This was always our year

I was up early this morning.

The streets were quieter than usual, probably due to the fact that most of the town was still sleeping off the previous nights’ celebration. Though it was quiet, there was something different in the air. Something that this city hasn’t felt in 52 years. Victory.

We all wake up this morning as champions. The entire city of Cleveland. For everyone who ever doubted us, for Believeland, for everything else we’ve gone through… we made it. We are all winners today. And damn, does that feel good.


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It. Happened. !!!!! #cleveland #mycity #ahhhhhhh

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Three things in CLE

In a span of 24 hours this weekend (aka what felt like the only time I wasn’t working), I experienced some pretty cool shit around Cleveland. I’m a little late on this, but hey — sometimes a girl gets busy.

Friday night, I attended a poetry reading. It was the first time I’d ever been to one and while I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised at how rich of an experience it was. It took place in the quiet basement of Mac’s Backs Books on Coventry, and included on-tour writers Morgan Eldridge, Wendy Lee Spacek, and Michelle Gottschlich, and local readers Mallory Whitten, Stacey Pickering, Crisseycristinachristine, and Erin Elizabeth Wehrenberg. I went in support of Erin but found all the readers so crazy, eccentric, quirky, unique, and all so wonderful all in their own ways. 13066_1583028728608887_8980089043711901903_n Not knowing what to expect at a gathering like this, I found it to be very personal. It was in such an intimate space and at points the room was packed with people. These women read poems and stories, sometimes funny, sometimes serious, sometimes it didn’t make much sense, sometimes very short and sometimes longer. What I respected the most was how private some of their writing felt, and the confidence these women had sharing their words. It was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. I highly recommend you attending one if you can, and keeping an open mind about it if it’s not something you would normally do. The friends I dragged along to the event all enjoyed it more than they ever thought they would.

Skip to Saturday afternoon, and I had lunch at my new favorite spot downtown—Noodlecat. One of Cleveland’s Top 100 Restaurants, Noodlecat “recreates traditionally inspired flavors using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients following sustainable business practices in all areas of restaurant operation.” Located right on Euclid Ave, the walls are filled with chalk drawings of cartoons, cats and noodles. It’s got a great feel to it, and amazing food. IMG_20150218_205640 I’m obsessed with the Dan Dan Ramen – pictured above. It has no broth (which is how I prefer my ramen at home), and is a delicious combination of spicy garlic oil, Thai szechuan chili and sweet soy sauce with basil, scallions and roasted peanuts. I get it with a side of the Ohio-raised pulled pork. Literally heaven in a bowl – they also have yummy and sometimes experimental daily specials. Saturday I tried a steam bun for the first time. Once you get past the weird doughy consistency, the flavors they manage to pack into it are phenomenal.

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I liked Mike’s picture of the steam bun the best 🙂 This one is the Pickle Bun.

After Noodlecat, I absolutely had to make my way to CLE Clothing Co. on East 4th and Euclid. I have been eying their products online for some time now, just waiting for my tax return to hit so I could give all my money to them. dff1474a6c419f507eba5950ecb880a5 As the name suggests, CLE Clothing is all about Cleveland. Not just in their designs – their shop also features over 40 local artisans, designers and makers. According to their website, “over 98% of their products are Made in the USA and printed right here in Cleveland. The small percentage that is not produced domestically is sourced by companies located in Ohio.” And that is really fucking cool. The best part about their gear is that most of the t-shirts are printed on American Apparel tees, meaning you don’t have to sacrifice the quality of the t-shirt to showcase your Cleveland pride. The deep v-neck is by far my favorite: the soft, loose-fitting material and low neckline pairs perfectly with their catchy designs. I picked up an Ohio Love Cavs v-neck (so I can rock it in style when I’m at the game vs. the 76ers next Sunday), an I Love CLE Tribe tee for the upcoming season, and this perfect fucking necklace that I’ve already gotten a ton of compliments on (okay, so just the cashier at Target. That’s the only place I go during the week, okay!?): IMG_20150325_124848 Keep being awesome, Cleveland.

In other entertaining news (because my life is hilarious, always): despite this post where I love to hate Taylor Swift, I finally caved and decided to purchase her new album. At least, what I thought was her album… off of the Amazon Marketplace. What I assumed was a ‘Brand New’ CD (because that’s what it said it was), turned out to be a BURNED COPY which could have totally passed off for the real deal (besides only having the cover art printed on a single piece of card stock with no booklet insert), except my copy only had tracks one through 11!! WHERE WERE TRACKS 12 AND 13? HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN TO A LEGITIMATE CD? Answer: the CD was so not legit. I was laughing my head off at this whole situation, because in trying to save only $3.00 by ordering off of Amazon, I found the weirdest (and most popular???) seller to purchase from. He refunded me without hesitation ($2 more than what I actually paid), and told me to keep the faulty album. What. I took my refund and bought the deluxe version at Target. Jeez. The things I go through for you, T-Swift. 1415627252859_wps_17_Taylor_Swift_Blank_Space

4 Awesome Things I Did in Cleveland So Far This Month

I’m already declaring September as my month of regeneration. It’s my time to count my blessings and start enjoying the things life (and most importantly, my city) has to offer. Nine days into the month, and I have already had some really cool experiences around Cleveland.

