Monday, December 7, 2009

Forecasting the Weather with WKYC's Mark Nolan

I admit, I always thought that the weather forecasters in Cleveland used satellite imagery, Doppler radar, barometer readings, and their education in meteorology in order to forecast the weather. This little video below shows WKYC Channel 3’s Mark Nolan’s little secret that helped him arrive at his forecast (this could be why he's now on the anchor desk). All kidding aside, this video from 2006 and just now made available, is very engaging. I think he was a little hard on the rain, don’t you? As for me, I would have taken a shovel to that snow.

Enjoy!




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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Christmas Story House Lights Up For Christmas


Everybody loves the movie “A Christmas Story” about Ralphie’s Christmas wish for a Red Ryder BB Gun (“You’ll shoot your eye out!), triple dog dares, “meatloaf, smeatloaf, double-beatloaf,” a tongue stuck to a metal pole, and of course a "major award" leg lamp. This film had many scenes filmed in the city of Cleveland, and the house used for the exterior shots was in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood. This house was restored and the interior transformed to match the interior sets used in the movie, and opened in November 2006 as The Christmas Story House & Museum, located at 3159 W. 11th Street.

This year, the owners of the house and museum decided to take a cue from the fictional character of Clark Griswold in the film “Christmas Vacation” by lighting the Christmas Story House in the same manner. Here’s a new video from Insider Perks which chronicles the lighting. I’ve also included a video that they produced when the house and museum opened so you can get a quick tour.


Christmas Story House Lighting 2009






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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cleveland Ohio – New Aerial Video

Here’s a new video prepared by aboveallphoto.com Of some aerial photography of the Cleveland, Ohio and surrounding areas (including Akron and Canton). Enjoy!






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Monday, November 16, 2009

The West Side Market, Revisited


In May of 2008, I did a feature on Cleveland’s West Side Market, located on the corner of West 25th and Lorain. Positively Cleveland. has prepared a video tour of the West Side Market (below) which is sure to make you hungry. Enjoy!





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Thursday, November 5, 2009

GuitarMania – A Study in Photographs

The winter gray skies are fast approaching and before we know it we will be buried in snow. So I thought it was a good time to dig out some of my photos that show the colorful side of Cleveland. I landed on a group of pictures that I’ve taken over the years from GuitarMania, where the city is dotted with giant Fender-style guitars that are decorated by various artists. The problem is that the color of the guitars got lost in the backgrounds behind them. So, I just made the background black and white to make it easier to appreciate the color and the detail of these guitars. OK, it looks gray just like it does in the winter. But that’s life here in the Cleveland metro area! I hope you enjoy the photos.



















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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cleveland’s Chef Michael Symon Opens 2 In the”Q”

The Quicken Loans Arena is already going to be rocking this season, now that Shaquille O’Neal has joined the Cleveland Cavaliers to play alongside “King” Lebron James. But now Cavs fans can add a great eating experience along with their enjoyment of the basketball game. Cleveland's best known chef and Food Network "Iron Chef" star Michael Symon has opened two new eateries in the “Q”: The B Spot, and Bar Symon. Here is a quick preview of the new restaurants, courtesy of Positively Cleveland.



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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Update: Cleveland’s Lakefront Howard Johnson's Being Demolished

In July 2008, I wrote here about “Cleveland’s Shameful Eyesore: Lakefront Howard Johnson’s". The old Howard Johnson’s Motor Lodge building has been vacant for years, and despite promises of the property being renovated or re-imagined for other use, nothing had happened. After a few legal battles with property owners and the city, the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court recently removed a restraining order this month that had prevented the demolition. The main building is now under the wrecking ball.

The WJW Fox 8 News facility sits in front of the old Howard Johnson’s, and they have had their cameras trained on the building while the wrecking ball goes at it. (Video below.) It’s a pity the demolition isn't being done by implosion. At the rate this wrecking ball is going at it, the building will still be standing years from now. But, it is good to see that this eyesore will eventually be history.

You can find a few photos of the hotel, past and present day at: “Cleveland’s Shameful Eyesore: Lakefront Howard Johnson’s".






