Cleveland Housing Affordability

Monday, 28 April 2008

There are some good interactive utilities out there for determining housing affordability based upon various metrics. The Center for Neighborhood Technology has a Housing + Transportation Affordability Index and the New York Times has a calculator that determines whether it is better to rent or buy based upon selectable criteria. There’s also WalkScore, which determines the walkability of your residence to basic needs. My place gets a 68/100.

Before the housing disasterbacle here in Cleveland, affordability based upon the NYT calculator would have been giving me returns on home-ownership after 3 years. Who knows how that’s changed. The Housing and Transportation visual for Cleveland basically fit what I expected. The poorer areas with lower property taxes fit the criteria for affordability, while the nicer areas [outer rings, non-Cleveland-incorporated] are over the suggested benchmark. Of course, the map just provides basic data, there isn’t much interpretation going on in terms of statistical comparisons of other data associated with our area. The advanced menu is a bit more informative.


I don’t know why this wasn’t published a couple of days ago. The new version of WordPress has some weird bugs in it.

Life at home this week has been a flurry of task-dragon slaying. Every Thursday I clean a bit of the shed out back, piling up towers of junk on the curb for scrappers and the fantastic Cleveland Waste Management fellows to take care of. I’ve been cleaning and preparing the upstairs unit for a tenant, which results in multiple bike trips to Home Depot each night. I’ve been tagging some of my personal junk for a yard sale I’m going to have On May 24th. I had an idea to make it a Punk Rock Flea Market in honor of Punk Rock Softball, which I’m going to have to miss this weekend. It’d be sweet to have a bunch of Cleveland rockers show up and browse each other’s indie crap they don’t want anymore. Grills and beers and informality.

Sorting through all of the stuff upstairs has been an adventure, and it will be nice when the second half of the downstairs is complete, so that Debbie and I can arrange our stuff in some semblance of finality. It’d be nice to have space for the kid when he shows up too. There’s a ton of work that needs to happen there in preparation as well. I’m waiting until after the baby shower to ramp that up.

There’s so much going on, and I feel pulled in so many directions, that I’m almost shackled by indecision. Back to work.

Weekend Update

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Yesterday was a bit of a wash in terms of accomplishment. I had some appliances delivered ass-early in the morning, which turned out to be excellent, because by 9am I was at the hospital with Debbie. She’d been having erratic contractions all night and since she’s 32 weeks along Colleen our midwife had us come in for a checkup. Turns out Debbie’s cervix was 75% effaced, in preparation for labor. I was an early bird and it looks like the kid will be too. But not quite yet. They gave Debbie a drug that was originally used for asthmatics to stop the contractions, 2L of saline and a steroid shot for the kid to help develop his lungs in case he does come early. Apparently male lungs develop slower than females. Debbie had to go back to the hospital for another steroid shot today and she’s on 3 weeks of bed rest. Gotta keep him in there as long as possible

We were at the hospital for 6 hours, so I didn’t get to accomplish all the things I wanted in the morning, including having my friend Chris come and install a faucet, Punk Rock Softball, and hanging out with Rafeeq. Instead, it was time to clean and organize. I was emotionally and physically exhausted so I crashed at 9:30 and didn’t wake up until 8:15.

Today I just went ahead and installed the faucet myself. It took a couple of hours, but I did it well, and now the upstairs is ready for renters.


Monday, 21 April 2008

Forked over for some plant life this weekend. For the most part my yard takes care of itself, daffodils and tulips blooming everywhere and the roses starting their warm-up set. I had to repot some sort of succulent that I purchased in the depths of winter for my office, it is doing much better split between two pots 4 times the size of the original.

Peach BlossomsMy 4 peach trees are in full bloom [pictured], but I don’t know how to take care of them. The fig bush died from neglect, since I didn’t wrap it up during the winter. I need to dig up a peach tree too. The previous owner removed their apical meristems, so they only grow out, not up. Like I’ve been doing lately. The whole back yard needs tilled and leveled, but I won’t have time this year. Maybe this fall…been removing all of the decorative brick which was slowly submerging. Free bricks, come and get ’em.

Dug up a yew bush older than I am. Neighbor across the street said they’d been there as long as she’d lived there, over 30 years. Planted a lilac bush in its place. Got some sort of yellow flowering perennial, some Gerber daisies, some omnispermum and gifted crocus and hyacinth bulbs from Sandy.

All the grass in my front yard is dead.

This Dominion

Saturday, 19 April 2008

I evict. The most I must
kill is a mouse. A rat.
Just a tray of
clear glue. And then


It is said: dirt is matter out of place.
How long did it wait, unknowing, for
me? Unable to free its

I need pliers to clean
it. Reset
it. It
squealed. It took

three blows of
my hammer.


Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Apparently, if I behave myself, I’ll be allowed to catch the kid as Debbie pushes him out. I’ve been practicing. A few weeks ago I bought a catcher’s mitt; I’m softening it up with mink oil and keeping it wrapped around a softball to get a nice pocket created for the kid’s head.

Catching my son will be the best thing to ever happen to me.

Lottery League Recap

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Lottery LeagueTo all those who have negative things to say about the future of Cleveland, I submit the Lottery League.

I showed up to the Beachland about 20 minutes before the show started and stayed for the duration. The ache in my feet and knees today is a testament to the fact that I’m not as young as I used to be. However, the beer flowed like wine and I started out with a triple shot of Cuervo to get drunk as quickly as possible. I knew I’d have to be sober 7 hours later when the show ended. The tequila needed some playmates, so I had 3 Straub to balance things out. Then, they ran out of Straub. Straub is, I think, the cheap beer of choice for Cleveland rockers. Anyway.

Nothing cooler than last night is going to happen in Cleveland this year. Over 150 local musicians were randomly shuffled into 33 new bands; these bands had six weeks to make music for a 10 minute set at the Beachland Ballroom. The resulting music was an outstanding inversion of Sturgeon’s Law. There was a bit of everything from, Japanese pop [Dr. Widget] to death metal [Born Raped [OK, no one else probably thinks so, but I do.]] It was obvious that some bands took their League status very seriously, while other were out to have a fun time. Yeah, a few of the bands sucked, but then there were bands like Free Moments and Postcards From Foreign Shores who sent me shrapneled in different musical directions. The first few bands had shows with their official bands later in the evening [Hot Cha Cha was playing in Detroit, I believe] and the last few had the tough job of pumping up the music-wearied masses that came to The Big Show.

The ballsiest band, in terms of their angle, was Semper Fi. A bit of performance art punk rock that involved Abu Ghraib references and Nazi salutes. I don’t think anyone knew what to make of it, but thankfully there was The Big Show mascot rambling around variously as a bear, a parrot, and a crocodile [at one point the crocodile suit was on backwards so the tail became an engorged reptilian phallus.] One of the bands had a dude in a panda suit. Secret Cleveland Furrys?

There was also plenty of swag, well made T-shirts, programs, tickets and the greatest collection of local music for sale outside of Music Saves. The sheer collaborative momentum behind the event is a testament to what Clevelanders can do when they believe in something. I talked about this with several people throughout the night, but most notably, Pat from Pat’s in the Flats. The Cleveland music scene doesn’t compete, they cooperate, and all are better for it. That’s why we get to have awesome events like the Lottery League and Straight Outta Compound.

Of course, I took some video. Swayze All Over:

and Postcards From Foreign Shores:

More on the Lottery League: