Neighborhoods: AsiaTown

By Ron Davidson, Host Committee member

A Chinese dragon adorns a wall on a building on Payne Avenue in AsiaTown (photo courtesy of Ron Davidson)
A Chinese dragon adorns a wall on a building on Payne Avenue in AsiaTown (photo courtesy of Ron Davidson)

In the mood for some dim sum? Or Korean barbecue? How about a nice bowl of pho? Pad Thai? You can find all these and more in Cleveland’s AsiaTown neighborhood, on the near east side–just a short drive from the convention center. You’ll find good food and culture in this small but busy neighborhood.

AsiaTown began to develop as a distinct neighborhood around the 1950s, when the small existing community of Cleveland Chinese began to move here, supplemented by an influx of immigrants from China. By the 1970s, the Chinese were joined by immigrants from Vietnam, Korea, and other Asian nations, making today’s AsiaTown a diverse but close-knit community.

As we hinted above, there is a great variety of Asian (and other) restaurants in the area. Two of Cleveland’s favorite dim sum restaurants are in AsiaTown: Bo Loong on St. Clair Avenue, and Li Wah in the Asia Plaza at E. 30th Street and Payne Avenue. If you’re not in the mood for dim sum, but still want Chinese, there are more restaurants to choose from. For Vietnamese, AsiaTown’s pho restaurants get high reviews: #1 Pho and Superior Pho on Superior Avenue, just to name two. You’ll find good Korean food in AsiaTown, including Miega Korean BBQ, Ha Anh, and Korea House, all on Superior. And even some Thai food.

2015 is the Year of the Sheep, so you can find artistically-rendered statues of sheep throughout the neighborhood, each sponsored by a local business or organization (photo courtesy of Ron Davidson)

If you want to take some groceries home, AsiaTown has two supermarkets specializing in Asian foods: at the Asian Town Center, E. 38th and Superior; and at Park to Shop, in the Asia Plaza on E. 30th Street. You’ll find plenty of produce, meats, groceries, and prepared foods you won’t find at most supermarkets. Stop in for a fresh pork bun, spring rolls, a Vietnamese sandwich, or many other ready-to-eat foods. Or stock up on foods for the trip home. There are plenty of fresh baked goods in these stores, but you’ll also find some bakeries in the neighborhood. Koko Bakery is rated the best Asian bakery in town–you’ll find good bubble tea and Taiwanese shaved ice among their specialties.

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Neighborhoods: Coventry Village

By Jill Tatem, Host Committee member

These days there may be more tattoos than tie-dye, but Coventry still retains the quirky independence that made it Cleveland’s hippie haven in the ’60s.

About 2 miles east of University Circle, in Cleveland Heights, Coventry Road between Mayfield Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard is two blocks of restaurants, bars, and shops.

You can find burgers and fries, vegan, Thai and Japanese cuisine, comfort food of all varieties, and one of the best milkshakes you’ve ever had (Tommy’s). Besides a wine bar (La Cave du Vin), Coventry offers concerts (Grog Shop), and numerous happy hour venues.

Coventry has, not one, but two, independent bookstores (Mac’s Backs and Revolution Books). You can find vintage toys and collectibles (Big Fun), vinyl records (Record Revolution), clothing and accessories — for you and your pets, Cleveland souvenirs and work of Cleveland artists (In the 216), and a real hardware store (Heights Hardware).

Be sure to visit Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Park. Even if there’s no yoga or outdoor movie showing, it is a fun place to finish your Coventry visit.

More details are available at http://coventryvillage.org, including a Google Map.

 

Other Cleveland Heights shopping and dining districts include

Cedar Fairmount

Cedar Lee 

Fairmount Taylor

Coventry Village (Photo courtesy THD3 Wikimedia Commons)
Coventry Village (Photo courtesy THD3 Wikimedia Commons)

 

 

Happy Hour in Cleveland

By Jill Tatem, Host Committee member

One of the dangers of a packed and stimulating conference program is data clog. Experienced archivists know that taking breaks to refresh, relax, and chat with colleagues is essential. Fortunately, downtown Cleveland offers a range of venues for happy hour rejuvenation.

Some of those restaurants and bars also offer glimpses of Cleveland’s historic architecture, including:

A grocery store may seem a strange location for happy hour, but Heinen’s downtown is not your typical grocery store. Housed in the renovated Cleveland Trust Rotunda at East 9th and Euclid, the 2nd floor Lounge offers numerous wine and beer selections, small plates, people watching, and wonderful views of this renovated historic building.

 Downtown neighborhoods with concentrations of bars and restaurants are

The Host Committee’s restaurant spreadsheet offers more choices, both in these downtown neighborhoods and farther afield.

Cleveland RTA’s C-Line Trolley provides free transportation from the Convention Center to all these areas all day on weekends and evenings on week days.

Happy Hour guides are available from

 Cheers!

