Huh!!! What the hell am I doing in Cleveland?
Strong armed by Jackie in one of those marital standoffs that you find your self in and know you can't win, I came here, kicking and screaming all the way to a Flynn family gathering at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for three and a half days of rocking and drinking. Not to say that there are not some perks to being here, but my ass hurt after the 7 hour drive, and it took a few days and more than a few scotch on the rocks to appreciate my relatively good fortune in being here.
We are staying in the Arcade Hotel, a crystal palace built on 1890 above and around the most ornate, tastefully extravagant indoor shopping mall in an architectural style and elegance that is breathtaking and rivals anything that could have been imagined by Renaissance Europeans.
Across the street is 4th Street where Clevelanders go to drink and get wild. We spent a lot of time there drinking and celebrating something. Somewhere along 4th Street is an alley that leads into a dingy netherworld where unspeakable things happen after dark and one is advised to stay away. From the street, it looks pretty benign, even inviting once we got by Maurice, the official greeter who took a buck to pose for this picture...
I was lured in by the pretty flowers, the bright twinkling lights and a glimpse of graffiti at what appeared to be the end of the alley, but was just the beginning of something evil. I took this picture of the graffiti and way prepared to go further which I started to do when I was approached by two guys who looked like they had nothing to lose and could eat you alive. I smiled, waved, and moved back carefully and quickly, no longer curious about what lay beyond.
Other than that, loved Cleveland a town that exceeded all expectations in terms of intact architecture and inner city vibrance. It is the hometown of the two guys who created the Superman character and comic. At the public library across the street from the hotel, they had an exhibit celebrating the Superman thing.