Monday, June 30, 2008

Rain. Florida. Bears?

I know I have been posting a bunch, but there are so many reasons I heart cleveland, I just can’t pick one thing a day anymore...

So as of late, I feel like I am living in Florida. Sunny in the morning, a brief cooling downpour in the afternoon and then a late evening clear up. The trees and plants are thriving and everyone's lawns look ultra lush. Isn’t it great?

I didn’t make it down to the Metroparks this weekend (due to parties, weddings, and lots of work)...but I imagine if I did I might have found an image like this...the two little bears playing together, sharing their finds, taking time to sniff the roses. Do we have bears in Northeast Ohio? I just love this picture and couldn’t resist sharing! It makes me smile.

Have a great week Cleveland!

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Celebrate Sweets! (6/30)

Today is June 30th, and that means it's the last day of National Candy Month.
Celebrate the ending of this sweet month with a fresh bag of twizzlers, some Sprees (if you can find them!), a bag of swedish fish...or if you want to shop local a trip to Malley's Chocolate for some red fruit slices and an espresso truffle...sounds scrumptious...good thing I plan to hit the gym tonight! :)

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Speed & Strength for Girls (7/14-17)

Girls, want to get quicker and stronger? Join the team at the Lakewood YMCA for the first ever Strength, Power & Agility Workshop. Under the supervision of two trained and certified fitness professionals, girls will learn proper techniques for developing and improving speed, agility, and power through specific training. Specific exercises include, but not limited to jump
training, plyometrics, ladder work, core stabilization, balance training, and sled pulling.

Grades 4-9. This workshop will be kept to 15 girls. Register at the front desk or call (216) 521-2992 July 14-17 from 4:15-5:45 pm Cost: $80

I wish I was in ninth grade again so I could take advantage of what sounds to be a great week of workouts. Instead I will just have to head to the gym tonight, hit the stationary bike, lift a few weights and grab a few laps in the pool. Hope to see you there! :)

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Fun "FREE" Photo-Opp

If you caught the post last week (A Day on the RTA) you may have noticed the "upcoming post" here we go!

At one point or another you may have driven by the large red Cleveland sculpture, but have you ever tried to climb it? Impossible, unless maybe you are super tall!

The Free stamp is one of the most controversial works of art displayed in the City of Cleveland designed by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. Located in Willard Park to the East of City Hall, this massive aluminum and planted steel sculpture is difficult to miss with its large red handle sprawling across the lawn and metal base sinking into the ground displaying the word “FREE” in backwards letters to passersby on Lakeside Avenue. Some people see the Free Stamp as an inspiring work of Pop Art that represents our liberty as American citizens and reflects our City’s industrial progress. Others view it as an eyesore that is inappropriate for a location at the heart of the City’s Civic Center. This debate has been going on since the piece was first commissioned in 1982 and still echoes throughout the City today.

Oldenburg and van Bruggen designed the Free Stamp at the request of Standard Oil and admit that it was one of the most difficult works of art they have ever created. The controversy began soon after Standard Oil was awarded permission to tear down the old Standard Oil of Ohio (SOHIO) building located on Public Square. As construction of the new building began, SOHIO decided that it wanted a fresh work of art to display outside its doors, directly across from one of the City’s historical landmarks, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. After seeing the “pad” of land with which they had to work, Oldenburg and van Bruggen, who are famous for making large replicas of common objects such as spoons, ice cream cones, and bowling pins, proposed the idea of creating an enormous stamp.

The original design for the sculpture was an upright, self-inking stamp, with a red handle which looked like a giant exclamation point. The first design allowed access so that people could actually walk around inside the stamp, but management at SOHIO soon agreed that such a structure would require a lot of maintenance. The design was then restructured to look like a hand stamp on an ink pad. The question was then raised as to what word would be placed on the stamp. The artists wanted a word that would serve as a statement, like a one-word poem, but could also be found on a real office stamp. The physical dimension of the work was also a consideration as the diameters of the Free Stamp left room for only 4 letters. Van Bruggen suggested the word “Free” to represent liberty and independence and to make a positive statement in the heart of the City.

Just as construction on a revised design began, SOHIO underwent a change in management. The new managers did not like the idea of placing a massive piece of pop art on Public Square, especially a 50-foot stamp. Several opponents of the Free Stamp feared that the message conveyed by the work would invite jokes about the condition of Downtown Cleveland, which during the 1980s was in need of revitalization. SOHIO gave Oldenburg and van Bruggen the opportunity to relocate the stamp, but the artists did not want to move it. The location at Public Square added to the artistic expression of the work in a way other locations could not.

