Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Yeah, we had a burning river, let's move on

Cleveland's Terminal Tower
Cleveland has gotten a bad rap through the years. Not all of it undeserved. Have you seen the pro sports teams? Even with the shitty teams, Clevelanders stay loyal to them. But, really, Cleveland is pretty awesome.

When a Clevelander moves away, they may not realize how many things about Cleveland they had taken for granted. Obviously, I can't speak for all relocated Clevelanders, but here are some things about Cleveland I have come to appreciate now that I know how different things can be in other areas of the country. 

I live in the area of the foothills to the Rocky Mountains now. They are beautiful. Sunsets are amazing. Sometimes, though, I miss Lake Erie. Yes, even in all its gross, smelliness. It, too, is a spot for amazing sunsets.

The BIGGEST thing I realized when I moved was that C-Town is a cultural mecca of sorts. [DON'T YOU DARE LAUGH!]

If you are from Cleveland, you know the country of Slovenia (Republika Slovenija) exists. I have heard and read somewhere or other that Cleveland has the largest population of Slovenians outside of Slovenia. I'm not one, but some of my best friends are. The cultural impact this has made on the CLE is musical and epicurean. Musically we are known for Polka King, Frank Yankovic. When it comes to the food, I would say sausage is what people think of most. One popular spot for it is Raddell's Sausage Shop. Another food spot would have to be Sterle's. It brings polka and food together! I'm guessing the lady from the "Too Fat Polka" is the one "Who Stole the Kishka..."

This doesn't even show the outdoor produce stalls.
Food, food, food! There are so many options in the Cleveland area for people to experience cultures from all over the world. We're not talking Outback, Olive Garden, or P.F. Chang's. Restaurants, markets, and festivals provide opportunity after opportunity to "see" the world. It's like Epcot, but REAL. In order to make this entry shorter than it really could be, I'm going to have to name just one place where you can get the most-culturally-diverse-bang-for-your-buck, especially if your visit to the 216 (or the 330, or the 440) is a short one. The West Side Market. That's it. It's like mini-Cleveland. A place to bounce from culture to culture. Get a bratwurst sandwich, some cannoli, fresh pasta, spices, a gyro as big as your head, a lamb head, rabbit, cheeses and more as you go. I've even seen a butcher butchering right then and there.

I'll wrap things up with another area jamb-packed with amazing cultural experiences. Every visitor to the area should hit up University Circle. So much to do and see in this relatively small area of the city. Interests of all sorts can be met---history, science, nature, music, art, film, education, food, drink... My husband and I came to Cleveland to get married. We had our ceremony and reception at the Museum of Natural History. Another great spot in the area is the Cleveland Museum of Art.
No ticket required to see this guy and his friends.
It is one of the only FREE, yes, FREE art museums. The only time there is an entrance fee is for some of the special/traveling exhibits. Seriously, FREE access to art!

So much more can be written. If you haven't been to Cleveland, check it out. If you live there and haven't checked some of this out, DO IT! If you moved away, be grateful for the place from which you came.

1 comment:

  1. This is great and sooo true. These are places i take my out of state friends. Ironically we just had ridells sausage for new years day and on the first ewe are going to sterle's for Eileen and James' birthday dinner. I will think of you! Well written piece Meg.