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FIrst Time Actually in Cleveland

Billy K.

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Other than one time about 15 years ago, when I stopped at Hopkins to change planes, I had not been in Cleveland.

The signs said that Cleveland got voted as best transportation system in America. I can easily see why.......easiest access from the airport to the city by train. Also, the trains are a bit bigger..

ceilings higher, and they are also wider.

Cleveland trains are like being on a Boeing 777, where all other cities are like a 737.(Just an analogy).

I can only imagine what the place looks like in the Summer. Not so much for the cold, but I think when it is sunny, it changes your view, and you can see different things. Much like Seattle, in that respect, when it is light out.

And what about those theaters?? People don't think of CLE being a cultural capital, but there is certainly enough theater(and of course music) in this city!

The Rock Hall of Fame was good, but I think they need to get a better plan to get people flowing through the exhibits. Myself and a lot of other people were kind of aimlessly walking through.

That's about all I can think of for now. But part of my pre-conceived image of Cleveland was correct.....on the other hand, there were some pleasant surprises!

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Billy, you should come out in summer sometime. You'll get to see the city at its best.

You should write RTA (the transit authority) and tell them how much you love the Rapid trains. It's like I said to some people, I think it's great to be able to take the Rapid to and from the airport, because I never have to worry about how to get there and back. No parking, no getting other people to drive you...if you live here, unless you have 500 suitcases or it's extremely inconvenient for you to get to a Rapid station from where you are, there's no reason to get there and back any other way. When I think of what it's like in Detroit...their airport is out in the middle of nowhere and it takes forever and costs a fortune to get downtown...I'll take Cleveland any day.

Philadelphia's another city where it's easy to get to downtown from the airport on a train, which is very nice.

I think the RTA drivers could stand to be a bit friendlier sometimes, and some of them drive the buses like maniacs, and I sometimes get irritated because it seems like they put the most broken-down buses in the fleet on the route I take back and forth to work from where I live. But they're really not too bad and the Rapid is cool and connects you to a lot of things.

Our theater complex is wonderful...a bunch of old movie palaces that have been undergoing renovation to give people an excuse to come back downtown, for a concert or a musical.

The Rock Hall has a strange flow pattern, but that's in part a consequence of the architecture, I think. Today I finally feel as if I have seen the whole thing on a trip, including the current exhibits that were not there last time I went. The movie on the making of "Help!" was especially good. A lot of Berries fans wish there were more Raspberry relics in the "Hang On Sloopy" exhibit of Ohio musicians, and I do too, but I was pleased to see that if Wally's Flying V is no longer in the case, it's been replaced by another Raspberry guitar, this time one of Eric's from the Ringo tour.

I tell everyone: Cleveland's not perfect, but no place is. It has its problems, its wasted potential, and could be a lot more than it has yet become. And there's nothing we can do about the weather. But at the same time there's a lot to be said for it. If it ever becomes all it's capable of being, that'll be something.

In the meantime, I wonder if any of the local boosters has any idea how much the Raspberries boost tourism every time they play here?

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Thanks for the response, Trindy.

Yes, some other cities could take a lesson from Cleveland when it comes to transportation.

And a few other comments....

It would be really interesting to see now things progress......comparing next summer's Cleveland, and what is to come five years down the road, with what we saw this week.

Another thing about Cleveland.....I felt a bit more relaxed.....I didn't feel this tension that I found in other major cities.

And, then there is this midwest fascination with Euclid. In Greece, where he is from, there is next to nothing commemorating him. Whereas in Cleveland, St. Louis, and other midwest US cities, there are streets and places named after him.

Comparing the Rock Hall with Seattle's EMP...well,

much like saying, "which is better, the Louvre or the Smithsonian?" Both have good things, and both have different things....

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Hey, I'll come back to Cleveland anytime. Maybe everyone was on their best behavior, but it was quite nice to have everyone smile and wish you well. Even that massive security guard down at the right front of stage shook my hand and said that he was real glad I could make it! Good news, Trindy. All the MTA people were quite tolerant and pleasant to a couple of bumbling Californians. Thanks Cleveland, you people really shine! happy


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I had been to Cleveland before, but never stayed overnight like I did this time, and I managed to see a lot in about a 24 hour stay that really impressed me. Thanks to everyone who posted here about Priceline, I got a fantastic price at what must have been the most conveniently located hotel to my incoming route on I-90, the Hilton Garden. When I checked in, the man behind the desk asked if I was there for "the concert" and I said "YES!" but then realized he might have been talking about Manilow, so I cleared that up, and then he told me his wife was excited about Barry, but he'd rather see the Raspberries. After the concert, I bumped into him again, and he asked about my night and was amazed that I got to meet the entire band. He took a photo of me with my local friends before leaving for the night.

