exploring Cleveland

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!

An Hour In... Ohio City

This past weekend, N and I had an our to kill, and so we decided to spend it in a part of Ohio City that I really haven't taken the time to explore yet. If you haven't checked it out yet, West 29th between Church and Detroit is an absolutely charming little party of Ohio City. 

Our first stop was Urban Orchid, a delightful floral boutique. To be honest, this is not the first time I've been here, but what I love most about this boutique is that you can give them a budget and an occasion, and they will create an absolutely stunning one-of-a-kind boutique that is GUARANTEED to put a smile on the recipient's face! AND, I always learn something new there, like...


Ornamental Kale-- I didn't know that was a thing!


Beautiful pink roses!

In addition to flowers, they also carry small gift items like vases and jewelry, and of course, adorable Cleveland themed merchandise!



We then walked around the corner to Rising Star Coffee Roasters, but not before I stopped to take a picture of this camper...


For someone who really doesn't care for camping, I am REALLY enamored with campers! I blame Charity.

2 Vietnamese iced coffee to go, please!!! 


I love this bench at Rising Star

A few steps across the streets, and we were at Cleveland Museum of Art's newest outpost, Transformer Station! Incidentally, Transformer Station is hosting Ohio City Stages every Wednesday in July, which is an awesome street fest with live performances! 

I absolutely LUUURVEE the industrial details in the space! There are usually 4 different exhibits each year, and like the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Transformer Station uses technology to help guide patrons through the exhibits (hint: take a mobile device with you!)




Another quick stop to check out the newest pet store: Kutya Rev.



Seriously, how adorable is this?!

I am also really excited that Harness Cycle will be opening at the corner later this year!! I can totally picture myself sweating it out and then heading over across the street to get some post-workout 
coffee!!! 

So, if you haven't explored this little part of Ohio City before, I strongly encourage you to do so! It is a really lovely way to spend a few hours! 

Exploring Cleveland: The Museum of Art

When did you last visit the Cleveland Museum of Art? If your answer is "summer of 2012" or earlier, you need to change this right away!!! A lot has changed over the past six months at the Museum-- the new atrium opened, there's a new cafe and a new restaurant, new art (of course), and most impressive of all, in late December, the Museum began to offer previews of their brand new Gallery One to its members!

N and I visited over Christmas break and had an absolute blast! As members of the Museum, we had the opportunity to preview the Museum's newest offering- Gallery One, which officially opens to the public today.



Gallery One is an interactive experience, with the Museum's entire collection available on an interactive touch-screen wall. You put your museum issued iPad (available for rental) or your own iPad on the dock, and pick your favorite pieces, and the artlens app (available for download on iTunes, but be warned, it takes a while to load that much info) will tell you interesting facts about those pieces. In the future, the app will actually direct you to where your favorite pieces are located around the museum, so you could do a very targeted visit to the museum if you choose!

The artlens app has other incredible uses as well: if you hold it up to a piece of art that is artlens activated, it will point you to things you should be looking at in the piece of art. For example, N and I were looking at a painting of a ship, and the artlens app directed us to the sails, and told us about the importance of the sail as a focal point in the picture. Very very cool, especially for someone who habitually fell asleep in Art History in college (ahem!).


The Gallery One section also has some fun features for kids- they can create their own artwork and build their very own gallery!




It was also my very first time seeing the new atrium-- wow, it is really impressive! It reminds me a little of the atrium at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, but bigger. 



It was really nice to see people milling around the atrium, just enjoying the space.



N and I also checked out the new Provenance Cafe, where I was pleasantly surprised and thrilled to find they served....



The new restaurant Provenance has a really yummy looking menu, and although N and I didn't eat there, we both really liked the space. Its a safe bet that we're likely to enjoy dinner there some time in the very near future!




No visit to the museum would be complete with pictures of some of the art, and here are some of my favorite pieces: 




I want this chandelier in my house. 



Don't worry, I didn't miss the opportunity to bring a piece of the museum home with me:

my new Roy Lichtenstein calendar, which hangs in my cube at work


Like I said at the top of this post- if you haven't been to the Art Museum in the past few months, I hope you make the trip out to University Circle soon. Additionally, if you're not aware of this, in the past year, the Museum of Art launched a new affiliate program called Column & Stripe- In addition to behind-the-scenes looks at the Museum, they also host monthly social gatherings at the museum.

And finally, for those of you seeking to boost your civic involvement, Column & Stripe is seeking volunteers for positions in its various committees, so if that's something you're interested in, I urge you to visit the Column & Stripe website and contact Christina for more information on how you might go about applying for these positions!

Exploring the city: MOCA Cleveland

On Friday night, I finally made it to MOCA's new home with N, Danielle and Wes. I have to say, I'm very impressed with the space- the museum finally has a contemporary home, in keeping with its name!!


 The MOCA store; even the bathroom is cool

In general, I LURVE contemporary art museums, and most of all, I LUUURRRVVVEEEE contemporary art museum stores, and MOCA Cleveland's store is no exception. So if you're having a hard time finding a gift for that difficult-to-buy-for person in your life, I highly recommend visiting the museum store. N and I picked up and awesome set of candlesticks for our home, and I can't wait to get the right tapers for their inaugural use Christmas Day!!



Of course, we took some time to visit the art, here are pics of my two favorites!







Don't forget, a membership to MOCA is always a GREAT gift for the design enthusiast in your life too!!!