From near ruins, this town has pulled itself up and continues to survive and thrive.

Part of that rock and roll spirit can be attributed to the Belkin family for helping to make this place the Rock and Roll Capital, as Fran Belkin’s new memoir outlines. You can hear all about it in our new CoolCLE PODCAST #12, also featuring an interview with the remarkable photographer Jeffrey Stroup about his book Abandoned Cleveland, and new music from two Akron artists: country singer Erica Dawn and power pop/rock quartet Librarians With Hickeys.

Don’t forget the kids this holiday season; bring them to BAYarts this Sunday for the personal shoppers on hand, or to the Happy Dog for their annual Pancake Breakfast with Santa on Saturday. Lakewood’s LEAF Market hosts their annual holiday market, as does the Cleveland Flea, the Screw Factory, and the Beachland’s Holiday Flea.

Retiring but not abandoning the community is Bob Navis, stepping away after an intense 25-year run as Near West Theatre’s artistic director. Stella’s Music Club launches its own record label, the Contemporary Youth Orchestra presents a holiday concert at BW, Laura Demarco tells stories of Cleveland Christmases past, and Cleveland’s longest-running improv ensemble is back with its “Very Last Call Christmas.” Don’t forget us. We won’t forget you. –Thomas Mulready

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