Cleveland Uber Alles

Untimely Dispatches from the Neighborhood of the Unrepresented & Inarticulate; Anecdotes that Pedal and Coast Through the Boot-Print of 20th Century American Urbanism

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Light Posting Cleveland Uber Alles aims to be one of those long-on-words sites, but sometimes, well, if brevity isn't the soul of wit, then it's just plain necessary. So here, in two sentences a piece, are all three of the blog posts I've been wanting to put down over the last few days. First, Vanity Fair's James Wolcott takes a break from intelligently snarking his way through the endless NYC-media cocktail party to link to this must read dispatch about rust belt economics and the squeeze job that Pittsburgh's suburbs are running on the poor in city's core. Take heed, Clevelanders, before you even think of congratulating our city for not being Pittsburgh or Detroit. Second, every time I click over to Bill Callahan's Cleveland Diary, I pause to say a word of thanks for the simple fact that Mr. Callahan is here to read the papers for us. If I had the time, I'd love to pile on to Bill's good catch of the story about Cleveland lawyer and union-buster Peter Kirsanow receiving a Bush Administration "recess appointment" to the National Labor Relations Board, but instead I'll only note that this move is Rovian politics at its sharpest and bitter best, in line with appointing a timber industry representative to oversee the Healthy Forests Initiative--which is to say, appointing a union buster the the NLRB is simply in keeping with the overall Bush Administration policy of turning every government agency against itself, so we'll just want to get rid of the whole thing I guess and drown it in Grover Norquist's bathtub, and don't expect there to be a new friend for Cleveland workers in Washington any time soon. Was that two sentences? Finally, I want to hit two points from Christine from Really Bad Cleveland Accent's post on my own Cheap Airfare, The Engine of Culture : 1) Could it be that all those weekend flights to Cleveland you mention are booked by displaced Clevelanders like yourself, hoping for a cheap visit to the old folks back home and not, as it were, people looking to come to the heartland from the over-priced coasts?; 2) Thanks for this well-rendered paragraph about Madeline Bruml, whose Cleveland Brain Gain project sparked the post, for it does give Bruml credit she deserves (though I can't help but wonder if her interest in bringing suburban kids downtown isn't simply symptomatic of a zeitgeist that points to the whitening of the inner-city and the browning of the outer ring, rather than the more integrated, less economically polarized future I'd like to dream about):

The thing I want to point out to those who might consider Bruml a "childish" proponent of Cleveland's economic future is that she gets what's happening with suburban sprawl. It's evident from her Cool Cleveland interview that she gets that her friends - yes, probably from well-to-do suburban families - are dreaming their futures out in Solon or Avon Lake "starter castles", taking their Baby Gap-clad future children to Champps for some freedom fries, leaning slightly left in their voting habits but resolutely avoiding the city because it's crammed with scary poor people. But she sees that that shouldn't necessarily be the American Dream for her generation, and is cheerfully willing and able to kick them in a direction that this New Urbanist is pretty pleased about.


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