Monday, April 06, 2009

The Land Called Cleve

So, Cleveland.

I went to the city for the first time a couple of weeks ago to visit my sister, who’s an actor and getting a graduate degree there. Cleveland seems like it would be a really great place to live. In 1950. There are neighborhoods full of large, stately homes, presumably occupied now by people who inherited manufacturing wealth from last century. And then there are streets lined with abandoned factories and crumbling houses. It’s a city that’s been passed by, like many others in the midwest, and it wears sad signs of former glory.

I thought Brooklyn had a lot of churches. Cleveland has an astounding number, and almost each one looks like it could be a denomination’s national headquarters. Most of them appear to be in pretty good shape. We were on the trip with my mother, who’s Episcopalian, and we attended a service with her Sunday morning at Trinity Cathedral, which was just a block or two from our downtown hotel. (It’s pictured at right in 1910.)

On the positive side, the two schools we stayed near, Cleveland State and Case Western, seem to be thriving, with new construction all over the place. We also visited one of the very best bookstores I’ve ever seen, Loganberry. If you’re ever around there, I highly recommend it. (The "Literary Arts" room alone would be a great store.) And we had dinner one night in the city’s charming and easily walkable Little Italy section, which is packed with restaurants and, again, churches. We didn’t make it to a bar that a friend had suggested, but there will be a next time. I need to get back when the Indians are in town.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

NOT Cleveland, but close: Akron.

I love ALL THE WAY HOME by David Giffels as a perfect capsule of how to be cool yet like in a place like Akron... or Cleveland...

Did you go to the R&R Hall of Fame? Did you go to the baseball stadium (too early for a game, yeah)?

8:01 PM  

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