Nicole Delamotte

Just Checking In

Written by Nicole Delamotte.

I'd love to hear from you: facebook + twitter + instagram + email (delamotte.nicole [at] gmail [dot] com)

I thought it was finally time for an update and I wanted to let you in on a few things I've been working on this spring, including interviews, my first contributions to Fresh Water Cleveland and Belt Magazine, a listening party, and other relevant news. As always, I like to stay busy so send me an email with feedback, projects (this gun's for hire), or just to chat. delamotte.nicole [at] gmail [dot] com


Zeroing in on the Internet’s edgiest music, buzzed-about videos and freshest culture news, untangles the Internet’s daily dose of cool and delivers it to readers on one trailblazing path. If it’s cool and online, you’ll find it on, pop culture’s one-stop for the hottest music, news, videos and more. is part of Townsquare Media, a digital media and entertainment company that includes other leading news brands such as Ultimate Classic Rock, ScreenCrush, Loudwire and ComicsAlliance.

I've previously mentioned that I was thrilled to be contributing to Diffuser.FM, the indie side of Townsquare Media, and have since had some awesome opportunities to interview members of the Avett Brothers, the Pixies, and Sean Lennon of the Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger.

Exclusive Interview -- The Avett Brothers Talk Festival Shows, Collaborations, and New Music (3/12)

The Pixies On The Past, Present, and Future (4/24)

Sean Lennon Talks About His Band The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger In Exclusive Interview (4/29)

I've also contributed other biographical content on the likes of The Flaming Lips, BonnarooGreen DayImagine Dragons, and AWOLNATION.

Cleveland Magazine

Summer Breeze: Jack Johnson picks the perfect soundtrack to your summer [READ MORE]

I did a fun, quick interview with Jack Johnson about his favorite summer tunes in anticipation of his upcoming show at Blossom. His playlist includes Elvis Costello and the Roots, which is something we all can agree on. I've previously contributed to Cleveland Magazine with features on A Great Big World and Herzog.

Fresh Water Cleveland

Fresh Water is a weekly e-magazine and website that reports on What's Next? in and around Cleveland, focusing on technology, innovation, diversity, local food, and entrepreneurship. We speak to creative, highly mobile and curious people who are interested in where the growing companies are, where innovation is taking place, and where unique neighborhood transformations are taking root.

I penned my first original pieces for Fresh Water Cleveland, the locally-focused arm of Issue Media Group.

follow you, follow me: the social media mavens we can get enough of (4/10) – For this feature I profiled some of my favorite Cleveland social media users, including Margaret Bernstein (author, journalist, mentoring advocate), Rachel Lopez (of HER Ideas In Motion, a non-profit supporting women in tech), and Stephanie Sheldon (organizer of the Cleveland Flea).

we’ve got options: alternative transportation takes root in cleveland (5/12) – Experimental and immersive, this has been one of the most fun pieces I’ve worked on to date. I was tasked with trying new alternative transit options in Cleveland – Uber, Lyft, and Ride On Cleveland Pedicabs -- and writing about my experience. The above photos in the banner were all iPhone shots I snapped to tease the article via Instagram. It became the #1 trending article on the site!

"I grew up skateboarding, so I really started to learn my way around the city,” explains [Ride On Cleveland Pedicabs’ Patrick] Stanton as he glides through an alleyway en route to the stadium. “By doing this, I’ve been able to see how Cleveland, especially downtown, has been growing, and it’s so great to watch that happen.” -- we've got options


On the Cellar Door front, I've been keeping up with local DJs with their playlists, tracks, and commentary including:

Ron Kretsch Talks Beachland Brunch (5/16)

Interview: DJ Lawrence Caswell Talks Square Biz at Luxe (5/23)

An upcoming feature on Secret Soul Club

In the local arts, I previewed Cleveland Orchestra's incredible opera with live animation, The Cunning Little Vixen and you can look for an upcoming interview with John Burroughs (Crisis Chronicles) on his experience leading a recent prison poetry slam.

