LeBron to save Cleveland? Spare me. This is exactly what’s wrong with Cleveland.
We keep expecting someone with money and fame to “save” the city. It’s always LeBron or the Browns or the or the fracking people or the Rock Hall inductions or that goddamn Republican convention. Along with the stupid bridge over the railroad tracks and the $60,000,000.00 spent on rearranging Public Square to make public transportation more difficult for everyone. And the $400,000,000.00 spent on a “Medical Mart” idea that didn’t even last as long as the building took to build.
No. It doesn’t work like that.
It’s kind of like that thing going around Facebook now, with the woman who says she encourages her granddaughters to date a guy like Mark Zuckerberg and then Zuckerberg shows up and says no, encourage children to be someone like me.
You don’t improve your personal life by marrying someone rich and competent. You don’t improve your city by throwing yourself at the next big money fad. You find the things that you are good at and work from there.
Things that Cleveland is really good at:
- Medical research is huge here.
- The music scene is diverse, including the third best classical orchestra in the world. And if you don’t mind a half-hour drive into the exoburbs, you can enjoy the performances in your lawn chair for $12. Come on.
- Locally grown food is abundant even with the relatively short growing season.
- We have access to incredible amounts of fresh water at any time of year.
- We’re strong in Eastern European and Irish heritage.
- Our Black communities are producing great art and thinking, and it’s coming so much from younger people who have decades more to create.
- Land is cheap so you can have a huge garden or a ridiculously large house if you want.
- Infrastructure in general is overbuilt for a city of 400,000, so expanding your business is easy.
- Cleveland State University. Case. John Carroll. Notre Dame (the other one). Oberlin isn’t far away either.
Get it straight
There is no savior. There are people and resources and ideas.
Stop talking like it’s everyone else’s job to discover Cleveland and make it stop sucking. That’s our job.
But “let’s keep Company X” and “let’s attract Convention Y” aren’t ideas. They are scams. There is no shortcut.