I have been meaning for awhile to write an article on why Cleveland is actually a pretty great city to live in when you think about it overall. Honestly, as Clevelanders’ I think we get too used to making or hearing jokes about our city, or fretting about our job opportunities, and the growing number of people leaving the city for greener pastures. Then one day I was perusing Brewed Fresh Daily, and caught the discussion about “Reasons to Move to Cleveland”. I had to throw my 2 cents in there, and then decided I really should be more motivated to write my mini article about what’s so great about Cleveland finally. Just last year my husband and I were part of the large number of people looking to move out of state for better job opportunities. I actually “swore” I was never going to be one of those people who gave up living here just for a job. I unlike my husband grew up here, and being my usual idealistic, rosy self had a much more positive take on the city to begin with, and a bit of a fighter spirit that the city is what you make it. But of course, with our not-so-wonderful job market, and a few years of feeling over-educated and rather “under”employed and underutilized to my full capacity I was annoyed, and frankly my husband really wanted something more challenging too. Funny enough though I think as we tried to adapt to the idea of moving for good, there were so many reasons to stay that just kept popping up. I’ve always liked Cleveland, but it wasn’t until I took a realistic look at it’s faults as well and put everything into perspective in comparison with cities elsewhere that I learned how to love Cleveland too. In true Cleveland do-or-die-trying fashion (and probably just plain luck) have both managed to find better jobs even in this market, and I think in my case being bored with my old job made me try to find enrichment throughout the city.
With all that being said, here’s a few things that I’ve really decided are so great about Cleveland. I love sitting on the lawn at Blossom during a summer Cleveland Orchestra concert, with a picnic spread out on a blanket, a bottle of wine and a card game. I absolutely love the Cleveland Metroparks along with our zoo and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, especially the areas around Peninsula and Boston. We are so lucky to have a gorgeous park system right in our own backyard. Musically, having brought in DJ’s from around the world, and gotten their perspective on our club and music culture, we may not be on the cutting edge musically, but we’re not far behind the curve, and as far as having fun and not being snots, we’re good people. We have enough pull to get some good tours through the area, and there’s plenty of interesting local musicians. We’ve got fabulous festivals. Whether they are art festivals like the renowned Boston Mills Artfest or Cain Park Arts Festival, musical greats such as the Tri-C Jazzfest, or one of the literally dozens of great foodie fairs (Taste of Tremont, Feast of the Assumption), there’s a lot of quality things to do. Our real estate prices are pretty good, even considering the current market. How many other places in the country can you get homes for around $100 a square foot, with a great big backyard, or a brand new apartment downtown at the rents we have? Our restaurants are actually getting a lot more acclaim, but again, they’re reasonable for what we get. My own personal favorites are Momocho, Farenheit, and now Velocity on Clifton(especially dining on the patio! Besure to save room for dessert!).
I actually think E. 4th is shaping up to be a pretty nice (if touristy district) with the House of Blues, Pickwick and Frolic, the Corner Alley, and now a bevey of restaurtants. It could use a little more shopping, but I’ll cope. Speaking of shopping, that’s about the only area I wish we would catch up in more. We’re only now seeming to break out of the mold of your standard same mall stores. Granted, I realize there’s some cool districts like Coventry and Shaker Square, but as a shopping fanatic, I want bigger! We’ve even got a good sized lake to boat on, or jetski on, or even occasionally windsurf on. (It’s not the cleanest, but it’s getting better!).
A few other reasons to love Cleveland
The West Side Market
Great Lakes Brewing Company
North Union Farmers Markets
McNulty’s Bier Market
The Cleveland Museum of Art
University Circle Architecture
Parade the Circle
Market Avenue Wine Bar
Great Lakes Burning River Festival
The view from Strawbridge Plaza
The Cleveland Clinic
I pretty much write this blog to showcase all of the other arts and culture that makes Cleveland so vibrant, so keep posted for more!