Production of the Stamp was halted for several years and pieces of it were placed in storage in Indiana. As BP America assumed management of SOHIO, executives wondered why the company was paying so much to house a huge stamp. Interest was renewed in the work of art and Mayor George Voinovich invited Oldenburg and van Bruggen to Cleveland in hopes of selecting another site to display their work. Although the Cleveland Museum of Art was considered, the artists wanted their work to be seen in the heart of Downtown and set their sights on Willard Park for its proximity to Public Square and because of its location to Cleveland’s government offices.

Placing the Free Stamp in Willard Park immediately drew opposition from Council President, George Forbes, who did not support the idea of the City of Cleveland accepting a rejected work of art and displaying it right outside of City Hall. Once again, the artists had chosen their location as part of their artistic statement and were unwilling to compromise their artistic integrity. This time, they threatened to destroy the work entirely if the City did not want to display it.

Before the artists could act on their threat, Election Day 1989 had passed and newly elected Mayor, Michael R. White, and Council President, Jay Westbrook, expressed their interest in this unique work. BP America finally decided that it would donate the Free Stamp as a gift to the City and offered to maintain it in its new location. City Council accepted this generous gift and the Free Stamp was brought out of storage and redesigned to accommodate its new space.

The lawn at Willard Park inspired Oldenburg and van Bruggen to alter the position of the Free Stamp so that it would lie on its side, as if it had toppled over on someone’s desk. Van Bruggen felt that the new design reflected the Free Stamp’s history as it was “flung” from Public Square only to “land” in Willard Park. Production on the Free Stamp resumed and it was brought to Cleveland in pieces to be assembled in its current spot.

The Free Stamp was officially inaugurated on November 15, 1991.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Larchmere Festival (6/28)

Saturday, June 28th 2008

This Saturday if you can dodge the predicted rain and thunderstorms make your way over to Larchmere Blvd in Shaker Heights for an old-time street festival. This fest comes complete with an antique & flea sale, unique food from area vendors, local music and the famed Euclid Beach Rocket Car PLUS special sales by the Larchmere merchants.

From junk to jewels and kitsch to collectible! A distinguished sale of sundry and varietal goods ranging from the old, ordinary and useful to the sublime, cool and collectible. Don't miss out..perhaps I could get more buttons to add to my collection...or teapots...or white pottery...I bet they will have great stuff!

Larchmere Boulevard will not be closed to traffic, so you'll be able to park on the boulevard itself, as well as various parking lots and sidestreets. In particular, three local parking lots will be available: the lot at LifeSkills on Larchmere and E. 121st St, the lot at Our Lady of Peace Church on Shaker Blvd at E. 126th St., and the parking lot at Fairhill Center at Fairhill and E. 119th St. All are in walking distance to the festivities on Larchmere, and the Euclid Beach Rocket Car can help with transportation between 1:00-4:00pm.

For a detailed Map, directions, and download the official event PDF at

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Get Fresh!

Every Monday!

Are you looking for the perfect red ripe tomatoes on your way home from work? Not wanting to stop at the same old crowded-on-a-monday-night (because you couldn't squeeze it in on Sunday?) grocery store?

Swing by the Downtown Farmer's Market in front of Constantino's Market (, 1278 West 9th Street every Monday from 4;30-7:30 for the regions freshest food! Support the local growers and you may even learn a thing or two about Scallions with hair, (super cute!) lettuce varieties or growing tips and tricks!

For more information email

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Beer Guy (6/28)

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

Do you know, the beer-delivery man in the Miller High Life commercials? You know, the guy who plays the "Beer Everyman" as part of Miller's campaign to market the once-blue-collar-brewski into a retro-cool elixir. The one who barges into a cafe and proclaims, "$11.50 for a hamburger - ya'll must be crazy!" Or struts into an upscale grocery and barks, "Eight-dollar candy bar - it's prices like these that's keeping folks from living the high life." Or scoffs at some trendy club charging a $20 cover charge - "There's no cover charge for the High Life."

If you think you see the High Life Guy from those Miller ads on television around town Saturday, you're right. Windell Middlebrooks, will be here sharin’ the love around Cleveland, so don't miss him!

The pitchman, who got his start doing skits on Comedy Central and "The Bernie Mac Show," will roam around bars in the Gateway District from 4 to 7 p.m. Then he'll be serving beer at Progressive Field from 7 to 10 p.m., while the Indians take on the Cincinnati Reds. Then, from 10 to midnight, he'll be barhopping on West Sixth Street in the Warehouse District.

