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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Cleveland is My Home

By Rich Kozlovich

Cleveland, Ohio was at one time considered America's real second city, not Chicago, and was touted as the city everyone needs to visit back in the late 19th and early 20th century.  Many of the nations great industrialists had there homes in Cleveland, including John D. Rockefeller.  

Travel guides touted Euclid avenue, which is the main street of Cleveland, as the place to see for foreign travelers calling it "The Showplace of America".   Euclid Avenue was commonly called "Millionaires' Row" because of all the mansions lining the Avenue, most of which are long gone.

I'm going to be 77 soon, and I've lived in Cleveland, or a Cleveland suburb, for over 50 of those years, and I've always loved Cleveland.  About 15 years ago or so I wrote a piece saying what a great town Cleveland is, noting we have more diversity than any city in the country per ratio, and for whatever problems we may have, we get along better than most others most of the time.  That's changed.  America's major cities are turning into crime infested disasters, and while it appears its not as bad in Cleveland,  it also appears Cleveland is heading in that direction.

Some things remain.  Any kind of food from any area of the world you may want can be found in Cleveland, and we have pierogies, which Bill Clinton first ate here and raved about them. 

 Homemade Pierogi

We have what is considered one of the great symphonic orchestras of the world, The Cleveland Orchestra, and we have Severance Hall, where they perform. We have the second largest theatre district in the country.   When I was sixteen I saw the original traveling cast of Camelot at I believe was the Palace theatre, and it was a palace.  But afterward Cleveland went into a downward spiral and the Palace, and the other great theaters closed.   The Palace, along with others were restored and the Palace is still a palace. 

We have the science museum, a botanical garden (the botanical garden is beyond special), a natural history museum, an aquarium, and a wonderful art museum. And if it's your taste…the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.   Cleveland is one of the world's great medical centers.  We have some of the most fabulous medical facilities in the world, which is why the wealthy and powerful world over come here for treatment.  

We have plenty of great low cost golf courses and if you are into intramural sports we have all that also. We have water and snow skiing. We have plenty of great suburbs with great homes at a fraction of the cost of those in places like California and we are surrounded by a Green Ring of Metro Parks. And we have the Browns, the Indians and the Cavaliers, which Clevelanders rally around with great passion.   For me that's changed as I no longer watch any sports. 

I love this town and intend to spend the rest of my life here, but the fact remains, some things have changed, dramatically, and it's disturbing.  In 1965 Cleveland's population was 1,875,000. As of July of 2022 it was 361,607.  Whites make up only 38% of the population, blacks 47% and are still granted minority status. Violent crime in Cleveland is 17.4 per 1000.  In all of Ohio it's only 3.76 and nationwide it's 4. 

I fear going downtown now as crime is becoming a problem as thugs roaming the streets prey on those too old and weak to defend themselves.   I've always loved theatre, but now I simply refuse to go downtown for any reason.   But I do miss those wonderful theaters, and I can no longer golf, which I really miss.  

But as I've shown Cleveland has gone through this kind of stuff before.  From grandeur to mediocrity then grunge.  From grunge to restoration and optimism.  From restoration and optimism to mediocrity.  From mediocrity to a downward trend that's heading back to grunge.   I hope this downward trend will pass before I do, but this is my home. I still love it, and I can't imagine dying anywhere else.

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