Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Going Back in Time

The Cleveland Indians aren’t part of this year’s postseason, which is disappointing to all of us who root for them. While we’re looking forward to next season, we can also look back on the team’s history in a new book. 

“Ultimate Cleveland Indians Time Machine Book” covers the players and events that are part of Cleveland’s baseball past. Author Marty Gitlin will discuss the book Saturday at the Baseball Heritage Museum at League Park. The free talk begins at 1 p.m.

Gitlin, an award-winning journalist who covered the Indians during some of their best years, will answer audience members’ questions after his talk. He’ll also have books for sale that will include personalized autographs.

League Park, at East 66th Street and Lexington Avenue, is where the Indians played before they moved permanently to Cleveland Municipal Stadium, the precursor to Jacobs/Progressive Field. The field has been restored and the former ticket office has been turned into a museum.

Before the franchise now known as the Indians became a charter member of the American League in 1901, League Park was the home of the Cleveland Spiders, a National League team. The Spiders played the first game at League Park in 1891, beating Cincinnati 12-3.

The ballpark was the site of the 1920 World Series, which the Indians won against the Brooklyn Robins (later renamed the Dodgers). Hall of Famers including Cy Young, Tris Speaker, Lou Gehrig and Ty Cobb played at League Park, and Babe Ruth hit his 500th career home run there in 1929.

Register for Saturday’s event here. The museum will be open after Gitlin’s talk in the Visitors Center, and I recommend visiting it, even if you’ve been there before. The exhibits change, as do the items for sale. Admission to the museum is free, but donations are accepted. Memberships also are available.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Pumpkin Party

Neighborhood trick-or-treating isn’t a thing of the past, but communities and organizations have been offering more alternatives to this Halloween tradition in recent years. 

There’s a certain amount of trust required to let your kids take candy from strangers, even in your own neighborhood. During my childhood, trick-or-treating almost always meant visiting the houses of people my friends and family knew. I’m not sure that’s the case for kids anymore, so I can see why parents opt for community-sanctioned events where treats are distributed.

One of those is The Great Pumpkin Party in the Square, a free event happening from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in Cleveland’s Public Square. 

Partygoers are invited to come in costume and take part in activities including pumpkin drawing, a pumpkin roll and even trick-or-treating. All ages are welcome.

Before or after the party, check out Prismatica, a free interactive lighting exhibit in Public Square from midnight to 11:59 p.m. daily through Nov. 15.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Pizza Week

There’s no wrong time for pizza, but this is an especially good week to enjoy some in Greater Cleveland.

Cleveland Pizza Week began Monday and runs through Sunday. During this seven-day stretch, you can enjoy a pizza for $8 from 30 local restaurants. Each place has pizza specifically made for this week. 

You can try all 30 pizza joints if your time and your tummy allow. Besides a few extra pounds, and maybe indigestion, you could end up with $250 in gift cards. Download a passport and get it stamped at each restaurant where you get your Cleveland Pizza Week pizza. If your passport has at least four stamps, submit it online for a chance to win the gift cards.

Tonight my friend Moe and I kicked off our Cleveland Pizza Week at Eddie’s Pizzeria Cerino in Seven Hills. Neither of us had been there before, but the Cerino name was enough to persuade us to try it. This place is run by the family behind Carrie Cerino’s, the North Royalton restaurant and party center established in the early 1960s, and Fast Eddie’s Kitchen & Bar in Parma. 

Eddie’s is offering two Pizza Week pies — Sis’s Pig & Fig and the Toscana. The first one features fig preserves, prosciutto ham, caramelized onions, mozzarella and gorgonzola cheese baked golden brown and topped with arugula and an extra virgin olive oil drizzle. We got the Toscana, which has red sauce, mozzarella and provolone cheese, prosciutto ham, artichokes, capers & pepperoni.

