Best of Columbus 2009

Best Place for People Watching

By Columbus Alive
From the Best Place for People Watching edition

Easton Town Center

Web: eastontowncenter.com

People-watching is at its prime when people are around all the time. That's definitely the case at Easton, where the wide-open indoor space attracts mall walkers in the morning, and the mix of shopping, dining and entertainment options keeps the crowd hopping until 2 a.m. on weekends.

Factor in an abundance of front-row seats like those at Brio's patio, Ocean Club's wraparound outdoor deck and Cup O' Joe's second-floor indoor balcony, and the opportunities to sit back, relax and watch are endless.

Even those on their feet can't miss it, though. Derrick Rollins and Kelly Pratt, two kiosk staffers posted by the mall's north entrance, can't avoid people-watching when they're on an island surrounded by a sea of faces. They pass the time between sales by staring over the counter, guessing what people do for a living based on how they look. They also pick up on trends.

"I'm not big into fashion," Rollins said. "You become more aware of what's popular and what the different demographics are wearing."

The crowds start out with older early birds and get younger as the day goes on - until the 9 p.m. curfew sends kids home. Then the adults have the place to themselves. According to Pratt, "Watching people leaving the bars, it gets real entertaining."

Runners up: ComFest, Short North Gallery Hop

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