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Issue Date: December 2005 Issue


How Cleveland Are You?


Edited by Erick Trickey

It was the best of cities, it was the worst of cities, it was the nation's poorest city, it was its best place to live. It was the city of people who've lived here all their lives, it was the city of people who left but came back (because their family was here). It was the city that loved its sports teams, it was the city eternally disappointed in them. It was the blue collar city, the arts-loving city, the segregated city, the integrated city, the city that died, the city reborn, the city that despairs, the city that never surrenders to despair.

Do you love Cleveland? Really love it? Do you know the city? Really know it? Do you think you're a true Clevelander? Just how Cleveland are you? At last, you can find out.

Grab a pen (or open your computer's calculator). Read our ultimate Cleveland quiz and keep score. We'll tell you how much burning-river blood courses through your veins. Plus, we nominate eight of our favorite people as "The Ultimate Clevelander."

+ 1 You know the long history of Short Vincent.

The gangsters. The gambling. The Theatrical. Short Vincent Avenue, now just Vincent, is just one block in length (off East Ninth Street, near Chester Avenue), but it has the longest history of any downtown street. From its respectable beginnings in the 1880s as the location of the Hollenden Hotel to its raciest times in the ’30s and ’40s, Short Vincent was the most adventurous place in town. You probably still have the Dick Feagler column recalling its glory days as “a street of suckers, from the bookmakers to the numbers men to the high rollers heading for a fall.”

 

+ 1 You take everyone new to town to the West Side Market (West Side version) or Coventry and Little Italy (East Side version).

bonus: You take an East Sider to the West Side Market for the first time, or a West Sider to Coventry or Little Italy for the first time.

 

+ 1 You take St. Patrick’s Day off every year to go to the parade.

Maybe your work or school closes for the day. Maybe you just know your boss will understand. Maybe, like one friend of ours, you even negotiated the day off when you were hired. If you’re not Irish, this is the one day you feel Irish by association. You believe everyone should drink beer (it’s up to you whether it’s green) and go downtown to join 300,000 other die-hards for the parade. Actually, there may have been one or two years where you never quite made it to the parade because you were too busy drinking.

bonus: You take the day after St. Patrick’s Day off too.

 

+ 1 You have an uncle who worked in a steel mill or car factory.

Chances are he has a tattoo, fought in a war and is your favorite.

bonus: You feel cheated because the big automakers offer “friends and family” discounts to everyone.

 

+ 1 You’re certain you know whether Sam Sheppard killed his wife.

Used to be, all true Clevelanders thought Sam killed Marilyn that night in 1954. Only out-of-towners thought he got railroaded. Today, some Clevelanders dare to think Dr. Sam’s story about the “bushy-haired intruder” might have been true after all. But there are also the Clevelanders who made up their minds in childhood, whose grandmothers lived in Bay Village, knew the couple and always said Dr. Sam must have done it because of his infidelities and terrible temper.

Cleveland’s fight over whodunit will never end. In the past five years, two new books have kept the debate going: James Neff’s “The Wrong Man” and prosecutor Bill Mason’s “Dr. Sam Sheppard on Trial.” But if you’re a true Clevelander, you don’t need them. Even if you were born years after the murder, you know Dr. Sam did it (or didn’t).

 

+ 1 Every time someone tells you they just moved here, you respond with the following question: “Why Cleveland?”

You try to ask with your best Believe in Cleveland voice, as if to say: “Sure, there are thousands of great reasons that winners like us would want to live here! I just wondered which one stood out to you the most!” But your voice rises just a pitch too high, because on the inside, you’re having your own quiet crises. They go something like this: “I moved back here after college because of my [insert one: family, friends, job]. And while I do like it here, the feeling gnaws at me that I could have been happier or more successful if I’d had the guts to move to a place like [insert one: New York City, Silicon Valley, Austin]. I’m nearly frantic to hear what your response is. Because if it’s convincing enough, it will validate my existence and assuage my deepest fear: that I am really just a loser of a person living in a loser of a town.”

 

+ 1 To find alcohol and gambling at the Feast of the Assumption, you head to the church.

You’re elbowing your way through the throngs of people crowding Mayfield Road during August’s Feast of the Assumption street festival when you think, I could sure go for a beer. You duck past the strolling musicians and cavatelli booths lining the streets of Little Italy and you’ll find yourself in the back lot of Holy Rosary Church — the perfect place for carnival rides and games of chance (in the church basement), and the hot spot for a cold brew during the annual four-day feast, thanks to open-container laws. Enjoy the drink, but be sure to pitch your cup into the red-white-and-green striped trash cans before you head back to the sidewalk — a sign posted on the corner of the church each year gently reminds festival-goers that beer cannot leave the churchyard.

bonus: Your favorite spot to find perch and walleye is a church.