Our server told us we could leave any of the toppings off our $8 pizza, but we couldn’t add toppings. We split the six-slice, 13-inch pizza, which is larger than Eddie’s small pizza but smaller than its medium pie. It looked really good, but hunger made me forget to take a picture for this post before we dug in. I generally prefer a thick crust, but this thin-crusted pizza — with all the toppings —  was delicious. Sharing it meant we had room for dessert, which we also split.

Three slices of pizza, a small dish of spumoni and a pop cost each of us $9.06 before tip. We split everything more as a means of conserving calories than conserving cash, so the bill was a pleasant surprise that capped off a great dinner. 

Friday, October 18, 2019


Did you have a kaleidoscope when you were a kid? I remember being mesmerized by them as a little girl. If I had one now, I’d probably still be mesmerized by it.

Can you imagine what it would be like to get inside a kaleidoscope? That’s what Prismatica sounds like to me. Prismatica is an interactive lighting exhibit that opened at midnight today on Cleveland’s Public Square. You can experience the free exhibit from midnight to 11:59 p.m. daily through Nov. 15.

Prismatica is composed of 25 pivoting life-size prisms with a film that transmits and reflects every color in the visible spectrum. The colors vary with the position of the light source and the observer. So you won’t be twisting a piece of plastic attached to the end of a tube, but the prisms’ colors will change when you change positions.

Prismatica, created by Raw Design of Toronto, was first exhibited in 2014-15 in Montreal. Appearances in France, England and Chicago followed. This is its first time in Cleveland.

Organizers describe the exhibit as “most intriguing after dark,” which is one upside to our shorter days this time of year, but I’m curious about how it looks in the daylight. Unfortunately, copyright issues prevent me from posting any photos from past exhibits, but I’m going try to take some Saturday, before and after sunset.


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

WOW, What a Conference!

STEM is all the rage in schools these days. It stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, fields that students, particularly female students, are being encouraged to explore.

High school girls will have an opportunity to do that for free Nov. 9 in Cleveland. The WOW STEM Conference will include women speaking about their careers in STEM fields along with hands-on activities for the students.

The conference will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. that Saturday at the International Women’s Air & Space Museum, inside Burke Lakefront Airport. The keynote speaker will be Marla E. PĂ©rez-Davis, acting center director of the NASA Glenn Research Center here in Cleveland.

Students who want to attend must complete an application and pay a $5 reservation fee by Nov. 1. The fee will be returned during event check-in. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Taking Cover

Do you know where the country’s longest covered bridge is? How about its shortest? Both are right here in Northeast Ohio.

You can cover the long and short of it this weekend during the Ashtabula County Covered Bridge Festival. The free festival offers an opportunity to see the Smolen-Gulf Bridge (the longest), the Liberty Street Bridge (the shortest) and 17 others via two driving tours. You can cross the bridges on foot, too.

As you’ll learn in the video, each covered bridge has a unique look and people come from all over the United States to see them. The bridges offer lots of photo opps, plus you might capture some early fall foliage in your shots.

Most of the bridges are being sponsored by community organizations during the 36th annual festival. Representatives of those organizations will have food, beverages and handmade goods for sale to benefit various causes. Details are in the festival magazine that can be downloaded here.

The bridges, some more than 100 years old, are just one part of the festival that runs from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Visitors also can enjoy food, entertainment and a parade, among other things. Click the first link to see the full schedule.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

International Day

Honoring your roots and witnessing a group of immigrants become U.S. citizens will be among the highlights of a cultural celebration happening Sunday in University Circle.

International Cleveland Community Day, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cleveland Museum of Art, is a free event. Visitors are invited to watch film shorts, including eight from eight countries suited for kids, create wearable works of art and get a guided tour of the museum, among other activities.

As we are seeing with today’s high of more than 90 degrees, October weather in Cleveland is unpredictable. Sunday’s forecast high is about 20 degrees cooler, but weather won’t be a factor. All the activities are indoors.