Sunday, July 12, 2015


We're doing the rust belt tour. Went to Pittsburgh last week. Had plans to leave for Buffalo tomorrow but Cooper Dog has pneumonia so we're staying close to Mom's in Ohio for now.

Last month we spent a couple of nights in downtown Cleveland at a cool hotel. We went to the West Side Market, Great Lakes Brewery, and the observation deck of the Terminal Tower. We bought Cavaliers shirts at "The Q," admired Cleveland's architecture, had fun at our hotel's bars, and walked all over the city. We also spent time in the wine, beer, and coffee departments of Heinens, an upscale grocery store next to our hotel. 

Downtown buildings are behind restored/renovated. Condos/apartments are in demand. Public Square is being redesigned by a man said to be America's leading landscape architect. Playhouse Square -- the largest theatre district outside of New York City-- has been revived and reopened.  

And Cleveland is attracting a diverse crowd. Last year the city hosted the 2014 Gay Games. Next year it will host the 2016 Republican National Convention. Can't get much more diverse than that. 
Bev in Playhouse Square near what the city says is the world's largest outdoor chandelier. As I walked to get coffee one morning I saw two guys on a cherry picker hand polishing the crystals. 
Jim at Great Lake Brewery in the Cleveland area called "Ohio City."  We liked the beer at Great Lakes; the food not so much, but the place was packed.

In February 2015 Heinens Fine Foods opened an upscale grocery store in the restored Cleveland Trust Company bank, which was built in 1908. The second floor has an automatic wine sampling machine and beer tasting.  The hotel where we stayed -- the Metropolitan at the 9 -- is in the building to the right.    
The centerpiece of Heinens grocery store is the former bank's beautiful glass rotunda.   That's Bev's wine in the foreground.
The lobby of the former Cleveland Trust Company bank is now a lunch spot for downtown Clevelanders. Heinens operates 23 grocery stores in northeastern Ohio and the Chicago area. It seems funny to post three photos of a grocery store -- but it's right next to our hotel and we went there for something every day.
Our hotel room. When we first walked in, I thought the room had a glass partition.  If I had noticed the towels I would have realized it's a glass-enclosed shower.  
We bought cannoli at the West Side Market not pig heads.  Besides pork and pastries, the Ohio City market sells, veggies, fruits, meats, periogies,  flowers,  pasta, herbs, olive oil, maple syrup, honey, fish, popcorn, prepared foods, you name it. It began operating in 1840 and is the oldest indoor/outdoor market in the state.  It's a fun place to visit and in a great neighborhood with lots of restaurants and shops.
Two standout buildings in Cleveland's skyline:  The Key Bank Building, left, and the Terminal Tower. The Key Bank Building was completed in 1991; it's the tallest skyscraper in Ohio and the 23rd tallest building in the US. You can see the being-redesigned public square at the bottom of the photo. To the right is the Terminal Tower, the fourth tallest building in the US when it was dedicated in 1930. The Terminal Tower was opened as office space above a rail hub, and has  an observation deck on the 42nd floor.  Today the complex includes a shopping mall.

We visited Cleveland during the NBA finals while the Cavs were playing in Oakland.  Cavs signs like the two above were all over the place. It was a fun atmosphere.

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