Cleveland Housing Affordability

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

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.


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

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.


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

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: