Ashland “Someplace Special” Ohio

By Amanda Eakin

The time had finally come when I could walk into Lotus, the newest contribution to Ashland’s meager offerings, and order sushi. I was beyond thrilled that such a contemporary, culturally-embracing restaurant had managed to establish itself in such a rundown town.

After all, there are times when I think I see tumbleweeds rolling across the vacant plains of Ashland. So a place that offers Asian food, and sushi nonetheless, was certainly a step in the right direction.

Deciding what I would drink at Lotus was easy- sake (pronounced “sah-keh”), that delectably strong yet sweet rice wine. It’s a nonnegotiable pairing with sushi, as perfectly paired as Snooki and “the bump” (you know, that furry animal that lives on her head), or teenagers and wine coolers.

Yet upon ordering this, I was first met with a blank stare from the waitress. I repeated myself slowly, even supplied the definition of sake. Surely a sushi restaurant would have it. Surely.

And then the laughs came.

“Honey, this is Ashland,” the waitress drawled with a roll of her eyes. Why, how silly of me to have forgotten.

At this point I feel it is relevant to point out that Ashland’s water tower proudly proclaims it is “Someplace Special.” Truly the one who had painted such a message onto this structure was overcome with a fit of irony. I remember the first time I had visited Ashland-the first of many tours to AU’s campus-and my dad noted the water tower.

“Look at that!” my dad was wildly gesticulating in the direction where the rusty tower resided. “‘Someplace Special’! How cool! Maybe this is a sign, Amanda!”

If only I knew.

Maybe if I had paid attention to the lack of energy and activity surrounding the town, I would have been able to wipe the glitter from my eyes after I had visited AU. If I had known that the nightlife for Ashland locals comprises of seedy, hole-in-the-wall bars such as Bullshooters and Lone Pine Saloon perhaps I would have thought twice before dedicating four years of my life in this town.

Though let’s not forget about Top Hat, that euphemistic “gentlemen’s club.” Unlike the previously-mentioned “seedy” bars snuggled deep in downtown Ashland (a joke in itself), Top Hat stands alone, like a city upon a hill, a beacon of “hope” for the sexually depraved. You’ll notice there are always cars in its parking lot starting from the moment the sun sinks below the horizon. Or, who knows, maybe even earlier: some might not feel obliged to at least hide their perversions in the dark.

I know I’m being pretentious. Yet sometimes I can’t resist the staple AU-student reaction-I complain. It’s what we do. Otherwise, how else to combat issues that are out of our control?

I suppose if were really unhappy with my situation, I would have went somewhere else for my college education a couple years ago. That type of proactive behavior, however, takes effort. And I’m a senior, meaning effort and I do not mesh well together, as you can tell from this pathetic excuse for a conclusion:

The end.