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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New WKYC Weather Promo A Bright Forecast for Betsy and Hollie

It’s such a shame that NBC’s airing of Jay Leno at 10:00 PM may be ruining the lead in to WKYC Channel 3 News. Possibly to combat the Leno effect, WKYC is putting out some great promos for its news shows.

One promo that started airing recently deserves special attention. First, it features two of the Cleveland’s favorite meteorologists, Betsy Kling and Hollie Strano. (This is the “we prepare you, not scare you” team, unlike WEWS’ Mark Johnson, who always seems to scare you.) Second, it is reminiscent of the classic, and very popular late 1970s TV ad for WEWS Channel 5 that paired news anchors Ted Henry and Dave Patterson.

Here are the new WKYC weather promo and the classic WEWS promo, for your enjoyment.


WKYC Betsy Kling and Hollie Strano



WEWS 1979 Dave Patterson/Ted Henry Promo



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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cleveland’s Capitol Theatre Grand Re-Opening

On Friday October 2, Cleveland’s Capitol Theatre, located in the new Gordon Square Arts District, will be re-opening. The Capitol is the city’s oldest movie theatre, constructed in 1921. The restored and updated theatre is now an all-digital movie house with three screens, and will feature major Hollywood films, plus art and independent productions.

The Capitol Theatre is located at 1390 W. 65th St., and showtime information can be found at clevelandcinemas.com

Here is a video prepared by Positively Cleveland that outlines the renovation and its location in the Gordon Square Arts District.




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Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Cleveland Browns Stink: An Editorial

As I watch, painfully, the Cleveland Browns vs. the Baltimore Ravens today, I realized how hard it is to be a Cleveland Browns Fan. We’ve had many years of some great football, our fair share of making the playoffs, and some years of getting close to the playoffs.

But the mismanagement of the team over the last few seasons is taking a toll. There was limited optimism when Eric Mangini took over the helm as coach this season. Excitement waned further when Mangini played a guessing game with the media and fans by delaying naming the starting quarterback until right before the first game of the season. He may have been trying to delay tipping his hand so opposing teams wouldn’t be able to adequately plan their defensive strategies when playing the Browns. But the media and fans alike knew this tactic would mean the Browns players lost the valuable time they needed to form a cohesive team in support of their quarterback.

Even before this season started, I knew this was going to be a tough year to start, and likely a tough year to the end for the Cleveland Browns. I was resigned to that fact. Still, it is disheartening to see the team performing so badly this season, their record 0-3 as of this writing. Adding insult to injury was Eric Mangini taking out Brady Quinn from today’s game, and putting Derek Anderson in his place, and then Anderson throwing three interceptions. It was almost as if one could hear the collective screams of fans in the Cleveland Metro area today with each interception.

It will be a long season for Cleveland fans, but fans will continue to be fans. They will support their team, but that support will likely take the form of angry words directed towards team management. The team and management should expect, and deserves, every bit of media and fan verbal backlash that will be lobbed their way. I can envision a whole cadre of apoplectic sports writers and sportscasters writing their scathing copy right now, foaming at the mouth.

So, to help calm everyone’s nerves and soothe the anger, let’s think back to happier days when many of us were a lot younger and the team was a lot better. Here’s a short video that contains the Cleveland Browns Fight Song from the early 1960s. When I hear it, I think of my dad glued to his black and white TV with a radio to his ear, trying to catch every bit of the game. It also reminds me of the years that Clevelanders were not ashamed to be Browns fans. The only constant over all those years – Clevelanders still hate the Steelers, and they always will.


Thinking back to better days: The Old Cleveland Brown’s Fight Song





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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The New York Times Spends “36 Hours in Cleveland”

The NYT said the slag piles by the river are "oddly beautiful." Here is a photo I took
in that area a few years ago - they really are rather interesting looking.


The New York Times ran a nice feature in their travel section on a 36-hour visit that they made to Cleveland. They cover some of the city’s sights, attractions, its great food and drink, art, and much more.

