Cleveland 2017

Any trip I make that goes into another time zone invariably ends up in Cleveland at some point. And I stopped there (eventually, airplane snafus notwithstanding) for my seventh (we counted) visit to Annelise and Bob, their kitties (the Smooch Brothers) and doggies, (the Gyrrlz). Much of my time was spent catching up on everything with Annelise, and leisurely walks with the dogs through her lovely neighborhood. This was interspersed with an obsession about the Cleveland Indians’ winning streak and some light shopping and visits to local coffee shops, bakeries, and cafes.  I was sorely kitty-deprived from my time in Canada, so Ivan happily became my new best friend.


Cleveland, which was the home of many many millionaires a century ago, has the most amazing architecture. I’d be walking down the street, then just astounded by the fabulous buildings, just sitting there, as if they weren’t remarkable.


So, some millionaires were to thank for our visit to the home of the Western Reserve Historical Society.

We had a very entertaining and interesting guided tour, just Annelise and me and a couple docents-in-training. Some of the furnishings had been left to the historical society with the house, and others were drawn from the society’s stock. These sly bookends, just on a shelf minding their own business, caught my eye:


Here were a few more random pieces that are worth a second look:


And this was my favorite piece. It’s “Mineur” by Charles Levy, circa 1900. He’s the hunkiest guy I saw on my vacation. I wish I could have got a photo from the back; he looked pretty good from there, too.


We even got to ride on the carousel that was housed near the auto museum. And no, no photos of that for you.

Then there is the de rigeur visit to the Cleveland Museum of Art, and their special exhibit, Gods and Heroes.

These were just fascinating, and there was much to learn about the interest in ancient myths as rediscovered by Renaissance artists. That was most intriguing, the sudden disappearance of most Christian-themed art. And no, no photos. The details were just too small and too intricate to be captured on camera.

So, instead, I took a photo for you of the oldest artifact in the museum–5,000 years old. And what’s so amazing about “Stargazer” is that it looks like a totally modern alien, rather than simply a woman looking at the sky. Decide for yourself:P1020936 Here’s a little more about it, if you’re interested: (It also has some better photos.)

The museum has such a huge collection that only a percentage of its holdings can be displayed at any time. So, even with repeated visits, the viewer will always find something new to admire. So, that was the case here, in my favorite room of ancient objects. These I think are both Roman, and utterly amazing.

We had hoped to go to Cleveland’s Natural History Museum, but just couldn’t fit it in during this visit. But even cooler, a friend of Annelise’s gave her tickets to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame/Museum. I had been there a couple times years ago, and was ready to see what they had.


Just amazing stuff, including: films of a young Elvis Presley. I could appreciate from watching them that he was so gorgeous, so appealing, sang so seductively and moved so smoothly that his rise to superstardom must have been a given. I was delighted to see Ringo’s coat–those gray collarless numbers that the Beatles wore during their early days. They had a lot of manuscripts–the original drafts, showing the lyrics and music, of some of the great songs of the 60s. There was a fascinating exhibit tracing the rise of Country Music from the folk songs of England in the 1700s through early settlers in the southern American colonies. I was amazed to see this drawing of an Oregon Duck football player–it had been drawn by a teen-aged Jimi Hendrix. And the other stuff was just plain cool.

And the music! You’d be wandering from one exhibit to another, and the sounds of Otis Redding or one of the girl groups of the early 60s would follow you around. At the end of our visit, we were watching a film showing inductees into the Hall of Fame performing at their induction ceremony. These seasoned veterans, so damned very good at what they do, giving their all while being recognized as the best in the world. It was thrilling. It also was very upsetting that something went wrong and the video stopped a few minutes in. I desperately wanted to see it all, but we were herded out.  grrr.

The next day was my departure from Cleveland. A last snuggle with Ivan,  last walk with The Gyrrlz, and a last lunch at On the Rise. As always, a lovely visit. But I had been gone from home a long time, and was eager to get back to Eugene. Good bye.