Tag Archives: rock hall

WhyCLE Challenge: Reasons 7 – 13 to Love Cleveland

One of this week's reasons why I love Cleveland: going to an Indians game. Although the Indians didn't win on Wednesday, getting my picture with "Slider" (well, Slider's statue) and hanging out in Progressive made up for it.

As I posted last week, I’m taking the WhyCLE Challenge in May where I’ll be tweeting a daily reason why I love this city.  You can follow those reasons and my other tweets @ADHicken.  I’ll also be recapping these reasons on my blog each weekend.

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Reasons 7-13 to love Cleveland taken straight from this week’s Twitter stream:

#WhyCLE Reason 7:  Cleveland’s comic book history & celebrating @FreeComicBook Day @WestlakePorter http://ow.ly/4O5Kg #FCBD

#WhyCLE Reason 8: More natl coverage for #CLE! @playhousesquare’s work w/@cleveplayhouse @wviz = economic success in arts http://ow.ly/4PHeY

#WhyCLE Reason 9: Events like Chef Jam, where food meets rock at @rock_hall. http://wp.me/pPIgG-Aj #HappyinCLE #clefood

#WhyCLE Reason 10: Tues. in @TremontWest. Tonight eat @ Civilization, Ty Fun & Tremont Scoops &10% benefits Arts in Aug. http://ow.ly/4R21x

#WhyCLE Reason 11: The #Indians! There’s nothing like catching a game after work to make the day that much better. #GoTribe! [Another picture from Wednesday's game: http://tumblr.com/xu12hda3ec]

#WhyCLE Reason 12: Bowling at Mahall’s in #Lakewood where I can score games by hand. Love this place! http://ow.ly/4SU5k #happyinCLE

#WhyCLE Reason 13: Another excellent exhibit to check out at #CLE’s @rock_hall. Women Who Rock opens today: http://ow.ly/4TLnk

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Want to catch up on previous reasons why I love Cleveland?

Chef Jam 2011: Cleveland Music Meets Food at the Rock Hall

Have you entered my giveaway yet for PlayhouseSquare Partners’ Mini Golf Par-Tee? You have until Wednesday at 11:59PM. Check the link to learn how to win a pair of tickets to play putt-putt in the Palace Theatre.

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One of my favorite events from when I first started Clue Into Cleveland was last year’s Chef Jam at the Rock Hall. It was the perfect culmination of a June weekend also filled with Parade the Circle and roller derby.

The sold-out event featured over 20 Cleveland chefs coupled with local bands and free access to the Rock Hall’s exhibits.  It was an epicurean dream and first introduced me to restaurants like Melange and Bistro on Lincoln Park which I would enjoy visiting over the course of the year.

Well, I’m happy to say Chef Jam 2011 is right around the corner. On Sunday, June 12 at 7 p.m., Cleveland’s top chefs will again descend on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, serving up specialties inspired by their favorite band or musician and dressed like the rock stars they are featuring.

Participating restaurants include:

ABC

Amp 150

B Spot

Bar Cento

Blue Canyon

Blue Point Grille

Dante

Deagens

Flying Fig

Greenhouse Tavern

Lago

Melange

Melt

Moxie

Osteria

Pier W

Prosperity Social Club

Sasa

Sweet Moses

XYZ

Zack Bruell Restaurants

In addition to the culinary delights prepared by the chefs, Maker’s Mark – who is presenting the event – is inviting the chefs to create a special dish utilizing their bourbon. The winning chef of the infusion challenge will receive a trip to the Maker’s Mark distillery in Louisville.

Scott enjoying Melange's Watermelon 'Bad to the Bone' Ribs at last year's Chef Jam.

Paired with the food will be special performances by The Cream of the Crop All Stars and Cleveland’s Abbey Rodeo with special guest Jim Bonfanti of the Raspberries.

Tickets are $65 and will go on sale to Rock Hall members and staff on Monday, May 9 and to the general public on Tuesday, May 10. They are available through the Rock Hall website (www.rockhall.com/event/chef-jam-2011) or the Rock Hall Box Office.

Each ticket includes samples of all the dishes offered during the event, as well as Great Lakes Brewing Company beer, wine and tours of the Museum’s exhibits. One of the reasons I’m excited for Chef Jam is the chance to check out the new Women Who Rock interactive exhibition.

Proceeds from the event will support the Rock Hall’s education programs and The Ohio City Farm (be sure to check the links out for more information about these incredible programs).

Last year’s Chef Jam sold-out in three weeks and this year’s buzz is growing so get your tickets as soon as they go on sale.

