My blog., Opinion, Uncategorized

Happy Presidents’ Day From Mad Man On A Great Lake.

Can you believe February is almost over?

There was a time when we didn’t just have a Presidents’ Day but two.  As anyone who has seen the film Holiday Inn with Bing Crosby can tell you, there was once a holiday for George Washington and other for Abraham Lincoln.  While some people out there might have been up in arms to know that government workers and teachers would have had two-day off if this was still going on, nevertheless it would have been nice to still celebrate these two great men individually.

Between work, my writing project, and life in general, it has been hard to write for this blog.  Then again, I think the bad comment I received a few months back subconsciously intimidated me which just shows I have to develop a thicker skin if I am to write for public consumption.  After all, one week later, I received a very nice comment from someone I am acquainted with from the Geauga Democrats who really liked, guess this, one of my pieces regarding East 185th Street North Shore Collinwood.  No politics at all!  That’s the point, I may veer off on occasion because of my concern over the state of this nation right now, but Mad Man On A Great Lake is more than that.

So, I guess I can share the link to this piece in the Guardian I read about the current resident of the White House (I couldn’t post a really good one from the New Yorker about his “Russian Gamble” but here’s a transcript of the indictment courtesy of the Atlantic).  I thought people were going overboard when they said that the man is not a legitimate president but after Friday’s Indictment you don’t have to be just on the hysterical left to wonder.  Well, that’s enough!

I was surprised to see today a few people looking at one of my old pieces on the phantom neighborhood of Beachland in the Nottingham area of North Shore Collinwood (still following me?)  Once our development corporation gets its’ act together they should join with the councilman into getting the city planning department to change our neighborhoods name back to North Collinwood or something a lot more catchy.  Hey, why not Euclid Beach so we can really confuse people looking for Euclid Ohio?  At least that name has a history here.  Actually we have a lot more projects to tackle than just branding the area.  I still can’t wait to take a tour of the La Salle Theater once they really get around to doing it.

Anyway, for those who have read this, thank you very much for your continued interest.

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

Where It’s All Heading? A Quick Little Post.


A trail in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. 

Last month, Mad Man On A Great Lake received 122 views.  That dos seems better than one but, for me, it’s kind of makes me think.   After all, this is supposed to be an outlet to self publish things that apparently real publications such as Crain’s Cleveland business aren’t interested in (What Happened to the West Quad Project? March 7 2017).  It has also turned out, mainly in my quick little posts, a mean to articulate my voice on issues, for the most part lately political since in the real world I am pretty much forced to play the role of listener with people who basically want others to validate their own views, no matter how much I truly disagree with them.  That was not the plan for this.

While perhaps A Long Hot Stinking Summer probably deserves only 6 views throughout the world, I would have thought that Don Peck’s America Is Still In a Pinch would have received far more than the 14 views generated.   After all, a lot more time and effort was put into that.

Like many other things, I have to contemplate where I am going with this and if the direction is towards a cliff instead of a gate, I will just turn and walk away.  Well, enough self-pity, there are other things that need to get done.

Okay Ladies and Gentlemen, enjoy your Saturday Evening.  I sure plan to.


Photograph by James Valentino.



About Cleveland, My blog., Opinion, Uncategorized

The Trump Flying Circus.


Looking west on Prospect Avenue Tuesday at the Innerbelt ramp. The Terminal Tower in the distance.

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.


A view of Lake Erie at Presque Isle State Park, Erie Pennsylvania.

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


A Quick Little Post

Fall in NE Ohio; Another Quick Little Post.

The North Chagrin Reservation Nature Center.

The North Chagrin Reservation Nature Center.

Oberlin November 1, 2015

A quiet street in Oberlin, Ohio.


The view from Chalet Debonne in Ashtabula County.

One of the reasons that I haven’t come up with any in-depth posts for Mad Man On A Great Lake lately is because of the wonderful weather we’ve been having here in Cleveland Ohio.  The last couple of days we’ve had highs in the 70’s which makes everyone want to go outside and enjoy.  This made the last couple weeks a great time to hop in the car and see the leaves change colors.

A view of the Polly Harper Inn in Grand River Wine Country taken in October.

A view of the Polly Harper Inn in Grand River Wine Country taken in October.

Many locals complain about how the weather seems to change all the time.  The saying goes that you can have 60 degrees one day and the next snow.  Of course, it’s an exaggeration to a point.  We have four seasons here and while it does mean we can get hot and sticky humid summers which make me want to sit in front of the air conditioner (and cold snowy blustery winters that make the morning commute a mess), we usually happen to have very a nice spring and fall.  The warm waters of Lake Erie moderate the weather a little and, while killer frosts have hit places like Mansfield further inland, Impatiens are still blooming in my yard.  This must have an impact on the trees as well.  Even though it’s already November, as I drove through Rockefeller Park in Cleveland to get to the job Friday morning, I marvelled that most of the trees still had their leaves; and it made a nice show.

A view of Shaker Boulevard at Shaker Square in Cleveland, Ohio. Taken November 4th, 2015.

A view of Shaker Boulevard at Shaker Square in Cleveland, Ohio.

The autumn leaves at Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine in Euclid, Ohio.

The autumn leaves at Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine in Euclid, Ohio.

However, on this first full weekend of November, temperatures will be reverting back to seasonal 40s and 50s, at least for a spell.  Soon, the trees will be bare and pines will be brought inside for the Holidays.  The colors are fleeting but an annual treat.

South Ridge Road in Ashtabula County looking west.

South River Road in Ashtabula County looking west.

Photographs taken by James Valentino


A Quick Little Post: What you can and cannot say with Social Media

Earlier today, I decided to drive down to a store at East 152nd St. and Westropp and drove down Waterloo Rd. to get there.  As you have seen on this blog, I have noted what is going on with the neighborhood and that included the Waterloo Arts Fest.  Today, at ten thirty in the morning, I only saw two people along that stretch of road.  Because of other things going on with me in real world’ I wrote on my Facebook site that the place was DEAD in capital letters which I shouldn’t probably do.  That’s when I received a response from someone who usually doesn’t respond.  He said it was rude which I admit was true.  So, I deleted it.  Yet, wasn’t the area around this entertainment district supposed be a 24 hour neighborhood by now full of young artists?  Maybe it is and I am just too busy heading to work on the freeway to notice.  I’m sure that Gordon Square and Little Italy (well, Gordon Square anyway) are just as quiet at that time of day compared to a Saturday night.

The thing with Social Media, and I do see this on Twitter as well, is that you really cannot say everything you want. I remember replying to a comment posted on The Hill regarding how Republicans in Congress stymied many of President Obama’s policies and, all of a sudden, these tea party cranks replied saying “look who drank the cool-aid”, and the like. I do understand one shouldn’t use fowl language or direct character assassinations of people (no matter how tempting it is) and I may cross the line regarding a few observations which I usually share in private emails. However, it is hard to remember that these social media tools should only give an edited version of oneself and one’s opinions…which is a shame.

I hope that with my blog posts I am objective and provide a well written account of things on the North Coast.  There is so much potential in this region and some of my pieces do show places that readers should look into.  The reports I have been reading, such as Metals to Minds, are truly important to look at and make you think

Finally, a writer must be objective and keep personal feelings muted; unless you are established columnists who can write whatever they wish about the gang running for 2016 (and I’m not just referring to one D.C. columnist’s pieces on Hillary Clinton). That’s what they get paid for; and I’m not getting paid for this.

In life, you cannot please everyone, but it may be worse if your voice is just completely ignored.