Great Lakes Day 3: Cleveland
June 21, 2016
After breakfast this morning, we walked (about 0.7 mile) to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The HoF (as I’ll call it), is close to downtown near the shore of Lake Erie. It’s on about 6 levels, with the top two reserved for temporary exhibits. As directed, we started at the bottom, but since it was the beginning of the day, everyone was doing that so we started somewhere in the middle and returned to the bottom.
The exhibits were well done, and covered what you would expect: costumes, instruments, and other artifacts from the HoF inductees. There were also varied exhibits covering many other facets of rock and roll music; such as the impact of local DJs in different parts of the country. Of the several theaters, my favorite (and Celeste’s as well) was one showing short performances of the HoF inductees; as you might expect, the sound system was excellent. A special exhibit, “Louder than Words”, done in cooperation with the Newseum and covering the impact of music on political events, was particularly impactful for us.
After lunch at the HoF cafe (decent, for packaged food), we walked over to a tour cruise ship, the Goodtime III, which was docked nearby. We took a 2-hour cruise on the Cuyahoga River and nearby Lake Erie. The early part of the cruise, on the river, was extensively narrated and quite informative. I was happy to see how far Cleveland had come since I lived there as a young child. It paints the picture of being an up-and-coming medium sized city, with attractive apartments, trendy places to eat, and so forth. Happily, the Cuyahoga River doesn’t burn any more.
We made a quick return to the HoF gift shop, and then went back to the hotel to relax. We remembered the evening reception provided by the hotel, and made that our dinner, then set out to see more of the downtown. We noticed that a stage was being set up in the square next to the hotel, and wondered what that was about.
Our walking tour took us near Public Square (closed for renovation), to the Rockefeller Building where Dad had worked (for US Steel) when we lived in the area. After that we explored Tower Center, an indoor mall tied to Terminal Tower, the former tallest building in town.
On the way back, we realized that the stage being set up was probably a celebration for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who had won the NBA championship against our hometown Golden State Warriors a few days ago. The hotel was also getting very busy. Sure enough, about 500,000 are expected tomorrow and many streets will be closed, including the way we had planned to leave. Looks like we will have an “interesting” time getting out of town.
This article is part of a series about our recent vacation in the Great Lakes area. To see the introductory article in the series, click here.