The Cleveland Clinic has been in the news quite a bit the past few days. It bodes well for our city.
First there was the announcement that they've partnered with nearby Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic, CWRU announce plan to build new medical education building on Clinic campus. I like the quote from CWRU president, Barbara Snyder,"With that much brilliance and passion in the same place, we know that the ideas that come out of the educational program will be really groundbreaking".
Yesterday, word that the long discussed connecting express road between Cleveland's interstates (71,77 and 90) is likely to become a reality, Cleveland's Opportunity Corridor looks doable, as money falls into place. I was pleasantly surprised at the projected completion date of 2019.
Then there's word that Lou Reed had a liver transplant at the Cleveland Clinic a few weeks ago, Lou Reed Recovering From Liver Transplant. It shouldn't be surprising. The Cleveland Clinic has some very high profile patients pass in and out of its doors, including kings and queens. That they are able to keep their patients identities hidden while here is admirable.
In some very negative news, and not just for the Cleveland Clinic but the entire US health care system, the New York Times reveals just how we Americans are being ripped off, The $2.7 Trillion Medical Bill. As I've said before, the United States health care system may be scamming us but at least Cleveland is benefiting from the shakedown.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Moore, Oklahoma. Watching the footage on national news last night was jawdropping. It is unfathomable to even imagine such devastation and what it would be like to be caught in one.
What a fantastic weekend I had in Cleveland. It's easy to become oblivious to your surroundings. The town you live in becomes mundane. I love the advice I once heard about trying to see your city through the eyes of a tourist when you make your daily rounds.
Friday night I met up with old friends at a relatively new spot, The Oak Barrel, in Valley View on Canal Rd. It's in the same space once occupied by Hoggie's. This sunny afternoon found people playing cornhole in an outdoor rec area complete with fire pit. That it was an island in the middle of a big movie theater parking lot didn't really detract from the vibe. A live band was setting up on the adjacent patio.
Inside, the remodel of the Hoggie's space felt warm even in the cavernous room though it does get quite loud. The chatter of the good looking crowd made for a lively happy hour. I hear the food is great too.
Saturday I headed to the upscale sports bar in Rocky River, The Market, to watch the Preakness. I just don't get a good vibe in this place. The bartenders act as if they're doing you a favor. And when I had to surrender my credit card to run a tab while the guy next to me didn't I was somewhat offended by the profiling. I guess longer hair and a Stones t-shirt scares people.
Later that night I made my way to The Winchester in Lakewood to catch Grant-Lee Phillips. I wrote about him on Friday. Of course I ran into some fellow music freaks who's taste in good music mirrored mine. I was even offered a seat at a reserved table by a couple of them. Thanks Matt and Annie.
Phillips was in fine form. His amicable personality never came through in Grant Lee Buffalo shows but this night he told great stories and had us laughing. Phillips warm, resonant voice sounded great in the acoustically ideal venue.
Sunday was Cleveland's day to shine. And I'm not merely talking about another perfect weather day. It was the running of the Cleveland Marathon as I took to my own road race on my mountain bike riding from West Park to University Circle for the long running Hessler Street Fair.
The Hessler Street Fair, with its historic hippie vibe, was made even more far out by a band list stacked heavy with local reggae acts. The juxtaposition of the decidedly liberal Hessler hippies and grads with their families dressed to the nines made me smile.
If I weren't so magnetically drawn to the reggae music I'd have checked out the Asian Fest in midtown as well. Instead I took a break and walked over to the newly opened ABC Tavern Uptown right next to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). The calamari app for $6.75 was delicious.
To top it off the Cleveland Indians continued their tear with back to back walk-off wins Friday and Saturday and a blow out on Sunday against Seattle. I'll take Cleveland over Seattle and I'm not only talking about baseball.
Riding a bike from one side of town to the other is so easy now. There's a bike lane that runs along Euclid Avenue from Public Square to University Circle. I'm hoping the one in the works for Detroit Ave. on the westside happens soon.
As I rode along the route, the magnificent architecture looking even more grand in the setting sunlight, I came to feel the palpable change in Cleveland. This town is on the verge of greatness.
In a somewhat hypocritical gesture I'm calling on Cleveland Indians fans to go see your baseball team live. I say hypocritical because I really don't like watching baseball in cold weather. So I don't typically get to Progressive Field until, well, around this time of year.
Attendance for the past few years at the Cleveland Indians ballpark has been anemic. Far from those crazy days of sell out after sell out in the 90s. It was understandable though. The team was bad and ownership was not keen on spending much to improve things on the field.
That changed this off season when Dolan spent some good bucks to sign people like Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn. And though things looked dreary in April, today the Cleveland Indians are tied for first place with the Detroit Tigers thanks to a well fought series in Detroit over the weekend.
