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“I’m Staying Home”

Two years ago, I fell in love with the glam, the lights, the idea of opportunity, and success I saw myself making a name for myself in this magical land called Atlanta. On the television, I saw artists and TV personalities all over the city engaging in events and activities that seemed like the time of their life.

I saw headlines of news of CEO’s and civic leaders all of a similar skin to me thriving in this city. I saw myself and the opportunity to be in a space where I could see African Americans in the positions I normally don’t have the privilege of seeing.

Solving the Problems In ATLBut over time this magical fairy tale land began to dissipate, and I began to see the beauty of a place right in front of me. I found myself making a schedule and packing my bags  to leave my hometown for a new place far down south based off the hopes and dreams that were actually possible right on my doorstep, so I made the decision to put my bags right back down.

My name is Maurice McGee and I am holistically, passionately, and boldly unapologetic about my love for Columbus, Ohio.

Make No Apologies For The People

I’m unapologetic for the people; whenever I find myself in another city, I feel this overwhelming  sense of appreciation for the people of Columbus. Columbusians are the only people I’ve ever met that have a slow-paced demeanor while having a sense of urgency in everything that they do. Columbus is one of the few cities I know that you can have someone aggressively attempting to merge into your lane, and once they force their way into the centimeter of space between you and the car in front, they give you a polite smile and wave as if it never happened.

Columbus natives are the only people I know that have as much of an appreciation for Friday night lights as they do Saturday morning food. We have an interesting sense of trust in one another and common respect and decency for the surroundings of others. In my opinion, only in Columbus will someone hold a door open for you if you are ten or fewer steps away from the door regardless of how awkwardly long the process takes.

This city has a beautiful identity no matter which side of town you find yourself on. It’s amazing to sit and listen to Ohio State alums speak about their protests, to get a black studies program, or view the look of disbelief and disappointment on a local’s face as they describe the effects of I-71 on black communities. Everyone has a deep sense of pride even in the tragedies that have taken place over time.

When I was in Atlanta, people seemed very warm and inviting or cold and distant. It was very rare to find a person who was somewhere in between. You didn’t seem to completely understand where you stood with some; it was confusing. There was a mix of “southern comfort” and disrespect that I’ve never seen before and honestly I wouldn’t mind ever seeing again.

Make No Apologies For The Culture

I’m unapologetic for the culture, and it was almost weird seeing people rep so many different schools in a major city because all I’ve known are the Buckeyes. If you asked someone who they liked, you’d get a “Go State,” “Go Tech,” “Go Bulldogs,” or an awkward go [insert random SEC school]. And I was actually perplexed by the differences in opinions. It made me miss the random yelling’s of “O-H” and “I-O” no matter where you find yourself in the state and definitely within Columbus. I missed seeing jerseys, talk radio, and billboards about a team I whole-heartedly thought was better than anyone else in the country.

While in Atlanta, I almost got sick of having to explain myself for using the word POP and almost spit my POP out when a coworker asked for a Coke and got a Sprite. Now please tell me how someone can ask for a Coke, but get a Sprite and both the waiter and customer understood what that meant. That my friend is absolute anarchy.


I’m in love with the fashion in Ohio. In Cincinnati there is this odd Daniel Tosh ‘high fashion’ and in Cleveland there is an overuse of jean jackets, jeans, just all jean-related clothing. Somehow Columbus gets it just right.

You see people of all shapes, colors, and sizes expressing themselves in unique ways I’d prefer over anyone in the world. You see shorts in the winter, sweatshirts in the summer and even people still rocking fitted hats and Girbald jeans, and I love every single notion of it. Columbus fashion has a fearless sense in its nature, an unapologetic bold statement in every outfit worn out of the house. And it constantly changes as well from the side of town you’re from to the interests you find in yourself. The city helps guide people’s fashion and then they take this and make striking and unique creations for themselves.

Make No Apologies for the Ceiling

I’m unapologetic for the potential, and I see more potential in what Columbus will be than most people. Just driving around, you see areas that are being revitalized in some amazing ways. When I worked downtown, I would park in Franklinton and walk across the bridge. Every single day, I would see some of the most beautiful views Columbus has to offer. From the river walk  to the skyline, it would be very hard to convince me there’s anything better without 500 people power walking on either side of you.

Looking around the area, you see new businesses and complexes being built and an overall improvement of the entire area. And the beautiful thing is is that it’s not simply limited to downtown. You see this revitalization taking place in areas all across the city. In five to ten years I feel like Columbus will be one of the most desired cities in the country, and I couldn’t bring myself to leave it. From the bars and local spots to the cliché Arena District, there is so much to do and so many things to see that rival it with any city in the world.

Make No Apologies for the Recreation

I’m unapologetic about the things to do in Columbus. There’s an extreme diversity of activities Columbus has to offer. With several theaters, a beach, two dams, every major athletic sport, several event venues, major festivals/conventions, iconic churches, delicious food, and so much more.

The amount of creative events and social gatherings is absolutely moving and inspiring. To be able to attend large festivals like The Ohio State Fair, Comfest, The Arnold, Juneteenth, Jazz and Rib Fest, Latino Fest, and Pride Parade; the list goes on. It’s so inspiring to see so many different cultures recognized and appreciated in a time when this does not happen in many cities.


Yes, this is in Columbus. Alum Creek Beach.

In my opinion, there is nothing that someone can be interested in and unable to find in Columbus. I’m infatuated with the fact that there is something exciting going on every single weekend whether it be an act, performance, event, or service. There’s an overflow of things to do that I can’t say every other city has.

I’m in love with this city because I feel as if it helped define who I am as a person, and I am curious to see what else it has in store for me. I could not find a single reason why I would want to leave this place and that leads to the question: why would you want to leave? What can another city offer you that this city can’t?

I believe if you can take a second and become completely honest with yourself, you can realize exactly how much this city has to offer for you too. It’s almost scary to see a city that I felt I had to run away from become my favorite place in the entire world. You can call me crazy or brainwashed or whatever else for loving Columbus so much, but you can’t blame me.

My name is Maurice McGee and I am holistically, passionately, and boldly unapologetic about my love for Columbus, Ohio.

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