Saturday, June 27, 2020

Covid Road Trip - Cleveland

You know, I almost didn't get out of bed.

After all, how does one follow up after the world's largest cuckoo clock? Can it even be done? Well, we were to find out.

My second to last day would be spent in and around Cleveland. Ron wanted to go, and I've never been there, so away we went.

In this:

I now know what it's like to have my heart wrapped around my spine...

Ron's 2016 Corvette Stingray is a freakin' monster. I need to be honest, once I was in the car I was fine. But I'm not a small guy, and the interior's a bit tight. But I wasn't going to let that dampen my day. This car was the perfect choice for an hour-long sunny-day drive to Cleveland.

Cruising into Cleveland, the first notable thing we saw was Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians.



The stadium has been the home of the Cleveland Indians since 1994, and it cost $175 million to build. The first game played was against the Seattle Mariners, with the ceremonial first pitch being thrown by President Bill Clinton. In 1997, it joined an elite group of stadiums which hosted both the All Star Game and the World Series in the same season.

We didn't stop at the stadium, although tours are available on non-game days. As you might suspect, though, they're currently suspended because of this Covid nonsense. When they reopen, tours will cost $15 for adults and $12 for seniors and kids under 14.

Our main purpose for going to Cleveland was to hit the West Side Market



Cleveland's oldest public market has over 100 vendors of offering meats, seafood, fruits, vegetables, baked goods, dairy, you name it.

Every vendor seems to try to out-do the next. At one vendor, we bought some linguine to have for dinner that night, but the gourmet ravioli looked amazing, as well. If I had been able to spend more time in Ohio I definitely would've bought some.

Now, you might say "Well, isn't $12.50 a lot to spend on some lobster ravioli?" Well, consider that you'd probably pay $20 for that in a restaurant, and you'd likely only get six or seven pieces. Nothing you'll find here would be considered "cheap", but you just won't find anything more fresh. 


An amazing array of gourmet raviolis...
 
This vendor had some amazing hot chocolate. In hindsight, I should've bought a mug...
  
A wide selection of "smokies" at one of the beef jerky vendors...
  
Glass display cases filled with food were everywhere...
  
I'm not a big hot sauce fan, but I'd have been catered to if I was...
  
"Leave the gun. Take the cannolis..."






Red meat fans (of which I am one) need go no further...




I'm not a big fish guy, but there was no shortage of freshly caught fish available...
 
Doesn't look like anyone's buying any beer tonight...


It's the other white meat. Except the feet. Not sure what's goin' on with those...

There's even a cafe, with outdoor seating...

Like so many other places I visited on this trip, the West Side Market wasn't fully opened due to Covid-19 concerns. As you can see, there were plenty of vendors to buy from, but the vendors which were open actually represented only about 60% of the total number who set up shop at the market. I'd like to go back when they're in full-swing.

Of course, Cleveland's known for more than the Indians and some cool, fresh food shopping. Since 1995 Cleveland has been home to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Cleveland.


The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame...

Now, of course, this wouldn't be the perfect Covid Road Trip blog entry if we were able to gain access to the Hall and, accordingly, we couldn't.  While it's since reopened as I write this, it was closed when we were in Cleveland. I guess I'll just have to make another trip sometime.


The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame on Lake Erie...

Initially, I guess, Cleveland seemed like an odd choice for the Hall's location. However, not only did the city present the most attractive financial package, but disc jockey Alan Freed was the first person to coin the phrase "rock and roll" on WJW (850-AM) in Cleveland. He's also responsible for what the New York Times dubbed "the first rock and roll concert" at the Cleveland Arena on March 21, 1952.


Alan Freed (1921-1965) (photo sourced from the web)...
An historical marker on the grounds of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame...

Since we couldn't visit the museum, we opted to cruise around the city and check things out. Cleveland's actually a pretty cool city, right on the water, with plenty to see.


Part of the Cleveland skyline...

The "FREE" stamp in Willard Park...

I just thought this building was cool. I've no clue what it is...

This could quite possibly be the world's biggest street light. I want to come back at night to photograph it...

Like anywhere, I have to believe that Cleveland would be a much more enjoyable visit once it opens back up and businesses get back on track. Sure, driving around is great (especially if you're in a Corvette), but I like to get out and walk around and visit parks and museums and such. This will surely not be my last trip to Ohio, so a return trip to Cleveland is all but guaranteed...





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