Chef Jam 2011 is presented by Maker’s Mark and sponsored by KeyBank, Time Warner Cable, Great Lakes Brewing Company, Ohio Natural Gas and Event Source.

Chef Jam 2011 411:

Labor Day in Cleveland – 3 Days of Festivals, Food and Fun

With Labor Day comes the unofficial end of summer. Even though the Fall Equinox is weeks away and there seems to be no end in sight to the stifling heat, Clevelanders who want to grasp that last bit of summer have a huge variety of festivals, parties, and other events to choose from this weekend.    

The Rock Hall celebrates its 15th Anniversary (from rockhall.com)

 

Kicking things off this weekend is the Rock Hall Ball. On Friday, Sept. 3, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is celebrating its 15th anniversary with a party from 8:30 p.m. – 2 a.m.  Live bands and DJs will perform, including soul singer Eli “Paperboy” Reed, alternative rock band Foxy Shazam and DJ Tommie Sunshine.  Two levels of tickets allow flexibility in cost. Platinum tickets ($55 member/$65 non-member) include access at 8:30 p.m., hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine until 12:30 a.m. and entertainment until 2 a.m. Vinyl Tickets ($15) include access at 10 p.m., cash bar and entertainment.    

Labor Day will also feature weekend-long festivals such as:    

  • Labor Day Oktoberfest - At the Berea Fairgrounds will be the 6th Annual Labor Day Oktoberfest. From attending previous Oktoberfests, I recommend indulging in this weekend of oompah bands, brats and beer.  In addition to the food and the beer, years past have had merchants and other organizations promoting a variety of ethnic backgrounds. New this year – the Cleveland Pops Orchestra will perform Beethoven’s celebrated Fifth Symphony.  I’ll be dusting off my alpine hat and putting on my polka-dancing shoes for this.
  • Cleveland Air Show - As the photo in my last post showed, I love attending air shows, and Cleveland’s annual celebration of flying machines at Burke Lakefront Airport is listed as one of the 101 Best Aviation Attractions. Although it runs Sept. 4 -6,  if you’re downtown this week, you can see – and hear – the jets and planes practicing.  Nearby businesses and museums will also be hosting ‘Watch Parties’ including Reddstone’s When Pigs Fly Block Party on Sunday and the weekend-long William G. Mather Air Show Deck Party at nearby Great Lakes Science Center.
  • Taste of Cleveland - The other major downtown festival this weekend is the 15th annual Taste of Cleveland which will feature national entertainment acts and regional food traditional to Northeast Ohio. In addition to the 30+ restaurants that will be at the event, there will be the American Wine School Tasting Bar and cooking demonstrations such as the “Cooking with Kids” parents/children class, the Ohio Natural Gas Ultimate Backyard Kitchen and the 7th Annual Time Warner Cable Mayors’ Dessert Cup Challenge. One of the entertainment acts Scott and I are most looking forward to: “Weird Al” Yankovic on Friday night. What can I say? We’re UHF fans.

Der Glockenspiel - an actual working clock - is one of the attractions at Oktoberfest (from clevelandoktoberfest.com)

 

If festivals aren’t your thing or you’re looking for a one-off event this weekend, there are other options including:    

  • The Cleveland Orchestra and Joffrey Ballet - On Saturday and Sunday at 8:30 p.m., the Joffrey Ballet returns to the Blossom Music Festival. The Ballet  joins Conductor Tito Muñoz and the Cleveland Orchestra in their presentation of Reflections (choreographed to music by Tchaikovsky), Tarantella (choreographed to Louis Gottschlak), and Pretty BALLET (choregraphed to Bohuslav Martinů). 
  • Cedar Point - Labor Day Weekend is the last weekend to visit the Soak City Waterpark in 2010. It’s also the end of Cedar Point’s regular season. Starting on Sept. 17, the park will open back up for Halloweekends.
  • Aut-O-Rama Drive-In - This weekend, audiences at the North Ridgeville drive-in movie theatre have their choice of a kid-friendly double feature with Toy Story 3 and Nanny McPhee Returns  or cult-classics-to-be Machete and Piranha.
  • The Happy Dog - DJ Kishka’s Polka Happy Hour is back this Friday from 6-9 p.m. (if you can’t make it to this one, he’ll also be at the Happy Dog on the 17th). After DJ Kishka, Adam Tanner and Mark Jackson of North Carolina’s Twilite Broadcasters bring their two-part harmony vocals and acoustic accompaniment to the Happy Dog from 9 p.m. til midnight.
  • Cleveland Polka Association Picnic - The Cleveland Polka Association’s B.Y.O.E. (Bring Your Own Everything) Picnic takes place on Monday, Sept. 6 at  St. Sava’s Picnic Grove (2300 West Ridgewood Drive, Parma). Gate opens at 2 p.m., musical performances run from 3-7 p.m. including Canton, OH’s Polkatones. (More information or large table reservations: 216-661-5227)

The Aut-O-Rama Drive-In presents Machete and Piranha (from autoramadrivein.com)

 

Fortunately, it’s a three-day weekend, which means plenty of opportunities to experience your share of these end-of-summer events.

