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. 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. 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.
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. 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!?): 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.