An excerpt:
“YOU Gotta Be Tough” was a popular T-shirt slogan worn by Clevelanders during the 1970s, a grim period marked by industrial decline, large-scale population flight and an urban environment so toxic the Cuyahoga River actually caught on fire. These days it still helps to be at least a little tough; a fiercely blue-collar ethos endures. But instead of abandoning the city, local entrepreneurs and bohemian dreamers alike are sinking roots; opening a wave of funky boutiques, offbeat art galleries and sophisticated restaurants; and injecting fresh life into previously rusted-out spaces. It’s a vibrant spirit best exemplified by Cleveland’s new all-female roller derby league, whose wry name, the Burning River Roller Girls, and home, a former GM auto factory retooled into a 60,000-square-foot sports facility, say it all.

The full article can be accessed on the New York Times web site at following link: "36 Hours in Cleveland"

If you live in the Cleveland area, the NYT feature will make you feel good about Cleveland, and if you don’t live in the area, maybe you’ll come to visit the city and enjoy all it has to offer.


Check out my blog home page for the latest Cleveland information, All Things Cleveland Ohio, here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo African Elephant Crossing Construction Update



Construction continues on the The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's new 5-acre, $25 million dollar elephant habitat and education center, called the “African Elephant Crossing,” scheduled to open in the spring of 2011. Clevelanders will recall that the last big expansion at the Zoo was the RainForest habitat building that was opened 1992.

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s web site says about the area under construction:

Spread over five acres of lightly wooded grasslands, African Elephant Crossing will feature two large yards for roaming, ponds for swimming, expanded sleeping quarters and a heated outdoor range. The naturalistic habitat will be capable of housing up to 10 elephants at a time, including at least one bull and eventually calves. African Elephant Crossing also will house meerkats, naked mole rats, African rock pythons and a spectacular collection of colorful birds.

A short video from Positively Cleveland is below which shows the progress on this project so far. More information on this project can also be found at http://www.clemetzoo.com./elephants/.



Check out my blog home page for the latest Cleveland information, All Things Cleveland Ohio, here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

200 Public Square: Cleveland's Third Tallest Skyscraper



On the east side of Cleveland’s Public Square is 200 Public Square, overlooking the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, The Terminal Tower, and Old Stone Church, to name a few landmarks.

It was originally known as the Standard Oil or Sohio Building, then as the BP Tower, after British Petroleum acquired Standard Oil. The building was completed in 1985 and is 45 stories tall. In a move which shows that forward thinking is not always the strength of Cleveland’s city leaders, City Council refused to allow the building to pass The Terminal Tower (52 stories) in height. ( A few years later the city allowed the 57 story Key Tower to be constructed.)

An undated postcard showing the Public Square area long before
200 Public Square was built. The building with the flag on it and the one next to it were demolished to make way.

The tower, designed by Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum, was designed to maximize rentable space and still stay within the height restriction.

It was originally to be home to the sculpture ”Free Stamp” a giant rubber stamp designed by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen. But new owners of the building at the time, British Petroleum, didn’t want such a modern work of art, much less one that said the word “Free,” right outside their door, and they eventually donated it to the city. Free Stamp has a home at Willard Park, but Free Stamp was placed so the word “Free” faces it’s original home of 200 Public Square. (Petroleum, of course, is far from free, and BP is no longer a tenant in the building.)



200 Public Square, in the center, is flanked by the Key Tower on the left and The Terminal Tower on the right



Despite the fact that few people seem to recognize the current name of the building as 200 Public Square, the building has become a well-known landmark. Having been inside the building in one of the upper floors, I can confirm that it has a great view of the city and of Public Square. (You can take a virtual tour of 200 Public Square here.)



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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cleveland: A Stressful City? Or Just Cloudy?

Forbes Magazine has listed Cleveland Ohio as one of the top 5 stressful cities in the United States. The list shows Cleveland as #4, tied with Providence, RI. Most specifically, the list groups the Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor Ohio area as a whole, which is a five county area defined by the Metropolitan Statistical Area as Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), Geauga County, Lake County (Mentor), Lorain County (Elyria), and Medina County. Elyria and Mentor are about 50-60 miles apart, with the city of Cleveland in between.

