University Circle

University Circle, the Cleveland district that Case Western calls home, is a world-class center for education, the arts, medicine and culture. Cleveland's main street, Euclid Avenue, runs through the heart of University Circle and right through the middle of campus. The area is known as part of the larger Euclid Corridor – the section of Euclid Avenue that runs west from campus to the heart of downtown Cleveland.

The following museums are located within a 5-10 minute walk from the Physics building, and are must-see institutions (the vast majority of which are free to students!):

Cleveland also has a rich musical history, largely due to the Cleveland Orchestra, one of the "Big Five" American orchestras (the others are: The New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra). The Cleveland Orchestra is housed in Severance Hall which is worth a look on its own - it's on the National Register of Historic Places and is well known for it's beautiful Art Deco interior). It's easy to find cheap tickets to Cleveland Orchestra concerts - the Orchestra runs a Student Advantage Program that allows students to purchase tickets to concerts for only $10 (and no, they're not nosebleed seats).

University Circle boasts live music nearly every day - the Cleveland Institute of Music maintains a packed schedule of concerts from internationally known professionals and talented students, and a small bar (The Barking Spider) often has live bluegrass and folk music. If you're more interested in performing than listening, all students are invited to participate in the University's bands and orchestras.

Throughout the year, University Circle hosts wonderful events that have become Cleveland traditions, the list of which is too long to include here. Two of the more notable events are Parade the Circle and Wade Oval Wednesdays.

Housing in University Circle is somewhat limited – at the time of writing, Case offered graduate student housing in one of the former undergraduate dorms, but we recommend this only as a short-term, last-resort housing option. The Triangle Apartments are one option for students, offering more amenities than you might find in a typical, older apartment building (air conditioning, dishwashers, covered parking lots, two bathrooms in two bedroom apartments, an exercise room and a 2-minute walk to campus) but they tend to be more expensive ($700-800 per person).

Grocery stores are limited in University Circle, but Constantino's is a small market in Uptown that stocks the basics as well as some prepared meals; it also has a nice wine and beer selection. Circle Convenience is a (much) smaller convenience store - it mostly carries alcohol. There is a pharmacy located in the lobby of University Hospitals' Bolwell Building (off of Cornell Rd.) that stocks basic medical supplies and over-the-counter medicines (which tend to be inexpensive!).

There is a post office located on E. 105th Street (a manageable walk), but a more convenient location in Thwing (but they won't ship boxes). A UPS Store is connected to the Triangle apartment building.

There are two RTA Rapid stations within walking distance of campus - University Circle and Euclid/E.120, with many stops for other bus lines scattered all over campus. The RTA can get you pretty much anywhere you need to go in Cleveland, including the airport. Case also runs a campus shuttle service (affectionately called the "Greenie," though the shuttles are white [they used to be green!]); the Greenie stops are marked by small signs. **IF YOU ARE ON CAMPUS LATE AT NIGHT, we highly recommend calling for a SafeRide (216-368-3000). SafeRide drivers will drive you home so you don't have to worry about walking by yourself.

There are two gyms nearby - Case students have access to Veale Athletic Center (free), and 121 Fitness (paid) is also on campus.

You can buy coffee at the following locations:

  • Einstein Brothers Bagels (Nord, UH Atrium)
  • Peet's Coffee & Tea (Crawford Hall. Can't find your advisor? Check Peet's.)
  • Java Jive (UH Bolwell Building Lobby)
  • Starbucks (Euclid & Mayfield, BRB, The Village at 115, Case Bookstore)
  • The Coffee House (Juniper Road, near the Botanical Garden and Barking Spider)
  • There is also a small cafe inside Kelvin Smith Library
  • The department also has a coffee club - ask around for more info!

Little Italy

Cleveland's Little Italy is a historic neighborhood adjacent to University Circle and the Case Western campus, full of art galleries, bakeries and authentic Italian restaurants. Little Italy is also home to the annual Feast of the Assumption, which is usually held in mid- to late-August (you should experience it at least once!). On the first weekend of June, October and December, Little Italy hosts an Art Walk, which features galleries and live music.

At the top of Murray Hill is the historic Lakeview Cemetery. Among the points of interest are the President James A. Garfield Monument and the Wade Chapel, both of which are on the National Register of Historic Places, and the Rockefeller Monument.

The list of restaurants in Little Italy is too long to fit here, but we recommend taking a walk up Murray Hill and Mayfield Road. Little Italy has everything from pizza by the slice to high-end Italian, great gelato and fantastic bakeries (try a slice of Corbo's famous cassata cake). It's a great place to grab a lunch in the summer, when you can eat at a sidewalk table!

Little Italy is a popular housing choice because of (generally) inexpensive rent and proximity to campus. Most of the apartments in Little Italy are converted older houses; you can expect rent to run anywhere between $300-$700 (depending on whether or not you have a roommate, number of bedrooms, etc.). You can check Craigslist for apartments, but as most landlords are small operations, it tends to be easier just to drive by and look for vacancy signs. Parking can be tricky, but if you have an address in Little Italy you can get an inexpensive street parking pass from Cleveland City Hall (at last check, it was $10 for the year).

Coventry

Once a hippie stronghold, Coventry Village is now an eclectic mix of restaurants, bars and locally-owned shops. Coventry Rd. is the neighborhood's main street, but it lies directly to the east of Little Italy, between Mayfield and Cedar Roads. It's a ~20 minute walk from campus, but Case also runs an evening shuttle service between campus and Coventry and there are RTA stops nearby. Some of our favorite places:

If you decide to live near Coventry, there is a Marc's grocery store in the middle of Coventry Road. There is plenty of housing in Coventry, and it's a popular choice for grad and professional students. Housing costs vary widely, so you can expect anything between $300-800 per person. Craigslist is a good place to start looking (as well as asking current grad students, many of which live in Coventry), but again, it's easy to find an apartment by just driving/walking around and calling.

Cedar Fairmount

Cedar Fairmount is a great neighborhood adjacent to campus. There are plenty of housing options (through larger companies or through smaller operations - it's not difficult to find housing here!) and it's roughly a 15-20 minute walk to campus. Cedar Rd. and Fairmount are two of the main streets running through the near-east side of Cleveland (the other being Mayfield Rd.), so there are plenty of conveniences in the neighborhood. A grocery store (Dave's Market) is on the corner of Cedar and Fairmount, in the same plaza as some great restaurants and a nice martini bar (with a fabulous patio in the summer). Across the street are more restaurants, coffee shops (Starbucks and Luna Bakery [try a macaron!], and some locally-owned shops, as well as Nighttown, a restaurant/bar that has wonderful live jazz. If you're a tennis player, Cedar Fairmount is a great place to live - the Case Western courts are at this end of campus. Cedar Fairmount is a 5-10 minute walk to Coventry, so it's a nice option for people who want to be somewhat removed from campus yet still have plenty of things to do within a short 5-10 minute walk.

Shaker Heights

Ten minutes from Case is Shaker Heights, a quiet suburb of Cleveland, and a popular option among graduate students. Most grad students who choose to live in Shaker Heights live in the apartment buildings near Shaker Square. The North Moreland and Larchmere sides of the square are particularly nice. Most of the apartments you'll come across are in larger apartment buildings run by realty companies, but smaller, independently-owned apartments can be found! (Ask around the department - quite a few students live here!) Just one tip from current grad students - avoid apartments on the south side of Shaker Square.

Shaker Square has plenty of banks, a grocery store (Dave's Market), a drug store (CVS), and a variety of restaurants. There is a farmer's market there every Saturday, year-round. There are many convenient public transportation options in this area including the RTA bus line (take the 48 to CWRU) and rapid (convenient way to get downtown or to the airport). The network of parks within easy walking distance, including the Shaker Lakes Nature Center, is very popular with runners. There's also a nice movie theater in Shaker Square that has $5 Movie Mondays.

Cedar-Lee

A 10-20-minute walk from Coventry, the Cedar-Lee area houses some hidden gems. While you might not want to live as far away from campus as Cedar-Lee, it is a wonderful area to shop and to spend your weekend (or weekday) nights. Graduate students often organize outings to Melt Bar and Grilled, and to the Saturday night Cedar Lee Theater movie showings. The bar schene tends to be a bit older (and more laid back) than Coventry. Be sure to check out the summer concert schedule at Cain Park! Here are a few of our favorites:

University Heights / Beachwood

If you drive a few miles east along Cedar Road, you will come across four different shopping centers, each providing tax revenue to a different district. This may sound crazy, but it is completely to your benefit: any store you could possible need, and they all fall within one mile of each other. Here's what you'll find:

  • Severance Town Center [Corner of Mayfield and South Taylor]: Post Office, Dave's Supermarket, Walmart, Regal Cinemas, Home Depot, Marshall's, Office Max, iHop (24 hours!)
  • University Square [Corner of Cedar and Green Road]: Target, Macy's TJMaxx, Whole Foods, Chipotle, Panera, BMV (get your residency, driver's license, car registration, etc.)
  • Legacy Village [Cedar and Richmond]: Apple Store, Urban Active gym, Melting Pot (fondue), Crate & Barrel, tons of restaurants and shops!
  • Beachwood Village and LaPlace [Cedar and Richmond]: Typical mall stores, some nice restaurants (Sushi Rock has great cocktails and a huge sushi menu)

Downtown

Downtown Cleveland gets a bad rap from the Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Videos (1 and 2, made by a Clevelander and worth a watch) but there’s actually a lot going on and the city is invested in improving the heart of Cleveland. “Downtown” can be broken into the following districts:

  • Public Square - the heart of downtown, with the famous Tower City Center (see it in "A Christmas Story") and the new Horseshoe Casino. The RTA rapid train runs through the bottom of Tower City Center, so it’s a great way to get to games/bars/etc.
  • The Warehouse District - Largely residential, it’s becoming populated with bars, restaurants and small shops.
  • The Gateway District - This includes Progressive Field (home of the Cleveland Indians) and Quicken Loans Arena (home to the Cleveland Cavaliers, AFL Cleveland Gladiators and AHL Lake Erie Monsters). Both arenas are connected to Tower City and the RTA. Since Cleveland sports teams are in a perpetual state of “rebuilding,” tickets to most games are ridiculously cheap, and students can get them even cheaper (or sometimes for free, through Case).
  • E. 4th - Home to restaurants run by a few internationally known chefs Michael Symon (Lola Bistro), Zack Bruell (Chinato) and Jonathan Sawyer (The Greenhouse Tavern). While these restaurants and bars tend to be more upscale, they’re worth it for the occasional splurge. They also tend to have fantastic happy hours!
  • North Coast District - It’s not usually called this, but at the end of E. 9th street are some of Cleveland’s most famous institutions: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Great Lakes Science Center, and the Cleveland Browns Stadium (the grad students try to plan a tailgating trip once a season). This is a great spot to view fireworks on the 4th of July – you can see fireworks all the way down the lake!
  • Theater District - Cleveland has the second-largest performing arts district in the U.S. Playhouse Square Center has five theaters clustered around Euclid Avenue, bringing in a wide variety of shows year-round. Again, it’s possible for students to get cheap tickets!
  • W. 6th - Oft-maligned, West 6th is the place to go if you like to dance. It’s packed on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as most game days. See if you can find the legendary “Superpimp.” It won’t be difficult.
  • The Flats - Once a hotspot, the flats have emptied out over the last few years. While we hate to discourage exploring downtown Cleveland, we’d advise avoiding the flats (as much for your safety as your spirit). That said, it is home to the new Cleveland Aquarium (the place to go if you like looking at species native to Lake Erie).

Ohio City

Just across the Cuyahoga River from downtown is Ohio City. Perhaps the most famous tenant is the West Side Market - a diverse shopping market with over 100 vendors and attracting over 1 million visitors every year. The WSM is a real Cleveland gem that just celebrated it's centennial. It's one of the best places to find authentic, culturally diverse food at reasonable prices. I's a great place to spend a Saturday morning, especially during the summer, when there are free outdoor concerts right across the street!

Ohio City is also home to a burgeoning brewery scene. The Great Lakes Brewing Company is the oldest brewery in the neighborhood and brews a Christmas ale that people go crazy for. Sign up for their newsletter- they host great events throughout the year. Right around the corner are Bier Markt/Bar Cento (tons of great Belgian beer and the best pommes frites), Market Garden Brewery (a small-batch brewery with a nice beer garden) and Nano Brew (an even smaller-batch brewery with a huge patio).

If beer's not your thing, there are plenty of other great bars in Ohio City, along with dozens of restaurants - everything from high end American fare to authentic Mediterranean, inventive Mexican food to BonBon Pastry. There are also plenty of cool, quirky stores and a new hostel - so be sure to take some time and walk around!

Every winter, Ohio City hosts the Brite Winter Festival - Cleveland's winter art & music festival. Brite Winter is organized by 20- and 30-somethings, and is a great opportunity to get out and play, listen to local bands, and meet new people.

Getting to Ohio City couldn't be easier - there's an RTA rapid station right across the street from the West Side Market.

Tremont

In the same vein of cool neighborhoods for young people is Tremont! One of the oldest neighborhoods in Cleveland, it used to be named University Heights in tribute to the city's first university. Remnants of it's former days are evident in the street names: Professor, College, and Literary, among others.

Today, Tremont is known for it's huge number of art galleries, restaurants and boutiques, as well as for being a great place for young adults and young families. The neighborhood has a distinct small-town character coupled with a rich cultural heritage. Throughout the year, on the second Friday of the month, Tremont hosts an Art Walk, where all of the galleries and boutiques stay open late, many with live music, and the streets are filled with people. During the summer, Tremont hosts farmer's markets and the Taste of Tremont - a great way to sample food from popular restaurants.

The options for food and drinks in Tremont are staggering - everything from a killer $3 taco at Barrio to upscale dinners (Most of Cleveland's famous chefs have a place in Tremont: Lolita, Dante and Gingko, Parallax). Most of the restaurants have great, inexpensive happy hours, and there are some fantastic cafes and coffee shops to work in. There are also a few legendary Cleveland outposts like Sokolowski's. During the summer, Tremont has some of the best patios in Cleveland (see: Treehouse) and Prosperity Social Club is a fun choice for their board games. It's a bit farther than walking to Coventry (a 15 minute drive) but a great place to hang out.