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The heart and sole of C-Bus sneaker scene

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“Me and my Adidas do the illest things.”

Run-DMC’s “My Adidas,” an homage to their love for the sneaker brand, created an urban fashion craze in the mid-eighties and set the stage for the sneaker explosion. Each member of the hip-hop pioneers wore a three-striped Adidas tracksuit with gold “dookie rope” chains dangling from their necks and black fedoras on their heads. But what tipped the fashion scales were the unlaced white Adidas shell toe Superstars that would “Walk through concert doors […] and roam all over coliseum floors.”

It was no coincidence that the same year “My Adidas” was released, Dionte Johnson was born in Columbus, Ohio. He is the owner/operator of the only niche retail sneaker boutique in Columbus: Sole Classics. And he is at the forefront of the hot sneaker scene in Columbus.

 “I walk down the street, and bop to the beat.”

Hipsters, students, and hip hop heads bob to the beat down High Street and walk into Sole Classics to check out the latest. Located in the Short North, Sole Classics has the Run-DMC-style Adidas track suits, Vans, Nikes, Adidas, hoodies, G-Shocks and other “fly wear.” Artistically curated, every inch of the two-room fashion gallery is meticulously crafted to reflect the Short North arts scene. (The newly-opened second store in Dublin pays tribute to the area’s Irish attitude with a pub vibe.) “We want the stores to embody the neighborhood we are in—Short North more urban, Dublin more Irish,” Johnson says.

“I like to sport ‘em that’s why I bought ‘em.”

Johnson bought Sole Classics (originally opened in 2006) from the previous owners ten years ago and has been in its current location since 2014. As a former Ohio State fullback, Dionte had a cup of coffee in the NFL, but when that plan fell through, he put his Business Marketing degree to work. “I was looking for the next challenge […] and heard about Sole Classics being available,” Johnson says, wearing his signature black hoodie and jeans. “Growing up in Columbus and going to high school [in the nineties] I worked in retail at Big Daddy’s, the first to carry urban street fashion stuff—and I was hooked.”

“And now I just standin’ here shooting the gift.”

What Big Daddy’s (now closed) taught Johnson was the importance of community—about creating a space where people come for the experience, to hang out, shoot the shit and share their love for sneakers. It’s the barber shop minus all the hair on the ground. “You can go buy your shoes from anywhere, but with a store like ours, you get to sit down, spend two hours talking and maybe buy something, or maybe not,” Johnson says as he sits behind the self-designed wood cash wrap desk that is the centerpiece of his Dublin store. “The person who comes in and knows exactly what they want gets treated the same as the person who stops by to say, ‘What’s up?’ ” 

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“Now the Adidas I possess for one man is rare. Myself homeboy got fifty pair.”

The Columbus sneaker scene has grown exponentially, with more options than ever. Sole Classics is a retail shop that is linked to the sneaker companies. But up High Street, less than a mile away is Premium Kicks, a consignment sneaker store. “There is plenty of room [in Columbus] for sneaker shops to coexist, “ Johnson says. “Yes, we’re in competition, but theirs is always a place for a consignment shop to do their thing. We are a little more beholden to the sneaker companies, whereas they have a little more freedom.”

What is also helping the sneaker scene thrive is the innovative chances sneaker companies are taking (see the re-release of the Air Jordan 4 and the new Nike line of kicks called Have a Nike Day), combined with online media. When new kicks get released it’s a feeding frenzy. “Once upon a time you had to go into a store to hear about the release date; to find out what was dropping that weekend, “Johnson says. “Now, with the internet, it doesn’t matter whether you’re in rural Ohio or in New York City, you’re going to know about the product at the same time. It has expanded the sneaker community exponentially. Tons of people now know about a sneaker they would normally not.”

Does he see the internet ruining the brick-and-mortar, mom and pop shops, more than it already has? “Retail will settle back down,” he says. “Convenience is what people are into—paper towels delivered to your front door—but nothing can replace human contact. Life is about what you’re experiencing, and it’s not usually sitting behind a computer.”

“We took the beat from the street and put it on TV.”