(photo courtesy Susan Frazier via Flickr Creative Commons)
(Happy Hour. photo courtesy Susan Frazier via Flickr Creative Commons)

Neighborhoods: Lakewood is for Archivists

Lakewood, Ohio
Lakewood, Ohio (Courtesy of theunquietlibrarian via Flickr Creative Commons)

Located to the west of Cleveland on the shore of Lake Erie, Lakewood is one of the inner-ring suburbs that surround the city proper. The area was settled by farmers in the early 1800s and was established as a city in 1911. Typified by a variety of home styles and sizes from the workmen’s cottages of Bird Town to the millionaires’ estates of Clifton Park, Lakewood is known as the “City of Beautiful Homes.” It was most recently designated “A Great Place to Call Home” by Business View Magazine.

#SAA15 attendees looking for a break from the hustle and bustle downtown should take time to visit this friendly, laid-back community which boasts a number of tranquil parks, including one of Ohio’s largest lakefront recreation areas. Main business districts on Detroit Road and Madison Avenue boast acclaimed dining, retail, and entertainment establishments.

Some of the top Lakewood restaurants include Melt Bar and Grilled for a grilled cheese extravaganza like no other, Pier W for fabulous views and great seafood (and an even better brunch, if you’re here on a Sunday and can think ahead to make reservations), Deagan’s Kitchen and Bar, El Carnicero, Forage Public House, Barroco Grill, Dewey’s Pizza, Buckeye Beer Engine, and Voodoo Tuna for unique sushi creations. If after dinner you’re up for a bit of gaming, head out to 16 Bit Bar + Arcade or The Side Quest. And be sure to top the night off with Griffin Cider Works for authentic English-style cider made in Ohio by an Englishman!

To help plan your visit further check out these resources:

How to get there? Lakewood is easily accessible by car or hired ride as well as Cleveland RTA busses and trains leaving from Public Square.

A Bird’s Eye View of Cleveland

By Jill Tatem, Host Committee member

For a slightly different view of Cleveland’s attractions, head up.

Terminal Tower Observation Deck

Located on Public Square, 42 floors above street level, this Cleveland downtown landmark offers breathtaking views of the city. The Observation Deck is open Saturdays from 12 pm – 5 pm and Sundays from 12 pm – 4 pm. Walk-up general admission tickets are $5 at Tower City’s Guest Services Desk, located on level 1 near the Horseshoe Casino Entrance. Advanced tickets are available online prior to the tour date for $5 (plus a handling fee). Free admission is available for children 5 & under.

Rainbow over Cleveland by Dan Hanson Courtesy ClevelandSeniors.com
Rainbow over Cleveland (image courtesy of Dan Hanson Courtesy ClevelandSeniors.com)

 

Garfield Monument in Lake View Cemetery

Located at the eastern edge of Cleveland, just beyond University Circle, on the Cleveland Heights border, Lake View has serenity, lovely landscaping, a chapel designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, and views of Lake Erie (and more) from the President James A. Garfield Monument that gave the cemetery its name. Open daily 9 am – 4 pm.

City View from Lake View Cemetery (image courtesy of Lake View Cemetery)
City View from Lake View Cemetery (image courtesy of Lake View Cemetery)

 

Metropolitan at the 9 Azure Sun Lounge

If you prefer your view with snacks and drinks, head to 2017 E. 9th to one of Cleveland’s newest hotels. The rooftop lounge of the Metropolitan at the 9 offers happy hour 150 feet above street level. Open Monday – Thursday 11 am – 12 am; Friday – Saturday 11 am – 2 am; Sunday 12 pm – 2 am

Azure Sun Lounge, Metropolitan at the 9 (image courtesy of Metropolitan Cleveland)
Azure Sun Lounge, Metropolitan at the 9 (image courtesy of Metropolitan Cleveland)

The sky’s the limit!

Sports Heritage in Cleveland

By Jeremy Feador, Host Committee member

Sports run through the veins of Cleveland. Not long after the Cincinnati Red Stockings became the first professional baseball team, Cleveland responded with her own club. Football was born an hour south of Cleveland in Canton (site of Pro Football Hall of Fame) and the Browns are a beloved franchise. At one point the Browns played in 10 championship games in 10 years! Seriously! It happened! Look it up! LeBron James has reinvigorated interest in Cleveland’s youngest pro sports team, the Cavs and nearly brought home the first title in Cleveland since 1964. (Hey, there’s always next year!)

When you find yourself in Cleveland for SAA this year, there are several sites relating to Cleveland’s sports heritage that you must check out.

Sports Venues

First Energy Stadium
100 Alfred Lerner Way
Home of the Cleveland Browns, First Energy Stadium is located on the Lakefront across from the Rock Hall and can be seen out the window of the Convention Center. If you feel like catching a pre-season game, the Browns will host the Buffalo Bills on Thursday, August 20th and will be featured on ESPN. As dreary as the Browns have been since they returned in 1999, they do have a very proud history (see Cleveland Memory’s “The Glory Days of the Cleveland Browns“). Legendary Coach Paul Brown guided the club to 10 straight championship games in a ten year span (1946-1955). The team was relocated to Baltimore after the 1995 season and this stadium was built in an effort to have professional football return to Cleveland. Browns stadium is built on the same ground where Cleveland Municipal Stadium once stood.