 

+ 1 You gripe you won’t visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum until the induction ceremonies are held here.

It’s like taking the hottest girl in your school to the prom and watching her dance the night away with the star quarterback. That’s how it feels to watch the record industry elite congregate in New York City for the annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Sure, they’d rather be there than here, but that doesn’t mean we have to be happy about it. There’d be a revolt in Cooperstown (or even Canton) if such shenanigans were pulled on those hall-of-fame cities. And though the Rock Hall’s New York faction wishes we’d all get over it, that isn’t likely to happen anytime soon.

 

+ 1 You expertly navigate the industrial part of the Flats.

The Torso Murderer’s old stomping grounds are a scary place for many people, but not you. You love the old rusty bridges, the empty buildings, the closeups of the river. You can get to the Hart Crane Memorial, Hoopples and the Flat Iron Café. It’s the wilds of Cleveland, and you love it.

 

+ 1 You still miss the Cleveland Edition and the old Scene.

 

+ 1 Anything, anywhere charging more than $5 to park isn’t worth parking for.

It doesn’t matter how cold it is, how much snow is on the ground — or if it’s 100 degrees. You would rather walk 10 miles or drive around for a half-hour looking for a cheaper place to park. Twenty bucks for Browns and Indians games? Are you kidding us? That’s almost as expensive as a hot dog. So you frequent the $2 lot under the Shoreway on West Third Street, the lots on East 14th Street and the metered spots in the Warehouse District.

 

+ 1 You’ve noshed at Otto Moser’s before an event at Playhouse Square Center.

The autographed photos of early 20th century stage stars are the first indication that Otto Moser’s Restaurant has a long, long history. The tattered black and white prints hang alongside posters trumpeting stage shows that have stopped at Playhouse Square Center over the years. Look for Barry “Greg Brady” Williams’ starring role in “The Sound of Music,” Disney star Hayley Mills’ turn as Anna in “The King and I” and our favorite: Ralph “The Karate Kid” Macchio’s starring role in “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” The menu pays tribute to the restaurant’s past with sandwiches named after Al Jolson, W.C. Fields and Helen Hayes. If a theater is your next stop, the staff will be sure to get you fed and off to the show before the lights dim.

bonus: You know it’s “the oldest restaurant in Cleveland” and where it used to be located.

Otto’s was founded in 1892 at 2044 E. Fourth St., the heart of the city’s theater scene back then, and served many of the actors who performed there. Declining business led the restaurant’s owners to get back in touch with the place’s theatrical roots in 1994, when the restaurant moved (along with all of its memorabilia) to 1425 Euclid Ave.

 

+ 1 You think everyone in the country celebrates Sweetest Day.

Not so, friends. In 1922, Cleveland philanthropist and candy company employee Herbert Birch Kingston wanted to bring joy and happiness to others less fortunate, so he and some volunteers distributed candy, flowers and other small gifts at hospitals, nursing homes and orphanages. Since then, Sweetest Day — the third Saturday in October — has mutated into a sort of second Valentine’s Day for the Great Lakes states. Midwestern transplants have taken the holiday to Texas, California and Florida too.

 

+ 1 Your favorite mayor is still Carl Stokes.

Though he left City Hall in 1971 and passed away almost a decade ago, Carl Stokes is still many Clevelanders’ political idol and ideal mayor. He didn’t just get the trash picked up; his strong, charismatic personality somehow personified the city and its hopes and struggles during his time in office, making Cleveland seem stronger. Today, every mayoral candidate who promises not to look at Cleveland in black and white, as east and west (and they all say that) is following Stokes’ script. And when few Clevelanders show up to vote in the mayoral election, it’s because no candidate inspires them the way Stokes did.

 

+ 1 You’ve watched a friend or family member run the Cleveland Marathon and then pigged out on the free food at the finish line.

There’s a reason we always rank high on the lists of fat cities. For every one of us who runs a marathon, 13 of us go to “watch” and then feast at the finish line. We actually found frosted cookies there one year (and ate three). If you’re really a pig of a person, dress like a runner and get the free massage, too. It’ll help you unwind after all the gorging.

 

+ 1 You’ve been pulled over driving to or from Blossom.

bonus: You were hiding vodka in a watermelon at the time.

 

+ 1 You’ve taken the rapid somewhere besides a sporting event, while you were sober.

 

+ 1 The names Eliot Ness and Edmund Fitzgerald make you think of beer.

