Arlen Schumer / Contributing Artist
"I would want to be able to fly like Superman," the Connecticut-based artist who illustrated this month's comic cover says of his desired superpower. "I think one of our basic human desires is to fly like the birds, like the angels."
James Bigley II / Contributing Writer
What cocktail would Bigley, who wrote about Society Lounge's Mix Your Own Mondays, create if he could? "Espolon Tequila Blanco, pomegranate grenadine, pear juice, a dash of chilled moscato, garnished with a strawberry slice," he says. "I'd call it the Southern Belle because it would be really sweet, but it'd still deliver a pretty decent punch."
Andre Knott / Contributing Writer
WTAM 1100's Cleveland Browns beat reporter, interviewed Hall of Famer Jim Brown and fan-favorite Joe Haden about their love for football. He predicts Haden is "on the cusp of being one of the best in the game at his position."
Tony Tomsic / Contributing Artist
"I love the unpredictability of sports and the spontaneity of the human condition in sports," says Tomsic, the longtime Cleveland Press and Sports Illustrated photographer whose Jim Brown image opens this month's cover story. "There is nothing more delightful than a full-grown man or woman acting like a little kid."
Scott Pease / Contributing Artist
If Pease could live in any type of home he photographed for this month's feature, what would it be? "I would pick a ranch. I am not particularly fond of stairs and would prefer to live exclusively on one floor."
Ken Doctor / Contributing Writer
As The Plain Dealer prepares to diminish its print presence, industry analyst Doctor lays out a plan for its digital success. "We are becoming untethered, after 15 years of being glued to desktops. Thirty-three percent of news site traffic comes from smartphones and tablets; in three years, it will be more than 50 percent."
Kathy Ames Carr / ContributingWriter
Ames Carr, who wrote about Cleveland designer Devin VanderMaas for this month'sShop Talk, has a few accessories on her shopping bucket list. "I've always wanted a pair of Jimmy Choos or Manolo Blahniks," she says.
Bill Dickinson / Contributing Artist
Dickinson got serious about his photography hobby after college, and Cuyahoga ValleyNational Park is one fo Northfield resident's favorite subjects. "It's not a place where we're given to the grand landscapes of Tetons or Yosemite Valley. ... But just wandering around on trails, sometimes off trail, you run across lots little gems."
AJ Garces / Contributing Artist
Garces created the Boy Scout-inspired illustrations for our Suburban Field Guidestarting on pg. 143. The Austin, Texas, resident recalls his days in uniform. "Iremember learning how to tie a clove hitch," he says. "It's something I still use."
Mike Polk Jr. / Contributing Writer
While the story makes it seem like Mike Polk was the one harassing us for an interview,it was quite the opposite. We actually approached the comedian about profiling himself.Check out the results on pg. 140. "I was most surprised by what my voice soundslike on a recorder," he says. "Do I really sound like that?"
Heather Campbell / ContributingArtist
Campbell's photos can be seen in our Best Restaurants feature. "When they broughtme the daily special at the Greenhouse Tavern, I wasn't expecting to see a duck'shead and neck elegantly served on a wooden board," she says.
Laura Taxel / Contributing Writer
Taxel not only reviewed Scott Kim's Accent this month but also gave us the dishon small plates and took us into the world of edible flowers with the CrystallizedFlower Co. "One of the special things I bake is a ricotta lavender cheesecake withwhipped mascarpone topping," she says. "Candied violas and pansies would look lovelyon each plate."
Michael McNamara / ContributingArtist
The Phoenix photographer shot Francona during spring training at Goodyear Ballpark."I know this sounds cliche, but my favorite AL team is the Indians, based soleyon Major League," he says. "I can probably recite that movie from start to finishand I still get goosebumps when Charlie Sheen walks out to •Wild Thing.' "
Pat McManamon / Contributing Writer
The columnist for Fox Sports Ohio spent time with new Indians manager Terry Franconafor our feature on page 84. He predicts this will be a season to watch. "If thestarting pitchers come through, September could be a lot of fun."
Darren Gygi / Contributing Artist
Gygi created the illustration of Mayor Frank Jackson duking it out with Bozo theClown for this month's Talking Points. "This piece speaks volumes to me about theunique situation of running virtually unopposed in a mayoral election," he says.
Heide Aungst / Contributing Writer
For our Guide to Education stories, Heide reports on ways for parents to get moreinvolved in their children's education. As for her days in the classroom, Aungstsays, "I was not good at math, especially geometry. Now that the state standardscall for four years of math, I'm not sure how I would do in school."
Paula Pindroh / Contributing Artist
A native Clevelander who now resides in Charleston, S.C., Pindroh illustrated ConnieSchultz's essay on our city's storytellers. "With Lake Erie, the park systems, ourworld-class museums and amazing restaurants, there is so much to be proud of."
David Golladay / Contributing Writer
Golladay talked to Western Reserve Historical Society curator Derek Moore aboutthe museum's major renovations on pg. 20. "He found some really great items thathave been kind of forgotten in storage," says Golladay. "He recently found an oldwooden box that turned out to be a spark plug salesman's kit from the 1920s."
Adam Gercak / Contributing Artist
The photographer's image of the Cleveland Fire Department Fire Training Academyis featured in our Instagram photo essay on page 76. "I love the Sutro filter coupledwith the brightness options to punch the colors out."
Jennifer Keirn / Contributing Writer
After spending time with over-the-top injury lawyer Tim Misny for our story on page82, Keirn says she would seek his counsel if needed. "I would probably hire himas my laywer after hearing how he verbally assaults those insurance companies,"she says. "For all his complexities, he is that rare guy who truly is authentic."
Heather Hileman / ContributingArtist
Believe it or not, Hileman tried Great Lakes Brewing Co.'s Christmas Ale for thefirst time while photographing the three cocktails from local bartenders on pg.96. "I can defintely see what all the hype is about," she says.
Mark Winegardner / ContributingWriter
The Crooked River Burning author is currently working on Red-Blooded AmericanSmut. "It's not the Reuben Sturman story, but it is loosely based on somefacets of his empire," he says. "It also includes several other, genuinely obsceneelements of American life in the '60s, '70s and '80s, including the Kent State massacre."
Emma Borrelli / Contributing Artist
Borrelli photographed some of the breakfasts for our cover feature. She lists pancakesand maple syrup among her a.m. favorites. "When I was younger, my great aunt wouldbring my parents and I real maple syrup from her home in Chardon."
John Hitch / Contributing Writer
We sent Hitch to the Cleveland Hostel for two overnight stays while reporting thismonth's feature about its owner, Mark Raymond. "I was surprised how welcoming theplace is. Its European roots are covered over by a mound of Midwestern courtesyand quirkiness. I also learned that urban farmers wake up way too damn early."
Lisa Fovozzo Taras / ContributingArtist
Fovozzo Taras took photos of the state Route 82 bridge for our feature story onthe five men who plotted to blow it up. "I went about photographing the bridge throughthe eyes of one who at first may be intimated by this monumental structure, yetawed by its ginormous presence of man's effect in nature," she says.
Jane Day / Contributing Writer
Day wrote the 77 South story on Century Cycle's All Hail the Ale ride, which encouragesriders to dress up like their favorite beer. "I would dress as Blue Moon," she says,"because it would be fun to make and wear a giant orange-slice fascinator hat."
Anthony Freda / Contributing Artist
Freda created the illustration for "Standing for Peace" by using traditional hand-drawnpieces and scanned surfaces that he then assembled digitally. "I like the ironyof the Blue Angels' vapor forming a peace sign."
Tony Grossi / Contributing Writer
Writer Grossi, who profiled Browns rookie Trent Richardson, has covered the teamsince 1984. His reporting and analysis can be heard daily on ESPN 850 WKNR and readon ESPNCleveland.com. He predicts a turnaround for the team. "It's the beginningof a new Browns era. Hopefully this one won't start where the last one left off."
Gary Townswick / Contributing Artist
Townswick, who created the illustrations in our guide to the Horseshoe Casino, sayshe isn't much of a gambler. "When I do gamble, though, I like to play 21. I've neverhit it big, but I usually walk away ahead at the end of the night."
Lynne Thompson / Contributing Writer
Thompson visited two Northeast Ohio homes for the "Amazing Spaces" cover story.She says she would love to have Joel Testa's movie-inspired theater room in herown home, complete with the concession stand, stadium-style leather recliners anda 10-foot projection screen. "I am a couch potato at heart."
Ken Blaze / Contributing Artist
Blaze shot the creators behind the comic book The Lake Erie Monster for"Monsters, Inked." The photographer can be found reading comics with his 5-year-oldson. "Lately, we've had some of the classics around here like Green Lantern andIron Man."
George Bilgere / Contributing Writer
In this month's Voice, Bilgere talks technology. "Our obsession with staring attiny screens or talking to tiny screens has finally become so completely insanethat no self-respecting humorist can resist making fun of it," he says. "I couldgo on about this, but I have to go on Facebook now to tell my friends about thebagel I had for breakfast."
Randy Palmer / Contributing Artist
The illustrator created the Moneyball inspired caricature for this month's TalkingPoints, featuring Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald. "My favorite part ofthis illustration is the guy with the laptop," he says.
Andy Netzel / Contributing Writer
Netzel bonded with Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan radio personality and Euclid nativeChuck Booms over Cleveland sports. "He cheered for Brian Sipe growing up. He's cheeringfor Brandon Weeden now. He gets just as frustrated as we do. He suffered throughthe same 4-12 season as we did, whether he's paid to talk about it or not."
Cindy Luu / Contributing Artist
To make the illustrations for "Chain Reaction," the Virginia-based artist startedwith hand sketches, then used a brush pen to draw the final pieces. "The subtle,spontaneous curves of a hand-drawn line cannot be duplicated by a computer," shesays.
Jason Brill / Contributing Writer
As one of the writers for "Chain Reaction," Brill spends a few days a week on hisbike. His favorite spots to ride are along North Park and South Park boulevardsand at Shaker Lakes in Shaker Heights. His one tip to new riders? "Make sure youfind a bike that you really like and feel comfortable riding before making sucha big investment."
Terry Tidwell / Contributing Artist
For "Talking Points," Tidwell illustrates what a Cleveland superhero museum mightlook like. The assignment was easy for the Oklahoma resident. "My character, theTwilight Avenger, stands in a glass case at the Oklahoma History Museum."
Tricia Springstubb / ContributingWriter
In this month's "Voice" essay, Springstubb writes about the do overs of life, especiallyin marriage. When it comes to giving relationship advice, Springstubb, who's beenmarried for 38 years, draws inspiration from the last line of the Beatles' AbbeyRoad. "In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."
Jason Miller / Contributing Artist
Miller, who shot this month's cover and photos for "Best Doctors," says if he werea doctor himself, he'd be an opthalmologist. "I attribute a portion of my interestin photography to my better than average 20/15 vision."
Amy S. Eckert / Contributing Writer
In "Steel Away," Eckert writes about her romantic weekend in Pittsburgh, includinga stop at Station Square for the views of the city's skyline. "I would have likedto spend some time along the rivers at Point State Park, just strolling the grounds,admiring the fountain and the downtown buildings," she says. "But the weather didn'tcooperate."
Jeff Downie / Contributing Artist
Downie shot this month's "Sexy Singles" feature at his studio at 78th Street Studios.He met his wife on Match.com. "Our first date was at an ice rink, and the voicesin my head told me, 'This is the girl you are going to marry' as soon as I saw her."
Philip Metres / Contributing Writer
The John Carroll University professor talks about becoming a parent in this month'sVoice. His daughters Adele and Leila, who are now 9 and 5, have taught him a fewlessons. "When I'm with my kids, I try to be in the moment. No phone, no Facebook,"he says. "I'm told that it goes pretty quickly. I'd like not to miss too much ofit."
David Coulson / Contributing Artist
Coulson created the illustration for our "Map of the Fallen Stars." Coulson, wholives in Pittsburgh, says he was shocked to learn of the corruption in Cleveland."I'd always thought it was a bastion of high-minded virtue."
