Category: cle places and faces

hot spots, cultural institutions, parks, events, local celebs, local political figures, etc.

AAF-Cleveland + The Hipp = 2012 Chili Cook-Off

Who wants some chili!?

The month of March not only means chilly weather in our fair city, but it also calls for the annual AAF-Cleveland Chili Cook-Off. This year, 12 local marketing agencies and vendors will be competing against one another to see who holds the title for the best chili recipe.

This year’s battle will take place this Thursday, March 8, from 6:00-8:30pm at The Hipp. Located in the Agora, The Hipp is one of Cleveland’s newest restaurants, featuring an array of modern American dishes. The restaurant can be accessed from the lobby with entrances on both Euclid and Prospect. There is also a large (free!) parking lot on Prospect.

Tickets are available for $10, which includes one free drink ticket. You can purchase tickets at aafcleveland.com before the event or at the door the night of.

If you don’t work in the advertising/marketing industry, but love chili, please don’t be a stranger! This event is open to everyone!

 

the american stars

I am in total support of living in a self-sufficient urban hub, where one can walk and/or bike to absolutely every place listed on their daily agenda, however, I am a fan of the automobile. We all know that if you do live in CLE, 97% of our population drives from point A to point B. While bicycling has increased in mass numbers, residents in our metro area must drive themselves or at least use some sort of public transportation to reach certain destinations. And I am perfectly happy with this situation because I enjoy the act of driving. Getting behind the wheel of a car can be exhilarating, stress-relieving and just plain fun.

Every year, I attend the Greater Cleveland Auto Show along with other classic/vintage car shows throughout the year with family and friends. And every year I tell myself that I am going to take a long weekend trip to Michigan for Detroit’s big show. Well, another year has passed and I missed Detroit again. And after reading reviews of the 2012 show, it is extremely exciting to see what the critic’s had to say about American auto manufacturers.

I am a fan of many makes and models, whether it includes a luxurious German beauty or all-terrain American 4×4. If money were no object, I would certainly have a Rolls Royce Ghost in my 10+ car garage. But unfortunately I am not a blood relative of the Lerner or Gilbert family.

The good news is, U.S. automakers are not playing around anymore. GM and Ford are producing stylish, reliable vehicles that are truly ready to take on Germany and Japan. The Motor Trend crew praised Ford, Lincoln, Chevy, Dodge and Cadillac as their top show stars this year, which included two models that I really think are going to be huge players in the mid-size sedan and entry-level luxury segments.

I never thought I would drive a Ford. A year ago, I signed a lease for a 2011 Edge, and I haven’t had one complaint. The ride, quiet cabin and sleek exterior design drew me to this crossover, as Ford’s sedan line-up didn’t exactly intrigue my senses. However, the 2013 Fusion is something that I will be test driving when my lease comes to an end. The Fusion seemed to receive the most buzz this year, with a total makeover that combines Jaguar and Aston Martin cues with an abundance of technology. Other than the 1965 Mustang convertible, this is the sleekest thing I have ever seen from Ford.

Another huge crowd pleaser was the all-new 2013 Cadillac ATS. GM has poured an exuberant amount of money, time and research into this entry-level luxury sport sedan, which is intended to take on the BMW 3 Series head on. The aggressive styling, new CUE system and numerous engine options should hopefully bring in a younger demographic to Caddy showrooms. I think that shoppers who are test driving a C-Class, A4, 3 Series or G37 will soon be putting the ATS on their short list. Let’s hope GM keeps the price point and lease offers competitive because I would like one of these right now (in charcoal, please).

 

jump it back right now!

Jump Back Ball 21 is happening very, very soon. This is the week to buy your tickets to one of Cleveland’s biggest parties, benefiting the iconic PlayhouseSquare organization. There are two main reasons why you should buy your tickets right now — prices will increase this Wednesday, 1/25 and there are less than 60 tickets left!

