In the past 2 weeks I have spent a lot of time in these 3 downtown areas. I know Cleveland may seem like a stretch so I'll save that for last. I went to NYC over the weekend to go apartment and job hunting with my girlfriend since she is in musical theater, has an agent, is going in for an audition for Mamma Mia on Broadway, blah blah blah. I have to say that outside of Times Square, minus being immaculately clean, NYC felt so much like the Windy City. The architecture is a lot different and suprisingly it didn't feel as high as Chicago's. One can obviously tell that both cities began their development around the same time. I still have more of a love affair with Chicago than NYC, although I'm waiting for Jivecity to come on here and miraculously change my opinion (that is a joke by the way, I'm from Cleveland we all have dry senses of humor and homeless people living on our doorstep to go along with our failing economy and lack of being as cool as St. Louis). I sound so bitter but I'm actually being sarcastic I swear. Anyway, New York is a wonderful city, and it is the only other city besides Chicago where I could see myself setting up a permanent residence once I finally get this damn bachelor's degree. Now onto Cleveland. I have to say that Cleveland definitely has the potential, and had the potential but blew it somehow, to be on par with New York and Chicago. We're obviously smaller but we actually have some of the coolest stuff I've ever seen in a city of its size. We have the rock hall, the great lakes science center, a public library the size of Chicago's (I'm a nerd so I like libraries), key tower, the terminal tower, the warehouse district, University Circle, the best orchestra in the country (usually ranked right behind Vienna for tops in the world), an amazing art museum, the second largest theater district outside of New York, and a shit load of other cool stuff that nobody ever notices because the only recognition we ever get is for having the largest number of people who make under 25,000 dollars a year in one metro area. Go figure. I have to say though, that Cleveland has the potential to be a major player and a wonderfully active city. We just need to get people to go further north than Strongsville and Parma to look for a place to live. I know this is a rant but I truly feel that Cleveland is the only mid-sized city that has the potential to be in Chicago's league. Our history has always been one of experimentation and liberal attitudes, and in the 50's and 60's that really bit us in the ass. We had the second suburb in the country (in the modern sense of the word, meaning sprawl), and the first suburb ro ever have more than 100,000 citizens. And people wonder why our downtown suffered so much. I guess I would like to extend an invitation to anyone on the Chicago board to give the cleve another chance and I also would like to ask, what do you think we could have done differently? How did Chicago remain successful with a city that was set-up with the same foundations as Cleveland? Chi-town is my favorite city, and ultimately where I would like to end up, but I will always feel that Cleveland is that diamond in the rough that will never get its chance to reach its full potential. Thank you all for listening and have a wonderful day!