Some presents you give to your spouse may seem a little self serving. For example, Jason’s birthday was this month and I gifted him tickets to the Chris Rock Total Blackout Tour at Playhouse Square and a room at Metropolitan on The 9. I’m not a huge stand-up fan, but Jason is and he’s always liked Chris Rock so it was a solid gift. But it also ended up being a sweet night for me as well.
My parents picked up Gage around noon and I took the train to downtown Cleveland. The Chocolate Bar was on the way to the hotel and it had been too long since I’d had one of their divine chocolate martinis. So, this happened.
I ordered my favorite, the salted caramel chocolate martini and I’m still thinking about it…
I got to the hotel feeling pretty happy and had time for a 45 minute nap before Jason got off work. He works a block from the hotel and the hotel is only a few blocks from Playhouse Square, so great location and a very fun place. It’s sexy. I know that sounds silly, but it’s true. It’s housed in the old Ameritrust Bank complex and it’s basement was perfectly described in this NPR interview with author DM Pulley. I was anxious to check it out so we headed to the basement. In 2001 Pulley visited the building after it had sat abandoned for years and found bank vaults and safe deposit boxes hanging open or still locked up. And 15 years later they turned it into a really cool bar, with safes intact.
Such a cool place. As we were waiting for the elevator to take us back up, we were taken aback when it arrived. A SWAT team in all their glory got off and went through one of the back hallways of the hotel. No idea, but they could have been headed to the Chris Rock Show via tunnels because I’ve never had to go through that much security to get into a show of any kind. We even had to lock up our cell phones when we got there, kind of an annoyance, but gave more opportunity for people watching. And with 3,000+ people in attendance that was fun.
The show opened with Arnie Fuqua (one of the comedians in the crash with Tracy Morgan a few years ago) and then gave us our first surprise. Native Clevelander Arsenio Hall was going to act as our host for the evening. The crowd went crazy. After about 15 minutes he decided to bring out another surprise. Dave Chappelle came onstage and brought the house down. Arsenio came back out and a little bit later Chris Rock took the stage. What a fantastic night of stand-up and I don’t even like stand-up!!
We were feeling happy as we walked back to the hotel at 11:30 and noticed that there were vintage 70’s cars parked on the street. We decided to try out the bar above the lobby before turning in and were surprised to watch as they prepared to shoot a movie scene. Matthew McConaughey has been in town filming a movie so I’m assuming that’s what it was. We watched them bring out bags of fake snow and put it all along E. 9th. Cracks me up since it snows like 5 months of the year here and they wait to use fake snow! Anyway we watched until they had shut down the street and only 70’s cars were going by. It only took an hour from start to finish so I’m assuming Matthew wasn’t there, but who knows. Here was our view from the bar…
It’s hard to see with the glare but it was fun to watch in person. So, it was after midnight when we headed back up to our room and Jason had to be at work 6 and half hours later. Luckily, it was only a 5 minute commute.
So, it was a great gift all the way around 🙂