Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New Blog Address

Due to some technical difficulties experienced over the weekend, Why CLE? has a new blog address.  Please continue to read, follow, and enjoy over at  Thanks!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Why? Friday Inspiration.

I'm a sucker for a few (OK, lots) of things: one of which is heartwarming stories and another is recurring blog features.  So, every Friday, I'll be bringing you a tale of an inspiring everyday CLE resident, who did something great and brought some positive attention to our fair city.

I'll admit that I missed this story the first time around (it happened back in November).  But today on the Sirius XM holiday station (yes, I'm a Christmas elf in disguise), they mentioned this as an example of the generous spirit of people at the holidays.  Go CLE!

A CLE man, a bartender at the Hilton Garden Inn on Carnegie, left a money pouch with $3,600 (a year's worth of tips) on top his car one night.  The pouch fell off the roof of the car and a safety ambassador with the Downtown Cleveland Alliance found it, turned it in to the Cleveland Police, and the money was returned to its rightful owner.

You can find write-ups on this story here, here, here, and here.

Have a great weekend and do something inspiring!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Why? Holiday Festivities.

Why Cleveland?  Because we know how to celebrate the holidays.  From downtown to the 'burbs, from the shopping malls to Public Square, Cleveland is bursting with holiday cheer.  Here's just some of the fun festivations you can take part in:

Historic Warehouse District's 11th Annual Holiday Tour - Wednesday, December 8 from 5:30pm-11pm - tour the Warehouse District's historic buildings, nosh on great food from local restaurants, and end the evening with desserts and music at Constantino's Market

The Rink at Wade Oval - open daily until January 2 - admission is free and skate rental is $3

A Christmas Carol  - through December 23 at the Ohio Theater - see the classic Dickens story performed by the Great Lakes Theater Festival

Deck the Hall: A Dickens of a Christmas - weekends through December 30 at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens - if you haven't gotten your fill of Dickens, check out the lights, decorations, holiday shopping, and hot chocolate

Winter Show 2010 - Tuesdays through Saturdays at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens - wander through greenhouses of seasonal plants, do some holiday shopping, and maybe get your skating on at The Rink at Wade Oval

The Black Nativity - through December 30 at Karamu House - see this moving performance of the play written by native Clevelander Langston Hughes

The Singing Angels - this youth chorus has a series of holiday concerts throughout the Cleveland area

Tobogganing - check out the toboggan runs in the beautiful Strongsville MetroParks

No matter how you choose to celebrate, CLE offers plenty of ways to get in the holiday spirit!  What a great answer to "Why Cleveland?"

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Why? Weekends!

I've decided to make "Why? Weekends!" a recurring feature on the blog, in that it gives me a guaranteed post once a week, there's always something going on, and it gives me a chance to incorporate another recurring feature...the reader question!

OK, so why Cleveland?  Because there's always something great to do on the weekends!  This weekend, CLEguy, CLEfriends (including the fabulous HungryinCLE), and I checked out the Ohio City Christmas Festival.

This was the first year for this event, which featured local vendors, selling ornaments, handmade jewelry, various craft items, and tasty treats from CLEfriend Tinypop Treats.

There were also carriage rides, cookie decorating, and photos with this guy:

All in all, a fun afternoon, topped off by some rosemary garlic french fries and a St. Bernadus Christmas Ale at McNulty's Bier Markt.  If you had a chance to check out the Christmas Festival, let me know in the comments what you thought.  From chatting with one of the organizers, the goal is to expand the Festival to every weekend next year from Thanksgiving until Christmas!

Sunday was spent baking approximately 752 varieties of Christmas cookies with CLEguy and his family.  One of my main reasons for Why Cleveland? is family.  And I suspect it's the same for a lot of you.  It's wonderful to have family so close by, especially at the holidays.  Check out our handiwork:

I have sampled all the varieties and can attest to their yumminess, as can this creature:

Meet CLEpup, in happy Christmas mode.

Hope your weekends were happy, festive, and full of CLE goodness!  So, it's reader question time...what new answers to "Why Cleveland?" did you find this weekend?  Or what places that are already on your "Why Cleveland?" answer list did you revisit?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Why? Generosity.

So, I knew I wanted to start the blog rolling on a positive note.  Pick something wonderful about CLE to kvell about.  And I didn't want to just add my voice to the many who discussed a certain sporting event that occurred yesterday evening...the market was pretty much cornered on every aspect of that situation.  (Although, if you haven't seen it yet, and have kleenex nearby, check out ESPN's Believeland article.)

I had an idea, which I ran past CLEguy (my partner in most things and now an unwitting blog character).  I told him my first answer to "Why Cleveland?" was generosity.  And not just in an anecdotal way.  I said I bet we gave more to charities than people in other cities.  He asked what the blog would be about if the facts didn't back that up.  Well, lucky for me, the first answer to "Why Cleveland?" is most definitely generosity.

According to Charity Navigator, an organization that researches charities in order to better inform donors, the 39 largest charities in Cleveland are far exceeding the national average in total revenue and assets.  For 2010, total revenue was $8.6 million, outstripping the national average by $3.4 million.  Total assets stood at a staggering $30.8 million, beating the national average by $23.1 million.

Wow CLE!  In a time where Cleveland has been hit harder than most by the economic downturn, people are still recognizing need and giving where and when it counts.  It says a lot about the heart of a city when people can see beyond their own need to the needs of the whole.  And it definitely makes me proud to be able to say "generosity" as an answer to "Why Cleveland?"

For more info on Charity Navigator's study and the 39 largest charities in Cleveland click here.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why this Blog?

I’m a Cleveland girl, born and raised.  And I’ve lived other places, but I always come back home – by choice, not by chance.  The people I know who make a life here genuinely love it, but often hear the same question, “Why Cleveland?”  This is usually accompanied by some eye-rolling, nose-scrunching face.  The worst part is when people who actually live in Cleveland ask, “Why Cleveland?”  I get convincing the outsiders.  I’m on board with the need to sell them on our scrappy (not crappy) town.  But when Clevelanders themselves ask, “Why Cleveland?”  Well, that’s a problem…
This blog will attempt to answer two questions – “Why Cleveland?” and “Why Cleveland?”  The first question is the good stuff – the amazing, noteworthy people and places that make Cleveland, well, Cleveland.  Not just touristy spots, not just the things all of us could list sitting here, but the real heart and soul of the city - the stuff that makes us want to live here, raise our families here, and defend the city to those who would knock it.

The second question looks at what could be better – the stuff that makes us shake our heads at the fact that our town can sometimes be its own worst enemy.  Because I think we can all admit that Cleveland has its share of that stuff, too.

My hope is that, through this adventure, you’ll find a better answer next time someone asks you, “Why Cleveland?”  Or maybe it’ll stop you from asking the question of someone else…