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-

Day One

Through these doors, the adventure begins. 

Here goes nothing…

Cleveland is my home. It’s where I live and where I grew up. It’s a city on the rise and one that could always use a little good PR. That’s why this is being considered a “kick-off” month. I thought it would be cheating if I officially started this project just 20 minutes from my house. But nonetheless, I couldn’t resist an opportunity to showcase one of c-town’s best agencies—Recess Creative.

A small shop overflowing with personality, Recess brings their unique flavor to everything from websites and apps to print and collateral. The owners, Tim and Chris, have been such an influence on this project that I couldn’t even fathom beginning it anywhere else. Needless to say, I look forward to sharing my time here with the entire agency.

When I started this project, I wasn’t sure how it would play out. I mean, who would give a damn about a young Copywriter traveling the nation, trying to understand what it truly means to be “creative”? It turns out, a lot of people. So, as I mark the beginning of this exciting, yearlong journey, I can’t help but remain overwhelmed by the outpouring of positivity and support I’ve received from day one.

I realize that I’m the only one physically going on this trip, but there are so many people who helped make it possible. And I can’t even begin to thank them enough. Without each and every one of them, this wouldn’t even exist. Having said that, I’m really glad I can bring you along for the ride. Over the course of the next 14 months, I’m going to share my entire life with you. Through ups and downs, ins and outs, I’m keeping this blog filter-free. 

I know this post is crammed to the brim with thanks, but if you’d allow me just one more, I want to thank you all ahead of time for spending the next year with me. I think we’re going to become fast friends and have a lot of fun along the way.

Until next time,

-Steve-

Hurry Up & Wait...

 

"Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet." — Jean-Jacques Rousseau 

I know I've been rather silent over the past month and I'm sure updates will be few and far between, until December rolls around. However, I didn't want anyone thinking that I'm sitting here with my legs up, sipping martinis (I only do that on alternating weekends).

Rest assured, I am as busy as ever.  

You may have noticed that I secured an agency in Chicago—TRIS3CT.  With this confirmation, I've now mapped out my entire tour except for the final two stops. Of course, given these dates are well over a year away, I don't see myself having any announcements about them until next spring at the earliest. I also think it's a bit exciting to start this project, not knowing where exactly it's going to end. Oh, I need to mention Trunks Up! Marketing and Jakprints too! These great companies have signed on as project sponsors and I'm happy to have them aboard. 

Other than that, I am hard at work securing new sponsors and building partnerships that will increase the project's visibility and overall ROI for everyone involved. I'm also beginning to look at my travel options, budgets, housing needs, etc. If there's one piece of advice I can to someone looking to spearhead a project like this—or any large-scale project for that matter—it's that you have to be ready and willing to tackle all the tedious behind the scenes work ahead of time. The more you have planned out upfront, the less of a headache it will be later. 

So, there you have it. I have 2 agencies to go and I'm hoping to secure 2 more financial sponsors before December. I'm just over the half way mark on my budgeting goal and I'm confident I can secure the rest in the coming months (fingers crossed).  

As always, if you'd like to become a sponsor, join in this great adventure or just grab a drink when I'm in town, shoot me a line at zombieparmesan@gmail.com or tweet me @zombieparmesan.