Sunday, July 6, 2008


Leaving Bowling Green was one of the hardest leavings of my life.  Saying goodbye to friends is never easy even if you know they will be friends for life.

In honor of Bowling Green, I'd like to share my favorite things about the place. Please feel free to add to the list via 'comments' if you have other favorites. 

Best of Bowling Green (click on links for more information)

1. Grounds for Thought

2. Black Swamp Arts Festival.

3. The Portage Quarry

4. The Slippery Elm Trail

5. Wintergarden Park

6. The 577 Foundation

7. The Windmills

8. Apples and squash from the Apple Orchard on 105

9. Strawberries from Wolfe's

10. Howard's.

11. Ben Franklins.

12. Uraku

13. Bowling Green Community Center

14. Mr Spot's Beer Delivery Service

15. South Side Six

16. Call of the Canyon

1. Grounds for Thought. Book shop, community center, record store, meeting place, and more. The heart and soul of Bowling Green...where would we be without it? Wanna organize a fundraiser? Make your signs and organize on the big table at the back. Need a work meeting? use the conference room (free!) Want to drink the best coffee you've ever tasted? (and having lived in the Bay Area, them are fighting words. You try telling Californian friends that GFT coffee beats Pete's any day.) Wanna eat good pastries, hear live music, play a game of scrabble, read the New York Times, or get online? Grounds is my favorite place in Bowling Green. The employees (and owners!) are rather lovely too. 
174 South Main Street.
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2. Black Swamp Arts Festival. At the beginning of September (5th ,6th and 7th in 2008) is the most fabulous festival full of music and more music, artisans, kids crafts, carnival food (elephant ears and fresh cut fries) and a general feeling of camaraderie helped along by the offerings at the beer tent. Multiple stages host the musicians - the main stage, electronica stage, and youth art stage (comedians, music and storytellers), as well as various outdoor performances here and there downtown. This year, I'm especially sad to be missing Eilen Jewell. Check her out at 4.45pm on Saturday. For more details see
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3. Portage Quarry. Spring fed diving and swimming site. Water is super clean, and on the weekdays the place is almost empty - beats the city pool hands down. You can also take your windsurfer or Kayak here and cruise around. $5 entry fee. About 2 miles south of Bowling Green, but just north of Portage, on the right hand side of the road, after the junkyard. 
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4. Slippery Elm Trail. Bike all the way to North Baltimore (about 13 miles) or for that matter, run, rollerblade, scooter, or walk. The trail starts at the Montessori School on Sandridge Road, or you can join it on Gypsy Lane. Click here for more information.
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5. Wintergarden Park. Native plants and animals within the city limits. Hiking trails, native prairie, oak openings, nature programs and picnic area.  See the parks and rec page for events and other details. 
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6. The 577 Foundation. Okay, so its not in Bowling Green but its an amazing place, and its pretty close to BG! A surprising number of people have told me that they haven't even heard of this here it is. The 577 Foundation is a non-profit organization where you can take classes, teach classes, grow veggies in the vegetable allotments, wander around the gardens and down to the river, exchange books in the old stable on the honor system and much much more. The way classes work is that 577 don't charge instructors for teaching classes, which keeps costs down. Highly recommended are Ching's Chinese cooking classes ($15 including all food - enjoy dinner after cooking it and bring a tupperware for leftovers!). Also, pottery, nature classes, gardening classes.  Its a wonderful place. 577 East Front Street, Perrysburg.
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7. The Windmills. 4 turbines, 250 feet tall, 7.2 megawatts of power.  

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8. The Apple Orchard on 105. I can't recall the name of this farm, but if you head out on Poe, and take a left on 105, the farm is about 500 yards on your right. They sell lots of different varieties of apples, as well as peppers and squash. Great place to pick up pumpkins for Halloween!

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9. Strawberries from Wolfe's. Just past the apple orchard is Wolfe's Blooms and Berries. 8140 St. rt. 105. The best strawberries around. Get there early because they sell out quick! Back to the list

10. Howard's. A great dive bar. In the afternoons its a low key place to sit and have a drink with friends. You can bring in your own food (have pizza delivered there) and the beer is cheap. Live music Wednesday-Saturday. 210 N. Main Street (downtown).
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11. Ben Franklin's. The downtown Ben Franklins has everything you'd ever need. In addition to the usual crafts that the chain carries, there is bulk candy, plastic farmyard animals, postcards of BG that are the cheesiest you will find - my favorite is of the electric clock tower from the BG campus, toiletries, art supplies, framing and posters and a bazillion knick-knacks, games and puzzles.
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12. Uraku. My favorite restaurant in BG, not only because it's a sushi restaurant and the staff are friendly, but because the chef is Korean so a few Korean dishes make their way onto the menu including Bul Go Ki (a Korean version of BBQ beef) and Bi Bim Bap - a rice and vegetable bowl with friend egg. 1616 East Wooster Street - in the Greenwood Shopping Center. 
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13. Bowling Green Community Center. This is a new center, that offers a full gym, walking/jogging track, and a ton of classes for children and adults. Its a little bit out of town, but its the cheapest and best option if you are looking for a workout facility. 
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14. Mr Spots. They deliver beer...what more can I say? 125 E. Court Street. Back to the list

15. South Side Six. A Lebanese restaurant fronting as a convenience store. Excellent hummus! Located in South Bowling Green.  Open until 7am-midnight every weekday. 8am-12pm Saturday and 8am-11pm Sunday.
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16. Call of the Canyon. A very popular place for lunch and a nice place to meet for dinner in the evening. Excellent salads, friendly staff. Read a review here
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Finally, although I've never been, and never had much desire to do so, the National Tractor Pull bears some mentioning. Its loud (you can hear it from miles away) and folks do come from all over the nation to show off their tractors kitted out with airplane engines. it takes all sorts...

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