Page 2 of 3
The Ultimate Cleveland Sampler
Cleveland can do more than just rock. Punk, metal, rap, soul, and every fusion in between populate our great city. Collecting and promoting these homegrown sounds is the mission of the local label Ghost Laboratories. Its latest compilation, Ghost Laboratories Arcade Volume 3, offers 25 of Northeast Ohio's most cutting-edge acts — from the black metal of Curse the Gods to the wicked Rust Belt rhymes of Zup. "We are pressing 1,000 high-quality physical copies to give away free at our Ghost Laboratories X-Mas Party [Friday December 16, at Peabody's], and we're distributing the entire compilation for free on our website," says label owner Christopher Marinin.
Get Yourself a Real Fish Story
When it comes to winter fishing, the running of steelhead trout in Northeast Ohio offers some of the best angling in the country. To find the most exciting and well-stocked watering holes, full of Ohio's biggest rainbow trout, try buying your fisherman an expert-guided tour with Chagrin River Outfitters. The full-service fly shop also offers guided river tours, teaching old and new fishermen get-your-boots-wet advice they've learned exploring local streams for decades. A four-hour, half-day trip is $225, while a full-day, eight-hour trip is $295.
Hike Up Your Hair
For that friend who lusted after the bizarre headgear sported by royals at Kate & Will's wedding this year, check out Emily Gerson's fabulous, head-turning hair ornaments. Gerson's VisualGrammar216 conjures up clip-on mini hats in various themes — animals, birds, skulls, flowers, dolls, cameras, and keys — with a riot of buttons, feathers, lace, charms, bits of broken jewelry, old toys, and whatever else she can lay her hands on. Prices start at $20.
Look for her at festivals, craftbazaars, and rock clubs — or go to
Tee (Shirt) Time!
Unique Cleveland venues offer an abundance of cool T's for your favorite T-shirt collector. The Beachland Ballroom and Tavern (the old Croatian ballroom turned Cleveland concert club) has just released a brand-new black robot tee ($15) designed by local rock poster icon Jake Kelly. Cleveland's famous gourmet grilled cheese restaurant Melt sells an assortment – softball-style tees ($14-$16), army black tees ($14-$16), and its vintage "No Cheese Till Cleveland" tee ($14). Online comedy writer Mike Polk caused a recent sensation with his "Factory of Sadness" lament about the Browns — and now that's a T-shirt too. One of your best bets is C.L.E. Clothing Co., which sells hundreds of Cleveland-centric T-shirts, focused on everything from P.O.C. beer to Browns & Indians garb.
'Tis the Ski Season
Boston Mills is a great place to learn the slopes. The 85-acre ski resort in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park offers an excellent mix of beginner's runs, advanced terrain, ski schools, and some pretty cool clinics. Learn to Race Camp is a hands-on coaching clinic held at Boston Mills on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays beginning January 3 (from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m). The six-week program is aimed at improving skiing and racing ability in any condition. Pricing ranges from one night per week ($179) to two ($249) or three nights per week ($319).
330-467-2242 or bmbw.com
Check Out Their Gams
A Cleveland Christmas isn't complete without a leg lamp in your front window, beaming the warm glow of electric sex throughout your neighborhood. And there's no better place in the world to buy lamp limbs than at the actual house where A Christmas Story was filmed — A Christmas Story House and Museum in Tremont. The gift shop offers four different sizes of leg lamps (ranging from $39.99 to $249.99), along with a zillion other movie collectables at the gift shop.
31379 Lorain Rd., North Olmsted, 216-255-6651, achristmasstoryhouse.com
Fun With Murder
Cleveland crime writer John Stark Bellamy II has been exploring the nether world of Northeast Ohio for 20 years. His latest book, A Woman Scorned: The Murder of George Saxton — A True Crime Melodrama ($19.95), recounts the 1898 shooting of wealthy Canton playboy George D. Saxton (then-brother-in-law to President William McKinley). From the opening shots on a Canton street to the stunning three-week trial of his accused ex-mistress, Bellamy details every dirty detail with loads of sex, sensation, and a slam-bang surprise ending. It's a great gift for any true crime buff.
Jewelry With Soul
Teresa Bynum credits Magnolia Clubhouse — the University Circle organization that provides vocational and educational support for people living with mental illness — with helping her blossom into a jewelry designer. The talented artisan creates lovely, colorful necklaces, bracelets, and earrings with jade, glass, and amber beads and magnetic closures, and sells them at refreshingly affordable prices ($5 to $20). Bynum's jewelry is available at Bloomin', the Magnolia Clubhouse resale shop in University Circle, and on her website.
11102 Magnolia Dr., University Circle, 216-721-3030; magnoliaclubhouse.org;
A Cleveland Perspective
The music of the 1980s not only embraced a unique sound, but also a unique look. Clevelander Matthew Chojnacki chronicles that look in his new book Put the Needle on the Record: The 1980s at 45 Revolutions Per Minute, which captures the colorful, nostalgic artwork of more than 250 vinyl single covers, ranging from Prince to Pink Floyd to the Pet Shop Boys. The $39.99 volume not only finds unusually awesome photos and art from the era, it tells the previously untold stories behind these iconic images.
216 Holiday Shoppe, 2078 West 25th St.,
Sports You Can Read!
Bummed about no NBA action these days? The real loss comes with the retirement of broadcasting legend Joe Tait. But it appears the longtime voice of the Cavaliers picked a good time to walk away — and prolific scribe Terry Pluto picked a fine time to co-write a new book that captures Tait's favorite memories from throughout his career covering the Cavs and Indians, plus every other side gig he so fondly crammed into his schedule. Joe Tait: It's Been a Real Ball is available from Gray & Co. publishers; it goes down well with Pass the Nuts, Dan Coughlin's latest collection of remembrances from a life covering Cleveland sports. Each goes for around $15.
Ohio City, Tremont, Shaker Heights, Little Italy, Lakewood, downtown — each of these neighborhoods is represented in the locally crafted Arterx Collection. Fashioned like vintage subway signs, these cool prints (framed for $55, unframed for $22.99) feature well-known streets, avenues, and boulevards in Cleveland neighborhoods. The District Collection was created by local graphic designer and photographer Adam Taseff and is available at Room Service boutique in Ohio City.
2078 West 25th St., 216-696-6220, rscleveland.com
Born to Be Plaid
Swank clothing and apparel is being designed right downtown — on East Fourth Street, at the Dredgers Union flagship store. This season, the label is releasing an upscale line of men's plaid shirts — perfect for any fella on your makeover list. These bias-woven button-downs ($79.50 each) nod to the past — with their classic "bias" check pocket detail and heritage-inspired tonal plaid — while looking forward to the future with a slim (but not too slim!) fit and hidden anniversary pocket.
2043 East 4th St., 216-357-2911,
Pura Vida simply means "pure life," and the downtown restaurant specializes in making revitalizing food and drink. This holiday, Chef Brandt Evans is canning some of those uniquely refreshing foods (locally grown veggies and homemade soups) for the gift-giving season. Pick from Butternut Squash Coriander Green Apple Soup, Black Garlic Asiago Cream Sauce, Winter Vegetable Ragout, and lots more, all of it ranging in price from $10 to $15. "Sure, it's about providing good food, but it's also about paying it forward to our local farm markets," says Evans.
170 Euclid Ave., 216-987-0100, PuraVidabyBrandt.com
Trash Into Treasure
The Ohio City boutique Salty Not Sweet specializes in clever, often snarky handmade wares, many humorously incorporating repurposed "found" objects. The gold-and-brass-colored Cleve Land necklace ($45) is a one-of-a-kind gift for the woman who cherishes our grand old city and its fading press traditions. The gold-and-brass-tone pendant features bits of vintage Cleveland newspaper and hangs from a 17-inch chain.
2074 West 25th St.,
Fun for Foodies
Treat your favorite foodie to an entire year's worth of weekly discounts with this packet of fifty $10 gift certificates to Cleveland's top independent restaurants. Five hundred bucks, you say? Naw, they're all yours for a mere $29.95. Among the hot spots taking part: Dragonfly, Flying Fig, Marotta's, Moxie, and Paladar Latin Kitchen. Each deck also contains two Jokers good for discounts at any of the participating restaurants, meaning your lucky giftees can return to two of their favorites for seconds.
Fair Trade With Flair
Cleveland native Larry Collins turned his love of travel and adventure into a thriving business. His eclectic City Buddha store on Coventry is a welcoming hometown marketplace for exotic Asian imports. What's more, everything inside is an extension of Collins' commitment to promoting fair-trade practices, from City Buddha's clothing, statuary, home decor, and incense, to its scarves, handbags, and jewelry — like the eye-catching beaded multi-row Gladiator Bracelet ($14.50), handmade by skilled artisans in Bali.
City Buddha, 1807 Coventry Rd.,
Cleveland Heights, 216-397-5862,
Celebrate the City
Don Drumm's studio, where the award-winning artist showcases his whimsical, imaginative sculptures, home accessories, and jewelry, has been an Akron institution since 1960. Drumm's pewter Big City Pin ($24), which depicts a lively modernistic streetscape featuring a businessman tipping his hat while crossing a city street, is an affordable example of Drumm's metalwork and an original way to honor your partner's love of urban excitement.
437 Crouse St., Akron,
dondrummstudios.comWarm Up to a Frozen Lake
Lake Erie is not just a warm-weather destination; the frozen stillness of the lake in winter has a uniquely serene beauty. The Lakehouse bed-and-breakfast, with five rooms, three suites, four cottages, and a lakefront winery and restaurant, provides a romantic setting for enjoying sunsets over the lake, wine tastings, snuggling before a fireplace, and enjoying Geneva-on-the-Lake attractions like shopping, golf courses (weather ... and wife ... permitting!), museums, and Ashtabula Harbor. Special wintertime packages are available, starting at $99.
5653 Lake Road East,
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.