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October 2004 Issue

  • Who is My Neighbor?

    That question begins associate editor Erick Trickey's story "Promised Land" (page 78), which explores why a group of Euclid residents are fighting plans for Providence Baptist's new church and more than 100 new homes surrounding it.

    From the Providence pulpit, it's easy to see that the true neighbor is "the one who has compassion." But outside that sanctuary, such clarity is clouded by politics, economics, lawsuits, race and fear — sentiments that are much farther away from compassion and a neighborly sense of community than the 23 acres the congregation wants for its new church.

A la Carte
  • Down South

    There's a long stretch of north-south road — known variously as State Road, Main Street or, for the real old-timers, Old Route 8 — that traverses much of the length of Summit County. The portion of the road that cuts through Cuyahoga Falls, the ghost of Northampton (it was annexed by the aforementioned city back in the late '80s) and Peninsula has been a fixture in my life since childhood.

    Grandma and Grandpa's old house was on this road and you can still see the remnants of their orchard back in the woods behind the old Wonder Bakery Thrift Store. This road was always a mixed-use byway with agrarianism bumping up against small car dealerships, ice-cream stands, pet groomers and just about anything else you could imagine on a quasi-rural artery on the edge of highly populated suburbia. There seemed, especially, to be a large number of motels advertising hourly or weekly rates that my folks wouldn't let me near and restaurants with names evocative of the Old West. (The Wagon Wheel springs to mind.) In short, State Road had the aura of a place with more of a past than a future, and I was often sadder for it.

  • Out of the Ordinary

    Park City Diner in Valley View claims it's "not your ordinary diner," whatever that means. After all, these days, a diner can be anything from a greasy spoon to such aggressively upscale eateries as Atlanta's Buckhead Diner or the Fog City Diner in San Francisco. These aberrations aside, however, most of us have a fairly clear mental image of what a diner should look like and what a typical diner menu should offer. In our diner of the mind, the room is long and narrow, with decor evocative of the dining cars of the golden age of rail travel. The menu features standard, simple American fare: comfortable food like burgers, fries, club sandwiches, chili, soups and simple desserts.

    It might seem surprising, then, that Frank and Malisse Sinito, owners of Lockkeepers — regarded by many savvy diners as one of the area's best and most creative upscale spots — added the Park City Diner to the Thornburg Station complex that houses their flagship restaurant.

Cellar Notes
  • America's Meritage Heritage

    When it comes to wine, Americans like to call it as they see it. Which is why calling a wine by its varietal name — Chardonnay, Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon — is so popular. In the U.S., wines that contain at least 75 percent of one grape may be labeled using the varietal name.

    But what happens if a wine is actually a blend of many grapes? In Old World countries, a blended wine usually takes on the name of the region in which it is produced (i.e. French Bordeaux and Italian Chianti). Before 1989, American winemakers creating blends had two options: call their blends "table wines" or make up a proprietary name such as Opus One. Neither option defined the quality of the wine or the grapes used in the blend.

  • Smoke Alarm

    There is a crisp aroma of vegetable oil around Satasha Nguyen as she walks through Asia Plaza while on a break from her cooking shift at a nearby restaurant.

    Satasha's short black hair is pressed flat and smooth by the hot, grease-filmed air in which she works. And then there's the smoke. Many of the restaurant's patrons are avid smokers, as are many of the workers — except for Satasha.

  • War of Words

    Vice presidential candidates Dick Cheney and John Edwards face off in front of the nation Oct. 5 at Case Western Reserve University's Veale Convocation Center, leaving us to wonder: Does the VP debate really have any effect whatsoever on the outcome of the election? We ponder the strategies, surprises and surreal moments tied to our nation's 28-year-old tradition of letting the guys in the No. 2 slots go a few rounds with each other every four years.

News Bite
  • News Bites

    Classics offers two wine dinners this month. On Oct. 6, a selection from the Gaja Winery in Piedmonte, Italy, will be paired with a menu crafted by chef de cuisine Guillaume Brard and sommelier Manuel Nieves. Cost is $250 per person. Then, on Oct. 12, Laurent Drouhin of Joseph Drouhin will proffer Burgundian-style wines from his winery's vineyards. Cost is $175 per person. Call (216) 707-4157.

Cool Cleveland
  • Pointing the Way

    Our economy is in trouble and our region is in flux. After completely missing the dot-com boom, Northeast Ohio is slow to adapt to the new rules of the 21st century: regionalism, internationalism and creativity. We watch other regions, such as California's Silicon Valley or North Carolina's Research Triangle Park, work collaboratively to compete for jobs and brains, but we struggle to do so ourselves. While Cleveland possesses a famously ethnic population, we haven't developed coherent strategies for reconnecting with the world economy. And though we are finally starting to talk about the value of creativity in stimulating innovation in our local economy, we see precious few examples at work.

    Our hunk of the world is starting to divide into two attitudes: one that whines about our increasingly well-known shortcomings and one that turns off the TV, puts down the paper and goes out to be part of a growing community interested in change. Sometimes, all we need to jump from one category to the other is a few pointers and a little push.

