A Quick Little Post, About Cleveland, Uncategorized

Leach Station Revisited.

Recently, I took the opportunity to once again drive out to Madison Ohio for the Holden Arboretum’s Leach Research Station open house. If anyone who has followed this blog in the past, I have been there many times before, and even wrote something on it. However, it just goes to show you that if it is something worth going to year after year then it must be worth it.

Of course, the main grounds in Kirtland Ohio is where Holden seems to focus on its resources such as the Helen S. Layer Rhododendron Garden which I must admit is a spectacular display. However, the Leach Research Station is a working property, with its greenhouses and test plots for new hybrids. It is kind of remarkable what they can do on 20 acres. Madison Ohio is lot more built up than when Mr. Leach purchased this land more than five decades ago and I wonder if Holden would even be able to, if they wanted to, purchase anymore property.

The number of rhododendrons and azaleas in bloom were amazing and many people were just waling around exploring the grounds. The weather was perfect too, it only got hot later during the week, and it wasn’t humid at all. That’s why this time of year is the best on the North Coast. In the fall, I am sure the trees will be just as colorful as at the arboretum itself. Of course, that is only for the small staff there to know for certain. Within a blink of an eye, another open house will be here before they know it.

Photographs by James Valentino.


Another Memorial Day From Mad Man On A Great Lake.

This morning, as I head the sound of three popping noises go by on the street behind me, I thought about how it was only a few weeks ago it was Mother’s Day. Well, let us hope that I do a post before the Fourth of July, or Juneteenth which is another holiday now to consider. Hopefully, I will feel a bit better than I do right now.

Being under the weather was, among other reasons, why I decided to pass on Councilman Mike Polensek’s little Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony today at ten in the morning. It was held at the Gazebo in the little park at Lakeshore Boulevard and Nottingham; down the street from where the 30 year old man was shot to death this weekend. Funny, but not really, there was spate of shootings in Cleveland right after Mayor Bibb Thursday did his press conference on how he will handle summer safety in this city which is in critical need of police officers.

Meanwhile the stadium and arena were finally paid off after how long? I’m sure former commissioners Tim Hagen, Jim Petro, and Mary Boyle (remember there was time we didn’t have a County Executive?) should be proud, but their role on the Gateway Project is as much expensive ancient history as say then mayor Mike White or the Jacob Brothers. If Cleveland,com’s article is correct, we will still have to pay something. De ja vu all over again as you know who would say.

We will see what this week has in store. Everyone, happy Memorial Day.


Another Week On The North Coast.

The East 55th St. Marina.

It’s a shame that I only have time for quick little posts. However, there is only 24 hours in a given day. While I didn’t go down to Wooster Ohio as I thought I would nor did I attend a $200 dinner downtown (for that every reason I’m not spending $200) I did manage to go to the East 55th Street Marina for free this afternoon once the garden settled down.

Well, the much ballyhooed Greater Collinwood Developement Corporation imploded in March, the La Salle Theater got sold, and now of course there’s the plan for Euclid Beach Trail Connector that City Council just approved funding for. Meanwhile, there was a fire hydrant spewing water into the middle of East 185th St. this afternoon as I walked up to the corner for lunch. Go figure.

Now, time to go and great ready for the job that pays the bills tomorrow.

Photograph by James Valentino.


Happy Mother’s Day.

You overhear conversations about weather a holiday is a make up one or not. Like Sweetest Day, some say Mother’s Day (or Father’s for that matter) is more for the greeting card industry than anything else. On the other hand, the way restaurants are booked solid on the one hand, and cemeteries on the other, these holidays mean a tad more than mailing a card.

For me, going to the cemetery out in Chardon, or looking at old photo albums brought down from upstairs, seemed a tad to morbid, my own mother having been dead for already more than two decades. However, in a better way to remember her by, I did manage to drive out to the Crosswinds Grille in Geneva-on-the-Lake yesterday where I actually ordered a cocktail to remember her by. It was a Tom Collins, and I remember her ordering it when we would go out to a very nice place for a special occasion. She would have been 80 years old now had she lived and I think I would have pursuaded my Dad to take her out to a place like that where she would most likely get the filet mignon (for those who wonder, I had the herb crusted walleye which was very good)/

The irony is this, if I remember correctly, she was on the camp of people who didn’t think Mother’s Day was such a big deal. “Mother’s Day is everyday,” I remember her saying, not that she wanted special treatment everyday but that if one didn’t bother with a parent 364 days out of the year what was the point of such a day? Well, as it turned out, she was always there for her mother, and her mother-in-law too for that matte. I don’t remember all the times I went with my parents as a child when they took my Grandma Valentino out on Mother’s Day; my mother and her mother-in-law didn’t agree on too many things.

