There is no place like you, Toledo.

My Dearest Glass City,

T-O-L-E-D-O, Go Rockets! For twenty two years I called Northwest Ohio home. My family and friends, my high school, my college; every person and experience that molded me was founded in the Glass City.  But after college I was ready to venture out in search of bigger and better things.

I dreamed of a big city; bright lights, a lively downtown. I desired to explore new bars and restaurants, meet diverse people, and uncover something special in this great big world. I was so eager to leave you, Toledo.

I accepted a job as a flight attendant based in Atlanta and off I went. For six years I was all over America for my job. I lived in Atlanta and Jacksonville. I visited Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Dallas, Chicago, and New York City. I saw the biggest cities in America. I visited new bars and restaurants, I met people everywhere I went. But, every place I visited, every face I met, I found myself yearning for home.

There is no place like you, Toledo. It took me six years of missing you. Missing my morning runs in the metroparks, missing breakfast with my family at Star Diner, missing happy hour with my best friends at Chucks, missing Mud Hens and Walleye games. I realized I was missing out on all of the wonderful things you had to offer.

So I came back home, encouraged to get out and live it up. Now I’m eager for my morning shake sessions at Pure Barre, my frequent stops at the local farmer’s markets around town, and martini nights at Bar 145. Your evolving downtown; a beautiful new park, fabulous art spots, and new bars and restaurants has helped me fall in love with you, Toledo.

What I didn’t realize in those twenty two years, I realized quickly in the six I was away. I’ve watched you grow. I’ve watched you stand tall and proud of what you’ve become. I’ve watched others start to believe in you. You have the biggest heart and the friendliest people who connect to form a community. Despite the bad, the traditions and our love for this city have kept us all united.

I’m sorry I tried to trade you in for bigger and better, when you were all I ever needed.  I’m so glad to be home, Toledo. You are it. You are my town. Always have and always will be.


Cassi Ysassi


Drummond Road is a special place to Cassi. It’s where she currently lives, and it connects to the University of Toledo, where she attended college. Its “tree tunnel” also reminds her of the beautiful woods and metroparks of Toledo, a cherished part of her hometown.