100 days in cleveland

i'm trying to draw a picture of something i like about cleveland every day for 100 days.

prints available at juliaincleveland.etsy.com
juliaskuo@gmail.com
Day 82/100
Kayaking
I can’t wait to own my own kayak one day, and to sit it on a little kayak rack on top of my car… I’d drive down to the river (that’s hopefully right by my little future house) and just spend afternoons drifting. The following is what I’d call a perfect day. Cleveland kayaking means driving down to Camp Hi in Hiram, getting single kayaks with a bunch of friends and lazily kayaking for 3 or 4 hours down the Cuyahoga River. We pack peanut butter jelly sandwiches (and sometimes cider!) and try to anchor ourselves on submerged tree branches when it’s time for a lunchtime break. Warmer days used to mean jumping into the water to swim, but ever since we took a moment to think about how the Cuyahoga River once caught on fire we stopped doing that. Towards the end of the ride we pass by the riverside houses, which sometimes have giant inflatable thingies that we try not to hurt ourselves on (but sometimes it can’t be helped). And of course we always ask for permission. There are “rapids” near the end, so try not to leave anything behind on the giant inflatable things so that you don’t have to kayak back upstream. Top it all off with a trip to Blazin Bill’s for dinner, or maybe a spontaneous pie-ing of a good friend =)

Day 82/100

Kayaking

I can’t wait to own my own kayak one day, and to sit it on a little kayak rack on top of my car… I’d drive down to the river (that’s hopefully right by my little future house) and just spend afternoons drifting.
The following is what I’d call a perfect day. Cleveland kayaking means driving down to Camp Hi in Hiram, getting single kayaks with a bunch of friends and lazily kayaking for 3 or 4 hours down the Cuyahoga River. We pack peanut butter jelly sandwiches (and sometimes cider!) and try to anchor ourselves on submerged tree branches when it’s time for a lunchtime break. Warmer days used to mean jumping into the water to swim, but ever since we took a moment to think about how the Cuyahoga River once caught on fire we stopped doing that. Towards the end of the ride we pass by the riverside houses, which sometimes have giant inflatable thingies that we try not to hurt ourselves on (but sometimes it can’t be helped). And of course we always ask for permission. There are “rapids” near the end, so try not to leave anything behind on the giant inflatable things so that you don’t have to kayak back upstream. Top it all off with a trip to Blazin Bill’s for dinner, or maybe a spontaneous pie-ing of a good friend =)

Day 81/100The Summer Solstice Festival at the Cleveland Art MuseumThis  post is a little late in coming, but I didn’t want to leave it out. I  think the Summer Solstice Festival is one of the most unique and  exciting events Cleveland offers. I went for the first time this year  and was fascinated by the crowd - it was a very well-to-do, mature, and  almost eccentric crowd that I don’t often see in Cleveland. We came for  the 7pm twilight admission after learning last year that attempting to  buy 10pm solstice tickets on the day of the festival is impossible. This  way we were able to catch Group Doueh (imagine a lead singer dressed in  traditional Western Sarahan garb playing an electric guitar over and  behind his head, ) and Mucca Pazza, an insanely hyper band of a dozen  (or two dozen; who knows how many people they had up on that stage)  playing gypsy like tunes. We caught the Rodin “sculptures” who made  their first debut at Parade the Circle and the very talented hoola  hoopers who danced to the sounds of Dam-Funk. And of course we made sure  to do our share of wandering around the museum, enjoying the current  Korean and Japanese art exhibit and listening in on docents. The  festival happened to fall on the day before my birthday, and turned out  to be a wonderful way to celebrate =)

Day 81/100

The Summer Solstice Festival at the Cleveland Art Museum

This post is a little late in coming, but I didn’t want to leave it out. I think the Summer Solstice Festival is one of the most unique and exciting events Cleveland offers. I went for the first time this year and was fascinated by the crowd - it was a very well-to-do, mature, and almost eccentric crowd that I don’t often see in Cleveland. We came for the 7pm twilight admission after learning last year that attempting to buy 10pm solstice tickets on the day of the festival is impossible. This way we were able to catch Group Doueh (imagine a lead singer dressed in traditional Western Sarahan garb playing an electric guitar over and behind his head, ) and Mucca Pazza, an insanely hyper band of a dozen (or two dozen; who knows how many people they had up on that stage) playing gypsy like tunes. We caught the Rodin “sculptures” who made their first debut at Parade the Circle and the very talented hoola hoopers who danced to the sounds of Dam-Funk. And of course we made sure to do our share of wandering around the museum, enjoying the current Korean and Japanese art exhibit and listening in on docents. The festival happened to fall on the day before my birthday, and turned out to be a wonderful way to celebrate =)