The Cleveland Orchestra Gets Foxy With Multi-Media Animated Opera (5/20)

In tandem with my job, I had a lot of fun helping coordinate a listening party for Mica Levi's eerie, jarring soundtrack to Under The Skin [starring Scarlett Johansson] in partnership with OutLab at Mahall's, a monthly improv night featuring the best in Cleveland experimental, avant-garde jazz. Special thanks to the Cellar Door crew, Kelly and Joanna at Mahall's, at Tom and Dan with OutLab for making a fun night possible. More info on that event [HERE].

Sneak peek before it's published: here's our Secret Soul Club-curated playlist in honor of their two year anniversary: Secret Soul Club vs CellarDoorCLE On Spotify

Belt Magazine

Belt is an online magazine devoted to long-form journalism, essay, and commentary with a distinctly Rust Belt sensibility. We’re based in Cleveland, but we strive to bring in voices from all over the Rust Belt.

I've had several stories published on Belt Magazine (from the small press that created Rust Belt Chic) as part of an intermittent collaboration with CellarDoorCLE. In April I was asked to write my first original piece on Clevelander Aaron Calafato's solo/monologue-based play that takes on the student debt crisis, For Profit. [READ HERE]

“Keeping people scared and keeping people poor is profitable. It takes someone expressing autonomy and saying no,” he says. “It’s not about being a superhero; it’s a culmination of little acts of rebellion.” - Aaron Calafato

Cleveland Scene - Best Of Cleveland

In March/April, I was nominated for two Cleveland Scene Best Of Cleveland awards: Best Blogger for my work with and Best Writing (Editorial) for my freelance work. Cellar Door was also nominated for five (5!) other categories including Best Local Promoter, Best Local Blog, Best User Friendly Website, Best Arts/Culture/Music Blog, and Best Events Page.

Cellar Door nabbed Best Arts/Culture/Music Blog, adding to last year's Best Local Promoter win!

Plain Dealer/

Nikki Delamotte of Cellar Door Cleveland shares her favorite hip veg-friendly spots: 5 For Friday [READ MORE]

Peter Chakerian was nice enough to let me sound off on my favorite local restaurants, dishes, and drinks for this fun feature in the Plain Dealer/ Give it a look over for some veggie-friendly suggestions in town! And follow his weekly series for more opinions on independent food options from people who are much more qualified to talk about it.

I'll also be contributing to another feature in the PD as one of 50 people talking about Cleveland. Stay tuned!

For the record, my picks:

The Katz Club Diner (1975 Lee Rd., Cleveland Heights; 216-932-3333, - Vegan curried lentil soup

Mason's Creamery (4401 Bridge Ave., Cleveland; 310-405-2027, - Vegan Horchata ice cream

Beachland Ballroom and Tavern (15711 Waterloo Rd., Cleveland; 216-383-1124, - Beachland Barberita cocktail to go with brunch

Beet Jar Juicebar and Takeaway (1432 W. 29th St., Cleveland; Facebook, - Cashew mylks and kale chips

Mahall's 20 Lanes (13200 Madison Ave., Lakewood; 216-521-3280, - Veggie tacos

Speaking Engagements

I had the pleasure of speaking to an Oberlin College arts writing class of Anne Trubek's (also Editor-In-Chief at BELT Magazine!) along with amazingly multi-talented scribe and pal Annie Zaleski. This was a lot of fun and look for more to possibly come from this trio. Until then, I'll leave you with this ridiculously great profile of experimental musician Aaron Dilloway, owner of Oberlin's Hanson Records shop, penned by one of Anne's arts writing students, Zoe Gould. If you read it, you'll know why I felt like I should have been taking tips from Anne's students and not vice versa. Great teacher, great students.

A Few Quick Updates

Written by Nicole Delamotte.

It’s been a very, very busy few months and I mean that in the best way possible. Until I have time for due formal updates, I wanted to fill you in on everything I’ve been up to lately.

