Photo: Mark Nazh/Shutterstock

10 Signs You've Been Away From Cleveland Too Long

by Joe Baur Apr 7, 2015

1. Where’s the Soda?

Elsewhere, it’s just a disgusting carbonated drink made only mildly more acceptable when rum is introduced. But in Cleveland, it’s in reference to the Sweet Moses Soda Fountain and Treat Shop where lines stretch down the street during the summer for a taste of 1950’s nostalgia and the city’s best ice cream.

2. You’re looking for a park.

Few things in this world, much less in the United States, beats the combination of the Cleveland Metroparks and Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Frankly, parks are a disappointing afterthought without the Emerald Necklace around.

3. And, where’s the Rapid!?

Public transit is dismal in much of the United States and Cleveland is no exception in a state where mowing highway grass sees better funding. Still, having a train get you from Ohio City to Shake Square in less time than driving deadly highways is pretty incredible. The rest of the world needs to get on board with trains — pun absolutely intended.

4. You’ve lost track of Cleveland sports.

Living in Cleveland comes with constant reminders of how every team is performing, or more likely, underperforming — even if you hate sports. Sundays have lost their miserable charm without the constant bellowing echo of the collective Cleveland sports heartbreak.

5. You’ve lost your nasally “A”.

Something strange happens when Clevelanders try to pronounce the letter “A”. It’s not as pronounced as, say, a Boston or Chicago accent. But it’s most certainly there, like you’re plugging your nose during the second syllable of “Cleveland.” Not wanting to sound like you have a constant cold, you’ve tried to rid yourself of the sound by more methodically pronouncing the name of your hometown to new friends.

6. You’re generally happier.

There’s no hiding that Cleveland generally does not do well in rankings of overall happiness, owing to a variety of factors better left to a Time Magazine article. Yet a true Clevelander masochistically misses feeling miserable — kinda like Harvey Pekar. What gives?

7. You realize there is a severe lack of breweries where you are.

You mean neighborhood development isn’t usually surrounded by breweries taking over? Blasphemy! Give me my Christmas Ale or whatever the current seasonal variety of Great Lakes Brewing Company is now!

8. No more Cleveland articles in your Facebook feed.

You’ve been away and have added new friends from your new home. Suddenly those ubiquitous articles from national publications declaring Cleveland’s relevance have started to disappear from your Facebook feed. But fear not! Rest assured that everyone in Cleveland is still sharing positive articles about the city without even reading them.

9. You’re out of shape.

Hardly a weekend goes by without some sort of running or bike race in the region. Even if it’s just a 5K for your aunt’s friend’s charity, you’re constantly moving in Cleveland.

10. You miss Mass.

Mass is an important aspect of Cleveland life. Making time for it brings you closer to your city and maybe even to yourself. There’s simply nothing like biking Critical Mass in Cleveland…what did you think I was talking about?

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