Upon listening to Paul Hoffman’s interview (you can find it here), our friend and former Clevelander, Liza Frolkis, raised a good point – lots of people love Cleveland and for good reasons. Here, in her words, are her top ten favorite things about Cleveland:
10. There are truly excellent potholes on the streets on Cleveland. Really. Some have been there for years and you can tell a local by whether or not they can still drive gracefully through a pock-marked street.
9. Seasons: Summer storms. There is nothing like a hot day transforming into driving rain and illuminating lightning. Temporary respite from the humidity that makes you smile. Winter storms. Because when they say snow is coming to Cleveland, they are not messing around. Watching leaves change. This is true in any temperate place, but there is something beautiful about watching the trees that you have grown up with bud, blossom, change, and fall. SPRING! SPRING! SPRING!
8. You can still go to a thrift store and buy something under $5.
7. When you’re from a place that people like to hate on, you develop a fun sense of self-deprecating humor that can come in handy in surprising situations.
6. The architecture. A drive through the city takes you on so many architectural twists and turns – from boarded-up factories to modern condos to old money mansions to duplexes. Cleveland has known so many different eras of influence, invention, implosion, and imagination. You can see the history in the buildings as you travel through it and feel the city’s nature.
5. AN AMAZING FREE ART MUSEUM! – [Cleveland Museum of Art]
4. Truly great food on any level. Really. Even getting fast food can be a fun experience. Take for example, the Wendy’s across the street from my high school that hosted annual riots involving disgruntled high school students. But you can also dine without things being thrown at you. Tasty coffee, good beer, cuisine from around the world, innovative chefs, and local food supporters!
3. My mothers garden.
2. While racism and segregation are as real in Cleveland as anywhere else, I still get a sense of community working its way through these debilitating factors. People seem to be working towards comfort with one another, which always gives me hope.
1. Cleveland’s ups and downs throughout history are really the ups and downs that America has gone through as well. In other places it’s easy to pretend that things are different, but Cleveland always tells you exactly what’s going on. If not in the news, then in the faces of the people you meet. There is an honesty about my hometown that is humbling and beautiful. I believe it is an honesty that gives it great strength as well.
Want to learn more about love for a city? Listen to the President and CEO of the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce give his pitch on the virtues of Santa Fe: