Thursday, January 31, 2013

last Chinese building on Rockwell

There are twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. We are finishing the year of the Dragon, the year of the Snake is upcoming (Feb 10, 2013 – Jan 30, 2014). I have enjoyed the several year public art project which has a slew of decorated fiberglass animals, but wondered what the snake would look like. The few examples i have seen, have the snake coiled around something. Some animals are more festive than others. This is an unrelated permanent installation on Rockwell. Cleveland's Chinatown used to be about here, in recent years many old buildings have been demolished, and new construction has replaced some. The one remaining Chinese business building has had much renovation, being financed from Zhongshan. The statues and artistic work is new from overseas.
The grill work and trim is impressive.
note: man in day-glo neon is not Chinese

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

library art

 25 January 2013. The library had historical play scenes for children.
The first work of federal art in Cleveland is Ora Coltman's three scene, three piece 'The Dominance of the City'. It had been in the basement lecture room, it is now on the third floor of the Main Library Bldg. It had been on three walls, the left painting was on the right (and vice versa). They and works of two artists were installed, in the library, in 1934 as part of the Public Works of Art Project. The federal government was engaged in implementing Franklin Roosevelt's 'New Deal'. People were with little work, without incomes, and there were too few customers and employers. The federal government became the answer, many things were created, lives were bettered, and the work is often with us still. There were idiots upset with this (we have them still, being wrong is not reason for them to change their opinion).
Saint Theodosius (Greek Catholic and Russian Orthodox) 1911
The new skyscraper, Ohio Bell Bldg., was very recently eclipsed by the Terminal Tower in height. Coltman paints it in a haze. In the central canvas the bridges over the Cuyahoga are shown. The third painting is the neighborhood about St. Theodosius on the nearest south side (west side). The houses are a bit idealised.

This was not the first time Coltman *1858, 1940† painted the subject. He was from the village of Shelby in Richland County, had European training, and sometimes lived in Cleveland. Something caught his attention. Theodosius was not the only onion domed church in the neighborhood, and it would be interesting to know whether Coltman ever became familiar, or even stepped inside. He would have called the language 'foreign', and the people too.
Ora Coltman. Little Russia, Cleveland (View of Tremont from the Clark Ave. Bridge). 1926.
The bridge in 1985 did not come down easily.
That field Alice stands is called I-490 and West 7th ramp to-day. 
Coltman was the architect over three Carnegie Libraries. Near St. Theodosius, on Jefferson, there is a library that he gifted a painting with his grand-daughter in the foreground. One sees the church, and thinks Russia. Nicholas II sent some money, and the Orthodox wanted to coax the people, while the Latin church was abusive and prickly. These Clevelanders were from Carpathia and of Rusyn (Ruthene) nationality. Certainly this distinction was not made by English speaking Clevelanders. Contrasted to New England and Middle West architecture, and XXth century architecture no building in the city compared to it. I would like to see this image shown to people, and have them surmise and suppose the time and place.
Clarence E. Van Duzer. Neighborhood. 1985.
with St. Theodosius, and extinct Wheeling & Lake Erie Vertical Lift Railroad Bridge near Clark Avenue 
Another of those libraries, Brooklyn Branch, there is a metal landscape with St. Theodosius, and a bridge. The building is still distinct.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Incident at Washington Park

On 2 May 2010, about 1 o'clock people were gathered in the line up area for a Polish Constitution Parade in Washington Park, Newburgh Heights, on the border of Cleveland, Ohio.  A 67 year old driver, with a history of bad driving, lost control of his car while attempting to park. He crashed into the Rhodes High School Marching Band. He hit three kids and a parent. One big kid, got caught under the car. The car ran over him, and his face scraped pavement. He was very badly dinged.  Fortunately, he was big. I thought a smaller person would have seen death. He, eventually, after a period of surgery and several months of recovery, could walk.
 the confused driver, who hit the gas instead of the brake
 The noise was sickeningly peculiar. The Newburgh Heights Police station was yards away. There were cops of two municipalities, park rangers on site. Ambulances, and firemen came quickly. A friend of mine, who was one of the marchers, had been a nurse, and she was there before the emergency personnel.
 Congressman Dennis Kucinich with red tie
the instruments sat for some time before retrieval

Monday, January 28, 2013

Cuyahoga Indian

In the front and back of the fifth Cuyahoga County court house are pairs of bronze doors. On the doors are Indians in headdresses. One of each pair is dated 1908, the other 1911. Jno. Williams, Inc. of New York City was the foundry that cast these bronze doors.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

photographs of abandoned places #7&8

Cedar and Ashland
 Cleveland Railway (not the only one in town, but that one is occupied)
 peeping underneath a loading dock door, a lot of old tires in the building
and across the street
  Westinghouse Electric (not the only one in town, but that one is occupied)
East 55th is a long street, deviate east, and some west and there are hulks of brick and boards. Much of the east side is vacant. 