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A Dinner Date

Fridays through August

"Date Night In the District" is the special promotion that's running in Cleveland's historic Warehouse District every Friday night through August. Restaurants - including Blue Point Grille, Brasa Grill, Cleveland Chophouse & Brewery, Crop Bistro & Bar (fresh & yummy!), D'Vine Wine Bar, Johnny's Downtown (fun & fancy!), John Q's Steakhouse, Mallorca, Nauti Mermaid (when you are feeling like a sailor), Sushi Rock, Waterstreet Grill and XO Prime Steaks -are each offering prix-fixe dinner-for-two promos.

Participating restaurants will offer at least one three-course prix-fixe menu throughout the promotion. Prices will range between $39 and $99 per couple. Number of courses and other details may differ, and prices typically will not include tax and tip. Find most of the menus and complete details on

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Our Day on the RTA

I don’t know what sparked the idea, but a few months back myself and my good friend had a spark of inspiration that it may be fun to spend the day taking in the sites of Cleveland by way of our Public Transportation System, the RTA. A whole day with no car, a day to see the city out the windows of the bus, a day to stand and wait for our turn to hop aboard the wheels that keep the Greater Cleveland public moving along.

A few days in advance, our plans were made, our PDF maps printed, our canvas tote bags, umbrellas, sunglasses and rolls of quarters all laid out and ready for the adventure that lie ahead. We were like little kids the night before Christmas, giddy with excitement.

At 10:05 sharp we left our cars in an empty Rapid parking lot. As we rode the escalator up to the train we could hear the brakes of an oncoming train, and noticing fellow riders running to meet the arrival, we followed suit and booked down the stairs to the platform below. (note* even comfy wedge heels don’t make for good running shoes!) As we slipped into the seats of the red line heading east, the fellow passengers were a mix of young and old, people were sleeping, jamming to their headphones and catching up on the morning paper. Looking at the city from the windows of the train you see the Cleveland in ways you may never have in your own car. The colorful graffiti that lines the concrete walls, the crumbling vintage advertising painted on the side of an old building, the neighborhoods that back up to the’s all a visual delight.

As our first stop, W 25th/Ohio City approached our stomachs were growling for food. So off to the Westside Market Café we went. (upcoming post) After an amazing breakfast we decided to hang out and explore the area on foot. After a thorough visit to the market (upcoming post), a walk through St Ignatius Campus, A trip to Unique Thrift, the German grocery Store-Hansa Import Store (upcoming post) and the West 25th Bookstore we decided to grab a bus to our second destination...downtown.

Bus 22 took us to the center of our fair city, Public Square. We did run into a few “characters” on this ride, giving us unsolicited advice about “two girls riding the bus,” yadda yadda, you can only imagine...needless to say we arrived safely. Downtown was quiet, the sun was out and it seemed you could hear a pin drop. As we climbed the stairs of the Sailors and Soldiers Monument (upcoming post) we were curious to see what was actually inside this amazing architectural structure. Once through the monument we decided to walk over the the Public Library Reading Garden (upcoming post) relax for a bit, and have a snack that we bought earlier at the Market. After resting our feet we continued to walk over to Mall B and take in the latest public art installation (upcoming post) then made our way over to the infamous FREE Stamp (upcoming post). After a moment for some funny photos, we proceeded to walk over to the waterfront for a visit to the USS COD (upcoming post). I can honestly say that besides taking the trains and buses around the city this submarine had to be the most fascinating part of my day.

It was now around 3:30 and time to head east, so we made our way back up East 9th and looked for the closest bus stop to grab our next ride, Bus 6. After waiting just a few minutes, time enough to look around, take in the construction site and historical architecture lining Euclid Avenue, our bus had arrived. Did you know it only costs $4 for an all day pass? What a bargain! We slowly made our way up Euclid, enjoying the new bus-only lane. The crowd was a bit more “alive” than previous rides. The older women with stories to share, the children giggling as they approached their stops, the teens ready to hit the town was a colorful crowd.

Our stop at Euclid & East 79th had arrived and it was time for an early dinner at that pink building on Carnegie...the Hot Sauce King, Hot Sauce Williams. You’ve never eaten better friend okra and wings that those of Williams, the wet hand wipes we purchased earlier in the day sure did come in handy. After dinner we continued the trip East heading over to University Circle.

As we were on the bus we noticed the sky becoming dark and the winds picking up. Were we going to be caught with NO CAR in this thunderstorm? YES. As we stood like wet cats in the rain, our clothes soaked (the umbrellas we packed gave little protection to the afternoon downpour), we stood huddled in the alcoves of Severance Hall waiting for the next bus. As much as we had intended to make it to Shaker Square for an evening of live music on the Square, we hopped aboard and headed back west to Public Square for the Rapid back home. The damp bus ride was so quiet, everyone wet from the afternoon storm. Sticky umbrellas. Chilly from the air conditioning that was meant to keep passengers content. As we ran from the drop off at Public Square to the entrance at Terminal Tower we were hit with monsoon number two. At this point we couldn’t help but to laugh, although we were literally soaked, our spirits were so high from a day of complete fascination and public transportation. I seriously have NEVER in the ten years I have know my friend ever heard her laugh so loud. It was great.