League Park, Cleveland, Ohio
League Park, Cleveland, Ohio (image courtesy of Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)

League Park
Lexington Ave & East 66th Street
In 2014, Cleveland’s League Park, “the oldest existing ball park in the world,” reopened after a million dollar facelift. Located in the Hough neighborhood, League Park is perhaps one of the most historic ballparks still in existence. League Park was the setting for many historic moments: Babe Ruth’s 500th home run, Joe Dimaggio’s 56th hit in his hit streak, the Indians 1920 World Series Title. Players such as Ty Cobb, Bob Feller, Nap Lajoie, Hank Greenburg, Lou Gehrig, and the Negro League Cleveland Buckeyes all played at League Park. When the Indians moved to Municipal Stadium full-time in 1947, League Park gradually fell into disrepair. However, due to efforts of the City of Cleveland, the field is now open for visitors and baseball teams. Located inside the original ticket house is the Baseball Heritage Museum. Cleveland Memory has a great online exhibit.

League Park today
League Park today (Image courtesy of Jeremy Feador)

Progressive Field
2401 Ontario Street
Home of the Cleveland Indians, Progressive Field just turned 20 years old last year. The ballpark has hosted two World Series and an All-Star Game. Walking around the ballpark, make sure to check out the Bob Feller, Jim Thome, and Larry Doby statues. Feller, considered one of the best right handed pitchers in baseball history, was born in Van Meter, Iowa and joined the Indians when he was 17 years old. He served in the Navy during WWII and when the war was over, helped the Indians capture the 1948 World Series. The Larry Doby statue will be unveiled later in July and commemorates Doby’s Hall of Fame and barrier breaking career. He was the first African American to play in the American League. (The Indians are out of town during SAA.)

The Q
1 Center Court
Home of the LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Q also hosts rock concerts, arena football games, and other family friendly events.

 

Devoted to History

Cleveland Public Library’s Sports Research Center
Louis Stokes Wing, 525 Superior Avenue
CPL is a must stop for any library enthusiast. It is also home of the Sports Research Center. As the website notes, it “showcases the best of Cleveland sports history all in one convenient location. The Center houses more than 25,000 books, magazines and primary research materials, including archival photos, scrapbooks, autographs, clippings, oral history recordings, correspondence and more. The Center is free and open to the public year-round.” If you love baseball, the library is also home to the Mears Collection. Can’t make it to CPL? No problem, the library also has wonderful digital collections, such as this one on the history of baseball.

Cleveland State University’s Michael Schwartz Library Special Collections
1860 E. 22nd Street
Another archival repository worth checking out for sports fans is CSU’s Michael Schwartz Library. Home to the Cleveland Press Collection, Special Collections contains a vast photographic history of Cleveland sports. Many of these photographs are online in Cleveland Memory.

Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage
2929 Richmond Road, Beachwood
If you can make the trip to Cleveland’s east side, the Maltz is currently hosting the traveling exhibit “Chasing Dreams: Baseball & Becoming American.” Organized by the National Museum of American Jewish History, it “explores the central role our national pastime has played in the identity of Jews and other minority communities.” See the museum’s Current Exhibitions for more information on it and special events related to the exhibit.

"Chasing Dreams: Baseball & Becoming American." Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage
“Chasing Dreams: Baseball & Becoming American” (image courtesy of Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage

Jessie Owens Statue
Corner of West 3rd and Lakeside
Although Jessie Owens was not born in Cleveland, his family moved to the city when he was only a child. Jessie attended Ohio State and then competed in the 1936 Olympics. He is most remembered for winning four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics while Adolph Hitler was in attendance.

 

And, a café…

Hotz Café
2529 West 10th Street
If you happen to be in Tremont (a few minutes south of Downtown) stop at Hotz Café. The bar has hosted such legendary names as Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Lou Gehrig. See Cleveland.com’s “Hotz Cafe: Legendary Cleveland bar hosted Babe Ruth, tossed Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep”

 

Additional Resources

Sports and Baseball. The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, Case Western Reserve University.

Northeast Ohio Wineries

By Rita Knight-Gray, Host Committee member

Grapes (Image courtesy of Mike laan via Flickr, creative commons license.)
(Image courtesy of Mike laan via Flickr, creative commons license.)

On the south shores of Lake Erie, along the Grand River Valley and 50 miles from downtown Cleveland, are more wineries per square mile than any other winery region. This area is home to award winning Riesling, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Ice Wines. Enjoy touring wineries, sampling wines and grape juices, evening concerts or exploring various museums, covered bridges, antique shopping, and dining at the many eateries.

Browse the Ohio Wines website for history and more information on Ohio’s wine country.