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Resident Profile – Mike and Kristen Easterday, 28

Mike and Kristen Easterday

Newlyweds and one-year Harrison West residents Mike and Kristen Easterday met in Athens, Ohio where they attended Ohio University. Both were involved in student government—Kristen as student-council president and Mike as treasurer—during their senior year. They were already good friends, but they started dating during that time. “I love a guy with money,” quips Kristen. Kristen graduated with a bachelor of specialized studies focusing on journalism and communications; Mike earned bachelor’s degrees in accounting and pre-law. After graduation, he joined Deloitte as a CPA and lived in Grandview while Kristen moved to Washington D.C. to pursue a master’s degree in public administration at George Washington University. Mission accomplished. Kristen returned to Columbus two years later and moved to Powell, and the couple continued to date.

Getting engaged in March 2010, the duo started house-hunting right away. They found a duplex on West Second Avenue that had been a rental for 20 years (and showed it). It was functional, but it needed some loving attention, and it was the perfect first home for a young couple. They got to work on the aesthetic features that they could improve quickly and with minimal fuss, starting with the overgrown backyard. They removed a messy berry tree and countless vines—a huge undertaking that left them with a backyard that Kristen describes as “not fancy, just normal, but no longer a jungle!” On their side of the duplex, they installed a new ceiling and added closet space on the second floor. They rented out the other half to a trio of guys who moved in just a week before Kristen and Mike and whom they have liked well enough to renew the lease.

Mike and Kristen love the walkability of Harrison West, the porch-friendly, small-community vibe and the diversity of families in the neighborhood. They love having an old home (they estimate that it was built in 1892) and being surrounded by other distinctive dwellings. They cycle on the Olentangy Recreation Trail a lot, and Kristen hits the trail to run for fun or when she’s training for a half marathon. She confesses that they might spend a little too much time at nearby Harrison’s on Third, which regularly screens the Bobcat games, because they have foregone cable television at home. The couple instituted a plan to try out a new dining establishment every month after they stumbled upon (and fell in love with) Betty’s, where they’re now regulars. They’ve recently enjoyed Basil Thai, they love the Press Grill and they discovered that Surly Girl is just as fabulous as her sister Betty.

Mike is the president of the Central Ohio Chapter of Ohio University Alumni. They uphold their university’s reputation by attending monthly happy hour events, watching football games together, networking and doing volunteer work. Not to be out-titled by her spouse, Kristen recently became the vice president of the Harrison West Society. Kristen wanted to be engaged in her new neighborhood, so she attended a society meeting. Then we held a fabulous holiday party, and she was hooked. Shortly thereafter, a call for board nominations went out, and she jumped in feet first.

What can I say? It runs in my blood, I like to be involved! Kristen declares.

In more recent news, they have started discussing expanding their family with the addition of a pet or two. Kristen would like to get a dog, but Mike would prefer a cat, so there’s a chance that they’ll end up with both in the future. Then they can take advantage of another favorite Harrison West amenity, Wheeler Dog Park!

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