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Issue Date: February 2014


Single in the City: Paul Purdy

Paul Purdy, 28, Community events senior manager

Hidden talent: I can walk on my hands.

Biggest fear: I have a list. I hate and fear fast food drive-thrus, and I despise baby corn. Babies with glasses freak me out, because I don't understand how they can actually have glasses. But my biggest and ultimate fear in life is a closed shower curtain.

My bad habit: Clutter.

My guilty pleasure: Bravo TV is definitely a guilty pleasure.

You'd never guess: I am an Eagle Scout.

I can't live without: Plaid. I wear a lot of plaid shirts.

My hero: James Bond. It's not the James Bond that you are thinking of, but a Cleveland resident who is truly my hero. He is a 23-year-old cancer survivor who has been conquering multiple myeloma, which is a rare blood cancer, and he lives his life to the fullest every day. He celebrates his livelihood each year by training and riding across Ohio on a bicycle to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

On my bucket list: I love traveling and cycling, so I want to bike through Europe. It's about getting over the initial freak-out moment of pushing yourself and not having someone else to do it [with] and just taking the plunge.

Biggest accomplishment: Running a half-marathon was one of my biggest accomplishments. I did that in Columbus in 2009, and since then I've run in at least six more and many endurance races. Coming from someone who didn't run more than a mile ever growing up, it's probably one of the biggest accomplishments I had to work really hard for.

When I'm not working: I cycle and run a lot, as well as spend a lot of time at my spinning studio. I will be an instructor there shortly. It's called Psycle Therapy and it's out in Westlake.

Find me here on a Saturday night: Usually in the Detroit Shoreway area. I spend a lot of time at Stone Mad [Pub], which is an Irish pub in our neighborhood, and Luxe.

If I had one wish: I would love to get rid of the winter, which is everybody's wish, but then at the same time we would have nothing to bitch about. I guess I would wish to travel around the world.

Once-in-a-lifetime moment: Seeing the Spice Girls live.

On death row, my last meal would be: It would be a huge thing of cheese lasagna because I'm pretty much almost vegan, so I eat gluten-free and I eat clean.

If I won the Mega Millions, I'd spend it on: I would first work on paying off family and friends' student loan debts. I would travel a lot. I think working in a nonprofit world now, it's [easy] to see that any little dollar amount can help tremendously for any type of charity, whether it's the American Cancer Society, which is one of the largest nonprofits in the world, to a local charity that's very tangible on the ground. ... So I would spread the wealth between local and large nonprofits and work in their community and throughout the world.

My No. 1 dating rule: No talking about exes on the first date.

Deal-breakers: I'm a weird, vegan germaphobe, so I would say hygiene. Self-involvement is a huge one, and another big one would be self-deprecation.

The perfect date: Something like having a plan to go to dinner at a local restaurant and focusing on the aspect that it's a local restaurant and not a chain restaurant. Then from there, kind of not having a plan, but stumbling upon something fun to do, whether it's a late night show or popping into an art gallery here in the neighborhood.

I'm a sucker for: Red heads.

Most romantic thing you've ever done: If they have a book on a desk or a journal on its own, I would kind of write romantic notes and appreciative things in it for them to find later.

What I look for in a significant other: Loyalty and honesty. I think I am a person that trusts people in general and they kind of need to prove me wrong to not be trusted, which I know can be a flaw for some people. I want them to be very open, honest and sincere.

Celebrity dream date: Jake Gyllenhaal. He goes to a spinning studio in New York City called Soul Cycle. Every time me and my friends go there, it's the biggest joke trying to find Jake.

Celebrity look-alike: When I had longer hair, people always told me I looked like Brandon Routh, the guy from Superman.

Dogs or cats: Dogs. I'm allergic to cats.

Beach or mountains: Mountains. I like going outdoors.

Signature dish: My go-to guacamole. I make it every week for some sort of event. The avocados have to be at a perfect ripeness, otherwise it gets brown really quick or too hard to chop. I use a lot of spices and jalapenos, and a crapload of goat cheese.

