Sunday, May 21, 2017

off Fleet, by Lansing

On Broadway, between Miles and Harvard there is the Newburg post office. That is the neighborhood in Cleveland which is "Slavic Village". This neighborhood made 60 Minutes, and the national press as being the "epicenter" of defaulted mortgages. This led to many vacant properties. The houses are probably scheduled for demolition. There has been many new vacant lots in the area, really the entire city. The local neighborhood development organisation has had artists use empty houses as an art project "Rooms to Let" for the public to view during a weekend.  In addition, they have added elements to make it a festival.
 Edward Raffel. Rafter Dance.
LED lights randomly blinking in the attic are fun to watch dance. The pattern, very quickly changes. I wanted to watch this alone for a goodly time, but other people came, and the air did not circulate well.
 A street performer playing with fire
The Cleveland Art Museum brought out a van. The original painting is in the museum, Pablo Picasso's Harlequin with Violin, "Si tu veux" of 1918. Someone painted it on wood, and cut it into puzzle pieces to be put together again.
 David King, et alia. "45"
This room from the outside suggests an alternate Wicked Witch of the East, when Dorothy Gale finds shoes extending from under a house, and a tornado above. Well, the artists say it is a mushroom cloud coming from the 'tweets' (cakes in the shape of bluebirds) of a hollow and dangerous man.

Friday, May 19, 2017

the painted cocks have arrived

General Tso's Chicken is standing on a mound of rice.

The last year of the public art project of Chinese zodiac animals has hit the streets about St Clair and Superior, East 30th, Chester. I have generally felt compelled toward completeness. Of the twenty new sculptures listed, eighteen were visible yesterday evening. They started with the year of the dog, and from that point the year of the cock is last, and they are not going to use that word, instead the Victorian bowlderisation 'rooster'. My new dog, Cassius, barked at a previous year's ram, yesterday. It would be something for him to see the forty dogs they had the first year.

This is the twelfth year of the animals. A few years into it the Cleveland Asian Festival has begun, and the St. Clair Superior Dev. Corp. who owns the sculptures (until the auction) have tried to place them on the streets immediately before the street festival. A group of the new figures, then, are mounted on East 30th in front of Asia Plaza.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Czechy music

One of the pieces played was Smetana's gloriously lovely Vltava (Moldau) from Ma Vlast. The Vltava is a river, and it flows through the capital city Praha (Prague). The Charles Bridge crosses the Vltava. The curtain that covers the stage is that city, river and bridge. Could kismet or serendipity find a better place in Cleveland to perform Vltava? It is that rare piece which has a triangle featured, one of the few times it is a principal, and adds so much to that enchanting melody. On the way to the car, i turned around and saw that musician, he may have thought i was kidding him, but the performance was very satisfying.

This was on Sunday afternoon, i finally made it to Bohemian Hall on Broadway. And the second time i heard the Heights Chamber Orchestra. I have missed going again and again. The Czechs have kept up the hall to look like the turn of last century, with Sokol posters of the interwar period. It was an elderly audience. We got to hear a mostly Czechy programme. A Dvorak Slavonic Dance, which was repeated as an encore; the aforesaid Moldau; Mozart's Prague Symphony; and my first hearing of Massenet's orchestral suite, Scenes Pittoresques, which i really enjoyed, and wonder why it is not better known.
 Concertmaster/first violinist Emily Cornelius
 bass Rand Forbes
The only distraction was the yellow light the bulbs gave off. If it was any stronger, only black and white fotos could be viewed without being disappointed. The big fiddle has had some mileage, not as bd as Willie's guitar, but still.

Once again into the streets...

outside Saint Casimir Cleveland
praying a decade
Once again we find ourselves outside on the street before the church of Saint Casimir Cleveland petitioning an appeal. People did not have approval to stand outside the closed church for 139 Sundays after the parishioners were evicted, yet they persisted. Saint Casimir is now opened, many believing with the intervention of Mary the Mother of God. The same Mary of Guadalupe, Czestochowa, and Fatima. Families of northeastern Ohio who came from Meso-America, have made pilgrimage to Saint Casimir Church and have asked for Mother Mary's intercession to keep their families together in this moment of travail. Mary wants families to remain together, but we are having political troubles, which some use as a reason to separate families.

This has been a problem for years. The deportation of people is a political industry in the United States. And now matters have gotten worse. The United States is now subject to a regime commanded by a fascist buffoon. His first campaign speech was a ridiculously vicious attack on Mexicans, one so patterned that it sounded like a hoax; but no, the man was believed. And now he has given a cruel enforcement policy impetus to be more onerous and harsh. People who fall under scrutiny, without proper papers, enter a world of what exists written in dystopian fiction. One minister, who spoke to-day, likened it to only being comparable to things that happened under Nazi Germany.

To-day there came together HOLA, a local Latino rights group, led by Veronica Dahlberg and supporters from American born northeastern Ohio residents, a few from the parish of St. Casimir, and a few religious people of other communities, and legal activists, and friends. They listened to a few speakers, and prayed a decade of the rosary. Some of this was covered by local press, and a national film documentarian, David Sutherland, who is working on a project for PBS.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

new paint job

I have suggested before [click] that Plato's car is a matador red 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air sport coupe with a India ivory hard top. This is how that shadow looked like four years ago.
To-day this may be a 1958 paint color, Panama yellow.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

2017 Miscellany #3 w/Superman

 Main Library Cleveland is celebrating a home town boy.
Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster of Glenville (then around E. 105th, a primarily Jewish neighborhood in Cleveland) created Superman, and he (as many people's parents came from elsewhere). The planet Krypton could symbolise an old country that no longer exists for Clark Kent, and one he could not return to.
This is a prototype of a planned stainless steel (man of steel) statue for a future Siegel and Shuster plaza.

May 2nd. Uptown Brass Quintet. Broadway United Methodist. John Williams Throne Room Theme Star Wars.
This will be the last year of the Chinese Zodiac public art project. A veterinary clinic had these two previous statues.
Whiskey Island/Wendy Park, with football stadium (L), railroad bridge (R).
a white crowned sparrow, a throw's distance from the birdy sign

Monday, May 8, 2017

geodesic dome

 These make a pattern pleasant to view, a dome here is independent of a building.
The world's largest open air geodesic dome is in Russell Township of Geauga County Ohio. It is 103' high, and 274' in diameter sitting on five pylons. Most of it is aluminum hexagons, after a bucky ball design. It was built in 1958-9 for American Society for Metals. Under it is an office building, and a mineral garden.

To-day was the first time since c.1992 when i delivered mail to it. The building has its own zip code, and it gets mail from all over the world. At the time their mail was one cloth sack per day. It was a beautiful, cool, sunny day. We were the only ones outside admiring the well landscaped, and maintained campus. It is quite lovely. 
Most of the polygons are hexagons, like that of a honeycomb made into a sphere. The center one at the apex is a pentagon. 

 There are two fountains, and this frog was in one.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Parma Polish Parade 2017

Last Sunday there was the Polish Constitution Parade on Fleet Avenue Cleveland, and the temperature was in the middle 80s. Since then it has been mostly rain in the 40s. To-day the sun came out, but the chill lingered. Nearby the start of the parade someone displayed some humour. The marching route was Ridge Road from Parma Circle to Snow Road.
 Dogs know how to parade.
 Two of Parma's four high schools' bands marched, Normandy and Parma.

Parma has several churches. The only Polish one is St. Mary's Polish National Catholic. From Ghoulardi's late night teevee show in the middle 1960s, Parma has been portrayed as comically Polish. The only nod to the joke was a small unit of the public art project, Flamingo Power. One of the area's groups that come to many parades was the Ghostbusters' wagon. I forget who this lone imperial storm trooper marched with.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

creative naming

So many people praise creativity, others prefer normalcy. When i am on the road, i do not want to see creative driving. Creativity can be parodied, and sometimes [as Johnny Carson used to say] it's just 'rip and read'. Football just had its draft of college players, here are a few consecutive selections from the first round:

24    Raiders        Gareon Conley           CB
25    Browns        Jabrill Peppers            S
26    Falcons        Takkarist McKinley    DE
27    Bills             Tre'Davious White     CB
28    Cowboys      Taco Charlton            DE

Some, perhaps, would call these 'ghetto names'; but we have an earlier American subculture being inventive with names, the Mormons. One 'blog' writer has annually put up a list of baby names from her hometown in southeastern Idaho. She divides them up in theme groups. The biggest group is "mix and match syllables", here is the group--pick any two, any order. Another category that she lists is geography, place names. Another she lists as 'WTF', random words, and odd spellings*. What i noticed, there is someone of national celebrity that was born in Idaho (different part), and has not been a Mormon, and has given her children such names: Track Cj, Trig Paxson Van, Bristol ..., Willow ..., and Piper Indie ... This person was on the ballot in 50 states.

