Cleveland: Center of the Universe

Sarah-Jane Lorenzo ‘21
Staff Editor

Editor’s Note: When reading controversial pieces such as this, readers should remember that this author’s position does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Editorial Board or the University of Virginia School of Law.

You may not know it, but Cleveland is the fall break destination of your dreams.[1]

Yes, you read that right! Cleveland, Ohio. The heart of the nation! I do not write in jest. A sprawling metropolis and my wonderful hometown, Cleveland is the place to be—probably for life, and certainly for a great five-day vacation in the fall. The people are friendly, the food is great, and even LeBron James considers the Cleveland area to be his true home. If Cleveland is good enough for King James, it’s definitely good enough for you. He may have left to finish his career in L.A., but we have no hard feelings here. We know LeBron is well aware there is no place like home. He’ll be back!

Cleveland truly has everything you could ever need. From the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to the Cleveland Orchestra (which is among the top ten in the world), Cleveland’s music scene is strong. Downtown Cleveland is very hip, and our restaurants are top notch. Iron Chef Michael Symon lives in Cleveland! My brother once rescued his dog.

The Cleveland Metroparks are spectacular, and just a short drive from the city’s center. Tow paths wind through vibrant forests in the suburbs, past trickling waterfalls and shale cliffs. And—to even my surprise—we actually have a beautiful beach. More day-to-day amenities include friendly people everywhere, a low cost of living, and excellent grocery stores (I know it sounds silly, but they really are great. My favorite, Miles Farmers’ Market, has tasty muffins and free coffee!).

Do you like chocolate? Cleveland has the best chocolate. Malley’s chocolate is the epitome of creamy chocolatey deliciousness. Once you try it, you’ll want to move to Cleveland just for easy access. No other chocolate can compare.

We are also very close to Canada. If you ever truly get fed up with America in general, you can always gaze wishfully across Lake Erie and dream of your escape. But—why would you want to escape? You’re in Cleveland! Even when America may be going through rough times, Clevelanders buckle down and stay strong. We have steadfast pride in our great city.

Some of you, as you read this excellent extollation of Cleveland’s virtues, may be snickering to yourselves. Stop! Don’t judge a midwestern gem by stories of a burning river and failing football team. We’ve bounced back since then. Our river has not caught fire in nearly 50 years, thank you very much. And with Baker Mayfield in our football lineup, we’re on track to have three great sports teams: the Browns, the Cavs, and the Cleveland Indians.

Clearly, others do see Cleveland’s virtues. President Obama visited my high school twice! That’s probably why he was re-elected. Love from Cleveland will take you far.

So what did I do during my fall break in Cleveland? Mostly study for my contracts midterm with breaks to hang out with my grandparents and go for a hike. But if I weren’t a 1L, my fall break definitely would have been more interesting. Here are the top five things you should do on your next visit to The Land:

  1. Befriend my grandparents. They are great!

  2. Get breakfast at the Yours Truly at Transportation Boulevard. Follow that breakfast with a quick visit to Malley’s to stock up on chocolate before hopping on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, which will take you through Cuyahoga Valley National Park, stopping at charming rural towns along the way. At several points, the train meets the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail; “hop on” and “hop off” options are available for hikers and bikers.

  3. Grab an ice cream cone and stroll through Chagrin Falls. It’s a cute little town with a massive waterfall at its center. My favorite shops to visit there are the local bookstore (very cute!) and the old-fashioned hardware store that’s brimming with antiques. While you’re in town, be sure to grab a sandwich from Dave’s Cosmic Subs. Maybe you will even see the founder, Cosmic Dave! He is cool. He goes to my gym and his picture is on bottles of Dave’s Cosmic Sub Sauce, which is sold in regional grocery stores.

  4. Spend a day at the museums at University Circle. The Cleveland Museum of Art is free and wonderful. My favorite exhibit is the Armor Court, although I always love stopping by the Monet and Morisot paintings, too. After visiting the art museum, you might want to check out some of the other top-tier museums within walking distance, including our natural history museum (we have Balto, the heroic Siberian Husky sled dog who saved Nome, Alaska, from a diphtheria epidemic!) and our botanical gardens (complete with a butterfly room!). Also in University Circle is Severance Hall, home of the Cleveland Orchestra.

  5. A short walk away from the museums is Cleveland’s Little Italy, which hosts tasty restaurants and interesting galleries. My favorite places to eat there are Presti’s (baked goods and cafeteria-style lunch) and Mama Santa’s (classic Sicilian pizza—yum). At the end of the day, you can head further downtown to visit The Flats—a trendy, redeveloped area with a great night scene.

Good things start in Cleveland: Stouffer's, Superman, Paul Newman… perhaps your legal career? So next time you plan a vacation, you know where to go. #TheLand has it all. Come to #CLE!

[1] Editor’s Note: See what we mean?