Saturday, April 15, 2006

Cleveland Part 1

Not much to say, really, as we just recently arrived at the hotel and I'm getting ready for bed. All I've seen of Cleveland is darkness and office building lights.

However, I always get freaked out when crossing the border. First I get needlessly apprehensive when the passports get inspected and the usual questions are asked. I have nothing to fear, but I get nervous.

Then I am always fascinated that crossing a thin, invisible line in the Niagara River separates so much difference. Contrary to popular belief, the US and Canada are not identical. There are vast difference- the infrastructure of the cities, the attitudes of the people, the way things look and the general vibe of the place.

Four examples, all in Buffalo. A roughneck came up to my rolled down window and in a menacing/desperate way pleaded for me to throw out my cigarette so that he could smoke it- not an unsmoked cigarette, but the one in my hand. Knowing that guns are cool down here, I threw it on to the ground and lit another one. Then I developed a romantic notion that this was some kind of abstract kiss- our lips touching via a smoke. Much more likely, he was a creepy guy who was vaguely intimidating and at some level wanted exactly what I had. Second, a couple driving in front of us threw out their half full (or empty) coffee cups out the window on the Interstate... this would be impossible in Canada and I found it totally shocking and immediately was convinced that the couple were both tremendous assholes. Third, there are billboards for lawyers every two seconds. Fourth, sidewalks are not very popular and are sometimes more like very narrow footpaths. One more, politeness seems to impress people here.

I must admit, though, there is a beautiful, grandiose 1920s building in Buffalo that is impressive. Apparently, there is a lot of great architecture there, but it doesn't intrigue me enough to want to visit.

Another surprise is how quiet the area of downtown Cleveland we are staying at is on Friday night...

Anyhow, I'm off to bed. We'll see what Cleveland in the daylight has to offer.


At 1:34 PM, Blogger PDD said...

You know how anal I get with litering... that coffee cup you witnessed totally pisses me off. Seriously.

At 2:24 PM, Blogger Toby said...

Don't get turned off to America with a short visit to its arm pit. It's a big place filled with some bad, but mostly good people.

At 3:19 PM, Blogger Genet said...

Toby: I'm not turned off and have visited the States several times. Just observing that Buffalo is weird.

At 3:28 PM, Blogger PDD said...

Hey Genet! Don't worry I got it from Toby also. But he brings up some good points (on my blog) and he is a super cool guy and pretty smart too. I posted the american flag from this post and directed people to come here.

And yes, I would have to agree, Buffalo is weird.

P.S. I think our personalities are best suited for us :)

At 11:46 AM, Blogger Toby said...

I'm glad to hear it.

At 7:30 PM, Anonymous Niko said...

Oh lord...Cleveland? I can't wait to read the rest of your entires *snicker*

...and sadly, that is pretty typical of most American Cities


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