The RNC in the CLE: A Local Point of View

Cleveland

Cleveland is definitely showing off its red, white and blue with the first few days of the Republican National Convention already wrapped up. I’ve never seen our city look as patriotic. As a resident of the Warehouse District, I toyed with whether or not I even wanted to stay in Cleveland or if I was going to rent out our place and head for the ‘burbs. In the end, I decided to stick it out and work from home during the RNC.

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As always, I couldn’t help but be curious about what was going on in the city. So with Nena in tow, we set off to see what was going on in our neighborhood. The biggest difference you see (and feel) is the amount of police stationed around the city. While part of me feels comforted, it’s also a little disconcerting to see that many police officers in one place. In the wake of the horrible acts of violence in our country right now, I pray for their safety and of the safety of everyone in the city.

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Aside from increased security, the sheer number of people with cameras filming and photographing the events and activities around town is overwhelming. It seems like every other person I walked by was carrying a camera. On my run today there were detours galore, but I was interested to see that they were already moving those hideous black fences from around where events have already taken place.

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Wannabe entrepreneurs fill the sidewalks selling Trump t-shirts and other presidential paraphernalia. Head to the Flats East Bank and you’ll find patriotic floats from the Duck Tape Festival including Mt. Rushmore and the Liberty Bell. In front of the Marriott you’ll have a photo opportunity with a large elephant painted in red, white and blue. And in Public Square you’ll be treated to a handful of civilians walking around with assault rifles. Yes, you heard me correctly. For the first time since I moved downtown three years ago, I felt uneasy just from the sight of them.

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Aside from machine guns being spotted around downtown, the Republican National Convention seems to be running as smoothly as you could hope. While several of the restaurants downtown have been transformed into The Washington Post (Butcher and the Brewer), Twitter (Greenhouse Tavern) and The Atlantic (Blue Point Grill), I’ve been shocked by how many restaurants seem to be lacking customers.

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I wonder if this has anything to do with the lack of delegates who actually showed up coupled with the fact that people were hearing horror stories about how bad downtown was going to be. I think that everyone decided to stay away from downtown, when in reality now is one of the better times to be down here.  It’s just a bit of a maze once you get here due to the road closures.

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While everything seems to be going as well as it could, I think that we’ll all let out a collective breath when this week is over. What is your experience with the RNC so far?! Share your thoughts below.

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Top 20 Pictures You Need to Take When Visiting Cleveland

Cleveland is THE place to be this summer. With the momentum still going from the CAVS clinching the NBA Championship and the arrival of the Republic National Convention next week, Cleveland is unstoppable. To help welcome all of our new visitors into the city, I’ve compiled a list of must see places around Cleveland that will give them the most #Instagram worthy shots. So go ahead and give indulge your inner tourist, as there is a reason these are some of the most photographed spots around town.

  1. Greetings from Cleveland Mural located in Ohio City off West 25th Street. A photograph with this colorful mural is a must and it’s only a 5 minute walk from the West Side Market.

    Kelly Greetings

    #greetingsfromcleveland #ohiocity

  2. West Side Market aerial view from the second floor balcony. Find the stairs at the front of the building and take in the market from a totally different perspective. Plus you can scope out where you want to shop without the massive crowds.

    West Side Market

    #westsidemarket

  3. Superior Viaduct Bridge. Walk out onto this old bridge for some of the most beautiful views of Cleveland and the Cuyahoga River. Plus it happens to be the spot where my hubby proposed, so bonus points!

    Superior Viaduct

    #superiorviaductbridge #thisiscle #clevelandcityskyline

  4. GE Chandelier in Playhouse Square. As the largest outdoor chandelier, it’s a site that at least deserves a photo stop. Tip: It’s best viewed at night when it is all lit up.

    Chandelier

    #gechandelier #playhousesquare

  5. Edgewater Park at Sunset. Located just five minutes from downtown Cleveland, Edgewater Park gives you peace and tranquility and beautiful views of the lake. Plus our sunsets are stellar.

    Edgewater Sunset

    #edgewaterpark #sunset

  6. Cleveland Signs strategically placed around Cleveland. These signs are quickly becoming the go-to pictures for locals and visitors alike. These signs can be found at Voinovich Park, Edgewater Park (upper) and Tremont.

    Cleveland Sign Downtown

    #thisiscle #voinovichpark #clevelandskyline #northcoastharbor

  7. East 4th Street. While also of the most happening streets in downtown Cleveland for restaurants and bars, this street is too pretty not to be photographed. Even Nena thinks so!

