Hello from the Northland Mobile Newsroom, The Dispatch’s roving effort to base more journalists in the community and do more comprehensive reporting on under-represented neighborhoods.
For the past month, reporters Holly Zachariah and Micah Walker have been working from the Karl Road branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library in the Northland neighborhood. More than a dozen articles focusing on this area have been published as a result of their work so far, and more are in the works.
It was a real team effort, as a number of photographers, videographers and staff journalists participated. One of my favorite moments there was participating in a story showcasing the traditional dishes served at the many international restaurants in the area. Expedition reporters volunteered to eat our way through Northland ââ you don’t have to ask me twice ââ and learn about the different cuisines.
To look closer:We focus on telling stories of the Northland neighborhood. Here’s what we’ve learned so far.
My dear friend Keji told me months ago that one of his favorite places in Columbus was Wycliff’s Kitchen, a Kenyan restaurant just off Cleveland Avenue. So when this story idea came up, I asked him to join me for lunch.
The late afternoon light shone on the warm yellow and orange walls of the restaurant. We ate large portions of karanga mbuzi, a bone-in goat stew that is a staple in Kenyan kitchens, and we chatted, talked about his family in Kenya and his post graduation plans. -university. I could have sat there all day ââ but stories don’t write themselves, you know!
Then we head to Driving Park. Journalists Mark Ferenchik and Erica Thompson will be relocating to the library branch at 1422 E. Livingston Ave. from December 13. You can join us for the launch event on December 8 at 5 p.m.
As our stay in Northland draws to a close, our eyes will always be on the neighborhood even if we are not physically stationed there. In fact, I’m sure our new friends in Northland will continue to keep us updated, as evidenced by an interaction Holly had at the library on Tuesday.
I’ll let her tell you the whole story on Twitter, but in short: An older man was waiting for Holly at the library Tuesday morning with a bulleted list of the issues he had with journalism these days.
They talked for almost an hour: sharing grievances, explaining our business and most importantly, listening to each other. They’ve gotten to know each other and hopefully the next time he opens his Sunday Dispatch he sees Holly’s name and remembers the woman behind the signature.
âThat’s what the mobile newsroom is all about,â Holly wrote.
Here are some of the stories written recently in the Northland Mobile newsroom that we are proud to share:
It was a cool, sunny November morning when Lavata Williams returned home.
The little 88-year-old woman walked to the front door of a sprawling white house as birds chirp and a rooster crows in the background.
Stepping into the lobby, Williams gazes at the hardwood floors and red and white furniture that matches the red carpet on the double staircase. Williams especially noticed the white wallpaper decorated with wreaths.
âIt looks like the same wallpaper becauseâ¦ I mean, I can’t believe this wallpaper is this beautiful.
âIt’s amazing how nothing has changed,â she said. “So you can see why for me it’s like going back to my childhood.”
Standing at the back of the sanctuary of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Alese McNair grabbed the pink tape measure that she had draped over her shoulders and stretched it around the torso of the woman standing in front of her.
“We’re just going to figure out your size,” the 17-year-old told Patience Dohnwana with a smile. âWe have you. “
And once the measurements are done, McNair and Saraia Fisher, both of Beechcroft High School, which is just across the road from The United Methodist Church at 6176 Blvd. Sharon Woods. – took Dohnwana through the space that had been transformed into a sort of pop-up shop and helped her sort through some of the plastic bins containing over 400 bras.
How Northland’s Global Mall Became a Landmark for the Somali Community of Columbus
At first glance, Global Market looks like any other grocery store in Columbus.
Boxes of Cheerios, Froot Loops and pancake mixes line the shelves of an aisle. Another includes Colgate toothpaste and Dove soap.
But there are also international brands dotted everywhere – Al Khaleej dates, Baraka melon seeds, and Jango mango juice.
The market is part of the Global Mall in the Northland district, and it has become a destination for Somali and immigrant communities in the city since it opened in 2002.
Sheridan Hendrix is ââa higher education reporter for the Columbus Dispatch. You can reach her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ sheridan120.