Our apartment and friends
T.G and I have lived in this apartment for the last four years and a few months now - the entire time we’ve been in Cleveland. In our first and second year, we hosted brunches here almost every Saturday. It was our way of making friends and getting to know our friends’ friends. We would invite almost everyone who wanted to come - my A.G coworkers, her Clinic classmates, and the new people T.G, J.P and S.M were meeting from Scranton =) Sometimes the number of people would get a little out of hand, but we slowly learned to manage it all so that we weren’t still cooking an hour after everyone arrived! These brunches have gradually disappeared, but the tradition has continued in our annual Thanksgiving potluck. We’ve managed to fit 40-50 people into our little apartment for several years now and have seen crazy dishes like S.L’s deep fried turkey and C.S’s monstrous cherpumple on top of loads of quality home cooking. So why am I explaining all of this? Because I love Cleveland for the friends I’ve made here. I know that all of my experiences here would be nothing without the company of the people that I’ve had the good fortune to befriend. They’re the reason that I’ve stayed in Cleveland this long after becoming a freelance illustrator (a job that gives me complete flexibility).
You can’t see the little notes in this picture so I’ve uploaded them to my site if you want to click and enlarge on the sections: click here!
There are so many other places I wish I had time to draw and write about. Just to name a few off the top of my head, I’d draw The Flying Fig, The Masonic Theater (which just held a great concert by the Fleet Foxes and Walkmen!), E.4th St., The Natural History museum’s Explorer lecture series, The Inn on Coventry, Seoul Garden in Parma…the list could go on and on. I guess you’ll just have to find these new places for yourself! =)
I’ll be showing this collection of drawings in various formats at a few places around Cleveland this coming winter, and will update this tumblr when that information becomes available. Stay tuned!
There’s nothing like fall in cold places! The warm days and cold nights bring around beautiful yellow and red leaves, and autumn flavors suddenly start popping up everywhere! Let’s start with pumpkin - pumpkin cookies, whoopie pies, normal pies, lattes, soups, even pumpkin lasagna and pumpkin pasta sauce! Then there’s apple everything - hot spiced apple cider, apple butter, applesauce, dutch apple pies, apple donuts… There’s nothing better than going to an apple orchard to pick, throw, and eat apples =) (Unless you lose your camera halfway and then get bossed around by wasps all while it thunderstorms) I also have to mention running around pumpkin patches and cornfields, going through little kids mazes on tiny trikes, and the classic hay ride. And I can’t forget Oktoberfest at M.H and H.H’s place =)
One of the reasons I first started this blog in the spring was as an excuse to get out of the apartment and spend time outside. Making it to fall seems like a perfect way to wrap it up as we quickly approach our long cold months. I hope you’ve all managed to spend a good amount of time outdoors these past few months!
Cleveland Rock Gym
The first time we came here last year we drove back and forth on St. Clair, missing the tiny blue sign every time. We finally found it behind a lane of warehouses, next to a heap of wood and what we thought was an old MRI machine. Upon entering, we were surprised to find a very active rock climbing scene complete with the occasional dog and kid scampering about (and sometimes climbing like little monkeys! The kid, not the dog.) I always thought rock climbing was a pretty solitary activity, but now I think it’s all about working together: your friends stick behind you to spot you and test the routes you’re trying to get through. We had fun trying to boulder for a few weeks, but never got to belaying. Hopefully it’ll happen one day!
Gardens and Arboretums
Okay, so I’m running out of time and I don’t have enough days left to cover everything I want to talk about. So.. this post is dedicated to both the Cleveland Botanical Gardens and the Holden Arboretum. One is right in the middle of Wade Oval and the other is an hour east of here. If I had time I’d tour every city’s arboretum and gardens.. but I guess that’s what retirement is for =) My favorite part of CBG is the library, a small room overlooking the edge of the outdoor gardens that is crowded with books on everything you could imagine having to do with plants. Horticulture guides, bonsai picture books, books on how to grow award winning giant vegetables…and tons of cook books! I’ve found a recipe for pumpkin wine and another one for eel and marigold stew, I think? Haha, that one came out of an edible flowers cookbook and made me laugh: if you’re going to eat marigolds, you’ve got to cook some eel into it. If the CBG was still free (like it was up until a few years ago) I would be here all the time =)
As for the Arboretum, I’ve only been once in the spring but can’t wait to take another walk around when the fall colors come out! I’m sure it’ll be gorgeous.
This building is the Cleveland Institute of Art (right next to Severance Hall and the Botanical Gardens). It houses the Cinematheque, an alternative film theater showing 35mm and 16mm films in the CIA auditoriums. I came here last week to see Women Art Revolution (WAR!), a good film about the feminist movement in the fine art world mostly between the 60s and 80s. I took several art history courses in school but had never heard of most of the women artists in this film, which proves the point of the filmmaker that so much history and work has been covered up and mostly forgotten. I seem to be having lots of discussions about gender these days…
The towpath trail
The “Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail” used to be Cleveland’s primary source of transportation. (Imagine mules and boats pulling supplies up to Cleveland!) It stretches from Akron almost up to Steelyard Commons, and joins up with the Emerald Necklace trail in Brecksville. I went the other day with my little red bike for a short fall ride between Harvard Rd and Independence. It’s great because there aren’t many people around, you can enjoy the trail knowing that you’re in the middle of the city, and even catch a few great blue herons!
There isn’t much Mexican food around Cleveland, but I like Luchita’s for its tasty burrito mojados, sangria, mole, cactus, and fast service. I’m going to sound like an old-timer saying this, but I miss the days when Luchita’s was still open in Shaker Square and we could just walk down the street to grab some sangria and Mexican food! (That particular location has been replaced twice now with new restaurants in the 4 years I’ve been here.. ahh, Cleveland. ) Favorite memories here include completely underestimating pitcher of sangria vs. 2 lightweight people (good thing it was the Shaker location so I just walked home) and watching Obama win on election day at the 117th location =)