Things To Like About Cleveland

First I want to say that I have a super awesome question/Darcy-like question that increases in anxiety as it goes waiting in the Ask the Darcy queue, but I’m going to answer/speak to that later.  In the meantime, feel free to submit more questions/answers/accusations/positions on a football team, etc.

Lots of people hate Cleveland.  Sometimes I hate Cleveland, too, but there are some things about this city that make it so you can’t hate it.

First, we have Josh Cribbs.  I have absolutely no idea if he plays football well or not, but I follow him on Twitter and he is SO nice and SO positive, no matter what.  He believes in Cleveland, he believes in the Browns no matter how bad things look, and he lives in this city and supports this city.  I’m watching the Browns game right now, and he is really small compared to the other football men, and he just had the ball and he ran with it and then got tackled by the extremely large men.  But then he gets up and he keeps going.  I like his spirit.  I am sure the other Browns players are really nice, too, but I don’t follow them on Twitter, so I do not know anything about them.

Then, we have Michael Symon.  Super Chef Extraordinaire, and he LOVES Cleveland.  He is constantly positive as well.  He builds restaurants here to make us have cool places to go, he promotes other restaurants and chefs who are Cleveland based, and he constantly supports Cleveland.

So with two people like that, with such spirit and a positive attitude, that right there means Cleveland is not that bad.

There are many, many other people who are like that, too.  Timothy Smith is one of them.  He built a community greenhouse that produces fresh organic food in an urban setting.  He took NOTHING and made it in to something huge that is still (pardon the pun) growing.  He believes in Cleveland and in the environment.

We have some awesome theaters.  And by awesome, I mean better than pretty much any other small professional theaters.  Dobama Theater, Ensemble Theatre, Tailspinner Children’s Theater, The Beck Center, Willoughby Fine Arts Association, Actor’s Summit, FPAC, Big Dog Theater – these places have produced people who go on to Broadway.  These are theaters that are doing ground breaking original work, using some of the most creative talent in Cleveland (just check out the costumes from Tailspinner’s last production).  These theaters were all started by individuals who had an idea and they grew into something huge.  Celeste Cosentino’s mom and aunt, Lucia and Licia Columbi, created Ensemble Theater.  I remember talking to Celeste 7 or 8 years ago and she said she couldn’t wait to take over the theater and revolutionize it.  The circumstances under which she took it over were not what she wanted (her mom and her aunt both died, leaving a hole in the hearts of almost every theater person in Cleveland), but Celeste, who is younger than I am, has done AMAZING things with that theater.  Just Google her, and you’ll see.  And of course, there’s The Cleveland Playhouse and Playhouse Square, which are actually different venues despite the mistake that people always make.

Those are just the venues for acting in Cleveland, we also have some of the best actors anywhere.  You will find them everywhere.  Next time you are in a theater anywhere, check out your program, I bet you will find a Clevelander in there somewhere.

East 4th.  That does not mean anything if you do not live here, but it is a street that is closed to traffic that houses some of the best restaurants, the House of Blues, Hilarities, Pickwick and Frolic.  Anyone who says there’s nothing to do downtown is mistaken.

Clevelanders (and outsiders) have the opinion that we are uncultured idiots, but we happen to be home to one of the top five best orchestras, the Cleveland Orchestra, some of the best museums and a new aquarium.  Our buildings are not as huge as some of the major cities, but did you know the Cleveland Museum of Art has over 30,000 freaking pieces of art in there?  Our Museum of Natural History is awesome and they rehabilitate injured wildlife there.

When you go downtown, it is very deceptive.  We need a facelift, that is absolutely for certain.  It looks dead, depressing, uninteresting and vacant.  Someone needs to just come in and rebuild some of the crumbling buildings, give us some color and cool architecture, and make downtown a place to live with things like a grocery store and safe housing.  But we can do it, we just need someone to make that investment.  And we could probably use an uncorrupt government, I guess that’s like, the starting point.  BUT IT IS FREAKING POSSIBLE.  Cleveland was awesome when I was in high school and college, and it can be that way again, and even better.

So shut up about Cleveland being “the mistake on the lake”.  We aren’t.  We have a lot going on and for a city that is considered one of the poorest ever (that is not based on any statistic other than something I heard in passing), we have got a LOT going on.  We just need some investment, and we have that – we have Dan Gilbert.  And other people, too, but I am not like, actually researching this, I am just saying all this based on you know, stuff.

A huge part of Cleveland’s problem is that no one here makes use of all of the things we have.  Theaters don’t sell out, if you go to the Museum of Natural History you will probably be the only one there and no one bothers to support the arts or the endeavors that are happening.  So the population of Cleveland kind of needs an attitude adjustment.

And then there’s this.  

And this.  

At least we have a sense of humor.

Come to Cleveland, we don’t suck.