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 53/100
The Mulch Pile
I have a strong fondness for the mulch pile at Shaker Lake due to the memories I’ve collected here. It’s a little smaller now than I like to remember it, so imagine these scenes with a mountain of mulch instead:- Climbing all over the pile with E.G. in the dead of winter just for the sake of climbing something, until we realized that the mulch was steaming and that E.G.’s feet were becoming numb. Yes, it was a little gross.- Watching a mom wait for her little boy as he stomped all over the top of the pile, yelling out a third-person narrative of his fight with a dinosaur “…AND THEN THE DINOSAUR CAME TOWARDS THE BOY AND THE FIERCE BOY FOUND A HUGE STICK TO FIGHT BACK WITH”- Hearing a bagpiper playing on one of my runs and following his tune until I found him, complete with a Scottish piper’s uniform. The bagpiper was about to perform at a wedding in Shaker and had pulled over just to practice his repertoire by the mulch pile. By the end of his impromptu performance there was a little crowd of runners and dog walkers clapping for him =)

Day 53/100

The Mulch Pile

I have a strong fondness for the mulch pile at Shaker Lake due to the memories I’ve collected here. It’s a little smaller now than I like to remember it, so imagine these scenes with a mountain of mulch instead:
- Climbing all over the pile with E.G. in the dead of winter just for the sake of climbing something, until we realized that the mulch was steaming and that E.G.’s feet were becoming numb. Yes, it was a little gross.
- Watching a mom wait for her little boy as he stomped all over the top of the pile, yelling out a third-person narrative of his fight with a dinosaur “…AND THEN THE DINOSAUR CAME TOWARDS THE BOY AND THE FIERCE BOY FOUND A HUGE STICK TO FIGHT BACK WITH”
- Hearing a bagpiper playing on one of my runs and following his tune until I found him, complete with a Scottish piper’s uniform. The bagpiper was about to perform at a wedding in Shaker and had pulled over just to practice his repertoire by the mulch pile. By the end of his impromptu performance there was a little crowd of runners and dog walkers clapping for him =)


Day 52/100
Big Al’s Diner
This is favorite breakfast diner in Cleveland, probably because it’s everything I expect out of a diner experience: vinyl covered bar stools and booths, enormous cakes in glass cake stands on the counter, motherly waitresses, black and white framed photos on the walls and enormous, gluttonous portions. Big Al’s is always packed, but don’t be turned off - the turnaround is usually pretty quick. If you like corned beef hash, you should try it here.

Day 52/100

Big Al’s Diner

This is favorite breakfast diner in Cleveland, probably because it’s everything I expect out of a diner experience: vinyl covered bar stools and booths, enormous cakes in glass cake stands on the counter, motherly waitresses, black and white framed photos on the walls and enormous, gluttonous portions. Big Al’s is always packed, but don’t be turned off - the turnaround is usually pretty quick. If you like corned beef hash, you should try it here.

Day 51/100
E.G.
You were such a wonderful part of life in Cleveland - we’ll miss you!

Day 51/100

E.G.

You were such a wonderful part of life in Cleveland - we’ll miss you!

Day 50/100
Melt Bar and Grilled
I can’t believe I’ve finally hit no.50. Melt (or “The Melt”) is probably one of the most iconic Cleveland restaurants I can think of. When the 100 Greatest Cult Restaurants in America list  came out I was proud to see that Melt was our Cleveland representative  among a lot of really amazing restaurants (yay, Melt!) If you can imagine eating a mutated grilled cheese sandwich on crack, this is where you would find it. To be more specific, here are some examples of what comes in the sandwiches:-peanut butter and cream cheese on texas toast, dipped in jam-ham, turkey, swiss and american on texas toast, fried all over and dipped in jam-2 pierogies, onions, sauerkraut, and cheddar cheese on texas toastMy absolute favorite is the Thanksgiving special: imagine turkey, stuffing, butternut squash and mashed potatoes all within two pieces of texas toast, with cranberry sauce for dipping. However, I usually get The Kindergarten (just cheese and bread) because I don’t want to die early of heart failure. The one I’ve drawn is the Christmas in July special. Yup, that’s mac and cheese inside that sandwich.Have I talked up this restaurant enough? Oh, I know what I’ve missed: the great selection of beer on tap. This is where I had my first Southern Tier’s Pumpkin Ale (so spicy and delicious) and Pyramid Apricot Ale. There are also lots of heavier, hoppier drinks for all you manly drinkers out there. I can’t introduce the Melt and not give a word of warning about the wait: you have to be prepared for a 2 hour wait if you try to eat anywhere close to a normal meal time. I don’t even try to go on weekends.

