My Cleveland Comments

It was a just over a year ago that my wife and I came to Cleveland on an apartment hunting adventure. That trip led me to write Why I’m Moving to Cleveland, a post that still lives at the top of my blog because it remains evergreen. That’s blog speak for perpetually relevant content so it still ranks high on search engines when people use terms like ‘moving to Cleveland’.

Most days, it’s a small number of new visitors, but it still makes my heart happy when someone stumbles on my words and decides to leave a comment. Some of the comments are from people about to make the move themselves:

Oh goodness. Reading the article itself was fantastic enough to make it easier on me to decide to move to Ohio [college grad wanting to get out of Jersey] but the comments made it so much easier to make my decision. It seems like the community is absolutely friendly and all open arms. ~ Naki on May 28, 2013

Thank you for this great article! I’m in the process of moving to Cleveland and after reading this it makes me feel that I’ve made a right decision. ~ Chris on Jan 31, 2013

Some are from Clevelanders thrilled to read how newbies see their city:

Love your list–and welcome to Cleveland! I moved here in the mid-90s. When my marriage fell apart, there was no question in my mind that I was staying here. I ended up buying a house in Lakewood. The combination of big city amenities and friendly, small town feel in Cleveland just can’t be beat. I’m a lifer. ~ Kim on June 19, 2012

So, on a day when I’m questioning my existence, what I’m doing with my life, why I am living in Cleveland, and contemplating whether or not to move to a different state (yes, state) within the next year, I read this post and things are put back into perspective for me. I realize that haven’t taken full advantage of all that this city has to offer. Maybe my restlessness will be satisfied by seeing what I’m missing in my own town instead of finding a new one. I just wanted to say thanks for reminding me of why I love this town. Good luck with the move and welcome home! ~ DixieCJ on June 15, 2012

And even a few nay-say-ers chime in from time to time:

Sorry, but I left Cleveland for the NYC metro area and have no intention of coming back. Your experience in Cleveland does not match mine. I’m loving it in Jersey. My income taxes are lower, enterprise zones have stores with 3.5% sales tax, and Manhattan is right in my backyard. Oh, and I get real beaches with salt water and fresh local seafood. Can’t ask for anything more. ~ John on June 15, 2012

I’ve welcomed and approved 99% of the comments, deleting only three for being overly aggressive or downright rude! Everyone is entitled to an opinion and some of the best back and forth dialogues resulted from the nay-say-ers chiming in; Clevelanders were quick to come to the defense of their city and offer addition insights. Bravo Cleveland! Bravo!

In the last two days, my post has seen a huge upswing in traffic thanks to my wife mentioning it during an interview with Grant Segall; who then published a Q&A style article on I’ll give you the link in a moment. Keep reading here for now.

My wife was featured on My Cleveland because she’s new to Cleveland and truly loving her new city. As a former New Yorker (a fact she can’t help but identify with since it was her home her entire life) she uses NYC as her reference point when talking about Cleveland. Anyways… she was interviewed and photographed and even responded to email requests for follow-up information – weeks ago. The article was finally posted online Saturday and appeared in print on Sunday. Then something unexpected happened.

I got pissed off!

As with most online forums there is a comment field at the bottom of her article. I get it. I have a blog. Comment fields should be used. They should be used to express a wide spectrum of opinions and not all of them have to be positive and supportive. They should, however, generally be laced with some opinion on the subject matter. Any opinion. Well… some of the comments being left on her article are simply rude and even border on abusive.

I’m talking really pissed off!

I want to write back. I want to comment on every homo-phobic slur and tell every cocky SOB who thinks they know her from reading a few hundred words, “You don’t know her!” I want to school them in how a short article came from a long interview process and how the question and answer format made it seem like these are printed quotes when they are just Segall’s condensed version of many things she said and stories she told. I want to tell them how much she loves Cleveland and how she chose to come here because the city is vibrant and the people are friendly and how many are even overjoyed that non-Clevelanders are choosing to move to Cleveland.

For the record, I am still pissed off!

