Finally, we get some good financial news. Cuyahoga County ranked 30th on CNN/Money’s (www.money.cnn.com) list of highest-paying counties in the U.S. The average Cuyahoga County resident earns $37,000 a year. That might sound low considering the average annual salary in Manhattan is $73,000, but don’t pack your bags just yet. According to the Web site’s “Cost of Living Calculator,” New Yorkers need to pull down $77,000 a year to maintain the same purchasing power an annual salary of $37,000 provides in Cleveland (housing is 295 percent higher and health care costs are 48 percent more in New York). Is there any place where your dollar stretches further than it does here? It seems our snowbirds have the right idea. An annual salary of $34,000 in Jacksonville, Fla., or $35,000 in Phoenix, Ariz., will take you as far as $37,000 does in Cleveland.
At least one Clevelander claims to have had sex while ironing clothes. We don’t believe it either. But a survey of residents in 15 U.S. cities by iron manufacturer Rowenta turned up some quirky ironing habits. Overall, the company classifies Cleve-landers as “Ironing Aficionados,” people who iron frequently and have been known to flatten out underwear and dollar bills when the mood strikes. The survey discovered nearly 45 percent of Clevelanders iron at least once a week. An equal share said they enjoy the task. We give even our casual threads a once-over. Seventy-three percent reported ironing jeans, 58 percent said they press T-shirts and 41 percent admitted to flattening out their gym clothes. Despite our “Ironing Aficionado” status, we draw the line at food preparation. Not so in Chicago, Boston, New York and Washington, D.C. At least one resident in each city says they’ve used their iron to make grilled cheese sandwiches.