When Forbes magazine named Cleveland the most miserable city last year, I was ticked. Seriously?! I mean, of course there are things about the CLE that I don’t love (mostly the snow in the winter and lack of plows). But the things that Cleveland has to offer far outweigh anything on the list of things I don’t love. And of course, every Clevelander is different but here’s a list of the things I love in Cleveland.
1. Cleveland sports. It’s the history. The passion. The fans. I absolutely love Cleveland sports. I was raised to be a Cleveland sports fan and can’t imagine cheering for any team but my CLE teams. I love the Cavs, despite the season we’ve had. I miss last seasons laughs, sold out crowds, and wins but it is what it is. Another team rebuilding. And the Browns…the one thing I look forward to each year. Our fans are amazing. My favorite way to spend my Fall Sunday Mornings is down at Muiney Lot or the Pit with my friends, tailgating in the R.V. There’s nothing better than sitting in the Dawg Pound during the Browns-Steelers game.
Indians Games–the best way to spend a summer night! Even when they aren’t winning, it’s just a fun way to be with friends. One of my favorite memories from summer was from a few years ago. I was at the Jake (as it will forever be called to me) with a group of about 20 friends, sitting in the bleachers, having a beer in gorgeous weather, and yelling at Grady Sizemore to turn around and wave to us because we KNEW he could hear us. After about 4 innings of this, he finally turned around and acknowledged us. Totally made our night. Plus we won that game and it was Fireworks Night!
2. Shopping! There are so many great places to shop in Cleveland but one of my favorites is going to Crocker Park. First, some of my favorite stores are there. Express, Banana Republic, H&M and J. Crew. But beyond that, you can grab a coffee, sit outside in between shopping, or swing by Champp’s for a drink after a day of shopping. Also a great place to catch a movie! I’m also a big fan of Legacy and Beachwood.
3. Museums galore! We have the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame, which isn’t cheap but a great way to spend an
afternoon, especially if you are into music. The Cleveland Art Museum is one of my faves. Not only can you spend an afternoon walking around checking out some great exhibits but the best part…it’s FREE! Beat that, Forbes.
4. . Great Lakes Brewing Company. Everyone knows one of my favorite things about Winter in Cleveland is Christmas Ale (or as many of us call it, Christmas Crack). The stuff is amazing and just reminds me of the annual Thanksgiving Kegger my best friend used to throw. It brings back plenty of wonderful memories of being with friends (okay, from what I can remember after a couple Christmas Ales…). But the Brewing Co. is a great place to be, taste a few microbrews, and relax with friends. It’s also located near a lot of my new favorite locations in Ohio City and Tremont.
5. The Cleveland Clinic. That’s right–we have the best hospital in the nation to go to. But beyond that some of the best medical professionals who are on the cutting edge of research for a number of diseases and medical conditions.
6. Blossom Music Center. One of the best outdoor music venues I have been to. It’s one of my favorite places to catch summer concerts. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen Dave Matthews Band at Blossom and each time it’s been a little bit better. From tailgating with friends, making the long trek from the parking area down to the venue, sitting out on blankets, under the stars listening to fabulous music…it’s the perfect way to spend a summer night.
7. Good eats! Okay, I’ll admit it…I’m a Food Network junkie. And one of my favorite shows is Iron Chef. Well, Cleveland has it’s very own Iron Chef – Michael Symon! Not only is he an amazing chef/restaurant owner, but he actually lives here and loves his city! I often hear from friends that while they are out to eat at Lola or Lolita, Chef Symon comes out to greet guests. One of my fave places to spend time is on East 4th street. There are plenty of places to grab a quick bite for reasonable prices! Not to mention it’s so pretty to be on East 4th in the summer.
8. Lakewood. I used to live in Lwood and loved it. For a number of reasons. But my favorite part of Lakewood always has been and always will be in the nightlife. There are so many great, fun bars all within walking distance. Some of my favorite memories from living in Lakewood would be starting at my house, pre-gaming, and then walking from bar to bar visiting some of our favorites (Around the Corner is and always will be my fave!). That’s not something you can do in just any city.
9. The Arts. We have the Cleveland Orchestra, Playhouse Square, and a variety of other art locations. I love that I can see Broadway Plays for half the price that people are seeing them in New York City. I’ve been able to see Hairspray, Legally Blonde, Chicago, Wicked and this Summer I’ll be going to see Grease. All for reasonable prices! The Cleveland Orchestra is world-renowned and us Clevelanders can go watch them for great prices, and one of the best things about Summer is watching the Orchestra at Blossom under the stars.
10. The People. Okay Forbes, next time talk to actual Clevelanders when writing your article. People here are not miserable. When I go to Browns games, Cavs games, down to West 6th, Lakewood, are out shopping, or visiting the West Side Market – do I see miserable people? Not at all. We love our city. People stay here and come back here for a reason. Get the facts right next time and come out and visit the city. See how much there is to do and see.
Check out more about what people think of Cleveland. We are Downtown.