Neighborhood Series: Tremont

It’s a cliché by now, but Tremont really is an all around wonderful neighborhood just south of downtown Cleveland.

The boundaries of the Cuyahoga River to the east, West 25th to the west, and the Steelyard to the south, make the neighborhood big enough to be diverse, but not too sprawling.  It doesn’t have the draconian parking laws of Coventry and the streets in this neighborhood give you plenty of chance to test your parallel parking skills.

The Old Dempsey’s

When festival season starts, people all gravitate to Tremont.  Dave and I went there last weekend for the Greek Festival at the Greek Orthodox Church. Last summer we were there for several outdoor events on Professor Street.  Karen and I did a self-guided walking tour of churches, businesses, and homes using my Cleveland On Foot book. It was perfect for culture and history sightseeing.

People may first discover Tremont for its restaurants and bars. I’ve eaten at Parallax, Edison’s, and Scoops. Several well-known places are only open for dinner and generally out of our budget except for special occasions. But there are lots of good restaurants in Cleveland. I believe that people head to this neighborhood to eat and celebrate because of the interesting street life. After you eat, you can stroll around Lincoln Park, or window shop or greet dog walkers and neighbors along Literary or Professor Streets.

Doubting Thomas

After making eating a destination, there is always shopping.  The Banyan Tree has a lot of affordable clothes and really great sidewalk sales.  Look for earrings, baby things, and small gifts. There are a few interesting galleries and resale shops as well.

Even if you can’t stop, just driving around and looking at the homes is a worthwhile way to spend time. There are a lot of Victorian era homes that have been restored from the days when the Irish, Poles, and Russians made “University Heights”(as it used to be called) a home for upwardly mobile immigrants. The zoning is lenient enough to allow a diverse mix of homes.  People take pride in their little fenced in yards. I’ve seen gorgeous flowers and scrubs lining walks and decorating flower boxes.

See what I mean about diversity?

Within the one square mile of Tremont are 25 churches. The one that sexagenarians may know is St. Theodosius on Starkweather. It was the setting for the wedding scenes in the movie The Deer Hunter.  It is still the center for Russian spiritual life in Cleveland.  When you walk behind the church there is a panoramic view of the old steel mills, smokestacks, and the Cuyahoga River.

Best of all is the funkiness of the place. When you revisit you see little statues and signs stuck on drainpipes or next to doors. Interesting do-it-yourself projects have been painted in unique ways. There may be a collection of gazing balls, or metal wind chimes to catch your eye.  But there are also the traditional flags, porch swings, and potted plants.

Tremont residents seem to have mastered the gentle celebration of past, present, and future and we like to go there to join them.


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2 responses to “Neighborhood Series: Tremont”

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  1. Carolyn says:

    Karen,

    This is a comprehensive, thoughtful review of what sounds like an intriguing, diverse, delightful experience in Tremont! Per your review I can’t tell if I’ve really been there, or just think I’ve been there!

  2. Karen says:

    If you haven’t been there, we will go! Remember Barberton chicken? We can do another excursion like that.