Day 80/100
Sweet Melissa
If this restaurant weren’t so far away, I’d be here all the time! It’s the kind of place you wish you had opened yourself (if you were even capable of running a restaurant). Sweet Melissa’s is airy and spacious, with huge windows on one wall. The food is top notch no matter what meal you come for - I’m getting hungry just thinking about the blackened crab cake sandwich and salmon hash. Everything is designed beautifully, from the dark wood interior and copper ceiling to the tall, thin glassware. Oh and they’ve won the award for best chocolate cake for a few years now - what more could you ask for?

Day 80/100

Sweet Melissa

If this restaurant weren’t so far away, I’d be here all the time! It’s the kind of place you wish you had opened yourself (if you were even capable of running a restaurant). Sweet Melissa’s is airy and spacious, with huge windows on one wall. The food is top notch no matter what meal you come for - I’m getting hungry just thinking about the blackened crab cake sandwich and salmon hash. Everything is designed beautifully, from the dark wood interior and copper ceiling to the tall, thin glassware. Oh and they’ve won the award for best chocolate cake for a few years now - what more could you ask for?

Day 79/100
The Grog Shop
I’ve already posted about the Beachland Ballroom, so it’s about time that I talk about the Grog Shop. It’s a different crowd, and depending on the night you might be hanging out with a ton of high schoolers. But it’s a great venue and the bands that come through here are top notch. One of my favorite memories here was a night after dinner on Coventry where we wandered in to see who was playing, only to find Kimya Dawson sitting on the floor Indian style in the middle of an adoring crowd (all sitting on the floor in the same way)!

Day 79/100

The Grog Shop

I’ve already posted about the Beachland Ballroom, so it’s about time that I talk about the Grog Shop. It’s a different crowd, and depending on the night you might be hanging out with a ton of high schoolers. But it’s a great venue and the bands that come through here are top notch. One of my favorite memories here was a night after dinner on Coventry where we wandered in to see who was playing, only to find Kimya Dawson sitting on the floor Indian style in the middle of an adoring crowd (all sitting on the floor in the same way)!

Day 78/100
Tremont
This little neighborhood has changed a lot in the past 5 years. Great places like The Loop, Dante, Bac, and Lilly’s Chocolates have popped up and become staples of the area. Lucky’s bought that little triangle patch of grass across the street. Lincoln Park now hosts performances like the Joffrey Ballet! What was once a dodgy place to live has become the up-and-coming place to find great eats and cute boutiques. I used to be perpetually lost here, but thanks to friends living in an apartment above the Fat Cats restaurant and on W.14th I’ve gotten a little better about finding my way around. My favorite spots here would have to be the La Bodega sub shop, Sokolowski’s, the view from W.10th overlooking downtown, and the couch by the window in Lava Lounge. You might be wondering why I picked this building to draw. It was currently renovated to become a large apartment complex, but can you guess what it was before? Take a second to think about all the street names around the area. Professor, Literary, College, University, Sokolowski’s University Inn…yes, that’s right! Way back in the 1850s, this was a college town. This building was Cleveland University’s Tremont campus - doesn’t it look like a huge dormitory and oldschool classroom building? It’s something to think about how much this town has changed, and even more exciting to look for signs of what it used to be.

Day 78/100

Tremont

This little neighborhood has changed a lot in the past 5 years. Great places like The Loop, Dante, Bac, and Lilly’s Chocolates have popped up and become staples of the area. Lucky’s bought that little triangle patch of grass across the street. Lincoln Park now hosts performances like the Joffrey Ballet! What was once a dodgy place to live has become the up-and-coming place to find great eats and cute boutiques. I used to be perpetually lost here, but thanks to friends living in an apartment above the Fat Cats restaurant and on W.14th I’ve gotten a little better about finding my way around. My favorite spots here would have to be the La Bodega sub shop, Sokolowski’s, the view from W.10th overlooking downtown, and the couch by the window in Lava Lounge.

