Wednesday, February 28, 2018

2018 Miscellany #3

Russian girl in Cleveland for Maslenitsa (Day before Great Lent). Butter is used up for blini (pancakes).
The Metroparks are extending their family: 2 years ago -- snow man, last year -- snow wife, this year -- snow dog. My twa greyhunds wanted a field trip on a warm February day.

gray corner on a gray day
I like this sign

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

names of prophets

"The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls and whispered in the sound of silence."— Paul Simon

Anshe Emeth Beth Tefilo Congregation built the Cleveland Jewish Center in 1920. It was the first such center in the west, "a shul with a pool". Its address on East 105th was on the main street of Jewish Glenville during the interwar period. At this time Glenville became over 70% Jewish, and may have approached 90%. In 1940 Anshe Emeth Beth Tefilo was the largest Conservative Jewish congregation in the US. In 1946 they sold the complex to Cory Methodist Church. The Jewish Congregation became Park Synagogue and Park East, both in the suburbs. Most of the Jewish synagogues in Cleveland became Black churches.

As Cory Methodist it became a very important church in the Black community. Malcolm X gave his The Ballot or the Bullet speech there. The last time Martin L.King Jr. spoke in Cleveland, it was there.
"Give unto God, the glory due God's name, Bow down in worship to God in holy beauty."Psalm 29 (28DRC) v. 2.

Monday, February 26, 2018

God has an inordinate fondness for stars and beetles

“Oh, yeah, I tell you something
I think you'll understand
When I say that something's
I wanna hold your hand
A version of this subject foto been seen around the country. The display is in the bowels of Cleveland's Natural History Museum.

God has an inordinate fondness for stars and beetles.—J.B.S. Haldane

“The Creator would appear as endowed with a passion for stars, on the one hand, and for beetles on the other, for the simple reason that there are nearly 300,000 species of beetle known, and perhaps more, as compared with somewhat less than 9,000 species of birds and a little over 10,000 species of mammals. Beetles are actually more numerous than the species of any other insect order. That kind of thing is characteristic of nature.” —J.B.S. Haldane. What is life?. 1947.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Moses Cleveland Trees

Thanks to Julie (facebook friend), she informed me of this tree estimated to be 320 years. The Lakewood section of the peedee has, "The white oak was first officially recognized in 1946 when the Western Reserve Historical Society [sic]* certified 216 [sic]† Cuyahoga County trees as Moses Cleaveland Trees." So, i had to get a picture. When they laid the sidewalk, it was curved around it, and some sandstone sections are still there. A smaller swamp white oak tree is the remaining Moses' tree in the city.

I think, i remember a town (in another country) gathering around an ancient tree that was about to be felled, to say good-bye. Perhaps, in Lakewood Ohio it is possible; not so much in say, Lakewood Texas.
The MOSES CLEAVELAND TREES were chosen from throughout Cuyahoga County in 1946 as part of the sesquicentennial of Moses Cleaveland and his party's landing at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River on 22 July 1796. Each tree was of such an age as to have been part of the area's forests at the time of the landing. The Cleveland Sesquicentennial Commission appointed the Committee on Moses Cleaveland Trees, whose objective was the discovery and labeling of 150 native trees over the age of 150 years growing in the county. Chair of the committee was ARTHUR B. WILLIAMS, curator of education at the CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY. The committee received nominations for 242 large trees. Measurements of the trees' diameters were taken at a 4' height, and the trees were critically judged as to the probability of their being 150 years or older. The desirability of each tree's location was also taken into account, as the committee sought to select trees located in places where they could be easily seen and appreciated by the public. Local ceremonies accompanied the labeling of many trees. Each tree bore a 5" x 10" aluminum label which read: "This is a Moses Cleaveland Tree. It was standing here as part of the original forest when Moses Cleaveland landed at the Mouth of the Cuyahoga River, July 22, 1796. Let us preserve it as a living memorial to the first settlers of the Western Reserve." --Williams, Arthur. Final Report of the Sesquicentennial Commission's Committee on Moses Cleaveland Trees (1946).