    East 4th Street

    #east4thstreet

  8. Heinen’s Grocery Store. You’ll rarely have the opportunity to experience such a beautiful space that is also home to a grocery store. Aside from the stunning stained glass and architecture, you can do beer and wine tastings on the second floor.

    Heinens Ceiling

    #heinens #rotunda

  9. Fountain of Eternal Life. Easily one of my favorite stops in downtown Cleveland, you should definitely check out the beautiful detail of this memorial.

    Green Memorial Fountain

    #fountainofeternallife

  10. The Old Arcade. Home to one of the first shopping malls in America, this arcade is absolutely stunning and home to the Hyatt Hotel.

    Old Arcade

    #oldarcadecleveland #hyatt

  11. The Guardians. Known officially as the Guardians of Transportation, these giant statues adorn both sides of the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge. You can either walk from Downtown to Ohio City over the bridge or catch a glimpse from the Towpath Trail down below.

    Guardian from the Towpath

    #guardiansoftransportation

  12. LeBron James Mural. While it was cool before, now that the CAVS won the NBA Championships this is a must take picture. And for all your RNC visitors, it is right outside the Q.

    LeBron James Mural

    #lebronjames #clevelandcavaliers #nbachampions

  13. Giant Freighters on the Cuyahoga River. Head on down to the river and see for yourself that it is looking better then ever and definitely not on fire. From the Flats East Bank (or West) you’ll have a prime viewing spot for these giant ships, while also the luxury of eating or drinking while you wait.

    Sam Laud Freighter on the Cuyahoga

    #freighter #cuyahogariver

  14. Terminal Tower. One of the most iconic buildings in downtown Cleveland being kissed by a giant bird. What could be better than that? But seriously, capture a shot of the Terminal Tower and the colorful art that is scattered throughout the city.

    Terminal Tower

    #terminaltower #landsstudio

  15. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and City Skyline from Voinovich Park. While Cleveland has many beautiful skyline views, the picture from Voinovich Park is one of the best. Turn 90 degrees and you’ll also have great views of Lake Erie.

    Downtown from Voinovich

    #rockandrollhalloffame #clevelandskyline #northcoastharbor

  16. Free Stamp. As strange as this giant stamp may be, it definitely deserves a picture or two.

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    #freestamp #willardpark

  17. Tremont Skyline View. This view of the city from Abbey Road gives you a more industrial perspective of the city, which is a huge part of our history.

    Tremont Skyline View

    #thisiscle #clevelandskyline

  18. A Christmas Story House. A trip to Cleveland probably wouldn’t be complete without a tour of the Christmas Story House. Plus, props are set-up all around the house to pose for silly pictures.

    Christmas Story House

    #achristmasstoryhouse #leglamp

  19. Murals in Waterloo. The largest concentration of street art has to be located in the Waterloo area of Cleveland. Located about ten minutes from downtown, you’ll be shocked at the amount of murals in such a small area. While you’re there, grab a pizza at Citizen Pie!

    Waterloo Mural

    #waterloo

  20. Atrium at the Cleveland Museum of Art. This shot was taken on the second floor of the atrium, but don’t forget about the beautiful views OUTSIDE the museum as well.

    Atrium Upper

    #clevelandmuseumofart

What’s your favorite #Instagram worthy shot in Cleveland? Share below!

 

New Cleveland Brunch Raises the Bar in Glenville Neighborhood

 

Gather in Glenville | An upscale brunch in the historic Glenville neighborhood

It is a great time to be living in the city of Cleveland. Aside from the history-making, curse-breaking NBA championship win by the CAVS, the city is experiencing a rebirth unlike anything I have ever seen. Historic neighborhoods like Tremont and Ohio City continue to rebound at an accelerated pace and new homes are popping up on every corner. Other neighborhoods like Slavic Village and Glenville are starting to follow suit.

To help celebrate and advance the redefining of these neighborhoods comes a completely new event to Cleveland, Gather in Glenville. From the creators and planners of the wildly successful Night Market Cleveland (read more about that event here), comes a new take on brunch. Imagine a mix of breakfast at your favorite restaurant + farmers’ market + concert + makers’ market all rolled into one. Yes, this event actually exists and will be debuting in Cleveland for the first time on July 10th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at E. 105th and Superior.

