Of All the Sun Luck

Food & Drink , Region

Of All the Sun Luck

Posted by Ivan Sheehan and tagged with blog, Chinese, Cleveland Heights, food; 12:00am, April 24th 2010

If life were easy, then it wouldn't be very interesting. For better or worse, we get curve balls that regularly test our character. Family matters are particularly trying. 

Knowing that a loved one is going under the knife, no matter how skilled the surgeon, is cause for concern, particularly when the surgery is a dangerous one with a low success rate. When the patient is your mother, it's downright terrifying. Thanks to talented physicians, my mother's surgery went according to plan. The healing process has begun, if ever so slowly. (Anything less than immediate, full recuperation is unacceptable.) Extreme empathy is inevitable, as the mother-son bond is a unique one. The waiting is the hardest part, and family comes first. I enjoy living in a city where people understand that. 

More important, I love living in a city where people haven't a clue that you're struggling, but brighten your day simply by being themselves. 

Somewhat exasperated by a week of unwelcome surprises, Friday night called for carryout Chinese and a movie. For this task, Sun Luck Garden in Cleveland Heights is top choice. 

"Sun Luck Garden!" said a familiar, cheery voice when I called to place my order.

"Hello, I 'd like to place an order for carryout, please." 

"Sure! What would you like on your Klondike bar?" said the excited man on phone. Giggling, the order was placed: two vegetable egg rolls ("two delicious, crispy egg rolls"), two wonton soups ("two lovely wonton soups"). Once he determined that the Green Jewels and chicken dumplings entrées were available, the final details were explained.

"One more thing: we are actually closed tonight for a private event," I was told. At that point, it was further explained that I'd need to pull around behind the restaurant, knock on the rear door leading to the kitchen, and somebody would have my order. The simple act of ordering Chinese takeaway was shaping up to be delightfully strange. 

Thirty minutes later, my girlfriend and I arrived at the rear door of the restaurant, and, as promised, the lovingly eccentric man on the phone, Jeff, was there to meet us. Our food was not ready. We were asked to please wait in the car. 

With that, Jeff came out, beaming and bearing two diminutive quiche Lorraine appetizers, made with Chinese bacon and creamy egg and cheese. Delicious. Minutes after that, he returned with a new plate, topped with two phyllo pastries with a fragrant, sweet chutney-like eggplant filling. He then scuttled off, laughing out loud. We were laughing out loud, too. 

A few moments later, he returned, apologizing for the slight delay, and presented us with two curried butternut squash pastry puffs. Our actual order arrived shortly thereafter. We exchanged a few quips, and went our separate ways. 

Jeff at Sun Luck made ordering Chinese a decidedly interesting, wholly hilarious and fun experience. He reminded us that the world can be a magical place, and sometimes joyous occasion arrives when and where you least expect it. Thanks for the curve ball, Jeff. 


Photograph by Manji Designs

Get Jaunty With It

Home & Style , Region

Get Jaunty With It

Posted by Sarah Sphar and tagged with Cleveland, couples, date, fashion, free, history, outdoors; 12:00am, April 23rd 2010

I say! Have you a pair of velvet knickers you aren't able to wear often enough? Do you lament not wearing your monocle on city streets, for fear of being mocked?  Your time has come.

Tomorrow's Fantastic Cleveland Tweed Ride should be a jolly good time for those of you with a bicycle and an affinity for all things old time-y. Brought to you by Spin Bike Shop, the Tweed Ride is the latest in a series of similar events in other US cities and even across the pond. The event is a ride, not a race, though there will be stops for refreshments, challenges and, of course, shenanigans. Prizes will be awarded, including honors for most dapper (male), most snazzy (female), best moustache and "most prized steed." (For a little more information on Tweed Ride culture, visit the home of the San Francisco Tweed Ride, where you'll get an idea of proper attire, jargon and etiquette.)

The event begins Saturday, April 24 at 3 pm at the fountain in Mall A (in downtown Cleveland, behind the library); there is no cost to participate. Huzzah!

Photograph by Adam Thompson.

What, That Noah Sucks?

Arts , Food & Drink , Health & Education , Home & Style , Region

What, That Noah Sucks?

Posted by Ivan Sheehan and tagged with blog, Cavs, Cleveland, culture, Lake Erie, parks, region, restaurant; 12:00am, April 20th 2010

There's nothing quite like a liberal dose of spirited competition to bring out the best in people. In Cleveland, fans – fair-weather to fervent – stand behind the Cavs as they march to a championship. The city celebrates each win, each dunk, each bucket, with shared enthusiasm. Strangers are suddenly high-fiving friends, and there's a tangible energy pulsing through the region, from West Side to East. We're a proud city. We like winning.

Over the years, the North Coast has had many epithets ("the mistake on the lake") hurled our way, and we've survived more than a few notorious incidents (our burning river). I'm sorry, Joakim Noah, you're neither original, nor clever.

Noah has certainly grown bitter, though. In a league where points and triple-doubles are the stuff that feed fans' fervor, Noah's stats mostly reflect his skill at being a lout. He has been ejected once, received eight technicals and 198 personal fouls this season, 3.1 personal fouls per game. Well done, Noah: Those represent your highest numbers since being drafted in 2007. If you were Michael Jordan circa 1989, we'd be more worried.

Chicago is a wonderful city. It's a bustling Midwest metropolis with loads of curb appeal. It's a lakefront town with a rich history. It's renowned for award-winning restaurants and shopping opportunities. It has a strong cultural presence, with numerous parks and museums. It's pro football, baseball and basketball teams are big draws. Sounds awfully familiar.

