Category Archives: Lakewood

Manly Mart: Cleveland Craft Show for Dudes by Dudes

Manly Mart - Cleveland Craft Show at Mahall's in Lakewood

A craft show and bowling at Mahall’s? Yes please.

If your Etsy addiction is as bad as mine or you’ve ever attended a Stitch ‘n Bitch, you probably noticed that ladies tend to dominate the crafting world.

However, Mathias Noble King and Brit Charek, the founders of a new Cleveland craft show, are here to change that.

The first-ever Manly Mart, the Art Show for Dudes by Dudes will take over Mahall’s 20 Lanes in Lakewood from 12 to 6pm next Saturday, June 8.

Continue reading

GIVEAWAY: Girls’ Day Out at PlayhouseSquare’s SPANK!

One of my favorite Girls Days Out from last year at Jen’s wedding

UPDATE: In addition to entering my giveaway below for SPANK! at PlayhouseSquare, you can increase your chances of winning by checking out Smitten in Cleveland’sWhyCLE’s and Life in the CLE’s giveaways going on now.

***

I find that when I need to blow off steam, a Girls’ Night (or Day) Out is the best remedy – whether it’s yoga with Poise in Parma or @CLEYogi, or a Sunday of Les Mis, crafting and Downton Abbey.

If you want to make like Cyndi Lauper and have fun, I have 2 upcoming girls’ nights and a giveaway for you:

Continue reading

Guest Post: What Not to Buy in Cleveland

Today’s the last day of my twenties and I plan on spending it doing nothing except sitting by the water and maybe eating some fresh crabs.

Hopefully, I’ll get the rest and relaxation I need because once we get home we’ll be busier than usual playing host to a few out-of-town family and friends throughout September. Thankfully, Julie is here today to tell me what we should and shouldn’t do when people come to visit Cleveland.

Julie looking fabulous at WhyCLE’s wedding

Hey guys!

My name is Julie and I blog at Wearing Mascara. I live in Lakewood and couldn’t be happier there! Major thanks to Amanda for letting me crash on her blog today!

**********

So there you are, awaiting your best friend’s arrival in the city you love: Cleveland. Or, maybe you are a visitor of Cleveland. In both scenarios, you want a cool Cleveland-related product, either for yourself or your friend. You ask yourself, “What do I buy?” While that’s a good question to ask, I challenge you to consider what not to buy in Cleveland. With so many awesome products here, I’m going to explain just that and some alternatives.

What Not to Buy in Cleveland:

Frozen Tater Tots

You know, I totally get it. You’re at the grocery store and you see them, with a gold light and a smokey aura surrounding them: Tater Tots. They are cheap, {not healthy} and you just know your guest will love them. But, you must hold back, my friend. It turns out that just around the corner, there’s this awesome restaurant called Hodge’s that will give you free tater tots. AND, they are awesome little taters. Taters, that when put in front of you, you regret even going out to dinner with whoever you are with because you want them all for yourself. Put back the frozen taters, pick up some ice cream instead, and take your beloved friend to Hodges for free tater tots that come with every table (oh, and I didn’t even mention their corn bread…mmmm).

Cheap Beer

Your best friend was actually your college roommate. You have memories of sipping Natty Light together on the porch of your favorite fraternity while “studying” for your math final the next day. Natty Light is a cheap way to enjoy socializing in college and even though it tastes like pee, you drink it because you’re on a college budget. Instead of going for the Natty {pee} Light, pick up a Great Lakes variety instead. I recommend the Dortmunder Gold Lager. Cheers!

A Shirt From {Instead Chain Store Here}

You, my friend, have a great sense of style. In fact, your friend who is visiting you covets every look you have. He/she wants to own your closet and will borrow every piece of clothing if he/she could. “Please, please, buy me some clothes for my birthday!” says your friend. Even if you don’t have a good sense of style, head over to the CLE Clothing Company and pick out something for your friend and yourself. Anything you buy from there will look good. Plus it’s local, Cleveland themed, and super handsome/cute… what could be better?

