Still Life in Cleveland


A good friend who lives in Cleveland sent me this link [1] to a recent New York Times photo essay on the economic realities in Michigan. I’ve received his permission to print his thoughtful email to me in its entirety:

Almost any photo frame from Michigan can be found here in Ohio.

For many today there are few dreams; worries about the next paycheck, fear and desperation are real. Over the last 30-40 yrs there has been Katrina-level devastation along the Great Lakes. But being in slow motion does not get the same media coverage as the drama of the Gulf Coast. The economic engine of the auto and steel industries has faded away. All over the region are brick and mortar relics of past might. Cleveland Twist Drill where my dad labored for 30+ years stands empty on E 47th Street.

Being the semi-creative person I am, I will admit to being able to appreciate a certain poetry amongst the decay. All things must pass. Many of the old timers are gone, but the traditions carry on with an infusion of new ideas. Almost all are complaining yet are committed to making this a better place.

The National Park is removing 50-year-old dams clogging up the Cuyahoga and restoring Civil War era structures. The eagles are nesting again. Local University graduates are putting down roots. Cleveland Clinic keeps expanding here and in Abu Dhabi, Toronto and Las Vegas. Art and music are thriving – $4 billion has been spent around the University Circle cultural area the last few years.

So I suppose this is like most any other place. You make of it what you want.

More snow is forecast.


  1. In Economic Vise, Pontiac Struggles

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