Hollie M. Ksiezyk, a Northeast Ohio native, has been a leader with The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland for the past five years. As a proud member of the Marriott Community, Hollie has been a true ambassador of the brand as she serves as a Board Member of LifeBanc Gift of Life Walk, The Cleveland Special Events Corporation and is Co-Chair for Gay Games 9, 2014 in Cleveland and Akron. Hollie actively engages her fellow ladies and gentlemen as she participates in community organizations and fundraising events, including Cleveland PRIDE, the annual HRC Gala, Equality Ohio, A Prom to Remember and the first ever Dare2Care Anti Bullying event. She is currently the Catering Sales Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland receiving the prestigious Chairman’s Circle Award in 2010.
How would you sum up the visitor experience in Cleveland/Akron? Surprising!! We welcome so many visitors and guests each year and I can honestly say the consistent feedback I receive is that people are genuinely surprised at how dynamic our cities are and the amazing culture we embrace. I often speak about our incredible restaurants and chef-owned eateries and the fact that you will see very few “chains” in our towns. From our museums and performing arts centers, our professional and minor league sports teams, new business development and 98% downtown resident occupancy, people walk away saying ”wow, I never would have expected this.”
What is the hospitality community doing to make LGBT visitors feel more welcomed? Well, here at The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland, we pride ourselves on really being the first downtown hotelier to actively market and sell specifically to the LGBT community. We have developed a LGBT package that includes in-room amenities such as the LGBT Visitors Guide, a Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland rainbow duck and a Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland rainbow pin. We participated in our first gay pride in 2011 and are members of IGLTA, NGLCC and Plexus and support Equality Ohio, GLSEN, HRC, WH2, G2H2 and Dare2Care. Additionally, as a Marriott brand we are very proud of Marriott’s new “Be You With Us” campaign that launched their LGBT travel website.
What are the top “must-see” visitor attractions? The Rock Hall and Science Center, of course, MOCA and the Cleveland Museum of Art have recently been transformed into industry leaders with new architecture and state-of-the-art technology. You must stop by the West Side Market and spend an afternoon wandering around the Warehouse District as well as East 4th Street. If you are looking for great ethnic communities outside of downtown, I recommend Tremont, Little Italy and Coventry.
LGBT visitors depend on word-of-mouth suggestions, any favorite neighborhood spots? The following are LGBT owned establishments as well as places that have reached out to the community in a show of support. For breakfast/brunch, Latitude 41! For business lunch, Pura Vada. For business happy hour, Muse. For friends happy hour, Barley House and Bar Louie. For dinner with friends, The Greenhouse Tavern, Blue Pointe Grille, Hyde Park and Morton’s. For dancing/entertainment, Bounce/Union Cafe.
Emma Beno, 23, and Alexia Rodriguez, 31, met in 2009. They live in the West Park/Kamm’s Corners neighborhood. They are co-owners of the Pork Chop Shop at the West Side Market. They stay here because of the quality of life in Cleveland, including the nightlife and dining scene.
What makes Cleveland’s foodie scene unique? There is an abundance of fresh food, locally grown. There is also a great tradition of many ethnic cuisines. The increasing numbers of creative chefs and adventurous restaurants and customers makes the Cleveland food scene second to none.
What can visitors expect to find at the West Side Market? It is a unique experience. You’ll see things and discover food that won’t be found anywhere else. The other thing you’ll notice right away is that this is a working market. You can do your grocery shopping here. At the same time, you’ll learn about and taste new foods, talk with vendors and get to know where your food comes from.
What are some of your favorite things about Cleveland? It’s easy to get around, which is great because there are so many fun and exciting neighborhoods. There are many pockets of hip and interesting places to go, whether you like art, dancing, dining, sports, culture, theater, or whatever. We live in the Kamm’s Corners neighborhood, where there are lots of great restaurants and bars; we work in Ohio City, where there are galleries, breweries, clubs, restaurants and more. Also check out Tremont, University Circle, Little Italy, East 4th St. and Waterloo. There are so many.
Are you on Twitter? The Cleveland Department of Public Safety and Division of Police will use hashtag #CLEStPats to provide updates related to the St. Patrick’s Day parade and to engage the public in advance to promote a safe and enjoyable experience. Subscribe to their St. Patrick’s Day Twitter list here.
St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and if you’re in Cleveland, consider yourself Irish. Who’s ready for street parties, parades, drink specials, corned beef and those really loud plastic horns? We are, and with Cleveland’s most loved holiday falling on a Sunday we can expect fantastic crowds of all ages. Walk like the Irish, talk like the Irish and act like the Irish at these Cleveland St. Patrick’s Day Events on Sunday, March 17, 2013.
2012 St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Downtown Cleveland
Continuing the tradition as one of the only cities that hosts its parade on March 17th, Cleveland once again celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with a spectacular parade. The parade kicks off at 2:04pm and runs from East 18th Street and heads west on Superior Avenue.