Discover a neighborhood in Cleveland that you’ve probably never spent more than a few minutes in, while also devouring a delicious brunch served by local chefs. This upscale brunching experience will showcase the best of Glenville, a neighborhood with deep roots in Cleveland, while also keeping you entertained from the moment you arrive. Whether you purchase a ticket for a sit-down brunch or wait to take advantage of the food trucks on site, you’ll have plenty of dining options. You might even find yourself dancing in your seat as you enjoy local gospel and soul music.

Events like Gather in Glenville help us be part of the revitalization and evolution of our city. It’s a fun and safe way to spend time in an area of the city that you might not think of visiting on your own, while also supporting the neighborhood in a delicious and entertaining way. Mark your calendars now because this is not an event you want to miss!

Can’t make the July 10th date? You’ll have two more opportunities on August 14th and September 11th to check out this event!

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Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Championship Parade

On a normal day, I would be disgusted by the amount of trash littering the streets of downtown Cleveland. But today is not a normal day. Today is the day after one of the greatest celebrations that our city may ever see with over a million fans celebrating the Cleveland Cavaliers and their amazing accomplishment of winning the NBA Championships.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I finally feel a sense of closure after the amazing win on Sunday. From tears streaming down my face to feelings of euphoria, it still did not feel real to me. That is until the parade and rally yesterday, which acknowledged and celebrated the fact that we really did win Game 7 of The Finals. I can finally breathe a sigh of relief and let the feeling of pride for our city take over. Go CAVS!

Giant Animal Art Brightens Up Downtown Cleveland

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Okay, I must admit that I scoffed at the idea of giant animal art coming to downtown Cleveland. When I first read the article a few months ago on Cleveland.com I was less than impressed with what I considered to be a “tacky” display of giant animals in bright colors.

Today I completely changed my mind. I never realized how monotone downtown looked with all the concrete, brick and stone. Yes, we have greenery from the trees and flowers, but you’ll be amazed how a 10-foot high fuchsia snail will change your perspective on what a splash of color can do for the city.

So where can you find these larger than life animals that have invaded our city? By the time the exhibit is complete, there will be hundreds of vibrant larger-than-life animals at the Great Lakes Science Center, Public Square, Cleveland Public Library and Convention Center. Land Studios is responsible for the Italian art collective exhibit, with a grant of $1.5 million to spruce up the city for the RNC. Made of recyclable plastic, these animals will stay in the city for a couple of years following the event.

 

Cleveland Rooftop Yoga Classes

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What goes better with summer than rooftop yoga? Here in Cleveland we take advantage of the few fleeting month of warmth with several rooftop yoga options all summer. Enjoy beautiful city views while perfecting your Warrior One and Shoulder Stand. Many of the locations listed below require reservations, so start planning today!

Summer Rooftop Yoga at The Shoreway

Inner Bliss is quite active this summer, as they have partnered with The Shoreway Lofts to offer a weekly Saturday morning yoga class on the rooftop of The Shoreway property, located on West 76th. From June 4 through September 3, you can register for an hour long class starting at 9 a.m. Beautiful views of Edgewater Park, Lake Erie and downtown Cleveland give you another unique urban yoga experience. Registration opens the Monday prior to the class each week and fills up quickly! Class cost is $14.

Touch the Sky Rooftop Yoga at Tremont Athletic Club

Starting June 5 to September 4 you can take advantage of the views at the renovated Fairmount Creamery, where the Tremont Athletic Club (TAC) calls home. The views of downtown Cleveland are unparalleled and will inspire you to really push yourself toward inner bliss. Speaking of Inner Bliss, that is who is also partnering with TAC to provide you this unique rooftop yoga experience each Sunday at 10 a.m. Registration opens the Monday prior to the class each week and costs $14.

viBE at Azure

If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out the rooftop at Azure, you’re really missing out. You have beautiful views of downtown Cleveland about 12 stories up, and a fun, summery atmosphere (read my review of Azure here). Aside from the fabulous cocktails, you can now do rooftop yoga at Azure on most Saturdays and Sundays through viBE at the 9. Registration is required and costs $16 for a drop-in class.

Yoga {Flow} Into Summer with Harness Cycle

Each Saturday you can Harness the Summer on the Hingetown deck for $20 or pair your yoga class with a ride in the Harness Cycle studio for $35. Classes open at noon each Monday, so register for this unique yoga experience weekly.

