Photos by OHventures
This past week marked a historic time for the City of Cleveland. The Republican National Convention (RNC) was held in town for the first time since the 1930s, bringing in thousands and thousands of visitors from across the country and the globe. Members of the media, elected officials, delegates, police, and concerned citizens flocked to Northeast Ohio. Many expected a great deal of ruckus and negativity, due to the highly contentious political climate brought on by this year's Presidential election.
All eyes were on Cleveland, but instead of a riot, we gave them a block party. I had the chance to be up in Cleveland most of the week for work, and I can tell you that it was the cleanest, safest, and most energized that I have seen it in a long time (aside from during the Cavs celebratory parade of course). The world had the chance to see the beauty of Lake Erie, the splendor of our landmarks, and the spirit of our people.
Below, see some of the (mostly) non-political pictures I snapped while walking around downtown during the RNC. No matter what your politics, you can appreciate what Cleveland was able to offer the week of July 17-21, 2016.
Ah, the giant "FREE" Stamp! This artwork found on Lakeside Avenue East (2 blocks from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame) is known to be the "World's Largest Rubber Stamp," and is either loved or loathed by Clevelanders. This photo was taken on Monday of Convention week. But as the week went on, more and more people set up artwork and used this site as home base for protests and political platforms. Appropriately so, since many interpret this to be an expression of "FREE" speech.
Three giant sculptures of the word "Cleveland" in cursive font were installed recently around town by Destination Cleveland. The one pictured above is located behind the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum, in Voinovich Bicentennial Park. The others can be found in the Tremont neighborhood and on the shore at Edgewater Park. It's a perfect backdrop for selfies!
Speaking of Voinovich Bicentennial Park, it is a great spot to relax and take a break from the world (especially when something like the RNC is happening blocks away). The park is located on the northern-most shore of Ohio, overlooking Lake Erie. You can see boats floating by, and enjoy a cool breeze (the photo at the beginning of the post is also taken from this park).
Adjacent to the park is North Coast Harbor, which is home to Rock 'N Dock, where many boats are docked, and where you can rent jet skis, paddle boats, and more!. Nearby, you can rent bikes for Cleveland Bike Tours, go fishing, eat at many fun food trucks, or take part in a number of fun events, like Pilates on the Pier!
Just around the corner is the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum. Cleveland was chosen as the birthplace of rock & roll, because a local DJ is widely credited as coining the term "rock and roll" and because Cleveland was the location of the very first rock and roll concert. Now, you can go and see tons of great musical memorabilia and walk through an ever-evolving list of inductees. You can also get your photo snapped with this giant guitar right out front!
This statue is known as the Cleveland War Memorial, found in the Fountain of Eternal Life. It's referred to as Peace Arising out of War. I found this to be a fitting landmark to admire, since our country has been facing a great deal of turmoil as of late. It's found at 350 E. Clair Avenue.
Right along the lake and in downtown Cleveland is FirstEnergy Stadium, which is home of the Cleveland Browns! Now that the Cavs brought home a championship, perhaps the Browns can do the same this year, finally?
Giant blue birds, neon green snails, and multi-colored wolves are scattered throughout downtown Cleveland in statue form. This is a temporary art installment brought to you by the Cleveland Public Library. These colorful creatures bring a splash of brightness to downtown, and you can't miss them (there are 377 of these plastic animals in total!).
East 4th Street is where things did get pretty political, as this strip of bars and restaurants is located right next to the Quicken Loans Arena - the site of the RNC itself. The street was taken over by many media outlets and known unofficially as "media row" - with MSNBC, the Washington Post, and many others broadcasting from this alley. I spotted Colin Jost from Saturday Night Live, Matt Lauer from the Today Show, Eric Andre from Adult Swim, a Trump impersonator, and even a "polar bear" while walking up and down E. 4th Street. Sitting inside Michael Symon's Lola Bistro was a perfect spot for people watching. There was energy of all kinds, and it was really fascinating!