Saturday, July 12, 2014

The bridge between King James and a herd of lumbering elephants

Tee shirts forgiving LeBron, on sale the
day after he announced his return to CLE
So it seems this town has gotten some attention this week, from Reince Priebus & Co. and one Lebron James. Who could have predicted such an odd tangential glancing? Not me.

As for the GOP, its members will descend upon our town, do their dirty business and leave. It will be much like a one night stand with all the terms and conditions carefully drawn out. Everyone will know what to expect and when it's all over, Cleveland will be just like Tampa in 2012: unchanged save for a few more coins in our pockets, maybe some kudos.

Hoops, Erin style
Conversely, a solitary King James is not nearly as predictable as a herd of lumbering elephants, perhaps due to the red-hot emotion he evokes in this locale. You cannot understand Northeast Ohio's LeBron fever until you've seen it from a center court seat. When I wrote about LeBron for the NYT four years ago in the wake of "The Decision," that fever had the fury of ten thousand women scorned. And then, in a stunning reversal, yesterday's "The Decision II" was greeted with ebullient celebrations. Tee shirts deeming LeBron James "forgiven" were on sale today--less than 24 hours after his announcement--and people were clamoring to buy them.

This crowd is not expecting a one night stand. We are expecting a long and splendorous affair. We are expecting trophies glittering with magic dust and happily ever-afters. Dangerous territory that, considering our first tumble under the covers with this guy produced no trophy, but instead just an empty bed festooned with a tangle of sweaty sheets. Love is strange.

Yeah, yeah.

In other news that did not garner headlines in California or Kansas or Florida, as a beautiful dawn spread across the Northcoast this morning, the last of the old I-90 Innerbelt Bridge got blasted into oblivion.

I took photos of the new Innerbelt Bridge when it was under construction last year about this time. This is one of my favorite views of the city. From this bluff, you can see a hundred years of bridge history. This photo only captures a small angle of the panorama, but you get the idea.

So an old bridge comes down and a new one goes up as the Cleveland skyline quietly watches on. This is the real Cleveland. It was here when LeBron was not. It will survive whatever the GOP dishes out. And I will be here, a solid advocate, revealing this place in my funny way and seducing people who least expect it.

Yikes! Erin has made me Cleveland-curious!

Now let's take a walk along the Cuyahoga River. I know the most fascinating path.

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Anonymous said...


I stopped driving across town after they had only begun work, so I was a little thrown when I drove by last month.

My buddies from Bedford and I used to ride our bikes on 480 well before the bridge was complete there. We felt like Charlton Heston must have felt when they made Los Angeles a closed set for "The Omega Man."


Michael Lawless said...

Which bridge will last longer?

Kirk said...

The last of 1-90 is right. I saw the flash of red and the smoke but the landscape looked pretty much the same after the explosion as before. I guess they just don't get rid of bridges all at once.

Johnny said...

Someone asked if I was going to buy Cavs tickets now. MY PLAN: Rent my house out for the RNC to some well -heeled attendee and invest the profits. in Cavs tickets.

Anonymous said...

James only signed a 2-year deal. What that means in 2 years, I don't think anyone really knows. The new bridge will be in for a longer stretch. Better agent, I guess.


Bill said...

I did not realize the importance of King James to a community. Wouldn't it be wonderful if he would first go to Detroit for a couple years? Bring them out of their hell and then move on to another city of need. A basketball player. A basketball team. It's laughable. Hero worship is alive and well.