I'm Canadian and am seriously considering accepting a job in Cleveland after graduating with an MBA in April. The job is a fantastic fit, right up my alley, well paying, etc. So the decision is now going on whether or not Cleveland is a good place to live.
A bit about me: I just looked it up and the area I grew up in is the safest in Canada, by far. I have lived and travelled throughout Europe extensively - so going from culture to culture is not much of an issue for me. My biggest concerns are safety in Cleveland, the overall city vibe, the women, and needing a vehicle or not.
From the research I've done, the male to female ratio is 0.85:1 - very good; the median income is around 32k...so basically I gotta figure there are a lot of poor women looking for rich men. That and the housing is dirt cheap. However, my buddy was telling me the other day that his friend went to school in Cleveland and got mugged his 2nd day there. My coach said he's been twice and could not see where the ghetto ended - seemed to envelope the entire city.
So yeah...I'm looking to get some idea of what it's like to live there that goes beyond what I've researched online and heard from friends. Also - any good running groups there?
Cleveland is full of hoodies and mullets. The women? There are a lot of women. A lot of fat, nasty women. The vibe? Clevelanders revel in negativity and racism.
Housing? Actually, Cleveland does have a lot cheap housing. Lots of beautiful old homes & plenty of new developments in relatively livable areas (however, if safety is your #1 concern, you WILL pay a lot more for the safer communities). Also, forget about public transport if you want to live in a safe area. Clevelanders live and die by their cars.
Oh, and as for running groups, there are a few. There are also plenty of fantastic trails in and around the emerald necklace.
Cleveland isn't that bad, but it also isn't that good. Cleveland's east side is a complete no go zone. It never recovered from the Hough race riots of the 1960s. The near west side is also pretty tough, but has seen some promising gentrification. But once you get out of the skunk of the inner city, the suburbs are just fine. Crime is bad, but not out of control like parts of Chicago. Crime generally stays in the bad neighborhoods. The problem is that some of the more interesting neighborhoods that are close to the City get crime bleeding over from the bad areas. Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights are decent areas on the east side that are close to the city and cultural centers (orchestra, art museum--both world class). But they get crime from east Cleveland. On the West side, Ohio City and Tremont are cool areas that have seen a lot of good gentrification. But, there is still a lot of crime in those areas. I used to live in Ohio City and had the police helicopter shine its spotlight on my yard every couple of weeks.
If you are really afraid of the crime, just live out in the burbs. The burbs are pretty boring, but are very safe. Lakewood, Rocky River, Westlake and Bay Village are all pretty decent areas to the west. Stongsville, North Royalton and Brecksville are as dull as it gets to the south. Mayfield, Wiloughby, Mentor, etc. are the dullsvilles to the east. Cleveland did get hurt in the housing bubble, but mostly due to people taking out second mortgages they could not afford and not due to prices rises out of control. Housing is crazy cheap in Cleveland.
There are some great places to run in the Metro Parks. Rocky River Reservation on the west side has a @12 mi trail that is excellent. Other metro parks have similar trails around town. The only problem is running in the winter when it is dark in the morning and afternoon. I could never get used to that and ended up on a treadmill in the winter.
There are worse places than Cleveland. But Cleveland is a dying city. It is just dying very, very slowly.
As a fellow Canuck living in the USA, I can tell you unequivocally that Cleveland is a dive.
Go and see for yourself--while you're there, take some trips to Cincinnati, Akron, Toledo, etc.. There are really no equivalents in Canada.
Case Western is a bit of a bright spot, but not really.
I've got an idea--go hand out in Hamilton for a while, right in the harbour, and you'll have an idea of what Cleveland is like.
Only in Hamilton, the water won't be on fire:
Sure it was years ago, but it hasn't changed in any substantial way. Occasionally I pass through Cleveland on my way to Toronto, although it is better to take the highway bypass. I only do it out of a morbid curiosity.
Another idea--go hang out in Buffalo some time, that will give you a pretty good sense of what it's like.
My sister and her husband and two boys live in University Heights. They like it ok, but I don't think they are in love with it. Personally, I could never live in the Cleveland area simply for the snow and the few extra days of cold weather each winter. But, since you are coming from Canada, I say go for it. Sometimes you go where the right job is, and it sounds like this is the right job.
You'll have to research where the safest areas are, and where you work and want to live will determine whether you need a vehicle or not. Cleveland does have the light rail, so look into that.
Welcome to the USA my brother.
|not too bad|
First, congratulations on the MBA and job offer. I've lived in CLE since 2004 and honestly, it's not bad. I live in an area called Westpark (near Kamm's Corner-check it out the area is growing). I take the rapid (train) to and from work downtown each day. I own a house 2 blocks from a rapid station and have had no problems with crime. If you use simple common sense you will be ok. I do own a car but don't drive that often. Yes the weather sucks but it could be a good starting point and an excellent resume builder. What other job offers have you had? I've worked for the same company since 2002 and don't plan on leaving anytime soon. I know I won't retire in CLE but it works for now so why question it? The only regret I have is buying a house. I bought at the peak of the market and am not sure if I'll ever break even. But you learn from your mistakes. There are good looking and ugly people wherever you go. This is true all over the midwest.
"I live in an area called Westpark (near Kamm's Corner-check it out the area is growing)."
Checked it out, looks sick...especially with the river there. Thanks.