She didn’t want me to comment, so I didn’t. And I won’t. I won’t comment on the article: Roz Quarto ditched her native New York for Cleveland: My Cleveland. But this is my online forum – so thanks for coming and hanging out with me this morning as I sit in a Starbucks and digest my anger with a little coffee to wash it down.

I’m not pissed anymore… but I’m still disappointed.

And my southern-sassy-self wants to write “Bless Your Heart” on every single one of those narrow-minded, un-informed, and assumptive comments. But I won’t. Will you?

Oh wait, a good article should bring everything back to the beginning and draw some elegant conclusion. F it. This doesn’t have to be a good article. It’s my blog post so here’s the conclusion:

If you comment on something online, whether you agree or disagree, keep it about the subject matter and make your point – otherwise keep your fingers off the keyboard. Please and thank you!

99% of your comments are welcome below so I invite you to leave a reply…


18 thoughts on “My Cleveland Comments

  1. I miss you!
    Well said….I especially love the Please and Thank you at the end!

    Tonya in Alaska

  2. The comments in the PD article are beyond stupid – don’t even waste your energy being mad about them!

  3. Gail–Thank you for your blog!. I am an old Cleveland-dweller who moving for family responsibilities, and yearns to come back ‘to town’ each time she comes into the city for whatever the reason (doctor, Whole Foods, shopping,whatever…!) or no reason but to hear/see the big-jets take off at the airport while driving on I-480! I lived in Cleveland twice–5 years after college (late ’70’s-early ’80’s) and came back again after ’90 until 2001. Moving away (even though it is only 45 minutes away) was heartbreaking for me. (my husband hated Cleveland..well, that’s his problem (opinion?!)…so finding your blod–it is very healing to me. (found it through your wife’s interview!). Cleveland is a great place, full of amazing people; and I wish you and your wife a lifetime of wonderful experiences! Sending you and Roz love, peace and daily doses of happiness! Thank you for moving to Cleveland, and thank you again for your blog! Blessings–Gail

  4. I read that interview in the paper and thought it was great, which is how I came to find your blog. I have learned through feminist and lgbt activism that the comments section on the internet is where the cesspool of humanity lies. Doesn’t matter what site or what topic, the idiots come out to share their (usually) disgusting ignorant opinions. Grrr!!!

  5. Just want to let you know that I’m moving to Cleveland in a week and your previous post made me SO excited to move there!!! Clevelanders seem really awesome and down to earth. I’m sorry you’ve received some sh*tty comments from haters. That is all 🙂

  6. I just want to let you know that I’m moving to Cleveland in one week and your previous post made me SO excited to move there!!! It seems like clevelanders are really awesome and down to earth. I’m sorry you’ve received some sh*tty comments from haters. That is all 🙂

  7. Gail, it’s so wonderful to discover this blog as I sit here in Idaho knowing that tomorrow morning my She will bid her moms a tearful goodbye. She’s from Idaho and I’m originally from North Carolina. We’re heading to Cleveland in February and I’ve felt guilty proclaiming my joy and excitement about our move. She’ll miss the mountains–I can’t wait to be surrounded by the beautiful trees and be right on the lake!

    She’ll be working at the CCF and I be teaching 2nd or 3rd grade. I appreciate your abounding, positive perspective and hope our paths cross as we discover the places and events recommended here. We’ve bought a lovely home in Forest Hills and can’t wait to contribute to the bliss of what it means to be a Clevelander!


    • Let me be the first to welcome you… in fact, I’d be honored to buy you a coffee when you get to the CLE. It has quickly become a home we love.

      I spent many years in North Carolina. There is much to love about Cleveland. #1 on your list, if I may recommend, is to go for a short scenic train ride through the Cuyahoga Valley. It may very well give your She a place to feel connected to the NC mountains she will miss.

      Now, can we talk about the fact that your name (Denise) and your nickname (NeeCee) are the same as a very dear friend of mine? At first I thought I was getting a comment from her but she is from Iowa, not Idaho, still… uncanny.

