Over in University Circle, there are a thousand new students to the city of Cleveland at Case Western Reserve University. Around thirty five of those students (only five or six from Ohio) are already city experts because they participated in Case Explores and Case Eats, pre-Welcome Days programs that had them move to campus early and explore what Cleveland has to offer.
I was fortunate enough to be able to volunteer to coordinate both of the schedules and lead the students on Case Explores. Both groups were able to enjoy bowling at The Corner Alley, dinner at The Greenhouse Tavern, a talk on local food in the Arcade, and experience the North Coast Harbor attractions (Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Great Lakes Science Center). However, as can be inferred by the title of the program, Case Eats had a food-centric schedule that also included cooking classes, a farmer’s market, and what many students considered to be their highlight – a restaurant crawl through the Historic Warehouse District. Beginning at Metropolitan and ending at XO with a stop at Crop Bistro along the way, the students ate their way through some of the fine dining culture of Downtown.
Case Explores took the approach of digging deep into the culture of Downtown. We took the students to the 49th floor of Key Tower to show off the view from the offices of Squires, Sanders, & Dempsey before getting a backstage tour of four of Playhouse Square’s theaters. After a walk down Euclid Avenue the group had lunch before one of the highlights – a talk and tour of City Hall with Mayor Frank Jackson. The Mayor took pictures with all the students and spoke very candidly for over an hour about leadership, education, Cleveland, and life lessons. We then got a behind the scenes look at East Fourth street from developer Ari Maron before seeing the Tribe in a losing effort against the Los Angeles Angels.
These students started the week with no experience in Cleveland and walked away genuinely impressed. I consistently heared them on their cell phones telling people what they had done and what they liked – nice people, clean city, great fun. Hopefully they’ll extend their knowledge to their friends now as well.
This post was written by a DCA City Advocate. To learn more about the City Advocate Program, please click here.