Resident Profile – Matthew Williams
1. What is your full name and its origin, or how was it given to you? Are you named after anyone? Do you have any nicknames?
Matthew Terance Williams. I don’t know of anything funky about how I got my name. Sorry. I don’t have any nicknames, either. 🙁 The only interesting thing about my name is that I share a middle name with my father, both of my brothers, and my nephew. The hospital misspelled my and one of my brother’s names, so ours is spelled differently than the other three, though.
2. How old are you?
3. Where do you live in Harrison West? Do you own your house or rent?
We own a house in the Harrison Park Condos at the corner of West First Avenue and Perry Street.
4. If you own your house have you done any significant renovations to it? Please describe.
We have made extensive changes to the back porch and back and side yards. We had a fairly good opportunity to tweak the interior of the house during construction, so it was pretty close to what we wanted when we moved in.
5. How long have you lived in Harrison West?
Six and a half years
6. What brought you here (HW) and where did you live before?
We lived in Clintonville, but we frequently found ourselves coming downtown or going to Grandview for work or for fun, so it made sense to move closer to downtown when we’d outgrown our old house.
7. Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I was born in and grew up in Niles, Ohio. My parents still live in the same house where I was raised. I never experienced the joy of moving until I relocated to Columbus.
8. How did you end up in Columbus if you are not from here?
I realized that my degree in English wasn’t going to get me very far in Niles, so I knew I needed to move. My best friend at the time wanted to move to Columbus because of the opportunities available here in his field. I had no place better in mind, so I moved with him, and we lived together until he moved to Cleveland several years later.
9. Did you go to college? If so, where and what did you study?
I studied English at both Youngstown State University and at The Ohio State University.
10. What do you do for a living? How did you end up in that occupation?
I’m a freelance book compositor—I layout pages for books, mostly for academic presses. Like most people, I kind of fell into my career. I took an editing class as an undergrad and did well enough that I was asked to take over the managing editorship of a journal and newsletter. My editorial skills turned out to be too green for that level of position, but I was good with computers and graphic design and proofreading. After two years working on the journals, I got work in the field in Columbus, ultimately working for Prentice Hall Publishing. I went back to school to complete a master’s degree, and when I finished, I decided it was a good time to start my own business. I’ve been doing this ever since.
11. What do you like to do for fun?
Perhaps predictably, I read, and I like listening to music. I also enjoy visiting with friends, usually over dinner. I try to hit the gallery hop every month to look covetously at the new art. I also serve on the Harrison West Society Parks and Green Space Committee, and I really enjoy my time pulling weeds in the parks and working on the river bank. I also do some work for the society’s Communications Committee. (I encourage everyone to get involved in the neighborhood by volunteering an hour or two each month for the society; it takes a lot of hand to keep our neighborhood on the upswing.)
12. Do you live with a partner/spouse/kids? Tell us a little about them too!
I live with my partner, Mark. We don’t have any kids.
13. Do you have any pets? If so what are they and what are their names?
We don’t. We had a great dog named Maus that everyone loved. He was the calmest Jack Russell terrier I’d ever seen (except when someone knocked on the door). He died of cancer about two years ago. Because I work at home, I get a 51% say in whether or not we get another dog. My vote is no (at least for now) because putting Maus down was just too painful; I would rather not go through that again.
14. What do you like about living in Harrison West?
I really like the people I know here now. I also really like how easy it is to get to pretty much anywhere from my house. I like the bike path and also the river.
15. What are your favorite places to go out? Do you frequent any of the neighborhood businesses?
I go to Cap City a lot; I’ve gotten to know many of the staff there, and they always take good care of me. I also like Figlio in Grandview. Their French Quarter Ice Cream Tort is probably my favorite dessert. On Cocktails and Cleanup nights (the Parks and Green Space Committee hosts a cleanup followed by dinner or a drink on the Wednesday before the last Saturday of every month from March through October), we try to hit some of the local joints like Caffe’ Apropos. I don’t go out much, but I do enjoy stopping in Local Bar from time to time.