It’s become a St. Patrick’s Day tradition, and this year is no different. AJ Rocco’s in Downtown Cleveland hosts the 11th Annual St. Baldrick’s Charity Shave-Off. Stop in for a bite to eat, and shave your head for childhood cancer research. Register now at www.stbaldricks.org.
House of Blues
House of Blues hosts their 9th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. Pints, partying and music kick off at 8am. No cover charge.
The Barley House
The Barley House is home to one of Cleveland’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parties. Festivities kick off with Keg n Eggs at 7am and the parking lot opens at 11. Entertainment provided by the Irish American Club Bag Pipe Band, Irish Dancers and 6 Deejays with Special Guest DJ Nova from Orlando. Fuel up with hot corned beef and plenty of Irish inspired drinks. www.barleyhousecleveland.com; 216.623.1700
Pickwick & Frolic
Doors open at 8am. Enjoy special drinks prices, breakfast menu from 8am-11am, entertainment by the Whiskey Island Ramblers from 9am-1pm and live Irish music by Pat Shepard from 2pm-6pm. Lunch served from 8am-4pm. No cover charge.
Wonder Bar, located on East 4th Street, kicks things off at 8am. The Jameson and good times will be flowing all day long. Rock out with a performance from Pants on Fire at 2pm.
Doors open at 6am and The Boys from County Hell kick up their heels at 1pm and keep the party rocking until 8pm. Breakfast burritos start at 6am and liquor sales at 11am. $35 minimum on all tabs started with credit/debit cards. $5 cover from 1-8pm.
The Flat Iron
Get to the flats for Kegs and Eggs and stay for live music by Donal O’Shaughnessy from 11am until the Guinness runs out. Free shuttle will run to and from the parade all day and the Cleveland Firefighters Memorial Pipes and Drums will perform post parade. Doors open at 7am.
The Boys from County Hell keep the party going at 9:30pm.
Great Lakes Brewing Company
The Great Lakes Brewing Company though not usually open on Sundays can’t resist a St. Patrick’s Day party. The festivities features Irish-inspired cuisine and beer, along with Irish bands, Ceud Mile Failte, CRAIC and the Cleveland Firefighters Memorial Pipes and Drums. The bar and kitchen open at 11am. Head downtown on the free shuttle running two hours before and after the parade.
East Side Irish American Club
The Irish American Club of the East Side of Cleveland has a full day of activities planned for March 17th. The day begins at 9:00am with a St. Patrick’s Day Mass, and continues all day and night with food and music. Members are free and guests are just $5.
Enjoy St Patrick’s Day with The New Barleycorn at 1pm, 5pm and 7:30pm at Nightown. Admission is $22.
100th Bomb Group Restaurant and Special Event Center
Enjoy corned beef and cabbage, irish flavors and green drink specials. Make reservations today.
For the Kids
The Children’s Museum of Cleveland
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with The Children’s Museum of Cleveland. Discover the fun of Irish dancing at Dance Around the World at 12pm. Then, stick around to learn the history of the holiday and make 4-Leaf Clover pins at 3pm.
Cleveland Metorparks Zoo
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is putting a new spin on the “green tradition” of St. Patrick’s Day. At the zoo, you can show your green side by helping the environment. Bring an old cell phone, aluminum cans, shoes and/or cooking and dining supplies to the box office on March 17th and receive $2 off admission to the zoo and rainforest.
More often than not when I mention to someone that one of my favorite hobbies is quilting, the reaction typically amounts to a raised eyebrow and some comment about my youthful age. In our culture there is somewhat of a preconceived notion that quilting is done by old biddies with nothing better to do than meticulously sew tiny pieces of fabric together. What is unfortunately overlooked is how modern this time-treasured craft has become.
I recently had the opportunity to visit Quilts 2013 at Lake Metroparks Farmpark, located just 30 minutes east of Downtown. Running now through March 27, Quilts is considered one of the best quilt showcases in the state. And, after seeing it for myself, I must agree.
Just one glance at the Best of Show winner “Gujarati Woman” by Cleveland-area quilter Shandra Belknap, and I would bet you’ll be saying, “she made that out of FABRIC?” The piece, recreated from a photograph, utilizes vibrant colors and techniques to fashion a breathtaking piece of art.
But, this is only one example.
From school pictures mimicking Andy Warhol’s Marilyn to hand-painted silks that are detailed with shimmering and colorful threads, it’s impossible to deny that the pieces on display are not simply a homemade blanket to keep warm in the winter, but truly aspects of modern art.
Now in its 22nd year, Quilts 2013 features more than 200 quilted works in a spacious layout with plenty of room near each piece to take it the handiwork. Those familiar with quilting shows will find a wide variety of styles and techniques on display with works from regional artists from Northeast Ohio and around the country. But, even the untrained eye will notice the carefully-selected colors and intricate details that pop the piece right off the wall.