According to Forbes Magazine , the criteria used to rank these cities was as follows:

To find the most stressful cities, we examined quality of life factors in the country's 40 largest metropolitan statistical areas, or metros--geographic entities defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget for use by federal agencies in collecting, tabulating and publishing federal statistics. We looked at June 2009 unemployment figures provided by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics and cost of living figures from the Council for Community and Economic Research. We examined median home-price drops from Q1 2008 to Q1 2009 that were provided by the National Association of Realtors. Population density based on 2008 data from the U.S. Census Bureau and ESRI also factored. Last, we examined the number of sunny and partly sunny days per year, based on 2007 data from the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service, as well as air quality figures, based on 2007 data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


Sunny and party sunny days? This is a serious measurement? I can tell you that the weather problem in the Cleveland area, especially east of the city in the “snow belt” is not sunny or partly sunny days, it’s the lake effect snow in the winter. And we really can’t help that now, can we? By the way, even though Mentor and Elyria are just a short distance apart, Elyria is west of the city, and it's east of the city (Lake and Geauga counties) that are in the heart of the snow belt. I admit it is no fun getting “snow-belted” every year, but we have learned to live with it.

I also object to the inclusion of Elyria and Mentor (the latter being my home town by the way) in this list since these places are nothing like Cleveland proper. Speaking for my own community of Mentor here in Lake County, it is a great city with the largest beach in the state, Mentor Headlands, it’s the home of our 20th president, James A. Garfield(now a National Historic site), and it’s one of the top retail centers in the state of Ohio and home to many businesses. It’s clean, it’s got beautiful homes and great schools. As the Forbes list includes Lake County as a whole, the area also is proud of its many wineries, the shores of Lake Erie being a perfect place to grow wine grapes.

Cleveland also has many great things going for it, such as world renowned medical care, the world class Cleveland Orchestra, Playhouse Square, and many museums. Many large corporations make Cleveland their home and the downtown area is a vibrant place to work, live, be entertained, and have great food.

There is no doubt that the Cleveland inner city has been hit hard with the banking home mortgage collapse and the resulting vacant or abandoned homes. There are areas, like in many big cities, that are considered “bad” neighborhoods. In that aspect, I will agree that those people living there are faced with stress. But Forbes does the area a complete disservice by lumping such a large area with such diverse living conditions, and then making sunny days, or the lack thereof, part of the measurement.

My opinion is that Forbes list does more to add to the stress of residents than whether the sun is completely shining. Last year, Forbes reported that Cleveland was a dying city. Well, their report of the death of Cleveland was greatly exaggerated. We’re still here, now we are just stressed.




You can find the full Forbes Magazine Stressful Cities list here.






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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Cleveland Beer Week

Cleveland Beer Week Logo, a Play on Cleveland’s “Free Stamp”


True Clevelanders need no special reason to drink beer. But, because Clevelanders can never have enough excuses, the first annual Cleveland Beer Week has been established, and will run from October 16 through October 24, 2009.

The Clevelandbeerweek.org website describes the event as a “not-for-profit, collaborative celebration to raise awareness of and education for the strong American and imported craft brew industry, while promoting patronage at local establishments.” Cleveland Beer Week will have several events at local bars, taverns, grocery stores, and other locations throughout the Cleveland area, and will include musical entertainment, tastings, and “brewmaster meet-and-greets”.

The week will open with a ceremonial keg tapping at the The Winking Lizard on Rockside Road in Independence on October 15 at 6:00 PM.

Clevelandbeerweek.org goes on to explain that the week “will culminate in a BREWzilla, a grand reception to be held on Saturday, October 24. A large-scale ale tasting and social gathering, BREWzilla will be held [at] The Arcade in downtown Cleveland and will feature more than 80 tasting stations, appetizers and other culinary delights that pair well with craft brews, entertainment, and guest appearances by renowned brewers. All proceeds from the Grand Reception will be donated to the Malone Scholarship Fund which is managed by the Cleveland Scholarship Program, Northeast Ohio’s only nonprofit resource that promotes educational awareness and community enrichment by preparing the workforce of tomorrow.”


All the details on the week and all the events can be found at clevelandbeerweek.org,




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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Settler’s Landing On Cleveland's Cuyahoga River

I was in an artistic mood today while I was going through some pictures of Cleveland that I look this past July. Some pictures looked rather boring, I admit. But I found one that I took in the Settler’s Landing area that had promise. Settler's Landing is on the shore of the Cuyahoga River where Moses Cleaveland arrived on July 22, 1796. There is a small park at this location, along with an RTA (light rail) station

My photograph was taken looking south toward the Detroit Superior Bridge (AKA the Veterans Memorial Bridge). It looks plain and generic in its original form, so with one quick color enhancement, a more interesting view of the landscape and sky appears.