Day 50/100

Melt Bar and Grilled

I can’t believe I’ve finally hit no.50. Melt (or “The Melt”) is probably one of the most iconic Cleveland restaurants I can think of. When the 100 Greatest Cult Restaurants in America list came out I was proud to see that Melt was our Cleveland representative among a lot of really amazing restaurants (yay, Melt!) If you can imagine eating a mutated grilled cheese sandwich on crack, this is where you would find it. To be more specific, here are some examples of what comes in the sandwiches:
-peanut butter and cream cheese on texas toast, dipped in jam
-ham, turkey, swiss and american on texas toast, fried all over and dipped in jam
-2 pierogies, onions, sauerkraut, and cheddar cheese on texas toast
My absolute favorite is the Thanksgiving special: imagine turkey, stuffing, butternut squash and mashed potatoes all within two pieces of texas toast, with cranberry sauce for dipping. However, I usually get The Kindergarten (just cheese and bread) because I don’t want to die early of heart failure. The one I’ve drawn is the Christmas in July special. Yup, that’s mac and cheese inside that sandwich.
Have I talked up this restaurant enough? Oh, I know what I’ve missed: the great selection of beer on tap. This is where I had my first Southern Tier’s Pumpkin Ale (so spicy and delicious) and Pyramid Apricot Ale. There are also lots of heavier, hoppier drinks for all you manly drinkers out there.
I can’t introduce the Melt and not give a word of warning about the wait: you have to be prepared for a 2 hour wait if you try to eat anywhere close to a normal meal time. I don’t even try to go on weekends.

Day 49/100
The Hung residence
This is by far one of my favorite places in Cleveland. The couple that lives here has become like another set of parents to me, and every moment spent here with them is precious. I love every little thing about the house and yard: the bat houses, orchid hospital, little red wagon, living room birch trees, mossy patches by the pond, scattered bonsai trees (I could go on and on)… probably all because of their association to the Hungs.
I’ll be back to update on the 16th - I’m spending the week working remotely in beautiful Yellowstone! After this week I should be staying put in Cleveland until this project has been completed.

Day 49/100

The Hung residence

This is by far one of my favorite places in Cleveland. The couple that lives here has become like another set of parents to me, and every moment spent here with them is precious. I love every little thing about the house and yard: the bat houses, orchid hospital, little red wagon, living room birch trees, mossy patches by the pond, scattered bonsai trees (I could go on and on)… probably all because of their association to the Hungs.

I’ll be back to update on the 16th - I’m spending the week working remotely in beautiful Yellowstone! After this week I should be staying put in Cleveland until this project has been completed.

Day 48/100
Lake Erie Islands
This is a drawing of Gibraltar Island, off of the edge of Put In Bay. The water around Gibraltar isn’t actually swarming with kayaks and boats - I just wanted to draw every one that passed by while I sat there =) My favorite Lake Erie island by far is Kelley’s Island. My trip there was idyllic probably because I didn’t know the place was infested by rats and water snakes until after we left. That worked out beautifully because we swam, camped, hiked, explored strange ruins, and even slept on the beach completely oblivious to the little varmints. Put In Bay is like the older, alcoholic sibling to Kelley’s… if you want to be perpetually drunk, this is the place to go. But I do have to plug the beautiful Crystal Caves - a short, cheap tour will get you admission to walk into the largest geode in the world!

Day 48/100

Lake Erie Islands

This is a drawing of Gibraltar Island, off of the edge of Put In Bay. The water around Gibraltar isn’t actually swarming with kayaks and boats - I just wanted to draw every one that passed by while I sat there =) My favorite Lake Erie island by far is Kelley’s Island. My trip there was idyllic probably because I didn’t know the place was infested by rats and water snakes until after we left. That worked out beautifully because we swam, camped, hiked, explored strange ruins, and even slept on the beach completely oblivious to the little varmints. Put In Bay is like the older, alcoholic sibling to Kelley’s… if you want to be perpetually drunk, this is the place to go. But I do have to plug the beautiful Crystal Caves - a short, cheap tour will get you admission to walk into the largest geode in the world!

Day 47/100
Lake Erie
My friends joke that Cleveland lakefront real estate is going to skyrocket in the next 50 years because freshwater is going to become a scarcity. Right now Cleveland’s lakefront property is mostly inaccessible; besides a few parks and lakes it’s mostly industry and private property. But the few places where you can sit and enjoy the lake are really beautiful, especially on a day with a nice sunset.

