Good Morning Cleveland

Good Morning Cleveland 

I don’t know where to begin – with writing this post or exploring my new city, the city of Cleveland. So let me just say, “Good Morning Cleveland” and see what happens next.

U-Haul Driver

When we arrived on Friday my right leg was cramping from the constant challenge of MAXIMUM 55 MPH. This was according to the tow-behind trailer added to our rental truck after U-haul failed to deliver the truck we reserved. It is ultimately why we departed Brigantine on Thursday night at sunset instead of Friday before daybreak. What had once been a 7-8 hour trip was now 10+hours with all our possessions in tow.

Leader of the Caravan

After the unexpected expense of sleeping in the middle of Pennsylvania, 575 miles of driving at the ho-hum speed of 55, $300 spent on fuel (3 miles to the gallon less than projected, thanks to the trailer), and close to another $100 on tolls (yes, the trailer cost extra) – two tired but happy girls arrived in Cleveland. Less than four hours later I was handing the truck keys over to a U-Haul attendant and silently vowing to call Penske in the future.

By eight o’clock friends were arriving to warm our new home with gifts of wine and wine glasses, a home cooked meal, fresh garden veggies, flowers, and most important of all – love and laughter. So much love and laughter I finally had to call ‘pumpkin time’ just before midnight so no one would witness me pass out from exhaustion.

Saturday is still a whirlwind of boxes, paper, and bubble wrap – reminding me of Christmas morning as a child but lasting all day (and into the next). With the kitchen unpacked, the art on the walls, and the last piece to my desk found and thus assembled we left our new home in search of dinner in downtown Cleveland.

East Fourth Street is a magical place where tiny lights are strung from one restaurant’s outdoor seating area to the next and the only traffic is pedestrian. The aroma of choices tickle your nose as you stroll, glancing up from time to time and catching a face in a loft window looking down at you. Music and murmurs of voices fill the night air as you decide where to dine. It makes me think that if there were city fairies – they would live on 4th Street. If they did, they might also have enjoyed the novelty of fireworks exploding over-head as we dined – just before the rain chased us inside to finish our meal.

It’s now Monday of Labor Day weekend, and the beginning of my first full week in Cleveland. I still don’t know where to begin. There are a handful of things to be organized and sorted. There are parts to be purchased so curtains can be hung. There are phone calls to make and coffee appointments to set up. There is an entire city just waiting for me to explore … and this post to write.

Now I can check one thing off my list and move on to the next, if only I knew what ‘next’ was supposed to be…

What would you do your first week in Cleveland?

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11 thoughts on “Good Morning Cleveland

  1. There are so many wonderfully different corners of that city that it’s hard to single out just a few…

    I would, of course, connect with my brothers, friends, aunts & uncles, cousins, nieces & nephews who still live in the Cleveland area. Then I would explore the local restaurants (lots of great ethnic spots), bistros and pubs down in the Flats, and wander around to get reacquainted with downtown. I’d make sure I had a whole day to spend at the Cleveland Museum of Art (did you know it is 2nd richest- only to NY’s Metropolitan, in acquisitions?). The Art Institute is the better part of another whole day! Before too long I would make it to the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame, hit whatever (or whoever) is playing in the theatre district, and visit several of the many Metropolitan Parks- especially in the valley and Huntington Beach in Bay Village.

    For me, a visit to Cleveland wouldn’t be complete without a stop at St. Patrick’s in West Park- where 5 generations of my family reside in the tiny cemetery next to the church built by my Great-great grandfather.

    Those are my thoughts. Enjoy exploring your new home, Gail!

    • Thanks Mary Ann – I’ll be checking out the museums very soon. I even have a membership already! It was a gift from a friend who knew I was moving here. Great idea for people who move, by the way.

  2. Awwwww……this post makes my ❤ heart ❤ smile! I wish I was there to welcome you!! I'm glad that you made it there safely….welcome to Cleveland! Love that you are living on 4th Street…..I worked at the BP building on the 35 floor (200 Public Square) for over 12 years while living there….watched 4th Street become what it is! Again….Welcome to Cleveland!!

  3. Be sure to check out Ingenuity Fest next weekend (Sept 14-16.)

    Also that weekend is Zombie Fest.

    Some sites to watch for stuff going on are Cool Cleveland and Fresh Water Cleveland.

    I see you found the West Side Market. If you wander just around West Side Market and Ohio City, you’ll find you’re in luck if you like food and beer. A little removed from the main Ohio City strip is Johnny Mango, great South American food, vegan friendly, best margaritas. I’m told Rising Star coffee is amazing, but still gotta try them myself.

    Near there is Tremont, good food there too. I suggest Lava Lounge.

    As you might see, I’m a west-sider and biased toward that side, but the east is also great. There you have a lot of our cultural stuff, like the Cleveland Museum of Art which just reopened after being closed for years for renovations and adding more to the building. The majority is free, but the current exhibit, Youth and Beauty, art from the 1920s, is running until Sept 16 and is worth the admission (I think like just $15 or something.)

    Last thing I’ll suggest is Melt. It kinda feels cliche at this point with how popular it is, but I still love it, and it’s certainly a Cleveland experience. Expect to wait at least 30 minutes to be seated (be sure to tell servers you’re there to get in the queue. No wait if you find seats at the bar.) My favorite sandwich is the Parmageddon.

  4. (sorry if reposted, not sure if original comment went through)

    Be sure to check out Ingenuity Fest next weekend (Sept 14-16.)

    Also that weekend is Zombie Fest.

    Some sites to watch for stuff going on are Cool Cleveland and Fresh Water Cleveland.

    I see you found the West Side Market. If you wander just around West Side Market and Ohio City, you’ll find you’re in luck if you like food and beer. A little removed from the main Ohio City strip is Johnny Mango, great South American food, vegan friendly, best margaritas. I’m told Rising Star coffee is amazing, but still gotta try them myself.

    Near there is Tremont, good food there too. I suggest Lava Lounge.

    As you might see, I’m a west-sider and biased toward that side, but the east is also great. There you have a lot of our cultural stuff, like the Cleveland Museum of Art which just reopened after being closed for years for renovations and adding more to the building. The majority is free, but the current exhibit, Youth and Beauty, art from the 1920s, is running until Sept 16 and is worth the admission (I think like just $15 or something.)

    Last thing I’ll suggest is Melt. It kinda feels cliche at this point with how popular it is, but I still love it, and it’s certainly a Cleveland experience. Expect to wait at least 30 minutes to be seated (be sure to tell servers you’re there to get in the queue. No wait if you find seats at the bar.) My favorite sandwich is the Parmageddon.

    • I think I need to visit MELT like yesterday. You’re the fourth or fifth person to recommend the place, although I’ll have to take a half dozen friends so I can sample everyone’s selection. Johnny Mango sounds yummy too. Thanks for all the suggestions.

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