This summer, thanks to the Cleveland Leadership Center’s (i)Cleveland program, I got to peer beyond the walls of my cubicle and spend time exploring the neighborhoods of Ohio City—an adventure that introduced me to new greenspaces and artwork and helped expand my perception of this area of Cleveland beyond Mitchell’s Ice Cream and the West Side Market.
I could’ve spent the better part of 48 hours and two SD cards capturing the many places to adventure in Ohio City, but 1. I didn’t come prepared with my camera, and 2. The woman leading us on the tour was not prepared for my many requests to “just hang on one second so I can take a picture really fast!!”
Crazy, I know.
Until I can make it back for a longer excursion, a few rushed iPhone shots will have to do. In the meantime,
Check out these three beautiful hiding spots that hold some of my favorite Ohio City photo ops:
1. Ohio City Farm
Across the street from the West Side Market, the colorful crops in the Ohio City Farm perfectly juxtapose the nearby skyline. As one of the largest urban farms in the United States, Ohio City Farm’s nearly six acres of farm-fresh produce provide resources to local residents and restaurants like the Great Lakes Brewing Company.
The Ohio City farm also provides a place for refugees in Cleveland to work through the Refugee Response (TRR) and the Refugee Empowerment Agricultural Program (REAP)– programs that empower refugees to gain education and employment while contributing to the community.
If you happen to be in the neighborhood on a Saturday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., the Ohio City Farm also boasts a farm stand where you can purchase fresh produce from June-November.
2. Neighborhoods and Street Art
Okay, this one totally combines two stellar photo ops (so long as you’re not creepily taking photos of the houses in the neighborhood), but you’re bound to come across the many murals that decorate building facades as you stroll the streets of Ohio City.
After taking note of the city’s gloomy, bare brick walls, the Cleveland Foundation began working with artists from both Cleveland and around the world who brought their colorful paintings to buildings throughout Ohio City. The project was designed to bring vibrancy and friendliness to the neighborhoods, and has since made Ohio City the home of the longest mural in Ohio (not pictured).
3. Red Line Greenway
One of Ohio City’s most up-and-coming attractions is the Red Line Greenway: A soon-to-be three-mile linear park that repurposes previously unused land along the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s Red Line, connecting neighborhoods from the West 65th Street’s Zone Recreation Center to downtown Cleveland.
While this project is not yet completed, I had the chance to scope out the trail as I helped plant flowers and clear parts of the land with the other (i)Cleveland participants– it’s definitely worth keeping on your radar as the project nears completion in the coming years.
As the brainchild of Leonard Stover and the Rotary Club of Cleveland, the Red Line Greenway has been in the works since 2011, and the estimated $13 million, three-phase project is projected to be open to the public in 2020. The project has relied heavily on the work of volunteers and support from partners like LAND Studios, who has helped design and conceptualize the project since 2012.
Throughout the trail, you’ll come across plenty of street art ranging from colorful graffiti to meaningful murals. The greenway, as its name suggests, is also adorned with flowerbeds and other landscaped greenery, thanks to the The Rotary Club and other volunteers who have assisted throughout the project.
Similar to the New York High Line, the Red Line Greenway will give visitors a place to stroll while taking in Cleveland’s greatest views from 90+ feet above the river…
…which will provide the perfect vantage point for scoping out even more photo ops across the city.