Beasts of the Northern Wild

A field guide to Cleveland's alarming, alluring summer animalia

It's the heat. Or something in the water. Or the heady cocktail of too much alcohol, too little clothing, and inhibitions floating away like midges in the Lake Erie breezes.

Whatever the reasons, Cleveland's summer bestiary is out in full force, flaunting their bad fashions, flashing daddy's credit card, and generally annoying everyone within earshot. From the swankiest clubs to the dustiest sandlots, there's no avoiding them.

But why try? Every city has its native fauna, with their odd tics and charming quirks, and local mannerisms that make you either want to embrace or strangle them. And we love ours! After all, they're what keep life in this boisterous burgh so endlessly fascinating.

Herewith, a brief guide to our favorites — and some of their most popular watering holes. Bring the binoculars, order up a cold one, and enjoy the show.


Age: 44

Occupation: Medical supply sales

Home Turf: Gold Coast, Lakewood

You'll Spot Him:

• Blasting Drake from his speedboat while waitresses from XO sun themselves on the deck;

• Approaching girls at the bar with shots of Patron, explaining what a "chill time" they'd have on the "yacht;"

• Texting your mutual pot connection that he has a "squad of bitchez" coming out on the water Saturday and needs "Colombian party favors, STAT."

Summer Highlight: "P-I-B on the Fourth — only place to burn one down for Uncle Sammy. Value added: Bowling Green broads!"

Overheard at the Bar: "Life jacket? What? You afraid of a little water? I got you covered girl, don't worry."


Age: 38

Occupation: Homemaker, substitute instructor for Saturday-morning hip-hop Pilates

Home Turf: Chagrin Falls

You'll Spot Her:

• Walking from her double-parked Land Rover outside Brio at Legacy Village;

• Complaining to the manager at Saks that the store doesn't carry enough Kate Middleton;

• Picking the kids up from Mayfield Day Camp 45 minutes late, then dropping them off with the babysitter before happy hour with the girls at Jekyll's in downtown Chagrin.

Summer Highlight: "As you probably heard, St. Bart's filled up unexpectedly early this year, but we found a wonderful two-bedroom in Panama City. Excuse me? No, the one in Florida."

Overheard at the Bar: "I'm so lucky, I need to be pinched. Does that make me sound like a bitch? Stop hogging the guacamole!"


Age: 25

Occupation: Technician at a cellular research lab in the applied science department at Case; tells people she "does stuff, sometimes;" occasional Thought Catalog contributor

Home Turf: Ohio City

You'll Spot Her:

•In the right lane on Detroit holding up your commute home;

•Asking you to please stop dancing in place at a Beachland show, she's trying to enjoy the music;

•Generally scoffing.

Summer Highlight: "Radiohead doing 'There, There' at Blossom was pretty heady. Of course, they didn't play 'Talk Show Host.' Blah."

Overheard at the Bar: "No. Vintage Schwinn over a moped any day. Horsepower is a total copout. Duh."


Age: 28

Home Turf: Battery Park

Occupation: Public Relations

You'll Spot Her:

• On various high-end restaurant patios throughout the summer, photographing each dish before she dives in;

• Declining the hamburgers at your office cookout because the beef isn't free-range organic or even grass-fed;

• Returning habañeros and chewing out a vendor at the West Side Market for lack of "promised zing."

Summer Highlight: Taste of Tremont.

Overheard at the Bar: "Miss? This Shiraz has a little more of an almond aftertaste than you said it would. Are we positive we're talking about a Chilean provenance? My palate is telling me Australian."

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