When I ask Dionte who his biggest influences were when he first started out in the sneaker/fashion world, he cites his favorite nineties’ shows and actors: Martin, Will Smith, and even Seinfeld (with those dope white running shoes and jeans—not!). “I was heavily influenced by what I saw on TV because they were setting the trend. It was how I saw what other people were experimenting with.”

 “My Adidas only bring good news.”

Run-DMC is from Hollis, Queens, and Dionte from Columbus. Big difference. But nobody can deny they both have a love for the squeaks of their sneaks. Their collective “sole” has brought communities together and left an indelible footprint.•

Sole Classics is located in the Short North at 846 N High St. and in Dublin at 6391 Sawmill Rd. Visit soleclassics.com for all the latest sneaker looks.

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Hobbies 101: Going green with plant arranging

Laura Dachenbach

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Welcome to a series of articles to help you find your next hobby. Hobbies give us something to be passionate about, a creative outlet, and an alternative way to be productive. So stick around. Better well-being is just a lazy afternoon away.

Go green! Literally. House plants. Office plants. Plantscaping. Plants help us connect with the nature we too often leave outside, keep us creative, and generally make us happier people. So even if you’re stuck in a cubicle all day, a plant or two can help you feel more alive. At the very least, it’ll make your surroundings look better, and might just clean the air a bit.

Founded by a graphic design, and a landscaper, Planthrophy offers workshops and events to help you build a succulent garden, a moss wall, a living wall, or another plant-related creative decor project. Imagine that inspirational wall hanging you saw, now in a vibrant, earthy green. Workshops can be scheduled as private or team-building events.

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I know what you’re thinking. Ugh. Something to take care of. But the plants are low-maintenance, or in the case of moss walls, zero maintenance—nothing to lose, and a little bit of skill and improved well-being to show for it.

The Franklin Park Conservatory also keeps a running calendar of events and classes, including DIY terrariums and other plant projects. You can even learn the mysteries of bonsai, the art of the miniature tree. Bonsai, by the way, represents a complete aesthetic. 

Face it. You spend a lot of time indoors. Make those surroundings work for you.

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Go chasing these 4 beautiful waterfalls around Columbus

614now

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TLC didn’t advise it, but we say go, go chasing waterfalls! Especially these four beauties around Columbus.

Some are for taking a dip in, some are for admiring from a distance, but all are to enjoy the natural beauty that exists just outside our bustling city.

Hayden Run Falls | 4326 Hayden Run Rd., Columbus, OH 43017

This hidden gem in Dublin is just off the boardwalk, giving you optimal time to snap the obligatory selfie and bask in nature’s bounty. Take a swim if you feel so inclined!
But the best part may just be the parking lot *cue choir of angels*

Always an adventure

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Indian Run Falls | 700 Shawan Falls Dr., Dublin, OH 43017

Waterfall jumping is prohibited but we’re just going to leave these photos of people doing just that here….

This old Wyandot tribe ground can be hiked in about 30 minutes.

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Glen Echo Park | 510 Cliffside Dr., Columbus, OH 43202

If you’re not looking close enough, you could miss this park entirely. This serene plot at the end of N Fourth St. beholds an old bridge, picnic tables, and a lovely little waterfall.

Venture a little further down the paved trail and admire the Ohio birds Mural covering the walls of a bridge’s underbelly.

🌿🐶🌊 #beagle #summertime #Columbus

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Untitled (Collection of Headless Birds), 2017

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Not too bad for 5 minutes from the Hotel room. #parkchillen

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Inniswood Metro Gardens| 940 S Hempstead Rd., Westerville, OH 43081

Not only is the waterfall at Inniswood Metro Gardens 10/10 Instagram-worthy, but the park as a whole is wildly photogenic. Besides snappin’ pics, enjoy the lush green grass, seating options, and blossoming foliage.

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Gallery Space: Addison Jones

Mitch Hooper

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For some, the mistakes in the artistic process can be jarring and even derailing. Perfection is a must, and execution is everything. But for others, it’s finding the beauty in these mistakes and flaws. Life doesn’t always present itself with the perfect opportunity, and sometimes you have to make your own. It’s this philosophy that photographer and mixed media artist Addison Jones lives by to create her art.