Within a few minutes at Tower City, going to pick up my sister, who found the RTA from the airport very convenient and economical, a woman asked me if I needed help finding something, since I must have looked puzzled to her, and then a nice young gentleman asked me for my number because he'd "lost his" (LOL!) and offered to drive all the way to my home in Detroit to visit me occasionally. Cleveland loved me! :-)

Before the concert, I was able to meet Marlene, and she introduced me to Bernie. Wish I would have had the time to meet more of the people of this board, but it wasn't possible since I was leaving my sister alone too much as it was.

We had breakfast at a place called Big Al's, which had almost anything you could want on their extensive menu, and wasn't expensive either. After I took her back to the train station, and checked out of the hotel, I sat down to look at a map and plan my route to see the city by foot. It was cold and windy, but I bundled up and didn't let it deter me. I stopped in to warm up at a small mall on E 9th, and by the time I was nearing the Hall of Fame, it started to snow. I was in tennis shoes, having left my boots in the car, but it never got too deep or slippery for me to head back early. I was surprised how quiet the streets were for a Saturday in a downtown area. Nothing like busy Detroit or Chicago. The areas of Euclid that had construction blocking them probably contributed to the deserted feeling. I was disappointed in how small The Arcade was, since the ads had hyped it as something more spectacular than I found it to be. Still, I got some nice photos inside and was glad Priceline hadn't given me the hotel in there, because it would have been much harder to drive to, even tho it was closer to the venue.

Since I was so close to Public Square, even though I'd seen the spectacular Christmas lights there the night before, I decided to go inside the Soldiers and Sailors monument to check out the stained glass, and I found one of the nicest people ever in there, Tim. Sitting in that small room all day repeating the same info about the monument must get awfully boring, so he was very glad to have some company for awhile. I was just killing time till I was hungry enough for dinner, so I told him about the concert and some of the other adventures I've experienced. He was a great audience, and when I had to leave, he gave me a hug, asked if he could take my picture, and told me I'd made his day. I only hope we all made The Raspberries feel as important as Tim made me feel.

Everyone who lives in the midwest should never take for granted how friendly and helpful people are here. At the Detroit airport where I work (I agree it is very difficult to get to, since it is really NOT in Detroit)I often hear people talking about how nice we are in the midwest. Not that I personally have anything bad to say about people who live in the other parts of the country, but my sister claimed that it was like a different world where she lives in Maryland, so that she'd forgotten about the kindness of strangers.

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Billy, I think you can probably tell that Cleveland is a bit more relaxed...we're not Southerners but we're not New Yorkers either...something in between.

And the fascination with Euclid is kind of widespread...there's a Euclid Ave. in LA too...and lots of things named after Euclid in upstate NY, because there a lot of places have Greek and Roman classical names.

Eric, I'm flattered...but I didn't have any children right around me unless you mean the next section over. Were yours the ones in the middle section with the glow sticks? I didn't see Susan anywhere so I wasn't sure, although they did seem to be the only ones THAT young there!

Louann, glad you had some time to visit some things while you were here. The mall you went into sounds like the Galleria at Erieview, which was once "the" place to be in the '80s or so but has been kind of drying up and dying since then, more's the pity. Glad you got to Soldiers & Sailors Monument. I hadn't realized you could go inside it until once during a lunch break one summer I had taken my lunch out on the Square and noticed the monument was open to visitors. So I went in and saw how nice it is in there, and reflected a bit on the sacrifices of all those people.

Sometimes this town surprises even me. When I got out of work Friday I took a #6 bus down to Otto Moser's, and one of my fellow passengers noticed the Raspberries button and asked me if I was going to the show. Had to be in his 50s or 60s. I told him yes, and I'm going to meet a bunch of people from out of town for dinner right now. He said if he didn't have another commitment he'd have loved to go. (If he'd been free, I'd have given him my extra ticket right there.)

Yeah, this town is just feeling bathed in Raspberry-love right now. And that's even without me getting on all the local TV stations and berating anyone about how I've been to New York and seen the kind of reception they get there and how we have to step it up because we don't give 'em enough hometown love! I don't know what happened, whether having Sunset Strip out helped or what, but this show sold like hotcakes and you would've thought there were tacks on the seats from all the time we spent jumping out of 'em at the end of every number. It was great to be a part of that night.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Another thing about Cleveland.....the Starbucks still carry the "classic coffee cake"....whereas, in their home turf(Seattle)many of the Starbucks

here have dropped it, for some unknown reason.

Trindy, as far as being "relaxed", it is in the sense that, unlike some cities, I didn't feel the fear of being robbed, and constantly looking over my shoulder. I wish I could have said this earlier.....but couldn't pinpoint it...

And yes, you're right about being relaxed(in the other sense)....more than New York, but less than the South.

Euclid did most of his teachings in Egypt, and you know.....the Egyptians really don't celebrate

him the way Ohio/Midwest does, either.

(What's wrong with Greece and Egypt, anyway, for not honoring him??)

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