The rest of the world may be reminded of “The Untouchables,” but to us, Eliot Ness will always mean the tasty amber lager served at Ohio City’s Great Lakes Brewing Co. (Legend has it Ness put the bullet holes in the bar while he was Cleveland’s safety director. The mother of the brewery’s owners, Patrick and Dan Conway, was Ness’ stenographer.) Following in the steps of ’70s Canadian folkie Gordon Lightfoot, the Conway brothers also immortalized the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, a ship that often docked in Cleveland before it sank in Lake Superior in 1975. Instead of a song, they opted for a porter that’s delicious with ribs, steaks and oysters. Great Lakes Brewing Co., 2516 Market Ave., Cleveland, (216) 771-4404, www.greatlakesbrewing.com

 

+ 1 Orange sweatpants are fashionable attire to wear in public — assuming it’s a Sunday between September and December and you are downtown or on the West Side.

PENALTY: You wear orange sweatpants on the East Side.

 

+ 1 You’ve gone to Put-In-Bay for a bachelor or bachelorette party.

It’s a rite of passage for the young. The more clichéd and embarrassing, the better. The only saving grace for the soon-to-be-utterly humiliated bachelor or bachelorette is that he or she will not be alone. Sometimes there are three or four wedding-bound chumps on each ferry. The bachelorettes are especially hard to miss, with their Halloween-costume veils, penis balloons and “suck for a buck” Life Savers. Everyone knows that what happens in Put-In-Bay stays in Put-In-Bay.

PENALTY: You had your bachelor or bachelorette party in Put-In-Bay.

 

+ 1 You understand that US and HB are four of the most important letters in the alphabet to old money.

If it takes you a split second to figure this out, you’re a West Sider. But you still get the point, because you recognize that elite East Side private schools such as University School and Hathaway Brown are a step on the ladder leading to the area’s highest-paying corporate jobs — with a stop-over, of course, in the Ivy League.

 

+ 1 You know rivers can, nay, should flow north.

 

+ 1 You have a favorite “Certain Ethnic” sketch from “The Big Chuck & Lil’ John Show.”

The only thing better than watching B-movies from the ’70, ’80s and ’90s on late-night TV is watching them with company — and Cleveland’s own Chuck Schodowski and John Rinaldi are pretty great company to have. But the films and the commercial-break banter aren’t the only reasons we still tune in to “The Big Chuck & Lil’ John Show,” which has aired on WJW TV-8 in its current form since 1979. We just can’t escape their mid-movie skits, some of which are painfully dated to the show’s beginning and earlier. And while the skits run the gamut, none are burned into our minds so brightly as those about the politically incorrect pratfalls of a “certain ethnic” Parma resident, Stosh, embodied lovingly for decades by Schodowski.

 

+ 1 You’ve seen Robert Lockwood Jr. play live.

If you haven’t, go see him at Fat Fish Blue this Wednesday night (or any Wednesday night). He’s a living link to the roots of the blues, right here, right now.

bonus: You’ve tried to chat up Robert Lockwood Jr. at the bar at Fat Fish Blue and failed.

Skip the small talk. The man’s 90. He’s seen it all, and he’s got no time for fools.

 

Essay question:

Bob Serpentini. Discuss.

 

+ 1 You’ve read “Crooked River Burning.”

The Chicago Tribune called Mark Winegardner’s 2001 novel “Crooked River Burning” a “love letter to Cleveland.” The book follows the lives of two Clevelanders from the end of World War II through 1969 while retelling the epic story of Cleveland, including vibrant portraits of some of our most notable characters, including Alan Freed, Dorothy Fuldheim and Carl Stokes. We could tell you more, but we won’t. Because if you live in this city, you must read this book.

 

+ 1 You once had a subscription to Cleveland Magazine, but you don’t anymore.

We understand: When a magazine’s been around 33 years, readers come and go. But if you’re at some event, and you come up to the Cleveland Magazine booth, flip distractedly through an issue, then inform us you used to subscribe, forgive us if our smiles are a little forced. We’ve had our good years and bad years, but hey — so have you, right? Memorize these three thoughts: $12.95, (216) 771-2833, www.clevelandmagazine.com.

 

+ 1 You’ve visited major league ghosts at the remains of League Park.

It’s not a cornfield in Iowa, just a big, empty, fenced-in city park tucked behind a long, worn, brick wall and an old section of grandstand. Today, triple plays, strikeout records and World Series games still rest among the grass, weeds and scrabble at East 66th Street and Lexington Avenue. If you look really hard, with the passionate heart of a 12-year-old boy, you can see teen-aged Bob Feller firing fastballs in his first game, Babe Ruth bashing his 500th career homer, Lou Boudreau scooping grounders, Ken Keltner stabbing line drives and Tris Speaker running miles back to make great catches in deep center field.

