Calhoun Records

Urban Explorer: Firestone Park

words and photos by Kristina Aiad-Toss

With much of Firestone Park’s population and neighborhood aging, many storefronts and houses lay idle and vacant remnants of the old glory days. However, amongst the crumbling areas littered with “closed” signs, unlikely hidden gems are bringing vivacity and livelihood back to this area of Akron.


Calhoun Records
356 Reed Rd
Akron, OH 44301
Hours: Tues-Sat 12pm-6pm

This record store is a treasure trove for crate diggers who know the kinds of finds that owner (and venerated DJ) Forrest Webb has stashed in his shop.  Numerous colorful funk, soul, jazz, hip-hop, rock and rare records for sale at a reasonable price vinyls adorn the walls, span the tables, and consume the floor—flashin names of funk, soul, jazz, hip-hop, and rock legends. Webb, who spins actual vinyl at The Mighty Soul Night and elsewhere as DJ Forrest Getemgump, combines his personal knowledge of music and professional experience from NYC’s Big City Records to bring back to life the Calhoun Record Shop name, honoring his grandfather who owned a record store in Akron from 1950s to 1980s.


Miss Julie's Kitchen
Miss Julie’s Kitchen

Ms. Julie’s Kitchen
1809 S Main St
Akron, Ohio 44301
(330) 819-3834
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-7pm, Sat 9am-5pm

Permeating with hippy vibes and scents of heavenly sweet potato cake, this rare vegan restaurant offers a cozy ambience and delicious home-cooked food made from local organic ingredients. With a cuisine unique among other Akron restaurants, this venue is perfect for enjoying a healthy meal while surrounded by the feeling of familiarity that bleeds both from the atmosphere and the friendly staff.


Boardwalk Thrift
Boardwalk Thrift

Boardwalk Thrift
1501 Aster Ave
Akron,  OH 44301
(330) 835-7570
Hours: Fri-Sat 11pm-5pm

Beckoning to visitors with a colorful mural consuming outside, intricate oddities and charismatic antiques populate the inside of this inviting and cozy thrift store. Amongst towering stacks of old framed paintings and arrangements of vintage furniture, treasures lie waiting for the fortunate antique hunter to discover. In addition to a diverses selection of rarities, the owners of the store are extremely friendly and offer an environment where customers will always feel welcome.


Mod Salon & Gift Gallery
Mod Salon & Gift Gallery

Mod Salon & Gift Gallery
357 Reed Ave
Akron, OH 44301
(330) 724-9040
Hours: Tues-Wed 9am-9pm, Thurs 1pm-9pm  Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 8am-4pm

Do you ever wish their was a place where that styles hair and has a gift shop? From the canvases baring sarcastic quotes to elaborately decorated mugs, this gift shop’s quirkiness shines through both its uncharacteristic location and the oddball items it sells. This venue is plentifully unique—offering traditional salon services, like manicures and hairstyling, while also