Now, I am finishing up this quick little post and will enjoy the weather later. For those who are getting together with their families, and their mothers, today visiting the house or waiting in line for a reserved table, may it be nice and trouble free.

Happy Mother’s Day from Mad Man on a Great Lake.

Photograph by James Valentino


A Quick Little Post.

The bulldozers are all done reducing the former Cleveland Playhouse to rubble. Meanwhile, the former home of Frank Sterle’s is being town down too as I discovered Monday driving up East 55th to get to the freeway. In both cases, what will take their places may leave a lot to be desired.

East 185th Street and Shawnee looking north.

On a different note, work on East 185th St.continues. This is going on it’s second year now, the latest in many infrastructure projects on or adjacent to this street for the past couple of years and admittedly much needed. I took a walk up a stretch of this street Sunday afternoon with a friend, something which I admit I never do. We ended the little tour at Gus’s Diner which was still pretty busy though it was going on two; a not so unusual phenomenon I must say.

East 185th St. looking south towards Neff Rd.

In the meantime, I learned a few weekends ago that the ‘venerable’ Greater Collinwood Development Corporation is no more. This will be a topic for another blog post but still, I am not at all surprised this occurred. Is it time to ressurrect Northeast Shores and get a community development corporation that would work for the East 185th neighborhood? Well, we will see what happens.

Photographs by James Valentino

A Quick Little Post, About Cleveland, Uncategorized

Easter Sunday at Lake View Cemetery.

From barely breaking fifty degrees a few day sago to hitting almost eighty by the end of next week, this is spring here in Cleveland, Ohio.

Daffodils blooming in front of Wade Chapel.

As some of you readers know, I have written a post mentioning Daffodil Hill before. It was nice to once again drive out to Lake View Cemetery this morning to see all the yellow blooms on what is in fact the start of the Allegheny Plateau. What a beautiful day for it too, plenty of sunshine and blue skies in the fifties. It actually felt like what you would expect for Easter.

Drive to the upper part of Lake View Cemetery with Daffodil Hill on the left.

I had an interesting chat with one of the volunteers for Lake View. I knew that this was a private cemetery that relied on donations from people and grants from foundations just like any non-profit. However, I found it far more interesting, and irritating, that of all the prominent families buried there it seems only the Wade family still feel they should do their share; at least they help maintain the Chapel. That I find commendable. It would be even better if say descendants of John D. Rockefeller or John Hay (to name a few) played a larger role it the cemetery’s plans too. Of course, this is only my opinion.

Daffodils blooming today.

Of course, this was just part of a long busy day. The numbers of visitors looking at the daffodils or walking up the slope this morning went on to do other things; perhaps having Easter dinner like I did later or not. As I remembered halfway through texting my eye doctor, some will be celebrating the holiday one week later from now (and get all the discounted candy as he texted me back). For others it was just a nice Sunday out, which is not a bad thing at all. At least spring is here in Cleveland and, despite the frost warning tonight, Winter is finally a fading memory for the next six months at least.

So, until we all do it again next year, Happy Easter from Mad Man On A Great Lake.

Pond behind Wade Chapel.

Photographs by James Valentino. Updated April 10, 2023.

A Quick Little Post, About Cleveland, Uncategorized

Spring Again In Northeast Ohio.

Drifts of Glory of the Snow in Wade Park looking towards East Boulevard. Taken yesterday.

Another round of high winds and storms have roared through Cleveland yesterday but things calmed down enough by the time I hit the road at five to go to University Circle. Today, it is as sunny as it was yesterday morning when I walked up the street. There, in front of Gus’ East 185th, I got a close up look at phase two of the road project. They not only stripped the asphalt on half the street, which is one way now all the way to the Euclid border, but pipes and other construction materials were stacked on the ground.

East 185th Street looking South. Taken yesterday.