 

+ 1 At a family get-together, you’ve had to break up an argument between two male cousins under the age of 10 over whether St. Ed’s or St. Ignatius is better.

They don’t call it “The Holy War” for nothing. If you think Ed’s vs. Ignatius merely plays itself out on the athletic fields, you’re missing it. The best rivalry this side of Massillon is a battle for the hearts — and minds — of young Cleveland boys. With about 9,000 alums from each school in Northeast Ohio, you might think the competitive juices got passed down with the Y chromosome. Or maybe they just flow through the drinking fountains at the West Side Catholic grade schools. Whether by nature or nurture, the battle lines are drawn about the same time you’re learning to spell St. Edward or St. Ignatius.

 

+ 1 You went with your parents (or kids) to watch airplanes land at Hopkins Airport.

The best view is still on Brookpark Road just west of state Route 237, by the north end of the runways.

 

+1 You’d never make an Easter Basket from anything but Malley’s.

As a child, you knew that Santa’s elves labored to make your gifts. You also knew the Easter Bunny didn’t need elves, because he had Malley’s Chocolates. Oh, the bedding of green straw littered with tiny tin-foil wrapped eggs and jelly beans — the perfect cushion for the chocolate bunnies and crosses. Unlike the ones you could buy at the drug store (shockingly hollow), you had to gnaw your way through the bunnies from Malley’s, leaving slimy tooth prints that deterred all but the most piggish of siblings.

 

+ 1 You wish that Halle Berry talked about, visited and publicly longed for Cleveland more than she does.

It’s fantastic that Drew Carey is as high on Cleveland as he is. Truly. But, c’mon, can’t we ever score a hottie like Halle? Yes, she grew up in Bedford and was even named after Halle’s department store, but that’s not enough. We want her to tell the world she’s one of us — proudly, maybe even during her next Academy Award acceptance speech. Carey may be who we are — funny, blue-collar, a bit lumpy, beer-drinking — but Berry is who we want to be: svelte, glamorous, beautiful and talented.

 

PENALTY: You got really excited about Scott Savol.

While he did do pretty well on “American Idol,” let it be noted that Savol definitely trends more Carey than Berry.

 

+ 1 You remember the final score and the team the Indians played on Ten Cent Beer Night.

Forget drinking and driving. How about drinking and baseball? It was June 4, 1974, and the Tribe was playing the Texas Rangers. In a stroke of genius, Indians management announced the mother of all promotions: Ten Cent Beer Night. It worked, as 23,134 fans showed up — apparently with plenty of dimes. By the seventh inning, the Rangers bullpen had to be evacuated because they were being bombarded with fireworks, smoke bombs and empty beer cups. In the ninth inning with the score tied 5-5, fans ran onto the field and charged toward Texas right fielder Jeff Burroughs. After umpire Nestor Chylak was hit on the head, the game was forfeited 9-0 to the Rangers. “The only other place you might experience this is a zoo,” said Chylak afterward.

 

+ 1 You can tell an accordion from a button box.

The piano accordion has white and black pianolike keys, says Joe Valencic, trustee and historian at the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame in Euclid. With the piano accordion, you can play any key and choose from plenty of arrangements. The button box is also called a diatonic accordion because each button has two notes, one when you fold the billows in and another when they fold out. The button box has a more reedy sound and sheet music is limited, so button-boxers often have to play by ear.

bonus: Polka music was played at your wedding (whether you requested it or not).

You definitely plan on taking advantage of the Cleveland Metro-parks — soon.

You’ve been meaning to take a hike, ride the trails or visit a nature center for years now. But you never quite make it there. Here are a few easy ideas to get you started — right now (except for the boating, of course).

 

+ 1 The Solar System Walk. This 3/4-mile-long path illustrates the enormous distances between the sun and planets in our solar system. Begin at the sun exhibit panel, start walking, and stop to read each sign representing a planet, placed along the trail at their average distance from the sun. Each foot equals 1 million miles. Locations in Rocky River Reservation near South Mastick Picnic Area (off Valley Parkway) and in Euclid Creek Reservation.

 

+ 1 Boating on Hinckley Lake. Open April through October and weekends in November and December, Hinckley Lake Boathouse in Hinckley Reservation rents rowboats, electric motorboats, canoes, kayaks, a paddleboat and the “Hinckley Queen” pontoon boat. (330) 278-3132.

 

+ 1 Parkways to the Past. This self-guided tour, which stretches 100 miles from Squire’s Castle to Huntington Reservation, explores the history of Cleveland Metroparks. It highlights eight sites, including the summer estate of John Huntington on the shores of Lake Erie, the folk art carvings of Henry Church, an old boating pond and one of Cleveland’s original baseball fields. A brochure is available at all park facilities, by calling (216) 635-3200 or by visiting www.clevelandmetroparks.com.