As we made our way down to the RTA epicenter in Tower City we noticed we weren’t the only rained on passengers, everyone was soaked. It stirred comradery amongst us and everyone smiled and shook their heads. Already reliving the stories from the day it was time to get way of our cars. Time to change out of our soaked clothes, put away our finds from the day and file the memories of our day with the RTA.

We strongly recommend taking a day this summer to explore Cleveland by way of RTA, North America’s BEST Public Transportation System; 2007.
For maps and schedules visit

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Art at Banana

If you aren't in the market for some frilly summer frocks, swing by BR to peruse the wild photo gallery...or the sale rack.

Photographer Andy Biggs is passionate about African Safaris and animal imagery, and it shows in his work. Biggs recently landed a big deal with Banana Republic; they're using his images in stores, on billboards and in window displays as part of their Summer 2008 advertising campaign. The images are all black & white, and are calm and classy; this is a thinking-man's safari.

"I began my photographic career leading a workshop or two in Africa each year, and now it has turned into a business where I am leading up to six or seven photographic safaris and workshops in a year. Whenever people think about anything safari or African, I want them to think about my photography and my photographic safaris." commented Biggs.

For more of "Mr. Biggs" work, visit To locate the nearest BN Gallery to you visit

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Bike Under the Stars (6/28)

Saturday, June 28 2008

Century Cycles invites all of their cycling friends to another Night Ride on the Towpath Trail. This ride is sure to be fun and it's FREE! All skill levels are welcome. Meet at the Century Cycles - Peninsula store (Rt 303 between Rt 8 and I-271, next to the Winking Lizard Tavern). Parking is available at the Lock 29 Trailhead (follow the signs around the corner, it is north of the store).

The Ride will be 15 to 20 miles long (depending on what the group decides), which usually takes from one and a half to two hours. You must have a light and a HELMET (because no one wants to see you get hurt).

For after-ride refreshments usually, a group goes to the Winking Lizard after the ride and re-lives past cycling adventures. All rides start at 8:00pm (arrive a little earlier to have time to get ready). If the weather looks questionable, you can call the store at 1.800.201.7433 to confirm if the ride is still on.

If you can't make this Saturday, there are still more rides this summer. (7/11, 7/26, 8/9, 9/20, 10/11) For more information visit

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Music in the Park (6/22)

Sunday, June 22nd 2008

Want to enjoy the summer evening breeze rolling off the lake while humming the tunes of the beloved Beatles? Grab a picnic blanket and head to Rocky River Park this Sunday evening for the sounds of “Revolution Pie” a Beatles cover band!

Rocky River Park, 20250 Beachcliff Blvd. 7:00-8:30PM

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Officially Summer (6/20)

Happy FIRST day of SUMMER 2008!

I have been hanging on to these two pics and thought today; the summer solstice would be a great time to share. Enjoy!

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FREE Tea drink (6/21)

Saturday, June 21st from 3-4pm

After a long run, bike ride or walk around the block, head to your neighborhood Caribou Coffee for CoolFest 2008. To celebrate the first day of summer Caribou is offering a FREE 12 oz. Fruit Tea drink for anyone who stops by. Not available through the drive thru. No purchase necessary.

Find a participating Caribou Coffee

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Skate together. (6/21)

Saturday, June 21st 2008

On June 21 skateboarders around the globe will celebrate the pure exhilaration, creativity, and spirit of one of the most influential activities in the world by blowing off all other obligations to go skateboarding! Skateboarders everywhere will hold fundraisers, contests, protests, demo’s, they’ll skate across cities, gather in skateparks, stream into their local skate shop and some will even revel in the solitary act of skateboarding alone, all bringing together the skateboarding community in the grind heard around the world.

To find an event near you visit

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Straight Up! (6/19)

Thursday June 19th, 2008

Happy National Martini Day Cleveland!

This evening head to your favorite chic bar and sip to the tune of your favorite martini. Whether it be Gin, Vodka or Cosmo, they are all tasty. Enjoy the recipe below! Although this martini will certainly qualify as a standard martini, you'll often find that every bartender will create the drink with a slight (or perhaps not so slight) variation.

Vodka Martini Ingredients (because in my opinion gin tastes like perfume)

3 ounces of freezing Absolut or Grey Goose vodka.
1 teaspoon of vermouth.
3 Big olives stuffed with crumbled bleu cheese.
1 fancy schmancy toothpick.

