the Cleveland Bucket List.

So on Sunday, Joe, Kelli, Dave, and I are driving up to Cleveland, mainly to eat at Melt Bar and Grilled ( http://www.meltbarandgrilled.com/ ). However it seems really silly to drive allllll that way just for a grilled cheese, a gourmet grilled cheese at that, but still. Recently, I've been getting back to who I really am, my interest in finding really cool, different shit, my slightly-trained eye for photography..my interest in living, really. So last night I suggested to Kelli that before and after we wait for a spot at Melt that we should adventure around Cleveland and take pictures. Today I decided I wanted to go further than that and really get into the city.

After a while of searching, I've found nifty and inspiring-sounding places for some photos (thanks to http://cleveland.about.com/od/clevelandattractions/tp/freethings.htm ):
~Lake View Cemetery
~Mentor Headlands Park
~Cleveland Museum of Art Galleries
~Botanical Gardens and University circle
~Squire's Castle
~Soldiers and Sailors Monument
~Rockefeller Park Greenhouse
~Cleveland Cultural Gardens
~Peter B. Lewis Building at CWRU
~Sculpture Center

I also thought it might be fun to explore some kitschy little places that Positively Cleveland begrudgingly labels "Hipster Hangouts". And for a while I've been wanting a record player. It occurred to me today that maybe I should have a record collection before I purchase said record player, so I found record stores, too! ( http://www.positivelycleveland.com/visiting/things_to_do/cleveland_rocks/hipsters ):
record stores:
~Music Saves
~My Mind's Eye
~Bent Crayon
~Blue Arrow Records and Books
~The Exchange
~Record Revolution
~Record Den
~b.a. Sweetie Candy Company
~Bonfoey Gallery
~City Buddha
~Cleveland and Beyond
~Cleveland Shop
~Lake Erie Artists
~This Way Out

Now, all I need is some type of organizational tool Google map type thing online, where I can enter the addresses all at once and have them displayed on a map all at once so I can plan an itinerary!

I'm extremely excited about spending a day in the city with 3 of my best friends going to vintage stores, record stores, and such. Despite me being mostly a Pittsburgh fan, I love Cleveland. I think that, in the realm of sports, there's a certain romantic quality in the despair, heartbreak and disappointment that they go through and the undying love, strength and loyalty these people display in spite of the yearly discerning events. In a wider perspective, I love being part of the Rust Belt. Cleveland to Youngstown to Pittsburgh; we're a different species of people and I love it. From the sports to the music to the art and to the job market that connects us all. Oh, and of course THE BEER. I think that we are some of the strongest people in the country. Especially the artists and musicians. It really takes something to be inspired in a place where inspiration can be hidden. I mean, "inspiration" in rampant in places like New York City and San Francisco. But here, it's like Darwinism. Only the strongest survive and others fall to the wayside attributing their dabbling to just being "a phase." We have a separate, special culture that you really have to look for to unearth, but once you do that, it's so alluring. Well, at least to me it is.

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