We walked around a couple of blocks, through a fruit market, finally stopping for a late lunch at the Market Garden Brewery and Distillery. The beer was fair, but the food was exceptional. I had some sort of a specialty mac and cheese with pulled pork and arugula. By far the best tasting mac and cheese I’ve ever had. Steve had never been to Cleveland, as he’s originally from Atlantic City, New Jersey – so he was particularly excited to check out the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. So with little debate, we set off to give it a go – I’ve been to the museum 2-3 times before, so I was rather indifferent about the whole experience.
The snow flurries increased as we entered the pyramid glass structure posted near the edge of the lake. Walking in through the front doors, we headed toward the information booth to pick up our passes. Walking into the main room of the museum, we ran into countless names from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s that we recognized - premier names like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix. Obviously some of those names are dedicated more for their involvement in influencing Rock and Roll, than they are for actually being apart of the actual movement. Further into the circular room, the exhibits wound here and there, featuring other names like the Beatles, Michael Jackson and Metallica. Some of the more interesting pieces of memorabilia was that of Janis Joplin’s tie-dyed car, ZZ Top’s furry drums, Rolling Stone’s tour cases, and Michael Jackson’s silver glove.
The museum continued upward to another six levels that were much smaller than the main hall – they focused more on technology. One of the levels had a glass window where you could watch a live radio host speak on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame radio station. We stopped at the Inductee Theater, where they showed each of the inductees, with a short snippet of their music and interview footage. The top level of the Hall of Fame is dedicated to a specific featured artist, and this time around it was the Grateful Dead – other times that I had visited, they featured Nirvana and Bruce Springsteen.
Our time ran out, as the museum’s security began to rudely send people away, pushing them to leave immediately from the upper-floors. The snow had fallen fast while we were inside. The entire pyramid was covered in white flakey snow and the roads were visibly covered. As I said before, Steve’s new to Ohio and this isn’t even his first year here, yet he complained incessantly about chilly brisk air. “Man up,” I told him. He replied with a glare. He cheered up once we reached his car and he told me that he wanted to see Lake Erie better. I directed him down Highway 2 toward Lakewood; there’s a park there that I remembered visiting once before. The highway was covered in snow and the typical bad Ohio drivers were out and about. A few miles along our path, a pair of police officers were tending to a wreck that looked as though it could have been avoided if the drivers weren’t following too closely.
It took us nearly 20 minutes to reach the park in the thick of the blizzard-like weather that began to ascend upon the city. We jogged through the snow to get to the lakeside as soon as possible, but it wasn’t an easy task, considering the snow was still wet and not quite frozen. It began to soak our shoes and the bottom’s of our pants, which escalated our feeling of frozenness. Our last planned stop before heading back to Columbus was at the Brite Winter festival, where there were to be nearly 50 bands and tons of food and booths to keep us entertained for the night. But the weather was too bad, since we had planned to head 2-3 hours back toward the middle of the state, instead of finding a place to stay for the night. We ended up ultimately deciding to call it a night and drive back in the snow, along with the slow, thick traffic along Interstate 71. All in all, it was a good visit to Cleveland – a city that’s often referred to as the ‘mistake by the lake,’ however I don’t quite agree with that statement. I doubt I’ll visit very often in the future.
(Photos by © Brandon Elijah Scott)