Monday, August 16, 2010

The Feast!

Well yesterday I made it to my very first Feast of the Assumption in Cleveland's Little Italy neighborhood. I've spent three summers living in Cleveland (hard to believe time flies that fast), and we finally made it there after all of the hype. Was it worth it? The jury is still out...

Late last week I sent a tweet out asking when the best time to go was. We were looking to experience the festival in its glory, but avoid the "peak" times and crushing crowds that I had heard so much about. Some of you mocked my question, but several of you offered key advice. So we headed out early Sunday evening, and while I didn't see the rest of the four-day-long festival- I thought we were there at a perfect time. The streets and patios were full, but it was easy to navigate up the main street and the lines weren't terribly long at the food stands. If there was a line at all, you knew that whatever they were serving was popular! Like the stromboli line.

Parking was a bit of a pain, and expensive in my opinion since you are about to head into a street festival and drop a bunch of money on trying different food samples and supporting the stands filled with apparel, jewelry, artwork, and other goods. At first, we headed to the outskirts of the festival trying to find free or cheap street parking- it was a No Go. So then we investigated parking lots and garages several streets away- only to discover that they were charging the exact same $10 that the lots right next to the festival were charging. We headed back up to a garage close by and grumpily paid the $10. If we knew the neighborhood a little better, then I am sure we could have found cheaper parking. Any suggestions for next year are welcomed!

It was once again very hot and humid in Cleveland yesterday, but when we arrived around 5:30PM it was starting to break. We wound our way through the street festival sampling gnocchi from Gusto!, ciabatta pizza from Orlando Baking Company, pesto pasta from La Dolce Vita, a fresh meatball stromboli (the line was worth the wait), and we ended with a cold tiramisu from Presti Bakery. With our bellies full and people-watching quota complete, we headed home.

All in all, it was a fun summer Sunday evening and The Feast was worth experiencing even just once. Now will we be back next year? We'll have to wait and see...


alexa @clevelandsaplum said...

that's kind of how i feel about the feast too... it's just so hard to get to!

Liz said...

We used to park in the lot by Mr. Hero - it's on Euclid sort of across from Mi Pueblo. They might be charging now. The parking on the side street next to Mi Pueblo used to be free as well, but it tends to be popular with the students.

If you don't mind walking a bit farther, there's parking on Bellflower, both on the street and a small lot. The lot used to be free in the evenings, but may not be anymore.

There's another Case lot near Murray Hill and Cedar that also used to be free in the evenings and on weekends. You can park on the street in that area as well.

Alternatively, if you live close to the Rapid, you can take the red line to either the Cedar Rd. or Little Italy (E. 105, I believe?) stops. It's probably a 10-15 minute walk from either one.

Tom said...

Or you could ride a bicycle there :)

Bite Buff said...

Thanks for the tips, Liz!

How about a motorcycle, Tom? They got prime parking and I doubt that they had to pay. We almost considered it but opted for the car instead.