Tuesday, March 4, 2008

i can't think of a better way to spend the night, than cruising around underneath the yellow lights...

a good friend of mine is moving back to the 216 from columbus at the end of this month.

when she would come up to visit, we'd end up doing these drives through cleveland, often late at night, soaking it in and exploring.

her friends in high school used to drive around the east side looking for where bone thugs grew up but we never did that.

this became a tradition, partly because everything else was closed and we wanted to catch up since we hadn't seen each other. for some reason, this has become one of my favorite things to do, and i know it will be one of my favorite memories when i look back on this time in my life.

since then, i've take others on what has become my 'grand tour of cleveland,' which usually involves taking the shoreway to the east side, driving through little italy, down through chinatown through downtown to the industrial part of the flats, and up through tremont.

these are the things i'll remember from these ventures...

the guy on detroit releasing a cage full of doves on christmas eve
wanting to join the kids climbing up the free stamp
dancing to elton john and bob dylan on the rock hall plaza
bats swarming around the national city bank tower,
all the candy-colored cars with the big rims on west 6th
driving over the lit-up bridges because they're beautiful
ending up on streets we didn't know existed
singing along to the clash
the christmas lights and snow blowing down detroit road
doing the "axl rose snakedance" at a gas station at 2am
the gorgeous solitude of cuyahoga valley national park
cops in riot gear and people running everywhere on st clair
the perfect view of downtown on the other side of the lorain-carnegie bridge
wondering who lives in those city-block sized mansions in bratenahl
getting lost on the east side all the time
singing 'this land is your land' while driving through the flats
finding van gogh's starry night rendered in spraypaint under a bridge.

i don't know why driving and music go together so well, it must be some weird american ingrained cultural thing. but there's something exhilarating about being out with a good friend and having good music on the stereo and the windows rolled down seeking small adventures that does it for me every time.

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