Living in Cleveland

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Case Western Reserve University's campus is just minutes away from downtown Cleveland in University Circle, which encompasses 550 park-like acres in a vibrant urban environment. University Circle, the cultural center of Cleveland, is home to our nationally ranked Cleveland Museum of Art, as well as to Severance Hall and the renowned Cleveland Orchestra. Admission to all our museums is free for postdocs.

Nearby Neighborhoods

The CWRU campus, located in University Circle, is situated on the edge of beautiful residential neighborhoods. Students live in apartments, two-family houses, rooms in private homes, and single-family houses that several students rent together. Housing in these neighborhoods is close to CWRU and many students live within walking or biking distance. In addition, buses run from University Circle to these areas via Mayfield and Cedar Roads.

The following neighborhood list is organized by proximity to the CWRU campus , focusing on neighborhoods with fast and/or direct connections to CWRU. 

University Circle and Little Italy

Walk time: <10 minutes / Bike time: <10 minutes

These neighborhoods are the location of Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and are therefore the most convenient if you want to walk everywhere. Aside from CWRU, this area is home to the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, the Cleveland Natural History Museum, and the Cleveland Orchestra. Next to CWRU are the main campuses of the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals. The neighborhoods of Hough and Glenville to the north are also seeing construction of many new apartment buildings which may be of interest to you. These areas are a quick bike ride from campus, but offer less amenities and do not have robust transit connections. These neighborhoods are generally expensive, with most of the newer apartments and higher quality housing commanding higher rents. 

There are a number of restaurants, bars, and other amenities in the immediate area. This neighborhood is served by the Red Line and HealthLine buses. This area has direct connections to Cedar Fairmount, Coventry, Midtown/Downtown, Ohio City, Detroit Shoreway, Edgewater (where the beach is located!), and the airport.

Cedar-Fairmount

Walk time: 15 minutes / Bike time: 10 minutes

This neighborhood is located in Cleveland Heights, immediately up the hill from CWRU. The neighborhood is home to many historic apartment buildings and offers a selection of restaurants and bars. Many CWRU postdocs and graduate students live in this area. The neighborhood is also home to many families and older houses and is therefore quieter and more subdued than University Circle. This neighborhood is served by the #11 bus and is a 15 minute walk from CWRU.

Coventry

Walk time: 25 minutes / Bike time: 15 minutes

This neighborhood is located near Cedar-Fairmount. The neighborhood offers many historic apartment buildings. Aside from restaurants, there are music venues such as the Grog Shop. Many students live in this neighborhood. 

This neighborhood is served by the #9 bus and is a 25 minute walk from CWRU.

Shaker Square

Bike time: 20 minutes / Transit time: 20-30 minutes

This neighborhood is southeast of Cedar-Fairmount. The neighborhood offers many historic apartment buildings grouped around a cluster of restaurants and businesses with a train line running down the center of the main boulevard. While being relatively close to CWRU, the commute is a bit longer via transit because you have to transfer from the Blue or Green train line to the Red Line. There is also the #48 bus, which runs directly between Shaker Square and University Circle, but is less frequent. The neighborhood is generally very affordable.

Midtown and Asiatown

Bike time: 20 minutes / Transit time: 20 minutes

Midtown is located between University Circle and Downtown. This neighborhood has a mix of apartments and industrial buildings as well as well-known venues such as the Agora Theater. There are fewer restaurants and entertainment options in the immediate vicinity, but the neighborhood is located close to Asiatown which has a significant number of restaurants and is home to events such as the Cleveland Asian Festival and Night Market

This neighborhood is served by the HealthLine and is less than a 20 minute bike ride from CWRU.

Downtown Cleveland

Bike time: 25 minutes / Transit time: 25 minutes

This neighborhood is the center of the city and is home to many large apartments, sports stadiums, and destinations such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Downtown also includes many large theaters in the Playhouse Square district, which is the second largest theater district in the USA. Downtown has many restaurants, bars, and other amenities scattered throughout, including notable hubs such as East 4th Street and the Warehouse District. The neighboring Flats is also a large draw for nightlife and events. 