Music Box Supper Club Rooftop Yoga

While Music Box doesn’t offer weekly rooftop yoga classes, you can find the sporadic special event planned on their rooftop. Who wouldn’t love to practice yoga on the West Bank of the Cuyahoga River, with views of the city and giant freighters passing by? The next one is Saturday, June 18th where you can join Music Box for Yoga & Rosé for $15 on the rooftop. Check back on their website for updates on additional events.

Did I miss a rooftop yoga spot in Cleveland? Comment below and let me know where else you love to practice!

 

Cleveland Flats Revival Continues with Addition of Water Taxi

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The addition of the new water taxi in The Flats is just another reminder of how far that area has come in a few short years. While nothing like the Holy Moses, the previous version of the water taxi that was more like a booze cruise, the eLCee2 aims to improve connectivity between the East and West bank of The Flats.

For just $2 for the whole day, you can take the taxi back and forth as many times as you’d like. While it would’ve taken me less time just to walk around the river, I wanted to try it out for myself. Apparently everyone else had that same idea for the holiday weekend, so I had to wait for about three taxis to come across before it was my turn. This past weekend we took the taxi again and the wait was only about 15 minutes.

Once on the water taxi, it takes about 30 whole seconds to make it across the Cuyahoga. That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it definitely takes less than five minutes from bank to bank. The views are beautiful, as expected, and you’re dropped off right outside of the Music Box if you’re coming from the East Bank. If you’re heading West to East, you’ll dock right next to Coastal Taco.

Bikes and dogs are permitted on the boat. Our pup couldn’t make the walk back around the river due to heat exhaustion, so we treated her to a taxi ride back across and I must say she enjoyed herself probably more than we did.

Overall, I think that the $2 all day ticket price is more than fair and it’s a pleasant experience. I’d recommend taking it at least once to see how you like it for yourself. The only downsides that I can see are if there is a large crowd, you’re wasting quite a bit of time waiting for the next boat. And the hours. While I understand that we don’t want a booze cruise atmosphere, the lack of evening hours past 9 p.m. on weekends really hurts those wanting to grab a show at the Music Box and head back over or even the possibility of a late dinner on the Flats East Bank. I guess there is always Uber, but then that kind of defeats the purpose.

Have you tried the water taxi yet? Comment on your experience below!

Memorial Day Weekend Events in Cleveland

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Okay, it’s Friday and you’ve basically already started the weekend. So, what do you do? Don’t even try to tell me that there is nothing going on, as Memorial Day weekend is one of the most jam packed weekends of the year. I don’t know about you, but with all this gorgeous weather lined up I can’t help but think that I should head to Edgewater Lakefront Reservation to start getting my tan on.

After I burn, because let’s face it, after six months of zero sunlight my skin is going to be a bit confused, I still have the rest of the weekend open. There are so many different festivals and events going on this weekend, I’m not sure how I’m going to be able to choose. Here are some of the happenings around town.

CAVS Watch Party at The Q | May 27

I think the entire city is nervous with anticipation over the outcome of game 6. If you haven’t been before, the watch parties during the playoffs are almost as good as being at the game itself. They show the game on the jumbo tron, have live entertainment, games, and food and drinks. How many times do you just look at the jumbo tron when you’re at the game anyway? Tickets are free, but you do need to reserve them in advance here! Tip-off is at 8:30 p.m.

MOCA Opening Night Party & Concert | May 27

Who doesn’t love a free party and concert? Head to the uber-trendy Uptown neighborhood and celebrate with the Modern Museum of Contemporary Art as the Myopia and Abberations exhibits open. Mark Mothersbaugh of Myopia will be there in person and performing as well!

Tidal Cool Runway Show | May 27

If you’re looking to add a little bit of fashion to your weekend, you should check out Tidal Cool’s Spring/Summer Fashion Show at Lake Affect Studios. Tickets are less than $20 and proceeds benefit Nature’s Bin. The Tidal Cool spring/summer collection is called Cuba Libre, which brings the rhythm of the Caribbean to the heart of Cleveland. Event starts at 7 p.m.

Taste of Summer at Flats East Bank | May 27 – 29

What better way to kick-off the summer than to check out this new event, taking over the Flats East Bank all weekend long?  Not only can you take advantage of the local eats (Coastal Taco opens on Friday!) but there will be two stages with live music, craft cocktails, corn hole and other fun activities for all ages. Plus, you can check out the new water taxi if you want to go back and forth across the river.

Tremont Greek Festival | May 27-30

Get your Greek on at the annual Greek Festival located in Tremont. Pretend that you’ve been transported to the Greek Isles as you enjoy Greek food, drinks and entertainment all weekend long.