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The Short North is a neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio, United States, centered on the main strip of High Street immediately north of downtown and extending until just south of the Ohio State University campus area. It is an easy walk from the convention center or Nationwide Arena district to the north. The Short North is often crowded on weekends, particularly during the monthly "Gallery Hop" and other local and downtown events.
The Short North is heavily populated with art galleries, specialty shops, pubs, nightclubs, and coffee houses. Most of its tightly packed brick buildings date from at least the early 20th century, with traditional storefronts along High Street (often with brightly painted murals on their side walls), and old apartment buildings and rowhouses and newer condominium developments in the surrounding blocks. The city installed 17 lighted metal archways extending across High Street throughout the Short North, reminiscent of such arches present in the area in the early 1900s.
A reputation for diversity and an artistic, Bohemian atmosphere has marked the Short North, with land prices and local rents rising steadily from the 'art boom's' humble beginnings as a squatter’s neighborhood in the 1980s. Prior to the boom, the neighborhood had suffered prolonged decay and from latent, street-level crime and gang violence as Columbus affluent residents followed the economic bubble outward--into the suburbs--during the 1960s and 1970s. The name "Short North", in fact, traces its roots back to the vernacular used by police for the area during this period of decomposition, namely as the neighborhood that--from a suburban commuter's perspective--had fallen 'just short' of the central business district's north end--both physically and economically.
With full-fledged rebirth and the visual arts community having reached a critical mass, the Short North hosts the "Gallery Hop" every first Saturday of the month, when its numerous art galleries open their doors late into the night to jam-packed streets and sidewalks populated with street musicians and other performers.
Since 1983, the Short North has also hosted the annual Doo Dah Parade, a parody of typical Fourth of July parades that includes politically-slanted paraders and floats as well as absurdities such as the "Marching Fidels," a band of Fidel Castro look-a-likes. The parade starts in neighboring Victorian Village, at Goodale Park, and winds north to finish coming south down High Street.