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

10 iconic Bauhaus furniture designs

Today, I came across this post from Mr. Bernie Michalik’s Smart People I Know Blog on this piece from de zeen magazine. While I’m more of an Arts and Crafts/Deco fan, the chess game, wardrobe, and light look really interesting.  In fact the ‘Barcelona chair’ seems to have been part of an exhibit I saw at the Cleveland Museum of Art a few years ago called Barcelona and Modernity. Anyway they can all be from an Ernst Lubitsch movie from the early 1930s (like Trouble in Paradise). A nice quick read.

Smart People I Know

For fans of Bauhaus, or those who want to become one, there’s this: 10 iconic Bauhaus furniture designs: chairs, tables, a lamp and a chess set.

It includes a number of pieces by Mies, including the Barcelona chair, shown above.

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A Quick Little Post, About Cleveland, Community and Economic Development, Uncategorized

How did I wind up in a Cleveland Connects Live Studio Audience?

The last thing I thought I’d be doing this week is sitting in a dark studio at the Idea Center in downtown Cleveland, but that’s exactly what happened.  Monday, October 29th, 2018’s show, We’re Behind: Lessons from Peer Cities, looked at how Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Louisville, Kentucky, dealt with recreating their economies.  It has already aired on WVIZ Channel 25 at seven on Tuesday and you can see a repeat of the show here.


The Cleveland Connects set at the Idea Center.

I never would have thought of going on my own. but in a way I’m glad I spent that four bucks to park and walked over there.  This not only had to be the first time in decades that I wound up sitting in a live studio audience, but the topic discussed by Joe Frolik and his guests is quite timely considering the economic condition Cleveland area is.

A Quick Little Post, About Cleveland, Uncategorized

Thoughts on Cleveland’s Two Tomorrows; A Quick Little Post.

It’s hard to keep up with things when you have a full-time job, but priorities are priorities and now I have a chance to finally read up on a few things affecting Cleveland; particularly that report done by the Fund for Economic Future presented earlier this year.

In fact, while this blog had a hiatus of sorts others have written up a storm about this.  For example, in Scene Magazine, Sam Allard gives and interesting critique of it, noting that this sounds pretty familiar and one of the biggest problems we have is terrible (he used a stronger term) leadership; and zeroes in particularly on Mayor Frank Jackson,   As for me, I honestly don’t know if this is another good intention plan or not. From glancing at the first page of the link, the topics of slow growth, low wages, stranded residents, and the like reminds me of the workforce development forum I  attended at Tri-C a few years back.  Re-inventing the same wheel perhaps?

We seems to know what this area’s problems are but can’t move beyond the talk and the same playbook.

About Cleveland, My blog., Opinion, Uncategorized

The Lakehouse Inn.


The Lakehouse Inn seen from the parking lot.

About an hour east by car from Cleveland is Geneva-on-the-Lake.  One of those old lakeside resort areas that, for some miracle, not only lingered but is once again packed with summer crowds.  However, growing up, parents never stopped there but once.   We usually drove through there to get to Ashtabula while enjoying the lake view.   Now, as it turns out, all these years later, I have a reason to drive over there more often.


These two photographs speak for themselves.



The Lakehouse Inn is a deceptively nice place to stop on a Sunday or even spend the night it turns out.  A bed and breakfast, it also has a restaurant, spa, winery, gift shop, and an amazing terrace and patio area.   The patio alone, overlooking Lake Erie, makes it worth the drive alone.


The western patio with a view of the north coast.


One of the patios looking East.

In a few ways, walking down the brick steps to the patio, it reminded me of some of the places I’ve been to some of the places I’ve been to at Niagara-on-the-Lake or up in Muskoka.  There were plenty of Adirondack chairs, umbrellas open on the tables and of course the view.  You can call it a micro-resort,  it just happens to be squeezed in a narrow lot on the north side of Route 534.  Even with summer officially over, the parking lot was pretty full and with the weather more like late July than the middle of September it leads to the Inn being a pretty busy place.  With all the summer help back to school, and the food being brought down from the restaurant kitchens, the two servers had more than their hands full taking care of everyone.  My server told me that they were pretty much booked solid all day.’


One of the pizzas made there.


The patio has a light menu of appetizers, pizzas, desserts, and before 4:00 P.M. sandwiches.  While I wasn’t too thrilled I had to pay a dollar for a bottle of water, I suspect that’s because there’s no running water in the little bar/cashier area nest to the stairs but most people were drinking beer and wine, one couple had one bottle chilled in an ice bucket at their table.  As for me, I had the wood fired pizza with three toppings for $14.  The dough was homemade and the server that all their produce comes from a farm in Kinsman Township which is south of Andover near the Pennsylvania border.    It was very good and I ate it all!

