Saturday, November 1, 2008

"Must Miss" Current Cleveland-Bashing

Alleged Travel Writing Expert Peter Greenberg has named Cleveland one of the 12 "Must Miss" places in the WORLD. You can read all about it in this Plain Dealer article:

I wrote a little email to Mr. Greenberg this morning. It goes like this:

Dear Mr. Greenberg:

On the front page of today's Plain Dealer, an article announced that Cleveland's West
Side Market was named one of the "10 Great Public Spaces in America" by the
American Planning Association, a Washington, D.C. nonprofit group that promotes urban and
rural planning.

According to you, Mr. Greenberg, no one from outside of Cleveland should ever visit the
West Side Market, or any other area landmark, because you've deemed Cleveland one of 12
"must miss" destinations in the world.

Your reason for putting Cleveland on this unglamorous list supposedly has to do with
certain areas in the city, including the St. Clair-Superior neighborhood and a stretch of
Kinsman Road. Not sure if you know this, but there are not really any tourist sites in
those areas! Nevertheless because of these spots, you are discouraging people from taking
in treasures such as Severance Hall, where the Cleveland Orchestra plays; the Rock Hall;
Playhouse Square, one of the most beautiful collections of theaters in the country; and
the above-mentioned West Side Market.

Let's see. The American Planning Association also names New York City's Central Park as
one of the best public spaces in the country. Indeed it is, but there are certain parts
of that beautiful park where I wouldn't walk after dark if you paid me. And aren't there
some pretty dangerous areas in New York City itself, even some a few blocks away from
Central Park?

You say you want people to "know what they're getting into" when they come to
Cleveland. But if you're telling people not to visit, there's no need to warn them about
that, is there? Most big cities have areas touched by poverty, decay, drugs or intense
crime. While it's imperative that cities work to clean up these areas, that doesn't mean
you can put a giant black eye around the whole city!

Why do you single out Cleveland as being a dangerous place to visit? I can't help but
wonder if some Steelers fans put you up to this.

Diane DiPiero
Cleveland Heights, Ohio

P.S. They put the fire out on the Cuyahoga River a few decades ago.

1 comment:

Julia McCready said...

Amen! I grew up in Cleveland Heights, attended excellent schools, enjoyed the Cleveland Orchestra, the Cleveland Playhouse,the Art Museum, the Zoo...field trips to the Shaker Lakes Park were a delight. I'm proud to be from Cleveland!