Lost Causes

My first job in Cleveland was stocking shelves for the old Campus Drug Store near John Carroll University. It catered mostly to college kids, but it also offered the bygone service of home delivery of prescriptions and other small items for the nearby communities.

It seemed easy enough, even for an 18-year-old: Get in the car, with a map, and drop off a few packages to houses on North Park and South Park boulevards. It was supposed to take 20 minutes.

But for the uninitiated, those two streets might be the hardest to navigate in town, winding around the Shaker Lakes, stopping, starting and turning from North Park to South Park with a randomness that seems only explainable by Chaos Theory. More than an hour later, I returned to the store defeated, unable to find a single address.

After a few weeks, I got over the panic of being lost and started enjoying the treasure-hunt quality of each trip. By the end of the semester, I had taken the best introductory course to the East Side that you can get in an economy car.

Maybe that's why I like this month's issue so much. In both our "Hello, CLE" cover story and the "25 Reasons We Rock" feature, we ask you to look at the city with fresh eyes. No matter how long you've lived here, you'll uncover places you've never been or discover tidbits about our history that surprise you.

My current job exposes me to our city in various and wonderful ways, but I have never visited the Rockefeller Greenhouse or seen the tin box that held all the Society of Savings' assets in the 1850s or heard Brent Kirby perform his monthly Gram Parsons tribute.

So this month we're providing extra incentive to explore the town. Our recently launched Foursquare page (foursquare.com/clevelandmag) allows you to take our best advice and insights along for the trip using your smartphone. Plus, you can compete with friends to see who can finish each "Hello, CLE" list first (and let us know when you do). We'll also be creating additional lists for future issues to fuel your adventurous spirit. So go ahead, dare to get lost and like it.

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