Cleveland – November 2018 – Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead)

In Mexican culture the Day of the Dead is celebrated the first two days of November. This celebration honors the memory of those who have passed on.

Presented by the Cleveland Public Theater and Artistas Latinos Unios, Cleveland has had a Dia de Muertos for 14 years.

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Most participants paint their faces.

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While it might seem morbid, it is in fact a joyous occasion that is intended to dispel fear of death and embracing the cycle of life.

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In Cleveland many non Latino people participated.

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While most had face paintings, traditionally hand made clay skulls are also used.

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The Cleveland Public Theater is housed in a former church. Inside they had a number of exhibits set up.

This young lady had one honoring her family.

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As did this young lady. Note in the back numerous photos and offerings to her deceased family members. Throughout the church/theater and outside in the ‘pop up’ cemetery were a number of such altars (known in Spanish as ofrendas)

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One of the event coordinators was ready.

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It was a really cool event, with lots of great looks.

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Stylish and macabre at the same time.

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Finally it was time for the procession to begin…..

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One of the bands lead the march.

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Anyone who had signed up and was in ‘costume’ could participate.

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Some clearly had spent more time putting together their look.

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One of my favorites.

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Many entire families participated.

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This young lady had the face painting but the rest of her family wore the masks.

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Happy skeletons!

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The origins date back thousands of years and coincide with the annual harvest. It combined Aztec and Christian practices.

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Today is has become so popular in the United States even places like Party City sell merchandise for the celebration, although these ladies clearly did better than going down the local Party City.

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Not sure why, but it seems every Cleveland parade has a number of people on stilts. But what’s not to like in a 10′ skeleton lady coming down Detroit Avenue!

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More stilted skeletons.

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A few had more simple masks, which this guy used to accent his great suit.

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Historically in Cleveland most of the Latinos were Puerto Rican, but they too have embraced the event.

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Also participating was a Horse Drawn Funeral Carriage. Note the very stylish job on the horse’s hooves.

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The carriage had a mannequin complete with mask.

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Dia de Mertos was a fantastic event – I can’t wait for next November. Look for one in a city near you.

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Cleveland – November 2018 – A Traditional Zoo

The Cleveland Metroparks is one of the best parks systems in the United States, circling Cleveland in what is known as the Emerald Necklance

One of their main features closer into the city is the Metroparks Zoo, only 5 miles from downtown Cleveland.

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While much smaller than the more famous Columbus Zoo, in my opinion it is nicer in that there is far less commercialization.

The Metroparks Zoo does have a number of themed exhibit areas including the Rain Forest.  This building, as the name indicates, brings together the plants and wildlife of the jungles.

This little guy is a Golden Lion Tamarin, a highly endangered animal from Brazil.

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The bird below is a Scarlet Ibis. The zoo found it was losing it’s natural color, until they added shrimp to it’s diet.

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A Capybara. While he was in his controlled habitat here, we once had the opportunity to meet one up close in British Columbia. The Capybara is known as the world’s largest rodent, but they seem pretty cool to me.

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Bornean Orangutan. So much for that vegetarian diet keeping weight down – this guy can weigh over 300 pounds.

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The Emerald Tree Boa. 8 feet long with fang like teeth!

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We left the Rain Forest and headed up through the main section of the zoo, stopping to check out the elephants.

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Cleveland has some ravines, and the zoo is built in, and up above one. After the hike up the hill we made our way to the Primates, Cat & Aquatics indoor habitat (with some outdoor space as well).

The Mandrill below is a large monkey, weighing up to 80 pounds.

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One of the many Lemurs.

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This cat like animal is known as a Fossa, from Madagascar. Those in the animal business apparently debate if it is more like a mongoose or a cat.

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More Lemurs – the is time Ring Tailed. This is the most common Lemur.

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Another Lemur – I tried to have a staring contest, which I obviously lost.

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But it was time to move over to the Aquatic side of the house. Our first tank we came to gave us this great view!

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And more…

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We headed back down the hill to the African Savanna section for lions…

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And Zebras

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Our final section was the Wilderness Trek. As I always note on trips to the zoo, I am always torn by being in the presence of such great animals, and the fact that they are stuck in cages. But as with the Tamarin without some conservation some breeds would be totally lost.

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Macedonia, Ohio – September 2018 – Wizard of OzFest

The small Cleveland suburb of Macedonia held a ‘Wizard of Oz Fest’ in the town park. Being in the area we decided to stop by.

Generally the festival was a bust, with just a few vendors peddling Wizard of Oz related trinkets. There were however some people from the local community theater dressed as characters from the movie.

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The people from the theater embraced their parts, doing a good job of staying in character.

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In addition there were a couple of other people who came dressed for the occasion, but very few. Perhaps we timed it wrong as earlier in the day they had a ‘Dorothy 5k’, but I am unsure if many came in costume.

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One of the Wicked Witches guards was on hand.

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One guy put on a one person show where he did the entire movie in 20 minutes, changing his hats/hair/etc and doing a brief piece from the movie.

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The community theater Dorothy.

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The witch.

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The twenty minute Oz wishes everyone a good day. While not the best festival we have ever been to, those in character earn points for effort.

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Cleveland – September 2018 – IngenuityFest

Each September IngenuityFest occurs in Cleveland. It is tough to explain exactly what IngenuityFest is, but their website describes it as ‘sparking creativity among artists, entrepreneurs and innovators of all types, through job and collaboration, in service to civic progress.

What that means is you will find music, lots of music….

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Interesting art….

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Unique performances like a belly dancer will lit candles on her head….

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A lampshade that looks like a cloud….

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A lamp made out of an old drill….

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Really cool art….

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More music….

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A room that you stand in front of a projector and it turns you into a stick person that moves as you move….(a selfie)

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More music….

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The musicians we heard were all quite good.

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The octopus that ate the Terminal Tower.

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These guys were demonstrating their robot that can paint lines on roads, but for this they were making a large painting on the parking lot.

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Held in a hundred year old former factory (where Fuel Cleveland was held a few months ago), even the venue was re-purposed.

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IngenuityFest is one unique event.

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Cleveland – September 2018 – US Sailing Championships

A late September sunny, cool & breezy Saturday was the perfect setting for the US Sailing Championships in Cleveland. Held near Edgewater Beach, the event features teams of 6 competing together in 3 boats.

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The headquarters for the event was the Old Coast Guard Station at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River.

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We had visited this location before, but never had the chance to go inside. The boathouse was fantastic, and on this day actually being used as a boathouse.

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The action took place inside the breakwater.

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As they would sail around the harbor, the boats would tip steeply, forcing the crew to quickly jump to the other side to balance them out.

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There were a variety of great backgrounds to shoot. From this view the Edgewater Marina sailboat masts framed the small crafts.

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A freighter was offloading coal nearby.

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The apartment buildings along the Gold Coast in Lakewood is directly across the lake from the Coast Guard Station vantage point.

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While we watched the Nautica Queen passed by.

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At times it appeared to be more like roller derby than sailing.

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Their routes around the harbor took them near one of the lighthouses at the mouth of the river.

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Clearly having the boats pitched side to side was the fastest way around the course.

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They race identical boats provided by a local sailing group known as the Foundry. Most had sails with a giant Cleveland logo on them.

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The Chamber of Commerce moment number 1 – Sailboats with Cleveland sails going past the art deco Coast Guard building.

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Most of the teams were male/female, which is apparently how you get to the ideal maximum weight of 290 pounds for the crew.

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The Chamber of Commerce moment number 2 – Sailboat with a Cleveland sail going past the lighthouse.

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The racing was continuous with numerous heats constantly coming and going.

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More close action. Amazingly nobody went into the water, but these are some of the best sailors in the country, as the teams came from all over for this event.

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This event was one of the best photography moments I have had in some time.

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Cleveland – July 2018 – A Day in Town

Having come to Cleveland for the Fuel Cleveland event, we had enough time to check out a few other sights.

I had recently read they had a velodrome in the Slavic Village neighborhood, so on the way into town we went to check it out – only to find that the freeway was closed due to construction.

Never fear – we eventually made it there.

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Amazingly there are only 28 velodromes in all of America.

When we arrived late morning there were a few people practicing.

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The track had a steel structural frame with what appeared to be layers of plywood for the track.

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I was surprised at how steep the banking is.

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We watched them run a few laps and headed out.

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After the motorcycle event, we headed over to Edgewater Park and Wendy Park, where the restoration of a classic old coast guard house continues.

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With a warm July day watercraft of all sizes were out.

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Many seemed content just to park and hang out.

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The railroad lift bridge was down for an extended time, causing a backup of boats – but the trains over-rule pleasure boats every time.

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A sailboat with the high rise apartments in Lakewood in the background.

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An interesting mix of old an new – the newer apartments and Lakefront Rapid (light rail) framed by the old Shoreway Bridge and some of the older buildings that have been restored.

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A mix of skyscrapers downtown.

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Look familiar? It is the light house on this blog’s home page – just not covered in frozen mist.

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I am always amazed that the kayaks will get in the same water as the massive ore boats. Note a view of a portion of the Cleveland Browns Stadium on the right.

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The top of a Cleveland landmark – the Terminal Tower.

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A lift bridge and a skyscraper.

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From upper Edgewater the view across the harbor shows just how busy it was on the water.

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While on land some artwork makes for an interesting setting for hanging out.

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While we were there 4 different wedding parties came along for their photo opportunity. Running of the Brides Cleveland version.

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