Best of Cleveland

We drank in the city (responsibly, we promise) and found it intoxicating.
Brewed with 110 of the finest ingredients, our toast to Cleveland’s best raises a pint to kayaking at sunset, the purring of a Lounge Kitty, brown-bagging it at lunch, p

Stories by Monica Arjev, Heide Aungst, Adria Barbour, Jennifer Bowen,
D.X. Ferris, Steve Gleydura, Tom Kondilas, Jacqueline Marino, Amber Matheson, Marissa Mikolak, Dave “Coondog” O’Karma, Myra Orenstein, Kim Schneider, Laura Taxel, Erick Trickey, Jim Vickers, Lori Valyko Weber and Tori Woods

Do-It-Yourself Brewery

Sure, there are plenty of places in Cleveland to go get a beer, but how many let you make your own? Strongsville’s Brew Kettle has been doing it since 1995. For about $150, you can make a 12.5-gallon batch of brew, chosen from the Kettle’s 70 recipes. The process takes two weeks from brewing to bottling. After brewing, you can order snacks and beer from the Kettle’s menu. 8377 Pearl Road, Strongsville, (440) 239-8788,

Dry Rub Wings

Not feeling saucy? Flyers in Parma has a different take on chicken wings. Instead of a water- or tomato-based sauce, Flyers applies a flavorful dry rub, a mix of powdered spices, to its wings. The menu features 14 varieties, from mild to 1822 (two times 911). They’re 25 cents each on Thursdays. The wings match the building’s distinctive shape — from an aerial view, it’s shaped like a heart, a gift to the original owner’s girlfriend. 6298 Pearl Road, Parma, (440) 842-1964

Alternative Date Spot

The adrenaline pumping through your veins and the endorphins from exercise all make rock climbing much more exciting than the average date. Kendall Cliffs has more than 60 different climbing routes, making it a great place for even those who have never climbed before. Though the actual risks are slim, climbers have to trust in their partners, making it great for couples. 60 Kendall Park Road, Peninsula, (330) 655-5489,

Bait Shop
Every seasoned seadog — er, lakedog — has his favorite bait shop, and he won’t be sharing the information. We know that the caviar of the bait world is available at The Pine Lake Trout Club, a members-only fishing compound with ponds for bait fishing and streams for fly-fishing. The public is welcome to catch rods, nets and fashionable fishing wear at The Fly Club, where they also stock the finest munchies to whet a fish’s appetite. Dry flies, nymphs, worms, eggs and streamers — trust us, they’re tantalizing fare for fish. 17021 Chillicothe Road, Chagrin Falls, (440) 543-8322,

New Bar

In a town like Cleveland, the best bars take you back to another era of drinking, with just enough modernity (such as good microbrews) to keep you comfortable. So it is with the Prosperity Social Club, which opened in the former Dempsey’s Oasis and hung onto the space’s old-school cool much more than the average Tremont bar. Perhaps it’s the rotating, glowing blue Schlitz globe by the door, or the ’50s-era ad for the Zombie Club at West Third and St. Clair, or the old bill of fare on the wall (beef stew, sardines and salmon, all 15 cents). Or maybe it’s the surprising mix in the crowd, where the old neighborhood residents and the new, laid-back Tremont hipsters mingle with dressed-down couples and friends in from the ’burbs. Prosperity fits a great niche in Tremont’s nightlife: cool yet unpretentious. 1109 Starkweather Ave., Cleveland, (216) 937-1938

Imports From Bali

If you’re looking for a shiny dress from Indonesia, Asian stonework for a rock garden, an exotically beautiful dark-wood table and chairs, dragon-decorated lamps in every color of the rainbow, inexpensive beaded rings, incense, a hammock or the biggest selection of Buddha statues in town, step across the Pacific to Bali at City Buddha. Local guy Larry Collins and his Indonesian wife, Rai, just opened a second store in Coventry to complement their 10-year-old location in Ohio City, with even more room for clothing and high-end furniture. 1863 W. 25th St., Cleveland, (216) 241-6416 and 1807 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights, (216) 397-5862,

Sports Promotion

Almost all of the 20,000-plus Cavaliers fans at the Feb. 21 home game donned Anderson Varejao wigs. During a timeout, the fans placed their frizzy, curly wigs atop their heads to honor the Cavs forward. The free promotional giveaway was an attempt to break the Guinness world record for “most people wearing wigs in a single venue.” (The record is officially held by 6,638 Detroit Pistons fans, since the Cavaliers never submitted the record to Guinness due to the “extremely tedious” process.) To honor the “Wild Thing” and his Brazilian roots, halftime also included festivities similar to Brazil’s Mardi Gras, featuring samba dancers and drummers. No word yet on whether the promotion will be repeated this season, but if it is, we want tickets.

