Monday, June 22, 2020

Flavortown, Ohio? Look Out, Ferndale

Posted By on Mon, Jun 22, 2020 at 10:05 AM

Ferndale, hon. I don't want to stir the chili pot here but somebody is moving in on your man.

The city of Columbus, Ohio, in coming to terms with its historically awful namesake, is having an identity crisis. (If you need a refresher on how Columbus' legacy impacts our present, visit Cutcha Risling Baldy's blog for a quick rundown.) According to CNN, Mayor Andrew Ginther has announced the impending removal of the statue of Columbus outside city hall. As for the city's name, a petition is circulating to rename it "Flavortown" in honor of far less problematic Italian American celebrity chef and do-gooder Guy Fieri, its native son. So far, some 17,400 people have signed on.
click to enlarge FILE
  • File

Native son? Well, Fieri was indeed born in Ohio's capital. Fine. But is that where he started cooking and served table-side flambé? Is it where he returns annually to lend his meaty expertise and party vibes to the barbecue competition at the county fair? No, that's Humboldt and the Victorian Village of Ferndale, with its population of less than a 10th of the petition's signees. Is that not the true Flavortown?
click to enlarge PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
There are other proposals, including re-naming Columbus, Ohio, after an indigenous historical figure. So maybe cooler and less spiky-haired heads will prevail. But stay ready, Ferndale. 
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Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

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Jennifer Fumiko Cahill is the arts and features editor of the North Coast Journal.

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