C Cleveland

Saturday, February 20, 2010

As you know, Saturday is reserved for C Cleveland, a moniker that can be interpreted as "See" Cleveland or "Chrissy's" Cleveland. I like to use the day to highlight one of the unique features that I love about my hometown.

Today, however, I will digress from regularly scheduled programming to express my irritation at the latest Forbes list that perches Cleveland atop the list of the "most miserable cities in the country".

On one hand, I hate to even acknowledge this laughable ranking but I feel like ignoring it will give it the validation it's seeking.

It's interesting that they open their evaluation of Cleveland with a long ago unfortunate fact about the town; the year the Cuyahoga River caught on fire. Yuck, yuck, how funny...the river caught on fire. We know. It was 40 years ago.

The water and air pollution of that industrial era was rampant and on that day, the oil soaked debris likely caught fire from molten steel or a spark from a passing railway car. It burned for about two hours and was a blip on the local news but it's lived in infamy ever since.

Cuyahoga River, circa 1969

Some credit that fateful fire as being the catalyst for the creation of the Clean Water Act in 1972 and for the creation of agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency.

Today, this 100-mile river is thriving and full of fish and other aquatic species. It begins its run in rural Geauga County, heads south through Akron and back north to Cleveland.

Okay, Forbes, what else ya got?

Unemployment? Check

Lots of snow? Check

Violent crimes? Probably

High taxes? Not as high as some places

Corruption in the local government? Oh yeah...

In fact, the county is in the midst of a huge corruption scandal. Does it make me miserable? Not so much. It makes me look forward to the Lifetime movie that will likely highlight Italian One and Italian Two and how they lived lavish lifestyles with kickbacks and other "favors" in exchange for county contracts.

Italian One and Italian Two

**No formal charges have been brought against either man. The ongoing investigation refers to the suspected corrupt players as "public official one" and "public official two".

Losing sports teams? Yep. It ensures that I can decide to go to a 1:00 baseball game at 12:55 and still get good seats. Now, that doesn't work for a Cavs game but let's just focus on the negative, shall we?

Look, no one can knock Cleveland like a Clevelander. We are great at beating ourselves up, looking at the glass as half empty and always carrying an umbrella in anticipation of those dark clouds opening up.

But we do that the way you call your brother ugly and your sister stupid. We insult, bitch and moan but in the end, we love our dysfunctional home and we strive every day to make it a better place.

And if we fall down, we can be sure there's someone there to laugh at us right before they reach out their hand to lift us up.


  1. I have traveled a lot and I can find good things everywhere I went. But if I want to just complain, that's always possible to.
    Cleveland looks good to me.


  2. I'm trying to say something nice about Cleveland.

    hmm, I'll get back to you.

  3. Hey, wait a minute, Chicago made the top ten, so very proud!

  4. I have learned so much about Cleveland from your C Cleveland postings and your city has some things to be proud of.

    Memphis, ranked third most miserable. I just moved here and, it just might be true.

  5. @Secretia,
    You're exactly right. It's all perception. Thanks.:-)

    @Gregory J,
    See? That's unnecessary.

    @R. Jacob,
    It's all bunk.

    @Funny Girl,
    Hey, everywhere has "stuff". Hmm...never been to Memphis.

  6. Loved the paragraph: "But we do that the way you call your brother ugly and your sister stupid. We insult, bitch and moan but in the end, we love our dysfunctional home and we strive every day to make it a better place."

    So true. It's acceptable to criticize your own family members, but other people outside of that have no business doing it!

  7. Wonderful Cleveland post as usual, Chrissy!

    I especially loved this last sentence...

    ..."And if we fall down, we can be sure there's someone there to laugh at us right before they reach out their hand to lift us up"...

    That right there lets me know how how COOL Cleveland is.

    I've never been to Cleveland, however since you've been publishing your Saturday Cleveland posts, I have been nothing but totally impressed by your lovely city. And just for the record, I meet a lot of Cleveland tourist in Philly and they have ALL been the nicest, and I mean nicest people.

    Everything Forbes listed Cleveland (crime, unemployment, taxes, corruption, ect) is exactly the same in Philadelphia. So, I guess Cleveland and Philly should run neck and neck for the TWO most miserable cities in the country.


    Great post, girl!


  8. Why am I not living in Cleveland? I love rivers that caught on fire 40 years ago.

  9. Chrissy, I know exactly how you feel. I live in Oak Cliff, just south of Dallas proper, and everyone in North Texas is convinced that our little burgh is the Pit of Hell. When I mention to people where I live, the expressions of shocked sympathy on their faces make me want to do very unkind things with extreme force.

    And yes, we're always on the news because some dumbass killed another dumbass over the ownership of a crack pipe. If there's a drive-by shooting, I know the street. If a house has been condemned, I could probably throw a rock from my backyard and hit it, knocking the structure down and saving on demolition costs.

    But at the end of the day, most of these people are kind and decent. An amazing, fascinating mix of cultures where nobody has any clue about what's on the menu at Starbucks. Which is a good thing, since we don't have any those places around here...

  10. Hey Cleveland Rocks! And yes, Drew Carey made me say that. But every time I've been there it's been just great! Love the Flats! You go Chrissy! Cleveland isn't any worse or better than most places you go. It's the people who make it cool. I would say the city owes you a lot!

  11. Hey Chrissy! I always took it as a statement of cold, as in C-C-C-Cleveland! And even with a few problems, it still sounds like dreamland compared to the dull little town I grew up in, and it's still on my list of "must-visits". Indigo


C'mon, you know you want to say it..

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