Monday, May 02, 2005

One last post/therapy session for tonight

When I was in college in Connecticut, after having grown up in Connecticut, I spent a summer in San Francisco. While I was there, I was amazed by how just generally psyched the people there were. And I noticed that while people in Connecticut had an attitude of, "Well, this is where I am, I don't really like it, but, you know, I can't really go anywhere else," the people in SF, where it's sort of a novelty to find a native, were more like, "Hey! I'm here because I came here, and I wanted to come here, and wow! it's cool. I wait tables at a cafe and share an apartment with 5 other people, but here I am! Yahoo!"

I guess you could make a case that there is more inherently cool about SF than Connecticut, but to me, that didn't seem to explain it all.

I feel the same way about Cleveland and Austin, and I won't believe it comes entirely down to the weather. No one in Austin is from there (it seems)--and there's actually a movement to keep new people out (motivated, I think, mostly by transplants), to keep it small and retain its character. But the people there that I saw working in the airport in the middle of the night seemed to have that, "Hey! I came here because I wanted to be here, and now I'm doing my thing here at the airport at 12 am! Yahoo!" In contrast, I've noticed that when I tell (some) Clevelanders that I moved here from California, after the first wave of "Are you nuts?" there's sort of a wistful, "Yeah, I'd really like to go there to check it out, but I'm stuck here" thing. And I want to say, "Go! Visit! Move! You can do it! Have some faith in yourself! Have some confidence!"

But then maybe that brings me back to that last post about who am I to say something's not actually keeping people here against their will. Economics, for example. I don't know. I just want to help.

My friends who visited over the weekend were all amazed at what Cleveland had to offer. They felt there was a lot of potential here, just like I do. Maybe we just need to have an exchange program, where we bring in some people from other parts of the country who will appreciate Cleveland, and send some Clevelanders to Arizona and California so they can maybe get some notion that Cleveland's not so bad after all.

But then we'd get into the whole problem Austin's having, where as people move there, the cost of living goes up, hurting the people who lived there in the first place. Except maybe for the people who bought their homes in 1980 for, what, $70K that would then be worth $500K?

I don't know. I just want Cleveland to be all it can be!

I really am rambling now. Time for bed.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

im glad you have such a positive attitude toward the city, I agree that many residents, including myself, seem to have collectively built up a bad image of the city in our head's, but your fresh perspective is much better

Friday, May 27, 2005 5:32:00 PM  

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