After breakfast at Mr Smiths Coffeehouse, Bhavna and I explored more of Water Street, West Market Street and Columbus Avenue on foot.
Sandusky looks walkable to someone used to walking the streets of New York City, but it had a mediocre Walk Score. My experience is at odds with that score. There are several bicycle shops in the town, and the speed limit is low, but Sandusky also received a low bicycle score due to the lack of bike lanes. Princeton Township, on the other hand, has a higher walk and bike score. Downtown Princeton is the only part of Princeton with bicycle lanes; the rest of the town is full of narrow streets with no pedestrian sidewalks. Downtown Princeton is much smaller than Sandusky and has heavy vehicle traffic all year round. I think the algorithm on this website is full of shit.
I don’t see the town putting in bicycle lanes unless street parking is reconfigured. Sandusky has the same type of angle parking I have seen in other towns in Ohio. The streets are much broader than those in older states like New Jersey, and this type of marking maximises the number of cars that can park on the road. This works well for a town filled with tourists in the warmer months.
Just one block from Mr Smiths Coffeehouse, we stopped at Columbus Avenue and East Washington Row intersection at the entrance to what seemed to be a park. I was drawn to the massive columns outside of the building on the corner. I peeked through the glass doors and was soon pulled inside, but what I saw. I stood for nearly five minutes just looking up. I pulled out my iPhone to try to fit the entire room into one shot. The distortion is extreme.
As I turned to exit, I noticed a colourful piano in the corner bathed in light and shadow. This made me immediately run back outside to grab Bhavna, whom I had left standing on the sidewalk.
We went back inside so I could explore and take more photographs. The light from the southeast-facing windows cast strong shadows on the inside. I was drawn to the contrast between light and shadow. I struggled to find the right balance between the shadows and highlights. The iPhone’s computation photography engine seemed to find a sweet spot, but the image was bland. I set my Fuji X-T3 to auto bracket for exposure and later combined the images using Adobe Lightroom’s HDR feature. I like the result.
We were somewhat confused by the space. The space on the right side nearest the entrance appeared to be a cafe and even had cafe seating. The area on the left, nearest the door, had shelving with fresh produce, groceries, toiletries, etc.; the things one would find in an "upscale" bodega. Halfway down the left wall, I saw a beer and wine refrigerator. Occupying the second half of the right wall is a bar. Fortunately, we didn’t wonder for too long.
The establishment’s owner introduced herself and gave us a tour of Vita. According to the website:
Vita is more than just a bistro, it is a place to gather with friends, family or co-workers. Featuring a large seating area, Vita is the perfect place for coffee with your friends, an off-site office meeting location, or a dinner experience unlike any other. Vita also offers a variety of local, domestic and imported beers and wines, as well as a market for groceries and gifts. Add in live entertainment on select weekends and a visit to Vita will create memories to last a lifetime. That’s what we call “Livin’ la vita Locale!”
Got it! If you live in one of the nearby apartments or work in the area, Vita could be where you stop for coffee and breakfast, come back later for lunch, and stop in after work for a cocktail or to pickup some items to make dinner.
The menu was expansive and varied, so Bhavna and I decided that we would have lunch at Vita before departing Sandusky on Saturday.