One Month in Cleveland

August 04, 2016, 2:50pm

Today marks the one month anniversary of Lutetia and I living in Cleveland. Here are a few observations from these first 30 days.

There are not nearly as many people wearing Cavs jerseys as I expected and hardly any LeBrons. At the local grocery store, I noticed a small “Cleveland Cavaliers 2016 NBA Champs” poster by the checkout line but it was covered up by a pyramid of World of Warcraft candy boxes. Thought that said it all.

Cleveland has been a land of few distractions in the sense that I don’t have many obligations that cause me to leave my work desk. Ultimately though, I find myself beset by other distractions, such as:

A big shout out to The Ringer, whose recent Cleveland Week feature provided an exceptional primer to Cleveland’s historical and modern cultural relevance. Some of my favorites articles cover:

I’ve kept up with building a new game every week, but my recent games have been pretty uninspired. Part of this is because I have been feeling rather uninspired and uncreative myself. This a little worrisome but I haven’t minded so much because there’s a huge mountain of non-creative work that needs to be done and I’ve been slowly but surely grinding my way through it.

Speaking of grinding, I’ve spent this month playing through some old Final Fantasy games. I recently beat Final Fantasy 1 and 4 and am currently making my way through 5. I'm a big fan of classic Final Fantasy games and am extremely impressed by what they were able to do with a small team and severe hardware limitations. I’ll probably publish my thoughts about each individual game at some point.

Our rent in Cleveland is about half what it was in Berkeley (the apartment is also half the size) but food costs about the same: eating out runs about $10-15 a person and pints of beer range from $5-8. This, plus being on a no-income budget, means I cook for myself and Lutetia almost every day. Today is a special occasion though, so we’re splurging and hitting up Applebee’s. I’m actually really excited for this! It’s funny how just one month removed from living in gastronomic heaven I’m already stoked to dine at Applebee’s but that’s life, right? I can’t say that this month in Cleveland has been absolutely amazing or that I don’t miss California every single day, but I am settling in and getting lots of work done in the meantime.

I once compared my mental approach to living in Cleveland to distance running. For me at least, running consists of willfully enduring long periods of extreme pain and discomfort, which is also how I’d describe coding long hours on an overheating laptop in the sweltering humidity of my poorly ventilated apartment. Like running, it feels great to be done and after a while it even becomes fun in a strange and twisted way.

Ultimately, this first month in Cleveland has been far from perfect but it’s trending in the right direction. On to the next one!