Jones’ process to creation is very much a go-with-the- ow style, and some of her creations quite literally scream that as the phrase “fuck it” is occasionally written across her art. Don’t get this rebel yell twisted,

Photos: Brian Kaiser

though. What Jones does to create art is a multifaceted process that she does all by hand. It’s a labor of love where pieces will have hours of work poured into them until she feels like it’s finally finished. From the initial photoshoot all the way down to screen printing the paintings, Jones has found a way to work within her own restrictions and even be more efficient with her time. After all, this painting her portraits project started while she had down time waiting for her photos to import to her computer. (614) spent some time with Jones to unlock the secrets of her serendipitous artistry.

614): IS THIS YOUR PRIMARY JOB, SIDE GIG, OR HOBBY? HOW DID IT COME TO BE?

AJ: My boyfriend of six years and I broke up and I wanted a photography studio [in] downtown [Delaware]. I found one that was freaking awesome in an old abandoned building: no running water, third floor, it was an old ballroom so it was 4,000 square feet and SO awesome inside. Seemed amazing for me. Who needs running water anyways? With all that space I was able to have my photography studio and have my paintings out 24/7. I kind of got into a groove where I would edit, and while it was exporting I would paint, and then while that was drying I would edit again […]. I didn’t know that having proper space would bring me to do art more, but it did. I think I grew more as an artist within those two years than I had in the five years prior.

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR GO-WITH- THE-FLOW APPROACH TO ART?

I come from a graphic design background. When I have way too many options I tend to get completely overwhelmed, but when I am under restriction, I think that gets my mind moving. I like to think of myself as a problem solver, so having guidelines actually makes me more creative. I do not do photography to get images to paint with. I do photography for my photography expression and if an image sticks out to me, I use it for my art. I feel like that is when it happens naturally […]. I like

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to think of myself as an experimental artist where I am always trying to play with new techniques, different mediums, and just mess around with it. Due to that nature, I mess around quite a lot and mess up even harder. Most of the time I am like “Well, this is a piece of shit,” and don’t care if I mess up, so then I do something and I like it and then I’m like, “I love this piece.” It’s like that artist meme and it hits home so hard: This sucks, I suck; this is awesome, I am awesome.

CAN YOU EXPLAIN HOW YOU STARTED USING SCREEN PRINTING AS A MEANS TO ENHANCE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY ART?

I played with resin art a while ago and what I loved and hated about it was the fact that you couldn’t control it. I have so much control with what I do that I wanted to just let go. That also drove me bonkers but every time would lead to a different result. I one day was like, “Maybe I should screen on this because it would be a sweet background.” I didn’t know how to screen at that point so I made some terrible homemade thing and kind of figured it out. I found some image on the internet—not even thinking about using my own—and made a screen. I had just finished a photoshoot with one of my favorite models and was like, “Wow, that was stupid, Addison, use your own.”

WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO TRANSFORM A PHOTO INTO A MIXED MEDIA CREATION?

I edit and do a photoshoot for the photoshoot, not for the art. If there is an image that has the correct lighting that I want with the correct mood, that is when I decide to use it as a screen. If it doesn’t have it, I just don’t use it. I don’t want to control a photoshoot for the sake of my screens, I want it for the photography and I want it to just happen naturally. I feel like when it is forced is when it doesn’t work.

YOUR ARTWORK OFTEN GOES THROUGH MANY TRANSFORMATIONS. CAN YOU EXPLAIN THIS PROCESS?

Oh does it! I would like to say that I am constantly experimenting. The problem with experimenting on things so much is that there are a TON of ugly/fuck up stages […]. I think the biggest thing is that most people— me included—are scared to do something because they don’t want to mess it up. I have now changed my mindset into “If I mess it up, I will x it.” There are also a lot of times where I am not sure where to go next. So I just put it to the side, start something new and see if it just comes to me. If it doesn’t, I hang it in my living room until I can figure out what else it needs.

To view more of Addison Jones’ work, go to addisonjonesphotography.com.

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