A Weekend Trifecta of CLE Arts, Eats and Roller Derby

 
… A look back at last weekend’s Parade the Circle, BRRG and Chef Jam 2010 …
 

The Sold-Out Chef Jam 2010 on Sunday night demonstrated the thriving partnership between Cleveland's restaurant and music communities.

 

One of my goals when I started this blog was to highlight a variety of the places and events that can be found in Cleveland.  And I hope that I’ve made some progress in doing so.  I truly believe that whatever your interests, Cleveland offers a number of great opportunities to meet those needs throughout the year.   
 
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to demonstrate this notion of a versatile Cleveland by seeing if I could fill one weekend with activities that would appeal to different tastes.  Last weekend I was able to find and attend 3 Cleveland events that would interest fans of arts & culture, sports, local food and music: University Circle’s Parade the Circle, the Burning River Roller Girls’ semifinals, and Chef Jam 2010. 

    

PARADE THE CIRCLE   

Colorful balloon arches introduced each section of Parade the Circle.

 

The floats and costumes found throughout the Parade were full of intricate and creative designs.

 

My weekend started early Saturday morning when I sleepily dragged myself out of bed to head over to Cleveland’s Eastside for Parade the Circle.   

In addition to floats, costumed stilt-walkers and musicians made their way down East Boulevard.

 

I knew that I’d need to gather my strength for a long day, so I first stopped by The Inn on Coventry for breakfast.  The Inn on Coventry, which will celebrate its 29th anniversary this July, is a mom-and-mom community restaurant with three generations of home-style cooks.  It’s been named one of the best breakfasts in Cleveland, and my first time there did not disappoint as they balanced a creative and delicious breakfast menu with the laidback atmosphere and value you’d find at a family-run restaurant.  I ordered a short-stack of their Crunchberry Pancakes and was very pleased with the result — two huge pancakes with granola and blueberry mixed in. Other pancakes on the menu include lemon ricotta, pumpkin and reese’s pancakes.  Not a fan of pancakes?  Their selection of egg specialities had me looking forward to my next visit so that I can try out their Swedish Eggs.   

Hawken School Community's Op and Pop and Things that Go Round! float.

 

I walked off  my hearty breakfast on my way down to Wade Oval for Parade the Circle.  Parade the Circle – often heralded as Cleveland’s signature summer event - is held yearly in University Circle’s Wade Oval by the Cleveland Museum of Art and University Circle, Inc.  At noon, a parade of floats, puppets, stilt-walkers, dancers, and musicians weaved its way down East Boulevard and Wade Oval Drive.  The creativity and intricacy found in the floats and costumes aptly demonstrated the dedication and talent of our local arts groups, community organizations and schools. Another highlight of the parade was how a number of the displays were themed around the environment — incorporating the idea of conservation not just in what the floats presented but also how they were constructed.  For instance, Sawson Alhaddad and Friends’ Phoenix-themed float was a giant phoenix bird constructed entirely of discarded medical supplies.    

After the parade, Circle Village was open in Wade Oval until 4pm for an afternoon of interactive displays, live music, and local food.   

Circle Village featured activities sponsored by local organizations.

 

Among other things, the 32+ activities promoted:    

  • the arts – the Famicos Foundation invited children to paint one of three canvas murals with an image from their neighborhood;
  • science – the Cleveland Museum of Natural History celebrated their 90th anniversary with hands-on science crafts;
  • healthier lifestyles – the Cleveland Clinic Sleep Center had families create a Dream Catcher and provided educational information and a nursing staff to answer questions about sleep habits

Parade the Circle has always proven to be a unique event that does an excellent job in promoting community involvement and an awareness of the arts in Cleveland - and this year was no different.     

    

BURNING RIVER ROLLER GIRLS’ SEMIFINALS   

The jammer for the Hellbombers (left) speeds towards the pack as the Hard Knockers look on from the bench.