This year, music will include bands Radioactive on the main stage and the late night party will continue with Tricky Dick & the Cover-Ups. Regular price tickets include an array of food (catered by Sammy’s) and an open bar, while VIP tickets will include very VIP food provided by AMP 150. This year, the party will also include a fresh layout that regular Jump Back Ball attendees have never seen.

February 25th will be full of fun and surprises, so make sure to get your tickets right at this minute. Look how much fun I had last year (see below). I believe this is an accurate depiction of the good times you are in for.

Disclosure: I received one free ticket in exchange for blogging about Jump Back Ball 21. These opinions are all me!

bar + kitchen x 2 = happyincle

We all like bars. We all like kitchens. These two things equal intoxicating libations and delicious food, consequently leading to good times.

We also know how fast our food scene has become in the last 5 years and it isn’t stopping anytime soon. This is a good thing for all of us who enjoy supporting local talent, eating good food and never stepping foot in chain restaurants.

I am happy to see two more “bar+kitchen” establishments coming to our lovely city. Let’s give a big CLE welcome to Spice Kitchen+Bar and Black Dog Kitchen & Bar!

Late next week, the founders of Spice of Life Catering Co. will open their first restaurant at 5800 Detroit Avenue in the D-Sho (Detroit-Shoreway) neighborhood. Located in the former Snickers/Cheddars/Crazy Mac’s/La Boca/Roseangel/La Boca space, Spice Kitchen+Bar will feature local, seasonally-inspired food and drink. Not only will this location serve as a hip restaurant, but guests will also have the opportunity to purchase prepared foods at the storefront. But there’s more! Spice will also feature their very own gardens, filled with ingredients which will ultimately end up in your savory meal. And to top it off, guests will also be able to enjoy a future rooftop patio over-looking Lake Erie.

Another new eatery is on it’s way — but we’ll have to wait a little while longer before we step foot in this restaurant. There isn’t much information online, but once Black Dog Kitchen & Bar starting following me on Twitter, I had to do a little digging. No exact location has been set, but Black Dog Kitchen & Bar is slated to open this June/July in Ohio City. From my understanding, they will feature modern American grub with an emphasis on creative tacos, burgers and sandwiches. Make sure to check out their initial menu on their Facebook page.

Here’s to more great food in our fantastic city! Let’s go 2012!

 

 

 

5 days of thanks

I really enjoy long weekends. Especially when they involve holidays that include stuffing your face with stuffing. *Random thought — why is there no restaurant establishment and/or chain named “That’s the Stuff” where all kinds and variations of stuffing are served, 24/7?

It was a very relaxing (yet busy) weekend filled with family and friends that never cease to amaze me. Let’s recap this bullet point style, yo!

Hopefully your holiday weekend was a cornucopia of awesomeness. If not, then make sure you party rock it out this Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa.

under the sea in CLE

Ever since Sea World left the Midwest (aka Aurora, OH), I haven’t been the same. I grew up at that park and have very fond memories with Shamu and the rest of his aquatic crew.

My love for the water has been a consequence of growing up in a family that has always owned boats and other types of watercraft. I would NEVER live in a city that isn’t situated near a large body of water — ever.

While you cannot really snorkel in our great lake, I’ve had the opportunity to view a little under the sea action in places like Hawaii and Brazil. I cannot tell you how much excitement I get when I see that whole new world (cue Little Mermaid reference) that makes up the majority of our planet.

Unfortunately, CLE does not have one facility dedicated to underwater life, other than those found at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Plans for a waterfront aquarium near the Rock Hall once lived on a list of lakefront development concepts, which in my opinion would have been ideal. However, we all know how these grandiose plans and renderings soon become only imaginary dreams that will most likely never see the light of day.

HOWEVER, I am happy to say that CLE will soon see our very own aquarium located right in lovely downtown. Located in the FirstEnergy Powerhouse, The Greater Cleveland Aquarium is scheduled to open in early 2012 and will feature over 40 tanks of fresh and salt water species.

