Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Baseball, Art & Rock'N'Roll

Recently spent several days in Cleveland more or less at large. Had been there before--ages ago for a wedding and a few years previously when I visited the then-new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This time it was a pleasant outing to Progressive (née Jacobs) Field to see the Tribe host the Reds--an intrastate battle but in a non-existent rivalry, because these ancient franchises hardly ever played each other before the relatively recent inter-league era, as they were always in different leagues.

It was a fine afternoon for baseball, not too hot, sun shining. Lots of memories revived by various monuments both in a "legacy park" and around the stadium to famous Indians. Unlike at my home park, hot dog vendors circulate through the stands and the house mustard is excellent, sharp and tangy. Indians fell to Reds, in last place in their division. Indians are in 2d, 10 games out, and lost twice in a row last week to Orioles, 13-0 each time.

A good part of re-visiting the Rock'n'Roll museum is that they keep changing the exhibits, and not just for each year's new entrants, although they get plenty of attention. A half-hour video showed how just about every significant performer appeared at least once on Dick Clark's American Bandstand, which I recall watching in the 50s in black-and-white at my cousins' in Philly. Dick Clark was a graduate of my hometown high school and seeing this reminded me of the immense charm he exuded as well as his programming skill. 

Enjoyed a filling dinner at Sokolowki's restaurant, a venerable Polish establishment where we were invited to join a large cohort. Lots of sports pix on the walls, and I did spot Jim Brown's and Bob Feller's as well as--less predictably--Ted Williams, but missed seeing Hank Majeski, who may well have been there, as he should have been.

The Cleveland Museum of Art is major league all the way. An amazingly eclectic collection--from ancient Greek and Egyptian to excellent paintings from just about every era. Not only was the museum clearly a product of old money, much like the St. Louis Art Museum, but the curators through the years showed a lot of perspicacity in their selecting the art. Good representation of American art, too, from colonial to American impressionists to abstract and current. 

We passed up a boat ride on Lake Erie because a storm was coming and those who sailed returned to a torrent. I don't think I've ever gone on one of these excursions--usually, as this one was, organized by conventions--where the comestibles offered were any good. We ducked out after negotiating the dinner line, which led us to conclude that escape was the best route.

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