Blah Chocolate

Both you and your pal have a sweet tooth that reminds you of the days when your metabolism was so high that you could eat anything {Oh, those were the days}. While it’s tempting to pick up random chocolate bars and goodies at your local Giant Eagle, make another stop to Malley’s Chocolates. With 22 locations throughout the area, there’s no excuse not to make a quick stop to pick up your favorite variety. I’m obsessed with their Famous Fudge Sauce.

Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, etc.

As tempting as it is to go for a chain pizza place the moment your friend walks off the airplane, consider going to a local spot instead. Since I’m lazy and don’t like to travel far for pizza, I’m going to give you my favorite pizza place in Lakewood, my current residence: Angelo’s. They are great for eating in and take out. Now, my mouth is watering for their deep dish. Want more pizza ideas? Check out Bite Buff’s post and the comments section for great ideas!

Well, there you have it. To be honest, I could have written so much more. The City of Cleveland just offers so much that it would be ludicrous not to buy something local, especially for you and your out-of-town friend. Now, please excuse me while I grab my Malley’s Famous Fudge Sauce and a spoon…

xo,

Julie

PlayhouseSquare Partners' Bartending for Buses

PlayhouseSquare Partners Presents Bartending for Buses, May 17 at Around the Corner

Although Jump Back Ball may be the first thing that comes to mind when PlayhouseSquare Partners is mentioned, the young professionals group also organizes a number of other programs year-round to support Cleveland’s downtown theatre district.

From helping out at the International Children’s Festival to Neighborhood Dine-Arounds and the recent Mini-Golf Par-Tee, Partners offers a broad spectrum of volunteer opportunities and social events for the community to enjoy.

Whenever we have an upcoming event I think you guys might enjoy, I like to share it.  And our next event on May 17 will give you an opportunity to not just eat, drink and be merry, but also help raise money for a great arts cause – PlayhouseSquare’s Bus Fund.

Next Thursday from 7-10, join PlayhouseSquare Partners at Around the Corner (18616 Detroit Ave., Lakewood) for Bartending for Buses.

While the theatre can help introduce students to the arts by providing discounted and free tickets, many schools are still unable to afford the cost of busing students to and from the theatre. Through fundraisers like next week’s “celebrity bartending night,” PlayhouseSquare Partners helps overcome this roadblock by raising money for the bus fund.

Longtime Partners like my Jump Back Ball co-chair Meredith will be doing their best Tom Cruise impersonation and slinging drinks behind the bar. Tip them well because all tips from the evening will go towards the Bus Fund.

School trips are many children’s first introduction to the arts and local theatres, especially for those who may not otherwise be able to afford it. So stop by Around the Corner next Thursday, let us pour you a beer or shot, and drink up — for the kids!

Disclosure: I serve on the board of PlayhouseSquare Partners, but – as with any event I post about – am sharing this event because I think it is something that would interest people who read my blog.

The Root Cafe: The Silver Lining in My Wifi-Less World

The Root Cafe is located at 15118 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood

I’m back – and just in time for the snow!  As horrendous as my 2-hour drive to work was this morning, I’m excited for the snow because it’ll be the perfect backdrop for this weekend’s winter fun.

On Saturday, Scott and I are heading to Progressive Field for Indians Snow Days. This weekend is your last chance for the season so if you haven’t gone yet, make plans! (Here’s my review from last year’s Snow Days in case you need any more convincing.)

And then on Sunday, we’ll be braving the cold again for the Frozen Diamond Faceoff.  I love hockey and have been counting down the days to this outdoor matchup for months.

For my return from vacation, I had planned to kick things off with a weekly series I’ll be doing over the next month or so. Unfortunately, it’s going to have to wait until Monday because our wifi is currently not working at home.

Although the cable/internet provider shall remain nameless, I am definitely not a happy customer and after the inexcusable number of phone calls we’ve had to make and subpar customer service we’ve experienced as we’ve tried to get it fixed, I am heavily considering switching my internet over to someone much more reliable.

Photos from theroot-cafe.com

The only silver lining in this situation is that if I still don’t have internet by Sunday, I get to spend time at one of my favorite Cleveland cafes: The Root Cafe in Lakewood. In addition to their wifi and espresso bar, they are a vegan and vegetarian kitchen, organic bakery, and altogether fun place to go for local art, music and food events.

