November 21, 2014

Cleveland... Who knew?!

Victoria Saybe, originally from Honduras, is a first-year student in the full-time MBA program.

Growing up outside of the U.S. you are well aware of cities such as Miami, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. You’ve probably visited a few of them or seen enough pictures to get a good idea of what they look like. But when you hear Cleveland, your mind draws a blank. You’ve heard of the place, but where is it again? Is it close to New York?  It’s in the north, right? That was me before applying to Case Western Reserve. I’d heard of Cleveland but had absolutely no idea what to expect once I arrived.

I came to Cleveland for the first time last October and returned this year as a full-time MBA student. Cleveland is one of those cities that has managed to constantly surprise me with all the great things it has to offer. For starters, the people here in general are very welcoming and you quickly begin to feel at home. I was not expecting to find so many interesting places to eat, visit or just hang out. Allow me to share with you a few of the spots I’ve visited that I would recommend you find the time to check out while you’re here.

Lola Bistro
If good food is what you’re looking for then you’ll be glad to know that, surprisingly, Cleveland is a “foodie” town. Great chefs like Michael Symon have a variety of good restaurants all over the city. On East 4th, I suggest you visit Lola Bistro for innovative American cuisine. Mia Bella is a must in Little Italy, and you can walk over to Presti’s for good desserts (their seasonal pumpkin cheesecake is a must try!). Up Mayfield, head to Coventry for great Thai food at High Thai’d and if you crave more Asian food, then Szechuan Gourmet on East 36th is the place to go for Chinese food (go with a crowd and order different dishes to share). If you find yourself in Tremont, I recommend you get a table at Dante and stop by The Flying Monkey for a few drinks. If you’re there earlier in the day then brunch at Lucky’s CafĂ© is great, but try to avoid the Saturday and Sunday crowds.

Now, if you’re fond of cooking or feeling kitchen-adventurous then you have to visit the
West Side Market, where you'll probably buy more fruits and
Cleveland Orchestra
vegetables than you’ll eat in a month, but it’s hard to resist the freshness and prices.

If arts and culture are more your thing, get ready to enjoy. Start with an incredibly discounted seasonal pass to Severance Hall (the benefits of a student discount!) and enjoy the performances of The Cleveland Orchestra, one of the best orchestras in the world. Places I strongly suggest you visit are the Cleveland Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland and Playhouse Square.

As you’ve probably already noticed, Clevelanders are incredibly fanatic about their home teams, and before you know it, you find yourself rooting for the Browns as well. You can find tickets to sports events at very reasonable prices and even if you don’t understand the sport as much, just by being at the stadium you’ll realize the
First Energy Stadium
excitement is contagious.

I’m excited about all the places I’ve visited and I’m looking forward to making many more memories while discovering Cleveland. I encourage you to go out and explore Cleveland and start taking advantage of all the great things this city has to offer before the secret gets out!

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