Day 47/100

Lake Erie

My friends joke that Cleveland lakefront real estate is going to skyrocket in the next 50 years because freshwater is going to become a scarcity. Right now Cleveland’s lakefront property is mostly inaccessible; besides a few parks and lakes it’s mostly industry and private property. But the few places where you can sit and enjoy the lake are really beautiful, especially on a day with a nice sunset.

Day 47/100 - Cain Park
Until recently, I only went to Cain Park to play tennis. But last week Ksenia and Allison from Cain Park showed me around the theater sets and the little art gallery, and now my view of the park is completely different! Apparently Cain Park has been around since the 1930s. A high school drama teacher put on an outdoor performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream - a performance so successful that the Cleveland Heights mayor Frank Cain supported the building of a municipally owned theater in the same spot. Ksenia proudly told me that Cain Park has been supported and funded by the city ever since. She also pointed out the the original 1930s architecture still visible even after a renovation - it’s an ivy-covered brick column in the middle of the amphitheater. The theater and gallery areas are all closed off to the public except on performance and festival days, so no wonder I had no idea any of it existed. The Cain Park Arts Festival is coming up this Friday - please take the chance to go take a look at some Cleveland history!

Day 47/100 - Cain Park

Until recently, I only went to Cain Park to play tennis. But last week Ksenia and Allison from Cain Park showed me around the theater sets and the little art gallery, and now my view of the park is completely different! Apparently Cain Park has been around since the 1930s. A high school drama teacher put on an outdoor performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream - a performance so successful that the Cleveland Heights mayor Frank Cain supported the building of a municipally owned theater in the same spot. Ksenia proudly told me that Cain Park has been supported and funded by the city ever since. She also pointed out the the original 1930s architecture still visible even after a renovation - it’s an ivy-covered brick column in the middle of the amphitheater.
The theater and gallery areas are all closed off to the public except on performance and festival days, so no wonder I had no idea any of it existed. The Cain Park Arts Festival is coming up this Friday - please take the chance to go take a look at some Cleveland history!

Day 46/100
The Cultural Gardens
There are dozens of cultural gardens on MLK and East blvd north of Chester and south of Superior. Some gardens are better taken care of than others, but for the most part they’re all very beautiful in their own way. This one is the Hungarian cultural garden - my favorite for its beautiful cast iron gate. Others have fancy facades or statues of their most respectable countrymen.I have good memories wandering through these gardens and running around through the little grassy lawns that connect them. One sunny summer day, I saw multiple wedding parties using the gardens for photoshoots. If one garden was occupied, they would just move down to the next one. (I thought that was so clever.) That same day, M.R. and I heard an ice cream truck and caught it by running as quickly as we could in the direction of the ice cream truck music =)

Day 46/100

The Cultural Gardens

There are dozens of cultural gardens on MLK and East blvd north of Chester and south of Superior. Some gardens are better taken care of than others, but for the most part they’re all very beautiful in their own way. This one is the Hungarian cultural garden - my favorite for its beautiful cast iron gate. Others have fancy facades or statues of their most respectable countrymen.
I have good memories wandering through these gardens and running around through the little grassy lawns that connect them. One sunny summer day, I saw multiple wedding parties using the gardens for photoshoots. If one garden was occupied, they would just move down to the next one. (I thought that was so clever.) That same day, M.R. and I heard an ice cream truck and caught it by running as quickly as we could in the direction of the ice cream truck music =)

Day 45/100 - Local Singer/Songwriters
This is Ashley Brooke Toussant singing in Tremont. She’s got the sweetest voice and the cutest songs about ice cream sandwiches! Ashley is originally from Kent and has been making her way through Cleveland this past week, singing at the Waterloo Arts Fest and at the Visible Voice bookstore. It amazes me to think of how much talent comes out of Northeast Ohio (think of the Black Keys and a new favorite, Cloud Nothings) and the quality of music I hear being performed in back patios and your neighborhood bar. It’s exciting to be in a place where there are always up-and-coming bands making great music.

Day 45/100 - Local Singer/Songwriters

This is Ashley Brooke Toussant singing in Tremont. She’s got the sweetest voice and the cutest songs about ice cream sandwiches! Ashley is originally from Kent and has been making her way through Cleveland this past week, singing at the Waterloo Arts Fest and at the Visible Voice bookstore. It amazes me to think of how much talent comes out of Northeast Ohio (think of the Black Keys and a new favorite, Cloud Nothings) and the quality of music I hear being performed in back patios and your neighborhood bar. It’s exciting to be in a place where there are always up-and-coming bands making great music.