Afi-Odelia E. Scruggs / ContributingArtist
A member of Antioch Baptist Church, Scruggs writes about the Rev. Marvin McMickle,who recently stepped down after 24 years as the church's pastor, in this month'sVoice essay. "He's an intelligent, erudite, thoughtful man, who thinks the Temptationsare the best musical group in the world," she says.
Benjamin Wirtz Siegel / ContributingArtist
Wirtz Siegel photographed Metro Hardwoods owner Dean Heidelberg at his urban mill."Seeing Dean at work helped me understand that cutting lumber can be as much ofa work of art as the objects created from it," Wirtz Siegel says.
Ronald E. Kisner / ContributingArtist
Kisner sat down with the Rev. Emmitt Theophilus Caviness, who will be enshrinedat the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame in Atlanta, Ga., next month. "I havemet few people with such an unshakable, positive outlook on life who has remainedapproachable, affable and humble despite his immense accomplishments," he says.
Billy Delfs / Contributing Artist
Delfs teamed up with writer John Hitch for a Sunday of tailgating at the Muni Lotto catch fans wearing Brown jerseys for "Dawg Tags." "The energy the fans bringis that the Browns will win," he says. "They believe in them."
John Hitch / Contributing Writer
While Delfs snapped photos, Hitch interviewed fans about their jersey choices andmemories of being a Browns fan. "By the end of the day, we became the place whereall the best fans wanted to be," says Hitch. "And we didn't even have beers or brats."
Brad Ronevich / Contributing Artist
Ronevich had a chance to sample some of the dishes he shot for Best of Cleveland."The ham and kale breakfast that Brandt Evans at Pura Vida put together was surprisinglyscrumptious," he says. "I never thought I would enjoy kale to be honest."
D.X. Ferris / Contributing Writer
For his story on Cleveland State University president Ronald Berkman, Ferris visitedthe campus, which has seen $500 million worth of improvements. "The biggest changein recent years is the collective attitude. Students are excited to be there," hesays. "You can spend all the money you want on buildings, but you can't buy thatkind of result."
Jeffrey Mangiat / ContributingArtist
Mangiat spent two days manipulating a deck of cards, among other items, for the"Texas Holdup" illustration on page 86. You won't find the New Jersey illustratornear Atlantic City, though. "I like to play casino games on the computer," he says.
Sarah McDonald / Contributing Writer
McDonald returned to her hometown of Richmond, Va., for "Long Weekends & Quick Trips.""Visit the South of James Farmers Market for awesome produce, fresh baked goodsand Tex's tuxedo dog (a mouthwatering hot dog topped with beef brisket), live musicand kids' activities," she says. "It's a great place to relax on Saturday."
Laura Watilo Blake / ContributingArtist
Watilo Blake, who photographed the homes of chef Jonathan Bennett and MOCA's JillSnyder, left with some decorating tips. "Seeing Jill's place reminds me that I don'tneed that brand-new couch from Pottery Barn."
Kim Crow / Contributing Writer
The former Plain Dealer fashion columnist opened her own Tremont boutique,Evie Lou, last year. In this month's Voice column, Crow writes about a little girlwearing pink leggings who visits the store with her mom. "The moment was so poignant;it just stuck with me for weeks," she says. "Her sunny optimism is a lesson foreveryone."
Robert Podgorski / ContributingArtist
The Poland-based illustrator created this month's cover using the Photoshop penciltool to draw each element pixel by pixel. "The Terminal Tower was quite hard todepict. There were a lot of details, but the final effect was worth it."
John Hitch / Contributing Writer
Hitch loves comic books just like Ultimate Spider-Man writer Brian Michael Bendis("Power Source"). Although Hitch wouldn't disclose how many he owns, he did sharehis superpower desire. "Time travel, so I could keep Ron Harper a Cavalier to blockJordan's shot and to keep Jose Mesa from imploding in the ninth inning of Game 7."
Danny Vega / Contributing Artist
The photographer captured Alan Cox for this month's story on the WMMS 100.7 radiopersonality. "Alan's a metal head from way back," Vega says. "We joked about thecraziness of Slayer mosh pits and comic-book-style metal artist King Diamond."
