Monday, May 6, 2013

It's Monday, I'm Back, And Cleveland!


Yeah, I'm back, whatever, who cares.

So firstly of all, I have an impotent announcement to make, which is that this Thursday, May 9th, I'll be in Philadelphia.  Philadelphia, PA.  (The "PA" stands for Pennsylvania.)  Here, the good people at Bilenky Cycle Works will help me whore my new book, "Bike Snob Awhore."  Here's the agender, as it's been presented to me:

6PM: Meet at Rittenhouse Square (Walnut and 18th) 
6:30: 1.5 hour spin through town
8PM: book signing, chatting, beer, and bowling at North Bowl 

Come for the spinning, stay for the chatting.

Here are some more details from Bilenky, and here's a Facebook page which I can't look at because I'm not on Facebook.

Please come by, because really, what do you have to lose apart from your precious Thursday evening alone time?

Secondly, my absence last week was bookended by two events which could, in the current vernacular, be described as "epic"--so epicly epic I couldn't possibly address them both in a single post.  (I mean, a real blogger could, but I can't.)  One of these "epic" events was the Rapha Gentlemen's Race, which took place in the wilds of New Jersey this past Saturday.  Owing to the fact that I suck at blogging I'll hold my comments regarding the race in abeyance until another day, but for now I will say that I rode with (or more accurately was towed by) the Bicycling team (captained by the aptly-named "Fit Chick") and that it was a hugely enjoyable day of bicycle cycling with five enjoyable people who ride bikes about five times as well as I do.

The other "epic" event was my visit to Cleveland way back on April 27th.  They say you always remember your first visit to Cleveland, and indeed the question "How can a moderately-sized city have so much meat for sale?" is one that will haunt me forever.  

But let's start at the beginning.

I've never been reluctant to hire a car to take me to the airport, but for some reason it felt appropriate to use public transportation to LaGuardia for my trip to Cleveland.  In particular, I figured a miserable rush hour slog in a bus would set the mood perfectly, and so I took the subway downtown to 125th Street (yes, 125th Street is downtown for me), where I stared aghast at someone's ass crack while waiting a full 45 minutes for my bus to travel the 25 feet from the intersection to the bus stop:


(Crack kills, but mopeds are just stupid.)

Finally, I boarded the bus along with roughly 14,000 other passengers.  I won't say I felt like a sardine, because that's both clichéd and déclassé‎, but I will say I felt like a prized clam from the Rias of Galicia:

By the way, canned prized clams from the Rias of Calicia are my favorite snack food, and I went through five tins of the stuff before we even reached the Triboro Bridge or whatever they're calling it now.

At $63.50 a pop, this trip to Cleveland was getting expensive.

Plus, as if all this wasn't indignity enough, the heavy traffic gave me a lot of time to stare at a sign that told me exactly what I was:


I mean I was a schmuck, not a liquidator of antiques.

Finally, I made it to the airport, only to find out that my flight was delayed, and so I bought a book, bellied up to the bar, and started sucking down sickly-sweet airport margaritas as fast as they could make them (which was pretty fast, since I'm fairly sure they came right out of a carton):


Drunk from the margaritas, flatulent from the prized clams, belligerent from the tales of dreaded gangs like the Dead Rabbits, yet surprisingly jocular from mentions of the heyday of the Yiddish theater, it was as though Martin Scorcese and Barry Levinson were battling for control of my body, and it's a miracle I wasn't detained indefinitely by homeland security.

Eventually though, I landed in Cleveland, where I found this display in the airport:


This was about all the boredom I could take for one day and I hadn't even made it to the city proper yet, and so I bedded down in front of it and went promptly to sleep.

The next morning, this person (the Brian one):





And Alex who owns this place:

Took me out for some sightseeing, despite having much better things to do, such as sleeping off their hangovers and generally avoiding the sights of Cleveland.  (Landmark-avoidance is a favorite pastime of Clevelanders, since they prefer not to be reminded that they live in Cleveland.)

I, on the other hand, greatly enjoyed the sights.  Check out these two imposing figures, for example.  They're called "The Guardians of Traffic," and they "typify the spirit of progress in transportation:"


Obviously, I'm talking about the two guys on the bikes.  If you're wondering what those big statue things are I have no fucking idea.

By the way, all panoramic views of the skyline are protected by high fences:


If they weren't, the hopeless lack of grandeur might inspire you to jump.

But it's not all hopelessness and despair in Cleveland.  In fact, here's an uplifting landmark:


You might recognize it as the church from the wedding scene in "The Deer Hunter," a movie which is in no way depressing:


If you haven't seen it I won't spoil it, but I can assure you that Russian roulette was never so hilarious.

