I love where I live. For those of you who haven’t read my bio yet…why the hell not, what are you waiting for? Sorry, lost focus for a second there; happens all the time.
As I was saying, I live in Lakewood, Ohio which is just west of downtown Cleveland. It’s a three-mile walking city, soon to be a biking community and a pretty fun and diverse place to call home. It’s home to my favorite grocery store, Nature’s Bin, and the best bread shop and gelato spot anywhere in town, which is great since I like to support the local community. I’m sure we have fantastic schools too (after all, it was voted best place to raise kids in Ohio in 2010 by Businessweek), but being childless, I don’t pay attention to that stuff.
What I do notice is the influx of some great new restaurants, renovated businesses, updated housing, a brand spanking new YMCA and multiple weekly farmers markets. The sidewalks are also home to some pretty fancy locally decorated garbage cans, recycling bins and most recently, some solid bike racks. My city wants to be green, and I love it.
They also offer a ton of fun activities for the locals (and non locals; the more the merrier). Let me break it down for you.
- In the summer, they have free concerts in the park on Sunday nights. Bring a blanket, some eats, a mocktail or a cocktail, sit back and listen to some live music.
- They also have free live theater. Same thought as the above, but instead of music, you get Shakespeare. “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?”
- They have free movie nights on Fridays in the park for the younger generation.
- In August, they shut down several blocks for the annual Art Festival, and over the years, we have purchased several things from this show.
- In December, they host Light Up Lakewood which is downtown Lakewood’s annual lighting ceremony. They close the main street to cars and have a parade and caroling. All the area business’ get in on the act and participate by offering sales and usually some kind of appetizer to munch on and a cocktail to sip, while you browse their store. Marketing at it’s best.
- This past weekend, they had the 5th Annual Spooky Pooch Parade because they love animals just as much as they love people, and it’s exactly what it sounds like: a costume parade for our four-legged friends. I don’t even own a dog, and this is one of my favorite events. This does not make me weird…alright, maybe just a little bit.
The dogs weren’t the only ones in costumes either. There was a Lego family.
And my favorite costume of the day….only because it must have taken a pretty big pair of cojones to go out in public wearing this: Batdog and crew (Cat Lady, the Riddler, and Penguin).
Yep, I said it before and I’ll say it again: Lakewood is a pretty bad ass place to call home.
Now, if I ever hear this Simon & Garfunkle song, I will always be reminded of my original home: Buffalo and my parents, since songs like these were always in the background growing up. I suspect brain washing (real subtle guys).
What songs remind you of your childhood home? What great and fun activities does your city have to offer? Would you have dressed up like Green Man?