Cleveland was already a year old, incorporated in 1836, an industrious city on Lake Erie, by the time Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837. While Chicago has Grant Achatz, Rick Bayless, Paul Kahan and Charlie Trotter, Cleveland is no slouch in the chef department. Cleveland is home to a nationally lauded restaurant scene, led by the likes of Lolita/Lola/B Spot/Bar Symon chef/owner Michael Symon, L'Albatros/Chinato/Parallax/Table 45 chef/owner Zack Bruell, Melt Bar & Grilled's Matt Fish, The Greenhouse Tavern's Jonathon Sawyer and Momocho/Happy Dog's Eric Williams. The Magnificent Mile is impressive, yet those famed labels and retailers that figure prominently on the strip are hardly unique to Chicago. In Cleveland, you'll find an eclectic collection of locally owned boutiques that sell locally made goods. From Room Service and Salty Not Sweet, to Banyan Tree and Revive, you'll find amazing wares not easily found elsewhere. There's also Brigade, which sells clothes from Cleveland-based, LeBron-approved Wrath Arcane, NEXT and Style Lounge.

Northeast Ohio is blessed with numerous beaches, Lake Erie, and one of the country's finest natural resources, the Emerald Necklace. The Cleveland Orchestra is consistently ranked among the finest ensembles in the world, while the Cleveland Museum of Art is home to a a world-class collection of art. From MOCA to the Sculpture Center, and too many galleries to list, Cleveland is awash in culture. We also have the Browns, the Indians and, of course, the Cavs.

So, what's the lesson here, Noah? It's easy to be defensive without being foul.

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Fresh Start: Week of April 19

Arts , Food & Drink , Region

Fresh Start: Week of April 19

Posted by Peter Chakerian and tagged with art, artist, benefit, chef, Cleveland Orchestra, concert, designer, exhibit, food, free, gallery, jazz, lecture, media, music, party, writer; 12:00am, April 19th 2010

If you spend any time pining away for the future of Cleveland, you really need to get out more. In this week’s Fresh Start, experience the future in art, design and innovation as it exists in the minds, hearts and hands of Cleveland’s future generations. Then help one of the region’s largest hunger relief centers with more than a thousand of your closest friends. And when you’re through, check out a world-class trumpeter as he debuts with our world-class Cleveland Orchestra. You might even squeeze in a bit of the country’s leading satirist with a regional connection. Cleveland offers more than meets the eye, but really, how much more of an eyeful do you need?

Spring Sprang Sprung

Hey artsy types, here’s a double-play for your spring: The Cleveland Institute of Art’s Visual Arts & Technologies Show is going on right now, and features amazing works from CIA’s art and design students, including innovative products, transportation and communications designs and interiors. If sculpture, drawing, printmaking and painting are your preferred medium, then look to the parent show, the campus-wide CIA Spring Show exhibition, which starts next week. The two unique exhibitions span four locations, with the Peter B. Lewis Building of the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University and Reinberger Galleries at The Cleveland Institute of Art serving as anchor locations. Bonus: Both exhibitions are free. It’s a chance to see what the future of art (and Cleveland’s role in it) is – and can be. Learn more at the CIA’s website.

The Answer on a Silver Platter

The fact that Cleveland Food Bank’s Market Under Glass event benefits the annual Harvest for Hunger campaign should be reason enough to attend, but consider this: how often do you get the chance to hang out with 1,200 of your closest Cleveland pals at The Galleria at Erieview, enjoying delectable food, libations and good company for an equally good cause? We thought so. The festivities begin Thursday, April 22 at 6PM, and include live entertainment, a Continental Airlines–sponsored silent auction and raffle, and more than 50 food and drink purveyors. Call 216-738-2046 for more information.

Boutique Botti

The Tri-C JazzFest winds down this weekend, but there’s still plenty for jazz fans. If that 11-day marathon wasn’t enough for you, squeeze in the pairing up of trumpeter Chris Botti and the world-famous Cleveland Orchestra during the orchestra's Celebrity Series gig. The Sting sideman delivers popular songs, jazz and classical favorites, including works from his PBS broadcasts and recent Boston Pops performances on Saturday, April 24. If it’s anything like the recent Pink Martini/Cleveland Orchestra pairing, it will be fantastic – and probably sold out come showtime.

… and Don’t Forget Your Corduroy and Denim

We know that Wednesday nights can be a drag, but not when David Sedaris is guiding the way with his satirical world view. Kent State University’s most celebrated wordsmith delivers his gospel from the EJ Thomas Hall stage in Akron this Wednesday, April 21.

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Cleveland's National Holiday


Cleveland's National Holiday

Posted by Sarah Sphar and tagged with Cleveland, downtown, family, Indians, sports; 12:00am, April 14th 2010

The first day of baseball season always represents the official start of summer to me. For the record, I've never been to a home opener where it's actually been warm, so it's not the weather playing tricks on me. It's the first glimpse of that impossibly green grass that gets me to believe winter's grip has, at long last, loosened. It is finally safe to go forth and grill things.

Opening day is magical for other reasons, too. The winning doesn't matter yet (though the whining starts in earnest), and the ballpark is packed. Young fans are seeing their first game, and older ones are settling into a seat with a scorecard and freshly sharpened pencil for the tenth or twentieth or fortieth season running. Everyone is in a good mood. For one day, it's just good to be back in that beautiful park, hot dog in hand and sun (hopefully) on your face.

On Monday, the Cleveland Indians lost the home opener by a score of 4-2 in extra innings. By the top of the tenth, fans had begun to trickle out. It was, as it turned out, a bit too soon for shorts and sandals; people got cold and headed for the exits, but the holiday mood lingered. A news crew approached a man walking past the team shop and asked to interview him, but he declined. "I can't," he said, the joy evident in his voice. "I called in sick today!"

To see a few a scenes from the home opener, check out the OhioAuthority photo gallery for this story by clicking on "Photos" in the navigation at the top of this page.


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