Saturday, October 22, 2011

"Hello, Cleveland!"*

Way back in September, my best friend (wave hi Christine) called me up and said, "If I buy tickets to see Duran Duran four days after your birthday, will you come visit me?" Um, hellz yeah, sign me up! [n.b. We saw them play twice in 1988/89 in Atlanta and I haven't seen them since.]

I flew out to Cleveland on Wednesday afternoon before the show that evening. It was my first time flying Southwest, which is a little interesting. It was my first time at BWI airport, too. I'm not a fan - it's very difficult to find a bathroom there. The flight itself was short and easy, even though we were delayed nearly an hour taking off. Not really a fan of Cleveland's airport either; I swear there is not an arrivals/departures board anywhere in the airport.

For dinner before the show, we went to Bricco, which is directly across the street from the theatre. We had an appetizer of goat cheese in spicy marinara with fried pita and the bartender recommend a great wheat beer (Weihenstephaner) to me. I had the risotto for my entree and my friend had the parmesan crusted tilapia. All of it was great. Then we headed across the street.

The band was playing at Playhouse Square, in the State Theatre. Playhouse Square is the largest performing arts complex outside of New York City, with eight stages, 1000+ performances a year and over 1,000,000 visitors. The State Theater was built in the 1920s as a movie house and is the largest of the theatres at Playhouse Square. We got to our seats just in time to catch the end of the opening act, a band I have never heard of and that wasn't really my style. Duran Duran, on the other hand, is just my style and they sounded exactly the same as they did in the 80s. They played a great mix of their older hits and newer songs.

The next day, we went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. after lunch at Great Lakes Brewing Company. There are a lot of microbreweries in Cleveland and I think I had more beer while I was there than have all year (I tried the Dortmunder Gold, to go with my bratwurst and pierogis. We were in the museum for about four hours and seriously could have spent another two hours. They have thousands and thousand of pieces of memorabilia from the roots of rock and roll in bluegrass, gospel, jazz and blues all the way through a stage costume worn by Lady Gaga last year. You could spend a hour or more just watching the multimedia production that tells about all of the inductees.

For dinner that night, we went to Lolita, which is a Michael Symon (of Iron Chef fame) restaurant. For me, the highlight of the meal was the Big Board, a selection of house cured meats. Holy cow, was it good. There was prosciutto, sopressata, a lamb pate, a chicken liver mousse, a shredded duck packed under duck fat and a cured sirloin. I also had a good beer here, called White Rascal, from Avery Brewing.

Even though it was gray and raining horizontally, I could tell that Cleveland is really a pretty cool place to live. Friday night, there was a great happy hour party at my friends' house, with homemade pumpkin beer. We will have to go back in the summer for baseball and to see the art museum, natural history museum, zoo and the Great Lakes Science Center as well as all the parks that we missed on this trip.

* Bonus if you know where I got the title for this post.

1 comment:

cbbean said...

Thank you for the lovely post of our temp, adopted hometown. This is very sad, but I do not know where you got the title for your post.