The After-Party 

Where to go after the Cavaliers game.

One of the many places to check out after the Cavs - games this week.
  • One of the many places to check out after the Cavs games this week.

Whether you're in the mood to do a victory dance or drink away the agony of defeat, several bars near Gund Arena offer respite for Cavalier fans. And since Cleveland hosts Sacramento on Thursday, Philadelphia on Saturday, Orlando on Monday, and Miami on Wednesday this week, there's time to hit them all.

Are We There Yet?: The Harry Buffalo (2120 East Fourth Street; 216-621-8887), only 30 seconds from the Gund Arena entrance, wins points for proximity. Different promotions every night of the week keep things interesting, and a 106-inch TV is perfect for catching the West Coast games.

Dance the Night Away: Wilbert's (812 Huron Road; 216-902-4663) offers free admission with a ticket stub from the night's game. The top draw is the live blues, jazz, and funk that get booties shaking each night.

Learning to Crawl: Jim Alesci's Downtown (828 Huron Road; 216-348-8600), Clevelander Bar and Grill (834 Huron Road; 216-323-8844), and Nick's Sports Corner (612 Prospect Avenue; 216-781-0966) are within puking distance of each other, and all boast neighborhood-bar atmosphere and prices. -- Matt Leavitt

Stars on Ice
Winter skies are best for constellation-spotting.

FRI 1/23

Eons go by, and Orion still chases Taurus the bull across the night sky. Who can blame the guy? His sword's a nebula, says Carol Zeh, the astronomer behind Friday's Winter Constellations program. The famed hunter and his horned nemesis are merely a pair of the starry sights on display. "Next to the moon, [Venus] is the brightest object out there," Zeh adds. And above Orion you can see Auriga, the chariot driver, who carries a baby goat and two children. And although you can spot most of the stars and stuff with your peepers, telescopes will be available for more intense stargazing. "Winter constellations are the best," Zeh says. "Stars come out a little earlier during winter months." Winter Constellations takes place at 7 p.m. at the Brushwood Pavilion in Furnace Run Metro Park, off Brecksville Road in Richfield. Admission is free; call 330-865-8065. -- Allen Miller

Sporting Chance
The thrill of victory proves universal at the Special Olympics.


The 22nd annual Special Olympics Ohio: Winter Games features athletes competing in alpine and Nordic skiing as well as ice skating. Five competitors will be selected to represent the United States at the 2005 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. "The athletes overcome many challenges to compete," says program director Marty Allen. It kicks off at noon Wednesday and continues at 9 a.m. Thursday, January 29, and 9:30 a.m. Friday, January 30, at Brandywine Ski Resort, Ledges Shelter, and the Kent State University Ice Arena. Call 216-524-1497 for a complete schedule and more information. Admission is free. -- Lucy McKernan

Paws for Pause

SAT 1/24

The Lake Erie Nature & Science Center has a pair of hikes lined up for Saturday in search of Snow Tracks -- paw-, claw-, or footprints made by slush-trekking animals. The first quest happens from 10 a.m. to noon; the second is from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, 28728 Wolf Road in Bay Village. Admission is free. Call 440-871-2900 for more info. -- Michael Gallucci

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