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Run 61: Jefferson - Part 1

 This was the first run of the Jefferson neighborhood, which is one of four neighborhoods that make up West Park.

Jefferson was originally part of Rockport Township (est. 1819). In 1900, West Park was carved out of Rockport and was eventually annexed by Cleveland in 1923 who divided the area into four neighborhoods.

It has a population of 16,000 residents, with 58% white; 18% Hispanic-Latino; 18% African American and; 3% Asian. There is also a significant immigrant population from the Middle East, Latin America, Romania and Southeast Asia.

The boundary from this run was W. 117th (east) to RTA West Park Station (west) and from Berea Road (north) to Lorain Ave (south).

Distance This Section: 16.3 miles

Distance So Far: 417.2 miles

Strava: Run 1, Run 2

Mohican Park is a 25-acre recreation area offering multiple ballfields, basketball courts and a pretty decent playground.

Bar Cle (13560 Lorain Ave) is a classic neighborhood sports bar featuring cheap drinks, pool tables and above average bar food. Folks seem to like the pizza.

The Big Creek Watershed contains over 130 miles of streams and culverts. Together they drain nearly 38 square miles from 8 municipalities — Cleveland, Brooklyn, Linndale, Parma, Parma Heights, Brook Park, Middleburg Heights, and North Royalton - making Big Creek the most heavily urbanized watershed of any major tributary in the Cuyahoga River Watershed.

There's plenty of small industrial shops along Triskett Road. This was my favorite.

The December sun sets on W. 131st Street.

This home sits at the peak of a peninsula-type intersection near Berea Road.

A little artistic fun with pubic infrastructure on W. 136th St. 

Residents walk their dogs around Mohican Park.

Mohican Park

These RTA light rail lines separate the West Park neighborhoods of Jefferson and Kamm's.

W. 140th St. is the last major north-south road to the west and is largely industrial.

3% of Jefferson consists of Asian-Americans residents which is enough demand for stores like this one on Lorain Ave.

This AT&T/Ohio Bell building was built in 1927 and has been owned by the company as far back as I could track though online records.

George's Restaurant (13101 Triskett Rd) is a longtime classic family diner-style restaurant on the West Side. Its namesake is owner George Pasalis who purchased it in 1979 off of the Big Boy franchise. George's brother John also owns a diner in Lakewood. Here's a good article on that. Above are some cream-filled strawberry crepes with whipped cream, my post-run meal.

Many of the planters along Lorain Ave contain public art like this.

Torch (13510 Lorain Ave) is a locally-owned hardware store affiliated with True Value Hardware. Their business slogan is: "If we don't have it, you may have to live without it!"

Global Ambassadors Language Academy (13442 Lorain Ave) is the first language immersion school in Northeast Ohio (Mandarin, Spanish) and the only Mandarin language school in Ohio. The school was founded by Meran Rogers, a parent, educator, nonprofit administrator and community leader. Her passion for starting the school stems from a combination of her experience growing up in a multilingual household with immigrant parents, attending Cleveland and East Cleveland public schools, teaching third grade at a language immersion school in Taiwan, several years working in Cleveland public schools, serving as Director of Community Affairs at Global Cleveland, and receiving her Masters in Nonprofit Management from Case Western Reserve.

St. Vincent de Paul Church (13400 Lorain Ave) was founded in 1922. An 8-room school building was built two years later in 1924. The church was later expanded in the 1950s. The church will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2022.

Signal box public art on Lorain Ave.

Several of the RTA business shelters have cool art wraps that reflect the neighborhood's physical and social fabric.

Cleveland Himalayan Restaurant (13124 Lorain Ave) specializes in Nepali and Indian dishes. From Google Reviews: "This restaurant offers authentic Indian & Nepali food that's fresh, hot and delicious! The portions are generous, perfectly spiced and flavorful. Several vegetarian options are available. I highly recommend the Vegetable Pakora, Chicken 65, Momo and Sekuwa. I ordered our food to go by phone, but they do offer delivery, as well as a beautifully appointed dining room if you wish to dine-in. What a neighborhood jewel!"

Founded in 1983 and formally known as “Der Braumeister Restaurant”, (German for “Brewmaster”), Der Brau is one of the West side’s best female-owned restaurants, with an extensive (and often exclusive) beer list and modernized German cuisine. It's a very popular spot and reservations are recommended.

