Yeah…I know. It’s commonly known as “The Mistake On The Lake”. Everybody knows that sometime ago, the lake caught on fire. Everybody knows at one time there used to be an area known as “The Flats” that was full of drunken debauchery. And everybody knows that Drew Carrey lives in Parma (outside of Cleveland). Other than that…what have you got? Well…quite a lot actually. The truth of the matter is is that Cleveland DOES actually rock…in many ways!
The most obvious is The Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame. Built back in 1995, this is the crowning achievement of Cleveland. What could have been another supersized Hard Rock Café is really a very cool museum chock full of musical goodness! When I went through, they had an exhibit of Pink Floyd memorabilia that included giant balloons from “The Wall” tour! But at any given time, you never know what you might see next. From Madonna to The Clash, all kinds of memorabilia line the walkways of this very impressive monument to music…and not just rock n roll. Blues, pop, alternative, jazz. You name it, there are multiple reasons to go check it out.
Secondly, Cleveland boasts 3 professional sports teams, including the Cavaliers who sport the premier player in the NBA in LeBron James. The Indians are consistently decent (even if they DID change the name of their stadium from Jacob’s Field to Progressive Field. Sellouts…). The only problem are the Browns. Consistently crappy, this city has backed their team since they returned in 1999 to a brand new stadium. But since their return, the best they have done was last year when they almost made the playoffs with a 10-6 record (the Bengals knocked them out of the playoffs last year in the last game of the season. Too bad for the Brownies! HA!).
As for restaurants and such, Cleveland offers quite a few good places to eat. From Italian to steak, you can walk throughout the city and find good eats. My personal favorite place is The Chophouse where I always get the beef tips and mashed garlic potatoes! But they also have their share of sandwich shops for lunch and Starbucks scattered all around.
I’m not gonna tell you to take your family vacation to Cleveland, because that ain’t what Cleveland is all about. However, if you should find yourself there for business or just a quick trip to get out of your town, then I’m here to report that Cleveland isn’t a mistake by the lake anymore. It has grown up quite nicely actually and can hold its own when it comes to comparisons to other U.S. cities.