Early Settlers Association of the Western Reserve in 1971 was interested to see how many were still there. Ninety-two trees survived, fifteen with labels.
*peedee says, "Western Reserve Historical Society", report says, "Committee on Moses Cleaveland Trees".
†peedee says, "216 trees", 1946 report says, "150".
216 = area code. 150 = sesquicentennial number.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

around Lincoln Park and Tremont

A few years ago on this Jeff Hill, there was another graffiti mural here.  It is rare, very rare, for graffiti to have an artistic cartoon. These fattish letters are actually legible.                                                                            
                                                          An entrance to Lincoln Park
St. Andrew Kim (formerly Sacred Heart Polish National Catholic) has a  new top. The last of the scaffolding  was removed on Ash Wednesday.

Lemko Hall was thus named in the '30s, when the Lemko Association bought the building which was built c.1909-11. The Lemkos are Rusyns from Poland, or the northern slopes of the Carpathians. The building hosted the wedding party in the 1978 film, "The Deerhunter".
                    Squirrels are always gathering, and there is a fairly good number here.                

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

photographs of abandoned places #16b (Nativity school)

Some people are intrigued with abandoned buildings. We can recognise school buildings by their constituent elements rather easily. These pictures here show the regular geometry of forms, glass panes in a grid.

 The big outside windows have been absent for some time.

 Skylight on the third floor
 sticker reads: zero tolerance, get tough on drugs!
John Adams High School is not nearby, stuff is brought into abandoned buildings.
People like to pose children's toys

Monday, February 12, 2018


This sort of revelry had been done for centuries in Slovenija before Ash Wednesday, especially on the Tuesday prior. In Cleveland, it is the Saturday prior (this year the 10th of February). After World War II, a more pagan version was done up large in the oldest settlement in the nation, at Ptuj. People lived there before the Slavs came, before the Romans came, and further back. To promote Cleveland's oldest formerly Slovene neighbourhood, the idea was imported. [2014 click]

Not a good day. Freezing rain and damp almost foggy air. The parade route was reduced (it was scheduled to be shorter than other years), the parade was smaller, construction barricades interrupted, sidewalks were not shovelled, but the police were less visible. This is the third time i went, once the weather was too snowy and windy to get there. People with telephones were photo bombing everywhere, constantly five feet or so from subjects, and some made themselves tandem to the parade. I do not believe they were getting good pictures, but they were excelling in preventing others to get clear shots. It was difficult to frame a good shot. I used two cameras, and they would not always focus. I took way too many pictures, and mostly bad shots. A high percentage of fotos were deleted. 

After the parade i went inside the auditorium, went into the balcony, and had a good view of the dancers. One woman in particular, or her hands and her stinking phone, were in the majority of those fotos. Came home cold, wet, and in bad temper. The celebration follows a movable feast, so next year it is on the 3rd of March.
The entire time it was twenty-nine with freezing rain.

The parade began with Austrian St. Nicholas' Day characters, the bishop and the krampus devils. This is also a masquerade, people can come as other characters, often only a papier-mâché mask.
The Art Museum had a quartet of demon Afro-Caribbean demon cattle.
A kurent and two devils. Included in the duties of a kurent is to chase away winter. First the concept has to become familiar to an American audience. Not many neighbourhood residents come out to watch.

A Slovene folk dance troupe did two fine group dances.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

return visits to two closed churches

I visited two closed churches to-day. First Methodist had its second open house this morning. It's third open house is Thursday, 15 February, between 10am and noon. It is worth seeing.
To-day was the 2nd of three open houses at 1st Methodist, good opportunity to foto. The pipe organ doesn't play, but the artwork and the big pipes are still beautiful.

