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Smells like Christmas spirit: The holiday shop at Bloom Bakery is in full bloom

When gift-giving, why settle on a fruitcake when you can have a Bloom Bakery delight? The artisanal café-slash-social venture is hosting a Holiday Shop replete with assorted cookies, dinner rolls, and apple pies, plus seasonal items like pumpkin roll and pumpkin bread—as well as a showstopper that Executive Director Jill Rizika calls "to-die-for deep, deep chocolate brownies."

"We really hope instead of giving a gift certificate or a candle as corporate gifts, that [people] might think about ordering through Bloom and get the double whammy of getting a treat while also supporting a second chance," says Rizika.

The latest app to come out of Cleveland is a socially conscious "Uber for home cooks and chefs"

Tonya Kinlow and her husband, chef Craig Stevens, never intended to start an app or a mindful eating movement—they just wanted to open a restaurant. But as they got deeper into the planning process, their values pointed them in an entirely different direction.

"The thinking of the concept became [about being] family-friendly, community-based, eating well, and local food," says Kinlow. "So I took the leap, [asking] 'How can we make this exponential and not just one brick-and-mortar [restaurant]? How can everyone feed everyone?' Since we're thinking big, let's think really big."

The result is UGottaEat, an app that acts as a social network where users can share home-cooked meals and obtain freshly made meals from local chefs.

Keep on truckin': This freewheeling fashion boutique offers a new way to shop

It only seems fitting that someone named Mercedes Bell would open a boutique on wheels—and that's exactly what Bell did when she launched Lavora's Mobile Boutique earlier this year.

An emerging style entrepreneur, Bell had already been running her online boutique for over one year when she debuted the roving fashion truck in late July 2017. In the months since, the truck has made appearances at events like Glenville Community Festival, Soul of Buckeye, Battle of the Bands at Shaw High School, and the recent pop-up shop at Spaces.

"There are so many online boutiques that it's hard to attract a following," says Bell. "I always felt it would be easier to have a physical location, but I couldn't afford a brick-and-mortar [shop]. Now when people ask if I have a store, I say [the truck] is my store."


This is the first-ever museum exhibit to tell the full story of Cleveland—and it's a page-turner

Interested in learning more about Cleveland's rich history? Point your GPS toward Cleveland Starts Here, the new permanent exhibit opening tomorrow at Cleveland History Center.

According to director Angie Lowrie, Cleveland Starts Here will cover the time period from the city's origins in the 1790s all the way through the Cavs taking home the gold in 2016.

"We used to have a core exhibit that talked about the early history of the Western Reserve, but the history [coverage] ended at the Civil War," says Lowrie. "There was no one place that you could get the full story of what Cleveland is all about. Cleveland Starts Here is an opportunity to show a lot more of our stuff and do it in a way that shows people the story of Cleveland."
 

9 ideas for supporting #CLE causes on #GivingTuesday

‘Tis the season to feast with family, hit the malls, and surf the sales. It’s also time to open our hearts and support worthy causes and others who may not be as fortunate. Here are a few ways you can give back in the #CLE this “Giving Tuesday.”

At the Spotted Owl, Christmas is coming early for cocktail lovers with a themed pop-up bar

From making pilgrimages to the A Christmas Story House to downing 30,000 barrels of Great Lakes Christmas Ale, Clevelanders take holiday celebrations very seriously. This year offers a significant addition for The Land’s yuletide revelers: a bar dedicated entirely, for just over a month, to Christmas cheer.

Rock on: Cleveland's rich rock-n-roll legacy takes center stage at AsiaTown photo show

That time David Bowie played his first show in Cleveland back in 1972? Anastasia Pantsios was there.

The time the Jacksons visited Playhouse Square in the late 70s, or when an emergent U2 played the Agora Ballroom? Also there.

And when Bowie returned to play the Richfield Coliseum in 1990? Yep, she was there, and so were Bono and Adam Clayton—both of whom got their photo taken with Bowie backstage, by none other than Pantsios herself.


