As if I could love my beautiful hometown any more, Cleveland just wrapped up what I’ve been calling its “Best Month Ever.” Our little renaissance started earlier and will go much later, of course. But with the Cavaliers winning the NBA Championship on June 19 — and thus ending a 52-year drought in the city — it became clear that 2016 is the year of the 216 area code.
June brought the warmth of summer, the bluest skies, long days and magical sunsets. Last weekend, I finally attended the Cleveland Museum of Art’s signature Solstice party, a must-see event made even bigger this year in honor of the museum’s bicentennial.
On the sports front, the Cavs made a historic and record-breaking comeback. Each game, home or away, brought packs of fans to downtown. The championship parade welcomed an estimated 1.3 million people. Haters will say that’s a stretch, but the photos don’t lie — and the parade inched along for hours as the vehicles tried parting a sea of wine and gold. (And I’ve been taking screen shots of everyone’s Instagrams, sorry not sorry!)
Just before the Cavs took home the trophy, I witnessed the Lake Erie Monsters hockey team win the Calder Cup. And the Indians have won 13 straight ball games, tying a franchise record. Roll Tribe!
Our renovated Public Square is officially open, and the revitalized Flats East Bank is in full summer swing. The Kimpton Schofield Hotel opened in the beautiful, historic Schofield Building; the new Hilton is luring guests with the greatest views and coolest artwork in each room (see below!); and the marble-clad Drury Hotel calls a 1930s-era former Board of Education building home. Can I get a stay-cation?
Looking ahead, this month will bring a flood of people to town — plus a hefty dose of national media attention — for the Republican National Convention. And according to the New York Times article “A Revitalized Cleveland is Ready for its Close-Up,” 29 projects with more than $3.5 billion in investment have opened or are scheduled to open in the city center from 2016 to 2018.
Things are looking up for Cleveland, a city that has long suffered a bad rep. I’ve felt such an outpouring of love and pride and hope and excitement lately. The people who live here can already list a thousand reasons Cleveland rocks. I can’t wait for a whole new wave of visitors to fall in love, too.
Photos by Hallie Rybka unless noted