Thursday, December 16, 2010

Another look at the Clazel

I said at the beginning of the semester that I was going to do a more focused piece on the Clazel. Well here it is, a combination of reporting and writing using a lot of the multimedia skills I've learned recently. I chose a theme that matches the Clazel's style, I hope it doesn't clash too much with our page design.

The Clazel is one of the most historic places in town. It has a lesser-known connection to Bowling Green State University, which is even stronger now that it's a bar. It even has a really cool "movie" theme to it in a lot of the design, and interesting early 20th-century style architecture. Even if you're not looking for a place to have a drink, check out the Clazel. Seeing the mix between classic and modern styles in the building alone makes it worth the trip. Don't leave Bowling Green without coming in here at least once..

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Woodland Mall: Shopping Center or Money Pit?

University students often refer to the Woodland Mall as the "small" because of its size and lack of major retailers to attract shoppers. There was a very popular Steve & Barry's clothing chain in one wing of the mall until it closed last year, taking with it many shoppers who brought business into the mall. Until we showed up one Saturday and found it completely packed with shoppers and dance show audience (which you'll see), we weren't sure this place ever got busy, aside from the folks who come to be able to walk for exercise in doors (mall walkers).

This audio slideshow was produced by both of us. Daniel and I both did reporting at the mall, with the photos being taken by myself. I captured and edited photos and produced the final product, while Daniel wrote the script and narrated the audio for this story. We hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Best (and almost only) Mexican Food in BG

El Zarape is located just east of campus on Wooster, which isn't the only thing that makes it especially "college friendly." However, this restaurant can be enjoyable for just about anyone, including the whole family.

Don't be confused, though, because El Zarape used to occupy a different location a bit further west. That building became another Mexican restaurant called Cinco de Mayo 5 when El Zarape moved down the road in June of 2008. Cinco de Mayo has a cheaper menu, but in my experience you usually get what you pay for, and I'll always choose El Zarape.

It has the feel of a family-run place with friendly service and a terrific menu that has to be made mostly from scratch. Every so often there's entertainment, usually mariachi bands, which aren't particularly my thing. As far as the food goes, I normally order a Fajita Burrito, but switch it up by alternating chicken and steak. The peppers and onions are excellent, and the platter comes with plenty of food, including beans and rice. If it doesn't sound like your thing, I'm not an authority on too many other items, but check out the link above. There's all kinds of combos and whatnot.

All these qualities of El Zarape aside, the thing they are most famous (or infamous) for is their margaritas. They're powerful enough to rival those of any of the out-of-town Mexican restaurants in Toledo, Perrysburg or Maumee, and come in many flavors. They'll even mix different kinds for you. There is also a pretty good selection of imported and domestic beers, and wine available as well. But come prepared, most likely with a designated driver, when you visit El Zarape to drink. You have been warned.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

BG=Bar Goers?

The student population of BGSU makes up a substantial portion of Bowling Green. If there's one thing college students have in common, it's a desire to party, and many do it downtown. BG is definitely a bar town. There's a dozen in the area covered by our map in the post below, and more spread across the city.

The place I go most often is probably Uptown/Downtown. This is misleading because I love Downtown but hate Uptown. I've only even gone upstairs a handful of times. I'm not into the dance scene usually present up there. But Downtown is much more laid back, and has a lot of tvs for my sports-watching pleasure. There are also some good weekly specials, including what I consider to be the best one in town. On Thursdays you can get cheap beers and Captain and Cokes, as well as any shot for $2. I think they take some of the top shelf stuff off the table, but it's a great chance to try different stuff for cheap or have a lot of your favorite. A buddy of mine has lost multiple jobs for missing work Friday morning after a night of Irish car bombs.

Another bar I frequent is Nate and Wally's Fish Bowl. There isn't too much that makes it a great place, but it's usually a good spot to get a drink rather than wade through crowds and wait in lines. Other than that, the best part is probably the namesake, a drink called a Fish Bowl. It's usually available in two flavors, and is served in a plastic fish bowl.

These are the bars I usually go to, but head downtown and check them out for yourself. Each has characteristics that makes it different from the others. Need some help? Check out Raising the Bar in BG. It's a blog that won't be updated, but it contains articles written by myself and other journalism students that classify the downtown bars. Cheers!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Downtown BG Bars

Below is a map of the various bars downtown Bowling Green has to offer. There are others in town, but this focuses on the downtown area, which is highlighted in orange. Click on each location to find out more, like contact information, websites and images. I took most of the pictures myself.

View BG Bars in a larger map

Sunday, November 14, 2010

09' National Small Business Awards

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I stumbled upon this earlier today. I didn't even know such an event took place. This is a segment from last years National Small Business Award ceremony. I wonder what this year's ceremony will be like.

A Small Business Narrative

Big D’s Ribs, a small business located in Sandusky, Oh has officially been a business for 18 years.  The owners of this business are Duane and Deborah Kay Williams.  They were married in 1977.  After they married it did not take long for them to realize they both had a knack for conjuring delectable combinations of food. 
Before they met each other, Duane graduated from a small village district in New London, Oh and transitioned into the industrial sector, working at factories.  Deborah graduated from a more urban district in Sandusky, Oh and transitioned to Bluffton College where she earned her degree in Business Administration.
Deborah’s formal education in business provided the couple with a reservoir of practical information for business efficiency.  Duane’s laid back yet attentive charisma contrasted perfectly with his wife’s sharp wit.  They went on to have three sons, and soon introduced their children to the family business. They purchased a booth, handmade out of 2 x 4’s and sold their product outside of grocery stores in Sandusky throughout the 1990’s.
The year is now 2010, and Duane and Deborah both hold jobs in the public sector.  Deborah serves as an elementary school instructor, while Duane works as a custodian.  Big D’s Ribs doesn’t serve food publicly, instead they are private caterers.  Although they have a clientele, their aspiration to live primarily off of their own private enterprise has not been substantiated.   This challenge is due primarily to one obstacle: Land, or the lack thereof.
There is a quote that says, “Luck prefers prepared men,” but luck is often impartial to ones preparation and oft prefers the privileged.
Land, is the uncommon denominator between people like the Williams family and a Berardi’s.  This dichotomy is tied to a political history of biased policy and discrimination which in turn thwarted many people’s opportunities.
With this question as a quasi-case study my question is: why is there so much vacant space around this country that could be occupied by bodies and businesses that are off limits, or purposefully highly priced?