It’s been a year. I think we can all agree on that. 2020 has challenged us, changed us and pushed us in ways we’ve never imagined.
While I have moments where I’m filled with bouts of anxiety, doubt and even loneliness, there are also times where I am amazed at the strength of others, the resiliency of my neighbors and the enduring heart of the place I’ve called home my entire life. I’ve leaned on friends, cried to my family and found resolve in the most unexpected places — most notably a colorful picture my goddaughter drew for me with the words “Be a rainbow every day.”
Working on our annual Best of Cleveland issue is a yearlong project and something I enjoy collecting ideas for by scouring our city for new hangouts, trendy eats and quirky items. But this year, I was worried we wouldn’t be able to pull it off. Or it would feel different.
It is different. And that’s OK. In this issue, we’re highlighting a roundup of virtual events, care packages and even face masks. We also have plenty of cool restaurants and shops that have found ways to adapt their business models and implement social distancing policies. There are a handful of spots that have a rigorous online shop that makes it easy to buy items and have them safely delivered to your doorstep.
What I realized is there are still many ways to support the fun, interesting and inventive things happening in our city. I’m proud of my fellow Clevelanders who have persevered in these challenging times, showing us the best that our city has to offer.
After keeping close to home for a few months, I ventured out to BottleHouse Brewery in Cleveland Heights, where chef Michael Schoen hosts his pop-up restaurant LouieQ. I had been drooling over his Tinman burger on Instagram for weeks. The smash burger, something I frequently ordered at his previous spot inside the now-closed Ohio City Galley, was just as juicy, delicious and messy (in a good way) as I remembered. Maybe even better.
And on that early September afternoon with the crisp breeze blowing through the patio overlooking Lee Road, it was the best day I’d had in a while.