At first, I thought the street-level narrative of the RNC was the overwhelming thirst of the national media presence. Cameras focused on one another, with no real story to grip. It’s been surreal and mind-numbing.
But, after talking with local entrepreneurs and business owners, I think the story is how the city’s economic hype fucked over entrepreneurs in Cleveland. I’m gathering near-unanimous reports of “the worst week ever” from local businesses (bars, restaurants, galleries, etc.). They seeded hope and got private business to buy in.
We were fine without this thing. It’s not “Cleveland,” at least in the way that I understand my city’s true character.
By all accounts, out-of-towners are *loving* Cleveland — and that’s great! — but I’m not convinced that good optics will matter much after the circus splits town. I’m happy for any good national press that Cleveland picks up, and I’m happy that we’ve seen that good press for at least the past two years — thanks solely to our local entrepreneurs and hometown leaders. The RNC has nothing on the grit and determination of Clevelanders working to change things for the better.
I want to go back to the NBA championship, and I’d like to see the city address its pie-in-the-sky narrative.