 

+ 1 You can explain the difference between Dead Man’s Curve and Collision Bend.

Dead Man’s Curve is the terrifying 90-degree turn on I-90 that connects the Inner Belt to the Shoreway, with the giant “35 mph” signs, the huge flashing arrows and the 10 sets of rumble strips. The landmark of morning-show traffic reports opened in 1959, five years before the Jan and Dean song “Dead Man’s Curve” was released. Despite the name, it’s managed to go the past four years without a fatal crash. The state plans to replace the curve in 2015 so that cars can make a safe, gradual turn at 50 mph. Collision Bend is the tightest of all of the Cuyahoga River’s crooked turns. It’s the bend by the Eagle Avenue Bridge, where the long-defunct Jim’s Steak House used to be; you can see it from Tower City. “In the days of sailing vessels, when the vessels were being towed upstream, the yardarms would sometimes collide when making the turn,” says Wayne Bratton, owner and skipper of the Holiday, a tour boat on the river. It hasn’t been quite as dangerous, Bratton adds, since the bend was widened into a turning basin more than 60 years ago.

+ 1 You’ve argued with someone from another part of town about how to pronounce “Cuyahoga.”

Mark Winegardner, in “Crooked River Burning,” claims native Clevelanders pronounce the river and county’s name “ky-a-HOG-a” (like “hog”), while transplants pronounce it “ky-a-HO-ga” (like in “hoagie”). But some native East Siders say “ho-ga” — and dismiss “hog-a” as a West Side thing.

Akronites cut the name to three syllables max, like Chrissie Hynde, who sings “C’a-ho-ga Falls” in the Pretenders’ classic “My City Was Gone.” Some cut it to two, like the people who say they’re from “C’awga Falls.”

People who worked on the river called it “k’a-hog-a,” while farmers on its shores said “ky-aw-ga,” William Donohue Ellis wrote in his 1966 book of river lore, “The Cuyahoga.” But the word’s original history is sketchy. According to Ellis’ book, white settlers in the 1700s came up with several spellings — Caujahoga, Cujahaga, Cayagaga, Cuyohaga, Cauahogue, Diohaga and Gajahaga — supposedly attempts to transcribe words from the Mohawk, Seneca, Delaware or Erie languages.

The most poetic legend claims Cuyahoga is a Mohawk word for “crooked river.” So we called someone who speaks Mohawk: Martha Lickers, curriculum developer at the Ronathahonni Cultural Center in Ahkwesahsne, Ont. The Mohawk word for “big river,” she says, is kahionhowanen, which is pronounced “gah-yo-ho-wah-na.” HO-ga it is.

 

+ 1 You do not fully understand the lake effect, but blame it for everything.

Though we like to accuse it of everything from rained-out picnics to the roof leaking, the lake effect isn’t even to blame for last winter’s record-breaking 119 inches of snow. “We just happened to be in the right place at the right time,” explains FOX-8 Cleveland chief meteorologist Dick Goddard. “It’s almost like we were targeted.”

So what exactly is this lake effect? “[It] develops from the instability that is created when cold air crosses warm water,” Goddard explains. “The cold air near the water surface is suddenly warmed, and it scoops up large quantities of water vapor. As the moisture-laden air reaches land, it is forced to rise rapidly over the land.” Then it cools, and “the water vapor quickly sublimates into ice crystals.” Ice crystals, of course, are a fancy way of saying snow.

 

+ 1 You recount the stories of The Fumble, The Drive, Red Right 88, The Shot, The Curse and Game 7 by heart.

Being a Cleveland fan is not about joy. It’s about failure: vivid memories of failure told and retold, carried in your bitter heart, then held up like bloody flags when the lake-effect winds of late-season loserdom blow through town.

We’ve read that some Native American tribes experienced time as cyclical, not linear — that just as winter always follows fall, they saw themselves as facing the same trials as their legendary ancestors. In the same way, the Indians fan (or Browns fan or Cavs fan) explains every long season of mediocrity, every doomed march through the playoffs, by retelling one of six fateful legends.

Every game the Browns lose in the last two minutes is a Red Right 88 (see Brian Sipe’s intercepted pass vs. the Oakland Raiders, Jan. 4, 1981). Every loose ball is a shadow of The Fumble (see AFC title game vs. the Denver Broncos, 1988). Every Browns defensive collapse echos The Drive (see AFC title game vs. the Broncos, 1987).

The next time the Cavs make the postseason, the meta-battle will be LeBron against The Shot (see Cavs vs. Chicago Bulls, May 7, 1989).