You might be wondering why I picked this building to draw. It was currently renovated to become a large apartment complex, but can you guess what it was before? Take a second to think about all the street names around the area. Professor, Literary, College, University, Sokolowski’s University Inn…yes, that’s right! Way back in the 1850s, this was a college town. This building was Cleveland University’s Tremont campus - doesn’t it look like a huge dormitory and oldschool classroom building? It’s something to think about how much this town has changed, and even more exciting to look for signs of what it used to be.

Day 77/100
The Studio
This room in the Belgian Village (see this post) was my studio for a year. I used it mostly for storing and shipping Nimbus Factory products and gave up in working here in the winter when it got too cold to leave my apartment. (One of the perks of being a freelancer: you don’t have to go outside if you don’t want to!) It was amazing to have a studio here because this house happens to also include an indoor squash court, a waterfall shower, a kitchen with a magnetic induction stove and a grill, a hot tub, and a back patio that overlooks a little ravine (complete with an occasional little red fox visitor). I’ll probably never rent a room in a house this nice again. In this picture : Transylvanian wine from E.G., a cute little bunny vase  with dried lavender, my retired polaroid, my broken-zippered green  backpack that I refuse to stop using, some lovely paintings by C.M., an ornamental pepper plant, and a massive roll of humongous bubble wrap.

Day 77/100

The Studio

This room in the Belgian Village (see this post) was my studio for a year. I used it mostly for storing and shipping Nimbus Factory products and gave up in working here in the winter when it got too cold to leave my apartment. (One of the perks of being a freelancer: you don’t have to go outside if you don’t want to!) It was amazing to have a studio here because this house happens to also include an indoor squash court, a waterfall shower, a kitchen with a magnetic induction stove and a grill, a hot tub, and a back patio that overlooks a little ravine (complete with an occasional little red fox visitor). I’ll probably never rent a room in a house this nice again. In this picture : Transylvanian wine from E.G., a cute little bunny vase with dried lavender, my retired polaroid, my broken-zippered green backpack that I refuse to stop using, some lovely paintings by C.M., an ornamental pepper plant, and a massive roll of humongous bubble wrap.

Day 76/100
The Metroparks (Part 1 - The Emerald Necklace)
I could do several posts on the Metroparks, but I’m starting to run out of entries! So I’ll have to make do with two. It’s one of the things I love most about Cleveland. Seeing a wooded green area in LA was a rarity - we’d drive to Yosemite or at least Big Bear Lake and make a big deal out of it (camping, boating, and hiking). Moving to Cleveland and realizing the entire city was surrounded by spaces that looked like national parks was exciting to say the least. The horseshoe shaped ring is often called the Emerald Necklace. The green dashes in the drawing mark an all-purpose trail that runs through most of the Metroparks. I don’t think they’re connected through the entire horseshoe, but my impression is that you can still follow it for miles if you’re a long distance biker. This specific park is Rocky River Metropark. It’s amazing that the entrance is in the middle of the city - across the road from Blackbird Bakery, and down the street from Dewey’s Pizza!

Day 76/100

The Metroparks (Part 1 - The Emerald Necklace)

I could do several posts on the Metroparks, but I’m starting to run out of entries! So I’ll have to make do with two. It’s one of the things I love most about Cleveland. Seeing a wooded green area in LA was a rarity - we’d drive to Yosemite or at least Big Bear Lake and make a big deal out of it (camping, boating, and hiking). Moving to Cleveland and realizing the entire city was surrounded by spaces that looked like national parks was exciting to say the least. The horseshoe shaped ring is often called the Emerald Necklace. The green dashes in the drawing mark an all-purpose trail that runs through most of the Metroparks. I don’t think they’re connected through the entire horseshoe, but my impression is that you can still follow it for miles if you’re a long distance biker. This specific park is Rocky River Metropark. It’s amazing that the entrance is in the middle of the city - across the road from Blackbird Bakery, and down the street from Dewey’s Pizza!

Day 75/100
The Arcade
The Arcade was one of my first introductions to Cleveland. I stayed here for a cousin’s wedding (at Playhouse Square, which I’ll post about later) the same weekend that I came to apartment hunt. It’s a beautifully designed Victorian-era structure with glass paneling for the domed roof and iron for the four levels of balconies ringed around the main court. It started off as one of America’s first indoor shopping malls, but since then it’s become the home of the Hyatt Regency and a few small boutiques.

