Thursday, November 22, 2007

East Side Vs West Side – Which side are YOU on?

Image from Google™

Even people living far outside of Cleveland seem to be aware that Cleveland and its metro residents define themselves as “East Siders” or “West Siders”. I was born on the West side and lived in that area for 9 years, but then became an East Sider. While I live out of Cuyahoga County, I’m still considered an East Sider and would never consider moving to the west side. Some people are fiercely local to their “side”.

Depending on whom you ask, the actual line of demarcation can vary. I’ve always thought of the dividing line as the Cuyahoga River, since it splits a huge part of the entire county. For some, it’s the Terminal Tower, for others it’s I-77, etc. While everyone has their own idea, somehow almost every concept puts people in the same east/west category.

Looking at the split on a citywide basis, some draw general impressions about the people who live there and the type of life they live. For example, the east side is has areas crippled with poverty, the west, not as much but it is still a problem. It used to be that crime was more of a problem on the east side. Sadly, the problem has permeated west. Let’s not forget the painting “My Home Town” by Michelangelo Lovelace, which showed city landmarks along with crowds of people representing Clevelanders. The Cleveland Clinic removed the painting due to controversy that it depicted a racial bias of the east and west sides.

As one moves farther out of the confines of the city of Cleveland, though, the east/west side demographic seems to change. The perception is that East Siders are more affluent and snobby; West Siders are hard working “real” people. West Siders usually get small amounts of snow; east Siders get buried with snow fueled by the dreaded “Lake Effect”. Then there’s the debate about who has the better restaurants. I could go on.

I’m interested in what you thing about the whole issue. Where do you put yourself and how do you feel about your “side”? Where do you draw the east/west line, and have you ever crossed it to move to another location? Would you even consider moving to the other side? Comments are welcome.

One constant: East and West Siders are rabid sports fans, and are both lovers AND haters of the local sports teams (depending on how the teams are playing at the time). Oh yeah, we all hate the Steelers. There ARE some things that East and West Siders can agree upon.

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Anonymous said...

Eastsider...but think both sides have their unique attributes.

Anonymous said...

Living on the Eastside since birth, I remember as a child my Dad telling me how lucky Eastsiders were if they worked downtown. They always had the sun at their back traveling to and from work and not having to face sun glare twice day was easy on their eyes. Made sense to me as a child; makes sense to me as a senior. Thanks,Dad. Anonymous