Saturday, May 26, 2007

Cleveland Rocks...But...

Ian Hunter wrote and sang..."all the little kids growing up on the skids are goin Cleveland rocks, Cleveland rocks..." I spent the week in Cleveland doing a product installation at Cleveland State University, experiencing the core of Cleveland.

This is a city that has it good points and its bad points. Despite the effort to build three great stadiums/areas -- Jacobs Field (Indians), The Quicken Loans Arena (Cavs), and Cleveland Stadium (Browns) -- plus the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland is still a city awaiting a resurgence.

The city's architecture is all over the place. There are great buildings built in the early 20th century sitting next to buildings with a more modern glass look. Poor designs, poor themes, non-inspiring. I will say this: they have some truly great churches from orthodox to Gothic.

Unless a game is going on, it is a dead city. During the day, there are few people actually working downtown. If they are working in those buildings, they don't leave them -- no pedestrians.

Go east, south or west and you really have nothing of any significant commerce. It is a city whose best years were probably a hundred years ago.

There are some economical challenging areas in central Cleveland. It appears that most modern businesses have red lined a 25-50 square mile area.

This city is one where the movers and shakers have abandoned the city for the suburbs.

The workers I had to deal with in the city behaved as if I was putting them out asking them to do what they were being paid to do -- from restaurant workers to FedEx employees, from university employees (not Dave or Ali) to airport employees.

Raised in Ohio, I am a Cleavland fan. I sure would like to see the lower class people pull their heads out and get on with life, get productive, take pride in the city. I'd like to see the city planners do a better job integrating the universities -- CSU and Case -- including creating a destination associated with the water/lake front and a more alluring public transportation system.

UPDATE 8/20/07: I just received a $95 speeding ticket from the City of Cleveland. A photo ticket for going 43 MPH in a 35 MPH. Way to go Cleveland; a rental car going eight MPH over the limit. Does not get any better than that.

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