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what's it like living in Cleveland?

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Napa Valley...
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what's it like living in Cleveland?

Hi. We live in Napa, CA. Paradise in terms of outdoors and weather. Job-wise it's acceptable. Money-wise it's expensive.

But I think I may be offered my dream job at Case Western Med Ctr.

But what's it like to live in Cleveland?

What's the weather like in winter? (The only snow we see is if we go up to Tahoe to ski!)

I have an 8yo child. Can kids safely be outdoors year-round? How much of the year do they need to spend playing indoors?

What's it like for teens in Cleveland? Do they want to stay or to move away.

Do you like living in Cleveland?

Please share answers to these and any other questions you think I should be asking.

Thank you in advance!

Cleveland, OH
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1. Re: what's it like living in Cleveland?

I just got back from a visit with a friend from Mill Valley who back in town for the week. She would never leave CA to come back here! It's a very different culture. Although I've know people to transfer here from CA and love it here. (Gotta love the difference in the cost of living/real estate!)

The weather seems to be a bit extreme anymore. The winters are cold and the summers are hot (this summer is anyway!) And there doesn't seem to be a gradual transition. Right from winter to summer to winter again.

It seems like we had a lot of snow last year. The roads are not bad if you live in a suburb that keeps the roads clear. There are usually just a few days that they close the schools down because they can't get the roads cleared in time.

There are very few days that the temperature drops so low that the kids can't play outside. They might need to bundle up on certain days though.

As for teens wanting to stay or move, I think there are a lot of variables. Relationships with family/friends, internship/job opportunities, college location, personality, etc. I've known many to stay and many to relocate.

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2. Re: what's it like living in Cleveland?

Celle, in exchange for that glorious CA weather you get a bargain basement real estate market.

You will be able to afford a mansion on Lakeshore and a summer place up in Marblehead!

Just looking on the bright side...


Chillicothe, Ohio
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for Ohio, Sandusky
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3. Re: what's it like living in Cleveland?

There are ski resorts in ohio, and the Pennsylvania ski areas are only 2 hours away. there are lots of malls in the greater cleveland area, the biggest in Strongsville. There are also lots of colleges in the metro area (John Carroll, Baldwin Wallace, Mount Union, Case, Akron, Kent State, Cleveland State, etc), so I think kids seem to stay more local. The opportunities are right in their backyard, so it usually makes more money sense to stay local as far as college. Kids safety outdoors depends on the area you live in, and as long as you're prepared for the elements (very cold winters, very hot summers, with only a couple of months of comfortable weather), they'll be ok.

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4. Re: what's it like living in Cleveland?


I just posted in another place to you. If you have been offered a dream job at Case, take it and be happy. You have been offered a once in a life-time opportunity to be in one of the best places. You probably have been at the University Circle where Case is located and know of all the cultural/educational happenings.

Your children will have a wonderful time here. You will be happy that you have taken this opportunity to give them a wonderful place to live and be amongst many ethnic groups.

You also asked about restaurants -- most of the restaurants here have smothing and non-smoking sections. Recently, some restaurants have gone completely non-smoking.

It's how you approach life -- you can be happy or unhappy, no matter what the weather and where you are located.

Cleveland (Shaker...
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5. Re: what's it like living in Cleveland?

Cleveland is great, cosmopolitan Big City with Midwestern charm that makes you not want to leave

The weather

Spring - varies from snow to sleet to rain until about April

Summer - VERY humid

Fall - Pleasant up until about Novermber

Winter - February is a b*tch! :-)

Winter out door activities are never far off as we have the best metro park system in the country. and if you are in the burbs they also have very nice parks

there are many plays, parks, recreation centers an 8 year old would enjoy

Teens...who knows what they want???

I love living in Cleveland!

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6. Re: what's it like living in Cleveland?

As a lifelong Clevelander, I have to say, you will love it and hate it all at the same time!

The Greater Cleveland area offers a phenomenal wealth of opportunity. Arts and Culture thrive here and you will never lack for something to do. Diversity abounds and awesome restaurants and clubs are plentiful. Sports are passionate...Clevelanders love and support their teams. You haven't seen a proper tailgate party until you come to Cleveland!

The drawback...there is always a drawback isnt there....winters suck! It's cold, snowy, slushy, dirty and just plain tiresome. By March you begin to wonder "WHEN WILL IT END?" But then spring pops in, almost overnight, and life is good again.

Of course we have lots of wintertime activities to help ease the drugery. Skiing, sledding and ice skating are wintertime musts. As well as...gasp...bowling. Trust me, you will learn to love it. With the amount of Rec Centers, Health Centers, Colleges and Adult Education opportunities around, you can also fill your time with various classes of interest.

The biggest thing you will need to decide is if you are going to reside on the West or East side. Both are distinctly different from the other...and there is silent rival between the two. Also you will want to choose your neighborhood atmosphere. Each city can have many different "feelings" to it depending on the community/neighborhood/side of town you live in.

My suggestion would be to come here, rent for awhile before you buy a home to give yourself time to look around and pick the perfect place for you to settle in. The choices will be somewhat overwhelming. So dont rush into anything.

If you absolutely love the California lifestyle, you won't do well here. We are in stark contrast to it. But if you are open to change you will find Cleveland to be pleasantly different.