Settler’s Landing can be found on the banks of the Cuyahoga River, on Old River Road, west of the Terminal Tower and Tower City.






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Saturday, August 15, 2009

“Kill The Irishman” A Movie About Cleveland Mobster Danny Greene

I’ve lived in the Cleveland area all my life, and one thing that long time Clevelanders know is that this city used to be a hotbed of crime. (It may still seem that way, with all the corruption in county government these days.) I went to school (Catholic school, by the way) with some of the grandchildren of some of the most notorious criminal Italian family names in the city. One student in high school frequently bragged that her grandfather was in the Mafia; one boy in grade school was aware of his family’s mob connection but was ashamed of it. My husband – as a young boy and with his mom’s permission - got to ride in a limo with a man who turned out to be a notorious crime figure as this man went to the bank to deposit money. (I often wondered if it was mob money this person was depositing?) For many years, it was very hard for someone in the city not to know someone connected with the mob because their children and grandchildren were part of the community.

Danny Greene, one of the big names in crime in the city, was not Italian, but he was Irish-American. According to the Wikipedia entry about Danny Greene:

The Cleveland family boss, Frank "Little Frank" Brancato, brought in Greene and other gangsters of Irish heritage to act as errand boys and muscle to enforce the Mafia’s influence during the 1960s. Greene was used as muscle in enforcing the Mob’s control over the garbage hauling contracts and other Mob influenced rackets. This was a move Brancato would later grow to regret. Until his death in 1973, he regretted bringing Danny Greene into the Mob and the damage it did.

Greene went on to fuel a mob war, which caused a flurry of killings and car bombs, so much that Cleveland earned the name Bomb City USA.” Fittingly, Danny Greene was killed by a car bomb when he went to a dental appointment at a medical building in Lyndhurst, Ohio, right off of I-271, near upscale communities and office complexes. It’s not a place one would ever expect such a violent act.

Now Danny Greene will be immortalized in a new film titled "Kill The Irishman" (orginally named “The Irishman”) which is scheduled for release in 2011. It will star Ray Stevenson as Danny Greene, Vincent D’Onofrio as John Nardi, Robert Davi as Ray Ferrito, and Tony LoBianco as John Licavoli. It will also star Christopher Walken and Val Kilmer. In a weird twist, the film is not being filmed in Cleveland, likely due to the fact that Governor Strickland vetoed a bill to give tax breaks to film makers. A travesty, I say. The film is currently being shot in Detroit. (The only worse insult is if it were filmed in Pittsburgh.) Of course, right now Detroit looks more like Cleveland in the 1970s than Cleveland does at the present time.

Movieset.com describes the film as follows:

The Irishman chronicles the rise and fall of infamous Cleveland gangster Danny Greene (Ray Stevenson), who engaged in a power struggle with the Italian mob. Greene was as an upstart longshoreman union rep and later became a cocky, legendarily difficult-to-kill troublemaker in the world of organized crime in the 1970’s. Based on the real story of mobster Danny Greene, Christopher Walken will play the loan shark and nightclub owner Shondor Birns and Val Kilmer is a Cleveland police detective who befriends Greene. The incredible ensemble cast includes Vinnie Jones, Marcus Thomas, Linda Cardellini, Laura Ramsey, Paul Sorvino, Mike Starr, Tony LoBianco, Vinnie Vella, Steve Schirippa, Jason Butler Harner, Robert Davi and Fionnula Flanagan.


I will definitely be watching this movie closely, but I will also be watching for accuracy. In 1989 I read a book called “Mobbed Up” the story of another notorious local figure Jackie Presser. I believe this book was made into a movie in the early 1990s, and if I recall correctly, the movie depicted Danny Greene being killed by a car bomb in a narrow alley. Well, I am very familiar with the location where Danny Green was killed, as I drove past it on the way to work each day in the mid-1970s and also worked only a few miles away from it in the high-rent office district of Landerhaven for a few years in the late 1990s. The parking lot where Danny Green was killed is far from a narrow alley. So if the filmmakers get this aspect of the film right, they will get my respect. But, if the picture here (a still from the filming) is of the car bomb that actually got Danny Greene, they got it wrong.

