Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Cleveland cathedral

Heinen's Cleveland, left, future Kimpton Hotel center.

Okay. I admit it already. I fibbed last week when I posted all those photos. I wasn't downtown on a whim, I was covering the opening of the new Heinen's grocery store for Fresh Water.

Here's my article.

Heinen's grand opening

I write a lot about CLE in these hallowed pages, but there is something about the Heinen's project that marks a turning point. The grand opening was simply thrilling.

Got bubbly?

I love that the Heinen family has elevated their family business to unprecedented heights: yes, a local grocer is worthy of selling hamburger, canned corn and paper towels in the grandest of spaces. Yes, every shopper, deserves to browse aisles in a building fit for royalty.

Heinen's Cleveland

Between this, the new Kimpton Hotel going into the historic Schofield Building across the street and the Metropolitan at the 9 in the center of it all, the corner of Euclid and East 9th Street in Cleveland is soon to be one of the premier addresses in the country.
Heinen's Cleveland

This is Cleveland, people. There is no stopping this town now.

Heinen's Cleveland

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Out of the tree of life I just picked me a plum

I woke up this morning and, as usual, I was completely fabulous, so I thought I'd go for a stroll in downtown London Paris New York Cleveland and take some photos.


That's a grocery store--really.

Of course I went inside.
Hey! How come no one asked for mine?

Halle Building oh HELL YEAH

Two people talking.

Hello East 14th Street. You forgot to put my name on the marquee again.

Snowy path and I love it.

Thanks for saving me a seat.

 I used to work in the wedding cake building and so did the Goat.

Big cats roaming the wild streets of Cleveland.

No patio seating today.

Hey there, sport, bring the VeeDubs around, would you?

I love you so ...

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Friday, February 20, 2015


Ravenna Miceli and Steve Pappas in oWOW's temporary studio

Back in the 1970's, John Gorman was the program director of WMMS, which he rescued from the brink of failure and then transformed it into one of the most successful radio stations in the country.

I grew up on Gorman's WMMS. All of my buddies listened to it all of the time. No other radio station in Cleveland could touch it. We all loved 'MMS. It was the soundtrack of our lives.

WMMS, like most commercial terrestrial radio, has gone so far down the tubes it's practically unlistenable.

Humble hostess (lower left) and associates in 1981.
WMMS was playing in the background

Hence, last week, when Gorman slipped me an tipping me about the launch of his new all-digital radio station oWOW, I was thrilled. He agreed to a studio tour and interview two days before his formal presser.

Fresh Water photographer Bob Perkoski and I met with Gorman and the crew Tuesday. We had a blast. I wrote the article as soon as I got home and it went live Wednesday morning. You can read my coverage here.

Oh, me droogies, how the honey did flow.

We absolutely were the first ones to break the story and it got referenced in one radio insider site after another. What a gas it was to see link after link after link and to see other writers paraphrase my work. At least one just plain stole my copy. The only kick in the ass is that while untold droves of people read those blurbs, people rarely click over to a source story.

Yeah, yeah. We get street cred just the same.

This might be the best part of the whole thing. Today, I tuned into oWOW and, me droogies, you are in for one helluva treat. Remember when music radio was great? When you crushed on the DJ's and imagined they were spinning that one song just for you? Or when you loved the stuff you never heard as much as the standards?

The spirit of WMMS is back and I can finally give all of you a real piece of Cleveland. Just hop on over here and click on the "listen now" tab. Just don't forget where you first heard of oWOW (which was, incidentally, a year and a half ago).

Cleveland rocks indeed.

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Monday, February 16, 2015

The evolution of war

1942 headline

If you have an inkling to unearth the front page of a newspaper from the early 1940's, you will find yourself in a different America.

I've been obliged of late to peruse a lot of news copy from 1942 on, particularly the Cleveland Press and Plain Dealer (PD). The front page of the PD's Nov. 20, 1944 issue contains no less than 20 headlines. Save for one, they all pertain to WWII. Some examples:

Metz Falling As Nazi Front Cracks

Geilenkirchen Taken; French Enter Alsace, Enemy Dropping Back

War Summary

British Women Fighting

Conversely, on the PD's Feb. 15, 2015 front page, there is no mention of Afghanistan. Obviously our military action in Afghanistan and WWII are not comparable. Same goes for our media consumption. There was no television news during WWII. You had the paper and the radio. And to be sure, the War was priority number one. That's because nearly every family had a young man participating in it. They had some skin in the game, literally.

The vast majority of today's Plain Dealer readers don't care much about Afghanistan. It's not their war. They "support" the troops as long as their kid doesn't have to be one of them. I wrote about this insidious disengagement last Memorial Day.

Incidentally, going to see American Sniper does not make you a patriot.

1941 ad clipping
During my research, I found it hard to separate fact from WWII propaganda. Numbers don't add up. Language is politically incorrect. All of it told a story ... and another and another. Perhaps in a future post, I'll write about how you can watch the middle class vanish when you study old newspapers through the years. For starters: they used to be crammed with labor news.

But that is not the point of this post. This is about Obama's formal request for Congress to authorize the use of military force in the war against ISIS.

I have my disappointments with Obama, but I am squarely behind this move (too bad it's six months late). Critics call the request too vague. I laud that very quality. Because while I don't think it's going to wake the somnambulant American public, perhaps it will compel the braying donkeys and lumbering elephants to battle over the specifics of how we shape our engagement in this miserable mess. Perhaps it will foster ownership outside of the White House and Pentagon.

I am hopeful, dear reader, but I'm also fearful that this country has become so huge and calcified, it may be beyond governance.

From sea to shining sea indeed.

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