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Murder in the Cultural Gardens - Whodunit Mystery set in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens by Dan Hanson

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My Living Will

Living Will joke

RIP Michael Stanley

We are so sorry about the passing of Michael Stanley at age 72 of lung cancer.

I first saw him perform when he sat on the stage of St, Joe's HS gym many years ago and played an acoustic set including the anthemic "Let's get the show on the Road.'

Michael Stanley - photo by Debbie Hanson

I was there for many of his record breaking concerts at the Agora, Blossom and the Coliseum. He graciously headlined our One World Day celebration in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens.

My sister Debbie and I were fortunate to have many conversations and interviews with him. Our official profile of Michael Stanley includes lots of audio of Michael answering questions such as Who would be in your all-time Dream Band?

Michael Stanley signing his albums

Michael Stanley graciously signing his albums for me

His catalog of music always made us Clevelanders and Midwesterners wonder why he wasn't as big as she should be outside the region. His music and memories will live on.

This town truly is/was his town. Rest in Peace Michael.

See more of the Michael Stanley profile

International Women's Day

International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on 8 March around the world.

The 2021 UN theme for International Women's Day is "Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world", highlighting the impact that girls and women worldwide had as health care workers, caregivers, innovators and community organizers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The hashtag will be #IWD2021 and #InternationalWomensDay.

German poster for International Women's Day, March 8, 1914

German poster for International Women's Day, March 8, 1914.
This poster was banned in the German Empire.

An Answered Prayer

Smith climbed to the top of Mt. Sinai to get close enough to talk to God. Looking up, he asked the Lord.. "God, what does a million years mean to you?"

The Lord replied, "A minute."

Smith asked, "And what does a million dollars mean to you?"

The Lord replied, "A penny."

Smith asked, "Can I have a penny?"

The Lord replied, "In a minute."


Eating paczki is the traditional Polish way to indulge before the fasting in observance of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. Paczki have been known in Poland at least since the Middle Ages.

Baby eating a paczki

All ages love paczki!

Councilman Tony Brancatelli, Cleveland International Hall of Fame inductee Irene Morrow, Polish Cultural Garden delegate Connie Adams and others shared their favorite packzki traditions and memories. What are yours?

Learn more about paczki and read the memories

Sonia Aggarwal becomes senior advisor to President Biden

Sonia Aggarwal, one of Cleveland's own, has become President Joe Biden's senior advisor for climate policy and innovation and will be working in the White House.

Sonia Aggarwal

Sonia Aggarwal

See more about Sonia Aggarwal

Cutii companion robot for isolated seniors at CES 2021

Cutii is a Companion Robot for isolated seniors. Cutii is designed for friendship. It's a "live-in companion" that learns the design of the senior's room. Seniors communicate directly with Cutii. It's 100% voice activated and offers 2 way calling and text messages. Cutii can entertain and occupy the mind and body with live activities like Yoga, Tai Chi, poetry reading, games, trivia and so on.

And, of course, Cutii can call for help in the event of an emergency.

Fun with Maps - Madagascar

IIn this episode of Fun with Maps, host Dan Hanson looks at what has been called the 8th continent - Madagascar. The map shows how isolated Madagascar is from the rest of the world and that makes it a hotbed of biodiversity - 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth. It has varieties of plants and animals that do not exist anywhere else. You've probably seen lemurs (endemic to Madagascar) but there are thousands of other unique animals and plants such as the fossa, chameleon, the baobab tree and more. Dan also shows a quick look at the Spiny Desert of Madagascar exhibit in the Cleveland Botanical Garden

See more Fun with Maps videos

Remember When?

Check out this menu from Manners back in the day. Big Boy anyone?

Old Manners Big Boy Restaurant menu

Old Manners Big Boy Restaurant menu - 1

Old Manners Big Boy Restaurant menu - 2

Old Manners Big Boy Restaurant menu - 3

Old Manners Big Boy Restaurant menu - 4

Ethnic Holiday Traditions

We asked community leaders of various ethnic heritages to share some holiday traditions of their culture. Boy did they come through. Look for traditons and stories from Argentina to Ukraine.

St. Nicholas, Santa Claus and Dedek Mraz - Slovenian Christmas

Slovenian Santa Claus, St. Nicholas and Dedek Mraz

See the ethnic holiday traditions

Pundemics - Humor to get you through the Coronavirus

Every week we send out a free eBlast to thousands of subscribers that tells about upcoming events in the 120 or so different ethnic groups represented in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. Sign up for the free e-newsletter here.

