Cleveland Bears Witness. Again.

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After yesterday’s “Decision,” Clevelanders took to downtown much like they did after the last “Decision,” but this time, the vibe was totally different.

There were random chants of “LBJ!”, high-fives to strangers clearly united through the struggles of being a Cleveland sports fan.

In 2010, I was as hurt as anyone was, when I read that LeBron was determined to bring a championship to Cleveland, when I saw the way the city received him wherever he was, our love for him was rooted in something deeper than basketball. For as long as I can remember, it was always difficult bringing sports talent to Cleveland. Sure, we had a few big names pass through, but they were either in the twilight of their career (Rison, Hershiser, Kemp, etc.), or we groomed them in to superstars and then they soon departed. That hard truth suggested that the only way we were going to retain any talent here, was if we cultivated it ourselves. And so we did.

In 2003, our prayers were answered. The drafting of LeBron translated to hope. Not just for our struggling basketball team but, for the city, the region as a whole to rally around. Having grown up in the area, we rested easy on the fact that he knew what it meant to be a Cleveland sports fan, he knew how important his presence was, he was our hero.

For seven years, the city experienced a kind of excitement I had never seen before. We were perennial contenders and for once, even those dreaded self-loathing Clevelanders couldn’t deny our potential.

So when he left, well… You saw it on tv.

There was a reaction like no other, people felt betrayed, abandoned.. Being the product of a blue-collar region, we knew that he respected hard-work, resilience, being hard nosed, etc.. When he took the “easier way” to a ring, people denounced him.

Fast forward to yesterday, our reaction to the decision 2.0 wasn’t us getting back on the bandwagon, it was us celebrating the fact that “‘Bron gets it.”

Reading that letter, it’s clear, he understands what he means to this region.. Anywhere else, he’s just the best basketball player in the league. Here?! His value here is immeasurable.

As a city/region, our biggest import is people. Believe it or not, LeBron’s return is as much a part of our “brain gain,” as anyone elses’ arrival here.

Long story short, this is bigger than basketball. It’s about Cleveland and our region. Just look.

Welcome home LeBron.

Enjoy “Cleveland Nights” At Four Cleveland Recreation Centers This Summer

The City of Cleveland and Cleveland Foundation today announced that an $80,000 foundation grant will keep four city recreation centers open until 11 p.m. four nights a week throughout the summer, starting on June 18.

The “Cleveland Nights” program, launched in 2012 with a grant from the Cleveland Foundation,  supported extended hours and special programming at four city rec centers over the past two summers. More than 22,000 adults and young people have taken advantage of the “Cleveland  Nights” program.

“This grant from the Cleveland Foundation will provide a safe place for youth to be where they  will have organized activities that will ensure hours of fun during their summer break,” said  Mayor Frank G. Jackson.  The four city rec centers that are part of the “Cleveland Nights” program are: Cudell (1910 West Blvd.), Glenville (680 E. 113 St.), Lonnie Burten (2511 E. 46 St.) and Zelma George (3155 MLK Jr. Blvd.). The centers will remain open until 11 p.m. every Wednesday through Saturday  beginning June 18 through August 9.

Each rec center will have midnight basketball leagues for the youth, as well as game room activities and swimming programs. “In 2012, our board of directors approved a grant to extend rec center hours as a way of keeping  more young people positively engaged over the summer months,” said Robert E. Eckardt, executive vice president of the Cleveland Foundation.

“We are thrilled with the number of young people who have taken advantage of this program and hope that even more will participate in this safe and free neighborhood activity this summer.”

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How To Navigate Around Movie Filming Downtown

I’m sure the filming of the Avengers or Captain America is fresh in your head, so you know, as new movies are shot here, traffic patterns change.

With that being said, the newest movie to use the city as a backdrop, Criminal Activities, will begin filming TODAY (May 27, 2014).

The schedule below reflects street and/or lane closures that you may encounter during production. Please plan ahead and use alternate routes. Thank you for your patience and for supporting Cleveland’s film industry. Please be on the lookout for reminders and updates.

untitled1 untitledThanks Straight from City Hall!

My Most Recent Trip To New York Reminded Me Why I Love CLE..

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After spending a week in New York, you’d think I’d be smitten with NY but, you’d be wrong. It was this most recent trip to New York that reminded me why I love Cleveland so much.. For one, it’s easier to navigate through our city, you don’t have to study subway maps that resemble a plate of angel hair pasta, in order to get around. It’s cheaper, looking at rent, cost-of-living, etc.. in NY, it’s a laughable comparison of what $500K will get you here vs. there (S/O Global Cleveland). Less people = less stress.. Cleveland has space! You can park virtually anywhere here, for cheap! In addition to all that, New York stinks and is filthy. There are very few recycle bins for public use (S/O Sustainable Cleveland 2019) or otherwise, and the people are just offensively rude!

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What has always puzzled me though, was the popular quote, “New York, if you can make it there.. You can make it anywhere.”

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Honestly, New Yorkers have it terribly easy, I would’ve been rich by now if I was based in NY. You can set up shop on any corner and sell used newspaper if you wish, with all the people there, you could probably carve out a living for yourself.

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 TRY THAT HERE.

I always admired Cleveland’s resourcefulness, resilience, hustle.. and usually  point to Steve Harvey as a shining example of the Cleveland Hustle. If you ask me, he’s not that funny.. But, he worked the stage as a stand-up comedian, took that experience and transitioned in to radio, he then became a best-selling author with his books on relationship-advice and finally parlayed that in to a day-time, Oprah-esqe tv show.

Honestly, did he have the credentials to do half of the the aforementioned?!?!!! I’m gonna go out on a limb and say OR NAH.. But, before you think I’m downing him, recognize that I am crowning him.. He saw opportunity and seized it at every occassion. He recognized when the “trap” dried up and moved to his next hustle like a real Clevelander. We don’t have the market NY has, building anything longstanding here takes time and comes with a lot of pitfalls. With that knowledge, I understand why we export so many people, because we can take that “hustle” that’s in our DNA and be wildly successful in other markets.

I visit other cities and notice at how lethargic business people are. Talk about “suffering from success.”

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I am constantly reminded of what makes this city great. I just hope that we all see it in our travels and return with greater appreciation of this land we call home. #CLEVELANDOVEREVERYTHING.