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charlotte writer visits home -- supermanís home that is

In a travel feature titled “At home -- really -- with Superman,” Charlotte Observer writer John Bordsen spends some quality time in the Cleveland home where Superman was born.

“Superman, the story goes, was born on the planet Krypton and sent to Earth in a small rocket by his father when that planet was about to explode. He was actually born in 1933 in a two-story bungalow in a scruffy neighborhood on the east side of Cleveland, probably in the attic.”

The home, in Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood, was the residence of the Siegel family, whose son Jerry created most famous superhero. Jerry wrote the story while his neighborhood friend Joe Shuster drew the cartoon. Superman’s inaugural appearance was in Action Comics’ first issue, published in 1938.

“Drawing from Tarzan books and comic strips and Tarzan movie star Johnny Weissmuller, plus Dick Tracy, Buck Rogers and other pop idols, their Superman gradually evolved from a villainous mastermind to a good guy with super powers and a secret identity.”
Read more here.

travel industry news outlet digs into cleveland's tourism revival

In a TravelPulse feature titled “Cleveland's Tourism Renaissance Goes Way Beyond LeBron,” writer Ryan Rudnansky goes beyond the LeBron headlines to uncover causes behind the rise in the Cleveland travel and tourism bottom line.
“Cleveland has gotten a bad rap over the years, but the national perception of the Ohio city finally appears to be shifting, boosted by tourism numbers that speak for themselves,” he writes.
“Positively Cleveland -- the official tourism authority of Cleveland -- recently reported visitor expenditures of $7.4 billion for 2013, up 6.7 percent from 2011. That’s in addition to a 4 percent increase in both visitors (15.6 million to 16.2 million) and jobs (63,394) from 2012 to 2013.”
Key developments include a new convention center, hosting the National Senior Games and the Gay Games, and the upcoming Republican National Convention in 2016.
“It was not about politics,” Positively Cleveland President and CEO David Gilbert is quoted in the piece. “It was about, 'We’re going to embrace these 50,000 people that are going to come to our town because they are choosing to come to our town, and it’s our job to make sure that they feel welcomed.'”
“You can argue that Cleveland was in a 40-year recession and, quite frankly, under a lot of pressure. It was the butt of a lot of jokes, starting in the 1960s with Johnny Carson. I think what has come of it is this combination of sophistication and grit. You have this city with great arts and culture, a great culinary scene, pro sports, tremendous parks and Lake Erie in the backdrop of this old manufacturing town. Without the world-class ego. We’re sort of proud of the fact that it’s not all shiny and brand new. It’s a polished-up version of a beautiful old city. And it has a real depth of character and depth of soul to it.”
Read the rest right here

chef mytro shares his personal and professional journey with daily meal

In an essay for the Daily Meal, a national food and drink publication, Matthew Mytro offers a personal look at his journey to becoming chef-partner at Flour Restaurant.
"If you’d asked me a few years ago, I would have told you that the moment I became a chef was when I put on my crispy white chef’s jacket with my name coupled with ‘executive chef’ at a now-defunct Cleveland restaurant. Looking back, not only was I in fact not a chef, but I really had no idea what I was doing. My chef’s jacket today is blank. The jacket -- or even the title -- does not define me. An inscribed jacket can make you too comfortable. And comfort is a chef’s worst enemy.”
Mytro recalls the precise moment in his life that he knew he wanted to become a chef.
“I was reading Kitchen Confidential on the bus heading home and happened to look up to see a bunch of chefs standing outside in their jackets, talking and smoking. It was this perfect trifecta of events and I was sold. I wanted this life -- or rather, the life I perceived those chefs to have.”
Ultimately, he landed at Flour in Moreland Hills, where he currently is chef and partner.
“I made my way to Flour where I met chef Paul Minnillo, a very well-respected, old school chef. We had instant chemistry. He taught me to take a step back and really focus on the details. He’s made me a better man and a much better chef.”
“I have no regrets about not going to culinary school and think my training and type of education can stack up to any. I learned long ago that school in the traditional sense does not make someone a chef. Discipline, passion, integrity, camaraderie and literally doing whatever it takes, no matter how long you’ve been sporting the coat… That is what makes a chef a chef.”
Read the rest of his recipe for success here.

gay games fostering diversity, garnering good will for cleveland

In a Washington Post item titled “The Gay Games are underway and they’re winning Instagram and Twitter,” Kiratiana Freelon reports on the events currently taking place in Cleveland and Akron and how they are filling social media feeds with positive imagery.
“There’s only one place in the world right now where you will find cheerleaders, track and field athletes, chorus singers and singer Boy George in the same place. That’s the Gay Games in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio,” Freelon writes.

“For the host cities, it’s an opportunity to bring gay communities closer to straight communities, since Akron and Cleveland are not traditionally hailed as gay-friendly cities.”

Tom Nobbe, one of the Games lead organizers, is quoted in the article saying, “The Games are about diversity, about changing hearts and minds.”

“Over the next four days more than 8,500 people will compete in 33 sports, including the traditional ones like track and field, volleyball and wrestling. The competitors will also compete in cultural events like chorus and cheer.”

Read the rest and check out the social media pics here.

cnn reports on cle heartlab and health-tech corridor

In a CNN Money feature titled “Cleveland: Booming in more ways than Lebron,” Tom Thriveni reports on the work being done at Cleveland Heartlab specifically and the Health-Tech Corridor in general.

“[Jake] Orville is the CEO of five-year-old Cleveland Heartlab, which has licensed several innovations from researchers at nearby -- and world-renowned -- Cleveland Clinic. The partnership was initiated by the clinic as part of its mission to turn its inventions into commercially viable medical products, generating profits for both parties. To date, besides Heartlab, 66 neighboring companies have spun out from Cleveland Clinic ideas since 2000. All told, the clinic has 525 patents and 450 licensing agreements,” Thriveni writes.

“The 1,600-acre Health-Tech Corridor acts as Cleveland's biomedical nerve center, housing three major health-care institutions besides the Cleveland Clinic, four higher education institutions, more than 130 biomedical and other technology companies and eight incubators that lease space and provide consulting and other business development services. This is where the Cleveland Clinic and other partner organizations, such as incubator BioEnterprise, interact with researchers, clinical caregivers, academics and business executives. State-funded groups like Team NEO (for North East Ohio) were launched to help attract new business to the region. Since Cleveland Heartlab opened in the Health-Tech Corridor's first building, eight additional buildings have opened for tenants. A ninth will open soon.”
Read the rest here.

cleveland museum of art enjoys most visitors in years

 On the heels of its multiyear, $320 million renovation and expansion project, the Cleveland Museum of Art is already reaping big gains. Nearly 600,000 visitors came to the museum between July 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014, which was the highest in over a decade and represented a 19% increase over the previous fiscal year.

Museum membership, meanwhile, increased 18% to 23,094, with more than 3,300 new introductory-level members.More than $46 million was raised to support museum operations and programs.

“We are gratified by the continued growth in attendance and membership support, which clearly reflects the excitement being generated by our outstanding new facilities and programming,” said Fred Bidwell, the museum’s interim director.

Read all about the good news here.

'prodigal son' and award-winning director comes home to find revitalized cleveland

Antwone Fisher began life in Cleveland as a Ward of the State, raised in foster care until the ripe-old age of 18. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and ended up in Los Angeles.

Twenty four years later, he returned to Cleveland to film “Finding Fish,” the story of his life along with director Denzel Washington, cast and crew. 

“My hometown welcomed me back with all the ceremony of a much-loved native son. Each day of filming brought out bigger and bigger crowds,” he writes.

“Clearly, the city was moving into the future, readying for a big comeback. This was evident when I arrived at the city's theater district that's now revitalized with businesses, restaurants, shops and boutiques. The old buildings that I remember have been sandblasted, steamed clean and remodeled as apartments and condominiums for downtown living.”

“LeBron will only add to this revival,” he notes.

“The truth is Cleveland belongs to all of us who have ever had roots there. I know that every city has its issues, but this great American city has given the world so much from the Industrial Revolution to this brand new age and it's still ‘the best location in the nation.’”
Read the rest right here.

lebron in the bag, cleveland now seeking mvp entrepreneurs

An item in the Huffington Post titled “They've Got LeBron, But Now Cleveland Seeks MVP Entrepreneurs,” writer Daryl Rowland outlines the hard work being done at Shaker LaunchHouse to attract other types of talent to the region.
"Where Los Angeles can be said to be about beauty and fame, or New York about ambition or talent, Northeast Ohio has a long history of manufacturing and celebrating the excellence and hard work required to make or do things well," Rowland writes.
Shaker LaunchHouse hopes to build upon the strong and growing biomedical products and business services technology industry by growing a hub for technology hardware.
“While many parts of the country are trying to attract tech startups, LaunchHouse, a business accelerator in Shaker Heights… is among the first to focus its efforts on tech hardware and interface technology.”
"With its rich history in manufacturing, Cleveland has become the perfect place for the intersection of technology and hardware," Todd Goldstein, CEO and managing partner at LaunchHouse is quoted in the piece. "We're encouraging the undiscovered MVPs of manufacturing to be like LeBron and set up shop in Northeast Ohio -- where we know how to build and distribute manufactured goods."
LaunchHouse has a track record for launching successful startups, with investment in 51 companies that have raised more than $15.5 million in follow-on funding and created more than 70 jobs in Northeast Ohio.
Read the rest right here.

