After finishing law school in Cleveland, I took a fellowship opportunity with the federal government which meant I had to move to Washington DC. Despite being surrounded by engaging 20 and 30-somethings, after two years I was homesick for friends and family back in Ohio.
Eventually, I made the decision to transfer back home, and while I was excited to join my fiancé in Cleveland, I was also apprehensive about whether I would miss the excitement of DC, the always-growing assortment of vegetarian dining options, and what it was like to not need a car to get around. Well, I’d soon find out I had absolutely nothing to worry about.
Deciding to live in downtown Cleveland our first year immediately took away my concerns about having to get a second car. We can share a car, park it in the Flats for $25/month, and get to work and back each day either by walking or riding one of the RTA trolleys for free. We can even visit friends on the east side or west side without having to take the car out thanks to the Rapid and the healthline.
And my fear of not having enough to do or enough vegetarian food to eat? Totally unfounded. Ever since moving to Northeast Ohio, we’ve had a never-ending list of vegetarian and vegan menu items to try and calendars full of fun and creative entertainment. And considering how much more affordable the cost of living is in Northeast Ohio, we can finally afford to have fun within budget! No more peanut butter sandwiches and missed happy hours the last week of the month because I spent all of money already. Well, unless I WANT to eat the peanut butter sandwich. You know us vegetarians. We love our peanut butter. That’s all we eat, right?
To prove it to ya, here are just a few of the awesome things we’ve been able to do since moving here just three months ago:
Cleveland Browns Games – the three-game pack is an affordable way to get in on the action
Cleveland Flea – a hip new market full of vendors located at Sterle’s
CSU Veg Fest – a day chock full of vegetarian & vegan seminars, demonstrations and food
CLE Yoga – a city-wide yoga class outside the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame celebrating Lulu lemon’s opening in Chagrin
Ingenuity Fest – a festival of arts, science and technology, held this year at the Docks on Lake Erie
Yelp Events – open to Elite and regular members held at locations throughout Cleveland
Yellowcake Shop’s Hullabaloo – a fashion show put on by local designer & project runway contestant Valerie Mayen
And here are the places we love to veg out, literally:
+Melt – all locations across Northeast Ohio. We’re equal opportunity Meltists
+Happy Dog – love the vegan dog option!
+Flaming Ice Cube – did you know there’s a location in Youngstown too!?
+Tremont Scoops – vegan ice cream shakes!
+Pura Vida – bringing upscale vegetarian and vegan to the downtown business lunch
+Barrio – tofu tacos!
+A Cookie and A Cupcake – vegan cupcakes!
+Noodle Cat – powerhouse salads and flavorful Asian noodles bowls with tofu options
+West Side Market – betcha didn’t know there’s vegan fudge in there!
We’re dying to find time to use the gift card that’s been burnin’ a hole in our back pocket for Mustard Seed Café in Akron.
And when we’re not eating, cheering on the Browns or enjoying our local businesses and entertainers, we’re playing frisbee on the green space across the street from the new convention center (but only if there isn’t a pickup game of ultimate Frisbee going on – don’t want to embarrass them with our skills), enjoying all the free DVD’s, music and books we want from the public library, and planning our wedding to be held in Youngstown, Ohio at Stambaugh Auditorium with a reception at a privately-owned picnic grounds.
I think it’s time my DC friends come to visit so I can show them how unique, entertaining and veg-friendly Northeast Ohio has proven itself to be. I promise you’ll leave with some money in your pocket too!
During business hours, I investigate fair housing complaints at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. On nights and weekends, I’m either working with Major League Bocce to bring bocce ball to Cleveland beginning in 2014, or trying to bribe my fiance’s cat (Chairman Meow) into silence with treats and faux mice.