As part of Splenderosa's monthly series, By Invitation Only, let me introduce you to the magic of Cleveland, the best-kept secret on the North coast of the U.S. With the request to describe our hometown, my only challenge was to narrow my choices down to a manageable post size! If you are a regular guest here at PlumSiena, you know already how proud I am of our fair city and region. My family travels quite a bit, especially with having family in Europe. I love seeing the world, but I treasure our return home each and every time.
I would have to say that life here in Cleveland is directly affected by living on the shores of Lake Erie. No, it is not a small lake that you can see across, as some inquire about. It looks just like any ocean would, except that the water is fresh and, to me, much more pleasant to swim in. I live only two blocks from the lake, so I see it every day in its many moods. Living so close to it tempers our weather, making it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer than those living ten miles inland; a plus for our garden, I happily admit.
We are also directly affected by the four season here. Our lives are especially defined by the weather in the winter. Give me a cool (20's, 30's), sunny, crisp day over a humid summer day in the nineties, which we get enough of, believe me. One learns quickly to respect the presence of snow and ice, but it rarely stops us. Thankfully our cities know how to plow and salt so we can continue on. On the huge snowfall days (like over twelve inches), I don't mind the coziness of staying home, even if it is just to clear the driveway.
But spring is always welcome and this year it is early. Yeah!
We head right down to the lake once it has warmed up...
and spend many a sunset admiring its beauty.
The city of Cleveland is the tale of two cities; the East side and West side are separated by the Cuyahoga River. Each side of town is palpably different, with many rarely crossing over to the "other" side. Because I live on the West side and work most days on the East side, I have come to know both well. Downtown Cleveland sits in between, with its many beautiful buildings. I have written in depth about a number of them, here and here and here. Driving into the downtown area is a breeze. Our "rush hour" is barely there compared to most major cities- a huge plus for our citizens.
Much of Cleveland's downtown resulted from the Cleveland's City Beautiful movement, which conceived The Group Plan of 1903. The city's major civic and governmental buildings evolved from this plan and were all built in the neoclassical style.
Of course, you can't visit Cleveland without going to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!
Just west of the river stands the West Side Market, Cleveland's oldest public market. Its current building celebrates its 100th anniversary this year with over 100 vendors in attendance. We visit every week or two for its fabulous meats, cheese, produce and wide variety of ethnic foods.
If you are in the mood for a drive, traveling east for about forty-five minutes will take you to ASM International's headquarters and its geodesic dome or "space lattice"designed by R. Buckminster Fuller in 1959. It is the largest of its kind in the world.
Last, but not least, I treasure the nature that surrounds us here. Following our usually very pleasant summers, fall leads us to the shouted, fleeting beauty of its leaves and reminds us that they need to be appreciated now.
Be sure to check back in the next month or so as I will be launching a new design project, Design Culture Cleveland, featuring all that Cleveland has to offer.
And if you have the chance to visit the Cleveland area, please let me know.
I'd love to show you around.
Don't forget to visit my fellow bloggers here for their fascinating hometown descriptions.