Friday, October 02, 2009

36 Hours with a Native: Going Where You're Not Supposed To with Bridget Callahan

Bridget Callahan, 30, is a self-described cubicle worker/fate decider. She grew up on 54th and Clark, on the Near West Side of Cleveland, and has spent most of her life "successfully avoiding habitation anywhere else." Except, she says, "for a year and a half in Phoenix AZ, meth capital of the world and generally nasty place. Cleveland is cheaper and less demanding of my constant attention, plus the seasons change." She has been writing and taking photographs at since 2007.

When I asked her to describe what Cleveland is about in 50 words or less, Bridget had this to say:
Cleveland exists. It exists with you or without you. It does not falter or sway in its position of being Cleveland. It remains the same no matter how long you abandon it. Cleveland is a Rust Belt Icon, and it is the most constant, most un-romantic ex boyfriend you will ever have.

Of her 36-hour itinerary, Bridget notes:
The last time I was in NYC (like, the only time in...ever), I found myself practically begging my new friends to come visit me here. "The cheapest best vacation ever! Bring the dog!" I shouted. I was mostly just completely and utterly shocked how expensive everything was, especially when nobody was really that much more attractive. So here's me trying to back that up.

Let's start off by getting some coffee and bread, and going down to Edgewater to eat. No walking. No biking. Just sitting and getting caffeinated, watching the old guys fish off the rocks.

Next we'll hit up the Cleveland Museum of Art, which is free! And it's better to go in the middle of the week, before the crowdy people who don't know how to hover properly around paintings show up. But we have to make sure we're out by 3, cause being stuck in traffic is not what I wanted to show you.

Then it's back to the West Side, to have dinner at Sahara Restaurant on Lorain for really awesome Lebanese food. Since I kept you hungry all day, we'll also get some East Coast custard and drive around Rocky River Metroparks listening to music and finding a good place to let the dog run around. [editor's note: if you add clove cigarettes and Renaissance music, this is how I spent most of high school.]

And if you're still up for doing stuff other than watching episodes of Angel while drinking (a completely normal Cleveland thing to do), we'll go get drunk at Now That's Class and watch some weirdo bands doing weirdo things.

I assume we're hungover, I am anyway. But I know you're going to kill me if I don't take you to the West Side Market. We'll get some coffee and wander around buying random types of cheese and beef jerky to eat later. Then a tour of the Flats, starting with the glass factory at the bottom of Jefferson Hill, and ending up at the Temple of Lost Love. Then back up the hills to get some sandwiches at La Bodega in Tremont, stop in at Visible Voice Books to say hi to Jeff and hang out. More coffee at Civilization, and then the abandoned Clothcraft building! It's super easy to get into, I promise. And later, after we change and shower, we'll go see somebody play some music at Brothers Lounge.

Lucky's Cafe for brunch, and then a little road trip out to Virginia Kendall State Park to be happy and gleeful about the glacial rocks. Be sloth like for a few hours upon our return. Go check out Flower Child and Suite Lorain. Ty Fun for dinner, and Crop Bistro for dessert and drinks. Then I'm sure, drunk as I will be, I will make you wander down to the river and look at that old wooden cabin. Cause I love that damn thing.



Blogger John Ettorre said...

Love that line about the most constant, most un-romantic ex-boyfriend ever. That's inspired, and just feels right.

11:20 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

Bridget is an amazing writer.

12:03 PM  
Blogger John Ettorre said...

Thanks to your plug, I've added her to my periodic reading list. Thanks.

10:55 AM  

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