Friday, February 19, 2016

A Modern Fairy Tale: Father and Daughter Break a Barrier in Disney Race

Dan Boyle is pushing for a change — literally. For three years, the Lee Eaton math teacher has been pushing his daughter, Courteney, in a wheelchair in 5Ks and 10Ks throughout Northeast Ohio. Courteney is nonverbal and was diagnosed with the rare neurological condition, Moebius Syndrome as well as intestinal failure. Having a love for Disney and running, the father-and-daughter duo wanted to do the Disney Glass Slipper Challenge, a 10K followed by a half marathon the next day. But Disney doesn't allow wheelchairs, so the father petitioned Disney until it eventually changed its policy. “Finally in mid-June, I got a call from the director himself, who said, ‘Hey, we’d like to invite you to participate.’" Boyle recalls. "We were in the parking lot of Chick-fil-A in Macedonia, and I started crying.” Courteney is the first person approved to get pushed in a wheelchair to compete in the Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend.

The family blazed a trail, already dashing through red tape for others to join the race. "My wife and I have been marveled at how many people have said, ‘We couldn’t do this, but now we can.’ Its been exciting and humbling," Boyle says. The Boyle family, who has another child with disabilities adopted from El Salvador, is running the course to raise money for Rina, a woman in El Salvador with disabilities. We caught up with Boyle to talk about making history, his daughter and why the race is so important to them.  

Q: What was your process on getting Disney to change their policy?
A: I got in touch with someone who said, "For safety reasons, we don’t allow mobility aids." I was told, "No," and I asked if I could appeal it. They had a waiver I could fill out which gave them permission to look up Courteney’s medical records. They told me my request was being looked into. So it went from "No," to there’s a little bit of hope. April, May, and June had gone by, and I got a call from the director, his words were, "Disney wants to be more inclusive," so they said, "Yes, we could do it." Disney has maintained that its going to be case by case, but that is better than no. There are at least three other people doing it this weekend with us.

Q: Does Courteney have a favorite character to dress up as for the race?
A: That’s a tough one. As far as princesses go, we love Cinderella. My daughter will be in her wheelchair, and we’ll have Christmas lights around it to light it up. It's kind of a take on Cinderella’s carriage. She’s wearing a princess tutu and a T-shirt that says, "Roll like it's midnight." I’ll be one of the few men, but I’ll be dressing as Cinderella’s prince charming.

Q: What does Courtney like about running?
A: She loves to have fun. When she is excited she’ll wave one of her arms up in the air, [and] she likes the wind blowing on her face. She really [has] a great time so I thought, If she loves running this much, we need to keep going. My wife and I have said that even though both of our kids are in wheelchairs and neither of them can talk, we want to give them the most normal life possible. If other kids are out doing these things, we want our kids to do [them] too. Running is one of those things.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

15 Ways to Love Valentine's Day

Go beyond red roses and heart-shaped boxed chocolates this Valentine's Day. Instead, show your affection to your sweetheart with these 15 fun date ideas, from a cooking class to a night hike to sit-down dinners. And all of you single ladies and gentlemen can celebrate in your own style from a love sucks sendup to Dracula or a heated lovers cabaret. If you need more ways to fall for the lovey-dovey holiday, click here to read our guide to flowers, romantic gestures and more. 

Courtesy Pier W
100th Bomb Group: Treat your taste buds to succulent lobster or decadent mushroom ravioli from the specially selected entrees. If you’re feeling fancy, the three-course prix fixe dinner is for you, which includes selections such as Beets of a Heart salad, pan-seared salmon and lovers chocolate fudge cake. Feb. 14, 20920 Brook Park Road, Cleveland, 216-267-1010, 

Anything You Can Do: The Big Battle of the Sexes: Vosh is bringing you a comedic and lively musical mashup exploring the pains of love. This cabaret will feature theater songs such as “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” from the Gershwins and Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich’s “Apathetic Man.” Take a look at Vosh’s award-winning menu and bar while you enjoy two opinionated sides of love. $25, 7p.m., 1414 Riverside Drive, Lakewood, 216-767-5202,

Big Bang: Whether you’re going stag or bringing a date, the Big Bang dueling piano bar in the Flats East Bank is offering free admission, drink specials and a glow bracelet showing your relationship status if you RSVP on Facebook. Feb. 12 & 13, 1163 Front Ave., Cleveland, 216-417-6222,