This was an industrial building, but it was built in some sort of aesthetic sensibility. Sandstone accents (lintels, ledges and corbels) with the brickwork. This is not the original presentation. The color of the bricks, and a few bricks remaining from arch formation, indicate the six window sections came on a later remodel.
 I think part of the fallen in building was used in the filming of The Avengers, 1912.
This window faces Cedar. I appreciate the brick work. This took extra time, this would not be done now. The sun was quite bright on 19 January, and bleached the foto, some tweaking was done by me in editing.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

photographs of abandoned places #6

Warner & Swasey   
 near northeast corner Carnegie & E.55th. 
 they made lathes, machine tools, and telescope parts
I found to-day (Jan. 21) this excellent sight where photographs of the insides of some of the same buildings i pictured are photographed: Great Lakes Urban Exploration. On another site, Rustwire, the inside of this building was fotoed.

Friday, January 25, 2013

photographs of abandoned places #5

 Cleveland Co-operative Stove Co.
East 67th & Central, Cleveland, O.
The XIXth century painting is hard to make out now. They started out with coal stoves, and then gas. There (looks to me) are two big, completely rusted signs, with paint vanished, but some impression left reading, "O-Cedar", which had made furniture polish, car wax, and mops. The old, and still busy Pennsylvania Railroad line runs adjacent.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Saranac Yards

Collinwood Rail Yard coal tipple
Saranac Avenue intersects E.152nd Street, and then a bridge goes over the rails, on the other side is the old main entrance to the yards, and Darwin to the west. When these were the New York Central yards, and even later there were many buildings, including dormitories and a engine garage with a turntable in front. During the end of the anti-Hitlerite War, this multi-bay coal tipple was built to accommodate the loading of coal tenders. By the end of the 1950s, diesel locomotives had made this superfluous. 

Cleveland was a very important rail center. The first growth of Collinwood was because of the railroad. Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway set up shop in the mid 1870s after looking for a flat place midway between Buffalo and Toledo. The village was in Euclid township.

In 1877 a mission church of St. Paul Euclid (suppressed by Lennon 2009) was built at Saranac and Aspinwall. The first St. Joseph was built on Saranac and Aspinwall. Collinwood was annexed by Cleveland in 1910. The then new high school was nicknamed the Railroaders. Manpower expanded at the yards before and after the Depression of the 1930s. By the 1980s there had been continual shrinkage, jobs were taken away, and buildings levelled. St. Joseph built a new church/school on St. Clair Avenue to the south in 1921. The parish was merged into St. Aloysius in 1994, while the school stayed open for some years thereafter.                  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Obama's Second Inaugural Address

A good and interesting speech, of course different people will highlight different things. The so called 'news' likes to 'balance', which here means giving platform to whiny, hypocritical, Republicans and their paid barkers. The sensible person must work to tune that out.

President Barack Obama sketched out his vision of America in these political times. He refers to the Jeffersonian vision twice, and wants it to be achieved.
That is our generation's task - to make these words, these rights, these values - of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness - real for every American.
The most poetic line refers to the War for the Union, and how its outcome reflected on the achievement of the Jeffersonian ideal, that Lincoln came to understand.
Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free.
This was the dramatic episode of the country's history, and although decided on the battlefield, and formalised in law; it has not been accepted by all, to-day.

Jefferson the founder of the Democratic party, the political Prometheus of America; and Lincoln the first Republican president, and the only actual giant amongst them, and who would now be completely alien to them all. While every Democrat must be a Jeffersonian, there are no Lincolns in his (Republican) party. Jefferson, and Lincoln, are not only giants in American history, but also the world's.

