***A bit of blogkeeping: While I’m soaking up the sun on vacation, I’ve asked some great Cleveland blogger pals to guest post for me. Today we have Katie from Call Me Trouble. Katie is one of the sunniest people you’ll ever meet and I so often find myself impressed by her maturity and great handle on what’s important in life. Enjoy her guest post and check out her blog for even more great stuff!***
When I travel to another city I visit the highlights. I eat at the best pizza place, take pictures of the coolest monument, walk through a unique museum, and frequent the most talked about bars. It’s no wonder when I travel other cities might seem more appealing than my very own Cleveland. I grew up near Cleveland and like so many things in life; I missed the pot of gold that was right under my nose.
Throughout college I daydreamed of where I would move and begin my life. Would I be sipping martinis in Manhattan? Two-stepping in Houston? Skiing in Denver? Clubbing in LA? Freezing in Boston? Teaching in China? The possibilities were endless in my mind…except one, being back in Cleveland, doing anything. Life, of course, has its own way about it at times, and post-graduation I slinked back to Northeast Ohio.
If I knew then, what I know now, I wouldn’t have been able to contain myself to be back in a city so full of life and opportunities. Promise I’m not working for the Cleveland tourism board. Every city is great for a weekend but for a city to be livable, it takes more than a crazy landmark. I’m a big believer in making the most of any situation and when I moved back to Cleveland I decided to try and make the best of it.
My first summer back was a hesitant one. The job I had came with tough hours, I was only getting a hint of Cleveland as a 21-year-old, but I was digging it. I went to a couple salsa nights, an Indians game or two, a few nights on West 6th with some people who saw it as the epitome of an awesome bar scene, and a concert at Blossom. I was happy in Cleveland, but I wasn’t thrilled yet. West 6th was grossly underwhelming now that I was out of school/micro-dresses. The Indians games were great though and Blossom will always be a favorite venue of mine; I wish it were closer to the city!
In the fall, everything came together. I went to Lakewood for the first time. I met new friends. I was tailgating with my family for Browns games. I got a new job with normal business hours. I went to Ohio City and Tremont. I moved to Lakewood. This is when my love affair with Cleveland began. I was blogging and meeting crazy-awesome people (like Jen at Why CLE!) through the social media scene.
People, not once, not twice, but multiple times now, have made references to my affinity for Cleveland. “Well, you obviously love Cleveland.” “You’re really happy in Cleveland.” It’s always a shocking yet pleasant surprise to hear this accusation, I couldn’t have predicted it, but I love it none the less. When asked why I adore Cleveland so much, my answer is Cleveland is a very accessible city. I wish I had a sexier answer, but I’m not surprised that my affection for Cleveland grows from a very practical place.
Cleveland is accessible because sports, food, parking, museums, events, are affordable. There’s not a lot of traffic. Local celebrities are reachable. When you meet someone somewhere, there’s a good chance you’ll see their familiar face again soon. No place is perfect, but it’s what you make of it. If I moved back to Cleveland and decided to not really go out, only hang out with the people I knew previously and only went to the places they went, I would have been miserable. I really believe Cleveland has something for everyone, you just have to know what you like and go after it. If there isn’t, it’s entirely feasible to start it in Cleveland- just another reason I love this place!
Let me guess: …I’m preaching to the choir here? I hope so. I just couldn’t help but express how happy in Cleveland I am. Whenever I see this quote by Douglas Adams a big smile spreads across my face because I am reminded of my Cleveland.
“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” – Douglas Adams
Was Cleveland in your plans? How has Cleveland surprised you?