When Medical Mutual began recruiting me for a job in Cleveland, I was living in New York City and had so little knowledge of this city that I literally didn’t even know where the city was was on a map! So, I had no preconceived notions, no idea what the weather was like or how big the city was. All during the course of my initial visits to the city I asked random locals about their town (the cab driver at the airport, the hotel receptionist). I was looking for honest feedback, not a scripted pitch. And they all loved their city. I took that as a great sign. I grew up in Wilmington NC, lived in the DC/Baltimore area and had spent the last 10 years in New York City when I made the decision to move Cleveland.
My EA orientation day included showing me all the neighborhoods close to the city (my request) including Tremont, Ohio City, Detroit/Shoreway, Lakewood, Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights and Shaker Square. They also introduced me to two other single 30something career women who lived in parts of town they thought I might consider and that was very helpful and started my first social circle. The EA team showed me more in one day than I could have found myself in weeks.
I moved into an apartment in the 9/12 district of downtown, that was within walking distance of my office, a grocery store, restaurants, bars, ballparks, the lakefront and live music venues. I tell the friends who visit me from New York that Cleveland is one of the country’s best hidden gems. Everything is so accessible and affordable. The percentage of residents in Cleveland who regularly go to ballgames, the theater, museums and concerts is so high compared to the number of New Yorkers who attend. Most of the Manhattan spots are filled with tourists because the tickets are so expensive, and you have to buy them so far in advance that locals don’t go very often.
Executive Arrangements invited me to several gatherings my first year in town to make sure I was happy, settled and connecting with other newcomers. One of those events was a dinner party in the theater district to introduce me to a Playhouse Square patron group called Leading Ladies. I joined and as a result met a group of women who all committed to the Broadway series together and so I have 7 shows to see with new friends this year.
I also participated in the Cleveland Leadership Center’s Civic Leadership Institute, a 6 week crash course that shares not only the history of the city but connects you to people from all walks of life to learn about all of the resources available in our region. I encourage all newcomers to do this.
I enjoy Friday night happy hours at the Heinen’s downtown. I can’t pick a favorite downtown restaurant as my boyfriend and I just rotate between them! I love the Cleveland International Film Festival. They play the same movies shown at Sundance and the Tribeca Film Festival! I can walk to shows at the House of Blues and all the restaurants on E. 4th Street and did the Escape in 60 experience in the Warehouse District.
I am such a fan of Executive Arrangements and of Cleveland, I even talked my younger sister into moving here as well. New Yorkers love to brag about their city and all it offers. Just one year after my move to Cleveland, that’s how strongly I feel about my new city!