The thing about Cleveland* is that you've really gotta know where to go to have a good time. I cringe every time I hear my beloved corner of Northeast Ohio referred to as "The mistake on the lake," or hear about people who judge the city's stature by the size of its buildings downtown. I can tell you right now that if you're spending all of your time in Cleveland downtown, you'll miss out on the true heart of city.
During the Weapons of Mass Creation Fest, a lot of creative types came in from out of state, or out of town, and didn't really know where to go or what to see. I know a lot of them left thinking that while the people here are amazing, cool, and nifty neat-o, the area leaves a bit to be desired. No! You mustn't think such things! Lest that happen to any of YOU who come to visit Cleveland, I wanted to link to a friend's city tour guide she wrote for Design Sponge last year. Some of these businesses have moved, some have closed, and new ones have cropped up in their place. I hope to create my own niche tour guide of my favorite places in Northeast Ohio (including Canton, Akron, and Cleveland) with photos and stories to share with you too! But that will probably take quite a while to put together. So in the meantime, at least check out my photos from the WMC Fest weekend in Ohio City, just west of downtown Cleveland.
Saturday morning, Catherine, Megan, and I headed to the Westside Market, where outside there were a smattering of street venders selling creative goods (think mini Renegade Craft Fest), and inside there was lots of yummy produce was being sold and food was being cooked up- like sweet and savory crepes, falafel, ethnic food, and refreshing fruit smoothies. Later, we grabbed coffee at Loop (in Tremont, the neighborhood where Catherine lives) and browsed their impressive collection of new and vintage vinyl before popping into a few garage sales we passed. Tremont is a great place for garage saling, probably due to their odd mix of super yuppy and decidedly hipster population.
The rest of Saturday was spent with Catherine and Alie, as we split our time between hanging out at the different venues for WMC Fest, catching up with old friends, hanging out with newer friends, snacking on Catherine's beautiful front porch, rushing to grab a coveted seat in the overcrowded auditorium, and chowing down deliciousness at Happy Dog.
I already mentioned how nice it was to meet Tad Carpenter, and to be inspired by his words of wisdom for young, professional creatives, but truthfully I enjoyed every speaker I was able to listen to during the creative fest, and felt totally motivated and inspired when I got home! People like Johnny from Johnny Cupcakes and Tuesday Bassen (whom I met during breakfast at Lucky's Cafe) really inspired me to take leaps of faith, to go out and make things happen for myself, to not get caught up in analyzing risks, and be true to my Midwestern self. I know everyone else left feeling refreshed and inspired too. And to think that it all happened right here in Northeast Ohio!
*I don't live in Cleveland, but live an hour south in Canton, Ohio. We spend a lot of time in the city on Lake Erie, and really feel a nostalgic bond to Cleveland!