On thing about this neighborhood, if there is a major road project disrupting traffic there are many streets to use and get where you are going. For example, anyone living on my street who need to get to the Freeway can use East 200 street and get on a ramp there. If you lived on a cul-de-sac off of Rte.84 in Concord with similar construction it would probably be a whole lot more irritating. That’s one thing about North Collinwood, not only is near the lake, you can in a few minutes be on your way downtown, the West Side, or even Lake County. If we had a real development corporation to use this to attract investment, this fat would be a great marketing tool.

Who can believe that Easter is next week already?

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Taken today.

Photographs by James Valentino.

A Quick Little Post, My blog., Opinion, Uncategorized

Another Day On The North Coast.

I came across in the NeoTrans Blog that a company called Blue Abyss Driving Ltd. is thinking about coming to Cleveland, well Brook Park to be exact and build a $250 million dollar facility there. This is great for the region, and I am sure Mr. Chris Ronayne has already had his assistants up and ready to get him to turn the first shovel of dirt at the future start date. However, as a Cleveland resident, I wonder what Bibb’s folks at City Hall are trying to do to lure a similar facility of that scale within the city limits. After all, there is plenty of vacant land around places like the Opportunity Corridor for a research facility not affiliated with the Cleveland Clinic.

The 50 mile per hour winds gripping the North Coast Saturday are long gone and Sunday was beautiful day. The daffodils started blooming last week and today (as the nation deals with another mass shooting in Tennessee)I saw the hyacinths starting to as well. Soon, Daffodil Hill in Lakeview Cemetery will be all ablaze with yellow blooms. Perhaps spring will stay around now.

Monday is almost over and soon another weekend on the horizon.

Photographs by James Valentino.

A Quick Little Post, My blog., Opinion, Uncategorized

A Quick Little Post.

Since I didn’t attend the Western Reserve Writer’s Conference up in South Euclid today, I have time to actually write on this blog. I haven’t done much of it since, well, there is so little time and why write at midnight on topics covered by others? Anyway, these conferences are all the same with interchangeable topics. On the other hand, it is something to do to meet other people even if only in passing.

They have now started on phase two of the East 185th street project. Right now the construction barrels have blocked two lanes of traffic and the sign says now one way; though I saw at least two cars so far this week misunderstand this and drove south near Muldoon’s. As for the old Bistro 185, I wonder when the new Charter House restaurant will open its doors there.

April is around the corner and this blogger’s life will be quite busy again. It’s hard to tell when I will have the time to write something of interest. I could go back to the manuscript: some of whose chapters I published on this site. Glancing at this, I sometimes wonder if I should have printed the first page of it, went to that Writere’s Conference and submit it to a reading session they have there. Actually, a page of one of my short stories would probably my appropriate and there is always 2024. Hmm..I might have a subject lined up for this blog next year after all!

For all of those who still check into this blog thank you very much. It must mean that I must be writing something worthwhile after all.

A Quick Little Post, About Cleveland, Mad Men, My blog., Opinion, Uncategorized

Where has the time gone?

Today, I decided to look at the stats for this blog and I am stunned that people have been actually looking at this since my last post on January 31st. I have done absolutely nothing, ZIP, on this thing for so many reasons and yet some out there find Mad Man On A Great Lake still rather compelling enough to click on.

This year has gone too fast in many regards. Of course, one couldn’t attend a meeting at the LaSalle Theater for an update on the East 185th St. project when one was still getting over a massive cold that’s been going around Northeast Ohio, let alone research a topic for this site when, among other things, a tree was being cut down in backyard. It’s hard to make the time when there is so little.

They were almost finished Friday tearing down the Cleveland Playhouse Building. What a sad ending to what was a major cultural institution in it’s own right at University Circle. I’m sure that the NeoTrans blog will have a post in the near future about what the Clinic is going to do with that site other than parking. Speaking of that blog, I saw its’ piece about this company from the Quebec province of Canada moving into a factory in the Bellaire-Puritas neighborhood on the west side and planning to hire 100 workers. They make caskets: which probably is a good business considering the shortage of officers currently in the Cleveland Police Department as Councilman Michael Polensek reminded 19 News once again this same week. Now I hear that the department is proposing 12 hour shifts. Mayor Bibb, what are you up to?

As for the blog, we will see.