Sometimes his (Obama's) cadence and faded delivery of a sentence's final word is reminiscent of a ministerial pulpit. The rest of the speech limns out the liberal and progressive programme that has been supported by the country since Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. Here it is somewhat like a campaign speech, but far more like a State of the Union address to Congress, and within skewers the unreasonable opposition. He uses the collective first person 'we' sixty-eight times, 'us' twenty times, and 'our' seventy-seven times.
We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. 
And then he contrasts this collective agreement to its deniers. Here Kevin Drum lists them,  specifically:
  • To Mitt Romney: "The commitments we make to each other through Medicare and Medicaid and Social not make us a nation of takers."
  • To the climate change denialists: "Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms."
  • To the neocons: "We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war."
  • To the voter suppression gangs in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and elsewhere: "Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote."
  • To the NRA: "Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm."
  • To the entire tea party wing of the GOP: "We cannot mistake absolutism for principle or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate."
Barack Obama, at least here in this speech, is not speaking to the obstructionists and the opponents, but to the American people to elucidate the common consensus. Monday was the celebration of a successful dream of  Martin King, on the day dedicated to him. It is not so much that both men share African forebears. Though slavery was not strictly a race [it was economic, and political] issue, it was so practically one that it must be recognised. Obama, in his person, triumphed over it; and King's dream of a more just American society is possible. 

There is a north south divide in the United States, and historically it is ironic. Those who wanted to split the Union in defense of slavery, were adamantly against Lincoln and the Republican party. Their entire progeny are now Republicans, and they have no love of Lincoln. They do have an animus against Obama and the Democracy. This animus exists outside the South, but it is allied to other positions, many based on economic royalism, and arch-reactionary conservativism.

The only other theme that Obama includes, and it is of a different nature, is the inclusion of a 'gay' community. It is to be noted that there has been little hubbub about this amongst the critics, it appears to be a settled political matter; although a large portion of people will not countenance such acceptance. It is not an economic argument of contention.
postscriptum: Yesterday, John Boehner realised this in a speech to the Ripon (his party was founded in Ripon, Wisc. 1854) Society. “And let me just tell you, I do believe that is their goal — to just shove us into the dustbin of history.”

photographs of abandoned places #4

Protestant Church. Cleveland, O.
1167 Hayden & Castalia.  Cleveland, O.

8 August 2011

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

hands no longer swift

from East 83rd &Carnegie. Cleveland, O.
was there 8 August 2011, is no more power to clock was off
This and several other sign fotos of signs i am posting, others have put on foto sites, and have been snapped by the local papers' photographers. Here, 'Swifty' says it is 7.41, go use a search engine for pictures and see, this subject, photographed by others, and  notice the time. People notice the same things, and the signs were made to attract attention and be read. And they are far, far better, than the gigantic electronic, and blinding screens put up. Current American freedom is defined by giving commercial interests unfettered license to assault the public. At one time, they had some restraint, and some sense of artistic taste. Gaudiness had limits. Some of these, when they disappear will have some regret and nostalgia kick in. The abominations we are confronted with now, if they go, will not be lamented. 

Some will say people have always had these complaints, perhaps true to some degree, but over reaching crap is still over reaching crap; and if they won't police themselves, the public in the form of government, if needs be, should intervene. Now, we are also troubled by pseudo-anarchistic libertarians, whom are only tools of moneyed interests. So many of them have no problem with government's power to engage in war, and intrusive 'security' practices. Kill people thousands of miles away, crack a protestor's head here, spy on your library activity, and pay for all these 'defense' expenditures, but do nothing to hinder the unscrupulous to fleece you. The flow of money from the many to the few must be respected, and facilitated.

Monday, January 21, 2013

whistling hounds

Broadview & Brookpark, Cleveland, O. 14 March 2010.

20 January 2013.
A verdigris garbage bag allows one to advertise for a tax preparation firm.
Couple days before a guy in a gorilla suit was doing the same for a mobile phone company across the street.
At least the kid/guy would be warm. Miss Liberty has a job for 3½ months, sometimes Uncle Sam shows up. Each year for years Miss Liberty is there. The business used to be in the strip mall across the street, across the city line.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

presidential update

Obama '08. East 30th & Payne. Cleveland, O.
Obama '12
They were right both times. I am surprised there were not more about town.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

neat street foto of Fleet

north side Fleet Bridge overpass I-77
Irish, Czech, Slovene, Slovak flags
29 April 2012

Thursday, January 17, 2013

what says the mockingbird?

mockingbird near Lake Erie northeast Ohio on 13 January '13

photographs of abandoned places #3

 Fifth Church of Christ Scientist. Cleveland, O. 1926.
 signage removed
Do not see too many days for this beautiful ruin left. It has been vacant since 1989. The cornerstone was lain in 1926. 