Elizabeth – my NEO Food Tours partner in crime – introduced me to The Root Cafe this past Fall.  Located a few doors down from the old Lakewood Phoenix Coffee (which The Root owners used to own and manage), this place is what I’ve always pictured in my head as “the ideal coffeehouse.”

The artisan tiling and woodwork give The Root Cafe a very natural and comforting feel, that’s echoed by the friendliness of the team behind the bar.  And there is a vibrant community that always seems to fill the place — from individuals enjoying The Root’s very extensive list of coffees and hot teas while working on their laptops to families and friends having a light bite to eat while playing a game.

Even though I am a diehard meatlover, the vegetarian and vegan menu has helped me to venture outside of my comfort zone and discover new foods to love.  The last time I was there I ordered one of their specials for the day, a tempeh sandwich with local greens and honey. It was not just the best vegetarian lunch I’ve had, but a cut above a number of deli sandwiches. They also offer a Raw Food Night every Thursday.

So while there are a number of coffee shops and wifi spots I can frequent much closer to home, The Root Cafe gives me plenty of reasons to escape my internet-less house this weekend.

When you’re on the go and need wifi, what places in Cleveland do you like to visit?

Dinner at Deagan's with Ohio Blogging Association

Danielle, CLEGal and I at the Ohio Blogging Association's dinner at Deagan's

Last month, motivated by Cleveland’s results in the LivingSocial restaurant poll, I came up with my list of 10 restaurants I need to try.

After enjoying Flying Fig a couple weeks ago, I’m happy to say I can now cross a second off my list: Deagan’s in Lakewood.

Deagan’s opened last year and quickly became one of the more heralded restaurants in Cleveland for its laid-back “gastropub” attitude and the creative, well-executed dishes you’d expect from a fine dining establishment. Not surprisingly, this has led to many awards including the Cleveland Magazine’s Best New Restaurant in Cleveland.

Poise in Parma who organized the evening introduces Deagan's Executive Chef Demetrios Atheneos

Although I’ve enjoyed their food at Chef Jam and the Silver Spoon Awards, I hadn’t had a chance to visit Deagan’s until this past Wednesday during the Ohio Blogging Association’s monthly Cleveland Meetup.  

As I walked into the restaurant, the dark wood and brick interior created a warm and welcoming escape from Wednesday night’s cold rain. It immediately struck me as a place you can go to for almost any occassion — happy hour after work with friends, brunch, laid-back lunch during the week or an intimate date night.

After meeting up with my group, I set about the difficult task of what to order.  Wednesdays are Vegetarian/Vegan Nights featuring an additional menu with 4-5 vegetarian and/or vegan specials that are appetizing even to omnivores.

Pumpkin Bisque

I ended up ordering the Southern Tier Pumpkin Bisque from the Vegetarian menu and the Lump Crab Mac and Cheese from their dinner menu.  Before those came out, though, we were surprised by a few delicious charcuterie boards that featured an excellent variety of well-selected meats, cheeses, olives and spreads.

The Pumpkin Bisque sounded so good that a few of us at the table ordered it.  It was sweet and creamy with a very noticeable curry kick  that I haven’t tasted in Pumpkin Bisque before. That surprising heat made it the best pumpkin dish I’ve tasted all Fall.  I’ve been craving salty and sweet combinations lately so I put a little salt on a few bites to see how that would be — craving satisified!

As soon as I saw the Lump Crab Mac and Cheese on the menu, I knew that had to be my main course.  Crab is my favorite shellfish and I miss it not being as readily available in Cleveland as it is in Virginia or the Northeast.  So when I see an appetizing crab dish, I have to order it.  Plus, it was combined with mac and cheese, another hearty dish perfect for a cold night.

Lump Crab and Mac and Cheese

Unfortunately, because I didn’t have too much room left after the rich bisque, I got to try only a few bites of the mac and cheese.  However, I enjoyed the petite salad that accompanied the dish (loved the fresh, thinly sliced radishes!). 