Cover Story
  • Best Bargains

    Best Look for Less

    Willing to be a bit of a guinea pig? Get your hair cut for $5.50 by students at the Fairview Beauty Academy (440-734-5555) in Fairview Park. Go all out with a $10 manicure, $20 pedicure, $10 facial, $20 updo or $5.25 shampoo and set (mostly for the gray-and-curly crowd). Walk-ins only. Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

  • Best of Downtown

    1. Best Place to Mix Lunch and Literature

    Eastman Reading Garden, next to the Cleveland Public Library. Whether you take Proust with your PB&J or Brontë with your BLT, the Eastman is a comfortable place for a midday break. Slide a chair over to the fountain and relax.

    2. Best Brownies

    Cakes Plus, Colonial Marketplace
    They are named after the tastiest things on Earth: Raspberry Chambord, German chocolate, toasted walnuts and more. We ate a sampler for lunch.

  • Best of Food

    Best Kielbasa

    The Frank Moravcik Band has been playing polka music at festivals and events for decades, making members Frank Moravcik, Joe Reboudo and Dan Peters the choice people to choose the best kielbasa in the Cleveland area.

  • Best of Going Out
    Just got paid -- now what? It depends on your posse, your baggage, your compadre. Check out our chart below to discover how to have the most fun, whoever you're with.
  • Best of the Big Spenders

    $27,000 Evening Gown

    By Oscar de la Renta, of course. Saks Fifth Avenue, Beachwood Place, (216) 292-5500

    $355,000 Watch

    This limited-edition Ulysse Nardin watch has an animated 18-karat gold circus scene on its face, sapphire crystal and a crocodile strap. Picciones' Jewelers, Ravenna, (330) 296-5374

  • Best of What's In


    Getting beaned in the head no longer has to be just a fond memory from your youth. Cleveland Plays is offering a fall dodgeball league. "It was something that people have been talking about for a while and we decided to go ahead and do it," says managing partner Doug Bielinski. To relive a less painful grade-school memory, consider joining the kickball league. or (216) 269-5019

    Naming Baby Girls After '40s Screen Stars

    Through the '90s and into this century, birthing wards were filled with newborn Madisons and Taylors — monikers that sounded as fresh and new as the babies that got them. Nowadays, those names ring old and really old names seem fresh, hence the debut of many tiny Avas, Isabellas, Mias and more. (Full disclosure: Cleveland Magazine staffers have recently welcomed Olivia, Audrey and Stella into this world.) Want to be truly original? Try Karen, Jennifer, Melissa or Kim. But avoid Emma, the most popular girl's name in Ohio in 2003.

  • Best Ways to Avoid the Innerbelt

    How long is your commute?

    Most respondents have it good, with 41percent driving less than 15 minutes to work. But for the 51 percent of you whose commute stretches up to 45 minutes and for the 8 percent who travel about an hour, check out this insider's guide to avoiding the Innerbelt.

    By now, we all know the drill. Every morning, the traffic reports are essentially the same: Traffic is slow on I-77 North from Pleasant Valley to Rockside Road and again at the 480 merge. Things are moving slow on the I-71 North MetroHealth curve onto the Innerbelt Bridge and I-90 West is backed up from the West 41st Street exit into downtown.

Kids A-Z
  • Best of Kids
    The Editors

    Best Car-seat Saviors

    We've found another reason to thank many of your local fire fighters and police officers: They'll put your child car seat in for you for free, eliminating what must be the No. 2 reason new parents go crazy (sleep deprivation wins). What's more, they'll help even if you're not a resident. Of the many suburbs we called, only Lakewood and Cleveland Heights said they never install car seats. The two best we found were Westlake and Solon.

  • Fast Lane

    Imagine your daughter calls home and says, "Hey, Mom, so a bazillion guys are gonna see me naked!" Your thoughts. "I'm very supportive of my daughter in everything she does," says Carmen Figueroa, mother of Playboy Playmate of the Year Carmella DeCesare of Avon Lake. "Besides, Playboy isn't nudity. It's art."

    Hold on. There are pictures in Playboy? When did this happen?

  • Promised Land

    "Who is my neighbor?"

    It's Sunday afternoon in Providence Baptist Church on Cleveland's Kinsman Road, and a nattily dressed elderly man is retelling the Samaritan's story to the women in the pews, tastefully attired in blue, black and floral-print dresses, and the men in button-down shirts. "Which of these three is my neighbor? The one who had compassion."

  • Tale Waggin'

    When the Browns left town, I boycotted the NFL. I didn't even watch the Super Bowl. Like everyone else, I was heartbroken. But by the time the 1999 expansion draft came, I was hungry for anything having to do with my beloved Browns. That's how the whole idea of "The Bone Lady" started.

    I was born in Cleveland, grew up in Bath Township and Richfield, but was living in Columbus when the Browns moved. I've moved back here since. Being in Columbus and anxiously awaiting the Browns' return, an idea popped in my head. I woke up one day and said, "I'm going to paint my car like a Browns helmet and put an 8-foot bone on top." My friends said, "No, you're not. That's a Volvo. You'll ruin your car."

  • The Lap of Luxury

    The Siberian husky has to get the ball first every time. The toy poodle always wants to yell. Daily has separation anxiety. And Bandit thinks he's in charge.

    But Mindy Patterson is the leader of this pack and she treats her canine clan to resort-caliber accommodations while their busy owners work downtown.

  • The Haunting

    The house hides behind a green shroud. Dozens of tall, scrawny trees are bunched together on the lot's edge, sprouting leaves only at their tops. The house merely shows what it has to: a tan brick facade behind a long, wooden, wraparound porch. The second floor and attic, sided with chestnut-dark wood, perch up in the trees' shadow, only visible if you walk under the leafy veil.

    In the daytime, you could almost dismiss the house as another stately, sturdy piece of history in the 80-year-old neighborhood near Cleveland Heights' Coventry Road. Except that the windows are blotted out by black garbage bags, layered dust, disheveled blinds and stained curtains with faded, generations-old patterns. Looking at them, I figure the rumor must be true: No one's lived in the house for 40 years.

Special Sections
  • 10 Secrets to a Healthier You

    Dr. Barbara Williams — Preventing cardiovascular disease

    When Williams' father was diagnosed with coronary disease nine years ago, she was a 37-year-old resident who had fallen out of the habit of exercising and ate three to four servings of red meat a week along with heaping helpings of "comfort foods" such as pasta.

  • 25 Under $25

    1 Make a Still Life

    The phrase "still life" doesn't apply only to paintings. Linda Wietzke, owner of Linda Street Design (440-871-5011), suggests making one for the kitchen. Scour bargain stores for a basket and bottles of various sizes to fill with oils and vinegars you use in your kitchen. "Group them [in the basket] so you have various heights and colors," Wietzke says. Add cloves of garlic or small potted herbs for a more complex arrangement.

    2 Bring the Outside In

    Lisa Smith, an interior designer at Donald Doskey Design Inc. (216-283-4853), suggests making an elegant holiday centerpiece using materials from your yard and kitchen. Take a few evergreen cuttings and collect several pinecones. Layer cranberries and the cones in the bottom of a glass vase and top it off with greenery. Look for a vase 1 to 2 feet tall, which can be purchased at stores such as Crate & Barrel for less than $20.

  • A Hand Up

    Perhaps because this is an election year, we're hearing more inspirational stories about how anyone in America can make good, how children from impoverished families can achieve greatness.

    In Northeast Ohio, such stories aren't hard to find. Just ask anyone involved with Cleveland Scholarship Programs Inc.

  • Room Service

    Doors can be incredibly effective home-improvement tools, especially during the hectic holiday season. Just close them and clutter, dirt and outdated decor magically disappear seconds before family and friends arrive. Unfortunately, the trick doesn't work when it comes to fixing up the spaces where you actually entertain your guests.

    The good news: There's still time to do some redecorating before those nearest and dearest to you arrive for annual brunches, cocktail parties and dinners. On the following pages, we chronicle the transformation of a great room, dining room and kitchen (in each case, the unappealing decor and/or layout was inherited from a previous homeowner or builder) from mediocre — or worse — to downright marvelous.

  • Taking a 'Pause on Hormone Therapy

    "It's not something I discuss with friends. There are so many things about our biology that we don't talk about."

    — a 51-year-old lawyer

    "I took hormone-replacement therapy long term until a couple of years ago. … A few symptoms returned — night sweats and some hot flashes, and there is more vaginal dryness — but after doing research on it, I just didn't want to be on it anymore."

  • The Rise of Alternative Medicine

    Liz Ramos' life hit wall in August 2000 when an angry co-worker assaulted her as she inspected and packed automobile headlight-bulb shields for shipment at a local manufacturing facility. The 27-year-old Lakewood resident fell to the floor during the attack, suffering a sprained left knee and, worse yet, two herniated discs in her lower back. The latter injury proved incapacitating. Suddenly, Ramos could hardly get out of bed, let alone drive a car, go to work, chase after her then-3-year-old son or clean the house.

    Over the next four years, she tried everything her doctor prescribed to alleviate the constant pain. Painkillers made her sick to her stomach. Muscle relaxants left her groggy. Physical therapy only made her condition worse. Epidural block treatments ceased to provide relief almost as soon as the series of shots was completed.

  • Winter Greenery

    Poinsettias are pretty. But if that's the only holiday plant you know, then it's time to expand your horizons. We asked a handful of local plant experts for their advice on bringing some truly unique blooms into your home this holiday season.

Guide to Education
  • Kids on Campus
    Heide Aungst

    When Brittany Schenk of University Heights decided to go to college, her mother, Judy, joined her in one of her classes. While most college kids wouldn't want Mom tagging along, Brittany was thrilled.

    After all, Brittany was just a sophomore — in high school. At 15, she took advantage of the Post-Secondary Enrollment Option program at the eastern campus of Cuyahoga Community College.

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