Friday, February 19, 2010

I Love Cleveland

I'm sure a lot of people saw that Forbes magazine ranked Cleveland as its Most Miserable City for this year today.

I gotta say, it's like an argument with your family. It's okay for YOU to call your relative every name in the book, but when someone outside the family does, it's time to take up arms.

This is the only public forum I have (except for my personal twitter feed) so I thought I'd talk a bit about Cleveland, and I know many of you feel the same way. Note: I gotta admit that I don't live in Cleveland right now. I was born and raised and lived most of my life there, but a job took me to Chicago two years ago. I think Chicago is one of the greatest cities in the world. But I love Cleveland even more.

I love that people who don't know Cleveland ridicule it, and people who do know it ridicule them.
I love that just about everyone I grew up with feels the same way I do.
I love that we're the underdog.
I love that every single Cleveland fan knows EXACTLY what we would do if we were LeBron James, and don't have a doubt about it.
I love that we know that despite what other people have done to us.
I love that there's not traffic jams on the highways at ungodly times, night or day.
I love the Muni Lot. Not necessarily at 6AM on a Sunday though.
I love the Metroparks, the Emerald necklace that surround the city.
I love the Metroparks golf courses, especially Manakiki.
I love the Diff (despite initially hating it.)
I love the Plain Dealer.
I love Jim Donovan, despite the fact that I loved Nev Chandler more.
I love Casey Coleman, and don't care about Bill Belichick.
I love the Palisades bowling alley on Euclid Avenue in Wickliffe, where Llama Chasers reign supreme.
I love walking down a busy street in Cleveland, and will love when downtown is bustling again.
I love Slyman's.
I love Jack's Deli even more.
I love Stadium Mustard anywhere.
I love the river, and can't wait until the flats area is developed again.
I love that people make fun of the river on fire without knowing anything about it.
I love Burning River Pale Ale.
I love all Great Lakes Brewing Company beers, and the bar and restaurant too.
I love that Lake Erie Monster Double IPA is coming out this year.
I love pierogis.
I love the fact that you can golf within 15 miles of downtown Cleveland, at great courses, at great prices.
I love the fact that Cleveland has places you can shop without a second mortgage.
I love the refurbished warehouses in downtown Cleveland.
I love the East Side, and I suppose the West Side too (even though I'm much more ignorant about it).
I love Michael Symon, and the fact that one of the country's most famous chefs is our homeboy.
I love Cedar-Lee.
I love Coventry.
I love West 25th.
I love West 9th.
I love Big Chuck and Little John.
I love Lake Erie.
I love the walleye from Lake Erie.
I love the Hospice of the Western Reserve. A peaceful and beautiful place in a sad time.
I love Little Italy and the Feast.
I love Chinatown.
I love the Old World Festival.
I love cavatelli at St. Gregory's festival.
I love Michael Stanley.
I love the Buzzard.
I love the Force.
I love Jacobs Field.
I love Mayfield Road.
I love Niko's, the South Euclid Cafe, Fox's, Ava's Alley, and all my favorite joints.
I love the Cleveland Air Show--every Labor Day weekend.
I love the fact that I lived in Cleveland a LONG time before Wal-Marts arrived. Hey, it was inevitable, but at least we held out.
I love Browns games, no matter how painful they've been lately.
I love the fact that Ohio State football is close enough that you don't have to live in Columbus to go to the games.
I love Bernie Kosar.
I love Bill Selby.
I love Troy Smith.
I love Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
I love LeBron, and desperately hopes he cements his role as a Cleveland all time legend.
And I love Cleveland sports fans--in Cleveland and everywhere, who will rejoice like no other city on Earth when a championship is brought home. Someday.