Today the New York Yankees come to town to make up two games rained out in the season home opener series. Better yet, the games are being played in an old fashioned doubleheader where the price of one game buys you two. On the downside, we're back to April temperatures. Even so I predict a good crowd today since it is the Yankees times two.
It'll warm up in a day or so and the Indians are red hot. They say Cleveland is a football town. Nonsense. There's plenty of baseball fans. Fans who for whatever reason have been staying away from Progressive Field. Beer and hot dog prices are, dare I say, reasonable this year. There's really no excuse not to catch a Tribe game right now.
I love bike riding. I've loved it ever since my father let go and I was heading down the sidewalk on two wheels all by myself. Freedom. Escapism.
In my junior high years a friend and I were obsessed with taking long bike rides. We'd head from our neighborhood in Fairview Park and end up at Midway Mall in Elyria or Parmatown. I guess we were obsessed with malls too.
Now that the warm weather has made it to Cleveland I take a bike ride pretty much every day. These rides range from running errands, to one hour, two hour, or multi-hour rides for fitness and pleasure.
May is bike month in Cleveland. Bike Cleveland declared it so. The link shows you a calendar of bike events not only for the special month of May but for every month.
I think everyone should ride a bike. It accomplishes so many things. Bike riding keeps you fit, keeps health care costs down, decreases our independence on oil and keeps our air cleaner. And it's one of the most fun things to do in life.
Cleveland's rock and roll roots are deep. We know that. But sometimes a picture or two is needed to remember just how much rock and roll has been a part of the local culture. Space: Rock, a gallery dedicated to rock and roll, is having it's grand opening this evening, Friday April 5, to help us remember.
Part of the non-profit Cleveland Rocks: Past, Present & Future founded by The Beachland's Cindy Barber, Space: Rock happens to be located right next door to said venue. The opening exhibition is curated by Cleveland rock photographer Anastasia Pantsios who will be displaying a collection of her photos centered on the Cleveland rock scene from 1969 to 1974. There will also be posters, LP covers and other memorabilia shown. "The Golden Age of Cleveland Rock: 1969-1974" opening night runs from 6pm until 10pm this evening.
Personally, I was a bit too young to be clubbing during this period but I still remember these bands fondly through radio, records and local TV appearances. Bands include The Damnation of Adam's Blessing, The Raspberries, The James Gang, Glass Harp, Michael Stanley and others.
Even if you weren't around during this fruitful period in Cleveland rock history the exhibit should be inspiring to local musicians and Clevelanders in general. And you may just pick up some wardrobe ideas as well.
The Damnation of Adam's Blessing, taken at an Upbeat TV show appearance
The third annual celebration of Dyngus Day in Cleveland leads me to believe this thing is going to be big. I missed the first year as it was a torrential downpour all day long. Last year was well attended and yesterday's event was at least twice as big.
I spent my time at Gordon Square, the epicenter of the fledgling celebration. I'm curious to hear how it went over in Tremont.
In order for Dyngus Day to achieve critical mass the party is going to have to spread beyond Gordon Square. The participating bars were filled to capacity as was the tent scene outside the Happy Dog. I see a need for Tremont to take up the challenge of saying "we're the place to be on Dyngus Day". St. Patrick's Day certainly isn't confined to one area. Either that or the city of Cleveland should consider shutting down Detroit Ave. for the day.
Anyway, it's all good. Congratulations to the organizers of this celebration. You have a hit on your hands.
I really do enjoy reading the Lefsetz Letter. Agree with his stand on a subject or not, it's always thought-provoking and creates debate. And isn't that part of the fun of music...the arguments?
And Bob Lefsetz gets some arguments. He posts responses to his missives penned by a who's who of the music industry. Look for a good backlash on his lashing of Justin Timberlake.
Boy, did he get it wrong in dissing Timberlake as he promotes the new album, The 20/20 Experience, which is out today. Here's Lefsetz rant, Justin Timerlake.
He's right that everyone should be in awe of the Veronica Mars Kickastarter project. My wife's a big fan and pointed it out to me over the weekend, Veronica Mars Kickstarter Breaks Records, Raises Over $2M in 12 Hours. But that shouldn't make Timberlake's promotional work any less.
I get it Bob. You think Timberlake is using an old vehicle to work the record. You called him "overexposed". If anything the man has been laying low the past few years. Certainly the marriage to a movie star is going to garner press but if you think that was a publicity move you're sadly jaded.
Did you see his week of performances on Jimmy Fallon? They were shockingly good. The songs, the band, the showmanship remind of Michael Jackson at his prime. The album is fantastic and I predict sales as well as concert ticket sales to be very strong. And not just because Jay-Z is on the bill.
I realize Lefsetz just spews forth what's on his mind at the time. When you do that you end up being wrong about what you've said with some regularity. Maybe I'm incorrect but I rarely here him retract. It'll be interesting to see if he sticks to his guns when Timberland rides the top of the charts for much longer than one week.