Who’s to blame for the Indians running out of gas at the end of 2005? Either the curse of Rocky Colavito (see trade with the Tigers for Harvey Kuenn, 1960) or the new hope-dashing spell cast by José Mesa (see blown save, 1997 World Series, Game 7).

bonus: No one’s allowed to mention Art Modell’s Super Bowl win in the presence of you or your children.

 

+ 1 You survived these infamous blizzards.

Yeah, sure, you’re tough. You can handle Cleveland winters. So match these famous blizzards with the year you survived them.

1. The Plain Dealer headline read, “March is blown off the calendar.” A Sunday high of 76 degrees gave way to a snowstorm in Cleveland by Monday, March 30. By Tuesday, it had left the heaviest 24-hour snowfall in Cleveland since 1913: 16.4 inches.

2. This freak storm hit at the start of rush hour on Nov. 21, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, catching snow plows and salt trucks off-guard. Uphill freeway merge ramps became unclimbable sheets of ice. Downtown froze into a gridlock, drivers there spent hours trying to progress a few blocks, and bars and restaurants filled with stranded commuters.

3. The storm blasted through town on a Monday and Tuesday, dropping 11.6 inches of snow, delaying workers preparing for the Indians home opener that Saturday. A Parma Municipal Judge waived court costs on fines for all but two of the 25 people who made it to her court despite the snowfall.

4. This infamous blizzard dropped just 7.1 inches, but it came at the end of a snowy January, and its ferocious winds created huge snowdrifts. The storm killed 100 people and closed 60 percent of Ohio’s roads, leaving 5,700 travelers stranded on them.

A. 1978 B. 1982 C. 1987 D. 2000

See answers in the magazine.

 

+ 1 You know someone who was an extra in “The Deer Hunter.”

Two of the 1978 film’s most famous scenes were shot in Tremont: the wedding at St. Theodosius Russian Orthodox Cathedral and the reception at Lemko Hall. Regular Clevelanders filled in the crowd in several key scenes, including the wedding, the reception and the funeral. “In Cleveland, ‘The Deer Hunter’ DVD gets more stop-action study than the Zapruder film,” says Richard Osborne, editor of Ohio Magazine and a member of the generation that still fixates on the Kennedy assassination footage. “My own freeze-frame moment is when I’m walking down the church steps behind John Savage after the funeral.”

 

+ 1 You own a Michael Stanley Band album.

From the mid-’70s to the mid-’80s, the Michael Stanley Band was always one huge hit away from becoming a nationwide household name. Though the group sold out a string of nights at Blossom Music Center, packed the Richfield Coliseum and shared bills with the Doobie Brothers, Bruce Springsteen and The Eagles, big-time fame eluded them. That’s not to say there weren’t hits. “He Can’t Love You,” “Midwest Midnight” and “My Town” all cracked the charts, but never propelled the band much beyond the Midwest. Of course, fans can still check out Stanley onstage several times a year and hear his voice as 98.5 WNCX’s afternoon DJ. www.michaelstanley.com

 

+ 1 You owned an Indians jersey during the ’90s with the name Vizquel, Ramirez, Thome, Baer-ga, Belle or Lofton on the back.

During the Indians’ heights as a Central Division giant, it seemed like everyone from toddlers in strollers to grandmothers at home listening to games on the radio owned a jersey with the name of a Tribe hero. Early this summer, when we stumbled across a rack of Victor Martinez jerseys at T.J. Maxx, it was a sad reminder of how slowly the faithful had warmed to the team’s new, younger lineup. But by the end of the season, things had changed. During the last home stand, Jacobs Field was lighting up nightly with the glow of pink “Mrs. Sizemore” baby-Ts. That convinces us we’ll be seeing the names Sizemore, Sabathia, Martinez, Peralta and Crisp on plenty of jerseys come spring.

 

+ 1 You’ve seen the orchestra more on Public Square than Severance Hall.

You want to get to Severance Hall to see our world-renowned orchestra. You really do. But being a Clevelander, you love a bargain, and the Cleveland Orchestra’s free Independence Day concerts on Public Square are the best bargain in town. The people-watching is much better than at Severance Hall too.

 

+ 1 You’ve attended a prom, company outing or class reunion on the Nautica Queen or the Goodtime III.

 

+ 1 You know the location of at least one Prohibition-era speakeasy. You think.

A few years ago architects renovating the Old Arcade found a secret elevator shaft that led to a hidden space. You immediately thought, “Speakeasy!” Prohibition didn’t curb Clevelanders’ love for drinking. It just prompted them to get more creative about it. Newspaper clips estimate there were more than 1,000 speakeasies in the city in 1934, the year after Prohibition ended.

