Neighborhood Series- Coventry

Up the Cedar Road hill and off to the left is a neighborhood that draws me to my book discussion group, my favorite milk shake, and shopping for inexpensive bags, jewelry, and hookah pipes. (Did I say hookah pipes?)

Welcome to Coventry where the little lamppost banners are in tie-dye.

You can get away with wearing this in Coventry

Long ago I came to Coventry to eat at Tommy’s. This was my first dip into Middle Eastern, and a lot of vegetarian, food and coffee flavored shakes. People from all the nearby neighborhoods walk or bike to this inexpensive, yet flavorful, eatery.  (Coventry has those annoying meters in parking lots that must be fed so walking is a good option).

Next door, in fact through a door in the wall, is Mac’s Books. This store specializes in used books but they have everything. In fact, when we moved back to Cleveland I joined their book club and, like most book clubs, they select best sellers so you almost have to buy new books. Mac’s has three floors and some dusty corners with stacks of old tomes to step over. It’s much less institutional than a chain and there is a very loyal customer base.

Up and down the street are stores that draw lots of young people. Passport to Peru has the gauzy loose dresses and woven blankets from countries with tall mountains, City Buddha has beaded bracelets and statuary for meditative types. There is Big Fun Toy Store which has cheesy little trinkets and old time games. It’s a great place for Barbie Doll or Star Wars collectors. I got my first “in a booth” picture strips there a million years ago.

The street scene outside Tommy’s

Eating is eclectic. Besides vegetarian there are lots of grills and table-clothed places for all palates and price ranges.  The most crowded places serve burgers, wraps and salads and lots of beer. Think of Winking Lizard.

When I go to Coventry, I’ll stop at Marc’s to pick up toiletries or I’ll go to the ACE hardware before I head to my book club.  I’ll park down the street, beyond the meters, near the Unitarian Universalist Church.

No matter where you go there is the feeling that this is a neighborhood gathering place. There are a lot of apartments around so people want to get out and take a walk. This is a good place to do this. There are hanging flowers, wrought iron benches, and several places to browse. There is also a whole spectrum of international people so you feel like you might be in a much bigger city.  Upperclassmen from Case Western Reserve live here as well as their instructors.

“The Lizard”

Other neighborhoods are diverse, but Coventry feels younger, more to the left, and a little edgier.

If you haven’t been there for a while, go and take a friend. Make funny faces in the photo booth followed by a mocha shake.


4 responses to “Neighborhood Series- Coventry”

Leave your response
  1. Judy says:

    I always got a falafel at Tommy’s, and felt very sophisticated – and Melissa always got her earrings at Passport to Peru. Amazing that they are still around. My favorite place in Coventry though was Arabica. This was way before Starbucks popularized the model of comfortable chairs, tables to work on, quirky drinks, and great music. Sadly, I think it is now gone.

  2. Karen says:

    Arabica is gone. I think it’s replaced by Caribou. The Grog Shop is still there.

  3. Lois says:

    You are making me homesick! Damn, now I want a mocha shake and a spinach pie. The Coke and fried catfish here in Quitman just aren’t the same.

  4. Karen says:

    Next time you are in town I’m buying you a mocha shake and spinach pie and you can buy the photos in Big Fun.