what better way to spend a gorgeous, saturday afternoon than hopping around town on a trolley checking out the sights of clevelad?
the 8th annual sparx city hop was last saturday, and i am so glad we got to go! if it wasn't for those darned naps, i think we could have easily spent all day hopping around the different central cleveland neighborhoods.
since the event was so spread out in different areas close to downtown, parking was not even an issue. we started our journey at the wooltex gallery where cleveland handmade market made their home for the day. just at this one location, there was already so much to see. artisans had their wares set up inside and outside of the building, art was displayed on the walls, and enjoyable accordian music was playing right outside.
and to top all that, simple, black railings that lined the sidewalk proved to be quite entertaining for our kids (we seriously spent at least 20 minutes just outside messing around at the railings...who knew?).
after managing to pry our children away from the railings, we hopped on the packed trolley and took a ride down to the asian town center, a newly constructed building feature another asian grocery store (doing happy dance) and an art gallery of sorts on the 2nd floor.
just outside the building, we stopped by to talk to the bubble wrap lady on stilts and enjoyed a short performance (particularly emma) by a group of young dancers (she was impressed by the smallest and youngest girl in the group).
while on the 2nd floor, we came across one particular artist, gadi zamir, that created some impressive paintings out of old tree trunks and wood pieces. his pieces incorporate the knots in the wood into the painting itself, and if i hadn't been told that i don't think i would have noticed at all. some of my favorite pieces of his work were the tree trunk slices (is that what you call them??) he turned into one of a kind tables (SO awesome to have one of these at home). you could still see the tree rings through the paint. seeing this was perfect timing since the week before emma had just learned about tree rings at the nature center...great way to reinforce what she had learned and to see someone create something beautiful out of an object that may not seem like anything at all.
back on the trolley, we ended up taking the long way back to our starting point. fortunately, this was a treat for the little ones. they liked being able to ride around without being strapped in, and there was plenty of visual stimulation from the window to keep them entertained.
back at our starting point, our appetite got the best of us and we stopped for a simple lunch at artefino art gallery and cafe. on the way back to the car, we could not resist the lure of the sidewalk chalk and make our mark before heading home.
if you missed this event, i highly recommend planning to attend for next year. this is such a fun way to tour some of cleveland's neighborhoods, see some interesting art, and meet new people. and if you have kids, this is such a practical way to learn about the world around them and get them exposed early to art and art appreciation (for example, during this outing emma learned about texture and depth). one thing to note though, if you plan on riding the trolley and you have a small tot like we do, ditch the stroller and take the baby carrier.