Wednesday, September 21, 2011

100 Days in Cleveland

I'm totally on a Cleveland kick, but a well deserved one! I just moved from Cleveland to San Francisco and, while I am in love with my new city, I still appreciate and miss a lot of things about good ol' Cleveland. There are so many hidden gems in that city that make it fun and surprising. Our very own Julia Kuo has tackled the task of drawing 100 things she loves about Cleveland. I think it's such a great idea, and I've even learned some things about the city by following her blog. And wow, she's on #91 already! If you haven't seen it already, click here.

Here are some of my favorites:

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 fast as we could in the direction of the ice cream truck music =)

Day 78/100

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 65/100
Edgewater Park

This a view of Edgewater park’s beach and pier from the higher, grassy part of the park. I like this park because it feels more ethnically diverse than a lot of other places in Cleveland: there are people of all skin tones here. Unrelated to the diversity is also a little bit of weirdness - you’ll see all kinds of people lounging on the beach in all sorts of … exciting swimwear. I’ve come here to ride my bike, take walks, swim, fish, fly my kite, and will soon get to barbeque here as well! The last time I was here I heard and followed the sound of beautiful music that reminded me of Beirut. It belonged to the choir of a large Ukrainian church service and baptism that was taking place right by the water!

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