Sunday, March 30, 2008

Big Dig, Cleveland Style

A huge hole opened up a couple of weeks ago in Public Square, which has been cloyingly christened "Cleveland's Living Room" by our dependably cliche-dependant media, though if you were to render it in authentic Clevelandese, it would be "Cleveland's Front Room."

A water leak was spotted bubbling up through the pavement near the intersection of Ontario Street and Superior Avenue by a Cleveland cop, who duly relayed the intelligence to the city. A city inspector eyeballed the artesian event and announced that steps could wait till morning. Six hours later, the roadway collapsed in a hole that soon grew to the size of "a basketball court," according to the Beige Lady.

Engineers expect it will take weeks to repair the damage. Meantime, other leaks in the antiquated, deteriorating system are opening up, a 75-year-old utility tunnel running beneath the length of the Square is developing ominous cracks, and rush hour is apparently no fun, morning or afternoon.

Access to most everything on the Square is, of course, truncated. Best approached, if at all, on foot. The Soldiers and Sailors Monument (above, in a decisive, if anachronistic, moment) is surrounded by orange plastic webbing.

The Red Door

Don't know what they're doing, but they laugh a lot behind it. In the St. Clair Avenue - East 55th Street neighborhood.

Pentax point-and-hope with expired Fuji 1600.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bedford Auto Mile

On the National Register of Historic Places. Seriously. Why would I make that up?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Sad, Very Sad

The idle caricaturist and his glum friend. Chagrin Falls, at one of its many riverside park fairs. Zeiss Ikon Contaflex Super BC.


Public Square 2006, a late Friday afternoon. I sat on a low wall near the bus shelters on the northwest quadrant and talked with RTA riders while I snapped with surprising audacity. Normally I'm quite shy about the whole process, which is why there are more buildings and signs than people in my pictures.

Zeiss Ikon Contaflex Super BC (chrome model), 50mm lens, which I got for $50 at Ohio Camera on Madison Avenue in Lakewood, now closed. It was a dark warren of old equipment, accessories and strange photographic devices, many of which were completely obsolete. I'd gone in search of a take-up spool for my other Contaflex and came away with the whole camera, which was in the case, on consignment. The owner showed me a late 1930s Leica III with a set of screw-mount lenses he'd had and used for years, and was willing to sell. I hesitated, and the golden moment passed.

I hear Van's camera store on East 9th downtown is closing too. I wonder if they have any 532 3v batteries languishing in a back room? My recent thrift score, a Polaroid 350, is waiting for two of them so it can begin working.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Big Boy

Valley View, Ohio, between the Cuyahoga River and the Ohio Canal.

Why We Love the Thrift Store

Because it brings us delights like the Pizza Party plates.

Napco was the National Pottery Company, in Bedford, Ohio, a suburb to the southeast of Cleveland, and next door to where I grew up. There were just two of these on the shelf at the "Two-Three-Two-Three" Goodwill (Clevelanders of a certain age will get the nickname), so I snagged them both. Still enough for a party, if you keep the guest list selective.