Take me out to the Ballgame
Take me out to the Crowd
Buy me some peanuts and crackerjack
I don't care if I never get back
Unlike the author of this song, I was anxious to get to the ballgame to watch my beloved Cubs play in the World Series! As some of you may know, I am from the Midwest. Although I have lived in New York longer than I did (outside) Chicago, I still consider myself a Midwesterner. As such, I still retain many of my "Midwestern" idiosyncrasies (though my wife thinks they have faded somewhat!). They include:
- a sincere openness to meeting new people;
- a love of stopping by someone's home unannounced;
- and of course, fondness for the Chicago Cubs!
Of course, that led me to Cleveland (timing worked better than Chicago) for the World Series. My memories of Harry Carey singing Take Me out to the Ballgame embodies what is great about sports ... the collective experience. This may be the joy of success, the agony of defeat, or even standing shoulder to shoulder with friends, family and/or fellow fans during the 7th inning stretch and singing at the top of your lungs. It is especially so when your favorite team does not play where you live. There is something spiritual and unifying about knowing that your friends and/or family are watching the very same game as you despite the geographical divide. I have spent most of the early games texting with three childhood friends (also Loupers) as the game is in progress, as if we were there together, when we are spread across the country!
The opportunity to attend a Cubs World Series Game is something truly special, something others haven't been able to do for many generations. So my son and I made the relatively easy commute to Cleveland from New York and experienced something much bigger than the World Series in Cleveland. In this week's Find, we rediscover and relish in Midwestern roots!
When I first came to New York, I would stop by my friends apartments unannounced. This is apparently something tried and trued New Yorkers would never do (as my city girl wife always says). I am not sure whether its viewed as an invasion of privacy, or simply not worth the time. Certainly in this uber connected world we live in, it really isn't necessary to stop by without a call, email, or even text. Nonetheless, the hottest app out there is Houseparty. For the record this was introduced to me by my kids, some of whom (one) will friend me. Essentially this app allows you to join a video conference with your friends, and quite possibly friends of friends. It is like just stopping by as you join a video call in progress or knock on the door to start a new one. It creates a Brady Bunch feel as all the participants video feeds are tiled on the screen. This app brings back that Midwestern ethos and keeps you in the Loupe (without leaving the house) on the biggest thing since Snapchat! Feel free to knock on my door and join my Houseparty!
Cleveland is a great Midwestern town, greeting visitors with open arms (thanks Lebron). It is going through somewhat of a renaissance/revival right now as the real estate is booming (thanks Lebron), the restaurant/food scene is exploding (thanks James Beard chefs Jonathan Sawyer, Zach Bruell, Michael Symon) and the arts/entertainment sector is burgeoning (thanks Lebron). Everyone should find any old excuse to make this easy trip ... from New York it is only a little over an hour flight. As stated earlier, I went for the World Series between the Cleveland Indians and my Cubbies. I wished I had thought to go the night before for the Championship banner hanging for the Cleveland Cavaliers, 2016 NBA champions. They built a new modern Hilton Hotel just in time for the Republican Convention, which is conveniently located for any itinerary, or you can stay at the Ritz Carlton or Westin. Come for the Cavs, and stay for everything else!
Located near the stadiums, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (designed by IM Pei) is a must see for music lovers and everyone else. I have been to many Hall of Fames, and this is one of the best! Did you know Rock & Roll was a term used by Blues musicians to describe sex (Cake by the Ocean anyone)? I wish every museum was able to show not only the history, but also the ethos of its subject. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame covers Rock & Roll well, but also other styles of music that came before and after. They provide a detailed history of the people and technological advances that made it all possible. They have incredible footage of concerts and induction ceremonies that will bring you back to a time and place, quite possibly more collective memories. For me, all roads lead back to the MIdwest where I bought my first cassette (The Who's Greatest Hits...R&R inductees), listened to it on my first Sony Walkman (on display), and went to my first concert (Michael Jackson Thriller). You can even go to the site and vote of next year's inductees here! I lobbed in a vote fot the J. Geils Band because my blood runs cold, my angel in the centerfold! Go there and see why Cleveland's nickname is the "The Rock and Roll Capital of the World" (sorry Nashville).
Pro Football Hall of Fame
2121 George Halas Dr NW, Canton, OH 44708
Why Canton? The NFL was founded in Canton in 1920. Canton is a 50 minute drive from downtown Cleveland and a detour not to be missed. This may very well be the best Hall of Fame yet (and I've been to just about every Hall of Fame in the US). It is often called the cathedral of football and after going there I understand why. It is an incredibly powerful place to bow down to the football greats and experience them in all their glory. Amazingly only ~300 have been inducted in, but the museum provides so much more. Fist we experienced what is recognized as the greatest football card collection of its kind, not only having specimens dating back to the 1800's, but also teaching one how to collect and store cards. The Hall's five core values that are learned from the game are commitment, integrity, courage, respect and excellence; hence, the message is bigger than football!
Let me root, root, root for the CUBBIES
If they don't win it's a shame
For it's one, two, three strikes
You're out at the old ballgame
Here's to the Cubs winning the World Series and Cleveland continuing to rock and rise as the 6th city! Consider yourself in the Loupe and Midwestern values and hospitality found with Houseparty and a must-do trip to Cleveland!