RNC 2016 CLE: “It’s a God awful job, but it’s gotta be done… protecting the soul of America…”

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams

 and radio talk show host, Alex Jones


“Soul Of America” – Ian Hunter (2007)

(67 Photos)

The Republican National Convention came to Cleveland this week, and I could not be more proud of my city. Thank you to Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams and the officers he leads, as well as the hundreds of law enforcement officers from across the country who came to Cleveland this week to help make this a safe, demonstrative, and enjoyable event. Thank you also to Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, and the local and RNC Planning committees. The city was prepared, organized, and shining! I went down to Public Square and East 6th Street on Tuesday, where much of the outdoor activities took place. There were demonstrators of all ilks and persuasions, as well as thousands of Convention attendees taking in our fair city. The feedback that I have read has been overwhelmingly and greatly positive. I made sure to thank the law enforcement officers that I came across, just for being there and for keeping everyone safe. Proud to be a Clevelander!

Photos taken July 12, 16, and 19, 2016


“Theeeere’s… gonna be a show–down…”

“(There’s Gonna Be A) Showdown” – New York Dolls (1974)
“(There’s Gonna Be A) Showdown” – Archie Bell & the Drells (1968)

A billboard along Interstate-77 heading North into downtown. Cleveland in the international spotlight… and we’re ready!

Photo taken March 30, 2016

“I’m a street walking cheetah with a heart full of napalm… I’m a runaway son of the nuclear A-bomb…”

“Search and Destroy” – Iggy Pop and the Stooges (1973)

[10 photos]
Hidden in a heavily overgrown urban meadow on Cleveland’s West 53rd street, just south of Interstate 90– another abandoned factory of yesterday. Built in 1920, the brick structure was part of the Joseph & Feiss Company, a clothing manufacturer famous for it’s Clothcraft brand high quality $15 blue serge suits.

Today, lost in an undeveloped former industrial area, secluded along the railroad tracks, the long-closed facility has become a stopping point for an “underground culture” of urban graffiti artists, gangs, and the homeless seeking shelter. Although attempts have been made to board-up the entrances and smashed out windows, I did discover a passageway inside. But not on this trip– I wasn’t dressed for the “dirty work” it would take to get in… and what/who would I find once I got inside? Maybe another time!

Photos taken September 20, 2014

“As daydreams slide to color from shadow… picture the moonglow that dazzles my eyes…”

“Pure” – The Lightning Seeds (1989)

Found on E. 54th Street and Eliza Avenue– a remote area of Slavic Village, a neighborhood on Cleveland’s south east side.

“Pure and simple every time…”

Photo taken June 17, 2014

“You’re so afraid to catch a dose of influenza… you live your life like a canary in a coalmine… you get so dizzy even walking in a straight line…”

“Canary in a Coalmine” – THE POLICE (1980)

Public Artwork
North Collinwood Neighborhood
The Waterloo Arts District
Cleveland, Ohio

Photo taken April 26, 2014

“You’ll wind up in some factory that’s full-time filth and nowhere left to go…”

“Don’t Go Back to Rockville” – REM (1984)

A collection of 17 photos I took of the historic Warner & Swasey Company factory building located at 5701 Carnegie Avenue near E. 55th Street, on Cleveland’s east side. I snuck into the old building on my lunch hour one day and climbed to the top in amazement.

The factory was built in 1881 and was the fruition of owners Worcester P. Warner and Ambrose Swasey. The factory produced turret lathes, but was more famous for it’s precision astronomical telescopes and other optical instruments.

In 1886, the largest telescope in the world, at that time, was created at this site for the Lick Observatory in California. Other Warney and Swasey telescopes were produced for the United States Naval Observatory, the McDonald Observatory at the University of Texas at Austin, the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, in Canada, and the Yerkes Observatory in Wisconsin, to name just a few.

Because the turret lathes were far more profitable to make, this is what the company concentrated on in the 20th Century. By World War II, employing over 7,000 people, over half of all such lathes produced in the United States were manufactured in Cleveland by Warner and Swasey.

The beautiful structure has been ransacked over the years following it’s closure in 1983. The walk through to the top was fascinating, knowing the work that had been done there, and the age of the structure. The city is going through a 3 Million Dollar remediation project funded by the Federal Government to clean up and restore the old Warner & Swasey factory, but these days, from the evidence that I saw, not much has been done (or even started.) Eventually it is hoped that the facility can be refurbished into new offices, labs, and warehouse space and play a vital role in the continual development of Cleveland’s Health-Tech Corridor.

Interior photographs taken May 13, 2014
Exterior facade photographs taken May 21, 2014

“…old friends… sat on their park bench like bookends…”

“Old Friends” – Simon and Garfunkle (1968)

On the eastern exterior wall of the Superior Building, on Rockwell Avenue in downtown Cleveland– the mural “Life Is Sharing the Same Park Bench” by artist John F. Morrell. Morrell who painted this mural for the city in 1969, died at the age of 77 in 2010.