Cleveland, OH
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7. Re: what's it like living in Cleveland?


Case Western, Cleveland Clinic, and University Hospitals are all top rate institutions located very near eachother in Cleveland's cultural center called University Circle (www.universitycircle.org). More multimillion investment in these institutions happen every year, and seem to be very strong.

I think there are many things that really surprise people about Cleveland. But here are my top two:

1. The metropolitan region is huge and extends way out beyond the city and Greater Cleveland is about 3 million people. There are so many nice places to live too. Whatever type of house and setting you could imagine, you can find in Northeast Ohio. If you have a family, and like nature the best places to locate for starters might be the beautiful tree-lined streets of the friendly upper-westside communities along the lake(Lakewood, Rocky River, Bay Village, Avon Lake). If you were to prefer more acreage, hills, forests, and homes like country estates I would recommend the outer-eastside (Pepper Pike, Hunting Valley, Highland Heights, Willoghby Hills, Gates Mills). If you are looking for a new suburbs that resemble Orange County with large brand new homes, lots of younger families, and excellent shopping than I would recommend Westlake, Beachwood, Solon, or maybe Strongsville. Or if you are set on working in University Circle, than the adjacent suburbs of Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights, University Heights that are filled with older all brick homes that were built by Cleveland's New England Aristocracy and in fact resemble much of New England suburbs and the community atmosphere is very intellectual. A nice little upscale small town that has a lot of character and interesting shops and restaurants would be Chagrin Falls or Hudson.The biggest and best real estate brokerage firms in the area are Realty One and Howard Hanna Smythe Cramer. I recommend searching their listings online. You might also be interested in knowing that the city of Cleveland is experiencing a boom in new trendy urban housing. A lot of the units are fairly expensive, but the city has insitituted a policy that all new housing within the city of Cleveland receive fifteen year tax abatements that will save you thousands of dollars a year. Definately check out Progressive Urban Real Estate listings for this type of housing in neighborhoods like Ohio City, Tremont, Warehouse District, Edgewater, and Little Italy.

2. The city has some of the most distinguished cultural insitutions in the country. Cleveland Museum of Art is highly regarded as one of the nations' best, the Orchestra is the highest rated in the country, Playhouse Square Theater district is second in size only to Broadway, the Cleveland Institute of Art is ranked one of the top 10 designs schools in the country, and there are about every other type of museum and cultural institutions imaginable in Cleveland that enhance the education and quality of life for everyone, but especially children.

I believe the quality of life is very high in Northeast Ohio. For instance, If you were to live anywhere in those mentioned communties (which are just my top picks - there are many more) within Cuyahoga County, than a drive downtown or to University Circle would be no more than a half hour. Traffic is light, and the cities are all designed fairly well. Cleveland schools perform poorly, but there are excellent public schools in the surrounding communities that rank very high, and Cleveland has an unusual amount of private schools (typically more moderately priced Catholic schools on the West Side, and more expensive and elite nondemonitional or Jewish schools on the East Side). Recreational opportunities are great. Boating on the lake, lots of golf courses, Cuyahoga Valley National park, and an excellent vast countywide system of parks called the Metroparks (you must check out the website to learn more - its quite incredible - http://www.clemetparks.com/). Shopping is lacking downtown, but Cleveland has an excellent and quite impressive collection of shopping centers (the very best are Beachwood Place, Legacy Village, Crocker Park, Eton Collection).

As a child and teen in Northeast Ohio, I can say that it was a wonderful experience. I grew up in a great community with a great school system. I loved the lake, the metroparks, the museums, West Side Market, Cleveland Indians, Browns, Cavs, safety and friendly people. I have to say though, that many of my peers growing up wanted to leave the region (but I think thats true of most teens in their hometown), but I was fortunate that my parents took the initiative and regularly enhanced my maturing and education through experiencing all these great things in Northeast Ohio. Everyone complains about the weather, but I honestly love the natural appeal of the four seasons in my hometown. Winters could be shorter and this may in fact be occuring, but it really makes you appreciate the summer. We enjoy the summers very much in Northeast Ohio either at home by going to all kinds of outdoor festivals, events, and alfresco dining, or we go an hour to the West with our boats, cottages, or visits to the excellent Cedar Point Amusment Park or Ohio wineries in the Sandusky/Marblehead/Erie Islands region.

Feel free to ask anymore questions about Northeast Ohio and the quality of life here.

Cleveland, OH
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8. Re: what's it like living in Cleveland?

I forgot a couple other things!

First of all, about the winter: that is the price you pay for culture and education. Cleveland actually shares ranks in culture with New York, Chicago, Boston, and D.C., and and like these places it has winter, but unlike these places it is very cheap.

As a child I loved playing outdoors all year round. Climbing through the forests in Spring, bycicle riding with friends and swimming in the summer, jumping in piles of leaves in the fall, and having snowball fights and sledding in the winter. Between the cold winters and hot summers I did have to play indoors sometime, but most of the time children can play outside, and enjoy the seasons very much.

9. Re: what's it like living in Cleveland?

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Shaker Heights, Ohio
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10. Re: what's it like living in Cleveland?

I noticed that you mentioned that you are Jewish. You wll find a large Jewish community in Cleveland (especially eastern suburbs). The community has a long tradition here with a growing Orthodox community. Many from Russia have come in recent years.