The menu for the Crosswinds Grille up the hill looked very good as well.  While not Pier W or Chez Francois, that’s not the point.  I think what the owners were trying to do was find their own niche with locally-sourced food and a menu that changes often.  In fact, it might fit in well with the Sherwood Inn more than anything else.  I just stopped in there few seconds to poke around but might have to go back to what it’s really all about.


A look at the Inn grounds.


The patio is usually open until the first week of October, weather permitting.  As for the restaurant, it remains open all year round (but closed Mondays and Tuesdays in the Winter).


A row of rocking chairs for those who just want to enjoy the view.

Just another of the unknown gems on the North Coast.



Photographs by James Valentino.


A Quick Little Post, My blog., Uncategorized

Andrew Yarrow’s look at the male unemployment 10 years after the Great Recession phenomenon. A Quick Little Post.

I read a lot, and not just surfing my cellphone at the things Google News thinks I’m interested in either.  However, for once, I found one on the site from Andrew Yarrow that is compelling.   His piece “I spoke to hundreds of American men who still can’t find work,” is something people should read to understand why this recovery has left many people cold.  He doesn’t just look at what some would call the typical Donald Trump Supporter, white middle-aged (or old) working class guys, but 20 year olds who still live at home because they can’t find a job to former prison inmates who are in effect ‘blacklisted’ because it is so easy for HR departments to discover their records.  The social and economic impacts of all these unemployed men is significant.  For example, Yarrow cites that two-thirds of three-quarters of a million deaths from drug overdoses between 1999 and 2017 were men.

Mr. Yarrow raises some interesting points about the plight of so many American men and I would be lying if I didn’t say it resonates with me.   I’m lucky I have a job and now make a decent wage but, as my diplomas gathering dust show, I hoped to have dome something different.  I know many others who are int he same boat.  If something happens and we get laid off, we can be just like the guys Yarrow interviews.   That’s why a social safety net is so important.  How useful is going back to school for training for a new job if you are 55 years old or went to jail for drug possession as a few decades ago?   The article is worth reading.

A Quick Little Post, About Cleveland, Community and Economic Development, Opinion, Uncategorized

The Divided City: A Quick Little Post.

Wednesday afternoon, I managed to get a few hours off from the job and drove down to my alma mater for the first College of Urban Affairs Forum of the new school year.  It was a presentation by Alan Mallach of his new book The Divided City: Poverty and Prosperity in Urban America.  A Senior Fellow at the Center for Community Progress, his book looks at national trends in American cities when it comes to community revitalization, gentrification, and the effects they all have on residents.


The Forum.

“Even as these cities are reviving, they are becoming more unequal and more segregated.  Mr. Mallach told the audience near the beginning of his presentation.  There seems to be a hierarchy of revival in city neighborhoods.   He is also unsure if this revival is sustainable in the long run.  In some ways, his findings on job growth in the central city meshes with the ‘Eds and Meds’ study created by Richey Piiparinen and Jim Russell a few years ago.  However, the jobs being created aren’t going to the people who live here.  For example, in Cleveland, one out of the five of the 250,000 jobs created in Cleveland in the past few years are held by people who don’t live there.   In fact, hyper-abandonment is still happening on a large-scale in many areas (think Glenville), and this is in fact a nation-wide phenomenon.  Basically, despite all the hoopla, more neighborhoods are declining rather than gentrifying.  Mr. Mallach believes that cities have to once again be places of opportunity for everyone.  Later he did cite things cities are doing right now to try to adress these problems.  For example, in Pittsburgh there is a shared effort and common ground between City Hall, Institutions like Carnegie-Mellon Unviersity, and major corporations.  they have kept the effort to turn their city around going for 70 years.

He was joined by a panel featuring not just Roland Anglin, the Dean of the Maxine Goodman Levine College of Urban Affairs, but also Joel Ratner who is the CEO for Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, Frank Ford of the Thriving Communities Institute (who was instrumental in suggesting this for the Forum series), and Freddie Collier Jr., the Director of the Cleveland City Planning Commission.  They were all brave enough to stay for the question and answer period (which wasn’t too bad anyway).   Frank Ford for one feels that the blight removal work done by the City of Cleveland (in places like Collinwood) and the Cuyahoga County Land Bank are still important ten years after the sub-prime mortgage meltdown.  Meanwhile, Joel Ratner cited such programs as the Slavic Village Rediscovered program as a local program that seems to be doing everything right in stabilizing a community (in this case around Fleet Avenue).

There were copies of the book available afterwards to purchase but I think I’ll wait a few months before I take it out of the library.  To be honest, a lot of what was discussed Wednesday has been talked and written about before.  However, it was still a very intersting presentation for everyone there.