“Kill The Irishman” sounds like an interesting movie, if you have lived during those years of crime in Cleveland or not. You can follow the film’s progress at Movieset.com


Update March 6, 2011: "Kill The Irishman" is scheduled for limited release as follows:

Opening in Select Theaters March 11th:

New York - Landmark Sunshine Cinema
Los Angeles - AMC Broadway 4
Cleveland - Cedar Lee / Cinemark 24 Valley View / Regal Crocker Park

Opening in additional theaters March 18th:

Detroit - Landmark Main Art
Chicago - AMC River East / Century Evanston 18
Boston - Kendall Square Cinema






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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cuyahoga County Courthouse Murals

As a continuation of my blog from last week about ”Justice”, the stained glass window in the Cuyahoga County Courthouse in downtown Cleveland, I thought I would feature the large murals that are on the second floor flanking each side of the large center hall of the Courthouse.

The mural on the north side of the second floor is “The Constitutional Convention, September 17, 1787” and was painted by Violet Oakley in 1915. It is a rendering of the final moment on the last day of the convention, held in Philadelphia, PA. George Washington is on the left side of the mural and he is presiding over the convention. Benjamin Franklin is on the right of the mural. As Franklin was too weak to speak, he is shown handing his speech to fellow Pennsylvanian James Wilson to read. The US Constitution was adopted on this day.

The second mural on the south side of the second floor is “King John Signing the Magna Carta at Runnymede, 1215” painted by Sir Frank Brangwyn in 1913. It depicts the King signing the document that proclaimed certain rights of the King’s subjects, whether they were free or not free. The Magna Carta was likely the key influence on what led to the rule of constitutional law that we know today. It was the first document forced onto an English King by a group of his subjects to limit his powers by law, and protect their privileges.

Here are a few photos of both of these beautiful murals and the surrounding area.



The Constitutional Convention, September 17, 1787
Painted by Violet Oakley (1915)




King John Signing the Magna Carta at Runnymede, 1215
Painted by Sir Frank Brangwyn (1913)



View of the Magna Carta mural from across the center hall



The 2nd floor hallway leading away from the one of the murals

I don't know where the doorways next to the murals lead, but one of the doors reminds me of the face of a lion.





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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cuyahoga County Courthouse “Justice” Stained Glass Window


"Justice" Stained Glass Window
Cleveland's Cuyahoga County Courthouse

One of the most stunning sights in the Cuyahoga County Courthouse in downtown Cleveland is the large stained glass window titled “Justice” which is at the landing of the large marble staircase at the east side of the main lobby. The window was designed by Frederick Wilson of Tiffany Studios and Cleveland architect Charles F. Schweinfurth. The work was executed by the Gorham Glass Works of New York City

According to “The Cuyahoga County Courthouse Crown Jewel of the Group Plan” , “Justice” is depicted with her eyes uncovered, indicating justice should not be blind, and her eyes should be “open to the spirit and to the letter of the law.” The right hand of “Justice” is covered in mail and her left hand is bare to symbolize the dispensation of justice tempered with mercy. Tablets representing the Ten Commandments are on each side of the standing figure, and overhead is the “celestial city of the Apocalypse where perfect justice reigns.” Sounds very serious to me, but I am more enamored with the beauty of the colors of the glass and the workmanship, not to mention the curved marble staircase which rises on each side of the window.

If you are in the vicinity of the Cuyahoga County Courthouse , located on One Lakeside Avenue, stop in and take in the beauty of this lovely stained glass window. It’s one of the hidden gems of Cleveland that is not to be missed.


View of window from base of stairway

View of top of window from the other side of upper level of lobby


Marble staircase, multiple views up and down (B&W photos)

The plaque at the base of the window

Close up of "Justice"


Close up of the face of "Justice"


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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Free Stamp, Revisted

I am still going through the digital equivalent of a ton of photographs I took while I was strolling around downtown Cleveland last week. It was in February of 2008 when I last wrote about Free Stamp, the huge rubber stamp sculpture that sits in Willard Park, right next to Cleveland City Hall. I thought it was time I went back and updated my photos of this sculpture. This time I decided to have a little fun and artistic license of my own with this under appreciated sculpture. See if you can spot what I call the “mirror universe” version of Free Stamp among these photos.










