Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Greetings From Cleveland

A street cafe in Cleveland's latest hope for the future — the Warehouse District — on a beautiful fall day. This is my attempt to avoid being one of those out of towners who walks around taking photos of vacant buildings.

I'm in sunny Cleveland covering the Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference. It's a gathering of urban planners, advocacy groups, government officials and academics to discuss solutions to shrinking cities and economic decline. As you can imagine, it's a non-stop PAR-TAY! (That was a joke.)

Although I'm happy to see Flint's old Hyatt/convention center converted into student housing, I can't help thinking this is one conference that Flint could have landed, in addition to the Michigan Scrabble convention Michael Moore covered in Roger & Me.

I'll be here for three days, so urban planning wonks get ready for some of the posts you've been dreaming of. (Also a joke...sort of.)

The lobby of the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Cleveland, where I'm forced to blog because it has free WiFi and my hotel charges $3.95/15 minutes. I don't mind.


  1. Nice photos. :)

    Cleveland has always had something nice about it... even in the late 80's before that new stadium when everyone was saying it was such a dump. I think Cleveland has a better infrastructure for urban planning than Flint has... isn't Cleveland the one with that train that goes through Shaker Heights? I must admit I tend to get that city mixed up with those other cities in Ohio, but I think I'm rigth on that one.

    Plus, it's usually an answer in Trivial Pursuit. So, when in doubt, say "Cleveland"... wait, did I just create a new marketing campaign?

  2. Just to put things in perspective, lest we think Flint is the only place that has serious problems.!v=oZzgAjjuqZM&feature=related

  3. You are the third person I know at that conference! Must be a good one!

  4. The bright spot for me is Trattoria in Little Italy.


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at