 

After spending the day out in the heat, it was nice to head over to the airconditioned Wolstein Center for the Burning River Roller Girls‘ semifinals bout.  The BRRG are Cleveland’s first all-female, skater-owned, flat-track derby league.  Saturday night’s two matches pitted the Cleveland Steamers against the Rolling Pin-Ups and the Hellbombers against the Hard Knockers to determine who would be heading to the fourth season finals in July.   

The Cleveland Steamers and Rolling Pin-Ups line up as a jam is about to start.

 

First up were the Cleveland Steamers and the Rolling Pin-Ups.  Going into the match, the Cleveland Steamers were 2-1 for the season – their only defeat at the hands of the Hellbombers in Bout 1. And with the very first jam of Saturday’s match, they seemed to be on the road to another victory.  During the first jam, the Steamers immediately scored 10 points after the Rolling Pin-Ups’ jammer got penalized and was out of the jam.  However, the Pin-Ups – who were 1-2 for the season – staged an early comeback when they racked up 13 points in two jams, bringing the score to 18-15.  By the end of the first half, the score was 28-19 with the Rolling Pin-Ups in the lead.  During the second half, the Rolling Pin-Ups sealed their victory as the unstoppable Punk’d Pixie scored another 9 points on the half’s 1st jam and brought the score to 37-19.  With each jam, the Steamers continued to fall further behind.  Although they worked very hard and ended up with 35 points by the end of the match, the Steamers were no match for the Pin-Ups on Saturday as the score ended 57-35 with the Pin-Ups headed for the Hazard Cup in July.   

Aaron Bonk of HeyBonk.com thrilled the crowd between the 2 BRRG matches.

 

The second match pitted the undefeated Hellbombers against the Hard Knockers who were 0-3 for the season.  Although the Hard Knockers were the first to score - earning 4 points in the first jam, the Hellbombers’ brutal and nimble offense helped them take a decisive lead in the second jam.  Captain Erin Gargiulo from the Hellbombers scored an incredible 14 points in one jam.  The Hellbombers demonstrated that they were dedicated to victory as their jammers swiftly pushed through the pack jam after jam bringing the score to 17-59 by halftime in favor of the Hellbombers.  In the second half, the Hard Knockers tried to rally together in hopes of a victory.  And when the Hard Knockers earned lead jammer three jams in a row, it seemed as if they were making good progress. However, by the end of the match, the Hellbombers defeated the Hard Knockers 117 to 43.  Although it will be the undefeated Hellbombers in next month’s finals, the Hard Knockers deserve praise for their fortitude on Saturday night as they continued to battle hard despite the Hellbombers’ insurmountable lead.   

With these two exciting matches, as well as the thrilling juggling antics of Aaron Bonk of Hey Bonk! fame, the Burning River Roller Girls’ semifinals were an incredible way to end my Saturday.  And considering how close the Rolling Pin-Ups and Hellbombers’ last match was in May, both teams will have their work cut out for them as they prepare for the finals on July 10th.   

    

CHEF JAM 2010   

In addition to 26 local chefs, Chef Jam featured performances by The Rare Birds (pictured), Melange, Evil Eye, Cream of the Crop and guest Todd Rundgren.

 

The staff from Melange serving their George Thoroughgood-inspired ribs, wings and dill pickle popcorn.

 

After Saturday’s marathon of activities, I took it easy on Sunday until that evening’s sold-out Chef Jam.   Chef Jam 2010 was held at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to benefit Cleveland Food Rocks and the Rock Hall‘s education programs and promote the city’s talented restaurant industry.      

Featuring 26 of the best chefs in the city, a selection of local bands, and a performance by Todd Rundgren, Chef Jam 2010 satisfied the epicurean in all who attended.   

Scott tries Melange's incredibly tender Watermelon 'Bad to the Bone' Ribs.

 

The Rock Hall buzzed with the sounds of the 1000 attendees who flocked from table to table sampling dishes themed around a different musician. Understanding how theatricality often goes hand-in-hand with great rock-and-roll, a number of the chefs and restaurants’ staffs also dressed the part for their particular theme.  In addition to the Happy Dog - who put together another hot dog masterpiece with their ‘Aint’ Nothing but a Hound’ dogs, my other favorites included Melange’s selection inspired by George Thoroughgood and the Destroyers and Bistro on Lincoln Park’s Allman Brothers dessert. Melange cooked up a tender Watermelon ‘Bad to the Bone’ Ribs, Effervescent Chicken Wings, and an incredible Dill Pickle Popcorn. And Bistro on Lincoln Park featured a grilled ‘Eat a Peach’ peaches with cracked black pepper ice cream.    

