Your Neighborhood was created to give you an opportunity to get to know your neighborhood on a deeper level. We interviewed and photographed a handful of businesses, residents, organizations, and restaurants. We hope you enjoy it and learn something new! See more features, here!
Name, Age, Occupation, Hometown
Kate Bigam Kaput, 35, Digital communications manager for a large nonprofit; Cleveland lifestyle blogger (GreatestEscapist.com); freelance writer for Cleveland Magazine and beyond, Cuyahoga Falls, OH
I moved to Cleveland after spending seven years in East Coast cities, including Washington, D.C., and while I was excited to move back to Ohio, I didn’t want to lose that big-city vibe I’d grown to love so much. Downtown Cleveland didn’t feel like quite the right fit for me, living-wise, but I knew I wanted to be someplace nearby – someplace where I wouldn’t necessarily have to hop in my car just to get a cup of coffee or grab a sandwich or hit up a bar.
My then-boyfriend (now husband), who was living in Lakewood at the time, suggested that Tremont might be the right fit for me – and he was so right. We’ve now lived here together for four years, and it’s been such a joy to be a part of this vibrant, friendly Cleveland community.
What’s your favorite memory in Tremont?
We’ve lived on Professor Ave. for the last two years, so we’ve been right in the thick of the excitement during Taste of Tremont. It’s been so much fun to essentially just have an open-door policy on festival day so that family and friends can come say hi, sit on our porch, use our bathroom, and grab a glass of water or a cheap beer before heading back out into the fray. There’s always a little music stage set up right across the street from our house, too, so we’ve got a live show going all day long!
If you could improve something about Cleveland what would it be?
I’m really concerned about the rising cost of rent and mortgages in Cleveland, without rises in our paychecks to support the newly increased cost of living. This used to be such an affordable place to live (and to some extent, comparatively, it still is), but as the city as grown and strengthened and become more reputable as a great place to live, the cost of living has gone up by quite a lot – and mostly without overall increases in income to support or sustain it.
My husband and I are lucky to be paying an affordable, reasonable amount in rent – but right now, most people I know are paying an outrageous amount, if they want to rent close to downtown, and those who can’t afford to do so ending up moving to the suburbs, where they can buy a much nicer home for far cheaper than they’d ever be able to find in the city.
I worry about it a lot, and I think it’s becoming a real problem – and that it’s going to have to be addressed soon, if we want this city to remain a viable option for millennials, Gen X, empty-nest Boomers, young families, and so many others.
What does community mean to you?
Community is knowing the baristas at my coffee shops and befriending the other regulars who are always there. It’s saying hi to someone every time I talk a walk through the neighborhood.
Community is trying out as many new places and having as many new local experiences as I can – and then sharing them with others. Community is giving everyone I know my favorite local recommendations so that they, too, can support the independent places that are thriving here.
Community is talking about my neighborhood and my city to better its reputation, to show my love, and to encourage others to explore – and community, too, is sharing thoughtful concerns and critiques when the place I love isn’t always necessarily getting it right.
What’s Tremont’s best kept secret?
This is tough because Tremont seems to be fully exposed these days. Sometimes it’s hard to find a quiet spot!
Speaking of quiet spots, though, I love the secluded patio at Ty Fun, which feels like a secret garden. It’s perfect for grabbing a beer and a plate of pad Thai while reading a book on my Kindle in nice weather. Often the only other people sitting out there are other solo diners, which I love – like a secret club. (Umm, guess the secret’s out now, though, huh? Oops!)