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Guide To Republican National Convention In Cleveland: Things You Should Really Know About Clevelanders
PHOTO: The city of Cleveland is a pretty cool place. (Photo courtesy of Cleveland Facebook page)
Like all of Ohio and the Rust Belt, Cleveland is a city of hearty souls.
Just as it would be unfair to brand all southern cities as quaint and charming, or east coast cities as brusque and pushy, or west coast towns as laid back and sporting a good vibe, it would be a misnomer to still consider Cleveland a blue-collar stronghold.
Oh, it is. But it’s also sophisticated, cosmopolitan and worldly.
So if you’re in Cleveland, or heading there for the Republican National Convention from July 18-21, here are some things you should know about Clevelanders.
NO MORE "MISTAKE BY THE LAKE": These city-dwellers are long past the Municipal Stadium days of Cleveland, symbolically marked by its lousy sports teams and the ‘Mistake by the Lake’ moniker – the nickname given to the since-torn-down Municipal Stadium and the city itself. Now, football’s Cleveland Browns and baseball’s Cleveland Indians play in beautiful new venues. And convention-goers at Quicken Loans Arena should know they are sharing floor space with the National Basketball Association champion Cleveland Cavaliers, who took home the city’s first sports title in 50 years last month.
THEY LOVE WINTER: While Cleveland is subject to the whims of Lake Erie and the lake-effect snow every winter, true Clevelanders actually enjoy the winter months and put up with the snow and the cold and the shoveling. And, actually, Cleveland isn’t even the snowiest city in the country or in Ohio for that matter – that designation goes to Erie. Cleveland was 30th on the list for the winter of 2015-16’s snowiest U.S. cities, with places like Detroit, New York, Chicago and Boston receiving more snow. So there.
THEY HAVE THEIR OWN SAYINGS: For better or worse, if you ask a tourist to describe a New York City-centric word, it’s probably “fugghedaboutit.” In Los Angeles and southern California? “Dude.” And so on. Well, Cleveland has its own vernacular peculiarities as well. True Clevelanders say “tree lawn,” which is the space between the sidewalk and the street; it’s “tennis shoes,” not sneakers, to describe athletic footwear; “suckers” for lollipops; it’s “pop,” not soda or Coke; and “Do you have a taste for anything?” is Cleveland-talk for asking for your preference.
MORE THAN DOWNTOWN: Ask a Clevelander where the hot spots are and more than likely they will say ‘Downtown’ or ‘Warehouse District.’ But the locals know that, just as New York City isn’t defined solely by Broadway or The Village, Cleveland can’t be pigeon-holed either. Be sure to ask about some great places to go in the Ohio City, Gordon Square or Tremont neighborhoods. You’ll totally endear yourself to true Clevelanders.
THEY ARE FIERCELY LOYAL TO THEIR SPORTS TEAMS: In fact, Browns fans are among the most loyal and passionate in the country even though the football team hasn’t won a title in a half-century, and baseball’s Indians are currently in first place in the American League Central Division. LeBron James and the Cavaliers ended the title jinx, so this year’s team will forever go down in Cleveland lore as one of the greatest ever. Oh, and be prepared to fight – verbally or otherwise – if you’re wearing any University of Michigan gear in Ohio State country.
More by Rich Thomaselli
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