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Little Italy, Cleveland: Rickey Ishida

Little Italy

Il Bacio

B Side Liquor Lounge & Arcade

Feast of the Assumption

Rickey Ishida is an engineer and designer (and sometime marketer) with MakerGear, LLC. Originally from Bethesda, Maryland, Rickey came to Cleveland for the Venture for America program after studying biological engineering at Cornell. He got interested in working with startups while participating in Venture for America, and ended up at MakerGear after seeing a position posted on the Cornell career site. MakerGear make 3D printers for the hobbyist community.
Rickey describes Little Italy as a hybrid between a residential and downtown neighborhood, friendly and suburban with easy access to all of the urban amenities. "Rent is ridiculously affordable," he says, so young professionals and families can save a lot of money. It is also a neighborhood with easy accessibility to downtown Cleveland and to the Case Western campus. The neighborhood is easily walkable and the RTA main line goes directly from the Case campus to downtown. "You don't really need a car here." 
Dining and Drinking
For a quiet cup of tea and a bite of healthy organic food, Rickey recommends the Algebra Teahouse, a casual, healthy café and restaurant that serves organic items. This being Little Italy, there is no shortage of high-end Italian restaurants to choose from. Some of Rickey's favorites include Il Bacio and Mia Bella, where he had a meal so fantastic he "was speechless."
If you want to hit the bar scene, a 15 minute walk will take you to Coventry Village, where there are several bars, restaurants, and retail stores in one place.
The Great Outdoors
The Lake View Cemetery has beautifully manicured grounds that are great for running. He describes it as more of an arboretum. "It's a gorgeous place," he says. "A lot of money has been poured into it." It is also the burial ground of a famous president.
Arts & Culture
The Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Botanical Garden are both 10-minute walks away. Every first Friday at the Cleveland Museum of Art they have a first Friday dance party called MIX at the CMA. The annual Summer Solstice party at the Museum is also a very popular event.
And this is Little Italy, after all, so the Catholic holidays enjoy a particular prominence. The Feast of the Assumption Festival is a huge three-day event in the summer where the entire neighborhood is closed off and all of the restaurants out with stands and there are carnival rides, casino games, and various other activities.
The Mayfield Smoke Shop has an extensive collection of cigars in a wide range of price points as well as hand-made milk and dark chocolates made especially for the store by a local candymaker. They also carry other candies and cold drinks. They're open late so you can stop in for late-night desserts or some fine tobaccos.  
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