Needless to say, by this point I was actually sobbing, so my tour guides took mercy on me and shepherded me to a more uplifting landmark:


At first, given the theme of the morning, I just assumed it was a house from "Sophie's Choice" or some similarly miserable film, but then I wiped away my tears and looked closer:


Actually, that's not exactly what happened.  What really happened was that after we rolled by "The Deer Hunter" church somebody said in an off-handed fashion, "Oh, the 'Christmas Story' house is near here, too."  Then I got all excited and insisted they take me to see it, which made them wince in embarrassment over what a dork I was, and in fact the whole way there they rode at least this far away from me:


So I know what you're wondering, and the answer is, "Yes, the leg lamp is in the window:"


Actually, it's in like every window in the whole neighborhood, and in some cases it's even encased in bulletproof glass like the Pope:


Because, you know, this is all these people have.

After I was finished gawking and they were finished slinking away from me, we rolled by this:


"What's that?," I asked.  David thought I was referring to the giant billiard ball sitting on the grass.  "That's some stupid art," he replied. "No, that," I said, pointing to the big building in the background--which it turns out is a gigantic house of meat and sundry comestibles:


Yes, Clevelanders actually smile in here, so you know it's good.  It's also worth noting that Clevelanders smile at stuff that makes Portlanders cry, such as dead bunny rabbits:


Portlanders ride around on bespoke bicycles wearing artisanal fanny packs and eating kimchi quesadillas out of food trucks.  Clevelanders watch "The Deer Hunter" and eat rabbit and tubular meats while basking in the warm glow of their leg lamps--though as it turns out I was now in the "artisanal" neighborhood of Cleveland:


As evidenced not only by the sign, but also by the gigantic "bike hutch" to which it was affixed:

And by this bike rack:


Even David Byrne himself would be hard-pressed to design a rack with so few viable locking positions.  Apart from the two "o"s pretty much every letter is totally useless.

Still, you have to admire them for trying, and when the sun comes through the bike hutch at just the right angle you can almost pretend you're in some kind of overly gentrified douche-tastic Poortlyn wonderland:


Then again, Cleveland has its own unique take on the whole "artisanal" phenomenon.  For example, in Brooklyn people open stores where they only sell olive oil or mayonnaise, or where some Oberlin graduate will give you an old-timey shave with a straight razor and a leather strop for $75.  In Cleveland, this guy sits outside his shop making bats:


Yes, I'm assured that if you want an artisanal decorative baseball bat for non-sporting purposes, this is the place:


Though if you want a bike you should go next door to Joy Machines:


They have bikes:


They have bags:


They have balls:


They have ambiance:


And they even have a FAG-2:


Plus, you can keep up on all the local happenings, such as the "tweed ride:"

And the "Manly Mart:"


Just be sure to give your beard a good fluffing beforehand.

Indeed, Ohio City seemed to have a good grip on this whole "artisanal" thing, with only one problem:


Uh, you can't have an artisanal neighborhood without loitering.  Loitering is what this whole way of life is about.  Have they never been to Brooklyn?  A hipster is just a loiterer with more expensive pants.

Then again, in Cleveland they don't have time for fancy pants--or for any kind of shirt at all for that matter:


Not sure why he's carrying flowers, but either he's a magician, or else some poor woman is going to get a shirtless apology.

Finally, having soaked up as much Cleveland as I could handle, I headed to the Market Garden Brewery, where we all drank beer:


And where I signed books for people in clever t-shirts:


Before winging it back home to New York:


(I live down there.)

In all, it was a very enjoyable visit, and I will always keep a leg lamp burning for Cleveland.

84 comments:

samh said...

Have been missing my daily dose of you venting for my amusement and betterment, Snob.

Anonymous said...

PORT LAND

Serial Retrogrouch said...

I cleaved my land today

Anonymous said...

Top 10 in Cleveland.

dnk said...

Cleveland!

ChamoisJuice said...

ISLD TIME

Anonymous Coward said...

Top ten. and "Impotent"

wishiwasmerckx said...

Top ten!

Roille Figners said...

iron scranus

Anonymous said...

Shit Snob, missed you so much I bought your book. $17.00 and hard back only! Hell, all I wanted was a bathroom rag not start a library! Oh well, welcome back.....

leroy said...

Welcome back Cogger.

mikeweb said...

"You'll shoot your eye out!"

Yarpo said...

Top 20st-teenth-orth-ty-firtest!

SAMH BEATS THE ASS MONKEYS! THE TOWN IS SAVED!

MILLE GRAZIE SAMH!

dnk said...

