Gloria Ferris

one woman’s view from a place by the zoo in the city

“Downtown, Things Will Be Great When You’re Downtown”

without comments

This song belted out by Petula Clark was popular when I moved to Cleveland. Back then I loved downtown on Saturdays because I could ride the rapid and spend the day exploring Higbee’s, Halle’s and The May Company, munching on food from Alvies for lunch, and then spending my afternoon at the Library until closing time. That was the seventies. Then there were the eighties when I worked downtown and we would use any occasion to have lunch at one of the many restaurant choices.  I still rode the bus but it was more of a 9 to 5 orientation except some days we would stay after work for happy hour and some conversation outside of work.  And then it was 1990 and downsizing began, there went my nine to five mecca with shopping at lunchtime.  The next fifteen years was spent as my own version of a soccer mom, track and field mom, actually with the first daughter with the little one in tow and then the years with the second one with her art portfolio in tow.

And that brings me to today.  Today was a beautiful day in Cleveland.  The sky was blue, the wind was cool and the temperature was hot.  A great day to ride the bus downtown to a meeting at Playhouse Square with Rich Weiss of the Ingenuity Festival and others.  First thing I did was fire up the trip planner to see what bus I should take from Tower City.  I knew the best route from home was to step out the door to the circulator, hop off at the W. 25th station and ride the rapid downtown.  So with my trip choices in hand I went to the RTA Customer Service Station at Tower City where they have every bus schedule imaginable.  So I picked up a 35 bus schedule which winds its way down Prospect Avenue and a 326 which travels straight down Superior.  Now, this all seemed incredibly strange to me because I wanted to be on Euclid Avenue.  Aren’t there any buses that go down Euclid?  I thought well maybe because of all of the construction they have rerouted everything.  So I walked up to the two lovely people who work at the RTA Customer Service booth and asked them what stop would I get off the 326 to be closest to Playhouse Square.  The very helpful man asked me where I wanted to go.  I told him, and he said you should take the “6”.  His countermate agreed telling me that a bus left from in front of Terminal Tower every ten minutes.  I looked at my wonderful trip plan and nope, no Bus 6 even mentioned.  I said to them both, “Well, it certainly doesn’t look like you are going to be replaced any time soon with the kind of information this trip planner hands out.

Even with the construction, it was an easy commute down Euclid, and I arrived way ahead of schedule.  Another reason today was such a great day in downtown Cleveland was the color orange.  Everywhere I looked there were orange T-shirts, orange hats, BIG Orange “T”s.  I almost thought I was in Knoxville instead of Cleveland.  For those of you who are unaware Coach Summit and her Lady Vols are in the NCAA Championship game tonight.  It was fun offering suggestions to people for lunch and to give directions to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Cleveland was bustling today.  And then, I realized that really if there wasn’t all the orange there really wouldn’t be much pedestrian traffic on this beautiful afternoon.  The people from Tennessee have always been friendly when we travelled to see our older daughter when she attended UT, we marveled at the graciousness of the residents.  Her husband and she have decided to settle there, and Tim and I are pleased because we always enjoy our trips South, but it sure was fun to have some of that Southern hospitality up North here.  I told them that we scheduled the weather just for them, since it appears that later on this week we will again experience snow. 

I love this shrinking city, and I am not so sure that smaller isn’t better. My daughter says that Knoxville is experiencing growing pains because they are growing so fast that the infrastructure is left far behind.   Let’s strive for quality not quantity.            

Written by Gloria Ferris

April 3rd, 2007 at 8:41 pm

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