Gordon Square is where?!?Several years ago I started hearing about this Gordon Square area and how alive with energy it will be and how they are working very hard to revitalize the area through art.
I thought, fantastic! The westside needs an area like this but where is it?
Now, when this was all going on I had a toddler and then another baby plus she was always latched on to me until like yesterday (just kidding, it's been a year now since she weaned) and let's face it - I could not care what was going on outside of my little world.
Fast forward and Amanda from Clue into Cleveland was telling me all about the Near West Side theater and how they were looking for volunteers. She thought it would be good for my son, who really enjoys theater but the programs that are available where we live are out of our budget.
I was still asking myself, "Gordon Square is where?"
You see, about sixteen years ago, I worked as a tax preparer at a less than reputable tax prep place on the corner of West 65th and Detroit. I lived on West Blvd, took the bus to 65th, and after my shift, took the bus into downtown Cleveland where I walked or took a train to the Flats for my shift at Joe's Crab Shack on the East Bank.
This was not a nice neighborhood. It was a sketchy bus ride on good days so when I finally figured out where Gordon Square was I was so excited! You could see that this was a neighborhood that wanted to be something. The architecture is fantastic but the buildings had seen much better days. Before I even saw the transformation I knew I would love it and I did, it is awe inspiring what a community can do and through art no less!
What is Gordon Square Arts District? From their website:
The Gordon Square Arts District is the economic cornerstone of Cleveland’s West Side where a powerful combination of housing, new businesses, the arts and neighborhood beautification are sparking the development of new jobs for residents.
Already well underway, the Gordon Square Arts District is helping to infuse more than $500 million in economic development in the surrounding community.
The driving force for the arts district is a triad of established and successful arts and non-profit organizations that will provide unique entertainment, attracting audiences from throughout the region, a collaboration that can serve as a national model for funding the arts.
Early work on the renovation and construction of theatres in the arts district is having a ripple effect, triggering more projects and improvements on the West Side that play a role in attracting educated, creative, young workers.
In addition to the galleries and the theaters there is also some amazing and unique shopping including the The Cleveland Shop, a vintage clothing store I use to shop at when I was much, much younger and wanted to be hip. I am thrilled to see it again in their new location!
The second best part - the restaurants! Between the arts district and the Detroit Shoreway right down the street you will be hard pressed not to find something that suits your taste buds.
The husband and I are planning to tour the district this summer because so far all we have checked off the list is Happy Dog, Sweet Moses, The Harp, and the Big Egg. We really need to get cracking!
Sweet Moses is by far my favorite ice cream shop of all time. The ice cream is so delicious I want to go with someone who appreciates really great ice cream. Sweet Moses is not just ice cream. They have fudge and chocolate bark and toffee! They also sell their homemade sauces.
As for Happy Dog, well, I was in nirvana from the first bit of my applewood smoked bacon, caramelized onions, dill pickle spear hot dog with bourbon pork and beans and chipotle ketchup. Oh and tarter tots! Nirvana!