On her September 19 show, Rachel Maddow was wrapping up an interview with Bill Rhoden, who was apparently on his way to Cleveland.
"I love Cleveland," said Rhoden.
"You're the only one," replied Maddow.
Clevelanders are accustomed to such unfortunate jibes, which get more tone deaf every day. Fortunately, the tired old jokes about a burning river are becoming fewer and far between. After all, when two diametrically opposite entities such as the Gay Games and the GOP choose Cleveland for their gatherings, that's saying something.
Then we have LeBron. I wrote about his homecoming announcement back in July, to which occasional Owner's Manual commenter Bill replied, "A basketball player. A basketball team. It's laughable."
You don't get it, Bill. You really don't get it. And if you live in America, you need to get it. Everone needs to get Cleveland. Our future as a country is here.
That is an accurate depiction of this town. LeBron and the Cavs are perfect front men for our dazzling comeback. After all, we've dug ourselves out of a hole with sheer grit and manpower. The best part is that we didn't do it by reinventing ourselves, we did it by rediscovering ourselves.
Cleveland isn't about LeBron, LeBron is about Cleveland.
I am here on the ground, been here forever. I know what the hell I'm talking about. Cleveland is blooming everywhere you look, even in it's darkest corners. What's happening here is about our bones. It's about authenticity--and you cannot fake authenticity.
leased all 45 of its luxury lofts in the snap of finger when it opened for business this summer. Now there are 50 on the waiting list.
I can think of one project after another that mirrors that success. Our downtown population is skyrocketing. But we've got more than hipster apartments. We've got park systems that are positively magical. I know. I've walked miles and miles and miles of them. We've got water--a lake and a river. (Yeah, I know, algae blooms. We've got a lot of work to do on our public transportation network as well and other problems. We'll get to it. You should have seen the Cuyahoga River back in the 1960s.)
My guess is if you want to get in on the ground floor and purchase a bit of sleeper real estate, you're probably too late.
|Goat and friends|
Here in Cleveland, you (yes, you) can walk into a cutting edge maker space at Case Western Reserve University and access a laser cutter, professional 3D printer, circuit board router or 3D stereo inspection microscope for free. You can view gallery after gallery of priceless art, from Degas to Warhol--all for free--at the Cleveland Museum of Art, which just underwent a $350 million renovation. And pretty soon, you'll be able to walk into a gorgeous historic bank and do your grocery shopping. Oh HELL YEAH.
Why on earth, Mr. Entrepreneur, would you go to Silicon Valley when we've got a kick-ass fiber optic network in this jewel of a town?
Oh, and we have an extraordinary dining scene, one of the best in the nation.
There is a staying power to this second act. You can feel it. Clevelanders go in for the long haul, which is why LeBron came back. We love him when he wins. We love him when he loses.
That's because this town is a winner no matter what the happens on the court.
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