I Love Living in Cleveland

First I must say that I am ashamed that I have not written anything in more than 3 months.   That’s just terrible.   Tonight is one of those rare evenings where I managed to get chores done AND the kids in bed on time, while my hubby is at work, so I get to write.    And apparently, based on an email I had sent myself on February 20th, I’ve been wanting to write about living in Cleveland, or at least, living in Ohio.

I need to begin with an explanation.  Thanks to the hubby’s work, we have been blessed to travel to Hawaii for two weeks each year for the past four years.   While we are there he works in the evenings but we get to enjoy family time together when he isn’t working.   Three years ago I had posted about returning from Hawaii and being grateful to be back in Cleveland and see the big fluffy white snowflakes and just to be home in general.    The PD linked to it and someone made a snarky comment and have since basically felt as though I committed blog suicide here:  https://clevelandmom.wordpress.com/2009/02/23/home-is-where-your-friends-are/.

Well, in February we were back to Hawaii for the hubby’s work.  This time, while we were there, I was fortunate to meet a lovely family who was renting a condo in the same building where we stayed.   She (Indonesian) and her husband (Canadian) had lived in Japan for the past nine years and had just relocated due to work to Honolulu.   They have two awesome little boys who my sons loved to hang out with, and while they all played I had so many wonderful conversations with their mom.   I loved to hear about their search for a home in Hawaii, and their lives back in Japan and everywhere else.  But what got me thinking about writing this, was our discussions regarding the cost of living.

I grew up just on the border of Cleveland, and I feel I should add I apparently grew up “below the poverty line”, though it wasn’t until I was a senior in high school that this was made apparent to me when someone pointed this out.    My mom was a housekeeper in an apartment building and my dad was retired from working for the City of Cleveland.  I grew up in a two-bedroom apartment but we were comfortable.

In Honolulu, the two-bedroom condo where we stayed would cost twice as much as my current house.   It got me thinking, you can’t really afford to be poor and live in Hawaii.   There are a lot of places where you can’t afford to be poor in the US.  In Cleveland, there are so many services, so many opportunities, and the cost of living remains relatively low.  I had no clue I was poor.   So out of curiosity I looked up some cost of living statistics on Hawaii vs. Ohio.   I am sure there is some equation for doing a comparison, but just looking at the numbers to me was interesting:


Homeownership rate, 2006-2010: 59.3%

Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2006-2010: $537,400

Per capita money income in past 12 months (2010 dollars) 2006-2010: $28,882

Median household income 2006-2010: $66,420

Homeownership rate, 2006-2010: 69.2%

Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2006-2010: $136,400

Per capita money income in past 12 months (2010 dollars) 2006-2010: $25,113

Median household income 2006-2010: $47,358

The difference in Median household income is small, particularly when compared to the significant difference in the Median value of owner-occupied housing units.    Money simply buys so much more here, compared not just to Honolulu or Hawaii in general, but to many other metropolitan areas.

Beyond the cost of living, I do love to hear my five year-old tell me all of the things he loves about each season.   And I love all of the things that, when I have the time, I write about that my family and I enjoy doing all around the Cleveland area.

Do you love living in Cleveland?    What do you love about living here?

Until next time,


PS.   I should add that, periodically, I love having a St. Patricks’s Day that allows me to break out the slip-n-slide!  Did you hear there were 500,000 people in Downtown Cleveland on Saturday???



2 Responses

  1. I also am a Cleveland Mom, sort of. I am a transplant who moved here 28 years ago. Too often we compare enjoyment of an area based upon how much buying power we have there.

    For me, the deciding factor on how much I love a location is the connection I have with the people who live there. The cost of living is affordable in Cleveland. It has a lot of natural beauty. But I find that native Clevelanders generally seem unhappy and resentful of others, which translates into a lot of angry and rude behavior.

    I appreciate the flavor and colorfulness of Cleveland, but it has yet to win my love.

    I love Maui

    I love Boston, MA

    I love Columbus,OH

    I love Victoria, BC

    I love these cities because of the warm and wonderful memories of the warm and wonderful people I have met there.

    • Hi Transplant Joy!

      Thanks for writing. I checked out your blog and read your first post, http://itsajoyfuljourney.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/one-sojourners-path-to-thriving-in-the-mistake-on-the-lake/. I am sorry to hear that after 28 years Cleveland still has yet to win your love. I have been blessed to develop so many friendships here, through our church (which is near Tremont), in our old Cleveland neighborhood in West Park, and in our new suburban neighborhood south of the city near the beautiful Cuyahoga Valley National Park. But, I grew up here, so maybe that’s my problem. If I’d have been your neighbor, I would have been friendly, I promise! 🙂

      I’ve been all of those places you list with the exception of Victoria, BC. I’ve been to a lot of places and I still love Cleveland. To be honest, the only place I’d rather live is Disney World, but that would be pretty expensive. You probably love Columbus because you feel it’s your home, just as if I ever moved from Cleveland, it would still always be my home and I would always miss it. I am grateful that my husband, who grew up in Michigan and New Jersey, wanted to stay here after he completed his education at Case. He likes it here too, mostly because of the people he has met here. So I guess I am confused as to why you’ve been so turned off by Clevelanders. I know we are rough around the edges (some way more than others). I agree that many Clevelanders generally seem unhappy and resentful of others, but I certainly don’t feel that is the majority. But, my husband and I have always chose to surround ourselves with caring, compassionate people. We chose our homes partially based on the neighborhood because we wanted to be friends with our neighbors. We chose and stay at our church because we love the diversity of people there and our compassionate to a fault pastor. My son’s daycare, and then preschool and kindergarten, were chosen largely on the friendliness of the staff. I’ve certainly met rude people in Cleveland, but I try to avoid them whenever possible, and apparently I’ve managed to succeed.

      I’d love to hear more about your experiences here. I’ll have to keep an eye on your blog.

      Thanks for writing!


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