 

+ 1 You’ve had a Dennis Kucinich sighting in the past 12 months.

Sure, his doomed, left-of-Howard-Dean run for the presidency made him the darling of Bay Area organic farmers, stoned musicians and political satirists who can’t resist an easy shot. But you can’t say he’s abandoned his roots. The little guy’s everywhere. We’ve seen him at a rec baseball game; at a Rite-Aid in Strongsville, driving a Ford Focus; at a memorial service for the Marines killed in Iraq (even though many Marine families can’t stand him, since he opposed a bill to fund the occupation); and outside the federal courthouse in Akron at a “70th birthday party” for Social Security.

bonus: You saw him with his young, statuesque, red-headed new bride.

 

+ 1 You own a copy of “Major League” on DVD.

Every time you watch it, you can’t stop the urge to point out that, aside from the opening credits, none of the movie was filmed in Cleveland.

bonus: You have “Major League 2” on DVD.

PENALTY: You have “Major League 3: Back to the Minors” on DVD.

 

+ 1 You point out locations where “American Splendor” was filmed any time you pass one.

It’s not often a film crew inhabits the city so fully, using movie theaters, diners, comic book stores and bakeries as its backdrop. But when telling the tale of Harvey Pekar, local comic book writer and grumpy everyman, there was no other option but to splash the gritty side of Cleveland across the screen. When that film is nominated for an Oscar and ends up in HBO’s rotation of movies that play over and over and over, it ensures we’ll be saddled with the habit of pointing out filming locations to our visiting out-of-town guests for years to come.

 

Cleveland by the Numbers

One point each if you can fill in the blank with the correct digits:

1. Every ____ minutes, the place goes crazy

2. Garfield-1--- _______

3. WIXY- _______ AM

4. Former address of the Illuminating Co.:

_____ Public Square

5. The year of Cleveland’s founding: _____

6. Bernie Kosar’s jersey: -____

7. Mark Price’s jersey: _____

And tell us whose numbers these are.

(The girl you met at the bar last night? Yeah, surprise, they’re not hers.)

8. (216) 881-0880

9. (216) 524-4444

10. (216) 999-5555

 

TRUE or FALSE:

During the filming of “The Deer Hunter” Robert DeNiro spent some of his down time bellied up to the bar at the Harbor Inn.

 

Rank the following Cleveland sports rivalries in order of the amount of hatred they inspire in you. Yankees Bengals Ravens Steelers Wolverines

5. Bengals. The battle over who in Ohio wears orange the worst.

4. Ravens. The once-white-hot hatred of the ex-Browns has cooled, three local ticket brokers tell us. “The basic angst from when Art Modell [moved] the team is starting to fade,” says Jon Waler, Tickethawk president. Maybe it’s because Modell doesn’t own the Ravens anymore. Also, the brokers tell us, Marylanders don’t buy Browns Stadium tickets and road-trip to the games; they don’t even consider us a rival. Oh, well: another reason to hate them.

3. Wolverines. Just because they don’t appear on John Carroll’s schedule doesn’t mean we can’t participate in the Buckeyes’ rivalry.

2. Yankees. They’ve got it all: money, the media spotlight, championships and our hatred. Heck, we could have taken the Indians’ 2005 collapse easier if the Yanks failed to make the playoffs, too.

1. Steelers. Two towns so alike, they have to be rivals, like brothers who’ve feuded for 50 years and can’t let old slights go. The ticket brokers say this is the Browns’ hottest rivalry by far.

 

+ 1 You’ve driven past the “A Christmas Story” house.

Where, exactly, did Ralphie almost shoot his eye out? If you’re a serious fan of the classic 1983 holiday movie “A Christmas Story,” you know the scenes at the Parker family home were filmed at the 2 1/2-story house with the wraparound porch at 3159 W. 11th St. in Tremont. Soon, you’ll have the chance to see it from the inside. Brian Jones, owner of the Red Rider Leg Lamps Co., which makes replicas of the racy lamp Ralphie’s father treasured so dearly, bought the house on eBay last year for $150,000. He’s renovating the famous location so he can turn it into a free museum, where he plans to sell memorabilia from the movie such as Ovaltine, Little Orphan Annie decoder rings and, of course, leg lamps. www.achristmasstoryhouse.com

 

+ 1 You can get anywhere in University Circle. You just can’t tell anyone else how to get there. If you just keep circling Wade Oval, you’ll get to where you need to go. But you don’t tell anyone else you do that. Let them use MapQuest.

 

+ 1 You’ve gone to Slyman’s for the corned beef and didn’t need the brown bag.

