Q: Where are you from originally?
A: I was born in Omaha. My family moved to Denver while I was in college. Eventually I moved to Chicago, got married and started a family. We moved back to Denver in 2003, then to Portland, Oregon, in 2014. In the summer of 2018, my job at Progressive brought us to Cleveland.
Q: How much did you know about the area before moving here?
A: My husband grew up in Madison, OH, so when we lived in Chicago, we’d come back to visit now and then. We didn’t spend a lot of time in the city, but my sense was that it was similar to Chicago-- hardworking, genuine people. When I was interviewing here, I took a tour of the area and was blown away. What I saw was a really dynamic city that was alive and evolving, with a rich history and beautiful architecture and culture.
Q: What has surprised you the most about living here?
A: This is a really affordable place to live, so it’s been a nice change of pace from other places we’ve lived. One of the biggest surprises is how conveniently located it is. There are so many great places within just a day’s drive. We couldn’t believe we could drive to New York for Thanksgiving!
Q: In what neighborhood do you currently live? What do you like about it?
A: We ended up in Shaker Heights. It’s been great for the whole family. Our two daughters have made some wonderful friends, which is hard to do as new students. But within a week of being in our home, a woman I had never met invited us over so our older daughter could meet her daughter and friends. That was pivotal. Our neighbors have been so gracious, kind and accepting of my family. I am so grateful for that.
The Cleveland Browns play at FirstEnergy Stadium / Photo: Erik Drost
Q: Favorite places to go or things to do?
A: I went to my first Browns game last fall and was hooked. The tailgating helped! My husband and I also saw Hamilton at Playhouse Square. We were awestruck by the venue and the ease of getting tickets, so I’m always on the lookout for what’s next. There are so many cultural and historical gems. It’s hard to top the Cleveland Museum of Art. There are so many wonderful cultural activities available. Last summer we enjoyed the Feast of the Assumption in Little Italy and Opera in the Cultural Gardens in Rockefeller Park. Events like these make me feel like I’m becoming a Clevelander.
Q: What are some of your favorite restaurants?
A: Nuevo, Ginko, Marotta’s, Greenhouse Tavern, Lola, Mia Bella, M Italian, Parallax. And we love the Van Aken District Market Hall for a quick meal. I’ve become a huge fan of Rising Star coffee.
Q: How do you feel about the seasons here?
A: I love the changing seasons. Snow for the holidays, the changing colors of fall. In Portland it just rains nonstop from October to May.
Q: What advice would you give someone considering moving here?
A: There are numerous communities to choose from, all with great qualities, so just decide what you want—schools, culture, the lake, shopping, freeway access? And get to know your neighbors. You’re missing out if you don’t.