Monday, August 14, 2006


More from Cleveland (currently, we're chilling in the shockingly charming town of Pittsburgh):

The people being the nicest people on the planet continued. My depression over the fact that downtown Cleveland is a ghost town also continued.

We decided to hit a sports bar to watch the DODGERS battle the icky Giants on Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN. Our two options were "Scorchers", in the Embassy Suites building, or the Winking Lizard just a few blocks away. Everything else in downtown Cleveland seemed to be closed. The Winking Lizard was perfect, as they had lots of TVs and a tremendous beer list (we had a pitcher of Shiner). Every other TV in the place was showing the baseball game, with the alternating showing the Bengals pre-season game. We expressed to the hostess our desire to sit in a non-smoking section where we could both see the game. This proved difficult, and she reached a level of comical despair. We quickly assessed that we'd have to sit in the smoking section and were fine with it, especially since not that many people appeared to be smoking. But she was walking all over the restaurant showing us options, all of which required one of us to rotate his or her head around 180 degrees to see the screen.

We ate our decent food, drank our delicious beer, and watched what can only be described as an epic battle of great pitching and strong fielding with a dramatic and exciting ending. Then I went to use the ladies room, and found that one stall had been vomited in (cleanly missing the toilet and instead forming a nice pile in front of it), and the other two reeked of marijuana. This must be Cleveland's dark underbelly.

Today we spent the morning wandering around downtown Cleveland. There are some very pretty buildings and monuments to see. There is one commemorating the founder of that fair city, a Mr. Cleaveland. Now I either assume the monument was misspelled (seems unlikely) or the name of the city is (unlikelier). I did some research for my fair readers, and Wikipedia assures me, "The spelling of the city's name was later changed to "Cleveland" when, in 1831, an "a" was dropped so the name could fit a newspaper's masthead." Who knew?

We then drove to Pittsburgh which is lovely! Who knew? The people here are still midwestern nice, but this downtown is gorgeous. We visited the Cathedral of Learning on Pitt's campus, which is this massive tower of an academic building with classrooms 'themed' after different nationalities. The Austrian room has silk upholstered chairs and crystal chandeliers, while the Ukrainian room is all carved wood paneling and a large tile chimney. It's very pretty, though it verges a bit on it's a small world.

We have a Pirates game tonight, and I hope the rain they've been alluding to on the radio does not happen.

Question: Which of the nicknames appropriating an ethnic name for a home team player is more offensive, "Hip Hip, Jorge!" for Jorge "Give me a magic feather and I can fly!" Posada, or "Choo Choo" (complete with train animation on the scoreboard) for Shin-Soo Choo

Pictures next.


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