Downtown is served by the Red Line, HealthLine, and many other transit lines. The neighborhood is about 25 minutes from CWRU using public transit or bicycle.

* Near West Side - Ohio City, Tremont, Detroit Shoreway

Bike time: 40 minutes / Transit time: 30 minutes

This collection of neighborhoods comprises the city immediately west of Downtown. Generally speaking, these neighborhoods have become primary locations for art galleries, restaurants, and other entertainment amenities. There is an extensive walking and biking trail network that connects these neighborhoods to larger parks throughout the city, and these neighborhoods also present some of the best access to Lake Erie for swimming, boating, and other outdoor recreation.

These neighborhoods are served by the Red Line as well as a large number of other bus lines. The commute from Ohio City to CWRU is roughly 30 minutes by train, while Detroit-Shoreway would be closer to 35 minutes (plus whatever time was needed to walk to the station). Tremont is a little more separated, but is still a 20 minute walk from the train. The most convenient areas in these neighborhoods are the area around W 25th St and Lorain Avenue (Market District - near the famous West Side Market) and W 65th St and Detroit Avenue (Gordon Square).

Cudell/Edgewater

Bike time: 45 minutes / Transit time: 35 minutes

The housing in the area is primarily historic apartment buildings in Edgewater (near the lake and beach) or rental houses throughout the rest of the neighborhoods. There is a growing number of restaurants and amenities in Edgewater. This area is generally more affordable than the above neighborhoods, but is still accessible via public transit and biking. These neighborhoods are served by the Red Line and Cleveland State Line as well as the 25 and 26 bus lines. The train commute between this neighborhood and CWRU is about 35 minutes, but only if you live near one of the train stations.

Lakewood

Western neighborhoods such as Lakewood offer a lot of recreational activities and housing options, but are somewhat restrictive in terms of transit. If you do end up getting a car, Lakewood is worth a look. Lakewood is known to be LGBTQ-friendly neighborhood.


Rental Agency Resources


Considerations when looking for a house/apartment:

  • If you do not intend to purchase a car, you should consider renting an apartment/house within walking distance of campus. Neighborhoods that are on our campus shuttle bus route may be of interest to you: 
  • Many apartment/house rental agencies do not accept cash/wire transfer. The applicant needs to have an international credit card or pay using a debit card with an added fee for international transaction and currency exchange.
  • Apartments/homes will not have electricity or gas connection when one moves in. Oftentimes the electricity will last one or two days from the time of moving in unless the tenant calls the respective companies and arranges for them.The landlord should provide you with the contact information of the utility companies.
  • If the tenant doesn't have a Social Security Number (SSN), then they need to notarize an affidavit that contains details of at least two government issued documents. One of which should have a photo. Some international postdocs have used a passport and a US visa as the documents and had the affidavit notarized by one of the notaries available on CWRU campus. This same affidavit may then be faxed to the electric/gas company (your department administrator may be able to assist you with faxing documents.)

Renter's Insurance

Living in an apartment or rental house? GET RENTER’S INSURANCE!

Contrary to what you may think, your landlord’s property insurance DOES NOT cover your possessions (cell phone, computer, stereo, TV, furniture, professional clothing, etc.) in the event of FIRE, THEFT, VANDALISM, OR WATER DAMAGE. The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs highly recommends that postdocs take a detailed inventory of their personal belongings AND also thoroughly document the condition of their apartments at/around the time of move-in. Websites such as Zillow's Move-in Checklist can help you to create a lasting record of your possessions, while the Ohio State Bar Association can help you better understand the Tenant & Landlord Rights and Obligations. Photographs and videos are also excellent ways to capture what you own and items that may need to be repaired.  

Renter’s Insurance also protects you if someone has an accident in your home for which you might be liable. The amount of insurance you need is based on how much stuff you have, where you live, and how much of a deductible you wish to pay. Renter’s insurance is relatively inexpensive ($250-$300/year) and can save you BIG money if you end up with an emergency like those listed above.

