100 Readers. 100 Stories. 100 Issues. 6 Words.

You’d think after 100 issues of (614) we’d know the soul of the city inside and out. But its ever-evolving identity and image keeps us on our toes.

Each month, for roughly eight years, we’ve endeavored to tell the story of a town entering, and now firmly in, its adolescence. Each lumbering step, slowed to a geologic scale, is driven forward by the sweat and love of individuals working to establish an identity. For our town as well as ourselves.

Now, we’ve found a way to seal that identity in its moment, from the voices of those who help us shape it: you, the readers.

We began collaborating monthly with Larry Smith on his Six Word Memoir project with the hope of distilling Columbus’s personal narratives into a pure spirit. The condensed nature of responses to this no-more-or-less-than-six-words prompt separates the wheat from the chaff. It slices and dices your thought until nothing remains but the truth.

And everyone thinks they want to hear the truth about themselves.

Love this Midwestern metropolis or hate it, the people are the vascular fluid that courses through the veins of the capital city, bringing it life. For our 100th issue, we turned the lens onto ourselves by asking the everyman to distill their thoughts about the city they inhabit, and their predictions about its approaching future.

Asked to peer down the road 100 monthly issues from now, we posed this question to friends and strangers alike: What will Columbus look like in 2025?

The answers we gleaned from the public were as varied as the city’s inhabitants themselves. From cynical to idealistic, funny to serious, bitter to sweet. There’s one thing that Columbus residents can all agree upon:

No one defines us but us.