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A Gem of A Find: Rock Candy brings the power of minerals into your hands

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I have a small chunk of onyx perched at the edge of my writing desk. I like the way it looks. I like how it feels in my hand, and I think the name is pretty cool as well.

Truth be told, though, I’m a stranger to the healing side of stones, holistic or otherwise, so I decided to jump on the internet and do some preliminary research to find out what exactly it’s supposed to be good for. The answer is pretty much everything: good fortune and judgement, feeling grounded, happiness, strength, stamina, durability, and self-control. Last but not least, it stimulates the root chakra.

Photos: Brian Kaiser

And it’s things like this that make my head spin. I feel overwhelmed with unsubstantiated information, like I can’t appreciate my little black stone for what it is. So running into something like this was my concern before stepping into Rock Candy Healing Stones, the nearly brand-new rock shop with Los Angeles transplant Babs Eicke at the helm.

What I encountered, though, was quite the opposite.

The interior of the narrow storefront is attractive and sparse, as stark white walls contrast with shelves upon shelves of polished, colorful rocks and gemstones (which she always sources in person, never online); Eicke’s background as graphic artist and art director for a host of Columbus-area retail brands is on full display. Adding to the quiet, eclectic aura of the space is the distinctive scent of sage drifting over the wares, which is sold in reasonably priced bundles at the cash register.

Most importantly, though, was the welcoming, non-prescriptive attitude of name. Nothing was being pushed on me, no mantra, no eclectic spiritual texts, nothing even about the rocks themselves. While she believes in their ability to help and heal, Eicke will be the first person to tell you nobody really understands how they work, and most times taking a step back is the best possible approach.

“That’s been my focus; I don’t want to alienate anyone or lean toward any belief systems. A lot of the mystical shops I go into are geared toward females and the witchy, and that’s all cool, but I just didn’t want it to be a space where a mom might be walking by with her kid and be like, ‘well, I don’t know if that’s a place I can take my kid into,’ ” says Eicke. “The things that I love, you might like a little bit less; the same way everyone has a favorite color, the same way everyone has a favorite food.”

And while the owner’s easygoing, non-prescriptive attitude is
one of the reasons the store feels like such a treat, don’t confuse this
with a lack of passion for her craft, because she has plenty of that, and for good reason

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While something about the calm, natural energy of stones always attracted Eicke—partially, she contends, because they recall the sun-drenched outdoors of California that she often misses—she also believes that rocks helped her recover from a serious health scare she experienced years back.

“I was working, working, working and feeling successful, but then there’s that point that some people hit where they’re like, ‘Oh, I might be overdoing it.’ If your health is failing and you’re only like 28 years old, something is going wrong. Doctors could never tell me what was going on, it was really frustrating. I did the whole diet, exercise, and sleep thing, and in a lot of ways I felt like I was doing great, and it helped but not
quite enough.,” said Eicke. “Finally, it all started to click. I thought that maybe there was a side of me I hadn’t addressed yet, the spiritual, energetic part of my being. It’s really about all these components: mind, body, and spirit, and getting them all aligned.”

And how she addressed this area of her life? You guessed it, with stones. She found, slowly, that by keeping them close to her, by surrounding herself with them in everyday life, she was able to embrace whatever energy or positivity they can bring, to push herself over that final wellness hurdle that had loomed so large, and for so long. “That’s really what helped me over that last hump,” Eicke says.

Strangely enough, she, along with another friend, was considering the North High Street location for a store over in the Summer of 2017 when a serious car accident alongside a flurry of other occurrences caused the pair to drop out of the running for the space. As she lived nearby, Eicke would grow to befriend its old owner, who ran a textile shop from the storefront, and when that owner decided running a business was no longer in the cards for her, she decided to get in touch with Eicke about taking over the store from her. And by then, the timing was right.

Officially, the rock shop Eicke was seemingly fated to own finally opened its doors in April. So  it’s as good a time as any to walk into the skinny, bright storefront off High Street and for a few minutes, as traffic whips by just behind the open door, and lose yourself in the glint of an opal, a swirl of smokey quartz, or maybe the solid weight of some onyx.

Rock Candy Healing Stones is located at 3341 N. High St.
Check rockcandy888.com for hours and events.

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614NOW Survival Guide: Jazz & Rib Fest

Mike Thomas

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With hours of free live music and over a dozen vendors of amazing smoked foods at your disposal, the Jazz & Rib fest is one of the signature events of summer in Columbus.

A festival of this scale offers so much to enjoy, which means it’s also easy to get overwhelmed. Unpredictable weather. Crowds. The ever-present threat of itis. What’s a Jazz & Rib-lover to do?

Never fear, 614NOW is here with another summer festival survival guide. Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to jazzy, pork-nap bliss.

Weather the storm (or heat)

July weather in Columbus can be unpredictable, so you’ll want to be prepared for whatever mother nature throws at you. With near-record heat in the forecast this weekend, be sure to pack an extra bottle or two of water or your favorite sports drink. High temps bring the potential for popup thunderstorms, so a cheap rain poncho in the back pocket is a clutch move.

Park it

The official Jazz and Rib fest website has all the info you’ll need to get where you’re going, and even offers some tips on where to park. While parking at meters, in downtown garages, and at COSI will be in play, it’s good to remember that public transit might be the cheapest way to get in and out. For those with the means, an Uber or Lyft could be preferable to navigating crowded and expensive event parking—plus you’ll probably leave the fest too full of rib meat to drive anyway.