Each towering Slyman’s corned beef sandwich comes with a side of wax paper and a brown bag. Sometimes you have to ask for it if your server’s too harried, but if she has a little time, you might get a couple spare pieces of bread thrown in, too. It’s a dare of sorts. The timid, admitting defeat from the start, immediately portion off a mound of brisket and wrap it up for later consumption. But surrendering to arguably the tastiest pile of corned beef in the city is no way to live your life. Dive in and enjoy Slyman’s stacked masterpieces as if you’ve got a date with the executioner. Finishing the whole thing is easier than you think. Slyman’s Restaurant, 3106 St. Clair Ave., (216) 621-3760

 

bonus: Your name is Cleveland.

If you really want to know Cleveland, there’s only one person you need to ask: Cleveland himself. Cleveland C. Woodson IV, that is. (He’s an administrative fellow at MetroHealth.)

Q: The best thing about Cleveland is?

A: Probably my sense of humor.

Q: The worst thing about Cleveland is?

A: I’m a strict vegan. I’m not that easy to go to lunch with.

Q: How does Cleveland feel about Pittsburgh?

A: Eh. I don’t really care one way or the other.

Q: Cleveland’s best season is?

A: Fall. Without a doubt.

Q: The best Cleveland team ever?

A. My eighth-grade hockey team was really good.

Q: Do you believe in Cleveland?

A: If I don’t believe in myself, who will?

Q: Which was better for you, the ’90s or the 2000s?

A: Definitely the ’90s. The stock market was booming. It was great.

Q: What’s the future of Cleveland?

A: Hopefully furthering my health-care career.

Q: What’s Cleveland’s next big thing?

A: Well, I just started renovating my house. It’s going to be a lot of work.

 

+ 1 You own a Michael Stanley Band album.

From the mid-’70s to the mid-’80s, the Michael Stanley Band was always one huge hit away from becoming a nationwide household name. Though the group sold out a string of nights at Blossom Music Center, packed the Richfield Coliseum and shared bills with the Doobie Brothers, Bruce Springsteen and The Eagles, big-time fame eluded them. That’s not to say there weren’t hits. “He Can’t Love You,” “Midwest Midnight” and “My Town” all cracked the charts, but never propelled the band much beyond the Midwest. Of course, fans can still check out Stanley onstage several times a year and hear his voice as 98.5 WNCX’s afternoon DJ. www.michaelstanley.com

 

+ 1 You owned an Indians jersey during the ’90s with the name Vizquel, Ramirez, Thome, Baer-ga, Belle or Lofton on the back.

During the Indians’ heights as a Central Division giant, it seemed like everyone from toddlers in strollers to grandmothers at home listening to games on the radio owned a jersey with the name of a Tribe hero. Early this summer, when we stumbled across a rack of Victor Martinez jerseys at T.J. Maxx, it was a sad reminder of how slowly the faithful had warmed to the team’s new, younger lineup. But by the end of the season, things had changed. During the last home stand, Jacobs Field was lighting up nightly with the glow of pink “Mrs. Sizemore” baby-Ts. That convinces us we’ll be seeing the names Sizemore, Sabathia, Martinez, Peralta and Crisp on plenty of jerseys come spring.

 

+ 1 You’ve seen the orchestra more on Public Square than Severance Hall.

You want to get to Severance Hall to see our world-renowned orchestra. You really do. But being a Clevelander, you love a bargain, and the Cleveland Orchestra’s free Independence Day concerts on Public Square are the best bargain in town. The people-watching is much better than at Severance Hall too.

 

+ 1 You’ve attended a prom, company outing or class reunion on the Nautica Queen or the Goodtime III.

 

+ 1 You know the location of at least one Prohibition-era speakeasy. You think.

A few years ago architects renovating the Old Arcade found a secret elevator shaft that led to a hidden space. You immediately thought, “Speakeasy!” Prohibition didn’t curb Clevelanders’ love for drinking. It just prompted them to get more creative about it. Newspaper clips estimate there were more than 1,000 speakeasies in the city in 1934, the year after Prohibition ended.

 

SCORES
50+: Moses Cleaveland. Shout it from the top of the Terminal Tower: You are Cleveland.

40-49: Carl Stokes. Cleveland has made you what you are today. You should run for mayor.

30-39: Drew Carey. You cheerlead for Cleveland everywhere you go, and we love you for it.

20-29: LeBron James. You’re still kind of new on the scene, but you’ve embraced the city, so we’re happy to call you a Clevelander.

10-19: Joe Eszterhas. You’re the type who would leave town to make it big, and you’re not above embarrassing us, but we kind of like your spunk.

0-9: Art Modell. Get out of town.


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