Q: Where are you from originally and what brought you here?
A: I’m from Philadelphia. I got a chance to interview at Channel 5 in February 2019, when I was looking for my next move career-wise. I was looking all along the East Coast, and I thought, well, Cleveland is only a couple hours away from home, and it’s a nice-size market.
Q: How much did you know about the area before moving here?
A: I didn’t know a ton about Cleveland or Northeast Ohio. Mostly I just knew about the sports teams. I think I came here pretty open-minded.
Q: What has surprised you the most about living here?
A: When you look at Cleveland on the map, it’s considered a Midwestern city, but to me there is a distinct East Coast feel as well. I wasn’t expecting that. It reminds me a lot of Philly in some ways. It is a little bit slower-paced, which goes with the Midwest vibe, but overall I think we have a good mix of calm and super-exciting, fun things going on here. Especially in the summer!
Q: In what neighborhood do you currently live? What do you like about it?
A: I live in Lakewood. It feels comfortable; it feels homey. It has a lot of mom-and-pop shops. You can pretty much go up and down Detroit Avenue all day long, and you’ll find different stores selling different things. There are great restaurants, bars—anything you could be craving, you’ll find in Lakewood. There are a lot of people my age as well. Families, too, but for someone like me, coming here and not knowing anyone, Lakewood has been the perfect place for me to meet people my age.
One of the best views of Lake Erie, especially at sunset, is from the Solstice Steps in Lakewood Park. / Photo: Erik Drost
Q: What are your favorite places to go or things to do?
A: There are just so many great parks. I love Lakewood Park, Edgewater Beach and West Creek Reservation. I recently did a great hike in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Lamb Lollipops from Edwin’s, a gourmet French restaurant on Shaker Square; 13101 Shaker Square, Shaker Heights 44120 / Photo Courtesy of Edwin's
Q: What are some of your favorite restaurants and bars?
A: Pretty much the entire strip of West 25th Street in Ohio City—Soho Chicken & Whiskey, Bakersfield, Town Hall. There’s an amazing foodie culture here in Cleveland that really surprised me. And on the east side, I love Edwin’s. It’s just a really, really nice environment. It’s a gourmet French restaurant that was started by a man who wanted to give people who used to be incarcerated a second chance by training them in the culinary arts. Everyone is so nice and friendly. You’ll never have an empty water glass or empty bread plate! It’s a unique dining experience because, while you’re getting great service, you’re also doing a service to the community.
Q: What advice would you give someone considering moving to the area?
A: When I moved here, I didn’t have any preconceived notions, so if I had to give a recommendation, it would be not to let other people’s opinions influence you. Just come here and experience it for yourself.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to say about the living and working in Cleveland?
A: The function of being a reporter, of being a journalist in general, is to go out into the community and figure out what is important to that community. So, having the opportunity to learn about and be a part of the community here and tell its stories—that’s my favorite part of my job.