The Best of Cleveland 2012 issue is online and on the streets now. Read it, love it. In addition to the usual categories, there were some offbeat staff picks. We'll be posting them here over the next few days.
Best Neighborhood That Looks Like It Was Imported: Battery Park
What is this place? Just a beat or two before, we were cruising down Detroit, enjoying the federal block grant decor, when all of a sudden, a few turns behind us, it’s down the rabbit hole and … into rows of beautifully chic condos, grassy knolls, clean sidewalks, and a fancy wine bar — and all of it bathed in sweet breezes off Lake Erie, with not a derelict storefront in sight. No, this is not a Clevelander’s vision of the Pearly Gates; it’s Battery Park. The small neighborhood is the exception to the rule on the near West Side, a tiny pocket of well-groomed landscape and modern architecture in a ’hood struggling to gentrify itself. It’s like someone scissored out a whole section of Cleveland and airlifted in a chunk of San Francisco that nobody will miss. But although the quaint ‘hood seems worlds away from its surroundings, there are plenty of reasons — including the Battery Park Wine Bar and Reddstone — to visit for those of us not lucky enough to call it home.