Personally, I am really pumped about the “SeaTube” exhibit, which is literally a tunnel of glass where visitors will walk through providing a more believable underwater experience.

I am thinking (and hoping) companies and individuals will be able to rent the space for private events. Wouldn’t it be great to host a benefit or even your 30th birthday party under the sea!? A boy can only dream…

cause this city is my city

Driving into work this morning felt similar to a music video. The grey clouds broke way to let the blue sky and sun shine through on the skyline. At the same exact time, “This City” by Patrick Stump started to play on the radio (KISSFM).

I immediately thought about the great weekend I had just had, seeing friends and family, eating a “Sexy Burger” from Reddstone, chomping on frites from Lava Lounge, having good conversation with the bartender at Stone Mad Pub and having Sunday brunch at Deagan’s Kitchen & Bar.

My thoughts got a little deeper as I pondered about my life and all the good things that surround me. I won’t get into details, but in a nutshell, life is pretty good. And CLE is part of that reason. Though we have numerous issues, the heart of our city and its people (not talking about the naysayers, here) are strong. We have people who care and who are willing to put every ounce of energy into making our city a better place to live, work and play.

And like Patrick says, “I was born and raised here. I got it made here. And if I have my way, I’m gonna stay here.”

we like to party

 

You can't see it here, but there was a live Twitter feed on screen.

It was quite the weekend. It was 100% White Party planning, shopping, cleaning and of course, partying.

 

A little fluorescent light airplane wall sculpture I slapped up.

I can’t remember if I had the chance to say hello to everyone who came, but I do hope everyone in attendance had a good time. For those who couldn’t make it out, we hope to see you next year! And to the strangers who showed up and did not say hello or thank you, you are def not invited next year. Then again, random party-goers do bring an exciting element to a party.

 

More airplane decor. LED light included.

I am pretty sure next year’s accent color will be red, so you can start planning your threads now.

One major factor of any party is obvi the music. And each year I think about the handful of songs I REALLY want played so I can go bananas too on the dance floor. Some of said songs were played at this year’s White Party, but I can’t seem to remember if the following tracks happened to get on the list.

I am currently obsessed with these two (newish) soon-to-be hits. Download them. Play them. Dance.

the past two weeks

My life has been hectic, fun, magical, sad, crazy, productive and relaxing over the past couple weeks. It would best be expressed via images and brief descriptions of my fave moments.

 

An impromptu Tina's visit. Jello shots galore.
Kirk and Yvonne's beautiful wedding in Little Italy. This night also included visits to Mia Bella, Battery Park Wine Bar and my toilet.
A Happy Dog dog that tasted like heaven. Fried egg always included.
I will miss you "Ninja" -- hopefully you are happy with your new owners. Tear.
A very beautiful night at Ingenuity Fest. Moon over CLE!
Another night at Tina's. I am becoming a regular. And that's scary.

Jak of all trades

Where in the world does time go? Lots of things have happened in the past couple weeks, but I will refrain from compiling a list of the most recent events — my life isn’t that exciting.

And speaking of events, there are many more great things happening through October in CLE. Hopefully this outstanding weather we have been experiencing will continue for weeks to come.

In the meantime, if you are looking for additional Labor Day weekend plans, a new family-friendly event is taking place in Cleveland’s MidTown District. Jakprints printing company will be hosting the Jak of all Trades Fest on Saturday, September 3rd from 12pm to 7pm.

Event festivities include live bands, a street-course style skate park, popular local food trucks, pop-up stores, a live art installation, beer garden and much more.

In addition to the festival, a charity raffle benefitting MidTown Cleveland Incorporated and Community Greenhouse Partners will take place with prizes including an HP TouchPad.

The festival is open to the public, but attendees must RSVP by Sunday, August 28th. For more information, visit jakprints.com/joat.