About a month ago, one of my loves – Michael Symon – wrote his love letter to Cleveland. Of course, I adored everything he said (you people think I’m kidding about him being a celebrity crush of mine…). But he also inspired me to write my own love letter to the city that I’ve grown up in – here it is.
You’ve become my best friend. The city that I love and the city that loves me back.
A few years ago, I was ready to walk away. Move to Chicago (my second favorite city in the US) and leave you behind. I was young and looking for the big city lights, but soon realized they were in my back yard.
You were the place where I’ve met my best friends, including The BFF, who’s changed my life and made me a better person. Where we had our annual Thanksgiving Keggers, followed up with Turkey Bowl the morning after (with a killer hangover). You gave us Great Lake’s Christmas Ale at each of those parties, creating memories we remember through pictures, phone calls and walks down to my “second parent’s” home.
You helped me to discover my true love for this city when I changed careers from non profit development/marketing to working at local advertising agencies. Throughout the last few years, I spend more time downtown than I have in years previous. Indians games with friends where we laugh so hard tears roll down my face. Dinners and drinks at some of my favorite restaurants on East 4th street. Cheering on our own Iron Chef’s – Michael Symon and Jonathan Sawyer.
You’ve taught me about heartbreak. You know exactly what I’m talking about too – the Browns games. The Indians. The Cavs. That’s all that needs to be said.
You’ve also taught me about hard work. Success doesn’t always come quickly. But you’re the type of city that won’t stop trying. Opening new attractions, restaurants, and rebuilding downtown. Every day I see something changing in the city and am excited.
For that lesson, I thank you.
One of your biggest fans