I’ll start out by saying that I recognize that there are many problems in Cleveland Heights, as there are in most communities. And I agree with others who post on Next Door that our relatively high taxes and the performance of our schools are issues that reduce the desirability of our community to some current and prospective residents.
That being said, I choose to live in Cleveland Heights. I have the choice to live in many other communities, but I made the decision many years ago to live here and I re-make that decision every year. Here are ten reasons that I choose to make Cleveland Heights my home.
1. INTEGRATION. Cleveland Heights is racially integrated, and, more importantly, many of us live here, not in spite of the integration, but because we prefer to live in an integrated community.
2. WELCOMING. Cleveland Heights is a place where people of different religions, ethnicities, incomes and sexual orientations can feel at home and are welcomed as neighbors.
3. NEIGHBORLINESS. Cleveland Heights is a neighborly place, where the closely-spaced houses, front porches and sidewalks encourage residents to get to know one another.
4. WALKABLILITY. Cleveland Heights is a walkable place, where many of us can walk (or bike) to stores and restaurants, as well as to visit neighbors.
5. OPEN-MINDEDNESS. It seems that an unusually high proportion of our residents are well-educated and open to learning new things, even later in life.
6. ENGAGEMENT. Even when we disagree, it is encouraging that so many of our residents care enough about the community to get engaged in working to make Cleveland Heights a better place to live.
7. ACCESSIBILITY. Our proximity to the world-class assets of University Circle in culture, education and health care is a quality that few other communities can match in greater Cleveland (or anywhere else) — and we have great transit access to downtown and other local places.
8. ARTS & CULTURE. In addition to our proximity to University Circle, Cleveland Heights is rich in its own assets in arts and culture, with our truly unique Cain Park as well as our libraries, Dobama Theater, Ensemble Theater, Cedar-Lee Theater, Nightown, the Grog Shop, Heights Arts, Artful, Lake Erie Ink and so many more.
9. LOCAL CHARACTER. At a time when national chain stores and restaurants and cookie-cutter subdivisions have taken the local character out of so many communities, unique local stores and restaurants continue to flourish in our mixed-use commercial districts, and our historic architecture makes Cleveland Heights a distinctive and attractive place.
10. EDUCATION CHOICES. Parents in Cleveland Heights can choose between struggling but still high-quality public schools and an unusual diversity of excellent local private secular and religious schools.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally posted on NextDoor.com, and so many people commented on it that we invited Robert Brown to post it here so that more Heights residents could see it.