Photographs by James Valentino

My blog., Opinion, Uncategorized

Thoughts on the previous week.

I think the 90 degree heat is starting to affect me, at least with my writing.  I’ve inherited from my mom her discomfort with the heat and humidity.  She couldn’t wait to turn on the air conditioner and stay in the house until a cold front would finally come through from the West.  As for me, being at all the places that I go and driving on the road to get to them, I try to deal with it as best as I can. Eventually if I don’t get tired, like I did driving from Akron to Burton Saturday afternoon (and suddenly finding myself driving on the wrong side of Route 44 for a few seconds until I quickly got back in to my lane), I get well rude.   At least I don’t get the urge to be obnoxious like I did last Sunday at a fundraiser brunch in Euclid Ohio (though I did accidentally started talking during the invocation). It’s the same every year, the same speeches though the candidates change, and it seems that I’m only there for the food.  However, the longer I stayed there the calmer I felt (and the food was quite good)   In fact, it was there I decided to make up my mind and drive out later, T-shirt on and brochures on the passenger seat, to Geneva Ohio for another event.   It was a “working family cook-out” with Sherrod Brown (who in fact came late with his wife), and another cast of characters running for office (including two from the brunch).  Fortunately, the speeches weren’t too long, nor was the line for the food, and I knew as many people there as I did in Euclid.  Once again, while Senator Bronw’s speech wasn’t anything new, he still hit on thngs that everyone there supported and that’s what counted.  I’ve done all this before and its old hat to me.  However, if the more than 300 people who came to that winery on Route 534 go out and vote for these people then it’s all worth it.

Nor did I collapse from heat exhaustion like this poor person did Saturday at the Geauga County Fair.  It occurred right across from the Geauga Democratic Party’s booth where (after seeing the prized rabbits and turkeys and getting a milk shake from members of the local 4H club) what was a brief stop tuned into an hour standing in front in my Michael P. Donnelly for Supreme Court T-Shirt trying to hand off a few white plastic bags full of literature knowing most passers-by just basically want to pass by. In fact, I felt more sorry for the college kid next to me trying to get people to take Matthew Rambo for Judge stickers with a few kids his willing customers.  “Why did I let myself get into this?” I thought as I was doing this once again.  It was the Old World Festival passing out Tim McCormick literature all over again.   To my surprise, I only had one left in my hand when the incident with the heat exhaustion victim occurred.   Security did arrive, and I grabbed a bottle of water from one of the coolers at the tent to give them to administer to the person sprawled out next to the restrooms.  As for me, I eventually left, walked uphill in the heat to the car parked on Burton Square and headed out to Middlefield where I ran into some Rambo supporters in their red T-shirts at a restaurant.  “Nice shirts,” I told them and they said the same.

Sweating away at a county fair is worlds away from the National Cathedral in DC or tweeting nonsense on Twitter.  Look at all the things that happened nationally in just one week?   As I’ve written previously, it’s not just because of habit, or because I have nothing better to do than drive directly home from Akron and turn on the air conditioner (which would have been the smarter thing to do Saturday I admit), and it’s not because 20 years ago I really used to like it, but it’s something bigger.  Perhaps beneath this ‘arrogant bastard’ as someone recently called me, there’s still an idealist who wants to make a difference.   November cannot come soon enough.  In the meantime, there’s everyday life (as we all know), and other writing projects, to do.

Actually, this would be a very nice time for me to be gliding along in a canoe in Canada.  None of the above would matter on Lake Joseph a couple of hours north of Toronto.  Yes, over at the Sherwood Inn, I would see the speedboats go by, or take a water taxi up the lake and look at some of the ‘cottages’ which would be considered expensive homes here in NE Ohio.   Later, after dinner at the Inn, I’d probably run upstairs to my room.  With the ceiling fan cooling the room, I would glance out the window over the shuffle boards and through the pine trees at the water.   In fact, that’s what did the last time I was up there in I think 2003.  I know I wrote a letter to Sherrod Brown at the time and to my surprise getting a reply back home (from him or one of his aids for him I will never know for sure). and a screenplay that would never be optioned by a studio but somewhere listed with the Library of Congress.  Perhaps, one day,  I can share that with the Akron Writer’s Group for their curiosity.  With all the Canadian Maple Leaf Flags fluttering along the shore, the Ohio license plate on my car sure stood out.  What one thinks about when perspiring in tropical heat on a national holiday.

Labor Day has come and gone.  Let’s see what the next few months have in store.  In the meantime, I have to wash a shirt.


Note; This has been updated September 4th 2018 and September 5th 2018 respectively.