HELPFUL HINT: If you happen to already have car insurance, consult your insurance agent about getting Renter’s Insurance; there are typically discounts given with multiple policies. Having things such as working smoke detectors can provide a discount. Be sure to shop around to see where you get the best plan for your needs.


Safety and Crime

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs is often asked about what are the “safe neighborhoods” in Cleveland. The answer is not so easy as “crime has no zip code” and can happen anywhere. As such, we encourage all incoming postdocs to do their own research about safe neighborhoods using sources like "Spot Crime": https://spotcrime.com/. Other websites that can help you make good choices include Homesnacks and Area Vibes

Some other tips to keep you safe:

  • Put the technology away and be aware of your surroundings
  • Set up your phone with the ability to "find/retrieve" it (in case it gets stolen, it can really help the police)
  • CWRU CAMPUS IS ONE OF THE SAFEST PLACES IN ALL OF CLEVELAND (we are served by multiple police departments)
  • CWRU is equipped with the following safety measures (among others): Rave Guardian app, CWRU Shuttle buses, Safe Ride, and Walking Escorts for public safety.

Living Spaces in the U.S.

Living spaces in the USA may be very different from those in your home countries. Please pay attention to the differences to avoid problems with landlords or the University.

Common differences:

  • There are no drains in the floors of bathrooms, laundry rooms, etc.
  • Water on the floor will damage carpet and wood floors
  • Water on the floor will likely go down the walls into apartments on lower floors and damage walls, ceilings, etc.
  • Windows may be sealed shut. If they are, do not open them
  • Walls are usually painted drywall, not cinder block and whitewash
  • Appliances may be either electric or gas, so you will want to check which one you have
  • Quiet hours may be strictly enforced
  • Heat may be controlled by the landlord or management company rather than by you
  • Pet policies are strictly enforced
  • You may be held financially responsible for any damage you cause, even if you cause it by accident
  • Lease agreements are binding contracts for the length of the lease—follow the terms of your lease agreements carefully

Getting Around

* Shuttle

Download the CWRU Shuttle Map

 

* Train or Bus

Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Bus / Train Passes

RTA Mobile Ticketing

Transit App

The Red Line train has a station directly next to campus. You can access campus by disembarking at the Cedar-University Station. This train also connects directly to the airport and you can access it from inside the main airport terminal.

The HealthLine bus also runs between Downtown and CWRU. This route is useful if you are staying Downtown.

You can download the RTA mobile app and purchase tickets via that app. CWRU postdocs are eligible to get RTA passes at discount rates from the University. You can also purchase tickets at train stations and at HealthLine stations. Regular buses will require you to pay in cash if you don't have a mobile ticket, so we recommend just using the app.

You can find an interactive public transit system map here.

 

* Scooter / E-Bike

Cleveland also has a number of scooter and e-bike sharing options. Depending on weather there may also be options (it can be a bit snowy and wet in the winter!). 

 

* Car

PARKING AT THE TIME OF CHECK-IN WITH HUMAN RESOURCES: 

It is probably most convenient to park in our VIC lot, located on Euclid Avenue between Crawford Hall and Amasa Stone Church. Please note, this is a metered lot that takes both cash and credit/debit card. A map of the VIC Lot is here

You can also park at Severance Hall garage (Lot 29, see a map here) and bring your parking ticket with you to Access Services. If you purchase a parking permit the day you arrive, your parking will be validated by Access Services (CWRU Parking and ID) otherwise, you will have to pay to park. Other lots will not be validated if you choose to park in those. 

 

Car Rental Agencies
 
Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) offices:

* Where you go to get a Driver’s License or state-issued photo identification.

* Also where you need to go to register your car (if you purchase one).

  • 8039 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44103
  • 2765 E 55th St, Cleveland, OH 44104
  • 2173 S Taylor Rd, University Heights, OH 44118
  • 16945 Chagrin Blvd, Shaker Heights, OH 44120