Big town amenities and a strong sense of community
My dad was in the Navy, which meant my family always lived near an ocean. So when my job required me to relocate from San Diego to the mid-west, it was natural for me to consider cities that bordered one of the Great Lakes. I felt Cleveland provided the right mix of big town amenities coupled with a strong sense of community and it’s where I met my wife and raised our two daughters.
Cleveland’s arts and music options coupled with a vibrant restaurant and craft brewery scene mean there’s no shortage of things to do here. I also love the Cleveland Metroparks, an incredible asset for the region. The Rocky River Reservation’s trails and paths are just a short run or bike from my West Park home.
Many who have never visited Cleveland don’t realize its direct physical connection to Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River and when I joined Western Reserve Rowing Association, I got a chance to experience Cleveland from a completely different perspective. That experience led me to found Share the River, an organization that promotes the social, recreational and economic vibrancy of Cleveland’s waterfront. When people see pictures and videos of maritime, commercial and recreational stakeholders sharing the same body of water, it changes their perception of the Cleveland they thought they knew.
Cleveland’s location on the water helped drive its growth as an industrial powerhouse. It’s great to see how former industrial sites along the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie are now being transformed into park spaces and places where people can enjoy a drink and a meal, and increasingly, even live near the water. If you think you know Cleveland but haven’t spent any time here, come visit, you’ll be surprised by what you'll see!
This GuestBlog by Jim Ridge was published in City Visitor’s 2017 Northeast Ohio Relocation Guide.
About Jim Ridge
Jim Ridge is the founder of Share the River, an organization that promotes the social, recreational and economic vibrancy of Cleveland’s waterfront. Through social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube) and their website, Share the River strives to 1) brand Cleveland as a waterfront city and 2) remind people how a cleaner, more vibrant river is an economic driver for Northeast Ohio. They also repost third-party content they feel provides a context for the various issues and best practices that improve the quality of regional and national natural resources which in turn, improve the quality of life for ALL of us!