Meet Lisa and Chad: Cleveland Transplants from New York City and Pittsburgh

Meet Lisa and Chad: Cleveland Transplants from New York City and Pittsburgh In February, Engage! Cleveland introduced readers to our new blog series about living in, moving to, and staying in Cleveland. We have interviewed a number of individuals who either have lived, are living, or want to live in Cleveland about what they love about the city, and why it’s a destination for them over other locations.

In this Q&A, we are excited to introduce you to Lisa Rosen, a Cleveland transplant who spent time living in New York City and Charleston, South Carolina, before moving to the Cleveland area, and Chad Kunkle, a transplant from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Read on to find out what brought these two to Cleveland and why they’re loving where they now live.

Engage! Cleveland: Where else have you lived (and for how long), and what brought you here?

Lisa Rosen: I lived in NYC for 14 years before I came [to Cleveland] in August. I've also lived in Charleston, South Carolina. I moved for a new job and a change of pace.

Chad Kunkle: I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  I ended up going to Bowling Green State University on a track scholarship.  I majored in Health Care Administration and did an internship at Cleveland Clinic that evolved into a full-time job right after graduation.

What were your initial thoughts on moving to Cleveland?

Lisa: At first, I knew very little about Cleveland. My first priority was to make sure the weather was no worse here than in New York!

Chad: Initially, I thought that it would be fun to live here for just a few months and hangout with college friends that lived in the local area.  I figured that after the internship was over, I would definitely be moving back to Pittsburgh. However, 15 years later, I am still living in Cleveland, so I figure that I must like it here.

What were your first impressions, and what do you think of the city now?

Lisa: I liked the city immediately, and couldn't believe the low cost-of-living. Sometimes now, in the winter, I think it is a bit difficult to manage without a car.

Chad: I think that I have experienced different cycles of Cleveland in my 15 years of living here.  When I came to Cleveland there was much change happening. East Bank of the Flats shut down, development of E.4th St. evolving, and Ohio City revitalization happening.  It was a pretty exciting time. It has also been exciting to see the East Bank of the Flats come back to life. This is a city that is determined to evolve through any type of adversity.  Being a part of Engage! Cleveland has helped me gain a much greater appreciation for that.

How does Cleveland compare to other cities?

Lisa: As I said before, Cleveland is very affordable.

Chad: I have always felt that Cleveland is kind of a Rocky story.  It has been at the bottom and has had to work hard to earn its way to the top through the vast economic development and population growth, sports championships, host to RNC, etc.  There is a camaraderie unlike any other to back the city no matter the circumstances and that is exciting to be a part of.

Did you have to adapt in any way (financially, lifestyle, etc)?

Lisa: I adapt every day, it feels like, to make my way of living work here.

Chad: Not much to adapt to for me personally.  Cleveland and Pittsburgh are not all that different from each other which is why I think there is such an intense sports rivalry between the two.  I feel that Cleveland is one of the best cities out there from an economic standpoint, mix of seasonality, and to raise a family.

What do you do for work in Cleveland? What do you like about working here?

Lisa: I work in technology for a media company. I like the opportunity I've found for growth here-- NYC is so competitive.

Chad: I work as an Administrator for Cleveland Clinic.  As far as healthcare is concerned, it does not get any better than working for an organization that is at the forefront of innovation in the industry.  I am driven by this type of fast paced energy and world class care.

What are some of your favorite things to do/areas in Cleveland in your free time?

Lisa: I love the University Circle area because of the culture. I love the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque and the arts museums.

Chad: I am a big runner, so I love to hit the Metroparks with my peers.  I also love the restaurant and overall social scene. There are always things going on and nice to have many options to choose from.

Tell me a little more about you, what you like to do and your lifestyle (Do you live the suburban or city life? Buy or rent? Take public transportation? Hobbies or interests?)

Lisa: I definitely like to live in cities. I don't drive so I rely on public transportation. I think it is important to support public services and the arts. I love movies and the Cinematheque was a big motivating factor for me when I was looking at moving here.

Chad: I live in the suburbs of Westlake in an urban type setting (Crocker Park) so I get the best of both worlds.  I currently rent. If I am not driving or running somewhere, I take Uber. As mentioned, I’m an avid runner and always interested in exploring new pockets of the city.