Day 75/100

The Arcade

The Arcade was one of my first introductions to Cleveland. I stayed here for a cousin’s wedding (at Playhouse Square, which I’ll post about later) the same weekend that I came to apartment hunt. It’s a beautifully designed Victorian-era structure with glass paneling for the domed roof and iron for the four levels of balconies ringed around the main court. It started off as one of America’s first indoor shopping malls, but since then it’s become the home of the Hyatt Regency and a few small boutiques.

Day 74/100
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Part 2)
The current exhibit at the Rock Hall is Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power. It features women who have influenced rock and roll, from Billie Holiday to Meg from the White Stripes. It was exciting to see the dresses these women performed in and the scraps of paper on which they wrote their now famous lyrics for the first time ever. You can see Lady Gaga’s meat dress (now colored beef jerky), Cher’s elaborate Indian costume (apparently she’s part Native American), and Queen Latifah’s yearbook (she looks so cute as a high school senior).  Thank you Reena for all of my fun facts =) I almost had a heart attack when I saw Janelle Monae’s Tightrope video outfit! I highly recommend seeing this exhibit while it’s still up - you have until the end of February 2012. On Tuesday night, the first ladies of rock and roll - Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart - came to the Rock Hall to participate in a Legends Series Interview. I have to admit I didn’t know much going about Heart in, but I left feeling completely inspired by these two women. Nancy explained that getting into rock and roll was “like being called in a migration… like some kind of National Geographic moment.” I respected their drive and success in finding an equal footing with the other giants of their day. Ann said, “We didn’t want to be the girlfriends of the Beatles… we wanted to be the Beatles!” We were even lucky enough to hear them perform a few songs - complete with awesome kick jumps by Nancy - ending with a beautiful tribute to Cleveland’s Jane Scott. It was a great night and I was incredibly lucky to be there.

Day 74/100

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Part 2)

The current exhibit at the Rock Hall is Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power. It features women who have influenced rock and roll, from Billie Holiday to Meg from the White Stripes. It was exciting to see the dresses these women performed in and the scraps of paper on which they wrote their now famous lyrics for the first time ever. You can see Lady Gaga’s meat dress (now colored beef jerky), Cher’s elaborate Indian costume (apparently she’s part Native American), and Queen Latifah’s yearbook (she looks so cute as a high school senior).  Thank you Reena for all of my fun facts =) I almost had a heart attack when I saw Janelle Monae’s Tightrope video outfit! I highly recommend seeing this exhibit while it’s still up - you have until the end of February 2012.


On Tuesday night, the first ladies of rock and roll - Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart - came to the Rock Hall to participate in a Legends Series Interview. I have to admit I didn’t know much going about Heart in, but I left feeling completely inspired by these two women. Nancy explained that getting into rock and roll was “like being called in a migration… like some kind of National Geographic moment.” I respected their drive and success in finding an equal footing with the other giants of their day. Ann said, “We didn’t want to be the girlfriends of the Beatles… we wanted to be the Beatles!” We were even lucky enough to hear them perform a few songs - complete with awesome kick jumps by Nancy - ending with a beautiful tribute to Cleveland’s Jane Scott. It was a great night and I was incredibly lucky to be there.

Day 73/100
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Part 1)
Isn’t this a gorgeous building? It opened in 1995 and was designed by the famous architect I.M.Pei, also known for his glass and steel pyramid at the Louvre, the J.F.K Library, and the John Hancock tower.The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s mission is to preserve the history of the people who have shaped the music industry and much of western culture over the past half century. Thanks to two very generous ladies at the Rock Hall, I finally went to this museum for the first time last night. I can’t believe that I’ve waited so long -  I’m itching to go back so that I can slowly go through the entire museum! I saw Heart (the first women of rock!) live as well as the new Women Who Rock exhibit. It was an amazing experience, but I’ll say more about that tomorrow. Thanks so much, Margaret and Reena =)

Day 73/100

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Part 1)

Isn’t this a gorgeous building? It opened in 1995 and was designed by the famous architect I.M.Pei, also known for his glass and steel pyramid at the Louvre, the J.F.K Library, and the John Hancock tower.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s mission is to preserve the history of the people who have shaped the music industry and much of western culture over the past half century. Thanks to two very generous ladies at the Rock Hall, I finally went to this museum for the first time last night. I can’t believe that I’ve waited so long - I’m itching to go back so that I can slowly go through the entire museum! I saw Heart (the first women of rock!) live as well as the new Women Who Rock exhibit. It was an amazing experience, but I’ll say more about that tomorrow. Thanks so much, Margaret and Reena =)