Even the next block over can be an adventure - Troublesome Creek that winds through Hindman, Kentucky is where my adventure began

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Yon: Cleveland's a miserable city? Hardly

This past week Forbes list of miserable cities came out. Cleveland is # 1. Seriously? Harumph!

Did the writer of this article ever go to Cleveland? Yeah, yeah, so what if Cleveland has been referred to as "Mistake on the Lake" in its past. But there is so much more in Cleveland than the Browns' abysmal showing in the football arena and the Indians lackluster attempts at baseball.

Cleveland fills out the quality of majestic grandness---if you ignore the fact that on the weekend much of downtown looks abandoned. Euclid Ave. is so sad to walk down then. There are such gorgeous building facades but no one around to enjoy them.

I know this because a few years ago, I thought it would be a swell idea to do a six-mile walking tour taking in downtown Cleveland with my husband and two kids. One of them still in a stroller. We started and ended at Tower City. Why the walk? Cleveland had been named as one the top 10 cities for walking and I wanted to find out why. Turns out, the distinction has to do with the number of walking paths through the metropark nicknamed the "Emerald Necklace"--or something like that. Downtown has nothing to do with it.

Still, Cleveland is an eye candy feast if you like architecture. Consider all that Cleveland has to offer and you'll find plenty of reasons not to be misearble if you go there.

Here are 10 of them.

1.  Terrific food--whether you're aim is elegant eats  or ethnic fare there is plenty to satisfy. Cleveland is an artist's palate in the culinary arts. Michael Symon's restaurant Lolita in the Tremont District and Sokolowski's Univerersity Inn, also in Tremont, are two suggestions on the spectrum from elegant to ethnic. Sokolowski's, opened in 1923 has authentic Polish fare. This is a perfect place for families who are hungry. Very hungry. I had pizza and more at Lolita.

2. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame--Head here with at least a half a day to spend. I've been here several times and never grow bored. The building is magnificient. Taking in the music at the listening station is a treat. It's odd to see how some of ones life has already made it into a museum as having historic significance.

3. Great Lakes Science Center--Quite well done and splashy in its offerings. Stellar exhibits come here from time to time. It's next door to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

4. A trip on the Goodtime III, the tour boat that heads up the Cuyahoga River. This is an excellent way to hear about Cleveland's history while learning about the various bridges made to move in order to let ships pass through.

5. Cleveland Museum of Art--I can't say enough just how wonderful this museum is. Recently rennovated, the museum showcases some of the very best of our world's art. Plus, the main museum is free. There is admission to special exhibits.

6. Like the art museum, Cleveland Botanical Gardens is located at University Circle, the part of Cleveland that was once home to Cleveland's weathy folk.The botanical garden has a  green house that is a perfect respite from any weather that might be happening outside.

7. Westside Market--Yum, yum and yum. This historic market is a jewel of a building as well as housing a visual and taste bud delight. We've spent hours here tasting various foods that had their beginnings in other parts  the world.

8. Lake Erie--Come on. How can you not be in awe of this magnificient body of water? I've never taken a boat ride out on the lake, but it is on my things to do list. For those of you who like to scuba dive, you can scuba dive in the lake as well.

9. Terminal Tower at Tower City--This used to be the 2nd tallest building in the world before Sears Tower surpassed its height. The atrium is a gorgeous tribute to Art Deco.

10. Murray Hill, also referred to as Little Italy--For anyone interested in galleries and interesting shops, Murray Hill is a concentration of fun and unusual places to browse and buy.

Photo 1: laszlo-photo
Photo 2: edseloh
Photo 3: Yvonne in Willowick, Ohio
Photo 4: dougtone

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