10 to 1 – Cleveland Landmarks in the Arts:

For Cellar Door Cleveland (, I did a short year-end series examining both landmarks in the local art and literary world along with profiles of what it means to be a first-year arts upstart in the city. This included:

RA Washington – RA Washington Celebrated 20 years as a Writer with a Release 10 Years Overdue

Genghis Con – John G Reflects on 10 Years of the Underground Comic / Small Press Convention

The Movement Project – Modern Dance Momentum – A look back on the dance company’s first year. I previously wrote an article a year to the date introducing the founders [here].

Miser Magazine – A Look Inside Cleveland’s Only Art & Literary Quarterly

On the Cellar Door front, I'm also so proud of my co-conspirators for their hard work on Cellar Door Rendezvous coming up on March 14th and 15th. More info at


I was thrilled to have a few of my past stories featured on BELT Magazine, an independent online publication by the creators of Rust Belt Chic. You can find my pieces on RA Washington [here] and Genghis Con [here], along with my feature on hip-hop group Muamin Collective [here].

The above article on Miser Magazine was featured on the Brite Winter blog [here].

Cleveland Magazine:

I had the opportunity to interview A Great Big World, collaborators with Christina Aguilera on “Say Something”, for the February issue of Cleveland Magazine. You can read the full feature [here]. I previously contributed to Cleveland Magazine with this interview with Herzog, which you can read [here].







Brite Winter:

I returned to blog for Brite Winter for my second year. This time around selected interviews were published in a Premium Guide Book, masterfully printed and glossy bound by Brite Director of Programming Tom Fox. The guide book, which doubled as a Kickstarter reward, featured interviews with Herzog, Rollergirl, Emma Shepard, Shivering Timbers, Seasick Mama, Randy Crider, Little Big League, Silent Lions, and Freeze-Tag. You can read the complete series [here].


I’m very excited to be asked to contribute to Diffuser.FM. I’ll update here occasionally, though for now I did offer some biographical content on the likes of The Flaming Lips and Bonnaroo and had the pleasure of interviewing Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers ahead of their appearance at New York’s Mountain Jam. You can read that [here].

Other fun updates:

In February, I was asked to be a panelist at City Year’s annual networking event and had the opportunity to talk to college students about careers in media and publishing.

In early March, I was selected to be a BELT Magazine ( Member of the Week! This is to fuel their membership drive; I’m a proud supporter of BELT’s commitment to independent journalism. Only $20!

Awesome photos on behalf of BELT Magazine by equally awesome photographer Judie Vegh.

Six Stories / Six Months: On Owning a Business in Cleveland

Written by Nicole Delamotte.

When I recently interviewed Jack Storey, director of the celebrated Red, White, and Blueprints:  A Rust Belt Documentary, he announced his next film project would be centered around the challenges that face entrepreneurs. Sitting in a little mom and pop diner in Collinwood, Storey tackled the obstacles stacked against aspiring business owners; among them student loan debt, legislature, educational and generational gaps.

“There’s little venture capital for things that aren’t Facebook 2.0 or medical research. I understand that from an economic standpoint — it’s the thing that people see value in,” he said. “But there’s still value in retail, there’s still value in these smaller enterprises. And, in fact, they still employ a healthy amount of the country. So if we can’t have people starting those now, how are we going to get there twenty years from now?”

I spent the last six months meeting one-on-one with new business owners in Cleveland to help tell their stories, whether brick and mortar, mobile and incubator-based, freelancers, or planning for a storefront.  Each had a unique story, whether it was Jesse Mason and Helen Qin of Mason's Creamery, who just moved to Cleveland from L.A. or Lyz Bly and RA Washington of Guide to Kulchur, who are longtime Cleveland residents and finally giving a home to their passion.

