despite the heat advisory, I brought my son to swim. ninety-four degrees on July 4th and Cleveland has been grilling ribs since 9AM and bottle rocket blasting since June 15th. My son runs off - but Antonio, thumbprinted mark of Cain beshouldered, ever-belligerent, redmopped stutterer with metal-backed teeth - comes to spit self-conscious impudence. He may sway to full-bore bully in annum but now the question growling in his seven-year skull remains unanswered. I father at him, a learned herding, outflank, astray, askance, a thwart to de-rile his style. Girls with fresh breasts, too shy to show their bikinis under shirt, come tell me how cute my son is. Girls not much younger take turns sitting on spout of fountainspray, hands trickling down... ever all-pursued by some omnipresent brown brawl of boys, stumble-tongued and puppy-eager. And I feel my age as the only parent here - adrift of vigor - cross-legged on a threadbare blanket palms flat into ground grit - A tart magnanimity, and all these young running to be old. As children suspect we withhold - I clutch this. It is right to keep from them. The patrimony, my first taste of entropy as cool lemonade. I died when my life became my child's. Already my blood only heats between hot concrete and sky blaze. As something done grown, I watch this pack of growing things. A soggy neon ellipsis with spirals of water flung as it flies. A poor throw brings the ball to the feet of Antonio and the children all shout his name. All shout his name. A bend and I see fingers squeeze water; drops stutter poolside, the metal creak of the lifeguard stand. ALL shout his name. A choice made but inept arm betrays - launched in the general vicinity of no one. An eruption of water and from the scrum suddenly the whole pool is playing catch. Old men and lifeguards, my son astride my shoulders arms aloft and we all shout his name. All brought to life for what I'll remember as - amid sun and the shadows of lost dogs - the moment when Antonio was king.
I got an unexpected free haircut today from the ladies who run the Gentlemen’s Barber Shop in Tremont. Apparently they’ve gotten some business from my Tremonter posting about the place. I tried to talk them out of it, but there was no dice. They wouldn’t even take a tip. I’m just glad to know that I helped out a local business. I finally got back a few pieces that I took to have framed at Kelly-Randall Gallery awhile back. I got an unexpected 20% off there since I’m a resident and have gotten several things framed there now. Living in Tremont has its unexpected perks.
One of those perks is not nearly gagging from steel mill sulphur first thing in the morning after leaving my apartment though.
Almost a year ago I made my first Google Map for the redesign of the TWiFi site. I didn’t touch the API again until I finally started redesigning Tremonter a few months back. The idea for creating a neighborhood map for Tremont had been rattling around in my head since I first started the site, but I knew how tedious the work would be and so kept putting it off.
Now that the Tremont map is finally taking shape, I must admit that the tedium is still present, but is currently outweighed by the fact that the map looks so cool. I’d better be careful though, or I’ll start putting Google Maps on everything.
The downside to this is that the extra step will mean that the old MT links won't redirect to Drupal like they do in previous versions of the conversion. Currently it looks as though there is no way to port phpBB forums into a Drupal installation, so I'll just have to lock down that DB once the integrated functionality of Drupal goes live.
I also had dinner on Sunday at La Tortilla Feliz, which was delicious, although just a little bit more expensive than the quality/amount of the food would suggest. Patrick told me this well over a year ago. I'll probably stop in often when I get the craving for fried plantains though. Man those things are delicious. Please share any plaintain recipes that you have.
But that sort of laudation is a distant second to the true benefit that I have derived from the site. Through it, I've made connections with Lou Muenz, Matt Wascovich and R.A. Washington: independent soldiers of the Cleveland art and music. These guys are the ones who bring me out of my grim moods after a day in my cubicle and make me want to stay up late on weeknights, even if they don't know it. These guys are my friends.
When someone messes with my friends, I get pissed. The night before last, The Cleveland Church, The Church of Ayler, The Best Unsung Music Club in Cleveland was shut-down by the Second District Vice Squad for an occupancy violation. Nevermind the rampant reports of theft, nevermind the crack-dealers and knifings, The Cleveland Police Department has bigger fish to fry.
Including, apparently, a struggling music venue like The Church.
THE HEAD VICE DETECTIVE ACTUALLY SAID, â€œI GUESS SOMEONE HAS A VENDETTA AGAINST YOU.â€?