When the Coronavirus hit, events were cancelled, except for a handful of virtual events. So we evolved the eNews to include some interesting facts about our multicultural city. We also added a joke about being quarantined. Of course we realized the severity of the pandemic and did not want to diminish the deaths and suffering that many were enduring by joking.

But the feedback was overwhelming. People enjoyed the puns and asked for more. Many still write each week and ask us to continue and ask to reprint some in their newsletters, bulletins and so on. So we have continued them.

So here are many of the (hopefully) funny lines we have been sending every week.

In the meantime, take the advice of the Dante statue in the Italian Cultural Garden and wear your mask.

Dante Statue with Mask

Miss Cultural Gardens

Did you know that the Cleveland Cultural Gardens used to select a Queen?

Here is a photo of the 1963 Miss Cultural Gardens at the Columbus Day parade in 1963. Recognize her? It's Ingrida Bublys, Honorary General Consul of the Republic of Lithuania and the ClevelandPeople.com Lithuanian Ambassador.

Miss Cleveland Cultual Gardens 1963

Miss Cleveland Cultual Gardens 1963

Miss Cleveland Cultual Gardens 1963 - Ingrida Bublys

Ingrida Bublys - Miss Cleveland Cultual Gardens 1963

Back to Work

Women back to work sign

Fun with Maps - Lebanon

In this episode of Fun with Maps, host Dan Hanson looks at the historic country of Lebanon. Though small in size the influence of Lebanon and its people is huge. Tragically, the capital of Beirut was devastated by explosions in August 2020.

In this episode Dan looks at the major cities, culture, geography, the cedar tree, famous Lebanese people and some fascinating history from the Phoenicians to the present.

See more Fun with Maps videos

Murder in the Cultural Gardens

"It just didn’t seem right to DJ. A body found bludgeoned in a place known for “Peace through Mutual Understanding.” But there she was, crumpled behind a bust of composer Franz Liszt in the Hungarian Cultural Garden. He pulled out his cell phone and dialed 911. “What is the nature of your emergency?” the dispatcher queried. With a suddenly very dry mouth DJ managed to get out, “There’s been a murder in the Cultural Gardens.”

That's the beginning of the recently published first novel by Dan Hanson.

Murder in the Cultural Gardens book cover - Franz Liszt statue

The whodunit, titled Murder in the Cultural Gardens, takes place in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens and all 30+ gardens are featured during the mystery. You may even recognize some of the characters.

Click the link above to learn more or to purchase in paperback or Kindle version from Amazon. Or contact Dan via the Murder in the Cultural Gardens webpage to have a signed book delivered.

Fun with Maps - New Zealand

In this episode of Fun with Maps host Dan Hanson looks at New Zealand and the Lost Continent of Zealandia in Oceania. New Zealand is home to the Maori people, terrific rugby like the All Blacks team, the haka dance, the beautiful scenery as the setting of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, Milford Sound and much more.

Modern technology is allowing us to see more of the huge lost continent of Zealandia underneath New Zealand, 94% submerged under the ocean.

See more Fun with Maps videos

Interview with the late Jerry Stiller

Who would have imagined that George Costanza's father and Doug Heffernan's father-in-law would turn out to be such a wonderful, soft-spoken, interesting person? That was Debbie Hanson's reaction after interviewing Jerry Stiller in 2010.

RIP Jerry

Jerry Stiller in Hallmark's Ice Dreams 2010

Jerry Stiller interview, pic and comments about Cleveland, the Browns and more.

Free Virus Mask Giveaway

The Friendship Foundation, led by Gia Hoa Ryan and Joseph Meissner has and is sponsoring a Free Protective Mask Distribution available to everyone. This is a community project of the Friendship Foundation of American-Vietnamese to help people during this Corona Virus Crisis.

On Saturday April 18 and Sunday April 19 Director Ryan and her volunteers passed out free masks to some 450 individuals and families. This was done at the corner in Cleveland of West Boulevard and Western Avenue.

Gia Hoa Ryan giving away free masks

Gia Hoa Ryan giving away free masks

The Friendship Foundation will again Pass out Free Protective Viral Mask to all on Sunday April 26. This will be done from 9 AM to Noon at corner of West Boulevard and Western Avenue.

More about the Mask Giveaway

Sewing Masks in Memory of her Mother

Oanh Loi-Powell has sewn over 700 masks that she has donated to UH Pediatrics, Cleveland Clinic Cardiology, the VA Hospital, several doctors' offices, urgent care centers in the Lake County area, Highland Pointe Rehab, nursing homes and hospices. They have gone out to many families, friends, neighbors.

Oanh Loi-Powell at her sewing machine

Oanh Loi-Powell at her sewing machine

Oanh has a special person in her mind as she sews.

