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Cleveland - a City in Chaos - Watching the Weirdness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
marence, an eternal student

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Cleveland - a City in Chaos [Jul. 28th, 2011|02:52 pm]
marence, an eternal student
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[Current Music |fans and birds, the usual summer background music]

Now, don't look at me like that. I mean chaos in a good way, in an ever-changing amorphous thing from which comes order, of some sort.

We once were a consolation prize for having property destroyed in a war. Then, through time, immigration, and the industrial revolution, we became a global supplier of stuff, steel and meat coal and and parts for machines and the machines themselves. As machines evolved, so did our factories. We built and ruined and built more and ruined more, and soon we were one of the biggest, dirtiest cities in America. You gotta be tough.

And we were, through the decades of decline, the shuttering of shops and abandoning of factories and warehouses, through the void of not knowing what to produce, now that our usual productions were obsolete. The core became pitted with hollows, and the edges became more like fortresses, but the walls were built to keep out the urban, not the rural.

Now we are in flux, while the infrastructure rusts and turbines begin to turn on the lakeshore. Crackhouses are ever so slowly turning into gardens, and more ethnic enclaves are beginning the long hopeful transition to hip urban centers, artists and community activists making way for developers and promoters chasing the next trend, and someday gentrification, a beacon to lure the suburban back to the urban. Holding on by our fingertips, poised on the edge while searching for the industry to succeed steel, knowing service industries can't fill the gaps by only serving each other. Holding our breath while bridges are replaced, the Flats rebuilt, a casino where we once made Christmas pilgrimages.

The chaos of Cleveland, which still rocks, where you can still find a half-dozen different kinds of live music performance any night of the week, festivals both traditional and bizarre all summer, sports teams with fanatic followers, a rotting, ruined hulk of a manufacturing city with an immense amount of small growing things inside, is starting to visibly change.

I'm truly curious to see what kind of order develops.