Gentrified is how I might describe a couple of communities on the near West Side of Cleveland which, after having become run down so the prices and taxes became easier to bear, enterprising folks bought in and gave new life to places called Ohio City and Tremont, both short distances from the ever popular West Side Market. Restaurants and pubs attract throngs of hungry visitors looking for a fine dining experience.

A wonderful dinner at Fahrenheit in Tremont was a rare treat for me Friday evening as the people I’m acquainted with from work and their spouses gathered to celebrate a post-Christmas party together. Not only is the food excellent, I selected the grilled Rib Eye Steak, while others opted for chicken or fish, the conversation was good too. I enjoyed a glass of Cabernet with the meal and somehow managed to eat Chocolate Lava Cake for dessert.

John, one of the original Advisors in our group, brought me a copy of a book of poetry from St. Ed’s High School where his son is a senior and of course one of his poems was published in the collection. The book is a credit to St. Ed’s and to all the students who contributed art or poetry.

Colleen asked us each to take a turn telling where we would like to go for a once in a lifetime vacation. Marcy and her husband said Bora-Bora, Colleen said Hawaii and I was surprised she had not already been there since she has been to places like China, Tahiti, Finland, and Sao Paolo. For me it is Iceland where I’m guessing the view of Aurora Borealis might be stunning. Asked what were the best places any of us had already been, I had to concede that Kyoto, Japan was very beautiful, although I would have to add that Prague is very high on my list as well.

At half past ten we filed out of the restaurant and re-convened in the place next door for a round of drinks. A grapefruit beer peeked my curiosity until I saw an interesting looking green drink that Monica was sipping and ended up with one of those. It was a nice mild drink, not too much liquor and fruit was not too sweet so it was pleasant. I only got half way through it before Colleen and her husband, Steve said we were leaving, so I gave the drink to Monica in case she might be able to finish it.

Steve navigated the local highway system with ease and we were back at the office in a few minutes where I said my thank you and good night and got into my own little car which came right to life with a turn of the key and I knew they were waiting for me to go ahead to be sure I got going safely.

My head was filled with all of the smiles and kindnesses of the evening and gratefulness for the good food, good drinks, good company I was privileged to be a part of.

I dozed off that night with a prayer for all the people to be safe as the storm of the century swept up and down the Eastern Seaboard.


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