The members of this sect, Christian Science, must have had members flush with money. At least five monumental buildings in Cleveland proper: First Church of Christ Scientist in 1900 later became Lane Metropolitan Christian Methodist Episcopal (which once was Cleveland's largest Black church, but in recent years has had an embezzling pastor, and a lightning strike; First Church of Christ Scientist built another one above University Circle in 1931, it sold in 2001 and now houses a design firm; Second Church on Euclid Avenue 1916, which is now Pentecostalist; Fourth Church of Christ Scientist on E.105th & Chester 1918, which is now Pentecostalist; and this one is on West 117th & Lake, on the Cleveland side of the Lakewood border. Some of these had replaced a more modest one, the Third was also a modest one and was sold to Pentecostalists. Lakewood's (Doric temple) Christian Science 1922 was sold commercial in 2005, and is vacant and for sale now.

This Fifth Church from 1991 to 2002 it was owned by the neighboring supermarket grocer next door. That site is currently gone, as well as a couple other businesses.  Empty foundational basements are visible, and demolition vehicles are working on the property. A new shopping center is planned.  From 2002, the owner of the church is the City of Cleveland. The city has spent c. $300,000 on the church recently.
The buff sandstone from Birmingham, Erie County, Ohio was cut and set to form a spreading, mottled pattern. Inside, there once was handsome marble, and limestones, and fine woodwork, and quality upholstered chairs.
The stone about the dome and cupola were painted yellow after the closing of the church in 1989. The cupola is open to pigeons. Multi-colored tiles covered the dome, and cupola of a drum walled dome sitting on an octagonal building of sandstone of a handsome building.
postscriptum: building is gone, demolished Octoer 2016

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

stone birds

 maybe, most impressive stone eagle in town, with wreath and twin cornucopi√¶
 West Side Market Cleveland
 pair of eagles old East Ohio Gas building, Cleveland, O.
 former Bank of Cleveland, Garfield Heights, O.
old bank East 55th & Broadway, Newburgh, Cleveland, O. 
old St. John Cantius School
a pair of owls perched on books at Wilbur Wright School, Cleveland O.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Browns Stadium

Cleveland has an NFL team. It has recently been purchased by a billionaire. The football stadium is owned by the city. The billionaire owner has sold the naming of the stadium to an electrical utility company. The electricity to the stadium comes from a municipally owned electrical utility. They are two different entities. The upkeep of the stadium is paid by the city through the collection of a special tax on alcohol and tobacco sales inside Cuyahoga County. 

Sometimes the church speaks about 'a preferential option for the poor'. The government in the United States does everything it can to provide 'a preferential option for the rich'.

The local television has been reporting on this interviewing 'fans' in saloons. What is their reaction to the name change (not the city ownership, and taxpayer issues)? It seems the new owner is supported in everything, and the only question to be considered is the reaction to the name change. Previously, Mike Polk called the stadium, the Factory of Sadness.

People note they are 'fortunate' that the new name will not evoke snickers. For some years the new basketball/hockey arena was called "Gund Arena". Maybe, you don't read that funny; well try saying that fast, and a consonant drops out, and it sounds like a social disease.

Now look at the picture, before the new sign comes up. 'Cleveland Browns' ? Look if they want honesty, should it not be the 'Cleveland Greys'??

But, they can name it officially anything at all. People can still refer to it as they wish, though they will be incorrected by incorrectionists. I have no problem in calling, practically, everything by the name i heard it called first (and that was heard by my early childhood ears, coming out of the mouths of many people, now, long time dead—that is how language and historical memory is preserved), and am confounded, that, so few do. I am a language conservative, to the point of reactionary, when a change is compulsorily prescribed.

fortune writing

Advertising is an assault on truth, far more than it is accurate. I dislike the uniquely American  concept of 'boosterism' [See: Sinclair Lewis', Babbitt]. They are manufactured braggadocio, disguised as enthusiasm, and quite often for private profit.

I've quoted the other 1920s Minnesota boy before:
Advertising is a racket, like the movies and the brokerage business. You cannot be honest without admitting that its constructive contribution to humanity is exactly minus zero.—F. Scott Fitzgerald
Fortune cookie writing, is a limited market. Few pearls are found in those shells. I have discussed this before. I thought it was done, and it would still be funny, although some supposedly object, for a cookie message to have a preamble: 'Confucius says'. Recently, i found this beauty supra. Generally, the tendency is to blandness, and not toward edginess.   I requested for my three readers to send me a good message. I am still waiting.

Some people find little difference between the cookie, and paper. Of course, there are many delightful cookies. After last Sunday's Mass, there was a Polish cookie table in the gym. On the drive home, i heard Peter Sagal say he liked cookies, and suggested someone in a Kansas City cookie store to send him one; but fortune cookies are slight.