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Macarons to make your heart swoon

Fall is the season for eating. It’s proven that as winter draws near, people get hungrier and eat more. Are you getting a case of the Winter Munchies? You are not alone. And we know of a place that have the treats and sweets you have been craving for.

Located only a few miles from our fabulous apartment communities in German Village there is a pastry kitchen and cafe called Pistacia Vera. This quaint little shop makes foods that really pack in the flavor. It makes the perfect stop right now because as the weather gets colder, this shop stays happy and warm and fool of sweet treats and savory eats.

Are you planning on having family visit for the holidays? Save yourself the hassle by taking them to brunch for the delectable Bacon, Swiss Chard and Onion Quiche. Using double smoked bacon and onion confit this little breakfast bite will usher in peach and quiet as everyone enjoys each bite.

Perhaps you need to get some treats to impress your boss this Christmas. Look no further. Pistacia Vera’s pastry chef  Jessica Bryant does magic in her kitchen. Her Pistachio Honey Nougat is full of honey, orange blossom water and the feels like a hug for your mouth. They also offer perfect cocoa truffles that are hand-rolled and have the slightest hint of Cognac. If your mouth isn’t watering, read this paragraph again.

If you are in the need of baked goods for Thanksgiving you simply can’t go wrong. Try the Madeleine, a lemon French tea cake. Or the Cannele which is a tea cake with caramelized baked custard infused with rum. And finally, you have to try the Macarons. There are a variety of flavors but it seems that the pumpkin chai is the most popular.

If you can’t get to their German Village location, you can walk across the street from the Arena Crossing apartments to North Market to visit them there. Get them the treats that they crave and visit Pistacia Vera today!

Getting around Columbus Ohio

One of the benefits of living in the Arena District at Flats on Vine, Flats II or  Arena Crossing is that you can walk almost everywhere. And with the Columbus transportational guide, you may not even need a car in this city.

You can walk, run, ride, bike or even rent a car. With how well Columbus is organized it’s easy to find your way around.

Way Finding Sign System
Thanks to a partnership between the City of Columbus and Capital Crossroads SID, pedestrians can find map kiosks throughout downtown Columbus. Have you seen the kiosk near Arena Crossing? Look for the blue information “i” signs, which include restaurants, retail stores, hotels, parking garages and surface lots, theaters and churches all within a five-minute walk of the sign.

Two-Wheeled Vehicles
Motorcycles, mopeds and motor scooters may legally park anywhere cars and trucks park according to current City Code, and there are specially designated locations just for two-wheeled motorized vehicles that display a special permit.

Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) offers dozens of bus routes converging downtown, and will even help plan a route that includes express service. Make it easy—ditch the keys and ride the bus.

Columbus is bike-friendly with multi-use trails converging downtown giving visitors a fun, scenic and healthy way to see the sights and get around the city.

Make it a day riding the 12.75-mile Olentangy Multi-Use Trail, which connects Worthington, Clintonville, The Ohio State University, Harrison West and downtown. Watch the blue herons at the Audubon Center or just ride along the breathtaking Scioto Mile.Cycling is a great way to go.

Rentals are available at downtown’s bike shop, B1 Bicycles. The Mid-Ohio Planning Commission (MORPC)  even provides maps to plan a route.

Or you can use CoGo, the network of more than 300 bicycles and 30 stations located throughout downtown Columbus. Available for use 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with unlimited 30 minutes trips. 24-hour passes ($6) and annual memberships ($75) are available.

Use the Cycle Finder app for iPhone and Android to help located a CoGo bike or bike station near you.

Bike Trail Information:

Car Rental
Looking to rent some wheels? Rental facilities are conveniently located, making it easy for to get on the road.
104 E. Long St.
(614) 228-1058
(800) 527-0700

33 E. Nationwide Blvd.
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 225-1035

Taxi Service
Downtown offers reliable, 24-hour taxi service. Taxis park and wait for fares near major hotels, including the Sheraton on Capitol Square, Columbus Renaissance and Hyatt Regency.


In the event that you do have a car or that you have rented a car, you will need to find parking. See below for tips on how we can help.

Printable Get Around Columbus – Transportation Guide

Great Donuts to Eat this Fall

This post is written by Nick Dekker, blogger at Breakfast with Nick and author of a book all about breakfast in Columbus. You can follow him on Twitter@BreakfastwNick.

Donuts are the perfect pastry for autumn. There’s nothing better than enjoying a fresh warm donut with a mug of apple cider on a cool, crisp morning. Here are some of the spots where you can snag a baker’s dozen fresh donuts this fall!

Auddino’s Bakery is famous for their doughssant pastries: flaky croissants with a thin glaze. Roy Auddino has been making them since the early 1990’s! You can find the doughssants (and lots of other donuts) at their original shop near the Fairgrounds or their newer café in Hilliard.

DK Diner in Grandview supplements big diner breakfasts with loads of handmade donuts. Their glazed cake and sour cream donuts are top picks, as well as their softball-sized apple fritters.

Like DK Diner, Honey Dip Donuts & Diner in Upper Arlington serves up some big breakfasts to go with their donuts. If your breakfast is heavy, try a lighter honey dip donut: a yeast-raised confection with a light honey glaze. Want to really live out your donut love? Both Honey Dip and DK Diner will make you a breakfast sandwich or a burger using donuts as buns.