Lounge Act

Her beehive wig makes her the tallest person in the room, and it shakes when she sings a tremolo. She dances like the Church Lady from “Saturday Night Live,” but she’s way hotter than that, in her little black dress, feather boa and ultraterrifying high-heel boots. As a keyboard player and a bongo and cymbal player back her up on a repertoire ranging from “The Girl From Ipanema” to ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” to “Proud Mary” — the Tina Turner version, of course — she slips between the tables, flirting and vamping with the guys in the crowd, doing a Marilyn-serenading-JFK crossed with a svelte Bette Midler. She’s Lounge Kitty, and she purrs, hisses and roars at the Prosperity Social Club on the second Friday of every month, the night of the Tremont Art Walk, and at other, less regular gigs around town. If you leave during her set, you’d better bid her a polite goodbye on your way past, or she’ll get catty, talking about you once you’re out the door. But if you stay for the inevitable climax of “I Will Survive,” you’ll witness the best over-the-top kitschy lounge act in town. (216) 288-6560,

Environmental Statement

You might be blown away by the Great Lakes Science Center’s 150-foot tall wind turbine. We’re not exactly California, where you can see rows of these things from the highways, but the stately turbine is an eye-catching addition to our already fabulous view from the Shoreway. The wind turbine is expected to take care of 7 percent of the GLSC’s electrical needs. And, with soaring gas prices, one is all you need to stimulate discussion about renewable energy sources. 601 Erieside Ave., Cleveland, (216) 694-2000,

Authentic Italian Pasta

Like his grandmother, who opened Carrie Cerino’s Ristorante in 1962, chef and owner Dominic Cerino takes no shortcuts and uses only the finest ingredients. His version of spaghetti alla carbonara is a clean-your-plate classic, featuring house-made pasta, local farm-fresh organic eggs from free-range chickens and guanciale — like bacon, only better — that he cures using heirloom-breed Berkshire pork. An astonishing bargain at $15. 8922 Ridge Road, North Royalton, (440) 237-3434,

German Brats

There aren’t too many butcher shops left like The Sausage Shoppe in Old Brooklyn. Meat is ground, seasoned, mixed, stuffed into natural casings and smoked right on the premises. Using the same Old World techniques his ex-boss did back in 1938, Norm Heinle, who’s been in charge for the past 40 years, makes a dozen different kinds of bratwurst. Lean, juicy and delicious, they contain no fillers, nitrates or other preservatives. 4501 Memphis Ave., Cleveland, (216) 351-5213,

New Blues Troubadour

Now that The Black Keys are world renowned, Northern Ohio needs a new blues-rock best-kept secret, and Keys front man Dan Auerbach helped create his band’s heir apparent by producing “C’mon, C’mere,” the hot-and-bothered third album from Massillon’s Patrick Sweany (above, at right, with his band). Highly regarded Delta revivalist Jimbo Mathus also pitched in for the disc, which is turning ears from Boston to Tennessee. Fans of classic roots rock will hear echoes of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s John Fogerty in Sweany’s troubled voice. And whether he’s delivering a creaking tune for a slow dance or an irresistible shack shaker, when Sweany sings the blues, you’ll only feel better. Catch Sweany and company at Akron’s Lime Spider or Kent’s Zephyr pub.

Tropical Cocktail

Made with cachaa (a clear, barrel-aged, sugar-cane liquor) and fresh limes, a caipirinha is like Carnivale in glass. The potent beverage used to be mixed only in Brazil, where it is considered the national libation. But lately, the nearly unpronounceable caipirinha (it’s something like “kai-pee-reen-yah,” slightly slurred with a musical lilt) has become the beverage of choice for stylish sippers worldwide. Bartenders at Saravi on Shaker Square mix a tasty version for $7.25. General manager Anthony Folisy says they sell 200 to 300 a night. Saravi, 13225 Shaker Square, Cleveland, (216) 295-1200,