Look out Houston. There will be thunder.

In the air.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Plug Uglies vs Dead Rabbits.

Anonymous said...

ZOD WILL TAKE A TOP TWENTY.

crosspalms said...

Learning and Labor! (not a captcha, just a kneejerk reaction to an Oberlin mention).

Tell us more about this Manly Mart

ken e. said...

loitering!

Yarpo said...

Deeeeeer Hunterrrrrrrrrr.

McFly said...

No photo's of Selene Yeager's lower portion?

For shame.

That woman is stacked and packed.

Especially in the back.

rural 14 said...

Rural 1st!


I proved I'm not an idiot.
Uh, robot.
"Flounces outingq" -
not that there's anything wrong with that, but who makes these up?

JB said...

@ rural 14:

A robot.

Buffalo Bill said...

h also works.

Anonymous said...

top 25. almost as good as having strava deem all my commute segments "too dangerous"

Anonymous said...

nice one today. seems as though a few days off and a trip to Cleveland has invigorated you.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Dude, I was going to bring my Scatterbrain CD for you to sign but I couldn't find it.

yankees suck said...

it appears that Martin Amis has soured on Brooklyn because "It's full of conventional posers."

Buck Foston Red Sox said...

Admit it, Wildcat, that shirtless flowers guy was there for you.

The Assman said...

Forget Shirtless Flower Guy.

Can you get me the digits of Red Sandel 5 Gallon Junk Bucket Lady at his 3 o'clock.

Much appreciated.

Martin Anus said...

Fuck off!

DerZoots said...

Hi.




marioss first

babble on said...

I care.

Heh heh... crack kills but mopeds are just stupid. Fuck yer funny. That would make a great bumpersticker.

Can't wait for your Giro commentary... and of course the Rapha Gentleman's race.

Life is good. Welcome back. :)

Ian Hunter said...

Cleveland Rocks

Ian Hunter said...

Cleveland Rocks

ChamoisJuice said...

Moped is 500X cooler than a time trial bike. You can wheelie a moped.

Chacy racing

AUTHENTICTY

Perry said...

Welcome back Snob. Your absence was painful, but rest assured that Babble, Frilly, and a cast of various ne'er do wells managed to keep us at least semi entertained with their sex talk.

Farkus said...

RE: No Shirt Guy

SUNS OUT, GUNS OUT BITCHES!

Oddly appropriate robot-filter:

nipiati

As in, he's a member of the nipiati.

The Nipiati is an ancient and shadowy group of elites who control nearly every aspect of life on on sunny days — from bikinis and public exercise areas to yoga pants and recumbabes.

leroy said...

Oh great. My dog has been singing for the past hour.

"Ahh Cleveland, Cleveland, take me in.
I'll change my name to Rin Tin Tin.
Artisanal hare makes my head spin.
Ahh Cleveland, Cleveland take me in."

Had no idea he was familiar with the Avett Brothers oeuvre.

Just glad he hasn't come up with an obvious "yo daddy so dumb he'd hump a leg lamp" joke.

Roille Figners said...

MAU!! MAU!!

crosspalms said...

@yankees suck
So much for spondee.

Roille Figners said...

Yeah so it looks like "Ohio City" (WTF?) already has a "graphic identity." No wonder Brooklyn has to play catch-up.

As to that positively Byrnian bike rack, be fair, Snobz! Why, just look at that little gap under the T! Or between the T and the Y! etc. etc. What are ya, too good to lock stuff 3 inches off the ground? Just lie your bike down flat, drag it over to the rack and you could TOTALLY almost get a lock through like maybe your top tube. AT LEAST!!

Being fair (for real this time) the bottom of the Y might suffice even though it's not a closed loop, thanks to the part that branches off. Or maybe the ah, "shaft" of the T.

Roille Figners said...

New Martian Anus spondee:

dull fakes

television_writer_2.0 said...

Cleveland Rocks!
Cleveland Rocks!

It was a network show for lob's sake and none of you whipped out that one?

Ohh look! Bunnies! Yum!

Peeni and Bedlam were my robot tests. I am a robot.

television_writer_2.0 said...

Cleveland Rocks!
Cleveland Rocks!

It was a network show for lob's sake and none of you whipped out that one?

Ohh look! Bunnies! Yum!

Peeni and Bedlam were my robot tests. I am a robot.

Fergie said...

Dman Snobby! You missed one hell of a 5 boro bike tour!
I did it on the highwheel, and holy crap the "security" was out of control! They even had the police armored car and 3 guys in full combat gear at the entrance to the ferry. Did I mention the helicopter constantly buzzing the ride? Or the serious checkpoints? I'm really glad I didn't pay the $1,000 or whatever they wanted for a vest!