Der Braumeister building (der)cor.

Cafe Roma (13000 Lorain Ave) is a traditional Italian cafe serving some very legit authentic dishes per the locals. According to the owner, their pizza is made from scratch with fresh tomatoes, virgin olive oil, grated parmiggiano cheese and fresh garlic. Fun fact: This is where Dennis Kucinich gave his concession speech during his failed campaign for mayor in 2021.

Arabian Village Market (12926 Lorain Ave). Per Google Reviews: "This is a great little store that makes authentic, home cooked Middle Eastern / Arabic food for carryout. They carry groceries and do catering as well. The employees are very friendly. The take out dinners are delicious."

This beautiful building at 12904 Lorain Ave was once either a City fire station or power station. The City sold it in 1986. It's listed as a sign shop but doesn't currently look operational. Really a damn shame this building sits vacant.

The residential streets north of Lorain Ave starting around W. 130th heading west are lined with these gorgeous, enormous trees.

Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church (12826 Lorain Ave) was established in 1926. They have some pretty staunch conservative social views which they make known on their website. So, I'm not going to spend time discussing the history of the church. However, the campus has a great physical presence on Lorain Ave.

Botanica San Judas (12736 Lorain Ave) is a "religious supply and spiritual cleansing" store with some interesting window display items.

Azule Social Lounge (12524 Lorain Ave) is a new night club that opened in May.

Pride of Erin (12228 Lorain Ave) is a "laid-back Irish pub with beer on tap, plus a wall of dartboards & a shuffleboard table." For the Irish beer lovers, they have Guinness, Smithwick's, and Harp on tap.

New surface parking lots off were installed between W. 118th-W. 119th Street on Lorain Ave in 2019 (Variety Village). This included stormwater management funds which resulted in permeable pavers and educational signage.

Designed by nationally recognized public artist, Steven Manka, the Magic Hat pays homage to the golden age of Hollywood, when the Variety Theatre (across the street and to be featured in the next run) was owned and managed by Warner Brothers.

The menu cover at George's Kitchen.

The Islamic Center of Northeast Ohio was established in March 2016 as a non-profit religious organization registered with the State of Ohio. It serves over 1,000 Muslims in the Greater Cleveland area. The sign on the door says this entrance is under construction.

Brennan's Catering & Banquet Center (130000 Triskett Rd) is a family-owned banquet hall and catering facility that's been in operation for over 40 years.

Little Rose Tavern (14206 Lorain Ave) is a probably the hippest bar in all of West Park. Run and owned by folks heavily involved in the local music scene, its a super popular spot for smaller shows, karaoke and even small art exhibits. They also have a great vegan food menu. Previously, it was Nolan’s Bar, an Irish pub that was built in the 1960s. It's name comes from a combination of co-owner Roseanna Safos's grandmother, Rose, plus the smaller appearance of the building in relation to those around it.

Gear Company of America (14300 Lorain Ave) provides assemblies, gears and motion control solutions, as well as engineering and design services to the medical, aerospace, and industrial markets. They have been in operation for over 35 years.

McKinley Elementary School (3349 W. 125th Street) operated from 1921 to 2017. It was purchased in September of this year by GALA Ambassador Language Academy which is currently on Lorain Ave (featured above in this post).

Apostolic Christian Church on Nazarene (12002 Geraldine Ave) is one of 24 such churches nationwide.

W. 117th Street (after all, Dennis Kucinich DOES live in Jefferson).

Founded in 1940, the American Tank & Fabricating Company (12314 Elmwood Ave) is a world-class metal fabricator for the industrial, defense, rail and energy industries. In 2017, they were named Fabricator of the Year by Fabricator Magazine.

Jasmine Bakery (12117 Berea Rd) was founded by Fady Chamoun in 1997. It was originally a facility used to deliver fresh ingredients and bread to Aladdin’s Eatery restaurants. Over the years, the company's operations expanded, resulting in our current 50,000 square foot warehouse equipped with state-of-the art production line. Today, their signature pita bread can be found in restaurants and markets all over the Cleveland area. They produce up to 15,000 pieces of pita bread daily.