"If you use simple common sense you will be ok. Yes the weather sucks."
For both of these statements, keep in mind that I am Canadian. What may be common sense for you is not the same for me...stereotypes do exist for a reason, haha. As for the weather...I checked out the climate stats and it's actually a substantial improvement on what I'm used to.
"What other job offers have you had?"
I'd rather not be one of those examples of people that talk openly online about this sort of stuff...never know who's reading.
Goodbye Jim and Jackie, goodbye John and May
We hope that you'll be happy, living in the USA
But if you don't believe your country
Should come before yourself
You can better serve your country
By living somewhere else
How can you leave Canada with Stompin' Tom laying down that kind of guilt-trip?
And 'Wandering Canuck,' I'd like to know where you've been hanging out that makes Buffalo and Cleveland look soooo awful. Emerson Etem called Buffalo "the worst city ever, it makes medicine hat look like paradise".... Well, for someone that grew up in actual paradise (Long Beach) I can see where he's coming from. Of course, he was referring to the vacant city streets on a week-night in the winter. But of course your judgment could not be as rash as an 18 yeard old who only spends a little over a week in the city... you've probably spent more time there than that.
|bmcpool strikes back|
Graduater, good thread to start. i am also considering moving to cleveland and it is good to hear different perspectives. i read through some of the old threads about cleveland and have visited twice in the last few months.
my impression is that it has a worse reputation than perhaps warranted, though there are some obvious negatives to the city.
from what i've seen the city looks neither safer nor more unsafe than other big cities. sure there are the bad parts, but you just don't go there, much like all cities.
Cleveland is a horrible, horrible place. I suggest that you PASS on the job. Of course, you're young. You could always just develop your skills, get to the top of your profession, then transfer to Miami.
Westpark is good, and on the other side of the river (with the 12 miles of asphalt trail and 20ish of bridal path) there is Fairview Park, Rocky River, Lakewood. All of these four have good schools, low crime, etc. They all also have community workout/indoor gym facilities that you belong to as a resident. Really first class stuff.
(west park has a sweet bar/girl scene as well)
Cleveland is barely liveable if you are used to big city Canada. I am Canadian, moved to Cleveland in 2004 for family/work after living in Toronto from 1990-2004, and eastern Ontario before that. The culture shock will be subtle.
The comparison with Hamilton is accurate, except Hamilton has better weather. It may be 1 or 2 degrees warmer in Cleveland in the winter, but it is cloudy and damp, with lots of sleet, ice etc. There's really nothing comparable in Toronto or Montreal to Cleveland. If you want to live in a suburb and drive everywhere, I guess it is nice for that. If you have some kind of MBA type job downtown and live in a condo downtown, that would be passable too. Don't plan on the public transit being very useful if you live or work more than a few blocks from the major routes, or need it on weekends or nights. There are a few short strips of nightlife around. Coventry is about the equivalent of 1 block of Queen W or St. Denis. There are nice pockets to live in that are surrounded by miles of crap.
Metroparks and Edgewater Park are decent for running. There are some pretty fast guys around, and there is always a 5k on somewhere nearly every weekend year-round. CWRU has a decent indoor track. Cycling is pretty risky, and the cops might just threaten you with an assault charge if you report on drivers running you off the road. There are a lot of bike racing opportunities, and plenty of friendly local bike clubs.
Today's Cleveland.com headline story:
To reiterate what another poster said, congratulations on the MBA and job offer.
I'm going to disagree with much of the groupthink on this thread and tell you that Cleveland is more than simply "liveable". For full disclosure, I do not (nor have I ever) lived in Cleveland but have family there and have visited yearly for probably over 20 years. Granted, I may not have the credentialing of a true local, but here's my take, for what it's worth...
First, professionally. You just earned your MBA (I assume full-time) and want to recognize the investment of your time and effort in earning it. The best way to do this is to get a job that offers you a combination of 1) good pay and 2) a challanging and rewarding role. I assume #2 takes care of itself. After all, you wouldn't be considering this relocation if you weren't intrigued by the job. As for #1, it's probably safe to assume your true salary wouldn't be as high as someone considering a job in New York, Toronto, etc., but living in Cleveland will afford you a less expensive cost of living which will help you recoup many of your expenses over the past few years. I'd say an offer of $80,000 in Cleveland is more than equivalent to $100,000 in New York. My advice on this front is to go wherever offers you the best opportunity for your career. Given your recent time and financial sacrifice, the best way to actualize that investment is to make a "big splash" for your career. If you hate it, take the (assumed) great experience 2-3 years later and be that much more marketable in the job market.
Second, personally. True, Cleveland isn't a "sexy" city(San Francisco, Vancouver, etc). But, it's also not a small town where you're legitimately working for the only show in town. Cleveland offers you 3 of the "big 4" professional sports (spare the jokes on the competitiveness of the Browns, Cavaliers, and Indians), as well as a likely stop for any touring music act. It's got the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, an above-average MetroParks system, and a pretty good nightlife area (The Warehouse District). The weather is rocky but being from Canada I assume it's nothing you haven't seen before.
Don't go to Cleveland expecting to live in Miami or Montreal. It's a midwestern city with good people who have been hit by the recent economic downturn. If you're confident in the job offer and the opportunity itself I say go for it. You can make a place a great home if you're willing to work at it.