Alexa Marinos, 40
Director of corporate communications at Hyland
I grew up in the city of Canton and then lived in Cleveland for nine years, so when my husband and I moved to Independence in 2014, it was the first suburb I’ve ever lived in in my whole life. For years, I’d been writing about city life on my blog, Cleveland’s a Plum, and even though I knew I would adapt to suburban life, it was a huge transition. Cleveland was my persona — at first, I felt like I was losing a little bit of my identity.
Now, though, we live in a beautiful house built in 1910 that has a huge backyard but is also very close to Rockside Road, which means I can still walk to places like the hardware store and Dairy King. Coming from the city, that was important to me — and to just as easily hop in my car and get to Tremont or back to Canton or my stepdaughter’s school in Summit County. We’re in a perfect location in this southern suburb.
We have access to everything a bigger city has, but there’s also a small-town feel here. I hadn’t realized we were moving into such a close-knit community. A lot of people are second- or third-generation Independence residents, including some of my neighbors. For that to be the case, clearly the city is doing something right.