Thursday, June 11th, 9:45 pm
Game 4 of the NBA playoffs, in Cleveland, Cavs up 2-1, this is the moment I have been waiting for since LBJ left CLE. I should be on top of the world, but I am sitting in Charlotte, NC wishing I was home. To most people outside of NE Ohio, Cleveland is a punch line…yeah yeah we know, the river caught on fire, get over it folks, that was a long time ago and Cleveland had come a long way. I adore Cleveland, and anyone who had ever met me knows it, I brag on that city like it is my child. And that is what I am about to do…
I love the theater and PlayhouseSquare is as good as it gets. When C. Smith and I first went to NYC together, we attended a Broadway show and I made the comment that “Cleveland theaters are better”, he gave me so much crap about that statement until he came to CLE and saw PlayhouseSquare. Even he could not get over the history and beauty of those theaters. That is the true epitiomy of Cleveland perseverance, a small feisty group of folks fought to save the theaters from becoming a parking lot, and it is now the second largest theater district in the country. Talk about #AllIn.
Next I must brag on the food scene where the restaurants rival NYC, Chicago and LA. I could write paragraphs on my favorite foods and restaurants, instead I will give you the perfect meal… Start at Spice with an appetizer of polenta chickpea fries, then to Lolita for the macaroni; top that off with a buttered popcorn pot de crème at The Greenhouse Tavern, and a nightcap at Velvet Tango Room, perfection.
I cannot talk about food without mentioning one special spot, The West Side Market. I seriously cannot believe how lucky I was to live within a bike ride of that place. Produce, meat, fish, poultry, even fresh flowers. 100 years old, a true gem of CLE. #theoriginaldelly
Oh and let’s get back to the burning river…that was so 1960s and since then Cleveland has cleaned up its act. Between the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and 23,000 acres of Metroparks, there is a lot of nature to see, and quite a bit to do. One of my personal favorites is the towpath. The Ohio and Erie Canal towpath is perfect for biking and walking, and if you get tired, hop on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad train and relax on your way back to where you started.
There is so much more to say, amazing museums, great ethnic neighborhoods, corner bars that treat you like family, but the one last thing I want to focus on is the people.
Some of the best people I know, I met while living in Cleveland. The friends we made are friends for life. These are people who love and support the city as much if not more that I do. These are the people who continue to push Cleveland forward and make it the amazing city it is. During this magical moment in time, while all eyes are on our city, I am living vicariously though them via their Instgrams, Vines and FB posts. I miss you all and am so proud of our city!