Cleveland is filled with some pretty awesome people. We’re all proud of our city. But let’s face it: we do some pretty strange things here in the CLE. Here are nine things Clevelanders do that might seem a bit odd to everyone who isn’t from Cleveland:
1. We're still Browns fans.
Listen, guys: it's rough having one of the worst teams in the NFL. We know it. We know the (ahem... quickly disappearing... ahem) hope that comes with each new season and the heartbreak that seems to come with nearly every game. But we're Clevelanders, and fairweather fans we certainly are not. We will always stand behind our beloved Brownies through the good and the bad (but we could really use some good. Like really, really, really could use some good).
2. We stuff our faces with Paczski on Fat Tuesday (and maybe a few days before, too).
Every year, about one week prior to Fat Tuesday, Clevelanders rush to pick up the fattening, delicious Polish treats known as paczki (pronounced poonch-key) to indulge heartily in. The fried dough cakes are filled with everything from traditional fillings like poppyseed and prune to American favorites like buttercream, lemon, and raspberry. Whatever you do, dare not call them a jelly donut.
3. We call off work for Saint Patrick's Day.
Clevelanders take their Saint Patrick's Days very seriously. The city is home to the country's largest and oldest Saint Patrick's Day parade, which kicks off a day of festivities --nearly all of which include some form of daytime alcohol consumption -- each March 17. And by largest, we're not kidding: more than half a million people go downtown on the day-O-the-Irish! The parade itself is kid-friendly, though, and most of us (even our great grandparents) have memories of it as children ourselves since it started 150 years ago.
4. We measure driving distance in time instead of miles.
You know it's true, Clevelanders. How far is North Olmsted from Parma? About 20 minutes. Akron from downtown Cleveland? Maybe half an hour. That pharmacy up the street someone is asking you how to get to? Oh, we don't know... it's like a minute, minute-and-a-half.
5. Businesses have possessive names to us, even when they shouldn't.
Where do Clevelanders go to buy books? Why, Barnes and Noble's, of course. What about when we're looking for a great deal on groceries? We head off to Aldi's. What about when you need to buy some back-to-school clothes for your littles? We shuffle off to J.C. Penney's. Even our biggest children's hospital, Rainbow Babies and Children's, is referred to by most Clevelanders simply as "Rainbow's."
6. We still call it "The Jake."
Jacobs Field will always be home to the Indians to any Clevelander. Yeah, it's called Progressive Field now, but to us, it's always going to be The Jake. Oh, and Quicken Loans Arena? That's what it's called to everyone except us. To us, it's still Gund Arena-- and that'll never change.
7. We've got these "CHOC" bumper stickers on our cars.
You know you're in Cleveland when those pink and green oval-shaped (Easter egg shaped?) stickers with "CHOC" printed in the middle start popping up on cars in great numbers. We slap 'em on because the great Cleveland chocolatier, Malley's, gives away a $500 monthly prize when they spot the sticker. And even if you don't win the $500, you can still win one of many $25 Malley's gift cards if you're vehicle is spotted sporting the famous sticker.
8. We put Froot Loops on our hot dogs.
OK... we don't all do this, but it's a pretty famous way to eat a dog here in the CLE. The Happy Dog, a cool hot dog joint in the Gordon Square Arts District, serves up the American favorite with many eclectic toppings, including, you guessed it -- Froot Loops cereal (the Slider Dog features the fruity cereal, bacon, and mac & cheese).
9. We badmouth our city, but If outsiders do, they'll feel our wrath.
We know our city has its share of problems, but that's for us to complain about amongst each other. Non-Clevelanders don't get to Cleveland bash, and that is a rule we strictly enforce.