After a quick visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Great Lakes Science Center next door in the morning, my opinion of Cleveland hadn’t changed much from the night before.
Cleveland’s nice, sure, but I don’t think it defines itself by the Hall of Fame.
I parked, paid the meter and walked towards East Fourth Neighborhood, a revitalization project in downtown Cleveland, in search of coffee and postcards, but detoured into a Federal Reserve Bank I saw on the way.
I still can’t explain what a Federal Reserve Bank is, despite listening to a ton of Planet Money podcasts, and I can’t explain why there’s one in Cleveland, and I can’t explain why there are 11 other Federal Banks in 11 other cities, but I hoped the museum inside would clear things up.
It didn’t. But at the end of the exhibit, I got shredded money as a souvenir, so maybe that’s one thing they do?
I continued on and found Cleveland Clothing Company, a store that celebrates Cleveland in shirts, accessories and postcards.
Immediately, I appreciated its mission of giving Clevelanders a way to celebrate their underdog city and show their pride, because if they don’t, how would anyone?
Sure people started fires in the streets because the hometown kid spurned his hometown team to go to Miami (Florida, not Ohio). And sure, some people think you need to go into Cleveland with a loaded gun. And of course you can’t overlook the racist caricature used as a sports mascot.
Every city has their shortcomings, but not every city has shops and residents who are so in love with their home that they’ll work, wear and tattoo it on their arm.
So on the ongoing Cleveland-Sucks-to-Rocks Scale, after a visit and a chat with Clevelanders, Cleveland Rocks.