Combine Vodka & vermoth. Stir. Strain your freezing vodka into your glass. Spear your olives and gently slide them into the glass. Have a seat in your favorite chair. Sip and relax.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Made in the 216 (6/20)

Friday, June 20 2008

We as Clevelanders have a lot to be proud of. We just may not always realize it. A chic boutique in the Detroit Shoreway District called Room Service is hosting their inaugural bi-annual event highlighting a few of the reasons we have to be proud of ‘the 216’! I will definitely be skipping out of work early for this happening, I don't want to miss any great finds!

MADE IN THE 216 is not a traditional art opening. The genesis of this event was the idea that Cleveland shopping is lacking the clever and unique items found only in the hip neighborhoods of New York and Chicago. While Cleveland may still be lacking the shopping districts of those towns, that is only temporary. Five years ago when owner, Danielle DeBoe moved back from a four year hiatus in Los Angeles she says she “…had a really hard time shopping here”; well that has changed DRAMATICALLY over the past few years with the opening of several unique and interesting home, accessory and apparel boutiques throughout the near west and east sides of Cleveland and she has become very confident that the Detroit Shoreway will become the diverse Cleveland boutique shopping district that we all yearn for.

For this 2 day event Room Service Home will break down the traditional store merchandising scheme and create little ‘sub-shops’ dedicated to the aesthetic of CLEVELAND-BASED artists & designers whose products are just as unique, clever and well made as the items we travel to New York to find, but made right here in our hometown.

MADE IN THE 216 will be held on Friday June 20 from 4-9pm with a wine and cheese reception with the artists/designers and Saturday June 21 from 12-5pm. The artists/designers featured are: Small Screen Designs, BCTZ Cleveland, Little Korboose, Amy Derethik, Finley Handmade, [base] line, Sarah Jane Reidel, Buzz Buzz Designs, Satomi Jin, Hannah Verbeuren Photography, and Marian Made. Collectively, they make a wide weft of products from wall art and jewelry to baby onesies and hand-dyed vintage linens and quite a few things in between!

See you Friday at Room Service : 6505 Detroit Avenue ; Cleveland, OH 44102

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Art Future

Although the entire museum is still under development, there are bits and pieces that are open. See the exhibition on view now at the Cleveland Museum of Art; Building for the Future.

The plan developed by the founders of the Museum was to erect a beautiful building, fill it with the finest works of art that could be found, and open its doors to the people of this city free of charge, was not only simple, it was also effective. Today, the museum welcomes about 500,000 visitors each year and its collection, which numbers more than 42,000 works of art, is widely acknowledged as one of the finest in the world.

To accommodate the growth of its collection and educational activities, the museum expanded several times in the past 50 years. While these additions provided much-needed galleries, classrooms, and workspaces, they also gradually obscured the clarity of the original plan and created an odd assortment of buildings that were difficult for visitors to make their way through and, by the end of the last decade, in need of major improvements and repairs.

To address these problems and to enable it to serve the needs of the community in the future, the Cleveland Museum of Art has recently embarked upon a major renovation and expansion. Scheduled for completion in 2011, this project will quite literally transform the museum and, at the same time, sustain the vision of its founders, who believed that the arts should be accessible to all.

For directions, hours and special museum events visit

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Run, Crawl (6/21)

Saturday June 21, 2008

Runners throughout greater Cleveland will be pleased to know that the Cleveland area's most unique urban running event will return to the 2008 summer race calendar. The Ohio City Run & Crawl, an evening 5K run through the streets of Cleveland's historic Ohio City neighborhood followed by a pub and restaurant crawl featuring dozens of local establishments.

The Run & Crawl continues to grow in popularity, with last year's event marking a substantial growth from the inaugural edition in 2006. Hundreds of runners are expected this year to fill the Ohio City streets and take in the sights, sounds and suds of the neighborhood. This year promises to be even bigger, with more establishments offering specials for participating runners, live music in Market Square Park, post-race refreshments, a goody bag for runners, a short-sleeved race t-shirt, and awards for the top finishers in various age groups and categories.

To pre-register for the run, visit or call 216.623.9933.

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Moon Meditation (6/19)

Thursday, June 19th 2008

Join the folks at Fairview Hospital Wellness Center for yoga breathing exercises followed by meditation to celebrate the full moon! Bring a notebook or journal. All levels of yoga and meditation students are welcome to this once-a-month class. Mark your calendar and invite your friends for an interesting evening of celebrating the stars.

Fairview Hospital Wellness Center 3035 Wooster Road Rocky River 7-8 pm
Register by calling 440.477.0270 $9

Monday, June 16, 2008

Beach Review #1

As many of you might know I live on the west side of Cleveland. Since I am a “transplant” to the area the entire “east side vs. west side” concept baffles me. What is it, a total of twenty minutes to get from Lakewood to Beachwood? Not far.