You may not have heard of it, since it’s only a year old. But an observation deck off the Overlook Trail in Summit County’s Cascade Valley Metro Park offers one of Greater Cleveland’s most beautiful vistas. A half-mile hike from the parking lot leads to the Oxbow Overlook Deck, a long, thin, wooden platform hanging over a breathtaking 150-foot drop. A background of dense, fluffy trees and sky wraps the Cuyahoga River off to the east. An eroded wall of layered, veiny sandstone towers to the west, home to many burrowing swallows. Below the deck flows one of the many crooks in our crooked river, a hard turn like a check mark. Rushing south, the river makes a looping bend, then a sharp move west, disappearing back into the forest of Cascade Valley, where it cuts and turns like an elusive running back before heading north to Cleveland. Thanks to the change of seasons, the view is different with every visit. Below the observation deck, Cascade Valley includes some of the best hiking and biking trails in Northeast Ohio. 354 Sackett Ave., Akron, (330) 867-5511,

Vegetarian Restaurant Off the Eaten Path

Parma Heights is not known for its unusual dining options, but those who make it a policy not to fork up anything that ever walked, flew or swam won’t find a better suburb to head for at mealtime. It’s home to Udupi Cafe. The famed south Indian cuisine served here is animal-free, so everything on the multipage menu is an option. Even vegans won’t go home hungry. 6339 Olde York Road, Parma Heights, (440) 743-7154

Way to Spend Your Lunch Hour
Instead of eating at their desks, nine-to-fivers can take in a midday musical performance at the historic Trinity Cathedral. Brown Bag Concerts start at 12:10 p.m. on Wednesdays in the fall and spring and last just 45 minutes. Eating during the show is not just allowed, it’s encouraged. Bring your own PB&J or buy a box lunch for $4. The music is free. Wednesdays, Oct. 4 - Dec. 20 and March 8 - May 25, Trinity Cathedral, 2230 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, (216) 579-9745,

Product Name

Necessity is a mother, and Adam Muth came up with the invention. Tired of cleaning his custom chopper with screwdrivers wrapped in rags, Muth devised a clever set of Zen-like motorcycle-maintenance tools. His Pimpstixxx are sold internationally, but some parts are made in Elyria. These little tools get into the twists and turns of any motorcycle or car to polish and clean, and are safe to use on expensive finishes. The name was developed to attract the rough-and-tumble biker crowd; the same kit is available under the name Slick Stixxx to appeal to car folks. P.O. Box 85, Avon Lake, 1-866-221-8661,


Hot potato! These guys might be the two most in-demand fries around. The sports fan-club duo Charlie’s Fryes don french fry container costumes to show support for Cleveland Browns quarterback Charlie Frye. Whether tailgating at the Muny Lot before every game (as early as 5:30 a.m.) or cheering in the Dawg Pound at home games (section 122, row A, seats 5 and 6 — just in case you couldn’t see them jumping around with their signs), the Frye Guys bleed orange and brown. Mike Randall and his cousin, Dan Randall, sport Dawg Pound tattoos, have murals of Browns Stadium painted on their walls and named rooms in their homes the Frye Room.


Near Case Western Reserve University’s campus in Little Italy is a one-of-a-kind destination for those who appreciate the benefits of a steaming cup of Darjeeling or a mellowing mug of chamomile. Algebra Tea House boasts a wide selection of blends and world flavors, plus an atmosphere that’s an antidote to the cookie-cutter corporate cool we’ve come to associate with cafe culture. The furnishings are a mix of the creative, the handmade and the well used. Work by local artists adorns the walls, and people are more likely to actually be talking to each other or playing board games than working on laptops. Also on the menu are unique coffee drinks — think latte with honey and rosewater — shakes and Middle Eastern-inspired eats. 2136 Murray Hill Road, Cleveland, (216) 421-9007

Sipping Beverage

It became the “soft” drink of choice in Taiwan in the ’80s. But who could have predicted that bubble tea, an Asian smoothie with “seeds” made of tapioca, would become all the rage in this country? The nonalcoholic, noncarbonated beverage is distinguished by a liberal infusion of chewy, gelatinous tapioca pearls that sippers suck up through extra-wide straws. Weird at first slurp, yet quickly addictive, bubble tea has been steadily gaining fans here as it migrates from the West Coast to the heartland. Served hot or cold, in flavors from lychee and passion fruit to avocado or taro. Koko Bakery, 3710 Payne Ave., Cleveland, (216) 881-7600; Mint Cafe, 1791 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights, (216) 320-9915; Earth Garden, 5158 Wilson Mills Road, Richmond Heights, (440) 684-1888

