You Know You're A Cleveland Expat When... - Cleveland Article

You Know You're A Cleveland Expat When...

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You Know You're A Cleveland Expat When...

Published Oct 14, 2016
Updated Nov 3, 2016

You’re desperately searching for good pierogi.

Whether you grew up buying them from the West Side Market or dined on them during Friday lunch dates at Sokolowski’s University Inn, these savory potato dumplings—typically smothered and covered with butter and onions—are the stuff of Cleveland grandmas. Heading back to town? Order up the pierogies at Prosperity Social Club (Tremont), Lola (East Fourth Street), Sterle’s Country House (St. Clair-Superior Neighborhood) or the Little Polish Diner (Parma).

Your new town seems devoid of arts & culture.

You always knew that Cleveland had a diverse arts scene, but you probably didn’t fully appreciate it until you left town. University Circle, located just a few miles east of Downtown, is the most concentrated square mile of arts and culture in the nation, which is probably why you’re a little jealous of your hometown these days. Come back to catch a performance by the world-class Cleveland Orchestra, take a stroll through the Cleveland Botanical Garden or peruse through Picassos at the totally free Cleveland Museum of Art—all in the footprint of UC.

Whether you celebrate it or not, you know all about Sweetest Day.

Maybe in grade school, your secret crush awarded you a smooch on this very special day. Perhaps you still gift your spouse a gift on this October Saturday. Or, maybe you just roll your eyes at this “holiday.” Either way, you’re no stranger to Sweetest Day and its roots right here in Cleveland. Why not head back to the CLE this Sweetest Day? Here are some ideas on how celebrate.

You either directly know or know someone who knows Chef Michael Symon.

In Cleveland the “six degrees of separation” is more like the “two degrees of separation.” And, let’s be honest, Michael Symon is a lot like Kevin Bacon around here. No matter how long you’ve been gone from this great city, it’s likely that a walk through the bustling East Fourth Street, Uptown, Ohio City or the Flats East Bank during happy hour means you’ll run into old pals from your high school, college, previous jobs or your childhood neighborhood. Better still, these folks—with all their Midwestern down-to-earth friendliness—not only remember you, but want to catch up over beers. So, when are you visiting?

You hunt down a case of GLBC Christmas Ale every year.

Anyone who is anyone in Cleveland knows that the holiday season just isn’t what it should be without a delicious Great Lakes Brewing Company Christmas Ale. A tantalizing 7.5 ABV elixir of honey, cinnamon and ginger, this holiday beer isn’t for lightweights. Instead of ordering a case from your nearby distributor, head back to the city to imbibe a cold one straight from the tap. Or, better yet, try all the many holiday ales available at some of Cleveland’s hottest breweries like Market Garden Brewery, Fat Heads and others.

You compare every body of water to Lake Erie.

When you’ve got the largest and most biologically productive freshwater lake on your northernmost border, you can’t help but to bug your new friends about how much you love Lake Erie. Plan a getaway on Lake Erie aboard the Nautica Queen, rent jet skis and kayaks along the Cuyahoga River, dine on the waterfront or even get the pals together for some on-the-water brews.

You cried like a baby when the Cavs won the NBA Championship. 

Five decades without a sports championship? Heck, you’d been waiting for this moment for most of your life. You know you’re from Cleveland, when you still get chills recounting that moment when ESPN’s Mike Breen shouted, “It’s over! It’s over! Cleveland is a city of champions once again! The Cavaliers are NBA champions!” But what made you most emotional? The fact that you weren't in Cleveland during that one, major moment in sports history. Make up for it with an upcoming visit. The Cavs regular season kicks off Oct. 25 at Quicken Loans Arena.



The holidays are just around the corner. If you’re a Cleveland expat, now’s the time to plan a reunion to your hometown. The city is invigorated with dozens of new attractions, billions of dollars in new developments and a whole new level of self confidence. 

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