Two internationally-acclaimed featured artists, Wendy Butler Burns from Lake Mills, Wisconsin and Cindy Casciato from Ravenna, Ohio, have a number of breathtaking pieces on display as well. These two visiting artists host special lectures and workshops throughout the duration of the show. Click here for these specific dates and time.
Families can make a day trip of the show by exploring the rest of the Farmpark facility, a science and cultural center devoted to agriculture, farming and country life. Visitors can try their hand at milking a dairy cow, learn how cheese is made and meet and greet dozens of breeds of livestock (not to mention, there are plenty of newborn farm animals this time of year. Check them out on Pinterest). The spring also features a variety of unique maple sugaring events and activities.
So, while many of my peers are doing the hipster thing by strolling through trendy galleries trying to interpret the latest art piece; I find myself doing the exact same thing, just in a completely different place and medium – through fabric.
You should know:
- Quilts 2013 is on display Tuesdays through Sundays from 9am to 5 pm
- Admission to the show is included in the price of Farmpark Admission. Rate are $6 for ages 12 through 59, $5 for ages 60+, $4 for ages 2 – 11 and children younger than 2 are free.
- Lake Metroparks Farmpark is located at 8800 Euclid Chardon Rd, Kirtland, OH 44094
- For more information call 440.256.2122 or visit www.lakemetroparks.com.
For more events happening in the area, check out our event calendar here.
– April Ingle
For decades, many of the great names in the entertainment business got their start in Cleveland. The strong, active community of independent thinkers in mediums such as art, film and music demands creative, out of the box, original works of art on the main stage and center stage.
On the Main Stage
Cleveland Public Theater
Cleveland Public Theater has been producing adventurous, versatile, intelligent and socially conscious work in the Cleveland area since their founding in 1981. Committed to the community through educational programs for urban youth and homeless men and women, and as the anchor of the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood redevelopment, Cleveland Public Theatre is much more than a production warehouse; it is an artistic movement both on stage and off.
Cleveland Play House
Founded in 1915, the Cleveland Play House is America’s first professional regional theater known for its artful presentation of new works, as well as classics, comedies, dramas and musicals. Recently, the Cleveland Play House moved to its new, state-of-the art venue inside the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare in Downtown Cleveland.
On the Center Stage
The Beachland Ballroom
Cleveland’s greatest venue for catching some of the best up-and-coming indie rockers is the Beachland Ballroom. Located in the artsy Waterloo Arts district, the space was once a Croatian Liberty Home, a social center for the large Slavic community in the area. While the space has remained largely the same with original design elements, signage and images from the 1950s, the venue has become one of Cleveland’s most diverse live music venues with numerous shows throughout the week.
What originally started as just another corner bar quickly gave way to a booming music scene showcasing some of the best underground rock bands in the nation. Today, the Grog Shop remains true to its bar roots with an extensive beer list featuring microbrews and adventurous imports.
Peabody’s, located on East 21st street downtown, has been a Cleveland music institution since the 1960s. With two floors and more than 13,000 square feet of space, this club draws massive crowds looking to discover new musicians and national acts. In tribute to the city’s musical and industrial roots, Peabody’s not only features a diverse musical line-up but exposed piping and metal accents create a unique vibe throughout the venue. Best of all, most shows cost less than $20 to enjoy.
– April Ingle
C.L.E. Clothing Company
Located at Native Cleveland in the Waterloo Arts District or on the corner of the East Fourth Street Entertainment District downtown, visitors can find C.L.E. Clothing’s quirky designs to gear up for the game, pay tribute to Cleveland’s history (such as Eliot Ness for Mayor and Municipal Stadium), or just have some fun with King Kong as he scales a local landmark, the Terminal Tower.
Inspired by the beauty, color and friendliness of an ethnic open air markets, Coventry’s City Buddha is known for its wide selection of unique silver and beaded jewelry, one of kind clothing and home goods all sourced from artisans near and abroad who are treated fairly and paid a living wage.
A well-known name among vintage-lovers in Northeast Ohio, Deering Vintage located in Ohio City, is a former flower shop into a store reminiscent of that “cool great aunt’s” closet. The clean and organized marble countertop is used for jewelry and accessories and an old built-in cooler that serves as furnishing vignettes making it easy for shoppers will find an eclectic array of clothing from the ‘40s – ‘70s and even an in-house tailor for on-the-spot alterations.
An eclectic shop featuring independent local artisans and crafters, NATIVE Cleveland located in the east side Waterloo neighborhood is where shoppers can find locally-produced t-shirts, jewelry, home decor, soaps, wall art, fine art photography, art prints, and other knick-knacks all which exude hometown pride and idiosyncrasies. It’s the perfect place to browse before a show at the nearby Beachland Ballroom.