Prepare for launch: Lit Cleveland's Gordon Square Review makes its debut

In just under three years, Literary Cleveland has launched the annual Cleveland Inkubator conference (which attracted 500 people in 2017), gained nonprofit status, and hosted a wide array of workshops, programs, networking events, and author readings—all geared at empowering Northeast Ohio writers. This year, the organization also introduced a podcast, blog, and YouTube channel. That momentum continues with the launch of Lit Cleveland's literary journal, Gordon Square Review.

6 Must-Try Dishes to Bookmark for #CLE Restaurant Week

It's the most wonderful time of the year...for foodies. Cleveland Restaurant Week kicks off today with more than 50 restaurants on board stretching as far as Sandusky, Twinsburg, and Akron, but mostly located in the 216.

Participating restaurants are offering three-course prix fixe menus for $33 (not including tax and gratuity). The name is a bit of a misnomer since the event actually goes on for two weeks (November 1-15), but all the better to try all six dishes on this list—and then some.

Free Stamp: All things free in the #CLE for November 2017

Fresh Water's monthly "Free Stamp" feature rounds up the freshest free events in Cleveland.

Storytelling by design: Christine Wisnieski works her branding magic in Cleveland

It's fitting that designer Christine Wisnieski kickstarted her career designing love notes for Kate Spade, because her Cleveland-based branding and collaborative design studio is a love letter of sorts to the city itself.

Over the last six years, Wisnieski has worked with a long list of local icons—from the West Side Market to Majestic Steel to RTA to Trentina—on redefining and refreshing their brands. "At the core, most people hire us to reimagine their organization and assist in repositioning themselves for growth," shares Wisnieski. "In a small way, [the studio has] been able to help shape the way the city presents itself to the world.

Over the River: An all-night horror movie marathon, a Day of the Dead fiesta in Gordon Square & more

Our latest events listing includes a legit tribute to the Fab Four, an all-night horror movie marathon, a vibrant Day of the Dead celebration in Gordon Square, and more. See what's on tap for the rest of October here.

I live here (now): Danielle Romanowski of Beachland Ballroom

In an Almost Famous–like plot twist, Danielle Romanowski almost never made it to Cleveland—but she's so glad she did.

After deciding to relocate from Los Angeles to Cleveland earlier this year, the Florida-born musician hit the road with her band, Dark Water Rebellion, for a tour-slash-cross-country-move in August. On a day off in Montana, the band ventured to a remote ghost town, but almost didn't live to tell the tale.

"We were coming back down a mountain road when our tour bus lost its brakes and crashed," shares Romanowski.

Though no one was hurt, the accident certainly put a cramp in the band's touring style—as the bus had been not only their mobile home, but also their recording studio. "We had to cancel our tour, pack our stuff into a U-Haul, and drive it the rest of the way," says Romanowski. "It was definitely an adventure just to get out here."

Find out how Romanowski plans to continue the adventure in Cleveland here.


Freshtoberfest empowers CLE youth to rock the turntables—and the chef's table

Fresh beats and even fresher bites are the name of the game at Freshtoberfest—where Cleveland youth battle it out hip-hop style for culinary domination. This year marked the third annual installment of the event, which was held at Tri-C's Hospitality Management Center last Friday. Meshing hip-hop and horticulture, the "youth garden battle" competition teamed nine youth gardens with eight local chefs to design a dish inspired by their own ingredients. Learn more about this funky fresh fest here.

Hullabaloo 2017 set to give Cleveland's fashion scene a taste of Yellowcake

This Saturday, October 7th, Rockefeller Park & Greenhouse will transform into a fashion-forward runway as local designer Valerie Mayen debuts 30 looks from her new "Of a Kind" collection for Hullabaloo 2017. This year marks the sixth outing for the now-annual event, which Mayen calls a "giant fashion extravaganza."

Find out more about fashion maven Mayen and what's in store at Hullabaloo 2017 here.
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