It’s reasons like this why I love to-go containers. I had my mac and cheese for lunch yesterday and got to fully appreciate how good the dish is.  The lump crab meat was full of flavor which complemented the subtle tillamook white cheddar.

I also tried the Pork Belly Brussel Sprouts Danielle ordered. If you’re nervous about trying Brussel Sprouts, this dish is the perfect introduction.  They were very juicy and tender and the chunks of succulent pork belly paired with the care the chef took in preparing these brussel sprouts prevented the dish from having an overwhelming cabbage taste. 

Pork Belly Brussel Sprouts

Scott and I have had our share of bad brussel sprouts in the past and I think the next time we go to Deagan’s, I’ll have him order their version so he can get over his dislike of the misunderstood vegetable. When Executive Chef Demetrios Atheneos came to see how everyone was enjoying it, much praise and many thanks erupted from our table.

To complement the food, I had a room full of excellent dining companions.  For the 10th meetup of the Ohio Blogging Association’s Cleveland chapter (can’t believe it’s almost been a year!), we had a great turnout!

Similar to our April meetup at Touch Supper Club, the evening featured a roundtable discussion on blogging.

We started with introductions. As with previous meetups, my favorite part was not just the variety of topics our blogs cover but also how long everyone has been blogging. There was an excellent cross-section — from bloggers who’ve been around a couple months to 5+ years, to those who write about food, yoga, health insurance and parenting.

Bloggers Noshing and Chatting

At my side of the table, Alicia (Poise in Parma), Danielle (Namaste or Should I Go?), CLEGal (WhyCLE?), and Dave (Health Insurance Issues with Dave and Again? Really?)  discussed how to respond to blog comments and the techincal aspects of WordPress vs. Blogger’s spam filters. I had a good laugh when we compared notes on the different Spambot comments we all get.

While it was nice to hear different bloggers’ perspectives on the issues we run into, I moreso enjoyed meeting new faces and catching up with people I had seen online but not in person for awhile — like @SOS_JR who was debuting the coolest social-media-accessory I’ve ever seen:

The award for best tie goes to @sos_jr!

Here’s who was at this month’s Ohio Blogging Meetup.  Check out these great additions to my Google reader and Twitter feed:

Catching up with Alicia

If you blog — or are a fan of blogging — stop by one of Ohio Blogging’s upcoming meetups. For November, we’re planning a blog swap and December will feature the second annual cookie swap. You can keep up to date by liking the Ohio Blogging Assocation on Facebook.

You can also read other bloggers’ experiences of the night over at Poise in Parma and WhyCLE?.

Deagan’s Kitchen and Bar 411:

Thanks to CLEGal for sharing the photos of her, Danielle and me; Alicia with Chef Demetrios; and the blogger table.

#FlippinGoodDeeds Party for Soles4Souls Shoe Drive

Photo from Yelp.com

Since starting the Flippin’ Good Deeds Challenge last month, iNeedaPlaydate and I have been grateful for all of the shoes donated so far.

Now, we’re giving you another way to drop off your shoes:

Join us on November 5th at Mullen’s on Madison for
the Flippin’ Good Deeds Last Chance Party!

It will be a laidback night at this Lakewood neighborhood bar where you can drop off your shoes, enjoy $2 house wine and domestic drafts, and hang out with iNeedaPlaydate and me.

  • What: Flippin’ Good Deeds Last Chance Party
  • When: November 5, 7-10pm
  • Where: Mullen’s on Madison, 17014 Madison Avenue, Lakewood, Ohio

To RSVP you can leave a comment on this post or RSVP on Facebook.

We are also accepting items to be raffled off during the party.  You will not only receive recognition the night of the party but also the weeks leading up to the party. Email clueintocleveland (at) gmail (dot) com if you have any gift cards, tickets or other items to donate.

Of course, if you can’t make it on Nov. 5th, but would still like to donate shoes, you can:

  • Drop off your donation in the box located in the Penton Media Building’s lobby, 1300 East 9th St., Downtown Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Download the Blogger Donation Form and ship off your shoes to a Soles4Souls warehouse.  Don’t forget to include our blogger ID #024.