Dooth said...

Yo! That's the guy who makes my Superfly hats!

DB said...

Snobby:
How did you do on Leroy's quizzes?

Anonymous said...

This is This.

leroy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
leroy said...

Fergie -- that was you? I yelled out props on the P-Far in Brooklyn.

DB -- my dog checked BSNYC's transcript and reports BSNYC received a "Gentleman's C".

I'm not sure what that is, but it may explain the new Rapha kit my dog got in the mail.

le Correcteur said...

Only 50 comments up to almost 5pm? Don't leave for so long, WRM, people forget to come back!

BTW nice film references in today's post.

A Very Minor Poet said...

Snob's back, who cares?
A rumble of tunafish passing overhead,
softly caressing the down, down, downstairs.
So fuck you, who cares? Shite!

Anonymous said...

When are you coming to Australia? You will be Bike Snob Abored. Stop visiting the US...it's like incest. I have watched Flight of the Concordes so I have heard enough of your accents to translate if that's your fear. Come to Melbourne...we have self-aware smugness...it may shit you but it's an experience.

Friendo said...

DEER HNTR
IMPO TENT
TUBE MEAT

several umbornm. Christ!

McFly said...

Nice Christopher Walken reference.

You know what this blogular needs?

More. Cow. Bell.

MORC WBEL

Nebraska Bike Commuter (non DWI edition) said...

The Cleveland traffic statuary gives me the willies. I think they appear in every post-alpaca-lips dystopian future scenario movie I've ever watched.


To prove I am not a robot, I arkbau upon you.

Jimboner said...

HEINZ!

Jimboner said...

and 58

babble on said...

Yeah, more cowbell. And more breasts, too, please.
I don't think people forgot to come back, I think it's just sooooooo nice outside that they don't want to sit in front of their computers.

That's my excuse, anyway.... :)

Anonymous said...

I know you've been busy with the travel and all but have you had a chance to send a get well card to Tilford? His shoulder's really taking a long time to heal and I think he could use a little cheering up.

James said...

my shirt and my mug made the snobblog! That set the mood for some fredly woohoo speed on the way home!

babble on said...

Cleave me, baby.

MORE said...

TIT TEES

saykeen cuks said...

ah - the rust belt. further west you go, the greater chance of encountering not just temples to meat, but temples to meat, cheese, and/or beer.

and hunting gear...

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Vegas said...

Present.
Bueller? Bueller?

anonymoose said...

Had the whole day off cuz I threw my back out doing landscraping this weekend. Still, didn't have time to even try to podium.

ce said...

Welcoming vac Domingo. Frost time boosting from my new smear phone! Man, I'm living in Tue zregister now's! Sorry, I mean surrogate. Damon! I mean zeitgiest. Although, I am smartphoning from a town that, would mane Cleveland look lightor the center of the universe. Anyway, good to hear you enjoyed all 'he fresh cleave!

ce said...

Anon 6:32, duck Melbourne's, snobbish is coming to Singleton. Or Adelaide. Maybe Singleton, then Adelaide, then Wagga Wagga, then Melbourne if there is Timescape.

Cipo said...

Zahid@11:29 I'd love some picutres of Bable, autographed if possible. Some nak'd, some in boots & 7" heels. Some on a recumbent bike too. Pls post how much each including shipping to Italy.

McFly said...

Wildcat goes to Cleveland.

3 women are saved from an atrocious situation in Cleveland.

Coincidence?

SUPR HERO

JB said...

I figured he decided to travel with recumbabe and she finally escaped.

DB said...

I think recumbabe is with Bret.

Anonymous said...

CLEAVELAND UP IN THE BITCH

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Charles Ramsey Interview

McFly said...

Does Giro d'Italia really mean Italian Sandwich?

STREEEEEEEEEAAAMING LIVE AT WORK!!!

It's the best Jerry, the BEST.

Fritz said...

"Ohia" has always given me the creeps

DB said...

So glad DiLuca didn't get today's stage.

Stephen Cinch said...

I got stuck in traffic and missed your appearance. I had to have it recounted by Courier Dave. In his version, he was WAY cooler and you were in awe of him. Interesting.

Deli d'Italia said...

McFly@10:55 "Does Giro d'Italia really mean Italian Sandwich?" Yes, but only Leroy's dog would eat it.

Anonymous said...

should have had the book also at the NY Bike Expo. Steve Bilenky was there...(wish I was wearing my junkyardcross t-shirt)....

Spoke Threads said...

Joy Machines looks rad!

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