This is not the first time that a vendetta has resulted in the closing of a Tremont institution. The Starkweather had been a bar at the corner of Starkweather and Scranton for years. In the first year that I moved to Tremont it was completely restored to the beautiful brick building it is now. They had the best dart boards in the neighborhood and poured a good pint of Guinness. But one man with a vendetta managed to hassle and keep them closed just long enough for them to run out of money.
This must not happen to The Church. First off, they have no money. The Church is not around to make a profit. They are around to provide young Cleveland residents with music they like at a price they can afford. Tickets are never more than $5, and it is a lucky month where they make enough to pay rent or fix the PA system. The Church makes no more noise than the Guatemalan Pentecostal Church that had occupied the space previously. At least The Church of Ayler keeps its doors closed during its services.
The Church provided a venue for bands whose experimental nature and emerging sound would not be accepted at places like The Grog Shop or the House of "Blues". Unsigned bands, touring on their own dime, knew they could play at The Church and crash on the floor after the show. Steve Goldberg had his first reading as a featured poet there. Transgendered and feminist bands were welcome, bands with homemade instruments, bands with no instruments, bands from around the country and international knew of The Church as a place where they would be welcome. Tremont was revitalized exactly because of places like this.
This is the exact type of space that Cleveland needs. This is disruptive innovation at its heart and soul. This is economic development. And it has been shut down because of a vendetta and lack of vision. It sets a bad example and a bad precedent as well. Hundreds [and I'm not kidding] of young Cleveland residents now hate their city a little bit more, will be a little more likely to leave Cleveland, have a little less faith [as if there was any to begin with] in justice among city government. Other people will be less inclined to provide a venue for fringe bands both national and international to play. These bands will have no place to play in Cleveland and will drive on through to play in Chicago or Detroit or Columbus or Pittsburgh or Buffalo. Cleveland becomes poorer.
R.A. Washington is DJing tonight at Lava Lounge in the hopes of raising enough money to reopen The Church. Please stop in if you can. If you can offer assistance dealing with the mad wall of bureaucracy that is City Hall, please do. If you love The Church, help keep it open. If you love Cleveland, take a stand.
Apologies for the purple prose. You can see all my pictures from The Church here.
The night before last I met a relatively new Tremont resident for beer and tacos at the Lincoln Park Pub. We spent nearly two hours chatting about the various places we’d lived in Indiana, job prospects and how to fix Cleveland. Yesterday I was going to write more about this, but due to a power outage, I had no internet access. They ended up sending us home from work at 11, after nearly three hours of sitting in the dark. So, I did what any red-blooded American man would do with an extra 4 hours of time in a day; I went shopping. I finally found a replacement hoodie, even though it is brown, not black, slightly distressed and from a company called American Rag. At least it doesn’t have a logo on it and I am now warm. It does have an inside breast pocket which will be perfect for my camera when I’m out and about.
When I got back to Tremont, Rafiq needed a ride out to E.91st and St. Clair so I took him and a friend out there and spent a solid forty minutes talking poetry and the artistic process with the friend. I’ve forgotten his name because I’m a jerk. Friend is going to LA for a few months for some intensive writing with a creative partner in crime and from the few glimpses I had of the work he has done and has planned, he’s going to create some fierce stuff.
The weather yesterday was the sort that only appears in the fall. Brisk and mostly cloudy, mostly nimbus but ragged in shape and errant in movement that light from the sun kept leaking around them all and making the whole day into a fleeting golden hour.
I’ve got so much web-based work to do that I’m considering dropping the $50/mo it would cost to have internet access at home again. The redesign of Tremonter is moving fitfully, I’m having to teach myself much mySQL, and Drupal’s documentation assumes a certain level of developer expertise that I’m just now getting. The interactive Google API–driven neighborhood map I have plans for hasn’t even been glanced at. I run into too many people that I know at Civilization to accomplish much, and the Jefferson Library disallows FTP access. I’ll probably just ride on over to Talkies.
Actually, it looks like Adelphia has a $24/mo for 3/mos deal going on if you sign up online. Of course, there is a $35 activation fee along with that and their online sign-up form is busted. So much for that deal.