Read about it and her memory of the refugee camp after leaving Vietnam

A sign of Spring and Rebirth - Things will get better

Each year an area of Lake View Cemetery bursts into a field of yellow as Daffodil Hill comes to life. It is a reminder that winter is ending and spring is on its way. If you are near Lake View (border of Cleveland and Cleveland Heights) a visit to Daffodil Hill is easy and possible via social distancing. Lots of space!

If you can't make it, watch this short video.

Remember that after every winter (and crisis) there is a spring and new hope. Especially during this Holy Week.

Daffodil Hill at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland

Daffodil Hill at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland

Daffodil Hill at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland

Life is not cancelled because of the virus

We could all use some laughs during these times.

Check out these COVID-19 virus funnies.

Stay Home, Stay Well, Stay Busy

We are assembling a list of online resources you can try while you are homebound. Take a look.

Local Restaurant Takeout and Food Delivery Suggestions

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has virtual classrooms

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame free learning

Cleveland Metropolitan School District has learning resources

Day by Day Projects to keep kids reading, thinking and growing

Cleveland Orchestra online learning

Cleveland Orchestra Teacher Workshops

20 virtual field trips that you can take with your kids

Math Card Games

Cleveland Museum of Art resources

Cleveland Institute of Music concerts

Shaker Lakes Junior Naturalist Activities

Daily Mass online from the Catholic Diocese

Learn or brush up on 40 different languages (including Latin, Navajo and Klingon!)

Cleveland Museum of Natural History new digital series, CMNH@HOME

Virtual Tours of 12 Famous Museums

Cleveland Opera Theater - Opera For All Online

Cleveland Hungarian Museum Virtual Exhibits

Learn to Code, Build Projects, Earn Certifications

Entertaining Math Videos

Web Development Crash Courses

Learn multiple languages from videos from Polyglot Pablo

More multiple languages from Eko Languages videos

Learn a language with free podcasts from CoffeeBreak Languages

Crash Courses on a variety of AP high school curriculum topics

Khan Academy - free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere

1,500 Free Online Courses from Top Universities

Access 2500+ Online Courses from 140 Top Institutions.

Alison Free online courses from the world’s leading experts.

Stanford University Online Courses

MIT OpenCourseWare is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content

Learn to Code with CodeAcademy

TED-Ed@Home - Online learning based on TED Talks

Nation Geographic learning for Kids

Fashion Meets the Botanicals at Orchid Mania

Cleveland Botanical Garden celebrates one of the world’s most exotic and beautiful flowers at their annual flower show, Orchid Mania. From the moment you enter, you will see colorful displays of orchids everywhere.

Dress designs from the Kent State School of Fashion at Orchid Mania's Fashion Meets the Botanicals

One of the highlights of Orchid Mania is Fashion Meets the Botanicals. This is an exhibit of botanically-inspired dress designs developed exclusively for the show by students from the Kent State University Fashion School.

Fashion Meets the Botanicals sign at Orchid Mania

See photos and video of the Fashion at Orchid Mania

Non-profit does low cost spay and neutering of dogs and cats

PetFix is a non-profit organization that offers high quality, affordable spay and neuter surgeries to prevent pet homelessness and the need for unnecessary euthanasia. We spoke with Didi, a volunteer for PetFix who was at the Coit Rd. Farmer's Market. Dogs and cats can safely be fixed as early as 8 weeks old.

Tomatillos, Heirloom Tomatoes and making your Salsa dry less wet

Kevin Scheuring of the Coit Road Farmers' Market in East Cleveland spoke about heirloom tomatoes, tomatillos and salsa in his weekly demonstration. He shared a technique to make sure your tomatoes are not too wet in salsa or on bruschetta or wherever.

The Coit Road Farmers' Market has been an anchor on Cleveland's east side since 1932, with a mission of providing access to affordable, locally grown farm fresh products to the residents of Greater Cleveland. The non-profit Market is operated by volunteers supported by customers, farmers, sponsors and fund raising events. It is the 2nd oldest farmer's market in the state of Ohio. See more food and cooking info at ClevelandCooks.com

We are still waiting

Old enough to know better

The Truth can Hurt

Male mannequin

5 Minutes to Fabulous

Elite Women Around The World® is a global network of individuals, leaders, organizations and businesses coming together with a shared mission of enhancing the economic position of women globally.

EWAW celebrated a Glass-Ceiling Shattering Night for Women on Women's International Day March 8, 2019. One of the presenters was Image Consultant Pat Gibson from The Artistry of You.

Dr. Mona Gupta introduced Pat who's speech was entitled 5 Minutes to Fabulous.