Salty Not Sweet
“Locally grown,” the phrase on a popular-selling baby onesie available at Ohio City’s Salty Not Sweet might as well be the sassy boutique’s slogan. Goods galore populate this shop, whose owners are committed to bringing exclusive handmade items such as jewelry, clothing, soap, candles and greeting cards, all of which are either made in-house or from artists discovered at arts and craft shows around the country.
– April Ingle
Retro bowling machines, “Polka Happy Hour,” a contemporary underground wine “cave,” artisan coffee selections and endless beer menus all make-up Cleveland’s counter-culture hangout scene. Here, visitors can unwind like a local while sipping on high-end wines or just a PBR as gourmet chefs create artistic delicacies inside a cozy neighborhood corner bar.
Market Avenue Wine Bar
Situated on a cute brick lined street in Ohio City, Market Avenue Wine Bar is an intimate, homey space featuring a wide selection of wines, vegetarian appetizer plates and a great outdoor patio.
Visitors can come to Edison’s Pub in Tremont blues night on Saturdays and discover how they covers their slices crust to crust with a liberal amount of fresh toppings such as their thick, quarter-sized pepperoni. In addition, each pizza is served with a couple honey packets to dip the crust in, a tasty “salty and sweet” complement to finish the slice. Additionally, their Beer Wall features approximately 100 beers from around the world.
The Root Cafe
Located in Lakewood, The Root is a popular indie coffeehouse with a vegan and vegetarian kitchen, an organic bakery, Asian teas, tisanes and smoothies and an espresso bar featuring Rising Star Coffee. Additionally, the space features a number of local artists, musicians and events.
Perfectly situated in the artsy, blue-collared neighborhood of Tremont, Lucky’s Café is brimming with charisma and quirkiness with its home-cooked breakfasts, lunches, pastries and coffees. Their biscuits and gravy are practically world famous and the Shipwreck (hash browns, eggs, seasonal veggies, bacon and cheddar cheese served in one delicious mound) is a fan favorite.
No DJ. No strobe light. No nonsense. Often recognized a one of the best “hang out” bars in Cleveland, the Map Room is the one of the only “old world” pub and pizzerias in Warehouse District. Map Room offers delicious subs, pizzas, and appetizers, as well as an impressive selection of bar items.
Old Angle Tavern and Bogtrotters Doorstep
This Ohio City duo goes together better than peanut butter and jelly. Old Angle Tavern, a laid-back cozy neighborhood bar atmosphere has a wide selection of bottles. In a small space next door, Bogtrotters Doorstep serves up massive handcrafted au jus sandwiches. Visitors can take them to go (perfect for the late-night crowd as they are open until 3am) or, order from a side window inside Old Angle.
– April Ingle
Indoor Adventures Aimed at Spicing Up Your Fall and Winter Itinerary
If skiing, tobogganing and skating in the snow is not your speed, Northeast Ohio has plenty of entertaining indoor activities that can satisfy fun-seekers during the chilly season. Take Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park (www.raysmtb.com) on Cleveland’s near west side—a warehouse perfect for wheeled entertainment during the fall and winter. Both beginner and expert bike buffs can conquer ramps, rails, logs, rocks, stumps and teeter-totters in gnarly-named indoor arenas like the Skate Park and Grind Room.
Go even further west and Kalahari Resort (www.kalahariresorts.com) offers swim lovers a 173,000-square-foot African-themed water park that can brighten any winter disposition, full of wave pools, water slides, arcades, animal parks, lazy rivers and lots more.
“We are here 365 days a year,” says Brian Shanle, Kalahari Resorts general manager. “This is America’s largest indoor water park with world-class dining and updated spa services. We’re the ultimate winter getaway—all under one roof.”
Take your cup of cocoa with a shot of thrill-seeking adrenaline? The I-X Indoor Amusement Park (ixamusementpark.com) opens for a few weeks each winter (March 22 to April 14 in 2013), offering more than 20 acres of roller coasters, thrill rides and live entertainment that can heat things up no matter the temperature outside. “My favorite ride is Pharaoh’s Fury—the boat ride,” says Amy Girton, marketing director for the I-X Center. “It swings you back and forth and gives you that funny kid feeling of being back on the big swing at the park.”
Regardless of the season, Cleveland sports are always an excellent alternative for action and entertainment. During the fall and winter, the Cleveland Cavaliers (www.nba.com/cavaliers) and the Lake Erie Monsters (lakeeriemonsters.com) will dominate courts and rinks at Quicken Loans Arena (theqarena.com). Looking to compete yourself? Try the Corner Alley on Euclid Avenue (www.thecorneralley.com), offering the best in bowling, billiards and martinis downtown. And these are only a few of the many venues offering great escapes and warm memories this fall and winter.
By Keith Gribbins