Anyways as a total beach enthusiast, I have taken it upon myself to fully explore many of our beaches around the Northeast Ohio Region...East, West, North and South and report back to you. I tend to go to the beach on Sunday afternoon’s for a day of rest and relaxation. A way of closing the week past and gearing up for the week ahead. I will drive miles for sun, sand and an afternoon filled with catching up on my multiple magazine subscriptions.

Yesterday I am happy to report I spent the afternoon at Mentor Headlands State Park ( This beach was unlike ANY lake beach I have ever experienced. The white sandy beach that stretched out for an entire mile is actually the largest natural sand beach in Ohio and made me feel like I was on vacation...Florida perhaps. The subtle waves, shiny rocks and sea glass were enough to keep me entertained while in and out of the clean, refreshing water (water temp 74 degrees!). One unique feature of this beach is it’s picturesque lighthouse with a long pier; perfect for an evening stroll. This beach also has two refreshment stands one at either end of the beach just in case you forget your large diet coke and twizzlers.

I couldn’t have asked for nicer weather for my adventure out East. If you’ve also been there let me know what you think. Or, if there are other beaches I may not know about please drop me a line. Otherwise, you know where to find me on a Sunday...somewhere by the water.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Funky Festivals (6/14-15)

Not only is this weekend one devoted to is also the weekend for unique festivals...where else can you celebrate Duct Tape & Washboards? Only in Ohio!

Head to the Avon Heritage Duct Tape Festival in Avon, Ohio, "Duct Tape Capital of the World," the place where Duck brand duct tape is made, duct tape shows up in parade floats, hats, clothing, sculptures and crafts. You name it, you can make it with duct tape seems to be the festival motto. Along with the duct tape events there are rides, food and music. If something breaks down during this weekend, like a ride seat cushion gets a small tear, there will be plenty of stuff on hand to fix it.

For the music schedule, parade route, etc visit

Here's another Father's Day weekend option. Not to pull you away from the Duct Tape Festival plans you may have made, but the Washboard Festival, would make a fun day trip if you live close enough to Logan, Ohio. This festival celebrates the music traditions that stretch from Appalachia to the Louisiana bayou. Dating back to the mid-1800s, this is the kind of music that is guaranteed to put you in a happy mood.

The musicians are renowned, and if you've ever heard a Zydeco band, you'll know that it's impossible to stay still once the music starts. Dixieland Jazz and Jug Music are part of the two day event. If you haven't been to town-run festival, you're missing out on one of the greatest parts of summer. This one is particularly special because tours of the Columbus Washboard Factory are included. This is the last washboard company in the United States.

Logan is at the threshold of Hocking Hills, one of the most beautiful areas in Ohio. If you can stretch your weekend into another day, take some time to see where your exploration takes you.

For directions to Logan County (?) visit

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cletus Who? (6/13)

Friday June 13th, 2008

This raspy-voiced singer-songwriter is one of the city's true hidden treasures. Cletus Black is in fine form once again on this new album that finds him backed by many of the players from his live band, the Revue.

Join them this evening for the CD release celebration at John Christ Winery in Avon Lake. A glass of local wine, paired with some local tunes, a great way to kick off the weekend.

The disc opens with a gritty cover of J.J. Cale's "Bringing it Back" that Black makes his own thanks in part to some fine harmonica work courtesy of Dave Morrison. The rest of the tracks are all originals, and it's a testament to Black's abilities as a songwriter that the album seamlessly flows together after the opening cover. Black alternately evokes the working-class rock of Springsteen ("Woman Woman") and the Gothic blues of Nick Cave ("Sanctified").

Guest spots from local heroes such as Colin Dussault, who adds harmonica to "Never Enough," drummer Tommy Rich, who's behind the kit on the same tune, and pianist Greg Hurd, who appears on "Tennessee Baby" and "Heavy and Blue," provide a nice touch, too.

Cletus Black performs at 7 p.m. Friday, June 13 at the John Christ Winery. FREE.
For more information visit

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Happy Hour in the Park

As the week comes to a close my favorite place to spend my summertime Friday night happy hour is in our amazing Metroparks System.

Have you been into the woods lately? Seen the prancing deer at nightfall? Have you noticed how the once delicate spring flowers have now taken root and have matured to strong fixtures of the forest floor? If not, you are missing out on one of Northeast Ohio’s hidden gems.