Remember, your shoe donations are tax deductible and Soles4Souls will accept any type of shoes (even if there are holes in the soles)! Check out this post for more details and FAQs.

Our shoe drive ends November 9th so you only have a few more weeks to donate.

Thanks to iNeedaPlaydate and Mullen’s on Madison for setting up the party. We hope to see you on November 5th!

***

Have you entered the Clue Into Cleveland giveaway for the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Bamboo Grove Party? Today’s your last chance!

Bowling at Mahall's: Rediscovering a Childhood Pastime

Today’s your last chance to enter Clue Into Cleveland’s giveaway for PlayhouseSquare Partners’ Mini Golf Par-Tee tickets. Reminder: Each separate entry must be marked by a separate comment on the post. Good luck!

***

Bowling at Mahall's in Lakewood has me dusting off my old bowling ball.

Little known fact about me: When I was in grade school, I competed in a junior bowling league.

Instead of developing my athletic prowess on the soccer field like a lot of my friends, I spent my Saturday mornings in a bowling alley, hurling my Snoopy-themed bowling ball down a lane.  And while there were lots of skilled players in our junior bowling league, I will tell you right up front that none of them were on my team.

In fact, my bowling team’s handicap was so high, we actually placed first in the league that year.  I still have the oversized, sparkling trophy at home to prove it.

Gutter ball!

Whether it was my lack of skill (and inability to improve it) or my slight embarassment that a handicap point system was the only reason we won first against an entire league of teams better than us, I packed my ball away in its bag for a long time.  Although I would play the occasional game, it didn’t hold the same novelty for me.

It was only after moving to Cleveland that I rediscovered a love for bowling — thanks to Mahall’s 20 Lanes in Lakewood.

Mahall’s is about more than bowling; it’s one of those places that embraces everything I love about the city.

When you walk in, there’s an authentically old-fashioned feel. However, unlike other places that try to be retro because it’s trendy, Mahall’s is vintage because it’s a neighborhood and family business that has been in Lakewood for decades (here’s a Lakewood lore article I enjoyed about its history).

Mahall’s feels vintage not because it’s trendy to be retro, but because it actually is.

Sure, it may not have the glitz of contemporary, upscale bowling centers. Instead, it’s popular because what you see is what you get — a return to basics, a laidback night of no-frills, inexpensive bowling ($3 per game, $2 for shoes).

The best part of Mahall’s, though, is keeping score by hand. In addition to sharpening my math skills, there is something more rewarding about getting a strike when you have to write it down yourself instead of having an animated bowling ball tell you on the overhead tv.

If you don’t want to bowl, Mahall’s also offers other amenities such as pool tables and a full bar where you can have a few drinks until you’re in the mood to bowl.

My favorite part about Mahall's - keeping score by hand.

Mahall’s has been a popular place for my co-workers’ team outings over the last couple of years. They let us bring in Angelo’s pizza (you can also order delicious food from the bar) and the staff — whether you’re going in a group or just with a friend or two — is always helpful and very nice.

Our most recent team outing at Mahall’s was a few Fridays ago. In addition to a good night of bowling, they had the Indians game playing in the downstairs lanes so we didn’t miss the Tribe’s 9th inning win.

Mahall’s is located at 3200 Madison Ave. in Lakewood and is open 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 10 a.m. to midnight on Thursday; 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday; and Noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, including questions about leagues and pricing, call (216) 521-3280.

From Mahall’s to Corner Alley, Cleveland’s assortment of bowling alleys offers something for everyone. Which is your favorite?

Mahall’s 411:

  • Address: 3200 Madison Ave., Lakewood
  • Hours: Monday through Wednesday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday Noon to 9 p.m.
  • Call for more information: (216) 521-3280
  • Like Mahall’s 20 Lanes on Facebook

"See. Shop. Learn." at Crafty Goodness — New Arts Store Opening in Lakewood

Crafty Goodness opens on Saturday, March 5th, 9 am at 15621 Madison Avenue in Lakewood, Ohio.

