Be Cool

Back in high school, there were the populars and the not-so-populars. Cliques formed as did rivalries between the cliques. Then they jumped Ponyboy and all hell broke lose. Or something like that.
The popularity of cities is similar to that high school feel. There are the popular cities all the others want to be like. There are cities that are comfortable being what they are, even if they aren’t New York or LA.
Some of the other, unpopular cities battle with their self-confidence. They want to be popular and try to be like the cool kids. But what’s un-cool? Trying too hard to be cool.
A blip of an article in the February Cleveland Magazine asked whether we should tell the world every time Cleveland shows up on a best or worst list. One person said yes, it’s good to share good news about our town. Another said no, who cares what other cities think.
Now Positively Cleveland released its latest video which hits right on that topic.

Overall, I like it. I like the attitude. The video is beautifully shot and the music fits the feel. (Loving the grittiness of Welshly Arms…a bit of the Black Keys sound which fits into post-industrial NEO so well.)
I still think telling people how original and not trendy we are is too much effort. It can come off as trying too hard to let others know we aren’t trying to be cool. We were run-down factories before Urban Outfitters made it cool. Actions matter more than words.
But stepping back, that’s what this video shows. It shows what we do, as much as you can in three minutes.
And while this video is created by the region’s tourism board, it’s meant as much for pessimistic locals as for luring visitors. That is where so much of the Cleveland negativity stems. Self-consciousness leads to neuroticism, the thought people are constantly talking about you and making fun of you.
If they want to make jokes, let them go right ahead. They can keep their close-mindedness and never realize what our city has to offer. And we can carry right on knowing what we have. Those that do come often enjoy their visits. So really, all you angst-ridden grass-is-greeners, the region isn’t that bad. If you still think so, feel free to move.

If You Don’t Like the Weather…

…just wait a few minutes.

Mark Twain is supposed to have said that regarding the weather of New England. Those in Northeast Ohio can relate. Especially during the winter/spring transition.

Here’s a picture from Tuesday evening:
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Temperatures in the mid and high 50s, a beautiful day to get outside, and the feel of spring being close.

And here’s this evening, just about 24 hours later:
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Gotcha, winter’s not over yet.

At least opening day isn’t too far off, even if spring isn’t.

In The Loop

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Good music stores, like bookstores, are hard to find in the age of iTunes and digital downloads. Even the big-box stores that once carried a decent music selection are now limited to top-of-the-charts and flavor-of-the-day pop. And if I’m paying money for music, I want something I can hold in hand, not just electronic files on a computer that might crash or otherwise be lost forever.

For those in the Tremont area, The Loop serves that purpose well. As an additional treat, it also serves as a coffee shop and art shop.

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Searching for vinyl becomes a treasure hunt in The Loop. The shop offers a large selection of new releases, gently used old stuff, and the $1 bins. On my last trip I found some Quincy Jones for a dollar.

The store’s mix, focused mainly on the rocksy/jazzy/folksy/hip-hoppy set, is somewhat unpredictable. Flipping through the records and CDs you may not find something you’re looking for but stumble across something you never thought of.

The Loop is very much a music savant’s store. Plenty of indie and lesser known artists line the walls and record bins.

And the art screams Cleveland. Work from local artists lines the store’s walls, many featuring Cleveland skylines or themes. All can be purchased at the store.

Like the neighborhood in which it’s located, The Loop is all about art, whether for the eyes or the ears.