Like many of you I enjoy a stiff vodka soda with a lime at happy hour, lately it’s just something about the way the air feels as it sails over my shiny bike helmet that keeps me buzzed on Friday evenings. It’s the feeling of freedom after a week of commitments, deadlines and budgets. It’s the way the light shines through the trees. The park is a place where I find myself centered and inspired to take on the weekend in a fresh creative manner. Perhaps it was the way I was raised? Camping, hiking, picking up all the sticks in the yard (for my allowance of course!) I was brought up to get outdoors and reap the benefits.

For the past few weeks, when Friday nights rolls around and I enter the park, the temps are dramatically cooler than the house-lined streets above. The air seems to be cleaner and moves along the paths so quickly. If you think it’s too hot, I bet you would find the urban oasis a cool retreat from your front porch or local bar patio. This summer when you are looking for a way to get recharged and excited to take on a new day...make your way into the woods. Whether it be for a long walk with your favorite four-legged friend, a round of golf, a long bike ride, maybe it’s just to sit by the river and read? There are endless possibilities of how you can enjoy the parks in your neighborhood.

To catch one of the many events (from music in the park to guided hikes), or for maps/directions visit I hope to see many of you for “happy hour” and hear of your adventures too!

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Luxe on Detroit

As we approached the Marlin Kaplan's newest restaurant; Luxe, we could feel we were in for a treat. The warm glow from opulent indoor chandeliers reflected onto the street sidewalks and the smell of good food wafted out the front door.

We were seated in the main dining room (you can eat in the bar time) near the old bank vault that had been converted into a wine cellar and the kitchen's glass doors put the chefs and cooks in our full view. The eclectic use of mismatched vintage plates, glasses and silver wear were a pleasant surprise...just like eating at home.

As we inhaled our salads, gnocchi and steak we enjoyed the interesting array of guests that surrounded our table. the people watching was just as yummy as the food itself. The prices were super reasonable and the portions perfect. Next time you are in the mood for trying something new, head downtown to Luxe.

6605 Detroit Ave. Cleveland, OH. For reservation call 216.920.0600 or visit

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wine gum?

I know I usually write about stuff going on in our fair city but from time to time I feel the need to stray and comment on something else I find’s topic...GUM.

So, I like gum. I especially like Orbit Gum. Everything from the TV commercials to the tiny special boxes that line the shelves at checkout counters nationwide. Usually I buy the minty flavors (for that just brushed clean feeling) but every now and then I stray and surprise my tastes buds with some magical fruit flavor. Over the weekend I was in line at Target and my eye fell upon the latest offering from Orbit, (which seems to churn out new flavors every other day). Sangria Fresca, immediately grabbed my attention. I love sangria! Fruity, festive, fortified punch! Wine and gum, what a great combo! Naturally, I had to have it.

Almost one foot out the door and I couldn’t resist tugging open the pretty plastic protecting my plum and orange package. I put a piece in my mouth. Orange with a slight taste of cinnamon and mint, bizarre but super luscious. This Orbit Sangria Fresca flavor tastes a lot like the Orbit Citrus Mint flavor. Which is to say, orangey. Other than the name and the suggestive burgundy-orange color scheme of the box, you wouldn’t know this was anything other than orange gum. Bummer, I was truly expecting a way to get my glass of Pinot in mid-day. Ha!

So as silly as this post may seem, sometimes I feel it is my duty to fill you in on the latest and greatest...I give this gum a B+.

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JayMay & Fink...Friday (6/13)

Friday June 13th, 2008

Her tunes are sweet. Her voice is soulful. If you don't know JayMay (pronounced Jamie) don't miss this show! Jamie Seerman is an American folk singer-songwriter from Brooklyn, performing under the name Jaymay. She was raised in Long Island and in 2003 after having graduated from New College in Sarasota, Florida, she was unable to find a job in book publishing and moved back to New York to play open mics. She has been described by the BBC as "darling of the New York ’Anti-Folk’ scene", and by the New York Times as a "big name…for the indie universe".

In 2007 Jaymay moved to London, after signing with Heavenly Records, which is distributed by the major EMI label. Jaymay’s debut album Autumn Fallin’ album was released in the United States on March 11, 2008 on Blue Note Records.

My favorites songs are Hard to Say (love the scat!) and Blue Skies. For tunes visit

Oh, and did I mention that JayMay will be performing with Fink. Straight from the UK this DJ and singer songwriter is making his way across the US. "We've played some great shows in the last year," enthuses Fink from his home in Brighton. Fink's debut album for Ninja Tune, "Biscuits for Breakfast," marked a seismic shift for the label shelving samples and turntablism in favour of an acoustic guitar and great songs. The record, distinguished by its squeaking fret boards and disarmingly autobiographical lyrics, caught the attention of audiences worldwide.