 This coffee cup was there last week too.
A little surprise after opening a door in the basement. The rest of the building had been used by the Cleveland Metropolitan School District until the new year. This dummy was left behind. 
The second church i visited was Nativity of Mary (Slovak) Cleveland. I wanted to see the basement, not possible, roof fell into stairwell. The vandals were excessive. The pews are largely gone (they were there in December), more stuff trashed, one spot had poop. This is what can happen to an abandoned Catholic church in Cleveland (after it changes hands a couple of times). This parish was closed in late December 1992. The bishop would no longer assign a priest there. The church was in excellent physical and financial health. For a few years, it was a Catholic outreach center. Then it was sold to a religious minister of some sort. The man died. A woman started a ministry, and she called herself a bishop. She had her wedding in the church, and never did get around to getting rid of the Catholic stuff on the walls and ceilings, which bothered her. I heard her on you tube. She had some interesting terminology. "The pulpit" was the entire sanctuary (which in Catholic terminology, would be everything under the apse, and behind where the communion rail had been). 

This is new to the choir loft. There was one in the nave already.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

up for auction

 from East 30th, a gargoyle and a spire of Indiana limestone
First United Methodist Cleveland is up for auction on February 22nd. The first three Thursdays of February, from 10 to noon is an open house. For some three years, the property has been for sale.

The origins of the congregation goes back to 1827. The Methodists had circuit riding ministers then, and a resident clergyman came in 1860. The congregation built their first church in 1841, another in 1865, and in 1874. The last two being on Euclid and Erie (now East 9th), that property would have the Cleveland Trust Rotunda, which was once the 6th largest (in deposits) bank in the nation. In 1905 they moved into the present building. The architect, Milton Dyer, was a student of L'ecole des Beaux Arts. This Beaux-arts design was used by him on Cleveland City Hall, and by others in several prominent buildings in the city's center, including on the Episcopal cathedral nearby First Methodist. These two grand churches were also in the style of late gothic. First Methodist, as was Collinwood High, had a central tower in English perpendicular gothic.

Dr. Kenneth Chalker became pastor of First Methodist Church of Cleveland in 1986, and of Epworth-Euclid United Methodist Church in 2009. The two congregations merged becoming University Circle United Methodist Church or Church in the Circle in 2010. He retired Sunday. 
this photo is from 2010, as are some in this essay
Both churches are very impressive buildings, but costly to maintain. There is much water damage to the plaster, and paint in the church for sale. It seats 1200 and has a tall tower, the radiators were on to-day, and heating is an expense for this large space. [The University Circle church had extensive smoke damage from an electrical fire starting with a faulty corded coffee pot.] First Methodist has the decorated pipes of a large pipe organ in front (the console is gone) which makes the place look a lot like a picture palace.

Rev. Chalker wanted both churches in active ministry. He was quoted in Cleveland's daily before the merger, "There are a lot of possibilities. Unlike what's happening to the Roman Catholic churches, which is about, 'How do we close?' What we're doing is about, 'How do we keep it open?'"
By misfortune, First Methodist did have a tenant soon. Euclid Avenue Congregational Church burned to the ground in 2010, and held services at First Methodist until 2014, and then moving into St. Margaret Mary South Euclid, which, Cleveland's Catholic bishop, had closed. Just ending in December, Cleveland Metropolitan School District was using the attached office building [of First Methodist] as classrooms.

Broadway Methodist had closed and changed ownership, and it too was a beautiful church. Churches of long standing of several denominations have been closed, and sold, and usually sold to a downscale customer. Urban churches, of important history, and beauty of architecture have difficulty in maintaining membership. The bonds of community are weak in contemporary America, but megachurches of little depth and beauty have succeeded, sometimes with Elmer Gantry preachers.
 inside of the tower is a subject that can be photographed at different angles
First Methodist has three of these 5 lintel vignette windows with tracery. I like these stained glass, and hanging lamp shots.  These windows are from Franz Mayer Munich studios. St. Stephen, St. Adalbert, St. Joohn the Evangelist , and other Catholic churches have windows from Mayer. Some scenes, have the same models, it is easy to compare, and to recognise.
Here is something almost unique, here is a thin piece of marble over a clear leaded glass window, i think i can see the cames (lead frames). First Methodist Cleveland.
postscriptum: 22 February, the auction was held, Tony George bid was $445,000. He plans to use it for wedding banquets.