An Open Letter to Cleveland

Something that I’ve learned since coming to college has been that if you say you’re from the city, you better be from the city. This hasn’t really been a problem for me when I say I’m from Cleveland, but I have seen some people get pretty heated if you say you’re from Chicago but you’re really from a suburb. Chicago people kind of scare me. Anyways, I thought I would start by conceding the fact that I am not actually from Cleveland, but rather a small suburb about 20 minutes outside of the city. Nonetheless, The Land holds a special place in my heart.

 

Dear Cleveland,

 

Hi, it’s me. I miss you a lot. I’m sorry I haven’t seen you in a while but I’ve been working hard in Granville, I promise. I’m on my laptop right now and I’m looking at my sticker of Ohio that says 216 in the middle and instead of a 1 it’s the Terminal Tower. Next to that is an Indians sticker, which I know wouldn’t exactly shock anybody that knows me.

 

Speaking of, I really miss warm summer nights and going to Tribe games with my dad and my brother. I can’t even count how many I’ve been to at this point but they are all so special to me and I cannot wait until I’m home in the summer and can convince my dad to take me to a game whenever I have a day off of work. There have been a lot of changes to the team this offseason but I’m looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and how the new guys mesh with our team. Just saying though, no one will ever replace Rajai Davis. I love that guy.

 

And how can I talk about Tribe games without mentioning the Flat Iron? What started out as a typical Irish pub down in the Flats has become somewhat of a family tradition of grabbing a drink or a bite to eat before catching the shuttle bus up to Progressive Field. Man, I could really go for their potato skins right now. In fact, to really emphasize the familiarity of the place: the last time I was there, the very first face I saw in the massive crowd of people was that of my older cousin.

That last time that I’m talking about was in December before my dad and I went to the last Browns home game (which was a victory, I might add). This was only my second Browns game and it was so cool to be back in FirstEnergy Stadium with fellow Clevelanders. It was also probably just as cold as my first game with my mom years ago; she probably tries to block out the memory of the bitter cold and the bitter loss to the Steelers. The atmosphere among sports fans that share a burning passion for their team and their city (and their beer) is so electric. I think the victorious “here we go, brownies” chants after we defeated the Bengals that day were enhanced by reverberations off of Lake Erie.

 

Oh, Lake Erie. I could write a whole article, or maybe a few, just talking about that lake. I think I definitely took for granted the fact that I grew up within walking distance of one of the Great Lakes. I miss it now more than ever because I get weird looks when people ask “which way is north?” and I respond with “towards the lake.” In central Ohio, I guess I can’t exactly use the lake as my navigation system. I miss stormy days when you can see the clouds forming over the lake and the waves crash against the shore. I miss the sunny days when everyone is boating, jet skiing, and kayaking on the water. I miss the little slivers of land that you can see on the horizon and still trying to figure out, after almost 19 years, which island is which. And also, how cool is that? We have little islands in our lake! I think that’s cool!

Overall I miss the comfort I feel when I’m there. I have always felt that you are a unique combination of big city vibes and at the same time, small town closeness. I have never felt overwhelmed when I’m in the city; I feel excited and hopeful. You’ve watched me grow up over the years and have possibly become a bigger part of my life with each passing year. I think that I might be able to say the same thing about you. You kind of had a bad rap when I was younger, but you’ve really gotten your stuff together and have “grown up” with me in a way. I appreciate that. Well anyways, hopefully I will see you again very soon.

Thank you for everything, Cleveland.

 

Love Always,

 

Claire