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Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! It sure is hot again today but we have a beautiful weekend in store! Today’s favorites come from Nate Brown, Manager of External Relations at the Reynolds Journalism Institute. You may also know him as @touristinresidence on Instagram – if not, check out his great CoMo photos! Today’s blog features his photos as well.

Polar Plunge

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Sure, it’s easy to accept an ice bucket challenge during a hot summer day. But would you run or dive into a frozen lake in winter? That pretty much describes Polar Plunge Columbia, a local fundraiser that benefits Special Olympics Missouri. Braver souls than me take the plunge every year at Stephens Lake. The next Polar Plunge is February 21, 2015.

Mizzou Volleyball

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No matter the final score, the women of Mizzou Volleyball are winners. Their home games at the Hearnes Center are family friendly, and include the opportunity for children to come down to the floor and give high-fives to the athletes during player introductions. A fan favorite: autograph sessions after select games. The players are most gracious during the meet-and-greets, and they wield their magic markers until the last person in line gets an autograph. I suspect some of the little girls who attend these games will some day wear the black and gold for Mizzou Volleyball. The 2014 season home opener is today.


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Where in Columbia can you flip through vinyl records, rent or buy a video, have a drink or a meal, and enjoy said nourishment while watching a big-screen movie — under one roof? The answer is Hittsville, the former Coca-Cola bottling plant on Hitt Street. Ragtag Cinema, Uprise Bakery, Ninth Street Video and Hitt Records share a roof — and their employees share a spirit of camaraderie — but they’re four separate entities. Speaking of movies, watching one at Ragtag is the closest thing to seeing a flick at home without having to clean up after your friends leave. Did I mention leather sofas? (They have upholstered seats as well.)

Historic brick streets

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There’s buried treasure in Columbia: the city’s original brick streets. Many are covered, including Broadway (between Aldeah Avenue and William Street), Ninth Street and Rollins Street. Fortunately, some of historic brick streets can still be seen and enjoyed, including Cherry Street (between Fourth and Seventh streets) and University Avenue (between College Avenue and William Street). Many of these streets are more than 100 years old and in good shape. In March, the City Council approved a policy to maintain and restore the brick streets (including removing the pavement from some of the covered blocks). This is a map of the city’s brick streets.

Shelter Gardens and Fountain

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After a busy day at work, it’s nice to stop at Shelter Gardens to see the waterfall, listen to the birds or sit a spell in the one-room schoolhouse. This oasis of calm behind Shelter Insurance is a nice respite before continuing your journey home. Afterwards, depending on the time of year, you also could stop by the fountain in front of Shelter Insurance and watch the sun set. The fountain is a popular destination after dark as well.

Peace Park

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Peace Park is one of the largest green spaces in the city center. Full of trees, walk paths and a stream, the park is a refuge for book-reading students, a rehearsal space for musicians and — if you bring a hammock — a place to catch a quick nap. I’ve also seen residents and preschoolers enjoying the former McAlester Park, which was renamed Peace Park after the 1970 shootings at Kent State.

Les Bourgeois Vineyards

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As long as the earth continues to rotate on its axis, the best sunset is at Les Bourgeois Vineyards, enjoyed with a picnic, a bottle of wine and good friends.

Quick bites

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I could live on ice cream (and I have the waistline to prove it). My favorite flavors in Columbia are Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream’s honey lavender and Buck’s Ice Cream’s Tiger Stripe. And every couple of weeks I stop by Kaldi’s and treat myself to a slice of gooey butter cake.

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Friday Favorites

Happy 4th of July! Hope everyone is enjoying the day! Today’s favorites come from CVB Sales Manager, Gina Damico Landeck:

It’s Favorite Friday!  As much as I want to write this, I hate to think I’ll be moving away from this wonderful city in just a few weeks. But before I leave, I have compiled a personal top ten list of random things I’ll miss about Columbia.

Bangkok Gardens:

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Voted “Best Thai and Asian Food” by Inside Columbia Magazine for a reason. Hands down one of my favorite Thai restaurants of all times. I love sitting at the counter, eating pistachios while they cook my Phat See Eiu (Drunken Noodles, with Chicken, at a level 3 heat). They know what their customers want and they do it right.

Clip Joint South:

Being able to trust someone with your hair is very important to a lot of women. I met Staci Mains when I planned her wedding 2007 and was coloring my hair from a L’Oreal box. She told me to relax and let her do the work. She’s an Aveda color expert and I haven’t picked up another L’Oreal box since.

Tropical Liqueurs: 

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(Photo of South location)

Where else can you close your eyes and have a fruity frozen drink (other than a beach)? The downtown location’s remodel has really brightened the place up. I love to mix flavors, dine on their buttery popcorn and buy a half gallon of mix to bring home. One word: Yummy!

Columbia Mall Alterations: 

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Sue is the best kept secret in town. For us shorter folks who need a quick hem, Sue makes everything happen at a reasonable price. I first met Sue in the mall 8 years ago, near the Target wing. She has since moved across the street next to Apple Tree Quilting. Sue defines the American dream of providing for her family back in Vietnam and is proof that hard work pays off.

Noah’s Ark Animal Hospital: 

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Veterinarians are some of the most respected people on the planet. They care so deeply for our loved ones, and that’s why I love the husband and wife team over at Noah’s Ark. They even offered to come to our home when we couldn’t transport our dog to their clinic and made a donation in his honor when he passed. I can never forget that generosity and compassion as long as I live.

Women’s Health Associates: 

Again, another topic women can appreciate. The doctors and nurses of this practice understand and listen to the patient. I don’t have a general doctor so they answer all my questions, even those related to the common cold. Although I’m done having children, I would recommend Dr. Kevin Jones to every woman I know.

Daniel Boone Little League:

When my husband and I moved to Columbia we lived in a subdivision called Georgetown. Our street happened to back up to this amazing ball field complex. As we had our children, I knew that’s where I wanted them to play. There’s just something about the crack of the bat and the parents’ cheering that puts a smile on my face.

Columbia Performing Arts:

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This favorite relates to our children, or maybe the fact that I was a dancer in my youth. I enrolled our daughter into her first dance class at the age of 6. In two years, this prestigious arts centre has grown into 12 dance studios, and they now have their own 700 seat theater. They have an award-winning competition team, and 100% of all ticket sales for their May recitals go to local charities.

True/False Film Fest: 

True False parade1 2014 Photos-3 -Elise

(Photo of 2014 True/False Parade “March March”)

I was one of the people who had heard about it but never went, UNTIL this year. Wow, did I miss out! Mark your calendars for March 5-8, 2015! These documentaries are unbelievable and raw. The producers, directors and subjects answer questions at the end of the screening, just like at the highly publicized Sundance Film Festival.  You will get a whole new perspective of certain topics, trends, beliefs and/or history.

My friends, my community:


(CVB staff members, left to right: Gina, Beth Mead, Terra Crane, Julie Ausmus)

The relationships I have made here are priceless. My co-workers past and present, my neighbors, my church family, my children’s teachers and daycare provider are just some of the people I’ll truly miss. The places are endless but the people are rare. I will treasure Columbia and visit frequently because it’s what you unexpect!

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