What a place. Not really a big city, but definitely not a small one either. The Rubber City, the Rubber Bowl, and of course, THE ZIPS. It got its start being the city where rubber was invented! It also is the home of the Goodyear blimp that will humm around the sky every morning. It is also the place where zippers were invented! So next time you put on pants, thank Akron! Also there is a bakery in the middle of the city making it constantly smell like fresh bagels…mmmmmm. There is a lot to know about this little-big town, so let me tell you all that I have uncovered so far.
I thought this would be a great first “real” post, because it really is the first place I truly ventured off to when I could really understand what was going on around me. It took me by storm and it is a place some people avoid, but let’s be honest…every place is like that.
Akron, Ohio. I went to school here, if you’ve never heard of the place, it’s home of The University of Akron…clever name right? Big school, about a third the size of OSU who ran around in the MAC, unfortunately it was never blessed with a football with even a third of the talent…but they did have a Division I national championship in men’s soccer!
Getting to the point, Akron honestly isn’t a place I would have ever have thought to explore. It looks a a little rough around the edges, has a reputation of being mean, cold, and wet. (Seriously it’s always wet here…why?) Thankfully, when I was deciding what school I was going to go to, Akron stole my heart. Seriously though, if I had to choose not only the school, but the city again…I would.
Akron is a very unique place. The minute you step into its boarders it has this feeling of camaraderie. If you’re from Akron or have ever lived there you will know what I mean. A lot of people will complain about the city while they are there, but they will NEVER turn their back on it. I have been to literally hundreds of cites, towns and townships in Ohio, and NONE of them feel the same way Akron does. It’s like the city has this brotherhood that once you enter, you will never leave. I am so glad to be a part of it, and to this day will defend Akron to the end.
Physically, it looks kind of strange. Driving down Route 8 it literally just kind of “pops up” out of nowhere and suddenly you have these big city feelings. Some of the streets have huge hills giving it a San Francisco feel, but when you realize that they all funnel onto Main Street, you get to really feel what the city is about.
Pretty much the entire city revolves around Main Street, because let’s be honest…we are still in the Midwest. Main Street pretty much has everything you want, but with a little bit of an Akron twist. The first thing you will notice is the massive statue they have in front of Canal Park where the Akron A̶e̶r̶o̶s̶ RubberDucks play, the AA affiliate to the Cleveland Indians. Inside the field looks like any other…except there is a MASSIVE wall in center field that can give Boston’s Green Monster a run for its money. If you ever find yourself here, make sure you stop by and watch a game, you won’t be disappointed. Also, be nice to “Orbit.”
I digress, heading further down Main Street into the heart of downtown Akron, you will next reach my favorite restaurant in the city, Lockview. It’s literally about 10 tables, but they set up mirrors so it looks huge and only have about two lights in there, but it seriously has the best downtown food I have ever had in my life. To this day, whenever I got to Akron, this is my first stop…at least after noon when it opens.
Next are the “bars” which are really just clubs. If there was any place in the city I would suggest to avoid, this would be it. They aren’t too friendly and often attract quite a bit of trouble. So if you want to have a good night, you can skip these. Or if you want to live dangerously, step right up.
Walking a little further you will notice two MASSIVE building, one is the Wing Warehouse, the other is the Spaghetti factory. Apparently Akron has a fascination of skipping the middle-man even when eating..but go to these places! They are really cool and good, and in fact at the factory, you can eat in a phone booth! A big one of course.
After that and a few hookah bars the city pretty much just stops. That’s all folks! Well, at least to the people who haven’t explored the city.
If you have every lived here or spent time here you will soon learn about the massive sub culture that only exists in Akron. There is Lock 3, Luigis, Musica, Thurdays, Sumner Street, and probably a million more things, all of which need to be seen. So take your time here, there is something for everyone and a place that shouldn’t be skipped.
As I said before, Akron has this amazing culture. The people feel like your family, the music scene is amazing, the food is delicious, and the city actually makes you never want to leave. Honestly, I am starting to miss it right now and will probably have to make a trip there soon.
It’s the most unique city in all of Ohio, not too big, not too small. A city that once was roaring with the rubber industry is now doing the same thing, but on a much more different scale. You will never be unhappy with the place as hard as you try. So check it out, stay a while, and eat!