One of the things that I love about Cleveland is the bridges. The bridges, you say? Yes, those tenuous towering giants made of ridiculously huge but surprisingly majestic steel beams. Bridges evoke images of industry, and of past productivity, and of changes in store for Cleveland in the future.
Nearly everyone I talk to in Cleveland who is from Cleveland decries the sad state of things in this city. And then they look at me oddly when I tell them the things I love about it already! Maybe I am a hopeless optimist, but if you’re going to live in a place for at least a few years, you need to find things about it to love!
I love how immense the bridges are, and I love the huge steel beams. For me, they are a symbol of industry, progress, and strength, but also, in a roundabout way, they show our connection to and necessary deference to and respect for nature. Rivers are a powerful natural force, and bridges show our tenuous connection to nature.
My favorite bridge so far: the Lorain-Carnegie bridge with the fantastic art deco “guardians of transportation” statues carved into the tall pylons at either end of the bridge. I think the statues look like a cross between the statues of the kings of old in The Two Towers and weird superheroes that are officially named “The Guardians of Traffic.”
I may be a little bridge-crazy.
On my commute to work, I have my choice of about five awesome huge industrial bridges over which to cross the lovely Cuyahoga River. Yes, my office is in the Flats, right on the river, right where it caught fire. Woo hoo! I have also heard rumors that there is a salt mine around there where a relative of mine apparently worked. And I need to ask my uncle about my Simon relatives that, rumor has it, after moving here from Germany in the late 1800s, started a boilermaking factory in the Flats. Mental note to find out about that.