Public Square, 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. Some guy is sprawled out on the steps at the front edge of the speaking stage below the Moses Cleaveland statue, fast asleep.
The gazebo at Cudell Recreation Center is four miles away from the Republican National Convention. It is also a stop on the popular augmented reality game Pokemon Go.
Search for downtown Cleveland on Google Earth before Friday and a giant, pixelated blob of commemorative Trump-themed swag will appear before your very eyes.
As it turns out, even after a lifetime of stupid questions, there are still more to be asked. I learned this on day two of the Republican National Convention, when I went around asking one: “How do you define the American Dream?”
Video: Clevelanders Talk About Tamir Rice, the RNC & Cleveland
Donald Trump is a clown; a buffoon; a fool. The 2016 election in general and the RNC in Cleveland in particular is a circus. Just ask Comedy Central, which has trucked in its own Daily Show sideshow for the occasion, and whose alum, Steven Colbert, crashed (or “crashed”) the stage of the Q Sunday evening tricked out in his blue fright wig. But a circus is supposed to be fun, and clowns are supposed to be funny. And as a group of Cleveland clowns maintain, in this instance, none of this is the case.
“If you walk down any protest line, there’s no discourse. It’s just yelling,” says Eric Helms, plausibly the only Clevelander to put up his own billboard in anticipation of the arrival of the Republican National Convention. “No one is listening to each other. Discourse is dead.”
As the regional headlines mark the 50th anniversary of the Hough Riots, I recall a line in a poem by d.a. levy, observing the madness that erupted from July 18th to July 23rd in East Cleveland... they are looting stores trying to get televisions so they can watch the riots/on the 11 pm news
“This is the Johnny Manziel of conventions.” That quip has been ringing in my head, a very Cleveland one-liner shared by a friend a few days before I set off to spend a week at the Republican National Convention.
The scene in Public Square was downright idyllic in the hours before the RNC began. As Belt editor Martha Bayne and I lounged on a picnic table in the shade Sunday afternoon, I watched happy kids playing in the new fountains.
"I don't know, it's just crazy here now it seems," Rick Matisak said as he sat outside a coffee house in Gordon Square in Cleveland. A gentle unease had settled over the city in the days before Donald Trump arrived to claim his nomination.
It's here. The National Security Event known as the Republican [...]