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Freezing in the Forest City

Freezing in the Forest City

It’s winter again. That means you’re going to see a bunch of lists telling you to go skiing or throwing snow at each other while you giggle. Let’s be real about it, this is winter in Cleveland. Let us take you on a ride for a more typical grey, freezing day in the Forest City.

First, drive your seasonally-depressed ass to Tremont and stick your tongue on an icy pole outside of the Christmas Story house. Once you’re done, head to Clark Bar and do two shots of Irish whiskey because the bar has been open since 5:30 this morning. You’re obviously too drunk to drive anywhere else, so just give up the car. Get on the red line to Tower City and watch some renowned toy soldier pick up some stupid baby in a ghost mall. Throw a $20 in the fountain if you’re feeling lucky.

Now that you’re downtown and bored, maybe you can ice skate in the tiny ice rink made for selfies. We are a city of underdogs, so if someone tells you that you can’t do triple lutz, they’re probably from Pittsburgh. Take off your skates and stay out of the bus lane as you wait for your Lyft back to a neighborhood that makes sense.

In the backseat of the Lyft, knock back a mini bottle of Captain Morgan and nod along as your driver debates the finer points of “Baby it’s Cold Outside.” Take a breath and stop to realize that it’s only 10 in the morning and your driver has taken you to Shaker Square. You make the best of the situation and get a Captain Tony’s five-cheese pizza. Voila, you’ve made it to noon.

Eventually the horror sets in as you realize “Oh God, I’m in shaker square.” You walk onto the platform and wait for the blue line or green line or God knows what. There is a sea of unassured faces waiting on a train that may or may not exist. “I’ve heard the bells from time to time,” a small, elderly woman tells you. Who even knows if she’s real. It’s 2:30 p.m.

After another trip, you’re at Tower City again. Remember all those travel-sized Captain Morgans? Neither do you. Get some 57/50 flat brims. Leave on the stickers. Who cares; it’s Cleveland in the winter! Flash forward 20 minutes and $70 later as you shame eat $14-worth of Auntie Anne’s pretzels and consider your next move.

You wander into the casino thinking you’ll just have a drink and play some slots until your friends arrive. Surprisingly, they all have “jobs” and are at “work.” What the hell, man. What is a 401(k) anyway? You got this. Uh oh, that cocktail waitress isn’t actually your friend.

What’s that? Another mini Captain? Do it! Then drag your drunk ass back to the Cleveland Museum of Art and check out that Infinity Mirrors thing. I don’t know, I heard from my seventh-grade boyfriend’s future ex-husband that it’s a must see. Anyway, you have to get that Facebook fodder. The guy at the entrance might try to tell you that you are too drunk. Also, that Infinity Mirrors ended in September. Whoops. Whatever, just take other peoples pictures and post them. Easy squeezy.

Catch the 26 down Detroit and ponder why everyone is so impressed with mirrors. As you’re on the bus watching the city zoom by, realize this is a beautiful city that only we understand. There’s no rhyme or reason to why we love it so much, we just do. I pity a corporate piece of trash that would try to come here and take our pinball, bowling, shuffleboard, and tobogganing rights away. We’re strong because of winter.

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