One of the reasons I haven’t been able to write as much as I wanted is because of all the things that have been happening at once. This does not include what is being shown on the news everyday. Last Sunday there was an afternoon with Jerry Springer in Bainbridge Ohio. Friday, a planning and zoning workshop in Warren Ohio. This week block watches and ward club meetings once I get home from the job. I have to use the lunch break on the job just to read the Washington Post Daily 202 just to get my bearings with what the heck is happening to this country. I wound up listening to NPR’s broadcast of the James Comey hearing in my car as I drove from work to get ready for my dental appointment.
To think that two years ago we would be at this point right now boggles my mind.
So, when things are spinning around you and you shoe horn things into your daily routine so they can get done, what do you do? Well, in my case drive to the East 55th St. Marina Saturday night to hear a band and hang out by the water. A waitress at a local diner told me about this and in some ways it’s one of Cleveland’s best kept secrets. The marina, just west of the remains of Gordon Park and the now demolished First Energy Power Plant, hase been driven past by thousands of commuters from Eastern Cuyahoga and Lake Counties daily as they head downtown to work or go to the West Side. It’s that easy to miss since it looks like a blur of docked boats with an ugly structure at the end of a parking lot extending into the Lake. However, there’s a little more to it than what meets the eye.
Every Saturday night in the summer, the marina is host to a series of bands just like those held at Edgewater Park on Thursdays or at Wade Oval at University Circle on Wednesdays. However, with a smaller crowd and ample parking, the ones at the marina seem more appealing. Also, instead of a bunch of food trucks, there is an outdoor bar and restaurant people can order from. While the place may not have the bottles of champagne in wine cases that I saw Friday at Warren’s Avalon Inn, there is a pretty full bar there and soft drinks too which is what I settled for. The menu is basic but from what I see just as good as what you can find at Wendy Park on the other side of town. There’s even a little shop.
Since they took over, the Cleveland Metroparks have taken measure to improve the maria (as they have the other parks and beaches they acquired like in North Collinwood). However, I think that more can be done. As I stood on that pier jutting out into the water I looked across to the breakwall. For some reason, I can see at least six boathouses like I saw up in the Muskoka Lakes Region of Canada being built there. I can also see a water taxi to downtown and Edgewater Park or better a tour boat like I saw in Erie PA going out on Lake Erie from there going to, let’s say, Grand River Ohio for lunch. You can dream up a lot of things standing at the end of a dock.
Another crazy week in the news coming up.
Photographs by James Valentino