  8. Gail,
    We are now only a week away from our move to Cleveland. My wife and I will definitely take you up on your offer of coffee after we’re settled into our home. We’ll be in touch soon.


  9. I realize I’m late to the party. I just want to add- It’s so cheesy but sadly true- haters gonna hate. They’re just projecting their negativity onto random internet people who, like you, are generally happy.

    I stumbled onto your blog because I am ‘researching’ what it is like to live in CLE. I am from ATL, but left for 10 years for AZ and then NYC and have now been back in ATL for 10. Cleveland sounds like such a great place- we’re city people but have 3 small children and so need good schools/ neighborhoods and diversity is a big deal.

    We may move bc my husband is a final candidate for a great job with great perks. Non- profit executive
    Anyway- my main concern- A long grey winter. Although, on the flip, the main reason I would ever want to leave ATL is the hot humid miserable summers. Since my first pregnancy- I have become completely heat intolerant- which sounds crazy and high maintence until you have it.

    I’m not sure why I am writting all this on an a very old post-however, now that I have Id love to know just how long and dark are Cleveland winters? Difference btwn NYC winters and Cleveland? Does anyone know?
    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    • The post may be old – but it’s evergreen – which is why I leave the comments open. Thanks for writing Christina!

      Having lived in Alaska, I think the winters here are a cake walk. But I’m probably not the best judge.

      My wife (we’ve been married since she was my partner in this post) is a long time New Yorker, born and raised. She doesn’t find the winters to be much different in terms of light. Last winter was rough, but it was rough in NYC too, and most every part of the country for that matter.

      Can it be colder and snowier at times? Yes. But the same can be said in reverse. There’s this thing called Lake Effect Snow that comes into play living so close to a Great Lake. It can make it colder and snowier one day (compared to a town 30 miles from here, like Parma) then the next it’s warmer and less snowy in Cleveland compared to the same town 30 miles away.

      At the end of the day it’s a northern city… it’s going to snow and it’s going to be cold. But unlike NYC where it gets “gross and dirty and grey” (my opinion) it stays pretty here. They do a great job clearing streets. Sidewalks not so much, but there are fewer walking commuters here.

      In terms of light… I can only tell you that tonight (10/27/14) the sun will set at 6:29pm. That’s probably earlier than where you live now so it will feel darker. Some extra Vitamin D will help get you through darker days – and all the winter activities (indoor and out) will make the season feel full.

      I hope this helps and the job prospect pans out. It will be nice to say “Welcome to CLE” to another transplant who will soon love this city too!

      • Perfect reply! So very helpful. Yes, NYC winters are gross. I take vitamin D everyday as it is-that stuff is life changing if you are not in the sun w/out sunscreen very often. If this works oout we’d lie in Shaker Heights for the schools and walkability. I’m not worried about the cold-come to think of it I’ve been camping and know how to stay warm. I just cannot stay inside-were I single and sure as all now that we have 3 children under 6 I’d go bat shit crazy(ier)
        BTW- Do you have an opinion as to living in SH versus other near d-town n’hoods? We like SH b/c it *appears* to have great schools, walkable, diversity (for OH). Diversity is so hard to ascertain from afar. I do not want my kids to live in a bubble all white, american upper middle class kids where no one goes to the pride parade 🙂 (we live in Decatur Ga and we are lucky enough to have all of the aforementioned. THANK YOU so much.

  10. East Side / West Side is the big debate – and unfortunately, I’ve never had it with someone who cared about schools so I have no knowledge about the most important factor for you. It’s hard to find any area that’s not multicultural so you should be fine researching the school standings and going to visit the neighborhoods to make a decision.

    Personally, I’m a downtown / west side kind of girl. Check out Lakewood and Rocky River before you decide. I like them both and I know Rocky River has good schools. I think Lakewood does too. Both area are west of downtown.

    Know this, whichever side you live on, you wilily not visit the other often. While they are not many miles apart, they are not well connected (as in, by fast moving roadways) so it always seems like a commitment to travel east or west from the other.

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