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 68100.

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: