It has been a little over a month since I started living in Athens as a graduate student, and the transition to Ohio University’s college town has been smooth. Every day, I manage to find something that reminds me of my undergraduate college town of Starkville, Mississippi.
It has been a pleasure exploring and enjoying most of what Court Street and the university have to offer. While I have yet to find the one “strange thing” that makes all those online internet Ohio memes ring true, there are a few things about this town that have piqued my interest.
Before I begin, I would like to offer my sincerest apologies to the great Kate Bush, for I have not been eagerly running up these hills at OU. Instead, I have been suppressing my heavy breaths while slowly trekking up these hills that have made my walks to class tiresome.
Nobody told me how dreadful these hills were when I was choosing OU for graduate studies, nor did Google Earth accurately showcase the steepness of said hills while I was planning my walk to campus after choosing a lease. So, imagine my surprise once I saw and heard about the number of hills that surround my home.
I think my choice of footwear —a collection of seven pairs of Converse and two pairs of Vans — is primarily to blame for my negative experience walking OU’s hills. Despite the appeal of their simple designs, they remain unfit for my daily escapades.
I do enjoy my descent down each hill, however. The youthful thrill of accelerating in downward movement would even excite Isaac Newton.
If an opinion could solely thrive off the positive experience from one entry, then my rating of Athens’ fashion options would survive off Uptown Costumes, 12 S. Court St., alone.
Upon my first few walks along Court Street in May, I took it upon myself to walk into every shop that caught my eye. I passed by some boutiques, restaurants and banks before I stumbled upon the holy grail of Athens: Uptown Costumes.
When I first entered the store, it felt as if I was right at home. The sight of album cover art and movie posters – a mix of modern blockbusters and classic hits – filled my heart. My heart became truly full once I discovered a colorful assortment of Hawaiian button-down shirts carefully sorted on a rack.
Upstairs, I discovered an array of button-down shirts that were from the late 1900s. I struggled to choose between three of these shirts. One was etched with an array of dinosaurs; the other two were pastel floral prints.
Eventually, I obviously went with the dinosaur shirt.
I have not explored any other clothing store besides the College Book Store on Court Street, as most do not visually appeal to my style. Considering I have only purchased two Mississippi State University shirts myself, I do not think the store directly appeals to me.
My next month here will consist of more exploration of Athens’ clothing options, but I think any town with Marshalls is sufficient.
The Bike Path
My greatest discovery in Athens also happens to achieve my highest praise.
The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway has been a staple of my weekends ever since I acquired a bike. Whether it is a trip to the Athena Grand or the Athens Public Library, the bike path has fulfilled my dreams of living in a walkable town.
I love how the bike path connects to many of the main attractions along East State Street, such as the many grocery stores or locales across the main street. Because I come from a town that was heavily reliant on the limited public transit options to get around without a car, it is amazing that I can bike to the necessary locations in under 20 minutes.
I have always enjoyed biking, and it was one of my favorite parts during my freshman year at Mississippi State. I am very fortunate I am still capable of riding my bike and have a dedicated car-free route to ride to my heart’s content.
If the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway were a sentient being, I could spend hours conversing with it over how beneficial it is to Athens. I also believe we would be best friends.
Trey Barrett is a graduate student studying film at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Trey know by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.