Champagne & Aphrodisiacs: If your Valentine’s calls for a little extra seduction, stop by Touch Supper Club for a four-course meal of soup, salad, an entree and dessert. An aphrodisiac is incorporated into every dish and paired with Champagne — a delectable spread that would have Aphrodite herself smiling. $90 per couple, reservations suggested, 5-11 p.m. Feb. 13 & 14, 2710 Lorain Ave., Cleveland, 216-631-5200,

Chez Francois & Touche: If a plane ticket to Paris isn’t in the budget this Valentine’s Day, whisk yourself away with Chez Francois & Touche. From elegant drinks such as the Cream of Dubarry cappuccino to the hearty roasted maple leaf farm duck breast with cherry glace de viande, this upscale meal is sure to please. 4-9 p.m., Feb. 13 & 14, $70 per person, reservations recommended, 555 Main St., Vermilion, 440-967-0630,

Cleveland Bazaar: If art holds a special place in your heart, celebrate your passion at the Valentine Bazaar by stocking up on artisan-made wares from your typical candy and flowers to the more unexpected ... preserved hearts in a jar!? 10 a.m., Feb. 13, Lake Affect Studios, 1615 E. 25th St., Cleveland,

Cleveland Metroparks North Chagrin Reservation: For nature lovers looking to embrace the winter scenery, head to Cleveland Metroparks North Chagrin Reservation for Date Night in the Park. The adult-only event includes a half- to one-mile hike and a blazing fire for couples to cozy up to with refreshments. $10, reservations required, 7:30-9p.m., 440-473-3370, 

Love Sucks: If you’ve had enough of mushy stuff, you won’t want to miss the 85th anniversary celebration of Dracula at the Side Quest. Sip on a Blood Cocktail while watching the 1931 classic film and indulge your dark side with other vampire lovers. 8 p.m., Feb. 13, 17900 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-228-1212,

Love, Wesley: Valentine’s Date Night with Wesley Bright: Soothe your soul with jazz tunes by the Akron native Wesley Bright and accompanying artists at Blu Jazz. Grab a small plate of poutine or a larger entree such as seared salmon, sip on a signature cocktail and mingle with other jazz lovers. If you’re feeling nostalgic, check out the memorabilia gallery. $20, 7 p.m., Feb. 13, 47 E. Market St., Akron, 330-252-1190,

Morton’s The Steakhouse: Add a touch of sophistication with a Valentine’s special 6-ounce filet and 5-ounce lobster tail combo for $55. 1600 W. 2nd St., Cleveland, 216- 621-6200;

Pier W: Care for a cliff-hanging view of Cleveland while indulging in decadent chocolate? Pier W is now offering its annual chocolate bar through Feb. 14. Bite into milk chocolate with a caramel filling, or try a not-so-traditional root beer float filling with a white chocolate shell. $2 per truffle or 10 for $15, Winton Place, 12700 Lake Ave., Lakewood, 216-228-2250,

Sweetheart Showcase at Beachland Ballroom & Tavern: Le Femme Mystique Burlesque and Ohio Burlesque present this fifth annual showcase. The Beachland hosts Dimples Diamond, Bella Sin and Lou Lou Roxy with the ladies of Le Femme Mystique Burlesque featuring diverse pinups from the '40s to the present. 8:30p.m. Feb. 13, 1577 Waterloo Road, Cleveland, 216-383-1124, 

Sweets for the Sweet — Uncovering Chocolate: If you’re looking for action, learn the basics of making chocolate creations such as a classic chocolate cake and bonbons with chef Jamie Simpson. Perfect the techniques of folding, emulsifying, tempering and more. $70, 2p.m., Feb. 13, Chef's Garden, 12304 Mudbrook Road, Milan, 419-499-7500, 

Urban Farmer:
Forget breakfast in bed. This brunch offers a toast bar featuring comforts such as chocolate chip banana bread to a carving station and fondue dessert display that will leave you and your loved ones satisfied. $40 adults, $20 children, 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Feb. 14, 1325 E. Sixth St., Cleveland, 216-771-7707,

Wade Oval Winter: Skate your way through Valentine’s Day with Wade Oval’s special event, Pink at the Rink. You and your plus-one have the opportunity to skate around on pink ice for a romantic and out-of-the-ordinary date. When you’re finished skating, keep the rink wristbands. Those are linked to special promotions all season long. Feb. 13 & 14, Wade Oval, 10820 East Blvd., Cleveland, 216-707-5033,

By Stephanie Grauer and Madeline Sweeney

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Local Kay Jewelers Scores with a Tear-jerking Pregame Super Bowl Ad

Big boys do cry.

