Well, ladies and gentlemen, it’s almost over. From Melania Trump’s recital Monday to Ted Cruz being booed off the stage at the Q last night, the parts that I forced myself to watch were a sight to behold. I have to admit that the 2016 Republican National Convention is one heck of a show, and it sure has provided food for thought, and late night jokes.
For me personally, it hasn’t been too disruptive. The traffic Monday and Tuesday mornings on the Shoreway were in fact better than the regular commute; even colleagues living on the West Side were surprised how easy it was heading to University Circle where we work. However, as I got on the Innerbelt at Prospect Avenue at two in the afternoon Tuesday, I saw the cars heading South crawling like it was rush hour. I didn’t have any interest or curiosity about heading downtown to see where all the action is; and not just because of the barracades. Instead, like many others I know, I headed east, as far as Erie Pennsylvania yesterday to be exact. There, on a tour boat called the Lady Kate, I spent an hour and a half taking pictures, enjoying the ride, and forgetting what was going on one state away.
There is a mixed message on how it will a benefit Northeast Ohio. It’s a great thing to see, if we believe the local news, all the positive impressions that the delegates have of our area. I saw on, like so many others watching the T.V. news, footage of the California Delegation having fun at Cedar Point Amusement Park, and another on how restaurants and bars are doing good business around the Q. On the other hand, someone at work told me she saw something about how many restaurant owners were disappointed. Another interesting fact, on Saturday, a friend of mine told me over breakfast that a hotel in Lake County, booked in advance for the convention, only had a 20 percent occupancy so far. Perhaps the rest came in the next day but this wasn’t the only place out in Lake County that had at that point such vacancies.
It’s quite possible that the Democratic Convention next week in Philadelphia will be more disruptive. Someone I know who is going as a delegate told me on the phone recently that since many feel that they have more a chance to have their voices, and causes, heard by the delegates heading to Phillie than the group now at the Q, they will make their presence loud and clear. Admittedly, and with relief, those protesting now on Public Square in Cleveland haven’t been as disruptive (with the exception of trying to burn a flag) as so many of us feared. It could have been a whole lot worse and Cleveland would be remembered for something other than having a good time at a three ring circus. Let’s cross our fingers, we still have a few hours to go.
Photographs taken by James Valentino