I don’t really consider myself very good at producing art.  Sure, I enjoy sketching and painting, but my ability there is pretty limited. And if you get me near any sort of craft that demands a lot of physical dexterity, I’m often defeated by an innate clumsiness. Understanding how much talent and skill is necessary to create artwork helps me really appreciate artisans who can turn that excellent idea in their head into a well-crafted reality.

Fortunately, Cleveland is ripe with talented artists and artisans — from group shows like the Cleveland Artists Foundation’s Cleveland Collects (ongoing until March 12th) or pop-up shops like last November’s holiday pop-ups and Valerie Mayen’s March 11th Yellow Cake pop-up in Tremont.

Subsequently, I’m really excited that another store is joining the ranks of locally produced art this weekend in Lakewood.  On Saturday, March 5th, Crafty Goodness is opening their doors to the public.

Crafty Goodness is owned by Chris Sorensen and Joanna and Matthew Orgovan, who wanted to provide the local community with an affordable alternative to big-box retail chains.   

The store has a three-pronged approach that helps set them apart from others.  With a tagline of “See. Shop. Learn.” they want to give Northeast Ohio a place where consumers can see what their neighbors have created, help stimulate the economy at a local level, and learn how to create artwork themselves.

Crafty Goodness' See. Shop. Learn. tagline incorporates their three-part mission of providing a gallery for Northeast Ohio artists, a buy-local retail experience, and educational opportunities for the community.

 

  • SEE. The walls of Crafty Goodness will feature an extensive art gallery representing a number of local artists — some who have already gained local recognition and others who are up-and-coming. A variety of media will be highlighted, including traditional canvas and panel art, 3D mixed-media pieces, photographic compositions, original screen prints and wood-carved and burned wall decorations. There are consignment opportunities available for local artists as well. 
  • SHOP. A unique retail establishment, Crafty Goodness will carry only locally made works of art as well as gift and everyday items from artisans who reside in Northeast Ohio. Over 50 local artists from the seven counties that make up Northeast Ohio are represented. To visually document this detail, the shop features a large map of Northeast Ohio that pinpoints all of the communities where items are made.  Some of the items on sale will include pottery, bath and body products, cosmetics, clothing, jewelry, baby items, toys and plush, canvas art, and housewares. 
  • LEARN. In addition to providing a place for artists to sell their products, Crafty Goodness specializes in an educational component. They’ll host arts and craft classes that patrons of all ages can take. The goal is to provide an affordable and varied offering of classes so that students can both broaden their personal interests and hone their skills in particular disciplines.  The majority of classes are organized in a make-and-take format, where each student takes his or her creation home. Included among the creative course offerings are classes in soap making, fused glass, poly clay jewelry, and needle arts.

On Opening Day (as well as all Saturdays going forward), Crafty Goodness will be open from 9 am – 9 pm.  Their regular store hours for the rest of the week are Monday – Friday from 12 – 9 pm and Sundays from 12 – 5pm. You can find the store at 15621 Madison Avenue in Lakewood, Ohio.

I’m looking forward to heading down there on Saturday morning to see what I can only dream about making. And who knows, maybe I’ll pick up a trick or two in improving my skills!

Crafty Goodness 411:

Guest Blog Post: Cleveland and its many craft fairs

The concept of shopping locally for hand made items has always been something Clevelanders can get behind.  I have several (or at least one) memories of my own mom making eucalyptus wreaths and taking us all to a big church hall to run around and meet other women who were selling their wreaths and scarves.  So is it any surprise that I’m drawn to today’s craft fairs, with their wreaths from antique christmas lights and scarves of brightly dyed felt?

Shoppers at Bazaar Bizarre 2010

This past weekend, Dec. 11 and 12, I hit up the Bazaar Bizarre, my annual “Oh, i’ve always wanted a thing just like that!” shopping trip.  The Bazaar Bizarre has been held in Cleveland for six years now, organized by Shannon Okey.  For the past two years, the bazaar has been held at 78th Street Studios, a collection of art studios and galleries and a big empty space.  The neighborhood is starting to pickup on the massive foot traffic that Bazaar Bizarre brings with it, with galleries in the 78th Street Studio and 1300/Third buildings showcasing art and objects.  Bazaar Bizarre is a great place to see our local variations on national trends – looking for interesting food trucks? Den and dim sum and Umami Moto were parked outside, and sold quickly.  What about burlesque and personalized makeup?  What about stiltdancers?  Shannon Okey, busy as usual, was happy to chat with me on Saturday and say how excited she was that the community was really starting to come out and support all the local craft shows being held in the Gordon Square Arts District and Cleveland. 

