Saturday, August 9, 2008

Toast to the West Side Market

As some of you know, I've been considering moving out of my expansive Ohio City abode for another neighborhood more suited to my cultural tastes. I've been leaning toward the Cedar-Lee area of Cleveland Heights, but nothing is set in stone.

Most of the time I'm pretty set on getting out of this particular neighborhood, but every so often something reminds me of why it is a decent place. Today's trip to the West Side Market was one such experience.

After sitting around, fiddling with work I should do but can't quite force, I decide to go grocery shopping. A quick walk has me at the market, where for a ridiculously small amount of money I pick up 4 fresh peaches (thanks to the gal at the stand that directed me to the better selection), a bag of mushrooms for a buck, some organic spinach and carrots, a bag of chili cheese popcorn, a 1/2 lb of the best sliced hard salami I've ever had (from the apple-cured meats stand), a pair of quesadillas and a tin of Mexican lasagna from the Oreale folks, and a gyro to go from Steve's. Some folks, including the publishers of Maxim, say Steve's has the best gyro in the country. It is pretty good, but far from the best. My personal favorite is a little run-down shop in Kankakee, IL, called Mickey's, but I'm sure there are some far better options out there that have so far eluded my belly.

11 comments:

The Scribe said...

we love the cedar lee area!

@ the west side market, did you spot the dried fruit seller? they have these delish dried strawberries.

CB said...

I've seen the stand, but never bought anything. I'll try the berries the next time I'm there, though. Thanks for the tip!

taawd said...

i'd hate to see you move out of the neighborhood. only better things, i believe, are in store for the area.

Mel said...

Mmmm, Steve's gyros!

Kelly and José said...

Have you considered the Cedar Hill area? Night Town, Gelateria, Mad Greek, Aladdin's, The Fairmount Wine Bar. . .all within walking distance :)

CB said...

Hey Kelly and Jose - You know, a few days ago a friend of mine from Tremont also suggested the Cedar Hill area. I'll be honest, before he mentioned it, I never thought of it, and other than one impatient afternoon waiting for repairs to get done at the nearby Firestone, I've not spent any time around there. That's the bonus of the Cedar-Lee area - it is a place I spend time in.

Hey Taawd - I appreciate your kind words, but as the neighborhood does follow an upward socio-economic trajectory, it is increasingly becoming a bit too boogie for my taste. I spend virtually none of my social time here, so it doesn't make a lot of sense to stay here. Know what I'm saying? I'm a big believer in living in your neighborhood as much as you can and Ohio City doesn't really facilitate that for me too much. Of course, the market is awesome, but awesome to be worth driving across town, too.

Stephanie said...

There are lots of great apartments in the Heights - big windows, wood floors, and free heat. Ah, those were the days.

We moved from Cleveland Heights into the city for the exact same reason you are considering leaving it. Just goes to show how different people's perceptions of the same places can be.

CB said...

Good point Stephanie. I think I could see myself in Tremont 2-3 years down the road, if I was married/seriously cohabitating and looking to purchase a home. I don't think I'll ever be a Bay Village/Rocky River type, or a Warehouse District/future Flats type - the cultural offerings are there in each of those places, but they just aren't the kind that I want to spend 90% of my time enjoying. Gotta be where you feel like being, right? Anyway, I get your point.

Christine said...

It doesn't seem to me that you are fleeing the city to the suburbs...(and anyway, I'm not sure that is what Stephanie was suggesting.) Part of the difference, in my mind, between Ohio City and Cleveland Heights is that Cleveland Heights seemed to grow organically, so to speak, and Ohio City (as it is now) seems to have been deliberately constructed and geared toward a certain subset of people, whom you and I don't seem to belong to. And which doesn't feel right. Does that make sense?

CB said...

Oh no, I didn't think Stephanie meant I was fleeing the city for the suburbs. In fact, that is one of the hang-ups I had about moving out to the Heights.

In an ironic way, I am "fleeing" Ohio City not because of the typical urban under-class problems but rather because of the encroaching urban upper-class. The whole junior investment banker stylized yet generic version of cool makes me feel claustrophobic. Don't get me wrong - I don't dig the crime, either, but that isn't what has made me spend less and less time in the neighborhood; the thirty-something frat boys and sorority sisters have.

My point was more that, as the current new crop of residents decide to move on and leave the "adventure" of the neighborhood that they are quickly taking the funkiness right out of, they will probably end up as Bay Village/Rocky River types. I'm more looking for a pedestrian friendly neighborhood with a range of cultural offerings that appeal to both my class warrior hackles and my sometimes snobbish indie aesthete inclinations.

I'm so bad at being clear sometimes. :(

Alex Bako said...

does anyone know the name of the WSM dried fruit lady, or how to contact her store? i'm trying to find if I can order directly from her, as I moved away from Cleveland and cannot find anything like her stuff.