10 Reasons I Love Cleveland

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

One of the things people most often say to me is, "Wow, you really love Cleveland" - & yes, yes I do. I've wanted to live here since I first interned at Cleveland Magazine back in 2007, & although I took a roundabout way to get here - living, in between, in Maryland, D.C., New Hampshire, & New Jersey - I finally made it home, & I'm in Northeast Ohio to stay.

This month marks for fourth anniversary of living in the CLE, & I thought I'd celebrate with a list of some of the best things about my city, or, as we sometimes say here, "Cleve-land that I love."

1. Proximity to family
Of course, this won't be applicable to everyone, but one of the primary reasons I moved here was to be closer to my mom, who lives in Cuyahoga Falls, & to the rest of my family, which is spread out in Columbus & Cincinnati. Luckily, it’s quick & easy to get from place to place! A two-hour drive? No problemo. It's great to be able to see them on a more regular basis. 

2. Coffee shop options
So many ways to get caffeinated in the CLE! As someone who works from home, I spend a lot of time in coffee shops – and Cleveland has lots of great ones to choose from. Some favorites include CivilizationBeviamo, and the Rising Star location in Little Italy, though there are plenty of others worth visiting, too.

3. Fish fry season
This Jewish gal had never experienced the joy of the Lenten fish fry until moving to Tremont. Now, I plan my weeks around them come spring. I especially love the one at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Tremont (something about a church basement feels hella authentic), & I'm also a sucker for the Latin-infused fish fry dinner at Lakewood's El Carnicero.

4. The friendliest people
Of all the places I’ve lived, people here are the nicest. My husband wishes I wouldn’t get the life story of every Lyft driver, but when they’re all this chatty, how can I resist?! After living in or near less-friendly cities (lookin' at you, New England & New Jersey), it is so much more fitting of my personality to be around friendly, chatty strangers.

5. Lotsa local beer
I wasn’t a big craft beer fan until my thirties. Luckily, that was around the same time I moved to Cleveland, which is chock-full of the best local brews. A few that have my heart, in particular: Great Lakes Brewing Co.'s Holy Moses White Ale; Saucy Brew Works’ Habituale; & Market Garden Brewery's Prosperity Wheat. There's always a new local brew to try.

6. Winter wonderland
You heard me: I love winter. Life doesn’t stop for Clevelanders just because the weather gets cold. Instead, we throw parties! Hello, Brite Winter.

7. Tons of culture (& cultural activities)
Northeast Ohio offers so many entertainment opportunities, from frequent festivals to acclaimed museums to shows at Playhouse Square (the country's largest theater district outside of Broadway). In short, there’s never a shortage of “What should we do this weekend?” options.

8. So many food options
From shopping options like West Side Market and Ohio City Provisions to food markets like Ohio City Galley & the Van Aken Market Hall a wealth of restaurant choices (I’m working my way through Cleveland Magazine's 2019 Best Restaurants list), there’s always something new and delicious to be eaten… & Instagrammed, of course.

9. Inexpensive prices
I still get giddy when I see a bar’s dollar-draft night, not to mention the comparison between rent costs here and in coastal cities. I wouldn’t call Cleveland cheap these days, but costs are still low, especially for everything this city has to offer.

10. All things Lake Erie
Come summer, there’s so much to do on the North Coast, from swimming to stand-up paddle boarding to attending Edgewater Live to hopping the ferry to Put-In-Bay. I love living on the water without having to live on the East or West Coast.

Tell me: If you live in Cleveland, what do you love most? If you're located elsewhere, what's your favorite thing about your own city? 

Note: I wrote this list awhile back, to be used as part of my author bio on ClevelandPlus.com. Unfortunately, they no longer use outside guest writers, so I'm no longer writing over there - which means this list is going to waste living on their site! I thought I'd share it here, too!

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