The crowd packed the lobby of the Rock Hall to see Cream of the Crop and Todd Lundgren play.

 

As with any good recipe, you need more than just one ingredient to make it a success.  And the live performances coupled with the setting of the Rock Hall were the perfect complement to the featured chefs.  In addition to complimentary tours of the Rock Hall and its exhibits, guests were treated to performances by local bands and the legendary Todd Rundgren.   Melange’s Melange and Happy Dog’s Evil Eye opened up the show.  After that, The Rare Birds performed for the Greenhouse Tavern closing their set out with one of my favorites, She’s Smokin Hot.  Cream of the Crop closed the night with a guest performance by Todd Rundgren. When Steve Schimoler – owner/chef of Crop and founder of Cleveland Food Rocks – was interviewed by The Plain Dealer, he noted how Rundgren performed for free in support of the Rock Hall and Cleveland’s food scene - both of which he’s a fan.  And with the quality of the dishes and performances featured at Chef Jam, it’s no wonder.   

    

*****   

Although it ended up being a couple of whirlwind days, Parade the Circle, the BRRG and Chef Jam were the perfect examples of not just the variety but also the quality of events that can be found in Cleveland any weekend.   

    

Parade the Circle 411:
Event page
Hosted by:
University Circle, Inc. and
Cleveland Museum of Art    

    

Burning River Roller Girls 411:  
Upcoming Bouts
BRRG Teams
‘What is Roller Derby?’ Video
@BurningRiver   

    

Chef Jam 2010 411:
Event Page
Hosted by:
Cleveland Food Rocks and
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame   

Cleveland Rocks at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Cleveland Rocks at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (photo by STH)

 

Since this is a blog about where to go when visiting Cleveland, I’m going to start with one of the first places that comes to mind when someone mentions Cleveland:  The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.   

The first time I visited the Rock Hall was for a holiday party at work. Having recently moved here at the time, dining and perusing the exhibits afterhours was a pretty enjoyable way to spend an evening. Since then, I’ve been back a handful of times when friends have come to town wanting to check out a Cleveland icon.   

Birthplace of Rock 'N' Roll (photo by STH)

 

The Rock Hall is hard to miss.  A glass pyramid designed by I.M. Pei, it’s one of the most eye-catching buildings downtown lining the Lake Erie coast.  In 1995, it opened its doors to the public. With seven floors of exhibition space, it’s easy to get lost in there for hours.  Considering the role Cleveland played in the history of rock and roll (it’s where the term was first coined and popularized by Alan Freed), it’s no wonder that the Rock Hall makes its home here.   

At the core of the museum are 18 permanent exhibits that each give a unique perspective on the history of rock and roll. Some of the exhibits highlight the careers of past and current legends including Michael Jackson, Les Paul, U2, and Jimi Hendrix. Another exhibit traces the development of pivotal music scenes through the decades – from Memphis and Detroit to Liverpool, San Francisco, LA, New York, London and Seattle. And for those interested in local music, the Hang on Sloopy exhibit examines the music of Ohio.     

In addition to the permanent installations, the Rock Hall is constantly developing temporary exhibits to spotlight various artists and themes. If you’re a Bruce fan, the 5th and 6th floors of the museum are currently dedicated to From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen until the end of 2010.    And after the phenomenal photography exhibit Live from Madison Square Garden: From the Lens of George Kalinsky closes on March 14, an exhibit celebrating 35 years of Austin City Limits will open from March 20 to September 6.    

Of course, no visit to the museum would be complete without stopping by the actual Hall of Inductees. A theatre in the Hall houses a multimedia production about the inductees, and a walkway travels along a series of glass panels etched with their signatures leading you to artifacts from the current class. A game Scott and I enjoy playing when we’re in the Hall of Inductees is picking out which panel we’d take home with us based on the signatures etched on each one (if I could, I’d claim the panel featuring Roy Orbison).  When the Class of 2010 is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 15, the Rock Hall will host an Induction Ceremony Watch Party with tickets on sale for $5.   

My personal favorite part of the museum, however, is the Alan Freed Radio Station housed on premises.  Not only can you listen in on a live broadcast while hanging out in the museum’s courtyard, but you can also visit the studio on the upper floors and watch the show unfold right in front of you. It’s this behind-the-scenes look that makes the Radio Station one of my favorite features of the museum.   

With all of these things to see at the Rock Hall, it’s no wonder it’s such an iconic part of the city.   

    

Rock Hall 411:   

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
1100 Rock and Roll Boulevard
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
(East Ninth Street at Lake Erie)   

Hours, Admission and Directions   

Twitter: @Rock_Hall