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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Cleveland’s “Fountain of Eternal Life”

Located in Cleveland’s Mall A , which is officially known as Veterans' Memorial Plaza, stands the “Fountain of Eternal Life”. It is also known as the “War Memorial Fountain” or “Peace Arising from the Flames of War”. It is a statue and fountain that serves as Cleveland’s memorial to those citizens who served in World War II and the Korean War. It was designed by Cleveland Institute of Art graduate Marshall Fredericks and dedicated on May 30, 1964.

According to Wikipedia:

The centerpiece is a 35-foot (10.7 m) bronze figure representing man escaping from the flames of war and reaching skyward for eternal peace. The bronze sphere from which the figure rises represents the superstitions and legends of mankind. Four granite carvings, representing the geographic civilizations of the world, are placed around the sphere. On the surface of the polished granite rim surrounding the fountain are bronze plates bearing the names of 4,177 Greater Clevelanders who perished in WWII and in the Korean War.


It is a beautiful sight to see, reaching into the sky with the city’s tall skyscrapers such as The Terminal Tower, Key Tower, and 200 Public Square rising nearby. Here are a few photographs that I just took yesterday – enjoy!

200 Public Square in background


Key Tower in background

200 Public Square in background


Terminal Tower in background, Key Tower on the right, 200 Public Square on the left


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Friday, July 10, 2009

The Great Lakes Science Center


On the Cleveland lakefront, and flanked by Cleveland Browns Stadium, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, and the The William G. Mather Maritime Museum, is Cleveland’s Great Lakes Science Center. The GLSC opened in the summer of 1996, and focuses on science, technology, and the Great Lakes environment. It is highly interactive, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the science and be entertained as they learn. The GLSC also includes an OMNIMAX Theater , which projects IMAX films on a huge dome-like screen, making the experience almost like being there, except much bigger than life. The entire museum is a fun place to be for both adults and children.

Thanks to Insider Perks - who has been doing some very nice Cleveland videos lately - here is their short video highlighting the Great Lakes Science Center.

Great Lakes Science Center





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Friday, July 3, 2009

Cleveland Museum of Natural History


One of my favorite places to visit in Cleveland is the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Located in the University Circle area – a hotbed of museums and culture – this museum offers a look into the natural history of the earth and the stars.

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History opened in 1920. The driving force behind it was Harold T. Clark, a Cleveland lawyer and philanthropist. The museum’s first headquarters were in a business office in the Lennox Bldg. at E. 9th St. and Euclid Ave, but in 1922 the museum moved many of the displays to the former Leonard Hanna mansion on Euclid Ave. But, having more displays than it had space, and with the Hanna house being affected by highway construction, a newer facility – which is also its current home – was constructed in University Circle. Between 1958 and 1961, the museum opened 5 interconnected units located at the current 1 Wade Oval address, directly across from the Cleveland Museum of Art.

The museum is filled with all sorts of natural wonders, covering specimens and displays of archeology, paleontology, geology, mineralogy, botany, wildlife, and astronomy (which includes a planetarium). According to Wikipedia, here are some of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s most famed attractions:


Extensive examples of Late Devonian Cleveland Shale fish.
Nine hundred monkey and ape skeletons, and more than 3,100 human skeletons (the Hamann-Todd Collection).
The only specimen of the small tyrannosaur Nanotyrannus lancensis.
The holotype of the Haplocanthosaurus sauropod.
The most complete mount of a Coelophysis bauri.
The remains of Balto the sled dog.
An extensive mineralogy collection that includes a moon rock and the Jeptha Wade gem collection.
Replica skeletons of Triceratops and Jane, a juvenile tyrannosaurid.
Multiple mastodon and mammoth specimens.
A cast of an Australopithecus afarensis skeleton, an early hominid affectionately dubbed Lucy.
A new T-rex skeleton that is now on display.


