Dragging my feet out of Cleveland

I was surprised to find myself dawdling on my way out of the city.  Cleveland seems to have crept into my affections.  I spent some time at the Loop Cafe, the coffee shop near where I was staying, to check up on my emails and the collection of local art I didn’t get a good look at the day before.  The man working the bar gave me a couple tips on where to find graffiti so I spent about an hour tracking them down.  I went to the end of Professor Drive to find the graffiti supposedly behind Fat Cats cafe and couldn’t find it.  While searching, I went around the corner and found an old marble mosaic shop where I had a quick interaction with a machinist on his smoke break.  Smiling with tar-stained crooked teeth, he was happy to chat for a minute.  He acted as though we saw each other everyday; he didn’t say hello just how glad he was that it was almost lunch time.  I had seen all of these rather ambiguous machine shops all over town and wondered what they could possibly be making.  This particular little place, he said, made parts for race cars, though even he wasn’t completely sure.

It only took a day for Cleveland to permeate my heart.  This is a no-nonsense place.  There are no bells and whistles, well unless they literally manufacture them here. Most cities put on a mask just like people do in public, but Cleveland’s mask is abnormally transparent.  You know what you’re going to get here, or at least it seems.

I finally headed towards Grand Rapids around 1 pm.  It was already drizzling so I wasn’t expecting the greatest drive.  Trying to avoid more tolls, I took Route 2 instead of continuing on I90.  That was a great decision as Route 2 ran along many of the smaller towns along Lake Erie.  Luckily, the rain gave way to sun before I went over the Thomas Edison Memorial Bridge on Sandusky Bay.

I had happily resigned myself to CBC radio after I heard a fun fact:  Music, especially jazz, has been scientifically proven to increase milk production in dairy cows.  I eventually was grooving out to Mavis   Staples and Ray Charles as the fields began to roll out like the true Midwest.

I drove the entire length of Michigan; it was a very ordinary and boring drive so I relied on my pile of podcasts.  The speed limit increased to 70mph which ironically didn’t make me drive faster.


9 thoughts on “Dragging my feet out of Cleveland

  1. Just got off the phone with Seattle connection. Is fine with whenever, so postponement not a problem. Just keep in touch.
    Haven’t reached MN yet in person. Hope that will work out for you!
    Had an interesting (and generational) conversation about Ipod and Iphones today at work.
    I’m glad you liked Cleveland and I’m interested in hearing more of your perspective about regional-cultural differences.
    Am looking forward to hear your opinion of GR, Mich. 🙂
    – Hugs ~ j

  2. Love your Postings!! My niece will be following your adventures also,,,I took the prints i got from you to get framed,,was a very nice experience,,,and will be proud to display them in my home!!!

  3. Too bad you missed the Art Museum and other museums around University Circle.
    More great restaurants than churches. Also, there is a Merry-Go-Round Museum in Sandusky that might have been a delight. I haven’t been there yet either, but I really want to go take some photos there some weekend.

    I just returned from a road trip: drove from Cleveland to New Mexico (Springer, Las Vegas, Taos, and Santa Fe) and back 9/5-20.

  4. More or less. I had visited with my father in 1955 or 1956 and I wanted to have another look at some of the sites I had visited then. I found my relatives graves in the Masonic Cemetery, visited the neighborhood my great-grandfather used to live in, and wandered around the Old Town Plaza area and the Railroad District that I think I also visited back then. I also found a mention of my father in the 1923 Springer High School yearbook in the Santa Fe Trail Museum in Springer.

    Having done that, I went on to some R&R at a B&B in Taos; an excursion on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad between Chama, NM and Antonito, CO; and a culinary tour in Santa Fe that my sister-in-law was leading.

  5. This is one of the nicest things that somebody could say about Cleveland. Thank you so much.

    By the way, that swarm you saw was probably of midges, not mosquitoes. They’re harmless.

    • I think you’re probably right; I wasn’t completely eaten alive when I went through them. Similar looking but I did get to see some up close at night when they lined the walls underneath outdoor lights and they didn’t seem to have the bloodsucker that a mosquito has.

      I loved Cleveland. I feel like I’ve been comparing everywhere I go to my experience there.

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