Cleveland is a much stronger music town. Consider:
Rocket From The Tombs
And if you include Akron (which is 45 minutes south of Cleveland) you can add The Black Keys, Devo and Chrissie Hynde. Good stuff.
Cleveland is a great place for food. It’s hard to pass up a bowl of pho noodle soup at either #1 Pho or Pho Hoa, a steamed barbecue bun from KoKo Bakery, the hash browns at the West Side Market Cafe, a pastrami sandwich from Superior Deli, a cup of soup and a hunk of fresh bread from The Souper Market, the chunky handmade chocolate bars from Lilly’s, the insanely good Lolita happy-hour burger or a chili cheese dog at 2 AM from Steve’s Lunch, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg…
It’s also mandatory to knock back a cold one at a neighborhood bar. My favorite one on the east side is Mitzi’s (a.k.a. Jermans). If I am on the west side, I hit Now That’s Class.
Cleveland has all four seasons – a hot summer, a chilly winter, and a brief (but lovely) fall and spring. What you will need to pack will depend on when you visit, but I would make sure to bring tough boots (in case you want to climb around crumbling warehouses photographing the ugly beautiful urban decay – one of my favorite past-times) and a jacket that can withstand any weather. Layers are a good idea – a sweater for over air-conditioned places in summer or sudden winter freezes and a long scarf that can double as a shawl. Most of the more interesting places to eat, drink and visit in the Cleve are pretty casual, so you can get pretty far with a good pair of jeans and a cute pair of flats, but I always like to have something a little dressy on hand for shopping expeditions or just in case I feel like making my dinner an occasion.
I would also plan on renting a car – the public transit is adequate but not time-efficient, and taxis are hard to come by. Cleveland is not densely developed anymore – little pockets of cool things are scattered like an archipelago across the city, and even if you are a champion urban walker, you will be hard-pressed to get from place to place. It’s not a terribly difficult city to navigate by car, but you will want to get a good map. If you happen to visit in nicer weather, a bike is a good option – the Ohio City Bike Co-op rents some of their fleet.
American Splendor – by Harvey Pekar.
This series is incredibly well known, and well worth reading (if you haven’t already). Harvey Pekar is the probably the most famous file clerk/jazz conniusseur/comic book writer in the world, and he is Cleveland’s curmudgeon laureate.
d.a.levy & the mimeograph revolution – Ingrid Swanberg & Larry Smith.
d.a. levy was born and lived in Cleveland, and he is considered by some to be the grandfather of the zine. He self-published his own works and the works of others in mimeographed leaflets and pamphlets that were distributed throughout the city, and this book carefully compiles that ephemera.
Babbitt – Sinclair Lewis.
Many cities have claimed to be the basis of Lewis’s fictional city of Zenith, but he meant it to stand for any growing midwestern city. The passages detailing Zenith’s growth dovetail nicely with Cleveland’s history, and it’s a fascinating look back to the days when the rustbelt cities of the Midwest were growing things with no limit in sight and few worries about the future.
Three things you should buy when you’re in Stockholm.
Coffee – my preference is the Zoega Skånerost or Mollbergs blandning
Crisp bread – Vikabröd is always reliable and they now have a new delicatessen crisp bread exquisitely packed.
And something sweet – punchrulle from Delicato
Must eat & drink
All year round – and especially on a Thursday – you should eat pea soup with mustard, and to drink a small glass of warm punsch (a traditional liqueur in Sweden, but this is the only time you warm it) and for dessert pancakes with lingon berry jam, mmm…
A few things you should bring with you to Stockholm this time of year.
- Sunglasses – if you’re lucky the sun is shining and this time of year it is very sharp.
- Wool underwear – stockings, warm socks, ti-shirts and a good pair of walking boots.
- At the moment the krona is a little weak, but otherwise Stockholm is considered a rather pricey town so bring enough money!
The Laughing Policeman
The detective stories by Sjöwall Wahlöö
“Gentlemen” by Klas Östergren
Movies to see
Låt den rätte komma is set in Blackeberg, a suburb to Stockholm, in the 1970’s.
Watch the trailer here.
Keeping your passport in check while traveling is so incredibly
important, that a little cover to keep it (and a few other little
things in, like tickets) in is not a bad idea. Here are a few simple
picks of mine:
clockwise from the top:
Jane Streetby Kate Spade,
Cover by Hayden-Harnett,
Document Cover by Mary Jane,
Wallet by Tusk
With some airlines charging to check baggage, and the pure pain of
dealing with baggage claim in general, I am a huge fan of packing
light! I own one suitcase that has not left New York with me since I
moved, because I am a true believer in a big huge overnight bag and
maybe a big purse or backpack to carry on with me. Even if I got on
week-long trips, I can fit all my crap in them. I find that most of
the time bringing extra stuff NEVER gets used, and it ends up being
more of a hassle in the end.
So I bring you some of my favorite overnight bags I’ve rounded up.
I’ve also had some cheap options from good old Target, but can’t seem
to find any of them online. There’s also everyone’s favorite, Orla
Kiely, but that’s a bit more money and you’ve all seen those, I’m
Asos Three Zip Leather Holdall
Dwell Studio Charlotte Weekender
Filson Tin Cloth Small Duffle
Vintage Grey Leather Overnight Bag
Matt and Nat Vegan Bag
Steven Alan Port Tote
Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
Anything by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Here is New York by EB White
Eloise by Kay Thompson
The house of Mirth by Edith Wharton
Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs
Slaves of New York by Tama Janowitz