If you saw the Cleveland Magazine staff brainstorm the words that go on the cover, you’d think we were absurd. In the final few hours before an issue goes to print — overthinking every word, phrase and comma, as our loved ones with normal jobs wait at home while dinner gets cold — I’d probably agree with you.
This month, for instance, could have been called “Winter Fun Guide” or “45 Ways to Enjoy Winter” or “Get Outside!” or “Winter Wonder-Land” (oh, now I kinda like that one). But instead, we landed on “45 Ways to Embrace Winter.”
Why embrace? It’s certainly not because Cleveland winters feel like a warm hug. This month starts a frigid descent toward February, where average temps hover around but mostly less than 30 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 or more days.
No, we selected embrace because to truly have a great winter in Northeast Ohio — heck, a great life in a city that is cold at least seven months a year — one must confront the cold with eagerness.
Yes, one must make a choice. In a city that averages about 30 more inches of snow than the national average, one must decide to see the potential in each snowflake, not as an impedance on one's route to work but as a final brushstroke on the branch of a white pine at Holden Arboretum or a powdery run down a black diamond at Boston Mills/Brandywine.
The idea that Cleveland’s fun cools off during winter is simply a misconception — a rumor spread by those who refuse to kick off their slippers before May. You must get off the couch. We hope this month's cover inspires you to do so. Bundle up, go outside, uncover something new or rediscover an old favorite.
Because after all, no one simply is tough and neither is a city — even a Rust Belt one like Cleveland. Toughness is a choice, something we all must embrace.