1. Labor Day @ Edgewater Park

I am a little bummed that I just discovered this gem of a beach only this summer. Growing up on the east side, though, when we wanted to go to the lake we always just drove the 45 minutes to Mentor Headlands. What a terrible beach. Not only is it littered with people, but instead of sand, my poor feet get torn apart by tiny shards of glass and rock wherever I walk. Edgewater is such a refreshing change from that– with actual sand and some form of privacy (no one ever walks the 500 feet to the other end of the beach so it’s always less crowded there). Plus, having Whiskey Island right down the road is always clutch for those long summer days. There was no better way to spend what felt like the last day of summer.

2. The Black Keys @ Quicken Loans Area

I used to go to a lot of concerts as a teenager. Like, a lot. School nights, weekends… I remember going to work at the bagel shop on Sunday mornings after seeing our favorite band play at the Agora or the Grog Shop and not being able to take food orders because my ears were still ringing. We stampeded our way to the front row every time without fail, and we always had the time of our lives. Fast forward 8 years, and sadly I’m not as resilient as I once was. So when someone offers up tickets to a Cavs suite for a concert at the Q, I’m all about it. You mean I have a comfy seat, our own private bathroom, and beer stocked in the mini fridge? You can’t beat it. Especially when it’s to see a band as good as The Black Keys. Man, they put on a great live show. posted a great review for the nearly sold-out show here.


3. Baccarat @ Horseshoe Casino

Ever since graduating college, I strive to keep my brain active by learning new things… Baccarat turned out to be one of them this past weekend. Trying to learn a new card game when you’re at the casino is always difficult, and being 6 or 7 drinks deep didn’t help, but I guess you didn’t really need to understand much to put some chips down on ‘Player’ or ‘Banker’. That is, until you bet on the Banker and won, and realized you didn’t get all the money you bet back, and then these weirdos hand you some actual quarters because they take a commission from your winnings. It sparked my interest, so I began paying more attention and asking some questions as I watched two of the people we were with play.

In the most simple way I can try to explain it, you bet on either the Player or the Banker. The Player goes against the Banker, and the side that gets the closest to 9 (cards 2-9 are added at face value, 10s, Jacks, Queens and Kings are zero and aces are 1) wins the hand. If the total of the cards is a two-digit number, you use the rightmost digit (ie, a two and a nine, would be 1 because 1 is the rightmost digit after you add the numbers, 11). Two cards were drawn on each side, but in some instances a third card was drawn (when the Player has a total of 0-5… then it’s a little more complex with the banker and I don’t fully even understand it). There were other nuances to the game and ways to bet but just knowing how to add up the points and if I won the hand before the dealer announced it was good enough for me. The best part? When I started to understand, one of the guys we were with started winning big. He put some chips in front of me to bet for him, and I was pretty hasty with the betting since it wasn’t actually my money. I ended up winning him a few hundred dollars (!!) and walked out of there with a nice tip from him. A big win in my book, for having to take no risks whatsoever and get a reward.

4. Brunch @ Soho Kitchen & Bar

I’m not a foodie by any means… I just love to eat (always) and I know what tastes good to me. Brunch is arguably the best meal of the day, because not only is breakfast food bomb, but it’s also socially acceptable to have a cocktail before noon if only to mitigate the hangover caused by the prior night. I was excited when my friend suggested brunch on West 25th, since I had been meaning to make my way out there all summer for that very reason. He had gotten a solid recommendation from one of his co-workers (my friend is a sous-chef just to put it in perspective) about Soho Kitchen & Bar. I’m happy to report that it did not disappoint.

Eggs Benedict is always my go-to if it’s offered. Soho has a Southern Benedict on the menu– “Poached eggs, fried green tomatoes, country ham, home fries, Tabasco Hollandaise” aka, heaven on a plate. My friend and I each got that and we ordered the Crispy Beignets (which I learned is just a fancy word for ‘donuts’). Everything tasted outstanding. That damn Tabasco hollandaise UGH. My mimosa was delicious. No filter even needed for this pic. Oh yeah.


And on deck for the next week…

September 11th– Twenty One Pilots @ Jacobs Pavilion

Let’s talk about how I never win any contests, ever. I could call into a radio show a million times and not get through once (trust me, I have). I could sit next to my radio and text the keyword to try and win tickets to the iHeartRadio Music Festival every hour and still not win (trust me, I have. Is that thing even legit?) Alas, one contest presented itself that I knew I had a pretty good chance with winning. Submitting a question to Twenty One Pilots. So cool that my question got chosen by the band to answer, and I got two tickets to their show Thursday out of it!


September 14th– First Browns home game = TAILGATING. Arf arf 🙂