Saturday, May 29, 2010

Renovation Teaser!

Got a new light installed today (thank you loving husband!) This will go above my art table.  Yeah!  Step by step we are getting closer. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

And On SECOND Thought

Since I'm feeling on the defensive about the great city I live in, and I was, indeed, horrified by the Forbes ranking (boooooooo FORBES!!)  here is a list from explaining just a few things that make this city so great. (For the full list please visit Happy in CLE by clicking on the blog title.)

The Burning River:
The burning of the Cuyahoga River was not the first industrial river to burn and certainly not the last. It WAS however, the one the got the most attention and led directly to the creation of the Clean Water Act of 1972, still the most “influential water improvement measure on the books.” “The water quality of the Cuyahoga River has improved dramatically since the late 1960s,” says Tinka Hyde, U.S. EPA Regional Water Division director. “More than 40 species of fish were found in the river in 2008, including steelhead trout, northern pike, and others. This shows how powerful a tool the Clean Water Act can be when the public, government, and industry are committed to restoring an important waterway.” Today the Cuyahoga River is one of 14 American Heritage Rivers in the United States and the centerpiece of Ohio’s only national park (the Cuyahoga Valley). It runs through beautiful rural burgs like Cuyahoga Falls and Kent, provides water access for rowing clubs, boaters and commerce.

The Market:
Cleveland’s West Side Market was name one of “10 Great Public Spaces in America.”  Its collection of handmade pastas, crusty breads, spicy falafel sandwiches and fresh fruits and veggies makes for a singular Cleveland culinary experience.
The Greenhouse Tavern is the first green-certified restaurant in Ohio with a rooftop greenhouse, reclaimed wood, high-efficiency lighting and, of course, proteins and vegetables obtained from local farms or grown by chef and owner, Jonathan Sawyer.

Our beer says something about us. Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland was Ohio’s first microbrewery. The brewery is an eco-friendly business that explores alternative fuels, recycling, vermicomposting, organic gardening and energy efficiency. A Cleveland favorite, the pub in Ohio City operates a “fatty wagon” run on fryer grease offering safe, $1 rides to and from big games at Progressive Field (and, occasionally, Quicken Loans Arena). They name many of their beers in honor of Cleveland.

An Economic Engine:
The Cleveland Plus region is home to 13 of Ohio’s 88 counties, but our 13 counties generate approximately 40% of Ohio’s economy. 

We're Smart:
The Cleveland Plus region has more than 30 universities and colleges that produce more than 27,000 college graduates annually.

We're Growing:
The City of Cleveland has had $7.3 billion in infrastructure development completed or underway since 2006.

Northeast Ohio is situated within a 500-mile radius of half the population of the United States. This region reaches the largest number of consumers within a 250-mile radius of any metro market in the United States. A central U.S. geographic location provides easy access to Midwest, East Coast and Canadian destinations.

Rapid Transit:
Our “HealthLine” (new rapid transit line) not only connects to our hospitals, but it is actually healthier for us and for the planet. The RTA’s HealthLine vehicles are powered by hybrid technology, resulting in 97% lower particulate emissions and 75% better fuel economy.

PlayhouseSquare, the second-largest performing arts center in the nation, (only second to New York's Broadway) draws more than 1 million theatergoers a year.

The Cleveland Museum of Art, one of the world’s premier art museums, is visited by more than a half-million people per year, all of whom get in to the permanent galleries for free.  The museum has opened the second of three new wings designed by architect Rafael Viñoly. The 139,200-square-foot East Wing marked a major milestone in the museum’s renovation and expansion project.

The Cleveland Orchestra:
Consistently ranks as one of the top 10 orchestras in the world.

The Cleveland International Film Festival is a ten-day festival acknowledged by Time magazine as a "must-see" and by the Academy Awards as an automatic qualifier for shorts. 

Northeast Ohio has more acres of parks, rivers, streams and lakes. In fact, Cuyahoga Valley National Park is the sixth most visited national park in the nation. The Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation features 325 acres of parkland. Towpath trails along the historic canal offer scenic links to Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Those are just a few things.  And if I had to add on my own, I am sure I could come up with a few hundred more.  Did you know that kayaking is a common sport here in Cleveland?  And fly fishing?  And hiking?  Ok people.  We have a guest bedroom.  Come and visit any time.

Oh Forbes

Forbes ranked Cleveland the Most Miserable US City. 

Here are the other 2009 lists that Cleveland made:

• Cleveland was ranked among the “Top 25 Most Fun Cities in the Country” (Ritz Cracker FUNomenal Places Study)

• Cleveland was 14th in The Economist Intelligence Unit’s “Business Travel Index”

• The Greenhouse Tavern on East Fourth Street was named one of the “Top 10 New Restaurants” by Bon Appetit

• Cleveland Clinic was #1 in the nation for heart care for the 15th year in a row as ranked by U.S. News & World Report  (and number four in the list of best hospitals overall)

• Cleveland was on the list of best cities for new college graduates compiled by and

• Cleveland was recognized as one of “the most affordable cities for dating” by and the 14th best city for singles by

• Cleveland was included in’s list of “America’s Safest Cities” (#10)

• Cleveland made Travel & Leisure’s “America’s Favorite Cities” list (ranking particularly high for theater, museums, classical music and affordability).

• The Cleveland suburb of Lakewood was recently named by Business Week magazine as “Ohio’s Best Place to Raise Your Kids.”

Composting Cleveland

Rust belt, Steel City, Burning River... all names that conjure up a decaying and disintegrating city.  In the 1920s, Cleveland stood in the ranks with New York City and Chicago and boomed with industry and promise.  But nowadays, she has a world wide reputation for being a joke and a hot bed of pollution of decline.  Even Forbes ranked her as the #1 most miserable city to live in.  (Clearly no one from Forbes have ever visited this city.) 

However, all of these rumors couldn't be further from the truth.  Few outside the city limits, and even limited numbers here recognize that Cleveland is a constantly evolving city that continues to reinvent herself.  She is on the front lines of becoming a leader in green city building and environmentalism. It's shocking, I know.

Take a look at this most recent article from in city wide development:  (for the full article, click the blog title.)

Large-scale downtown food-waste makers like The Q, Tower City and the Browns, along with restaurants like the Great Lakes Brewing Co. and the Greenhouse Tavern, are heading a new effort to keep tons of biodegradable food scraps out of the landfill. 

Instead, they dump their own unique combination of post-meal slop into biodegradable bags (often made out of potato starch) and a composting company hauls them away to be turned into a high-quality soil additive. 

And there's plenty of compostable waste to be had: A recent study by the waste industry found that organic materials made up half of all household solid waste -- and up to 75 percent of that can be composted and re-used.

In a three-week pilot program in November 2009, eight downtown businesses, with the help of the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District and sustainability group Entrepreneurs for Sustainability (E4S), combined to collect 9 tons of food waste.
Most of that came from food preparation work in their corporate kitchens or restaurants, not from the vast amount of leftover fan food at the sports venues.

That's the next level: The Browns and Cavaliers expect to be collecting and composting fan food waste -- possibly including biodegradable plates, cups and cutlery -- by next season. The Indians are also working on a plan for Progressive Field but haven't yet settled on a contractor to pick up the material. 

All of this makes Cleveland a part of the new movement toward zero waste, said Beau Daane of the county waste district. "We're very excited to see the number of companies downtown and elsewhere who are taking the lead on this," he said. "This is a movement catching on here and around the country."