Will the Turnpike get clogged with Chicagoans road-tripping for Cleveland Christmas cheer? Maybe so, after the Chicago Tribune's rave this week about our little home of holiday pop-culture obsession, the A Christmas Story House.
Writer Phil Marty really got into the Ralphie-iana, referencing the leg lamp, tongue-freezing fence, and even the Lifebuoy soap that washed the F-word out of our hero's mouth. He gave would-be Christmas pilgrims good advice for finding the museum, in the anti-posh south end of Tremont ("don't think you're lost when you find yourself driving through a nondescript neighborhood"). He was in-the-know enough to send visitors to two other local highlights, the West Side Market and the Rock Hall's Springsteen exhibit.
But he left out a few obvious recommendations for visitors on a Christmas Story quest. What about the live stage version of the Christmas Story story, playing at the Cleveland Play House for the (allegedly) final year? Or Cleveland's official drink of December, Great Lakes Christmas Ale?
Finally, I cannot fail to recommend the eating and drinking establishment just a few doors down from the House, the Best Throwback Bar in Cleveland Magazine's 2009 Best Of issue: the Rowley Inn.