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Line ’em up

You’ve made it to the fest, and now you’re faced with the hardest choice you’ll make this weekend: which ribs should you get? Two main factors to keep in mind: long lines may indicate a top-notch vendor, but obviously you’ll be waiting longer. Tents with short lines offer a quick fix, but could be a dice-roll when it comes to flavor.

Our advice: let your hunger guide you. If you see a favorite BBQ joint or a place offering your go-to regional style, a wait in line could be well worth it. If you’ve spent an hour circling the block for an open meter and arrive to the fest with ravenous hunger for smoked meats, hop in the shortest line you see. General consensus is that all participating vendors are pretty good, so wherever you end up you’ll probably be satisfied.

Yeah, cat! Dig those smooth grooves

If you only come for the ribs, you’re missing half the fun. The 2019 Jazz & Rib fest has secured a stellar lineup of artists ranging from smooth jazz favorites Norman Brown and Brian Culbertson, to local standouts Kinfolk and The Huntertones.

But The can’t-miss musical event of the weekend comes care of the Soul Rebels, who will be accompanied by founding member and spiritual leader of the legendary Wu-Tang clan, the one and only GZA.

Check out the fest’s full lineup of artists and schedule, and plan your time in rib lines accordingly.

The 2019 Jazz & Rib Fest takes place Friday, July 19, 2019 through Sunday, July 21 at Bicentennial Park. The event is free to attend.

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The Weekend Lookout: 3 can’t miss events for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

Mitch Hooper

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Did you enjoy your festival break last week? I sure hope so because the festivals are back in action this weekend and you have some catching up to do. With everything from cavity-inducing craft beer pairings to setting your new 5K personal record time, here’s what you can’t miss this weekend.

P.S. Don’t forget about Restaurant Week July 15-20!

Friday

Jazz & Rib Fest 2019 @ The Scioto Mile

All weekend you can enjoy the sounds of jazz and the stains of barbecue at the Jazz & Rib Fest. Including the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, this music festival will feature The Squirrel Nut Zippers, The Rebel Souls, and many more. Just be sure to keep a few wet naps handy throughout the day.

Sommerfest @ Germania Singing & Sport Society

Join the Germania Society for a night on the patio filled with bier, German entrees, and more bier! Test your endurance in the stein holding contest, or test your speed with a personal stein drinking contest. Just be verantwortlich (responsible).

Free Movie Night: How To Train Your Dragon @ Columbus Commons

Load up the kiddos in the car (or just come as your dragon loving self, we don’t judge) with blankets and lawn chairs to set up in the Commons for a free flick. How To Train Your Dragon is a comical animated movie, and it answers the lifelong question of how do you train your dragon?

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Saturday

The Peach Truck @ Weiland’s Market

Pour up a strong cup of coffee and head over to Weiland’s Market bright and early to score some of the freshest peaches in Ohio. The market opens at 8 a.m., and the lines will probably start filing in around 7:59 a.m.

Sours, Sorbets, & Donuts @ Wolf’s Ridge Brewing

Start Saturday right with sour beers courtesy of Wolf’s Ridge and donuts courtesy of The Drunken Donut. The donut pop-up will be running from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. while the rest of the brewery will be doing flight pairings with sours and sorbets. For $12, your flight will include Grapefruit Sorbet with Terre du Sauvage; Blue -Strawberry & Rhubarb Sorbet with Strawberry Swimming in the Mangrove; and Black Cherry Sorbet with Swimming in the Mangrove.

Beer & Ice Cream @ Nocterra Brewing Company

So maybe starting your weekend before noon isn’t in your wheelhouse—that’s fine. Starting at 2 p.m., Nocterra will be partnering up with the Ice Cream Cart to serve up scoops alongside your pints. If you can’t tell, we really want you to forget the diet you’re on for the weekend.

Sunday

Michael Bublé @ The Schottenstein Center

Michael Bublé is back on tour after a long break from it all and he’s stopping off in Columbus. Don’t miss your chance to be serenaded by the smooth singing icon himself.

$10 Beer Flights @ Parsons North Brewing Company

Four mini glasses of beer for only $10? Sunday Funday has never been so affordable. Drink up! The deal is only on Sundays.

Ohio State Ross Heart Hospital 5K @ Ohio State (411 Woody Hayes Dr.)

This is why we were pushing donuts, ice cream, beer, and sorbet on you so heavy for Saturday and Sunday. Burn off those extra calories for a great cause as proceeds benefit heart disease research at Ohio State Davis Heart & Lung Research Institute.

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Be a canine counselor during Franklin County Shelter’s dog vacation week

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It’s a miracle that we are lucky enough to experience Restaurant Week and Shelter Vacation in one week! From July 15-19, the Franklin County Dog Shelter & Adoption Center is giving you the opportunity to foster a dog, learn more about him or her, and see if you’re the perfect match for an adoption—it’s like a sleep-away camp for pups!

Shelter Vacation will feature adoptable dogs that have been at the shelter for at least one month, putting them in a better position to move out of the shelter and into their forever homes.

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Interested in this unique opportunity to brighten the life of a furry, four-legged friend? check out the adoptable dogs here, then contact Andrew at [email protected]

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