WWW.SHAKER.LIFE | SPRING 2020 35
Moved to Shaker
I moved to Cleveland to attend Cleveland Institute
of Music for my master’s in collaborative piano. Then
I met my wife, Narcisz Fejes, who was an international
faculty member at Case Western Reserve University. She’s
originally from Hungary and came on a scholarship to study in
the U.S. She currently teaches classes on the global food system at
CWRU and organizes food justice work with students.
I’m also the music director of Holy Rosary Church in Little Italy, a
professor of Italian at John Carroll University, and an accompanist at
Hathaway Brown School. We settled down and welcomed our first and
only child, Federica, in 2013. She is now a Fernway Elementary School
We picked Shaker Heights for our home because we wanted to
live in a community that was easily walkable. As Europeans who are
used to walking, this was important to us. We are looking forward to
the reopening of Fernway so our daughter can walk to school. The ease
and low carbon footprint of the commutes to our work places (CWRU,
Little Italy, and John Carroll) was another important draw. Van Aken
District and Heinen’s are also within short walking distance. We also
love the surrounding parks and green spaces. The composting service
that my wife uses at the Nature Center was something that did not exist
when we moved but would likely be a huge draw now as it shows an
environmentally progressive sentiment.
Most important, we appreciate the diversity of the Shaker
population. As international residents, we have always felt welcome
and find that residents are eager to learn about our experiences. We
love discussions about different educational systems and ways of living.
We have learned a lot from our neighbors, and we hopefully impact
them as well. Narcisz is also part of the International Women’s Group
of Cleveland (See sidebar, page 64).
Shaker is so quiet and family-friendly, and our neighbors have
always been eager to help us when we’ve had last-minute childcare
issues or any other family emergencies. It’s wonderful to be able
to count on people, and we have also tried to do the same for our
neighbors and other friends on the nearby streets.
residents, we have
always felt welcome
and find that residents
are eager to learn
about our experiences.