A Guide to Cleveland From a Fourth-Generation Resident
“Cleveland has a reputation for being gray—both for the industrial buildings and the weather—but there’s actually so much color and art throughout the city,” says Molly Fitzpatrick, who brings a similar paint-splashed vibe to DittoHouse, her line of cheery, graphic textiles. Molly’s family has had roots in the rock-and-roll capital since her great-grandparents moved there decades ago, and as a local small-biz owner (and mom to two!), her hometown pride is especially strong. Here’s her pizza-filled, art-happy, kid-friendly guide to her city.
“It’s in a really cool area on west side of the river with markets, restaurants, and nightlife. There’s a nice little rooftop where you can hang out and get a view of downtown.”
“They fire your pizza right in front of you, and it only takes 90 seconds. It’s delicious. I like bringing my kids there because it’s fast. It’s in Collinwood, which is the working-class neighborhood my dad and grandpa grew up in. It’s being revived with public art and becoming an artistic community.”
“Most of the food in Cleveland is European, so it’s refreshing to go to this Colombian restaurant. They make arepas and these decadent ice cream desserts that my son loves. It’s fun and colorful, and there’s usually live music.”
“Right when you get off the highway to visit this place, you see these silos that say ‘cocoa,’ ‘milk,’ and ‘sugar.’ That’s where Malley’s manufactures their chocolate. It’s a Cleveland institution, so there’s a lot of local pride around it. They make cookies inspired by the buckeye, which is the state nut, out of chocolate and peanut butter, and they have little shops all over the northeast Ohio area.”
“In the last few years, there have been a few initiatives around the city to create more public art. Land Studio provides grants to do all kinds of public art with local and international artists.
The installations are fun landmarks, and I actually use them as backdrops to photograph my products sometimes.”
“People call the public parks here the emerald necklace. These well-maintained, beautiful landscapes are all across the city. There’s so much variety in the parks—there are grassy ones, woodsy ones, and hilly ones. Some have creeks and rivers, and some are on the lakefront. We go to one three or four times a week.”
“I used to take art classes there with my siblings every Saturday. It’s world-renowned, with works from Monet, Picasso, and Warhol, plus big collections of Islamic art and Egyptian art. It’s stunning and well-kept, and the art is incredible—but it’s completely free! There used to be a lot of money in Cleveland because of its industrial history, and a lot of that has been earmarked for art. So there’s so much amazing free art in the city. It’s in an area where a few neighborhoods converge, some low-income and some high-income, so it really is there for everyone to enjoy. My kids’ favorite thing at the museum is to go up and down the escalators in the awe-inspiring atrium.”
“This mixed-use space hasn’t opened yet, but I just know it’s going to be awesome! There will be Airbnb-type apartment rentals, a gallery, and yoga and meditation classes. They commissioned Camille Walala to paint the entire building. It’s already the best place in the city for Instagram pictures.”