Now, i have written about naming dogs and people. I think there are names appropriate for the one, and not for the other, some for neither. Four drafts ago, the Cleveland Browns chose Barkevious Mingo; however he is as a person, people laughed at the name. Sometimes, people have been advised not to give a name that would have other children mock and harass the child. When so many children in an area have odd names, what happens. Some black children have been bothered by others for having a 'white name'. I pity the teacher at roll call.

The first list, some people may guess to be names of Black Americans. Traditionally, there have been counted three generations in a century. Going back two full generations, the names of Black Americans, and Anglo or rather Anglicised (mostly white) Americans had similar given names. Then in the middle 1960s, two men who became national figures had changed their names. Now, some said this was a casting away of slave names, some say this a rejection of white culture.

Malcolm Little began writing his name "Malcolm X" in 1950. He wrote in his autobiography, "For me, my 'X' replaced the white slavemaster name of 'Little' which some blue-eyed devil named Little had imposed upon my paternal forebears."  Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. was a world champion boxer, in 1964 he took a new religion, and a new Arab Moslem name, Muhammad Ali. He also noted, that, his birth name was a slave name. Other Black Americans who changed religions also took names form the culture of the new faith.

Some people, who were not changing faiths, or chose not to have a religion took, or named their children with traditional ethnic African names. Some were Swahili, and some were Bantu...and some were faux names in the style of African names. Female names were less traditional than names given to males, this is true throughout the US.

Beyond that just mentioned, things became weird, and weirder still. There are faux French names. Louisiana was both a slave state with a large black population, and a French past. Some French Christian names were given alternative spellings, Antoine becomes Antwan, Antony becomes Anfernee. Faux prefixes become prevalent (D', Da, De, J', Ja, L', La, Le, Sha).

Then the stupid rolls. Grandiose titles (Marquis, Baron, Fabulous), and adjectives become given names, and the names of objects, and the brands of expensive consumer goods (Tiffany, Cadillac). And finally nonsense syllables are strung together, not unlike gibberish from scrabble tiles, and ouija boards.
* There were odd jokes before, i think from Tom Lehrer and Charles Schultz. Some name was spelt Hen3ry, the '3' was silent.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

the Slovene historical moment

Slovenes, Jefferson, and the Social Contract of Governance
I knew of this plaque for a few years, and have been looking for it. It was supposed to be on either Mall B or C, and then years of construction, and to-day, i finally bumped into it as my nephew noticed some sands. It is next to the valet drop off of one of the new hotels which was built for the Republican invasion of Cleveland. There were two other markers there, if they were cigarette butt stands they could not have been more inconspicuous.

The Slovenes are a small nation, and this speaks to our historical moment. A friend of mine remarked to me, "You know, you Slovenes are more conservative than us Poles". No, not all of us; not the direct ancient line.

The history here was adapted: Carinthia is English for Karantanija, the ancient name for Slovenija; duke is English for knez; the social contract was you will rule over us for the year, and if you fail us, you die.

Monday, May 1, 2017

2017 Miscellany #2, science march+

Well, i photographed lotsy in April, and posted lotsy. I had a bunch of (at least what i think are) good pictures. The appeal for the appreciation of science rally and march was easy duty for the police.
This fellow here had been upset with the plans for Public Square. He was here, on that cold morning. I had pictures of him before, he is a fine subject.

I was not the only one who came to be part of it with a camera. I suspect this Bernie supporter had good fotos. 

Many people came with their own signs, some clever and entertaining. Unlike some protests/rallies, and such of opposing views, spelling, and grammar was done right. English majors could have been in comfortable company.
Upon some of the sidewalk there was stuff to see and read too.
On a hot Easter Monday, in front of the bandstand these two were very happy to dance to polka music.