When I was a kid growing up in the U.S. midwest, Sunday afternoons were oftentimes about drives. Usually into the nearby countryside east of Cleveland, much of which has long since devolved into developments with monstrously enormous homes. It was the same for a colleague Edwin, who grew up in the former East Berlin. But his drives weren’t enjoyed from the back seat of a 1969 Ford LTD. He and his three younger sisters were squeezed into the back of an early 1970s Trabant, similar to the one in the video above.
He didn’t tell me how long his parents waited before their legendary DDR limousine was finally delivered, but my guess is that when it did, they held on to it for some time. The average lifespan of the vehicle was an astounding 28 years. I’ll ask him next time I see him.
Officially it went from zero to 100kph/62 mph in 21 seconds and emitted four times as much pollution as the average car in Europe at that time. In all, 3,096,099 rolled off the assembly line. The one above wound up at the Historiale Berlin Museum and four wound up hanging in a U2 display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland (pictured below). I have no idea what happened to the rest.
Anyone want to describe the riding experience?
But it does have LeBron. Check out this video of this shot, released yesterday for a segment on James for Sunday’s 60 Minutes:
Cleveland 008, originally uploaded by pirano.
This is at the Cleveland Museum of Art, whose renovation is supposed to be completed this year. They allow photography as well, so if you’re interested, here a few items from their permanent holdings.
A handful of other personal favorites from December, shot in Cleveland and Athens, Ohio and in North Carolina, are here.
Previous pic(k)s of the month from 2008: [Nov 08] [Oct 08] [Sep 08] [Aug 08] [July 08] [June 08] [May 08] [March 08] [February 08] [January 08]
Cleveland 015, originally uploaded by pirano.
This fuzzy snap was shot in the basement club of the old Agora in Cleveland in December, or thereabouts, of 1982. It was a meeting arranged by the Cleveland Plain Dealer rock music writer Jane Scott for the area’s budding high school newspaper reporters. Most of them were fairly wide-eyed and star struck. I remember him being quite soft-spoken, almost shy.
Adam Ant was among the first of the Brit New Wave acts that made it relatively big in the US in the early 80s. He was already solo at this point and his Goody Two Shoes was in fairly heavy rotation. As far as I remember, that was already the beginning of the end. [If you must, check out the video here.]
Apparently, after suffering from depression in recent years, he’s staging a comeback.
As many Slovenian bloggers pointed out in recent days, Slovenian has been added to languages available on the google translate scroll down menu. Who’d have thought?
This language spoken by about 2 million at home –and another 50,000 or so in the greater Cleveland area– was among 11 added late last month. Others added: Catalan, Filipino, Hebrew, Indonesian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Serbian, Slovak, Ukrainian and Vietnamese.
It works as well as expected, but there was at least one somewhat amusing glitch reported early on. Forms of the word Slovenkih, a possessive form of Slovenian, was at first translated as Croatian. Keying in Slovenian coast, for example, returned Croatian coast. Oh well, it is a very small coastline after all. It works fine now, all is forgiven.
I scanned these from a 1907 edition of Dom in Svet (Home and the World), apparently a year book of sorts, that I picked up for about 50 cents at a bookshop sale last year.
While this collection includes several Anglicized bastardizations of “words” spoken among the Slovenian diaspora in the U.S. a century ago, it’s amusing to me because you can still hear many of these terms even now in the Slovenian clubs of Cleveland, Chicago or Pittsburgh. I certainly heard quite a few while growing up.
Even more amusing is that forms of these terms have found their way back home, and can be heard in regular everyday usage among Slovenians in Slovenia today.
A few of my favorites:
- Fajtati (to fight)
- mufati (to move)
- Krezi (crazy)
- Apštes (upstairs)!
…Check out its traveling impressionist collection, Modern Masters, aka Monet to Dali, which was a big hit recently in Beijing, Tokyo and Seoul.
The traveling exhibit included 144 pieces, but it was expanded at home to include several pieces that don’t travel well, including the museum’s version of Rodin’s Thinker that was damaged in a bombing in 1970. (Who says Cleveland is boring!)
Best of all, since much of the museum is closed for rennovation/expansion, it’s free!
One of my highlights was this self-portrait by German painter and print-maker Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, a founding member of Die Brücke (The Bridge). It reminded me of African woodcuts, and I really liked his hat. In the early Nazi years, 608 of his painting were seized from Museums and labeled as ‘degenerate art.’
Another souvenir from my holiday visit to the U.S.
This is on Lake Shore Boulevard on Cleveland’s east side, a short stroll from the shores of Lake Erie.
Ohio was one of the states hardest hit in the subprime loan meltdown these past few years. According to a NY Times story,
Last year, there were 1.2 million foreclosure filings in the United States, up 42 percent from 2005, according to RealtyTrac, a firm that analyzes such data. At current rates so far this year, RealtyTrac expects foreclosure filings to hit two million in 2007, or roughly one per 62 American households — a rate approaching heights not seen since the Great Depression.
And things will certainly get worse.
“We’ll see another fairly big spike in (foreclosure) filings in early ’08,” Sharga projects. “Then there’s another group of loans that’s due to reset in May and June, so we’ll see another wave of defaults probably in the fall.”
With so many houses sitting empty, local tax bases are eroding, and will likely erode further as property values are being reassessed downwards.
Happy New Year.
$400 down, originally uploaded by pirano.
Connections between Slovenia and my old Cleveland home are nothing new.
When I was briefly living in Slovenia in the latter half of 1997, the Cleveland Indians made it to the World Series, and the school shooting in Paducah, Kentucky, was one of the first high school shootings to attract considerable international attention. The Indians are once again headed towards the World Series, and there was a shooting today at a high school in Cleveland, with four wounded.
I’m more surprised with the former than I am with the latter.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, originally uploaded by pirano.