That was the message of a compelling Kay Jewelers ad aired during the Super Bowl 50 pregame show. The 30-second spot, created by Cleveland’s Stern Advertising, shows NFL Hall of Famers from Cris Carter to Troy Aikman fighting back tears during their induction ceremonies while also showcasing the Hall of Fame rings created by the Akron-based jeweler.

“Emotion plays a big part in Kay’s advertising, but usually from the point of view of a woman receiving a gift,” says Steve Romanenghi, Stern Advertising’s senior vice president and executive creative director. “This spot turned that perception on its head.”

Romanenghi, a lifelong Chicago Bears fan, talked with us about the ad he created with partner Bob Felty, a Cleveland Browns’ season ticket holder.

Q: How did you choose the players who were used in the ad?
A: The players we used were based on how emotional they were during their induction ceremonies. If there was a tear in their eye or a too-choked-up-to-speak moment, they got in the spot.

Q: Why did you use this approach to appeal to male viewers?
Men buy a ton of jewelry for women. Having a spot that guys would take notice of in an unexpected way was a great way to get on their radar one week before Valentines Day.

Q: Which Super Bowl ads got your attention?
I liked the Avocados from Mexico. Scott Baio was a nice touch. I also thought Heinz’s Wiener Stampede was adorable but as an expat Chicagoan, I would never, ever recommend anything that suggests putting ketchup on a hot dog.

By Barry Goodrich

Monday, February 8, 2016

Cleveland Magazine Millennial Survey

Millennials —

Cleveland Magazine needs your help. (We’ve been told your generation really likes to get involved and make a difference — so here’s your chance!)

The influx of college-educated millennials (ages 18-34) to the city of Cleveland offers opportunities and challenges for the region. So Cleveland Magazine is conducting a survey to better understand the habits and needs of you and your peers.

The survey should only take about 10 minutes to complete, and the results will be used for our April feature. We will not use your name, unless you give us permission. Thank you for your time. Please share with your friends.

If you have any questions or ideas for people to profile or issues to cover, please let us know in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Designer Looks Come to Town with A List Pop-ups

Hallie Wasserman describes herself as a fashion chameleon — loving most styles, though her day-to-day look is what she likes to call “downtown street,” which consists of denim, oversized knits, leather jackets and boots. The Hunting Valley native founded A List Pop-Up Shops to elevate Cleveland’s fashion scene with designer pop-up boutiques in the area.

She began her endeavor about two years ago, after she realized a demand for brand-conscious fashion in Cleveland. “People would always stop me and ask me ‘where’d you get those things?’" Wasserman recalls. "I’d always be setting people up with websites and brands, so I was always thinking about ‘What don’t we have here, what can we use, and what do I love to do?’" She would recommend shopping websites like Revolve, Shopbop, Singer22 and Intermix.

So she established A List to put locals in touch with high-end retailers such as Rachel Zoe and Ramy Brook in person, rather than online. “It’s a hands-on boutique experience; [the customer] can touch it, feel it, try it on,” she says. “Its great for the Cleveland shoppers [to experience] brands not yet in our marketplace or that never will be.”

Wasserman does about six events a year, and the brands she brings in keep locals coming back. “We have a very fashionable customer that likes value," she says. "They enjoy discovering things that are new and want it at their fingertips.”

The next A List Pop-Up takes place in Legacy Village, Feb. 3-6, featuring Nicole Miller clothes, jewelry by Hagar Statat and Julie Rachel Designs, a Cleveland jewelry designer.

We caught up with Wasserman and Lauren Schuler, a senior account executive at Nicole Miller, to talk about specific pieces to look out for at the pop-up.

Courtesy of Nicole Miller

This Nicole Miller Cold Shoulder top ($254) is 100 percent silk. "It's showing skin in a more demure, sophisticated way," Schuler says.

Courtesy of Nicole Miller

The Motion Blur Midi Dress, ($495) is made of Techno Metal, a material exclusive to Nicole Miller. “This is a great dress for pre-spring. It's transitional," Schuler says. "[It's] extremely flattering for any body type."

These Julie Rachel Designs cuffs are made from cowhide and accented with authentic Chanel buttons. “I fell in love with these cowhide cuffs and thought they were a perfect marriage to the vintage Chanel buttons,” explains designer Julie Hirsh. “They are fun, rustic, edgy and classy all in one.”

Catch this event at Legacy Village in the former Lithium space Feb. 3 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Feb. 4, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Feb 5, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Feb 6, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.