Michael Hudecek models one of his Forest City Portage bags.

 

Let me say here a big great job to all the vendors, and a big “well, it was really crowded and we did the best we could do to walk past one another” to all the other shoppers that thronged through the studios to see them.  Some personal favorites were Melissa Venneri-McCabe and Lew McCabe of Whimsical Wonders, creators of spoon and fork magic!; Michael Hudecek of Forest City Portage (and sometimes Melt West), making messenger bags, pouches, belts and wallets out of cordura and the desire to just have a really sweet-ass bag;  Cosette Cornelius-Bates, cosy makes fiber artist, who had the such prettily dyed wool that I had to buy a skein, even though all I can do is the world’s most basic scarf; and Puppycat, a collection of dog and kitty and people treats, where I found the annual christmas present for the kitties (this year, a catnip taco!).  I was excited to meet local Valerie Mayen (Project Runway), there to both sell some really interesting clothing from her shop Yellow Cake, and to talk about the fashion co-operative Buzz & Growl that she is the process of growing.   

Valerie Mayen and Courtney at Bazaar Bizarre 2010

It’s bad writing form to say “I can’t quite describe” but in this case, it is hard to describe all the intriguing items for sale from all the excited and friendly vendors at this year’s Bazaar Bizarre!  It’s always great to go and find something new and really cool (this year, enormous black flower earrings from mandrizzle), and to be part of a great event.

Thankfully, even though Bazaar Bizarre is over, there is still one shopping weekend and several shopping weekdays left in this busy holiday season.  And there are still some local shopping events to help you find that perfect baby onesie that says “My dad made my mom a mix tape and all they got was me.”  (Credit must go to Leigh Kelsey of Rhymes With Tree, who will be at Last Minute Market!)

  • Made in the 216 is an ongoing holiday shop at 2078 W. 25 Street, Cleveland, open until Dec. 24 and organized by Room Service‘s Danielle DeBoe.  Another yearly event, this fair showcases some 50 Cleveland artists.
  • The Last Minute Market & Screw Factory Open Studio will be held this Saturday, Dec. 18 at 13000 Athens Avenue, Lakewood.  This market will host 85 vendors from around the Midwest, as well as showcasing the visiting and resident artists of the Screw Factory.  There is always a blank wall somewhere – shouldn’t you look for some amazing, local paintings or photograph to fill it up?
  • The Pop Up Gift Shop, currently going on at Trinity Commons, 2242 Euclid, Cleveland, is open Thursday and Friday, 10-7 pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 10-5 pm.  If you’re going to “consume, consume locally,” says one of the artists, which encompasses the feeling behind handmade local gifts that emphasize their reused/recycled quality.  A clock made out of a motherboard?  Mosaics from flooring samples?  Check!

 I know I’m (again!) not fully sharing the many local options available to us here in Cleveland, and that’s because we’re totally spoiled for choice.  More ideas and suggestions are available from Thomas Mulready Cool Cleveland’s Holiday Gift Guide, or by checking various local print publications.  As Cool Cleveland says, it’ll be a shopping experience that doesn’t suck.  Which is true!  Absolutely none of these events will suck.  In fact, all of them will be amazing and interesting, and you’ll be able to witness people creating and sharing and selling their art.  And you’ll be a part of it!  Provided you buy something, which I highly suggest you do.  

Melissa and Lew McCabe at Bazaar Bizarre

About the Guest Author: Kate Galo
Long long ago, Kate Galo was a professional blogger at the now-defunct BloggingOhio.com.  Her writing style has vastly improved over the years, and she’s excited to sharing her thoughts about this city with the loyal readers at Clue Into Cleveland!