People & Places

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Best TV News Team

Fox 8 in the Morning

It's easy to make a bad morning TV news show. Throw some recipes and manufactured, caffeine-driven smiles toward the camera and... well, not much else is going to happen. Kristi Capel, Wayne Dawson and Stefani Schaefer (and who can forget Kenny Crumpton) make the morning TV slog more than palatable, enjoyable even. Offering a balanced mix of entertainment and news, the Fox 8 crew catches you up on everything you need to know for the day without that too-happy attitude that can be grating before the sun comes up.

Best Local Resident


Lolita is a Tremont institution. Lola is the shimmering magnet and axis around which East 4th street revolves. The B Spot has possibly the most sinful happy hour in Cleveland's deeper suburbs. Chef and local hero Symon's a prince of a guy, employees testify. He makes regular appearances at his restaurants and doles out extravagant tips. This year, Symon spearheaded a campaign to support the vendors at the West Side Market after the January fire whereby businesses donated a percentage of their earnings through Symon's foundation. Foodie-wise, Symon published his ode to meat in October, 2012: "Carnivore: 120 Recipes for Meat Lovers" co-written by Scene's own Doug Trattner. We're lucky to have him.  

Best local entrepreneur

Matt Fish

The godfather of grilled cheese is both a savvy businessman and a local phenomenon. In pairing Gen-X nostalgia with the most scrumtrulescent sandwich offer ings, Fish tapped into a delicious market that seems to swell by the season. His reach is now extending into Columbus, but it's his Cleveland footprint that we hold so close to our hearts. We're all well aware of the long wait times that accompany this joint's dinner rush, but that doesn't mean we still don't stumble in half-dazed with pierogi-bratwurst dreams at 8:30 each night. The bar, however, with it's comprehensively awesome beer selection, covers the bases and ensures that happy times await the casual Melt-goer.

Best Local to follow on twitter

Melissa Reid (Fox 8)

@MelissaReidFox8 loves news, sports and sarcasm, says her Twitter profile, which means that in Cleveland, she fits right in. This TV reporter is one of the first people on the scene for all of Cleveland's biggest stories. She's got an eye to the headlines and a finger to the pulse. And she's not above a good joke or two. She's the ideal Cleveland personality to follow if you want proper doses of serious and not-so-serious. Sometimes, a little candor goes a long way: "I just don't think the #projectrunway designers are that good this season," she tweeted recently. Four thousand people already have access to Melissa Reid. If you're not one of them, you should be.

Best Local Sustainability Champ


So Alchemy Hour has been pretty transcendent, yeah? In addition to cranking out brew after brew after glorious brew, the Great Lakes Brewing Company on Cleveland's near West Side is a continuous advocate and participant in green business practices. In addition to their recycling and vegetable-oil trucks, they've got worms in a basement to compost waste and turn it into fertilizer. They've got walls stuffed with straw insulation. They even use the grease from their fryer to fuel a shuttle bus downtown, appropriately dubbed the "Fatty Wagon." Its exhaust reportedly smells like french fries. GLBC has in fact concretized a certain image of the craft-beer-loving sustainability promoter in the region. They created the mold to which we all aspire as we farm and get drunk. 2516 Market Ave.,


Best politician

Dennis Kucinich

Less of a politician these days and more of a novel force of nature, DENNIS! Kucinich has lifted this region onto his shoulders for decades. His legacy is emblazoned on campaign signs that still litter (read: decorate) more than a few front yards in and around Cleveland. His career has been nothing short of divisive and entertaining (entertainingly divisive?). But with his days in office behind him for the time being, there's a cavity in our hearts. And you know, with local wunderkind like Zack Reed and David Bentkowski on the beat, it's no wonder that Kucinich is still picking up votes from his fawning following. And that smile! Dude's a charmer as Cleveland is and always will be painfully aware.

Best Local Nonprofit /Charity

Cleveland AnimaL Protective League

Committed to 100% placement for its furry denizens, this no-kill shelter and animal advocacy organization has been rescuing animals and supplying Cleveland residents with four-legged friends since 1913 (actually, 2-legged, too—they have birds! And adorably crippled cats!). Adoption fees include spay/neuter surgery, initial vaccines, worm and flea treatment, and a post-adoption veterinary exam. The APL's cruelty investigators field about 18,000 calls a year, while their friendly in-house staff are on hand to help with pooch and kitty match-making. Screw OkCupid—with the APL's updated online database of adorable adoptables, it's easier than ever to snag your soul mate for the price of a few cocktails. 1729 Willey Ave.,


Best Local Comedian

Best Local Author


The man with a last name that sounds like a verb specific to Facebook flirtation has done it! Not only has he captured the imagination of Clevelanders with his viral YouTube videos, stand-up comedy and sketch group Last Call Cleveland, he's now your pick for Best Local Author. This Rust Belt comedy potentate has now turned to prose. In "Damn Right I'm From Cleveland: Your Guide to Makin' It in America's 47th Biggest City," Polk brings with him the familiar arsenal of satire and wit. He lampoons Cleveland in the way only natives can, noting in particular our eternal obsession with basement-dwelling sports franchises and our constant struggles to reinvent our civic image.  

Best Local Filmmaker

Robert Banks

Famous for his short films that will occasionally get a showing at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque, Robert Banks makes his movies out of "buyback," "expired" or "short-end film stock." He's shown his films at Sundance and in 2001 he was declared Filmmaker of the Year at the Midwest Filmmakers Conference. New York's Museum of Modern Art has shown his work, and he's been honored as a guest artist at the BBC British Short Film Festival. His most famous film, X: The Baby Cinema, serves as a commentary on the commercializing of Malcolm X.

Best Local Neighborhood


In an historic coup, Ohio City overtook Tremont to be this year's winner. We're guessing the revamped West 25th Street is playing an important role with voters. With new bars like Nano Brew and Market Garden and steadfast social anchors like ABC Tavern and the Old Angle, it's the newest and most diversified nightlife in town. But the neighborhood is more than a single street: Add to the recipe gorgeous Victorian homes, St. Ignatius High School, St. Patrick's Church and major institutional anchors. Don't forget about new commercial enterprises and, of course, the West Side Market. The people are friendly and the Great Lakes Brewing Company is close at hand. What more could you ask for?