Schneider’s Bakery in uptown Westerville is a perfect example of the old school donut shop. Owners Jeff and Debbie Hamler maintain nearly 60 years of tradition by baking donuts using the Schneider family’s recipes. Stop in for carton of milk and their signature Davy Crockett: a cinnamon twist donut with maple icing.

Resch’s Bakery also claims old school status. Celebrating their 100th anniversary in 2012, six generations of the Resch family have served their neighborhood with cakes, bread, and trays and trays of donuts. Favorites at Resch’s include the granny roll, a cinnamon roll covered with nuts and white icing.
Heather Morris of Destination Donuts bakes her donuts at home, then delivers them to One Line Coffee, Hills Market Downtown, Luck Brothers and other shops. You’ll also find Heather set up at North Market regularly. She concocts flavors like Triple Berry Cardamom, Maple Sausage, and Apricot Pistachio, and she even makes vegan donuts!

Near Ohio State’s campus, Buckeye Donuts is a perennial favorite. Open 24 hours a day, the shop serves trays of cake donuts and their namesake Buckeye donut: a yeast-raised donut iced with chocolate and filled with peanut butter. Although they’re not officially affiliated, there’s a second Buckeye Donuts on the south side, serving up old school longjohns and custard-filled yeast donuts for decades.
Just down High Street from the original Buckeye Donuts, Little Donut Shop piles all sorts of crazy ingredients on their, well, little donuts. They use a simple cake donut base and dip, drizzle, or swirl their donuts with sprinkles, chocolate chips, M&Ms, coconut, bacon, and so much more!

Speaking of little donuts… the Lil Donut Factory in Hilliard always has to keep up with big crowds. Their longjohns, donut holes, and chocolate-glazed donuts sell out quick, so get there early!

The Golden Donuts Diner on the South Side is known for its greasy diner breakfasts, as well as its apple fritters and cake donuts. Long-time central Ohio residents can still treat themselves to donuts and coffee at the three remaining Jolly Pirate donut locations on East Broad St, in Reynoldsburg, or in Grove City.

So where in Columbus do you like to grab a dozen donuts?

Keystone Apartments open and ready for leasing

Developer Nationwide Realty Investors Ltd.has opened the first phase of apartments at its Keystone mixed-use complex at Grandview Yard.

Thirty-six of 42 resident units will be occupied this week in one of three connected buildings.

“Not a bad start at all,” Nationwide Realty Marketing Manager Emily Garvey told me.

The next batch of 36 units will be opened to tenants this Friday with the last 42-unit phase set for completion on Nov. 20.

Rents for one-bedroom units in The Keystone on Yard begin at $1,128 per month while the two-bedroom units begin at $1,622 per month.

The four-story project offers 28,000 square feet of commercial space on its ground floor.

So far, no office or retail leases have been signed. The space will be ready for occupancy in December.

The Keystone marks second phase of apartments within the 100-acre section of Grandview Yard as part of redevelopment of the former Grandview Heights industrial district.

Garvey said all but three of the 154 Apartments at the Yard are leased.

Booty, Booty, Booty Rockin’ Everywhere

After a long day of sitting at my desk, eating office snacks and drinking no less than two Pumpkin Spice Lattes, the last thing I wanted to do was workout. Well, I wanted to work out to relieve my guilty conscious, but I didn’t want to feel like I was working out.

I decided to go try out the Booty Barre class at the vibrant and beautiful Arena District Athletic Club, which is in downtown Columbus, just a short walk away from the Arena Crossing Apartments. It’s a hot new trend right now in women’s fitness; the class pairs cardio and strength training using techniques from ballet, Pilates and Yoga. The Arena District Athletic Club offers the class free to members who only pay $65 a month, as opposed to the $100 it would cost for a specialized Barre fitness membership.

I went in with some reservations because my only experience with ballet dance was back when I was about five-years-old and involved me in a top hat doing the alligator dance with my arms. The class description said it was for all fitness levels so I thought I’d give it a whirl. It had to be more fun than running in place for 30 minutes.

So there I am standing in the gorgeous open room facing a wall of mirrors waiting for the class to start, feeling a tiny bit nervous. Other women entered and they all knew you had to go barefoot.

Then our fun and energetic instructor, Lana comes in and really kicks things off. I mean that in a very literal way. As we are literally kicking our butts, she has us listening to ‘90s hip hop and keeping up with the beat. See that picture of the girl who is cringing, that was me in class. When things got really tough I’d squint my eyes closed and kick my legs even harder.

Lana led us in some fun ballet positions where we did squats and arm exercises all while standing on our tip toes (this is called relevae). Then we did some moves where we had to pinch a ball in the crook of our knee and we held on to the bar with all our might as we continued to raise our legs with some dynamic and impressive movements. It was actually tons of fun and I didn’t even realize it was actually working out until my booty began to burn.

When I thought the class was winding down, we hung from the ballet barre and did some abs moves that really burned. Then we did some plank moves and core strength training. Sweat is pouring off me and I’m smiling through the burn.

Class ended with some Yoga poses to stretch out our lower backs and glutes. Just like that the hour class was over and I felt like I had really worked my booty off. And now a day later, I can still feel the effects of that workout as I walk to and from work in downtown Columbus. Try it for yourself by getting a free trial membership at the Arena District Athletic Club today.