Photo taken April 15, 2014

“…and all I do is pour… black coffee… since the blues caught my eye…”

“Black Coffee” – Peggy Lee (1953)

And for comparison purposes, the last picture in this 4 picture set– taken by an unnamed photographer in the early 1950’s (courtesy of The Chesler Group.)

At the northwest corner of Detroit Avenue and West 29th Street, on Cleveland’s near-west side, sits a refurbished relic from days gone by… Originally built in 1895 to house the Cleveland Steel Range Company, and later a different company that produced pistons for automobiles and airplane engines, the Van Rooy Coffee Company purchased and moved into the Romanesque-Revival style industrial building in 1935. The company provided “Hotel Quality” roasted Arabica coffee beans from Brazil and around the world as well as teas and spices from The Orient, and quickly developed a “second-to-none” reputation for the highest quality of products. The Van Rooy Coffee Company, still in operation, moved from this building in 2003, to a site just outside Cleveland. The old Van Rooy Building is listed both on the National Register of Historic Places and the Cleveland Landmark Registry.

First three photos taken April 8, 2014

“…’Cause we find ourselves in the same old mess… singin’ drunken lullabies.”

“Drunken Lullabies” – Flogging Molly (2002)

(two photographs: front entrance, and rear patio area)

I was lucky enough to bring in the new year, 2012, at this fantastic Irish Pub– called, “The Treehouse,” but never a St. Patty’s Day… not yet at least!

Located in the heart of Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood, at the northeast corner of Professor and College Avenues, the original structure was completed in 1900. After a variety of different uses over the years, the Treehouse opened for business in 1996 and has been a “must do” entertainment spot along Professor, ever since.

Inside the Jameson and Guinness flow and the crowd arrives nightly. The sizable bar service area is Canopied by a huge tree, with branches extending out over nearly the whole bar area.

I am thinking a pint of Guinness Stout after work today may be in order! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Photos taken January 4, 2014

“…they think that I got no respect, but… everything means less than zero…”

“Less Than Zero” – Elvis Costello and the Attractions (1977)

Found in the old steel yards down in the industrial flats of Cleveland.

Photo taken January 16, 2014

“Well I was layin’ in a hospital bed… a rock and roll nurse went to my head… hold out your arms, stick out your tongue… I got some pills, boy, I’m gonna give you one…”

“Pills” – Bo Diddley (1961)
“Pills” – New York Dolls (1973)

A billboard on the side of this building at 2541 Carnegie Avenue in downtown– Cleveland: the home of world class healthcare, AND the birthplace of “Rock and Roll!”

In the mural, a play on words… and some simple directions. To the left, several city blocks north: the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. And to the right, one of Cleveland’s many excellent hospitals: the St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, just a few blocks south.

*As a side note: Bo Diddley was inducted into the Rock Hall in 1987– The New York Dolls… Hopefully one day!

Photo taken February 13, 2014

“Living on a lighted stage approaches the unreal… for those who think and feel…”

“Limelight” – RUSH (1981)

A mural on the west-facing wall of the historic Karamu House theater at E. 89th Street, in Cleveland’s east side Fairfax neighborhood. The person depicted in the mural is famed alumnus of the Karamu House, actress Ruby Dee. The 40-by-36-foot mural was completed in July of 2013 by nationally acclaimed muralist Kent Twitchell, with help from several local artists and volunteers.

Photo taken January 31, 2014.

“Hey you, up in the sky… Learning to fly… tell me how high do you think you’ll go…”

“Up in the Sky” – Noel Gallagher (OASIS, acoustic 1994)

(2 photos)

Lucky’s Cafe
777 Starkweather Avenue
Tremont Neighborhood
Near west side – Cleveland, Ohio

Photos taken December 11, 2013

“Paint no illusion, try to click with what you got…”

“Go Let it Out” – OASIS (2000)

The Sherwin-Williams Company, home to Sherwin-Williams Paints, was founded by Henry Sherwin and Edward Williams in Cleveland, Ohio in 1866. Still internationally headquartered here, S-W’s is a strong player in the cultural fabric of Cleveland. This mural, across the street from Quicken Loans Arena in downtown, where the NBA Cleveland Cavs play, is but one shining example. I do believe most of the items painted in this Cleveland depiction, are featured as photographs in this blog. “…try to click with what you got…”

Photo taken September 9, 2013

“Gasping at glimpses of gentle true spirits… he runs… wishing he could fly…”

“Helplessly Hoping” – Crosby, Stills and Nash (1969)

The Cleveland Public Power Plant (formerly the Municipal Light Plant) sits on the shores of Lake Erie, near downtown Cleveland. The artwork “The Song of the Whales” painted by artist Robert Wyland, was completed in 1997, and is one of many “Whaling Walls” that the artist has rendered. The Cleveland example is number 75 in his “collection” of 90 such mural paintings nationally. The dimensions of the art, which is readily viewable from I-90 heading into downtown, is 300 feet long, and 108 feet high. Definitely a site to see when visiting the city!