It is a great place for adults and children to learn about the earth’s past, and about all the living things that have inhabited it over the years. My personal favorites from the museum are any exhibits having to do with rocks, minerals, and gems - and the gift shop, of course.

Here is a brief but very interesting video from Insider Perks that will give you some of the highlights of this fine museum.









Check out my blog home page for the latest Cleveland information,
All Things Cleveland, here.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum

The Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum, a part of the Western Reserve Historical Society and located in University Circle, is a showcase of the history of air and land transport vehicles. It includes airplanes, cars, bicycles, motorcycles, and spacecraft. It was founded by Frederick Coolidge Crawford, president of Thompson Products (later named TRW). Crawford collected vintage automobiles, and also was very involved in aviation, being instrumental in bringing the NASA Lewis (now called NASA Glenn) Research Center to the Cleveland area.

His love for aviation and vintage cars, and his understanding of the historical importance to these vehicles led to establishing the Thompson Auto Album in 1937. In 1963, he turned over his collection to the Western Reserve Historical Society and worked to raise funds to house the collection. The building that now houses the collection is named in his honor.

While it’s great to see these vehicles in person, below is a short video “tease” to give visitors an idea of what awaits them at the museum. According to Wikipedia, here are some of the items currently in the collection:

Its eclectic collection of classic vehicles include a replica of 1890s Cleveland main street, antique carriages, early Harley Davidson motorcycles, a Willys Custom Sedan, and a P-51 Mustang racing plane used in the National Air Races. The oldest car in the collection is a 1897 Panhard et Levassor; the most modern car in the collection is a 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser concept coupe. As of 2009, the museum has 34 cars that are more than 100 years old, the largest such collection in the world. One of the rarest cars in the collection is an aluminum bodied 1932 prototype Peerless designed by Frank Hershey, which was never put into production and was the last passenger vehicle made in Cleveland.


Further information on the museum can be found on the Western Reserve Historical Society web site for the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum.


Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum



Check out my blog home page for the latest Cleveland information,
All Things Cleveland, here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cleveland's Museums: New Tourism Videos

After getting a bit motion sick from the Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism video contest winners from a few weeks ago, someone was kind enough to give me a heads up about some more professionally done videos highlighting some of the great things to see and do here in Cleveland. In fact, I learned something new from watching these videos prepared by InsiderPerks.com - I never knew that we had an International Women’s Air & Space Museum right here in town.

Please take a look at these two videos that were prepared by InsiderPerks.com covering the International Women’s Air & Space Museum and Cleveland's other museums. Both videos are very well done.

You can also find out more about the International Women’s Air & Space Museum by visiting iwasm.org , which is “dedicated to the preservation of the history of women in aviation and space and the documentation of their continuing contributions today and in the future."


International Women’s Air & Space Museum
Burke Lakefront Airport




Cleveland’s Museums





Check out my blog home page for the latest Cleveland information,
All Things Cleveland, here.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Video Winners

Positively Cleveland has announced the winners of the “Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Video Contest.” The two winners and the runners up are below. In all honesty, the videos for the winners made me a little motion sick (too much camera movement).

The contest was held in response to an unfunny YouTube video posted by local comedian Mike Polk titled “Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Video” which I can’t put here because he uses an expletive in it that I don’t think my blog sponsors would appreciate. Oh yeah, and did I mention it’s not even funny?

Anyway, here are the winners and runners up (I actually liked 2 of the runners up better than the winners).


Winner #1


Winner #2


Runners Up








Check out my blog home page for the latest Cleveland information,
All Things Cleveland, here.

Friday, May 22, 2009

LeBron James and Kobe Commercials


As the Cleveland Cavaliers continue their way through the NBA playoffs, Nike Basketball has continued their very creative ads that portray Cleveland’s LeBron James and “some other basketball player” as puppets. There was a new commercial just recently released, so I thought I would include the new commercial, plus the other two already out there for the enjoyment of Cleveland Cavs fans. Here they are - and here's hoping the Cavs go on to win!


LeBron/Kobe Unstoppable Game Tape



LeBron/Kobe Chalk Video



LeBron/Kobe Three Rings Video





Check out my blog home page for the latest Cleveland information, All Things Cleveland, here.