Place to Pimp Your Ride

It’s not where you might expect, tucked away in an industrial complex near a riding stable. But when you scope the collection of Escalades, Range Rovers and Audis, their custom paint twinkling in the sun, you know you’ve found it. They don’t advertise, but word of mouth has made Jim Shields and his Esoteric Sound and Performance the go-to garage for any Cleveland Brown who wants to ride in style. Dennis Northcutt (below right), Andra Davis (left), Terrelle Smith, Kellen Winslow, Alvin McKinley and NFL’ers from around the league trust their rides to Shields. Bumper to bumper, he does it all: custom leather and suede interiors, plasma screens, bumping stereo components, audiovisual equipment, super-charged engines, Batman-style doors. If you can dream it, Shields can do it. Consider the newest rims and grills from Strut, the “it” car jewelry. These days, no self-respecting Bentley goes without them. 300 Karl St., Berea, (440) 891-4111,

Public Space

Need a Zen moment in your day? The Cleveland Public Library’s Eastman Reading Garden is a refuge from the city’s more concrete sections. Ohio native Maya Lin, designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., designed the garden with her brother, Tan Lin. The bronze fencing, designed by Tom Otterness of New York City, looks like a checkerboard with letters that form words if viewers look closely. The garden includes trees and a fountain, and it’s dotted with little bronze statues reading books and snatching letters from the wall. 325 Superior Ave., Cleveland, (216) 623-2800,

Ice Cream for a Cause

We never knew a guilty pleasure could be so rewarding. But with Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream’s Pink Ribbon Peppermint Chip, we’re happy to indulge. That’s because the local scoop joint donates 50 cents from each $3.95 pint it sells to The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Northeast Ohio Race for the Cure. Even better, this is dessert with sass. The cool peppermint base is rich with ample chunks of tantalizing chocolate. Various locations,

Record Store

Located fewer than 100 paces from the Beachland Ballroom’s front door, Music Saves is a beacon for indie-rock fans who like to buy music the old-fashioned, predownload way: as an object wrapped in cellophane. A cozy space packed with CDs (and some vinyl), the store trades big inventory for a precise catalog of college radio titles. Our test — locating the 2006 debut from Jose Gonzalez and the final release from the now-defunct Seattle band Carissa’s Wierd — met with success on both counts. 15801 Waterloo Road, Cleveland, (216) 481-1875,

Celebrity Candy Bar
He definitely hit a grand slam with this one. The Pronk Bar from Malley’s combines velvety smooth milk chocolate and ample rice crisps in honor of Indians powerhouse Travis Hafner. “I’m being dead serious: Of all the candy bars I’ve ever had, this is probably the best one,” Pronk himself has declared. We agree (though Harry London’s Chief Wahoo bar is at least a stand-up double off Jacobs Field’s 19-foot wall and it helps benefit Cleveland Indians Charities). Sure, we’re attracted to Hafner’s batting stance and autograph on the wrapper, but we love the way the premium chocolate melts within seconds of touching your tongue.

Place to Sin and Atone

A bartender’s job includes listening to customers’ tales of woe and transgression. At The Town Fryer, owner Susie Porter keeps a portable antique confessional booth on hand for these occasions. Whenever someone has a need to share, Porter’s happy to step inside and lend an ear. “Nobody really bares their soul,” she admits, “and I think half of what they say is made up. Usually the stories are funny, or about something bad they did when they were kids. People reveal a lot more unintentionally after a few too many beers.” As a voluntary act of contrition, customers can put money in the donation box. Or they can just follow Porter’s admonition to drink no more (at least for the rest of night). Of course, she hopes you’ll order some of her fried chicken instead. 3859 Superior Ave., Cleveland, (216) 426-9235,

Momentary Celebrity

This spring, Lakewood resident Judson Laipply danced his way across tens of millions of computer screens with his one-man act “The Evolution of Dance.” The six-minute interpretive dance, which has Laipply dancing along to a soundtrack of song snippets from the Twist to the Macarena, was the finale to his motivational-speaking routine (yes, that’s his day job). One day, someone uploaded footage of Laipply, performing in an Orange Crush T-shirt, to YouTube (, and a star was born — at least, until someone uploaded a clip of what happens when Mentos are added to a bottle of Diet Coke.