Elite Women Around The World
Glass-Ceiling Shattering Night for Women

March 8, 2019

Elite Women Around The World® is a global network of individuals, leaders, organizations and businesses coming together with a shared mission of enhancing the economic position of women globally. EWAW celebrated a Glass-Ceiling Shattering Night for Women on Women's International Day March 8, 2019. A diverse group of professional women, and some men, gathered at Landerhaven for presentations, networking and dinner

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Melody J. Stewart

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Melody J. Stewart keynote

See photos and videos of the Glass-Ceiling Shattering Night

Getting a prescription filled (humor)

A nice, calm and respectable lady went into the pharmacy, walked up to the pharmacist, looked straight into his eyes, and said, "I'd like to buy some cyanide".

The pharmacist asked, "Why in the world do you need cyanide? The lady replied, "I need it to poison my husband."

The pharmacist's eyes got big and he explained, "Lord have mercy! I can't give you cyanide to kill your husband, that's against the law. I'll lose my license! They'll throw both of us in jail! All kinds of bad things will happen. Absolutely not! You CANNOT have any cyanide. Just get a divorce!"

The lady reached into her purse and pulled out a picture of her husband in bed with the pharmacist's wife.

The pharmacist looked at the picture and said, "You didn't tell me you had a prescription."

Modern Wedding

Facebook wedding

Wisdom of the Chalkboard

I am woman chalkboard

Chalkboard - be who you needed

Are you a Foodie?

If so, check out a preview of the new ClevelandCooks.com

ClevelandCooks is geared toward:
  • Chefs
  • Home cooks and wannabe chefs
  • Foodies
  • People who like to dine out and try new things
  • Food industry entrepreneurs
  • And more

Cooking shows as sports

ClevelandWomen.Com Book of the Week
The Girl on the Train

The #1 New York Times Bestseller, USA Today Book of the Year, now a major motion picture starring Emily Blunt. The debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people's lives.

Intersecting, overlapping, not-quite-what-they-seem lives. Jealousies and betrayals and wounded hearts. A haunting unease that clutches and won’t let go. All this and more helps propel Paula Hawkins’s addictive debut into a new stratum of the psychological thriller genre. At times, I couldn’t help but think: Hitchcockian. From the opening line, the reader knows what they’re in for: “She’s buried beneath a silver birch tree, down towards the old train tracks…” But Hawkins teases out the mystery with a veteran’s finesse. The “girl on the train” is Rachel, who commutes into London and back each day, rolling past the backyard of a happy-looking couple she names Jess and Jason. Then one day Rachel sees “Jess” kissing another man. The day after that, Jess goes missing. The story is told from three character’s not-to-be-trusted perspectives: Rachel, who mourns the loss of her former life with the help of canned gin and tonics; Megan (aka Jess); and Anna, Rachel’s ex-husband’s wife, who happens to be Jess/Megan’s neighbor. Rachel’s voyeuristic yearning for the seemingly idyllic life of Jess and Jason lures her closer and closer to the investigation into Jess/Megan’s disappearance, and closer to a deeper understanding of who she really is. And who she isn’t. This is a book to be devoured. -Neal Thompson

The Girl on the Train: A Novel

Free weekly eNews

Every Tuesday evening we send an e-mail message to people who are interested in upcoming (the next week) events that have an ethnic or cultural connection. So it may be Opera in the Italian Garden or Puerto Rican Day Parade or Slovenian Kurentovanje or...

If you are interested in receiving this free weekly e-mail just sign up for the free eNews.

You can also sign up to receive more specific free eNews for any groups or groups you may choose (Irish, German, Polish, Chinese, etc.)

It's easy and free and will let you know every week about fun and interesting events that are coming up in the next week.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a pattern of repeated physical, sexual and emotional violence and behaviors that one person in a relationship uses to exercise power and control over the other. Cleveland and Northeast Ohio have many resources for victims of domestic violence.

Main Domestic Violence Page including:

  • What is domestic violence?
  • Why do partners abuse?
  • Are you in an abusive relationship?
  • Domestic Violence Emergency Help

Domestic Violence and Children

Domestic Violence and Immigrants

Housing Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence

Civil Protection Orders for Victims of Domestic Violence

  • Cleveland Cooks Volume 2

    How about something for the Cleveland foodie on your list?

    The Cleveland Cooks Cookbooks are packed with hundreds of the best recipes from Cleveland people. Volume 1 is sold out but there are special offers for Volume 2 and 3.

    Cleveland Cooks Cookbook offer.

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    Cleveland Cooks Volume 3 Cookbook Cleveland Cooks Vol 3
    The best Ethnic Recipes from Cleveland

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