Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Monumental Occassion: 5 Years In Cleveland

Yesterday, June 18, approximately 1:00 PM, marked the 5th anniversary of the day I arrived in Cleveland.

I had planned on a more "retrospective" post, but based on some amazing things that have happened lately, some blogged about, some not, the subject slipped my mind.

But 5 years ago I showed up in Cleveland to start a job that I wasn't sure I was qualified for, not really knowing anyone--or anything--about the city, or even really the state*, sleeping in a coworker's spare bedroom for the better part of a month while I waited for my (first) apartment to be readied.

It all started with an email that consisted of not much more than "Have you ever considered living in Cleveland?" At the time I hadn't, but the email came when I was becoming frustrated with working in academia, so I came for an interview, and accepted the offer--one of the biggest gambles I've taken thus far.

I still get asked "Why would you move to Cleveland?" by locals and out-of-towners with the same, gratingly annoying are you an idiot? intonation that accompanies a question like "How could you slam your fingers in the door?" or "What do you mean you 'lost' the kids?" -- but the truth is I've come to love Cleveland. True, there are 3 months a year when I question my sanity and consider going somewhere where the sun is visible, but the other 9 months, there's only one other City** where I could imagine living. And I couldn't afford to maintain my lifestyle there.

Cleveland is a city that has so much to offer -- from our fantastic Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Play House and Playhouse Square, to great institutions of higher education and libraries (I'll bet you didn't know that Cleveland Public Library is one of the country's largest public research libraries!) to predictably bad sports teams to tolerable traffic and livable costs of living to an amazing cultural diversity, and generally nicer people.

Aside from the at times depressing self-esteem of the region and politicians who seem to cling to manufacturing as a viable economic engine the city -- and Northeast Ohio in general -- have quite a bit to offer. I'm proud to say that I call Cleveland Home, and I make no apologies for taking advantage of as much of what's on tap as a one person can.

If you're local: Look around you and appreciate what you have available to you.
If you're not: Come visit us for a weekend. The stories you've heard are just selfish people trying to keep a gem in the rough for themselves.

An now I get ready for the Cleveland Museuem of Art's Solstice Party celebrating another reopening in their renovation.

*- I'm not entirely joking when I say that before moving to Ohio I would frequently get Ohio and Idaho confused--after all, growing up in Southern California, both are "up north" and "back east". I also wouldn't have been able to tell you, without outside assistance, the difference between "Spring", "Summer", "Fall", and "Winter"
**- The capital "C" should give, Easterners, at least, a hint.

1 comment:

  1. Happy Anniversay! Although we still miss you in California.