Doughnut Comeback

Add Becker’s Donuts and Bakery’s crullers to the list of things that never change. Using recipes passed down from his German-Hungarian relatives, Tom Becker whips up the same light, egg-based batter that his father made in the same Lorain Avenue storefront shop from 1957 to 1988. The shiny retro decor, with two small tables for eat-in customers, evokes that era, as do the family photos of men in white standing over mixing bowls. Since Becker reopened the shop in January of this year, he’s enjoyed watching how his doughnuts bridge the generation gap. “We have people who come in here with the grandparents who brought them,” he says. “Or they bring their kids because they came here as kids.” Get to the shop early — it opens at 5:30 a.m. — if you want to get a chocolate-sprinkle cake doughnut. Other favorites include bear claws, cinnamon rolls and snuggles (a nut twist with cinnamon and glaze on the top). At $5.99, a dozen doughnuts is more expensive these days, but you still get the “baker’s” variety, 13 instead of 12. 22088 Lorain Road, Fairview Park, (440) 734-9856


Who needs Niagara? Northeast Ohio has Brandywine Falls, located in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Take the short trek from the parking lot into the woods to view the autumn colors. Brandywine Creek cascades 60 feet over layers of yellow-brown Berea sandstone and red Bedford shale, formed between 300 million and 400 million years ago. Follow the boardwalk down to view interesting rock layers, or travel up the path and you’ll reach a point where you’re literally on top of the falls looking down. Brandywine and Stanford roads, Sagamore Hills (take Route 8 to Twinsburg Road, head west, turn right on Brandywine Road), (216) 524-1497,

Girls’ Night Out

Sure, it’s fun to leave the guys behind and go play with your gal pals. But imagine how great it would be to do that and return home with a week’s worth of homemade, ready-to-heat meals? If that seems too good to be true, you haven’t heard about Simply Done Dinners. Michele Gaw, formerly executive chef at the Watermark Restaurant, and her staff do all the planning, prepping and cleanup. Just show up at her professional kitchens in Parma, North Olmsted, Medina or Twinsburg. Various locations, (216) 901-0215,

Bar Decoration

High above the beer-drinking, sports-watching groups of guys at Gillespie’s Map Room hangs a real plane. Two months after Gillespie’s 2005 opening, a friend of the bar’s owner flew the Smith Mini red and white aircraft from Kansas to Burke Lakefront before it was delivered by truck to the Warehouse District watering hole, where it was installed as the ultimate conversation piece. 1281 W. Ninth St., Cleveland, (216) 621-7747

Scenic Courthouse

Getting summoned to court in Geauga County might not be so bad — if you’re a Western Reserve history buff. Built in 1869, the Geauga County Courthouse on Chardon Square is on the National Register of Historic Places. Its original second-floor courtroom is still in use, presided over by Judge Forrest Burt. “It’s one of the most, if not the most, important buildings in Geauga,” says county archivist Bari Oyler Stith. “Its architecture and styling make people stop and appreciate it.” Prominent Cleveland architect Joseph Ireland designed the building in High Victorian Italianate style, with red brick, elegant stonework, high window arches, cluster trefoils and a landmark clock tower with its original bell still in place. 100 Short Court St., Chardon, (440) 285-2222,

iPod Case

LeBron James not only rocks the court with his hoops skills, but he can also guard your iPod. The LeBron James iPod Nano case, manufactured by Florida-based Xtreme Mac, is the coolest Cleveland-themed iPod protection around. The semihard rubber case covers an iPod Nano while allowing use of the click wheel. With a picture of the Cavaliers star on front, it is clear on back to show off any name engravings, and leaves open the hold switch and all connection ports on the bottom. But hustle if you want the limited-edition case, which was created during the playoffs. $24.95, 1-866-392-9800,

Arcade Game

Pac-Man simplicity just doesn’t cut it anymore. So we swept through Dave & Buster’s in Westlake in search of the ultimate, cutting-edge arcade game. Wielding a plastic machine gun as you sweep a terrorist hideout (“Ghost Squad”) is fun, but it’s not suited for the little ones. Likewise, sitting behind the trash-can-lid-sized wheel of a virtual rig (“Eighteen Wheeler: American Pro Trucker”) is fun, but it wears thin fast. MOCAP Boxing, though, splits the difference between ultraviolent and ultraboring. Players don “boxing gloves” and launch punches at their onscreen opponent, while bobbing and weaving to avoid getting hit (cameras determine whether you’ve moved far and fast enough). The game keeps a cumulative total of how many calories you’ve burned while floating like a butterfly. Dave & Buster’s, 25735 First St., Westlake, (440) 892-1415,

