they crash waves of emotion into the wide-eyed crowd.
One of the oldest stores of its kind in the country, Helen Winnemore Craft has been providing adornment seekers with artisanal gifts for all occasions since 1938. After being offered complimentary tea and coffee in a ceramic cup, customers will get to browse the cozy, charming house at their leisure—including more than 40 custom-built drawers stuffed with high-quality, carefully constructed jewelry. Tether earlobes with ceramic drop earrings ($35) made using the ancient technique of milleflori, mirror your multiple floral personalities with a reversible petal necklace ($36.50), or keep flocks of starlings from roosting in your child's neck with a cute owl charm necklace ($24.50). A selection of usable, wearable, and beautifully useless art line the store walls, ceilings, and floors, which retract to reveal an underworld of mythical, compostable trinkets. Avenge a neighbor's many newspaper thefts by loading up on handmade glass windchimes ($32.50), make mom shed a tear with a Leigh Standley card ($4.25), or gift a silk leaf mobile ($169.50) to the environmentalist newborn in your life. American artists are responsible nearly 95% of the goods in the shop.
Elegant, modern home decor lines bink davies's shelves, alongside gourmet Stonewall Kitchen jams, blends from the Republic of Tea, luxurious Voluspa candles, and wallets printed with bacon. Here, customers can indulge impulses from refined to completely zany with an eclectic assortment of home goods and smile-inducing gifts. A treasure trove of one-of-a-kind items, both imported and from just down the street, bink's kitschy, hand- and machine-made gifts are all curated with a sense of style and tongue-in-cheek humor. “I mean we opened on April Fool’s Day, that should tell you something,” owner Bink Johnson confessed to Outlook: Columbus.:
Zen Windows replaces worn-out panes with fresh windows of all kinds, be they double-hung, sliders, or cut into unusual shapes. The shop stocks front and patio doors as well as carries a range of Energy Star windows, which help preserve homes' internal temperature. The company refuses payment of any kind until work is finished and customers are happy—an attitude which has earned it recognition from Angie's List and The New York Times.
Owners Josh and Niki Quinn originally opened the bustling boutique in 2007 to introduce modish shoppers to their own fashion line, Maxine, Dear, which has been carried by Bergdorf Goodman, Fred Segal, and other stores around the world. They have since expanded to include a diverse and refreshing variety of modern designs for men and women. Ladies can adorn themselves with jewelry such as a vintage Ohio plate necklace ($36) or a more mathematically minded green abacus necklace ($26), while laddies can add a hipster-friendly classiness to formal outfits with men's accessories such as wheat penny cufflinks ($18) or a blue-enamel skinny tie clip ($18). Tigertree also features belt buckles from their own Maxine, Dear line at an in-store discount ($23). For a status symbol that can also help you pass the time on long bus rides, buy a book. Niki's favorite is Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle ($15), while a copy of The Art of Manliness ($16.99) will let women know what they've been doing wrong.