Through Cellar Door Cleveland, small business owners were able to share tips with the public, their greatest challenges, and their most rewarding moments. Thank you to Justin and Allie Markert of Cellar Door for being tireless supporters of local businesses in Cleveland and Stephanie Sheldon for helping to facilitate the Cleveland Flea Spotlights. *Click the headlines in any of the stories below to read the full features.*

(all below graphics by Justin Markert)


Guide to Kulchur: Lyz Bly & Rafeeq Washington Keep Independent Books & Zines Alive With New Shop

// 1386 Detroit Rd, Cleveland, OH

"I want my stuff to connect to [Charles] Bukowski or [John] Updike, or any of these in a way, so you can see a lineage, as a way to write yourself in, to identify with your heroes,” says Washington. “Do it that way instead of just walking around with a Bukowski t-shirt. I’m going to try to crack a sentence better than his, funnier than his. And if I can’t, at least I tried. That’s what you’ve got to do to motivate yourself as a young person. What about when you get older? You start a bookstore. And you hope they’ll listen to you. They’ll buy stuff or they won’t.”

Bly points out, “Or they’ll make stuff.”

“I’m hoping that they’ll make stuff.”


BEET Jar Juice Bar

// Mobile + Opening in Winter 2013 1432 W. 29th St. Ohio City, OH 44113

“I think there’s a major connection between the way we want to live and what we want to present. People are somewhat intrigued that Molly’s an artist and there is definitely an association between food and art,” Joseph says. “But also from a health standpoint, I want to be able to drum for hours. Just the other day someone joked to us, ‘kale does a drummer good.’ There’s a connection between health and being able to do what you want in life.”

“There’s a lot of muscle, sweat, and hope that goes into this. I feel anyone opening up their first small business could say the same thing,” Pamela adds. “The most rewarding thing is people coming up to us and saying they feel great after trying something we’ve made. Our vegan night? It’s 365 days.”


Something to be Found

// diy + thrift vendor + mobile

“When I started doing more projects I was guilty of thinking, ‘I have no idea what I’m doing. I want to paint this table; do I buy latex, do I buy oil paint?’ And I would get locked-up,” she says. “Finally I said, just do it. Quit talking about it and just do it. Get inspired, whether it’s something you see in a magazine or on a blog, and just try it.”


Cleveland Culinary Kitchen & Launch: Chill Pop Shop & Mason's Creamery

Chill Pop Shop

// Mobile + The Cleveland Culinary Kitchen & Launch

Elizabeth Pryor: People need to know it’s not going to be easy. If you know that going in, you’re already going to be set up for success. We’re having a blast but it is immense work. And it’s hard work. For every step forward there are three steps back. But you just have to be resilient and find ways past those obstacles and keep going.

Maggie Pryor: It’s been invaluable to be in a space like this where you can connect with other small business owners and food entrepreneurs, even bouncing ideas off Jesse and Helen because they’re at a similar stage.

Mason's Creamery

// Mobile + The Cleveland Culinary Kitchen & Launch

Jesse Mason: I’ve been self-employed for a long time and my best advice is just to do it. If you like doing it, have the confidence. There’s never going to be the ‘right’ time, there never will be for anything, you just have to take the plunge.

Helen Qin: You’re going to figure it out, and you’re going to just do it, and it’s not going to be perfect and it’s not going to be the way you want it, but you’re going to get it done. It’s just about doing something you feel good about.


Cleveland Flea MAKERS Classes: Yate's Apothecary + Freelance Make-Up Artist Erin Barrett

Yate's Apothecary

“As a nuclear tech for 13 years, money wasn’t an issue. But when you walk away from that, when you take that leap of faith, you don’t know where you’re going to land,” says Hale. “But it’s a leap of faith that’s had its challenges and still does. It’s not a walk in the park starting from the ground up. My advice for anything who wants to do it, just take the leap. The money will always follow.”

Erin Barrett

"I think it’s a really good time to be a young person in Cleveland, especially with a lot of new ideas. Right now we’re able to take a city that’s on the rise and just go with it. You don’t have to worry about people telling you that you can’t do it because they’ve already populated the market. You can make the market. Go getters are making it happen even faster just because they want it so bad for the city."