Underrated Neighborhood

Great food, great art: Cleveland’s Chinatown neighborhood, just east of downtown, is waking up like Tremont and Ohio City did a decade or two ago. Maybe the turning point came when artists took over the old warehouses and the city welcomed them by making their live-work spaces legal. Now, art-hops include open houses out east at spots such as Convivium 33 on East 33rd Street, a deconsecrated church turned gallery. Meanwhile, Superior Avenue at East 31st Street has become a Little Saigon, with the trendy restaurant #1 Pho facing off against Superior Pho (formerly Pho Hoa), its friendly competition in the Golden Plaza next door. Older favorites such as the huge, open-late Chinese restaurant Li Wah at East 30th and Payne and Siam Cafe at East 45th and St. Clair still offer some of Greater Cleveland’s best, most adventurous Asian food. Korea is represented too, by the out-of-the-way Seoul Hot Pot on Payne and Korea House on Superior. The neighborhood’s art project this summer — cleverly painted ceramic dogs standing near landmark businesses, celebrating China’s Year of the Dog — is only the latest sign that creativity is remaking Chinatown. St. Clair, Superior and Payne avenues between E. 30th and E. 45th streets

Children’s Theater

For more than 50 years, children ages 5 to 18 have performed in the Heights Youth Theatre, which some believe is the oldest theater company in the United States that puts on productions performed exclusively by children. More than 200 kids participate each year — and successful alums include Michelle Federer of Shaker Heights, who originated the role of Nessarose in “Wicked” on Broadway. This season, after the retirement of Laura Gee, the theater’s director of 20 years, HYT is staging its three productions with three different directors, two of them HYT alums. The first, “Annie,” directed by Kris Comer, runs Nov. 3 through 19.

Comic Book Store

Prepare to be overwhelmed, superfan. Whether you like big-name books or small-press titles, you’ll find a lot of both at Carol and John’s Comic Shop. Thumb through the deep stock of past issues to fill holes in your collection. Or, if like us, you’ve been living outside the comic universe for a while, ask for recommendations. We were pointed to Marvel Comics’ engaging “Civil War” series, which splits your favorite superheroes into two opposing forces, and the first installment of Image Comics’ zombie-rific “The Walking Dead.” 3742 Rocky River Drive, Cleveland, (216) 252-0606

Source for Local Books

The warm lighting and the lustrous dark wood make stepping into the Crooked River Reading Club like stepping into the bookstores of yesteryear. This independent bookstore in the Galleria, a year old, has already been well received by locals and tourists alike. The kind folks at Crooked River love chatting with customers, making recommendations and tracking down hard-to-find tomes. They have a remarkable inventory of Cleveland writers, from self-published poets to Ohio historians with multibook deals. The Galleria at Erieview, 1301 E. Ninth St., Cleveland, (216) 830-2665,

Comedy Group

Groups of guys always think they’re funny. Go to the bar. Go to a frat party. Turn on MTV. From Panini’s to Peabody’s — and all the tailgating parties in between — Cleveland is ripe with young dudes who think they’ve got comedy by the crotch. It’s refreshing, then, to witness Last Call Cleveland in the flesh. These guys are bust-a-gut. The all-male comedy troupe straddles the fine line between funny and crass. If we went into too much detail about their last skit, we’d need to hire more interns to handle all the letters. Suffice it to say there are father-and-son duets, men in painfully awkward situations and pure genius footage from a day spent with Mark Norton of Norton Furniture. We just wish their moms weren’t in the audience. It’s weird.

History Lesson

The History of Contraception Exhibit — reportedly the largest in the world — offers a peek into the medicine cabinets of history. Located at Case Western Reserve University’s Dittrick Medical History Center, the exhibit features more than 650 artifacts from all over the globe. One visit and you’ll be filled with fascinating cocktail-party fodder (provided it’s that kind of cocktail party). Did you know there’s a reference to the withdrawal method in the Book of Genesis? Or that European women in the Middle Ages thought wearing amulets containing ear wax from mules would keep them from conceiving? There’s even a display of contraceptive devices of the future, including an ear ovulation sensor and a contraceptive nasal spray. Third Floor, Allen Memorial Medical Library, Case Western Reserve University, 11000 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, (216) 368-6391, Share this story: