Dominick Farinacci nurtures local talent
An influential twentysomething gets down to brass tacks with a new generation of players.
The days of being a child prodigy are past for Dominick Farinacci, a horn player with nine albums under his 28-year-old belt. Now, the Solon native wants to find – and nurture – other child prodigies who play jazz...Read more
The battle for Lucy's Sweet Surrender
How the owners of historic Lucy's Sweet Surrender are trying to rise above a volatile mix of violence and despair.
Michael Feigenbaum feels trapped in the ghetto. His bakery, Lucy’s Sweet Surrender, is the last vestige of what used to be one of the largest Hungarian neighborhoods outside of Hungary...Read more
Rust Wire's Big Urban Photography Project
Rust belt photographers capture moving pictures of home in "Rust Wire's Big Urban Photography Project."
Despite the bleak overtones, recent decades have brought brilliant shades of color, a youthful vision that gives new context and life, and creates characters who fashion a sense of place that's aware of the urban blight but not defined by it.
A world away on Lake Erie
Artist Karen Sandstrom finds the reflective pull of another world and another time in Marblehead.
I won't go into the whole sad tale, but let's just say that I spent a college weekend in Put-in-Bay and it involved way too much bad local wine and an unfortunate incident that led me to weeping over the song "Brandy" by Looking Glass.Read more
Restoring a Cleveland theater of dreams
Artist Karen Sandstrom takes her "Sketchbook Cleveland" on a date to the theater.
The Palace Theatre opened as a vaudeville house in 1922, but like the rest of the theaters got renovation treatment in the late 80s. It's such a place of pure luxury, and yet it's hard to ignore that the city around it is often a harsh environment...Read more
The passing of Cleveland music pioneer Steve Popovich
Carlo Wolff remembers Steve Popovich, a Cleveland-raised music pioneer.
Steve Popovich died June 8 at his home in Nashville at age 68. A native of Nemacolin, Pennsylvania, he led bands including Ronnie and the Savoys and the Twilighters before working his way up the record industry ladder...Read more
Better by nature and time
Artist Karen Sandstrom illustrates how it's better to be a kid again.
Back in the Pleistocene, it was simply Huntinginton Park (still its shorthand name) – about a quarter-mile ride on a pink Schwinn Sting-Ray from my childhood home in Bay Village.Read more
A view to Shanghai
Writer Carlo Wolff lends some Midwest perspective to life in Shanghai.
At the same time, prosperity is sweeping China, at least from what I saw. In Shanghai, the Bund seemed fresh and spiffy, largely thanks to Expo 2010, which persuaded city fathers to put their best face forward under the motto “Better City, Better Life.”Read more
The 2011 Weapons of Mass Creation Festival
How designer Jeff Finley and his DIY festival is inspiring a region with Weapons of Mass Creation.
"We wanted to make an awesome fest for people like us, people who live to create," says Finley. "We want to inspire and educate our peers in the creative community."Read more
Developing, preserving a historic Cleveland neighborhood
Tremont West Development Corporation does its part to preserve - and advance - a historic Cleveland neighborhood.
For more than 30 years, Tremon West Development Corporation has worked with neighborhood residents and businesses to create a dynamic community, supporting programming like the Tremont Farmers Market, Taste of Tremont, Arts in August, block clubs and more.Read more
Firsthand perspective on war, natural disaster and revolution
Rob Wrobel meets with leaders of Afghanistan and Indonesia, learning how war and peace feel outside US soil.
The connection was rooted in their shared religion, Islam, and a shared set of experiences related to the physical and psychological effects of armed conflict...Read more
Of Mothers and Elephants
Artist Karen Sandstrom explores the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo with her Sketchbook Cleveland.
Ever since financier and philanthropist Jeptha Wade donated his University Circle plot and animals in 1882, the Cleveland Zoo has been a center for fun and learning...Read more
St. Clair Superior's sixth annual Chinese lunar festival kicks off
Come on, get hoppy.
To kick off the Year of the Rabbit celebration, 24 fiberglass rabbit sculptures featuring designs created and applied by Northeast Ohio artists and organizations will be installed throughout Cleveland's St. Clair Superior neighborhood and in other key locations in and around downtown Cleveland.Read more
What if the Obama presidency fails?
As President Obama sets his sights on re-election, Earl Pike wonders: Why, in short, has the change so solemnly promised, and so hungrily longed for, failed to materialize?
Three years ago, the message of change seemed like some cool dew arriving after a long dry season. With the Bush presidency behind us, and the prospect of a McCain/Palin presidency looming, Barack Obama seemed a refreshing alternative to the arid politics of exclusion, marginalization and triumphalist foreign policy.Read more
The Tri-C JazzFest gets a triumphant start
Carlo Wolff experiences the live magic of Trombone Shorty as he and his band kick off the Tri-C JazzFest.
Smooth? You have no idea. Powerful? You had to be there. Funky? Terminally. Witty? Can’t have funk without wit. Charismatic? Consistently.Read more
The Tri-C JazzFest returns to Cleveland
The Tri-C Jazz Fest swings into town with a stellar lineup.
On April 28, a top-notch lineup of musicians from around the globe will play for North Coast audiences as the 32nd annual Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland swings into town. The festival, which runs through May 8, will feature more than 20 live performances at venues across Cleveland, making the Sixth City the undeniable epicenter of cool.Read more
From a different drum comes an unlikely connection in India
Ryan Lally gets more than a music lesson from a stranger in India.
We exchange fragmented pleasantries as he takes his seat across from me. Without a word, his hands, adorned with gold rings and precious stones, begin to flutter across the skins of the drums like a pair of no-nonsense humming birds.Read more
What's so funny about books, love and understanding?
Earl Pike explains why Cleveland's International Welcome Center is cause for warm reception.
It has also stimulated pockets of renewed anti-immigrant sentiment. Take this example from the Plain Dealer, found in the comments section at the end of last week’s article about the Welcome Center: “Why not just target Americans from other cities? All we need is more foreigners on welfare . . .”Read more
The sad reality of Cleveland's economic crisis
Carlo Wolff finds a movie that hits too close to home.
Bron’s dialogue is moving and often witty, but far less eloquent than shots of potholed streets, windowless houses reduced to plywood and siding, graffiti-ridden residences stripped of utilities. The images Cleveland cinematographer Julien Hirsch depicts resemble a ghost town, though the aerial shots show it used to be a big city.Read more
The life and death implications of the governor's budget
Earl Pike explains how the new budget is as much a statewide slighting as it is sleight of hand.
In fact, the Governor’s proposal constitutes a dramatic service reduction, and the consequences, for some, are a matter of life and death.
Harvey Hall bares his Rust Belt soul
Carlo Wolff goes soul mining with an unsung Cleveland legend.
He has fond memories of the Circle Ballroom, at 105th and Euclid; Gleason’s Musical Bar, at 53rd and Woodland; and the Chatterbox Lounge a few blocks west of Gleason’s. Harvey and the Phenomenals played behind the Stylistics and opened for Isaac Hayes, but airplay of its music was confined to black stations WMJO (powered by Ken Hawkins) and WABQ.Read more
Faster county connections for better business
A growing network in Northeast Ohio.
The investments made in the Cleveland and Akron wireless and wireline networks are part of more than $1.4 billion AT&T invested from 2008 to 2010 across Ohio, according to AT&T Ohio president Tom Pelto. Besides offering better service, the upgrades will have a positive impact on area businesses.Read more