Category Archives: Cleveland

Speak My Language

Last night we saw Laurie Anderson. Again.

I’m thinking that made the ninth time in the last two decades or so. The most oft artist I have seen. Some of her performances have been better than others – which is kind of stating the obvious, as they can’t all be equal.

She’s never truly had a hit anything, though one could call “O Superman” her most known work.  And technically this was not a new show – I guess you’d call it a retrospective.

She did pieces from her last show Homecoming, which I wrote about last April.  She did pieces from End of the Moon, Happiness, Moby Dick and Speed of Darkness.  And then she just did a song or story here and there from Strange Angels or The Ugly One With All the Jewels. Only one snippet was new – not really specifically referencing Obama or Bush per se, but she morphed it into an older piece soon enough almost immediately.

Maybe because I’ve seen her so many times, I know what to expect.  Or at least I expect what to expect.  But the audience seems sooooo pretentious last night.  The guy next to me did is barely above the breath, yet too much so over it, “wow” between and during pieces.  Including pieces I don’t think were wow-able.

Or the chick in the lobby who was looking at the merchandise for sale (something I had never seen before at an Anderson show).  While viewing a t-shirt she said to her group, “this is a very unique shirt……………..VERY unique!!!”.

It wasn’t.   Not by a long shot.

But Laurie was.  If I had a criticism (and you know I do!), it is that she didn’t adapt her pieces at all from the other shows.   About 8 years ago she went to work for McDonald’s for two weeks – serving Big Macs and fries.   But in the show, she goes, “last year, I got a job at McDonald’s…”   Would it have been that hard to update the time frame?   Just a peeve of mine, I guess.

I knew the show was a going to be an amalgamation of shows, but I really wanted to hear more from Moby Dick, as it was her only show I had not seen.  I was not rewarded with this.

Still – I’m sure at some point, I will be looking forward to performance #10.

Song by: Laurie Anderson

Better Be Home Soon

We are headed back this morning. Bummer.

We are headed back to single digit temps. And by single digit temps, it looks like 0. The high might reach 6. But then into the 20s. I will be missing the 80s – even if it is rainy or overcast.

I will miss George and Morty.

I always laugh so hard with Morty. He has always been one of the quickest and funniest people I have known – though I have surrounded myself with those likes. If you don’t have a great sense of humour, it would seem I have little tolerance for you. I’m just sayin’.

I miss our girls something awful – especially in this miserable weather. They need to know someone will be there to turn up the heat and cuddle with them.

There are a few days I will have to get myself situated for a new job. That’s a plus, but with the weather, I might be housebound a bit. We’ll see.

I’m sure I’ll have some follow-up thoughts on Mexico in the next day or so. Even more pics. Until then, see you back in the states.   …and here is one shot you get of me on the beach.

Song by: Crowded House

Bridge Over Troubled Water

We were downtown yesterday for lunch – sitting outside eating marginal food. It’s called Shooters, but I always call it S-hooters, as it is the closest I will get to actually going to a Hooters.  A few years back, we took Morty, George and Jon there.  I think this is the first time I’ve been back since.   So, I wait three years for a return, if that tells you anything.

The establishment is on what is called the West Bank of the Flats. Years ago, both the East and West banks were thriving, now – not so much.

As you can see, the place is right at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. A very twisty-turny river that back in 1969 caught on fire, as it was so polluted. It is one of the reasons Cleveland was such the butt of so many jokes a while back.

Also a few years back at this exact same spot where I was sitting, a cigarette boat crashed into the side, exploding and burning many folks. Killing a few too.  No shock to find that boat drive was drunker than drunk.  And Canadian.  He tried to fight extradition and payment of reparations to the victims or their families.

You can also see that the bridge comes down to let trains cross the river and make their way across country. A minimum of 49 trains a day do this. Don’t ask me how I know, I just do. It also means boats wanting to get to or from Lake Erie sit and wait….and wait…..and wait.

I think the bridge was down for about an hour while about six trains went east or west. Sometimes crossing the span at the same time. Yes, there are two sets of tracks.

You can see a number of vessels moving after the bridge finally went up – which was for all of about 5 minutes before more trains needed to come through to ship supplies we need daily to live.  Or they were just hauling nuclear waste – hard to say.

If you look to your right, there used to be tons of buildings over on the East bank.  They are mostly all gone.  Years ago, it was a thriving hot spot and really made Cleveland hip.  Or as hip as we could ever be.

The downfall was alcohol and card hold cash. Drunk folks went and fell into the river and drown.  Over zealous bouncers killed one or two patrons and actually blinded another.  And one bar was actually putting GHB in their water!!!  Can you imagine?  “I’d like a glass of water – hold the roofie!”

I will say, while the few times I was down there during its heyday, I had fun (and was drunk drunk drunk!), in actual daylight hours, if you wanted to be down there for food before a ballgame, the entire Flats smelled of piss and stale puke.  Nice for the neighbors.

Now Eminent Domain has taken effect. Most of the East bank has been razed.  So, in will come some company HQs (Ernst & Young, Eaton, etc) to build on the space and then have some decent pubs & restaurants do the same.  Then, hopefully, it will force the West bank to revitalize.

btw…..I’m not really thrilled with the iPhone camera.  There is no way to focus that I know of and everything seems a bit out of, if you axe me.

Song by: Simon & Garfunkle