Downtown Living with a Dog is Better in the CLE

Living in the City_Cleveland downtown dogs

City dogs are different than suburban dogs. They know how to ride on elevators, aren’t the least bit phased when a RTA Rapid flies by and they know all about patio drinking (from a water bowl of course). City dogs have the life. They get the entire town as their play area. City dogs even get to go on multiple walks a day simply by default because a yard isn’t an option.

I was warned that taking a dog in and out of the apartment multiple times a day and in all kinds of weather would be less than ideal. I never saw it that way (well maybe on the negative 10 degree days). I went out and got the fresh air I didn’t even realize I needed, and as long as I was dressed appropriately, it was always enjoyable. I also had the perfect excuse to explore downtown. Nena (my boxer pup) and I would walk down by the lake just to catch the sunset or take daily outings to see how The Flats were coming along.

Nena Downtown Cleveland

Having a dog downtown also made people nicer. If you live downtown and have a dog, you know it’s true. People are just generally not that friendly, meaning that most people have their heads down and don’t make eye contact with you when walking down the street. That may be because they’re on their phones (like you are now as you read this) or because they’re actually avoiding you.

Enter an animal and all of a sudden people are smiling, asking if they can pet your dog and cooing at your pet.  I didn’t know a single person in my apartment building until I got a dog. Suddenly I had an excuse to make new friends. I had no idea that dogs were such great ice breakers (and probably great for picking up girls/guys).

Nena Science Center Cleveland

Downtown Cleveland can be surprisingly dog friendly. Despite an overall lack of green space, there is a dog park along the river and poop bag stations are set-up all over the city. Mall C, Public Square, and The Flats are all excellent locations to take in the beautiful views of the city and find grassy areas for your dog to run around. As long as the restaurant has a patio, most places are welcome dogs and will even bring out water bowls for your pup (Beerhead in The Flats has a HUGE dog bowl and were incredibly accommodating).

Nena Downtown Cleveland Sign Tremont

While I had my doubts about living with a dog in the city, I now realize that I never would’ve experienced true downtown living without Nena. We were city people (and dog) and took advantage of the wonderful benefits of living in the center of it all. We always had an excuse to explore and check out what was happening in our neighborhood. I miss being the first to know what was going on. If you have a dog living downtown, I hope your taking advantage of it as much as we did.

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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.

    Kelly_Free

    #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!

 

Giant Animal Art Brightens Up Downtown Cleveland

Outdoor Art.jpg

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 Flats Revival Continues with Addition of Water Taxi

cleunleashed.com

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!

The Best Halloween Displays in the CLE

Busloads of people will flow into the Old Brooklyn neighborhood this Halloween, and for good reason. The number of people who decorate their houses in Old Brooklyn (which is really just an area of Cleveland), is higher than most neighborhoods combined. From the spectacular Heggs House of Horror on Merl Avenue, to the life size Transformers on Wichita Avenue there is reason enough to visit this special neighborhood.

The Heggs House of Horror on Merl Avenue between West 14th Street and Broadview Avenue (the display my dad has been putting on for more than a decade) certainly fuels the Halloween spirit with countless animated characters, special effects and beautiful lighting.

Giant Pirate Ship on Cook Avenue between West 14th Street and Broadview Avenue

Transformers on Wichita Avenue between Pearl and Fulton Road. From 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. nightly, you can catch the Transformers all lit up, with music from the movie playing.

Houses on West 14th Street and West 19th Street, off of Merl Avenue

Fall Favorites: Final Week of October

I’m a self-proclaimed, fall fanatic. I’m your stereotypical pumpkin spice latte, all things pumpkin lover at this time of year. Heck, I even hosted a pumpkin beer tasting party I love it so much.

Fall leaves are rapidly fluttering to the ground all around us as October draws to a close. Why not take advantage of what is left of my favorite season before we’re smack dab in the middle of winter?

I’m been busy exploring all things fall this October.  Looking for some inspiration or want to know where the most beautiful colors are? Check out my recommendations below and share where I should hit up this week before all the trees are bare!

Ramseyer Farms: Every year I make a point to check out a local corn maze. While Mapleside Farms in Brunswick is the closer option, we ventured out to Wooster for a maze that I hoped would be worth the drive. For a very reasonable $10 you can try out a maze in the shape of Ohio (with the real highways labeled within) and the mystery maze to figure out what happened to the missing farmer. Not only do you have the mazes, but a variety of other activities and warm apple cider to warm you up after you’ve conquered the mazes. And yes, it was well worth the 50 minute drive.

20151025_174008_Goats 20151025_181548_Farm Sky

Holden Arboretum: While I was a little turned off by the $10 admission to this beautiful park, you can’t argue with the fact that the grounds are immaculate. For an additional $4 you can also enjoy the newly added canopy walk and Emergent Tower. Don’t wait too long though, as they close for the season on November 1. The canopy walk is pretty small, but the tower gives you 360 views of the Cleveland area. Hello beautiful fall colors from above!

20151024_141238_Nena on bridge 20151024_150235_Canopy

Cleveland Metroparks: Truly any of the Metroparks are going to give you that bit of fall color you’re looking for, but of the few that I’ve visited West Creek, Rocky River and Brecksville Reservation are some of the best.

20151023_180719_West Creek IMG_0804_RR Reflection

Pumpkin Carving: Why not mix a classic holiday tradition with pumpkin ale, served up at Bar Cento on Thursday, October 29? Starting at 5 p.m. purchase any pumpkin beer and get a free pumpkin to carve! Pumpkins will be displayed throughout the weekend at Bar Cento, with patrons voting on their favorites. If yours wins, you’ll receive a dinner for two!