long before lebron's return, cleveland on the upswing

In an Los Angeles Times article titled “Cleveland has been on the rebound even before LeBron James news,” writer Alana Semuels details our town’s renaissance, explaining that the city has been hard at work getting back on the map long before the recent media attention as a result of LeBron, Manziel, and the GOP convention.
“The GOP and LeBron are going to grease the skids on a process that's already started," Richey Piiparinen, a senior research associate at the Center for Population Dynamics at Cleveland State University, is quoted in the piece. "People are realizing it's not your grandpa's Rust Belt anymore."
Semuels writes, “Changes are already evident in the city, where new construction is booming. Hammers and drills sound at all hours on the Flats East Bank, a onetime hip area that fell into disarray a decade ago and is experiencing a renaissance. Downtown, a new convention center just opened, and developers are rushing to build hotels and luxury condos to keep up with demand. Ohio's first casino opened downtown in 2012. And restaurateurs are following in the steps of Cleveland native and James Beard Award winner Michael Symon, opening bistros where you can get entrees such as frog legs and rabbit pie with Parmesan and prosciutto crust.”
Semuels goes on to explain how the changes occurring in Cleveland are attracting young people that had previously fled to larger, trendier cities.
“But as those cities became more crowded with transplants, costs began rising and many people were priced out. Now, he said, there's a push-back against the Brooklynization of these big cities, and people are moving home. And not just to Cleveland -- to Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Buffalo, N.Y., as well.”
Read the rest of the article here.

new york times takes a shine to cleveland's reuse policies

In the Travel section of the New York Times, writer Peter Larson details the robust reuse approach to development taking place in Cleveland. Titled “Cleveland, a City Repurposed,” the article describes various projects in the city that made use of vacant historic structures.

“If there had to be a slogan to describe Cleveland as it is today, ‘what’s old is new again’ would undoubtedly be it,” Larson writes. “In the last few years, locals and businesses in this Midwest metropolis have been repurposing historic buildings from its heyday in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and turning them into restaurants, stores and draws for both residents and tourists. Many of these structures had sat empty for a decade or more before restoration efforts began infusing a vibrancy into this once-somewhat-downtrodden city.”

Examples given include Cowell & Hubbard, Zack Bruell’s upscale French restaurant that opened in a former jewelry boutique of the same name. The Horseshoe Casino, which now occupies the first four floors of the former Higbee’s department store. Ohio City’s Transformer Station, which was built in 1924 as a power-converter station for the local streetcar line. And the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, also built in a defunct power station.

Read the rest right here.

wall street journal digs into cleveland's lakefront development plan

In a feature titled, “In Cleveland, Developer Puts Down Stakes by the Lake,” Wall Street Journal scribe Chelsey Dulaney writes about the ambitious lakefront development plans currently taking shape in downtown Cleveland.
“Cleveland's longtime dream of developing its Lake Erie waterfront took a step forward last month when its City Council approved plans for a $700 million development,” she writes.

Spurred by increasing residential demand from new residents interested in a more urban lifestyle, the project is on its way to fruition.

“The downtown's population has risen by 88% since 2000 to more than 12,500, according to a Downtown Cleveland Alliance report published in April. Restaurants, microbreweries and art galleries dot Cleveland's once-lifeless streets.”

Among the plans is a school, boutique hotel and restaurants. Apartment rents will range from $1,000 to $2,000 a month, “making them affordable to young professionals, empty-nesters and families.”

"When I left Cleveland after college, downtown wasn't the place to be," Mr. Halloran said. "Now everybody coming back to Cleveland wants to be downtown. There's life there."

Read the rest right here.

university study ranks cities' walkability; cleveland in top 10

In a recently released report by the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at George Washington University School of Business in conjunction with Smart Growth America, the 30 largest U.S. cities were ranked by how walkable they are. This is key indicator on how cities are shifting from suburban sprawl to urban infill.
“The researchers, including Leinberger, first looked at Walkscore heat maps, focusing on areas that scored high. They then looked at areas with significant regional importance, meaning they have at least 1.4 million square feet of office space and more than 340,000 square feet of retail space. They combined these factors to determine areas they call "walkable urban places" or WalkUPs.”

But the report doesn’t just evaluate the present; it looks ahead.

