1. The commute. I walk a mere 10-15 minutes down Lakeside Avenue and I’m at work. Thus meaning that I don’t have to deal with the people who can’t seem to figure out how to drive in the snow. I can also maintain a nice, peaceful state of mind before starting the work day, rather than suffering from severe road rage. Plus, the snow looks like a winter wonderland when I walk into work, as opposed to the mentality of, “I hate this crap”, while gouging ice and snow off my car windows.
2. My apartment building. Bridgeview in the Warehouse District has fabulous apartments with exposed brick, pipes and wooden beams, along with tons of natural light. I love how much space we have – two floors, with over 1200 square feet – for the price we pay. In no other city could we afford to live in a place like this, but in Cleveland the low cost of living makes it feasible!
3. My “backyard”. The first thing I see when I walk out the back of my building is the Cuyahoga River and the beautiful bridges that pass over it. Of course we also have the vacant buildings that once comprised The Flats, but they’re working on fixing that! Most of all though, I love when the giant cargo ships pass through and the seagulls scatter into the air.
4. Saturday mornings. During the month of January I adopted a fabulous Saturday morning routine. Wake up, walk over to the House of Blues for a FREE vinyasa yoga class in one of their beautiful theaters, and then grab coffee with friends at Erie Island Coffee on East 4th. Mmmm. Perfection!
5. Not driving every day. I never thought that I disliked driving until I no longer drove to work each day. The beauty of only driving every other or every three days brings a smile to my face and also helps keep the air clean! I must admit that I get great joy watching other people being stuck in horrible rush hour traffic, knowing that I don’t have to deal with it.
6. Downtown restaurants and bars. The fact that we have countless options if we ever want to grab a quick bite or drink is priceless. We have the new digs that opened up in The Flats like Willeyville, Ken Stewarts or Lago, the Warehouse District restaurants and bars and beyond. Walking across the street to grab a drink at Map Room or Tomo and not having to worry about driving is ideal!
7. Summer festivals. Okay, I haven’t actually experienced this yet, but I am trying to keep myself sane by imagining that one day in the not so distant future I may see sun again. But seriously, we have Indians games to look forward to, concerts we can hear from our rooftop at Jacob’s Pavilion and all the other fabulous events that come to Cleveland.
8. Constantino’s. The grocery store conveniently located next to my building deserves a serious shout out. I can’t imagine what I would do without that place as I am constantly forgetting to buy essential ingredients for the meals I’ve been cooking. For the most part, their stuff is really reasonable, and for the more expensive items you are getting better quality. The $4.99 I paid for red pepper seemed high at first, but then I realized it was from the West Side Market so I felt like it was worth it! The new Heinen’s addition will also be key this upcoming fall!
9. I feel like I’m always in the know. Now for those of you who know me personally, you already are aware that I love to know to be in the know. By living downtown, I’m always walking around the city so I can see exactly what is happening day to day. Take the three new hotels that are popping up and being reconstructed right around the Cleveland Convention Center. I was walking by earlier this week as they blew the horn to commence knocking down the old city building over to make room for the new Hilton Hotel.
10. The view of Lake Erie. Okay, I know that our lake has a few issues, ah hem, but it’s still beautiful and we are lucky to have it. In the summer I can see it from our rooftop deck, but I can also walk down the street a few blocks and the lake is right there. Plus I can easily hop on the Shoreway to enjoy some sand volleyball down at Whiskey Island or sun bathe at Edgewater – I swear, it is getting nicer now that the Metroparks took over!