Friday, May 29, 2009

I love living in Cleveland

As the title of this post indicates, I love living in this fine city. