Hey fellow white person that grew up in (HUDSON, NORTH ROYALTON, BRUNSWICK, BEACHWOOD, STRONGSVILLE, etc)! It's me! Adam Richard! And if you're anything like me (believe me, you are!), you're probably getting tired of (being made fun of for) living with your parents and want to move where all the movers and the shakers are. No, not Brooklyn. Cleveland! Yeah, Cleveland, OH!
Well, I've spent the past year living a lie: I've been telling everyone I know that I am going to move to Cleveland, but really I've been buying more time of living a rent (and crime!)-free lifestyle in Medina, and in that time, I've picked up some pretty helpful tips for making the big move.
First things first: Commit yourself to making the move by establishing your love of Cleveland with a Cleveland-related tattoo. Some people have gotten "216" inked over their heart or the Cleveland skyline on their arm, but these ideas are played out. Show you really love this city by getting a tattoo of Kenny Lofton's face on your stomach alongside your new life motto, "Stealin' Bases 'Cause I Could Give a Fuck." Or, better yet, get an ink job on your back of Otto Orf conducting the Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall while making a killer save (bonus points if you design the tattoo in a way so that your lower back hair is also Otto's hair; double bonus points if you are Otto Orf in real life).
Now that you're committed to being a Clevelander with permanent body art, it's time to pack up all your things and find a new neighborhood to settle down in. I asked my mom, a retired second-grade teacher, to give me her thoughts on some key places to live:
* The East Side: My mom says it's scary!
* Ohio City: My mom says it's scary!
* Tremont: My mom says it's scary!
* Gordon Square: My mom has never heard of it but thinks it's scary!
Wherever you land, it's important you take a moment and look around you, get those bearings for your new surroundings. They will be different. For example, no Rocknes.
Other things you might notice: "Whoa! Look at all these people that don't look like me!" is probably what you're thinking. That's right! You're probably going to live in a district that Republicans have gerrymandered themselves out of! But it's great and everyone will be so happy about how open-minded you are to their unique cultures, like my friend Ramon (I think he's Mexican or something), that you'll forget about not having a Rocknes nearby in no time.
Now, time to find a job! I've never met anyone in Cleveland that does anything for a living that didn't involve the words "designer, "artisan," "chef" or "drug dealer."
Cleveland is in the midst of a renaissance and telling people what you ACTUALLY do for a living is only going to get a dismissive eye roll since you're clearly not following "your passion."
Most of these people work miserable day jobs too, but saying you work for American Greetings or an insurance company downtown or a medical supply chain just isn't fashionable. So, to really "wow" the folks you come across, make up something you can tell people is your "true calling." I've been telling I am the necromancer in charge of keeping Dick Goddard up and running, but that I am also spearheading a petition to close down the Tilted Kilt. When Clevelanders hear this, they usually lift me up on their shoulders and call me the Messiah.
Now that you have your job, get out and have some fun! You have to visit the Metroparks, but watch out! That pile of shit may or may not be from a dog! And there's probably a guy masturbating behind that tree over there.
Not one for the outdoors and looking for some nightlife? The bar scene in Cleveland has never been better! Make sure you check out:
Now That's Class! As great a dive bar as it is terrifying, but don't worry, everyone who goes there was recently living with their parents too!
Market Garden Brewery You'll fit right in, whitey!
MNO: the brand new bar by the same people who brought you ABC and XYZ!
The Great Lakes Science Center!
Well, that just about sums up everything you need to know about moving to Cleveland. It's a wonder the tourism bureau hasn't hired me full time to talk this classy joint up. Then again, I don't even live here, so maybe that's the problem. And Medina doesn't have a tourism board, just one sign on I-71 that says, "Still Another 30 Miles to the Lodi Outlet Mall."
After you've lived in Cleveland for a month or two, begin telling everyone who doesn't live here how happy you are that you live in a city that has "character,""integrity," and has the "feel of Brooklyn without all the bullshit." Then, once your out-of-town friends concede that Cleveland is as cool as their on-the-coast cities, lift up your shirt and show them that killer tattoo of yours and call your parents to tell them you're still alive.