Day Three

Not all that glitters is gold.

I don’t think I need to tell you this, but Cleveland is cold and I don’t like it one bit. I’m actually not the biggest fan of winter in general. Of course, that begs the question as to why I’ll be going to Boston in January. But I feel that internal argument should be saved for an entirely different blog post.

I wanted to take a moment and give the world a better view of a city we call Cleveland. Sure, it may be freezing over and our cloudy days may outweigh our sunny ones, but make no mistake—this is a bustling and vibrant city. Over the past decade, Cleveland has seen an influx of new industry growth. From the continued expansion of the Cleveland Clinic to the new convention center and Ernst & Young tower, things are really starting to look up for a city that has long been the poster child of a failed rust belt.

This sustained growth has also led to the revitalization of several neighbors in Cleveland and its surrounding suburbs. In Lakewood, just west of Cleveland, you’ll find the Gordon Square Arts District, bustling with hip shops and eateries. Think of it as Cleveland’s own vision of a hipster paradise. On East 9th St. in downtown, you can enjoy world-class cuisine and even take in a show at the House of Blues. Every time I drive by it, I’m always reminded of the energetic streets of New Orleans or Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It just has this vibe to it that makes you want to join in on the fun.

The same goes for Ohio City, which is just over the Detroit/Superior Bridge to the west. From Mitchell’s Ice Cream to Bier Markt, the area is truly building toward something great. Then of course, you have the expansion of Cleveland State University. I’ll admit, before I moved back to Ohio in April, I hadn’t been to the east side of Cleveland in a long, long time. I believe the last time I ventured that way was when I fronted a high school metal band. We frequented the recently demolished Peabody’s Down Under, one of Cleveland’s now long-lost rock clubs. All of which seem to be disappearing at an alarming rate.

However, unlike other venues that got the axe, Peabody’s was a bittersweet moment. Just by passing through the expanded CSU campus, I could see something amazing happening. Everything is new, modern and full of life. It felt like I was in a completely different city. Nothing I remembered remains. In its place I found dorms, academic buildings and a ton of new student hangouts.

I could honestly go on and on about how different Cleveland is from when I left for NYC 5 years ago. And I think for a city that consistently gets a bad rap, it’s doing a pretty darn good job of changing its image. That’s why I’m so proud to have Cleveland Whiskey and CLE Clothing has sponsors for this journey. They’re a part of the countless number of new businesses changing this city for the better.

-Steve-