Explore CLE

Explore CLE: The Orchestra at Blossom

This past weekend, Nick and I joined our fellow Circle members for The Cleveland Orchestra's kickoff to summer at Blossom Music Center. Nick and I really don't like driving, but lucky for us, the Circle had taken care of this problem by providing its members with a bus that drove us from Severance Hall to Blossom. Once at Blossom, we were treated to a yummy barbecue dinner and Great Lakes beer, after which we all made our way to the lawn to enjoy the show. 



It was a beautiful summer night, and as you can see, it was a packed house to listen to the Orchestra perform Beethoven's Ninth.





As always with the Cleveland Orchestra it was a great show, but since it was at Blossom, it was a very different experience, and one I highly recommend. However, if you are an Orchestra at Blossom newbie (as I was), here are five things you should know:
1. Blossom is WAY more casual than Severance Hall. This is an all ages event, so you can take your kids. There were a few parents who had even brought a change of clothes, so the kids were in pjs about half way through!
2. Unlike most concerts at Blossom, you can take coolers into the Orchestra shows. Which means you can bring in your own food AND wine
3. The ground can get a little wet as the sun goes down, so you definitely want a picnic blanket, ideally one with the water resistant backing
4. It can also get a little chilly after sunset, so an extra blanket or cardigan or hoodie is a good idea
5. Take bug spray

We had such a great time at Blossom that we're already planning our next visit. The lawn tickets are an incredible bargain at $26/each, and there are some really fun performances coming this season. A great way to experience our world-renowned Orchestra in a super casual setting!

Disclosure: I serve on the Board of Directors of The Circle. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. That being said, I LUUUUURVE The Circle-- it is absolutely the BEST value for money for a young professional in Cleveland. $20/month gives you 2 tickets in a household (even if you're single, you should get the double and take a friend!), which includes 12 events per year, at least 6 of which are concerts. Circle Members also get a 20% discount on classical concerts, and most important, the members themselves are fun and welcoming! Additional details available here



CLE Events: Balance & Brews

A couple of weeks ago, I attended my very first Balance & Brews event as part of Engage! Cleveland's YP Week. Founded by Melissa Klimo-Major, Balance & Brews combines an hour-long, all-levels yoga class with beer! The events take place in local breweries, and include a brewery tour (if you are so inclined). The classes themselves are really fun-- the unusual location paired with Melissa's humor and playlist make for a fun, low-key experience.


Photo credit: Thanks to Balance and Brews' Facebook page for the two pictures on the top.

Balance & Brews is hosting its first ever yoga weekend retreat in Ohio later this month. I'm not quite ready to commit to a whole weekend yet, but its definitely something I would like to try in the near future. They also have a practice and a pint option, which is exactly what it sounds like. And on July 11th, they are hosting a Balance & Brews practice at Great Lakes Brewing Company, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit Secondhand Mutts. If you recall, I used to serve on the Board of Directors for Secondhand Mutts, and they continue to hold a very special place in my heart, so naturally, I'm signed up to attend!

I love that fun, active events like these are becoming more common-place in Cleveland. I LUUUUURVE a good detox-retox experience! I'm still looking for an event that pairs yoga with a wine/champagne tasting--- maybe someone will create one soon? Or maybe I should partner with someone to create one?


Explore CLE: Taste Cleveland Food Tours

For Christmas last year, our dear friends Dave and Jessika gifted us a Cleveland Food Tour. Since we had been waiting for nice weather, they joined us a few weeks ago as we actually took the tour. Taste Cleveland Food Tours offer three standard tours: The West Side Market, Little Italy, and Tremont, however they offer custom tours as well. Each tour pairs local restaurants with a look at the history and architecture of the neighborhood.

I had heard about these tours in the past, but since we had never tried one before, we decided to stick with a standard tour of Tremont. Nick and I used to live in Tremont, and being an architect, Nick knew a lot about the history and architecture of Tremont, so we weren't exactly expecting to learn anything new, but in fact, WE DID! Our tour guide was very knowledgable and led us around parts of Tremont for 3.5 hours.


If I were to summarize the experience, its like a walking tour meets progressive dinner. We met the group at 4 pm in Lincoln Park, and from there, we stopped at 4 restaurants: Prosperity Social Club, Parallax, Ty Fun, and Lilly Handmade Chocolates, although the stops are subject to change with each tour. In between eating delicious food, we learned about how Tremont came to be, and some fun facts about the neighborhood as well as the restauranteurs. Alcohol was not included in the standard tour but was available for purchase, although you can do a custom tour that includes alcohol as well.

Overall, a very fun experience, and one that I highly recommend. This would also be a great gift for Father's Day, or in general a fun gift for someone who has everything. You can make your tour reservations here.

As I mentioned previously, it is a walking tour, so comfortable shoes are key. Unfortunately, I have plantar fasciitis, so walking for 3.5 hours in flats will absolutely destroy my feet. Lucky for me, I found this pair of flats that are not only cute, but offer the kind of arch support I need.
At $99 they are a little expensive for flats, but they are worth it considering I will wear them all summer with zero pain!

So there you have it-- a lot of food and a little fashion to get your week started off just right!
XO
~ Shibani

Explore CLE: The Vault

This past weekend, Nick and I FINALLY made it to Vault at Metropolitan at the 9. If you know me in real life (and honestly, even if you only know me through social media), then you know that I LUUUUURVE fancy. And Vault is FANCY!

You walk into the lobby of the Metropolitan at the 9, and take a short elevator ride downstairs. And then begin the velvet ropes. There is a dress code -- dress cute, and fancy. You will see a lot of strutting, and you definitely don't want to be left out in the cold. Based in an old bank building, Vault definitely does not shy away from its roots. Past the ropes, you walk in a hallway, and then past the vault (yes, its a real vault) to the bar. You will see signs of the property's former life everywhere-- from the old school till to the private rooms, which are all vaults. Its no wonder that Vault is so popular with celebrities-- lots of places for privacy.


If you're not looking for a private room, or bottle service, the common area is not very large. There's the main bar, and a smallish area by the DJ booth, the area by the vault then the wide hallway where you enter. Certainly not tiny, but not cavernous either.


I'm not sure if the hallway area is always red, but I definitely felt like I was an extra in Blade. The drink prices are shockingly reasonable. 7 drinks (all liquor) ran us under $70 (excluding tip)-- almost unheard of in downtown Cleveland! Overall, we had a fun time, and I will definitely go back!

Coming soon to Metropolitan to the 9 (May 2015): Azure Sun Lounge-- Cleveland's hottest new rooftop bar!!! Hey hey heyyyyyy!