Like other rustbelt cities, Cleveland is a complicated mix of beauty and misery, with attempts at revitalization and urban renewal struggling against the effects of abandoned industry and declining population. How we got to this point and what to do about it are hot topics in these times, and President Obama has evidently decided Cleveland is a good place to try to drum up some support and enthusiasm, so he’ll be giving a speech there later today. Popular wisdom says that his failure to put a fire in the belly of the people will have us running back to the arms of those who brought us to this dance. The choice: limited, cautious plans that don’t ever seem to be enough, or no plans whatsoever … what a conundrum.
I will leave it to others to discuss the politics and implications offered by Cleveland’s example, and simply say that I think it’s a beautiful place, and would love to spend some more time there.