Dan Moulthrop / Contributing Writer
In this month's Talking Points, the former host of WCPN 90.3's Sound of Ideas discusses SB 5. "There is no issue more pressing and more important to our collectivefuture than the quality of our public education system," he says. Moulthrop is nowwith Civic Commons, a social media site that merges online and face-to-face civicconversations.
Michael Cavotta / ContributingArtist
The photographer shot multiple dishes and drinks for this month's cover package."The Singapore Redux was my favorite to shoot," he says of the drink from Bác."It has a great color, and it's got a dried chili in it. How cool, or hot, is that?"
Jeannie Roberts / ContributingWriter
Roberts met former Indians pitcher Len Barker at Jack's Deli in South Euclid totalk about his perfect game. "During the interview Eddie Rosenthal, a Clevelanderwho is part owner of the New York Yankees, came over to our table to shake Len'shand," she says. "He was in there earlier than we were but waited around just tosay hi to Barker."
Jeanine Henderson / ContributingArtist
The New York City artist created the illustrations for "The City List." Henderson,who visited Cleveland as a kid, says she's ready to make a return trip. "I'd reallylove to try one of those Happy Dogs with the alien relish."
Jeff Niesel / Contributing Writer
Niesel has been writing about music for 25 years, so this month's interview withBrent Kirby wasn't his first run-in with the singer-songwriter. "But I've neverspent any time with him in the studio," Niesel says. "So I was surprised to seehow relaxed and comfortable he is when doing something as tedious as tracking vocals."
Brian Hubble / Contributing Artist
The illustrator, based in Newport News, Va., spent 32 hours melting and transferringphotographs for his illustration that opens "The Irishman Chronicles." "When theimagery you start with is this good," he says, "the piece makes itself."
Barry Goodrich / Contributing Writer
Goodrich and Esquire writer Scott Raab, whom he interviewed for "Raab Rage,"share more than just a passion for sports. "We both worked at the James Tavern [inWoodmere] without knowing it," Goodrich says. "I was making peanut butter soup inthe kitchen while Scott was tending bar — in Colonial dress no less."
Matt Tullis / Contributing Writer
Tullis learned the Womack Family Band is a caffeinated crew while interviewing themfor this month's story. "I've never seen anyone drink as much coffee. ... In themonth it took them to record their album, they went through 25 pounds of coffeebeans."
Thom Sheridan / Contributing Artist
As Great Lakes Publishing's party photographer since 2000, Sheridan has coveredmore than 1,000 parties. The one that sticks out? The 2007 Cleveland Indians Hallof Fame Celebration. "It was right around the time of the playoffs," he says ofphotographing inductees Andre Thornton and Charles Nagy. "I felt like a kid in acandy store."
Kyle Christy / Contributing Artist
The LA photographer headed to the Hot in Cleveland
set to capture the show'sfour leading ladies with a few unusual props. "They really went for it with thebubble guns," he says. "The pictures are some of my favorites ever."
Marsha McGregor / Contributing Writer Great LakesPublishing
In the Voice essay "Auld Lang Syne," McGregor recalls a teenage New Year's Eve adventure.This year she will ring in 2011 with her husband at their Hudson home. "We may getreally crazy at midnight, go outside and bang some pans with a wooden spoon. It'ssomething he used to do as a kid," she says. "Pretty exciting stuff, I know."
Lori Weber / Contributing Writer
Weber, who explored downtown Willoughby for "In the Neighborhood," found a lot ofinteresting shops and businesses, but one really stood out. "Cast On Cafe was afun find because it combines knitting and tea — two of my favorite things."
Gary and Laura Dumm / Contributing ArtistsGreat Lakes Publishing
Working with Harvey Pekar is just one of Gary's career highlights. Another? Collaboratingwith his wife, Laura, for the past 25 years. "I think we like each other enoughthat we will keep it going," says Gary. See their illustrations for "Our MiserableYear" starting on page 118. He sketches in black and white, and she adds the color.
Len Mastri and Melissa McClelland / ContributingArtists
Mastri and McClelland are vegetarians, but that doesn't mean they don't occasionallygrab diner food. "When we do, it's a guilty pleasure," says Mastri, a photographerwho has worked with McClelland, a food and prop stylist, for 25 years. The duo,known as Element Photo, photographed Big Al's blueberry pancakes for this month'scover and created the diner counter on pages 96 and 97. As fate would have it, whenit was time to order lunch, McClelland opened the studio's menu drawer and foundDiner on 55th's right on top. "It must have been a sign," McClelland says.
Beth Segal / Contributing Artist Great Lakes Publishing
Shooting a tailgating scene for this month's cover was a blast for the Beachwood-basedphotographer. That is until the last critical element: the Stadium Mustard squiggleon the bratwurst. "After a quick trip to the arts and crafts store to get the perfectmustard dispenser, we finally got that elusive, elegant spontaneity."
Beth Troy / Contributing WriterGreat Lakes Publishing
Troy says the best part about talking to Project Runway contestant Valerie Mayenwas gossiping about her competition. "She told me Mondo was a big risk-taker andimpeccable in his work, but he was also a little clingy and a little diva."
Jane Ammeson / Contributing EditorGreat Lakes Publishing
While on her way to the Topnotch Resort & Spa in Stowe, Vt., for "Climb Every Mountain,"Ammeson made a detour. "I passed the Ben & Jerry's factory in Waterbury, so I madea U-turn and headed back." Her flavor of choice? Mission to Marzipan.
Paula Pindroh / Contributing ArtistGreat LakesPublishing
Creating the illustrations for the Private Schools cover story took Pindroh backto her days at North Olmsted High School. "I remembered how much I loved all mydifferent art classes," says the 1998 graduate. "I could not be the artist I amtoday without the tools, instruction and encouragement I received in school."
Jerry Mann / Contributing ArtistGreatLakes Publishing
Mann was shooting the exterior of the home on our cover when he heard music comingfrom somewhere. "I thought I needed my ears cleaned. As I came closer, I could seeit was owner Gene Blackstone playing his grand piano."
Stuart Warner / Contributing Editor Great Lakes Publishing
Facebook exchange led to Warner's essay about ethnic profiling. "A journalist friendsaid he would have nothing to worry about as a result of Arizona's new law becausehe's a citizen. I responded, 'Well, how about this story.' I didn't get a reply.I repeated the story to Connie Schultz, who said if I didn't write about it, shewould."
Eric Mull / Contributing ArtistGreatLakes Publishing
Mull is no stranger to Cleveland Magazine
. This month's cover, shot atLedges Trail in Boston Heights, is his third cover this year. "I had to hike twomiles with all of my equipment, two models, an art director and my dog, Bob, ...while wearing loafers."
Rebecca Meiser / Contributing Editor Great Lakes Publishing
While at the Cleveland Accordion Museum for her story, "The Music of Their Lives,"Meiser had a chance to test out one of the 466 accordions there. "I learned thatI am a horrible musician," she says. "The accordion is a really, really hard instrumentto play."
Jennifer Keirn / Contributing EditorGreat Lakes Publishing
When Keirn interviewed Al Bowman about his Hinckley family farm for our Rating theSuburbs feature, she got more than just a story on the rural township. "I even gotthe secret to the family applesauce recipe — Red Hot candies."
Bonnie Holland / Contributing ArtistGreat LakesPublishing
Holland created the idyllic look for this month's cover. But not everything waspicture-perfect at the shoot. "The bunny escaped," she says. "Bailey, the studiogolden retriever, decided to 'help' and looked behind sets to see where he went.They ended up napping together after their high jinks!"
Taxel photographed the pan-fried pork chop saltimbocca on the cover and also thegourmet hot dogs on page 65. "Shooting and eating those Happy Dogs — wow and yum."
Matheson, who talked up Jonathon Sawyer about his Best New Restaurant, The GreenhouseTavern, says the chef greeted her with a plate of vegan pork rinds. "I could barelykeep the drool off my face as I scarfed these down in a way my mother would deemless than ladylike."