Sunday, June 05, 2005

Cleveland Rocks!

Its one of the official slogans of Cleveland and this last (and the upcoming) weekends will qualify as such. I had the pleasure of entertaining a few Canadians over the weekend. The main reason for their trip south of the border was to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (short: Rockhall).

On Saturday the weather was nice and after having an outdoor lunch at the Riverwalk Cafe I took them on a small tour of Cleveland. After starting on the westbank of the Flats (I always start there since I live there... hehe) we drove through downtown via MLK boulevard to University Circle, then to Little Italy, Coventry (CLE Heigts), Fairmount and ending in Beachwood to show 'm where I work. They were utterly impressed with the houses along Fairmount and now think of Cleveland in a better way than the 'mistake-by-the-lake'.

After Beachwood it was off to the Metroparks, but we started with a quick detour through Gates Mills and the Chagrin River Valley to end-up in Chagrin Falls for some ice-cream. Well deserved on an 85 F day. We continued our 'nature-drive' through the South Chagrin Reservation ending in the Bedford Reservation with a quick hike around the Bridal Veil Falls area. With one more stop at the Tinker Gorge lookout it was time to head back into town.

We decided to check out the music scene and found two interesting concerts: one at the Grog Shop in Coventry and one at the Fat Fish Blue right downtown on the corner of Ontario (the Canadians liked that one...) and Prospect. First things first, so it was dinner at Shooters. What better place to be then at the waterfront on a day like that. Next stop: Grog Shop. We walked in around 9pm and the place was apparently not open yet. Go figure, 9pm on a Saturday night, concert planned and not open yet... Anyway, since we felt like dinosaurs around there, we decided that we would feel more at ease (at least age-wise) at the Fish and headed back downtown.

Good choice. The band playing at Fat Fish Blue was the 'Eugene Ross Band'. Well known in the Cleveland music scene, but for all others: Eugene Ross was a vocalist with 'The Platters' and the 'Commodores'. It was a great mix of Funk, Blues, Soul and Rock. When it was time for the requests we asked for 'Brick House' (a Commodores song) and when they started playing it, the house responded. People started dancing on the floor, moving their feet on the bar stools, the works. And the band was jammin'...

All good things come to an end, but that means more oppurtunities for other good things, and getting some shut-eye was one of them since on Sunday the main part of the tour was on: the Rockhall.

After breakfast at Nicks on Lorain Ave in Ohio City we headed for the Rockhall. Its one of the highlights of every music-loving visitor to the Cleveland area. This time one of the visitors had his own band and we were bugging him when he was going to be inducted. Ah well, visiting it is just as much fun and interesting. One highlight: the Jimmy Hendrix exhibit. The concert video, the memoriabilia and , surprisingly, his art-work. Yep, in his younger years he was an aspiring artist in more ways than playing a guitar. Too bad the drugs got the better of him, but it probably also gave us the songs as his legacy. Just listen to the rif of Voodoo Child. Thank you Jimmy!!

All trips have 3 parts; the part to the destination, the destination itself and the return-part. It was unfortunately already time for the Canadians to head back up. Always sad to see friends leave, but greatful for the memories we made during the weekend. Thanks Joel and Chris. We'll do it again sometime.


Pseudo-intellectual lunatic said...

great blog....a good read!

Anonymous said...

You managed to make a completely un-appealing city sound appealing. Wish I lived in _that_ Cleveland for two years! ;-)