Author’s note: This post is alternatively titled “Angie’s Best-O-Cle, Part Deux.”
Summertime in Clevelandtown. No one ever wrote sonnets about it, but maybe that was because they were having too much fun! Ew, besides, sonnets are boring and pretentious. And ode to Cleveland in the summer would be a good punk rock song.
But I digress …
If you live in Clevelandtown, like me, you probably don’t have central air. But Cleveland gets hot in the summer. So, when I am in need of a cool down, I hop on my bike and head down to the Lake.
The spot pictured above is the only spot on the shoreline that’s shady, under the pier. Even on the hottest of days, it’s pretty comfortable under here, provided no one drops worm guts on you. Plus there is something hypnotizing about watching the waves wash against those giant concrete and steel structures. Very rusty.
Some people are snobbish about Edgewater Park. But Edgewater is very Cleveland. It has its own culture. It’s inclusive. It’s inexpensive. It’s family friendly. It’s dog friendly. It’s pretty much everyone friendly.
If you’re going to be in Cleveland in the summertime, you should probably get yourself to a barbecue in Tremont.
Another good thing to do on summer nights is walk around the neighborhood. One of the unexpected surprises to be found in my neighborhood, Detroit Shoreway, is this old Jewish cemetery. Unfortunately they keep it locked.
Isn’t she beautiful?!
Also, you should probably get yourself to Academy Tavern on a Friday night and hear this band on the patio.
One of the highlights of the summer in Cleveland is the Summer Solstice Party at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Everyone in town gets dressed up in their finest.
It is a pretty stellar party, I would say, even from a national standpoint.
Another thing: If you’re going to be in Cleveland in the summertime (or anytime, really), you are going to want to check out a group bike ride.
Pictured below is the “Nerd Ride,” hosted by Crank Set in July. If seeing dozens of adults riding down the street dressed as nerds, dorks and dweebs doesn’t lift your spirits, then you are in need of some very strong medication and I feel sorry for you.
This photo is from the Academic Decathlon held at Happy Dog.
This goat is a Cleveland resident, believe it or not. He was one of the attractions on the Euclid Beach Day bike ride, which included a stop at Covatts Garden Center.
Every summer in Cleveland, Mount Carmel Church, in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood celebrates … a saint. I’m not sure which one. Sorry guys. There’s so damn many of them.
Anyway, this event is not as well known as Little Italy’s Feast of the Assumption, but it is no less awesome.
The next stop on this fabulous tour is Mitzi’s Cafe, continually open and in operation by the same family in Cleveland on St. Clair Avenue since 1908. This bar was listed as one of the nation’s top 10 dive bars by Playboy Magazine.
Friendly service and cheap drinks don’t count for what they used to. But Mitzi’s is old school.
Speaking of dive bars, another Cleveland classic is Beachland Tavern, a former Croatian dance hall-turned music venue. The ballroom hosts big acts, but the tavern is smaller and more intimate. If you are really, really lucky, you can catch great acts on their way up. The Black Keys played their first show to a half dozen people in this venue not that long ago.
Finally, catch some outdoor drama, with Cleveland Public Theater’s free STEP series in city parks. All the actors are urban teens and they are extraordinarily talented.
There are plenty more fun things to do in Cleveland in the summer. But it’s more than one girl can take in.
Feel free to add your favorites in our comments section.