How I stay healthy: I partner with chef Anna Harouvis from Anna in the Raw. I do a lot of stuff with her with juicing and raw foods. We do a big cleanse every January that's 28 days long that's gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, booze-, caffeine- and fun-free.

Favorite ... love story: This is going to sound really cheesy, but I would say Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, because of the family dynamic and paying homage to your elders and just respecting family and adult life. ... book: Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein, mostly right now because I'm more excited that my nephews are growing up to be old enough that we can kind of get them into those types of books. ... TV show: The League. It's about fantasy football, which puts me at a somewhat dude status. ... movie: Hands down, it's Elf. I own the costume. My annual holiday party usually ends up with me in the costume, sometimes standing next to the life-size cutouts that I own. Next to that, it's Mean Girls, of course. ... blog: My friend, Alexis' blog, Cleveland's a Plum. ... music: Generally, I listen to a lot of indie-rock, but I still go down to all the standards that a 14-year-old girl would like, so I don't even know where to start. I always have a theme song, and it's always "Heartbreaker" by Mariah Carey, but I don't know if that's appropriate. ... restaurant: I go to Luxe more often than other places. It's a really good neighborhood joint ... but at the same time it's also becoming a destination spot for people who don't necessarily live within the city. ... app: Find My Friends. It's the best thing in the world. It's a GPS tracker that keeps track of all your friends and where they are. You can also set alerts if they're coming home, and that part's a little creepy, but it's just to keep track of your friends and where they are and to make sure they get home safe and that kind of stuff.

What I'm reading: I'm reading a book by Aisha Tyler called Self-Inflicted Wounds, which is a collection of stories about stupid shit she's done in her life.

iPod embarrassment: The Pussycat Dolls.

I'm so over: Texting. I think our generation relies on it too much. I've gotten to the point where I call people, and then they text back. I hate that

Dream job: I'm an event planner by art and design. At John Carroll [University] I put on concerts, so my dream job would be coordinating the opening ceremonies for the Olympics. It doesn't matter where or when, but it is my 100 percent dream job.

Dream vacation: My favorite place to go is San Diego.

Best date I've been on: The best date ever was an accidental date that happened with a group of friends that were out to Sunday Funday brunch. We watched football, had brunch and broke away for an hour to go on our own time frame as kind of a first date. It was the most unassuming but at the same time real first date, which I really enjoyed. It wasn't anything overly romantic, but at the same time easy and natural.

Worst date I've been on: A first date, and my suitor treated me to dinner by using a coupon and a gift card.

Comments:
Monday, February 03, 2014 6:45:15 PM by Anonymous
Dear Paul,
Fabulous interview, you sound
Outstanding!!
Wednesday, February 05, 2014 3:20:22 PM by KMBOND
I have had the pleasure of working with Paul in his efforts with the American Cancer Society. He is very intelligent, creative, fun to work with and he has been an outstanding event director in all aspects for the ACS Pan Ohio Hope Ride, a 4-day, 328 mile bicycle journey across Ohio. The Olympics are next ! Congrats Paul!
Thursday, February 06, 2014 6:33:41 AM by James Bond
Paul Purdy is an outstanding example of what Cleveland is all about. While he grew up in Pittsburgh, he chose to stayin Cleveland after graduating John Carroll. I met Paul a few years ago when he began leading the American Cancer Society Pan Ohio Hope Ride www,POHR.org. Each year, Paul receives standing ovations at our Day 3 recognition dinner at Wittenburg for his excellent leadership of 600 cyclist and hundreds of other ACS staff and volunteers across Ohio. We are fortunate to have Pauk here in Cleveland.
James Bond, POHR 7 year cyclist
Thursday, February 13, 2014 11:44:36 AM by Anonymous
Paul is a GREAT guy and a lucky catch for someone. Just be worthy of him as he is just wonderful. A good man and a friend. I've worked with him for years on an event in North Olmsted and he has been a friend ever since. Young enough to be my son but a friend just the same?

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