Happy Thursday, Cleveland! And while we’re at it, happy holidays, too!
I know we haven’t even gotten to Christmas and Hanukkah yet, but I won’t be back in this space before New Years. So I wanted to use my last While We’re Waiting of 2016 to offer you, sweet reader, some advice for 2017.
While many people set goals related to losing pounds or gaining funds at the start of a new year, I think it’s time we talk about the Cleveland Browns. More importantly, I think it’s time we talk about collectively walking away from them. I implore you: Make a New Years’ resolution to give up on the Browns. Seriously, just do it. It’s time to put an end this relationship. It’s not you; it’s them.
Think of all the things you could do when your Sunday afternoons suddenly open up. Yes, there are only two games left this season. But let’s think ahead to next fall. It’s not like the Browns are going to be suddenly good come September 2017.
Here are 10 ways to better spend your Sundays in 2017—and beyond. Because Browns.
Go to Brunch
This is first on the list for two reasons: Mimosas and bacon. Seriously, you guys, Cleveland is #blessed with crazy-good brunch places, you’re going to run out of Sundays before you run out of places to try.
Urban Farmer (West 6th and St. Clair downtown) and Dante Next Door (Tremont) are two personal favorites where you absolutely can’t go wrong. Also check out Market in Rocky River, XYZ the Tavern in Gordon Square and Press Wine Bar in Tremont. And maybe just go ahead and wear your fat pants. You’ll thank me later.
Make it a Sunday Funday
Whether or not your day begins with brunch, I suggest indulging in the occasional Sunday afternoon cocktail that spills into two or three or seven. Does that make me sound like a lush? Possibly. But nothing beats the Sunday Scaries (that gloomy feeling of dread when you think about the week ahead) like gathering your favorite people to imbibe on your favorite drinks.
And, nothing makes it easier to ignore the Browns—trust me.
Start at one of the places I’ve listed above, and then see where the day takes you. Just be safe about it, OK? Uber makes it ridiculously easy to not drive while you’re cocktailing around town.
Shop a Local Vendor
While nobody loves Target more than I do, I also love throwing my support (and dollars) behind Cleveland’s local vendors. The Cleveland Flea, Cleveland Bazaar, and 5th Street Arcades are great places to get started, as are shops like Banyan Tree, Fount and Happy Hour Collection. You could even do a tour of Cleveland T-shirt companies.
This activity is great following brunch/Sunday Funday, but you don’t necessarily have to be boozed-up to shop. In my experience, it just leads to more fun/spending.
Check Out the West Side Market
This Cleveland gem has been around since 1912 and recently added Sunday hours to its schedule. Whether or not you need to pick up gourmet groceries, give yourself an hour or two to walk around, check out the stands, and take in the gorgeous sights.
Of course, you should probably grab a crepe or a cookie or a salami while you’re there. Or all of the above? Probably all of the above.
Run a Marathon
JUST KIDDING. Have a Netflix marathon instead. Close the blinds, put on your coziest sweats and binge away, my friend. Watch Master of None if you haven’t yet, please. People seem to dig Stranger Things, though I haven’t gotten around to it. You can always re-watch a classic like The Office or Parks and Rec. It doesn’t matter what you watch, just remember that having your TV occupied all day will help lots when it comes to ignoring the Browns game.
Have a GiggleFest
This is a term I made up for when you fall into the rabbit hole of the Internet and lose a few minutes/hours watching silly videos and giggling nonstop. It may sound scary, but it’s really easy, you guys. I swear.
Here are a few of my favorite gigglefest videos to get you started:
If boozing all afternoon or slothing around in your sweats doesn’t sound appealing to you, you can spend your Sunday giving back. I’m a huge fan of the Cleveland Animal Protective League because puppies. Organizations like Malachi House, Greater Cleveland Food Bank, and even Destination Cleveland are always looking for volunteers, donations, and helpers.
Be a Tourist
When you live here, I think it’s really easy to forget about all of the cool sightseeing that can be done in and around Cleveland. Why not spend your Sunday checking out placing like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art, or the Cleveland Museum of Natural History? Or, if you have little ones in tow, places like the Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland Zoo, and Greater Cleveland Aquarium are perfect for spending an afternoon away from the Browns.
If you’re on a budget, walk around cool (and free) spots like Public Square, Playhouse Square, and North Coast Harbor. Just be careful in North Coast Harbor, as it’s dangerously close to the Factory of Sadness.
See a Show
If you’re into music (and really, isn’t everyone?), Cleveland has tons of venues both big and small. From gritty/amazing holes in the wall like Mahall’s and Beachland Ballroom to more sizable places like the House of Blues, check upcoming schedules for your favorite acts, or try something completely new. After all, you’re no longer into the Browns—maybe now you’re into some new type of music? It’s a new year! Try new things.
Relive the Greatness
You could always do the exact opposite of watching the Browns. And by that, I mean re-watching Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals. In case you forgot: The Warriors and their unanimous league MVP blew a 3-1 lead and the Cleveland Cavaliers won Game 7 and the whole damn thing. Watch it again.
Have fun, you guys. Happy holidays and happy new year.