Over a hundred Fink shows across Europe, including dates at the Electron and JazzOnze festivals, were followed by an intense tour of North America, where Fink, together with bassist Guy Whittaker and drummer Tim Thornton, jetted between seven cities in nine days after having received the Single of the Week slot from iTunes US. He and the band are now due to play the esteemed Cognac Blues festival at the end of July, with Fink making another special guest appearance with Nitin Sawhney at the Royal Albert Hall in August as part of this years Proms.

I LOVE the song Blueberry Pancakes. Check out more of his lyrics at

This show is sure to be packed, don't miss it!
B-Side Liquor Lounge
8pm $8

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Yoga in the Park (6/09)

Monday June 9th, 2008

If you've been searching for a way to relax after your Monday work day, search no more! Join the group of yogi's for the 9th annual series of Monday night yoga practice at Rocky River Park.

The sounds of the soothing lake and the picturesque sunsets will sooth your body and your mind. Open to ALL levels of experience. Wear comfy clothes, you may want to layer for when the warm glow of the sun sets. Must bring your own mat. Classes will be every Monday night until August 4th, $5 drop in fee cash only, 7-8:30pm. (there will be a time change after the fourth of July because of the early sun setting). Parking is limited, so come early.

Directions to Rocky River Park at Beachcliff Blvd.
One block north of Lake Road Market and Kensington School
On the deck at the top of the hill overlooking Lake Erie.

Come and experience the practice of Yoga in the great outdoors!

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Sunday, June 8, 2008


From time to time I read such wonderful little quotes
(yes, you can call me ms. successories) that I can't reist sharing.

Be always at war with your vices,
at peace with your neighbors,
and let each new year find you a better person.

— Benjamin Franklin

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

True Ohioan?

A new friend of mine sent me this article/quiz from the June Issue of Ohio Magazine.
The article is called Are You a Bona Fide Buckeye? It is written by Mike E Harden.

Take a peak at some of the questions below.

1. Which one of the following restaurant chains is not headquartered in Ohio: Bob Evans, White Castle or Roy Rogers?

5. Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall were married at the Ohio farm of which Ohio writer?

18. What Ohio City was home to the rock group Devo?

29. What well-known Ohio song begins with the prelude, “Long long ago, Someone I know, Had a little red canoe, In it room for only two”?

For the entire article (and answers to the trivia above) visit

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

On the Rise!

As you enter this bright and cheery bakery your senses will immediately come to life. The warm sweet smells, the soft sounds of mixers and the visual delights all laid out and ready for you to explore.

I have enjoyed every muffin, cookie, scone and bread I have ever bought at On the Rise Bakery in Cleveland Heights a tiny and quaint neighborhood bakery. They offer delicious treats including scones, cookies, fruit brownies, rustic tarts, croissants and granola as well as a plethora of house baked bread options. On the list is everything from rustic Italian breads like Pave to classic French baguettes. For something a little more adventurous, try the olive loaf or the sunflower shaped loaf crusted with sesame seeds. They also serve coffees and have a few tables for sitting. This summer, perhaps early on a Sunday morning, grab your paper or favorite book and head East to On The Rise!

3471 Fairmount Blvd Cleveland, OH 44118 216.320.9923

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King Kong in Lakewood (6/07)

Saturday June 7, 2008

Catch this historical flick this weekend. See what Peter Jackson got wrong in his ill-conceived remake by joining us for the glorious original. An adventurous film crew travels to Skull Island for the scenery and ends up finding the living eighth wonder of the world. Can Kong be tamed? Will New York City ever be the same? Is this the greatest special effects movie of all time?

Directed by Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack. Rated PG. 6:00pm in the New Main Lakewood Library Auditorium
KING KONG (1933)

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Matt & Ben (6/05)

Thursday June 5th, 2008

"The hottest ticket in town. A twisted tale about how Matt Damon and Ben Affleck wrote the Oscar-winning movie Good Will Hunting!" - US WEEKLY

"A Hit! Acidic, funny and affectionate! Matt & Ben spoofs Hollywood's best friendship!" - NEW YORK POST

"One of the most appealing male-bonding stories since Damon and Pythias, or Oscar and Felix. And within minutes, you don't even notice that they're not males." - THE NEW YORKER

Matt and Ben is the funny, scathing, delightfully venomous story of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck (played by two women!) who are struggling to write a screenplay in their rundown apartment in Boston in 1996. Much to their surprise and delight, the script for Good Will Hunting falls from the sky and into their laps.

Written by Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers, Directed by Dan Kilbane. Matt and Ben was a hit at the New York International Fringe Festival and off-Broadway. Playing until June 14th at CPT's James Levin Theatre; 7:30 PM
Ticket Price: $10.00 call 216.631.2727 or visit

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