Photo taken November 5, 2013

“…with her line blown out she’s hummin’ like a turbojet… propped her up in the backyard on concrete blocks for a new clutch plate and a new set of shocks…”

“Open All Night” – Bruce Springsteen (1982)

Cleveland Packard Building
Built in 1915
Classical Revival Architectural Style
Located at 5100-5206 Prospect Avenue, in Cleveland, Ohio
Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984

The building served as Cleveland’s Packard Automobile Dealership from 1915 to 1939.

Photo taken October 28, 2013

“Snow can wait, I forgot my mittens… wipe my nose… get my new boots on…”

“Winter” – Tori Amos (1991, live)

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard at University Circle, on Cleveland’s east side– Public artwork by Brittany Lockwood, Cleveland Institute of Art, Class of 2014.

Photo taken October 17, 2013

“I’m gonna go dancin’ every night… I’m gonna see all the city lights… I’ll do everything silver and gold… I got to hurry up before I grow too old…”

“Silver and Gold (before I grow too old)” – Joe Strummer And The Mescaleros (2003)

An exterior wall to the Market Garden Brewery, located on West 25th Street, next to the West Side Market, in Ohio City – Cleveland, Ohio. The wall is complete with a “mail” box attached filled with chalk for adding your answer!

Photo taken September 27, 2013

“One love, one heart… let’s get together and feel all right…”

“One Love (People Get Ready)” – Bob Marley and the Wailers (1977)

An exterior wall mural on a building located at East 117th Street and St. Clair Avenue, at the eastern reaches of the city of Cleveland.

Photo taken May 30, 2013

“Hello world, here’s a song that we’re singin’… Come on get happy!”

“The Partridge Family TV Theme Song (Come on Get Happy) – The Partridge Family (1970)

A building cluster in downtown Cleveland, one block north of Jacobs Field.

Photo taken July 16, 2013

“I stood stone-like at midnight… suspended in my masquerade. I combed my hair ’til it was just right, and commanded the night brigade”

“Growin’ Up” – Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (1978, live from the Cleveland Agora, with the “infamous” story)

At the Gordon Square Street Festival
Detroit Avenue near W. 65th Street
Cleveland, Ohio

Photo taken June 8, 2013

“When your world is full of strange arrangements…”

“The Look of Love” – ABC (1982)

A colorful exterior wall of The Glass Bubble Project building– a Cleveland, Ohio “glass blowing” studio and shop, located at 2421 Bridge Avenue in Ohio City.

Photo taken May 2, 2013

“Welcome to the new age…”

“Radioactive” – Imagine Dragons (2012)

One of the concierge areas in the Miller Pavilion
The Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH

Photo taken May 10, 2013

“She was a long cool woman in a black dress, just a 5’9″ beautiful, tall… but just one look I was a bad mess… ’cause that long cool woman had it all…”

“Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress)” – The Hollies (1972)

Spray paint stencil amateur artwork on a construction wall outside the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Photo taken September 28, 2012

“I spit in a bamboo viper’s face… and I’d be dead, but by God’s grace…”

Memorial Day 2013

“Drive On” – Johnny Cash (1994, live from the Viper Room)

Iwo Jima Flag Raising Mural
248 Park Avenue
Amherst, Ohio
Artist: Mike Sekletar

Photo taken December 8, 2012

“I don’t care if you don’t want me… I’m yours right now… I put a spell on you…”

“I Put a Spell on You” – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (1956)

Inside “The House of Blues”
308 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio

Photo taken April 12, 2012

“It’s a dirty job but someone’s gotta do it…”

“We Care A Lot” by FAITH NO MORE (1987)

UCC Headquarters
700 Prospect Avenue
Cleveland, OH

Photo taken January 16, 2013

“One mint julep was the cause of it all”

“One Mint Julep” – The Clovers (1952)

One of the million-and-one interesting things you can find on the streets of the Big Easy… Here, at 228 Decatur Street in the French Quarter, New Orleans, the aging “Emerson’s Ginger Mint Julep” hand painted exterior advertising mural from days of old.

Photo taken March 19, 2005

“Chock full o’Nuts is that heavenly coffee…”

“Chock Full o’ Nuts”

Chock Full o’ Nuts Coffee
exterior building art advertising
Manhattan – New York, NY USA

Photo taken July 2, 2005

“Baby, You Can Drive My Car…”

“Drive My Car” – The Beatles (1965)

Edison’s Pub
Tremont neighborhood
2373 Professor Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio

Photo taken June 27, 2003

“Well, show me the way… to the next whiskey bar”

“Alabama Song” – The Doors (1966)

Inside the Opryland Hotel
2800 Opryland Dr.
Nashville, Tennessee

Photo taken June 27, 2003

Artiste Cubano

Cafeteria Guarda Barranco
Calle Ocho, Little Havana – Miami
1390 SW 8th St.
Miami, FL 33135

Photo taken November 9, 2006