Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cleveland Play House: Happy Hour (August 16th)

For those not 'in the know', the Cleveland Play House has been hosting Happy Hours around Cleveland for a little while now. It seems, however, my schedule has conspired against me -- and I've made excuses for not attending one as yet. Not to mention several of the venues have struck me as West Side and as an Eastsider, the West Side scares me.

People outside Cleveland may not recognize the significance, particularly given the relatively small and subtle geographic distance, but to a Clevelander -- even a Clevelander who has only lived in this* beautiful city for five years -- the difference is vast (New Yorkers who detest, even fear, venturing to a distant borough may recognize the feeling); it's not unlike crossing a state line, perhaps even a national border.

This border, however, is unclear: I personally lump anything West of Ontario St. as West Side, with the occasional 'Near West Side'** and 'Far West Side'*** when needed -- however, I have debated the subject with friends who argue that Tremont is "downtown" and not "West Side". I disagree, and I digress.

Anyway, last night was the Play House's first Happy Hour of the 10-11 season and I resolved to stop making excuses; though the Tremont/West Side location had me a little concerned, the only "must do" on my schedule for Monday was driving to Pittsburgh at some point before midnight. It was a great event and I encourage anyone who may be interested to stop by for the next one - 10/4 at Uptowne Grill (I think I actually know where this one is... it's East Side, and walking distanceish**** from my house!)

Obviously, having to drive to Pittsburgh limited my alcohol intake to about 3/4 of a drink upon arrival followed by two non-alcoholic beverages over the course of the next two hours. The lack of alcohol didn't diminish the enjoyment: There was a quick verbal blurb from artistic director Michael Bloom on the upcoming season -- perhaps the only time I've ever thought an Artistic Director didn't speak long enough -- but there was ample conversation among the artistically inclined.

Between the din from the fantastic turnout and the conversation--once I finally had to excuse myself (a full half-hour after the official end of the 2-hour Happy Hour, and about an hour and a half longer than I had planned on "trying it out" for) I found that for the first time I can recall, and certainly the first time in my adult life, my voice was hoarse... considering that I didn't 'know' anyone going into it, I'd call that a success (and a welcoming group).

For the record, I consider myself, living in Cleveland Heights, to live on the "Near East Side" and the office in Mayfield Village to be "Far East Side". When the office was in Chesterland, I wasn't sure what to call it. I'm glad we moved. (Most Westsiders I've met recognize Cleveland Heights as East Side but exhibit geographic confusion when presented with Mayfield Village)

* - Full disclosure: I'm in a Pittsburgh suburb tonight, but I'll be back home tomorrow.
** Anything between Ontario and West 25th or so, still relitively comfortable but a little exotic.

*** Anything further than West 25th, where the locals might as well be speaking a different language.
**** 2.5 milesish... I walk past it on a weekly basis, but other people may not consider that "walking distance"

No comments:

Post a Comment