“Researchers then tried to predict how these areas would grow in the future by looking at trend lines and pricing premiums in rent space, which indicate demand level. For example, demand around train stations in places like Washington, D.C. is so high commercial and residential renters can pay a premium of between 50 and 80 percent, said Emerick Corsi, president of Cleveland-based Forest City Enterprises Real Estate Services.

Coming in at No. 10 is Cleveland.

“Ohio's largest city hangs on to the bottom spot in the Top 10, but that may change soon. It's set to plummet to No. 24 in the future. Cleveland is one of a handful of older industrial cities where walkability is largely rooted in the past, where a strong city center is walkable while the rest of the surrounding suburban area lacks any kind of walkable urban space.”

Read the rest here.

time out calls cleveland 'a road trip for food lovers'

In a Time Out Chicago feature titled, “Road trips for food-lovers: Cleveland,” writer Rebecca Skoch offer road-trippers a quick itinerary for food-focused visitors to our fair city.

“With a mix of old school restaurants and ambitious chefs, the Ohio city is an up-and-coming culinary destination,” she writes.
“Cleveland's restaurant and bar scene has been gaining momentum over the past few years. Celebrity chefs like Michael Symon of Lola and Lolita have taken the lead in championing local dining, and long-standing favorites are finally gaining the recognition they deserve.”

“Here are a few places not to miss during a summer weekend on the shores of Lake Erie.”

Among the places highlighted in the piece are Flying Fig, West Side Market, Sokolowski's, Greenhouse Tavern and Porco Lounge.
Read the rest here.

cleveland shakes off the rust thanks to influx of educated, young new residents

In this Forbes article written by Joel Kotkin titled “Shaking Off The Rust: Cleveland Workforce Gets Younger And Smarter Between 2000 and 2012,” Kotkin examines the growing trend of a younger, well-educated generation shying away from expensive “coast cities” to instead take up residence in the Rust Belt, especially Cleveland. 
“The Cleveland metro area logged a net gain of about 60,000 people 25 and over with a college degree while losing a net 70,000 of those without a bachelor’s, according to a recent report from Cleveland State University. The number of newcomers aged 25 to 34 increased by 23 percent from 2006 to 2012, with an 11 percent increase from 2011 to 2012 alone. Most revealingly, half of these people came from other states. When it comes to net migration, Atlanta, Detroit, and Pittsburgh were the biggest feeders for those arriving with a bachelor’s degree, while Chicago, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Pittsburgh sent the most net migrants with a graduate or professional degree.”
Kotkin goes on to explain the changing demographic of Clevelanders from past perceptions.
“The picture of Cleveland that emerges from the Cleveland State University study is a very different one from that to which we are accustomed. Rather than a metro area left behind by the information revolution, Cleveland boasts an increasingly youthful workforce that is among the better educated in the nation. In 2009. notes University of Pittsburgh economist Chris Briem, some 15% of Cleveland’s workforce between 25 and 34 has a graduate degree, ranking the area seventh in the nation, ahead of such “brain centers” as Chicago, Austin and Seattle. Old Clevelanders as a whole will remain undereducated, but likely not the next generation.”’
Read the rest of the good news here.

newsweek highlights lee road, the 'bitcoin boulevard' in cleveland heights

In a Newsweek article titled "Bitcoin Makes the Jump to Brick-and-Mortar in Cleveland," reporter Joe Kloc describes the details of a new digital currency, Bitcoin, and how numerous retailers on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights have adapted the system.

"Most of the customers at Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, are locals who have been reared from birth on its chocolate-covered marshmallows, pecan turtles and half-dipped apricots," Kloc writes. "But lately, says Bill Mitchell, the shop’s 54-year-old proprietor, there have been some new faces."
Mitchell goes on to describe a fresh-faced couple who recently shopped at his store, and while the visit was unremarkable, the payment was anything but.
“I couldn’t even tell you what they bought,” the Mitchell confessed. But what he does remember is how the couple paid: "with about 0.12 bitcoins."

"Mitchell is one of a dozen shop owners on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights who have joined together to accept the controversial digital cryptocurrency in the hope of attracting new customers, and as a way to avoid credit card fees. Since May 1, bitcoiners have traveled to the tree-lined street in northeast Ohio from as far away as North Carolina. Here, they trade their bitcoins for ice cream cones, haircuts and handmade Colombian bracelets, and are sent off with a 'buh-bye now,' the local parlance on what bills itself as America’s first Bitcoin Boulevard."

“We don’t expect a windfall,” says Nikhil Chand, founder of the bitcoin consultancy CoinNEO, who conceived of Bitcoin Boulevard late last year. “This is about so much more -- about the hurt from the fees through traditional payment.”

Read the rest of the story here.

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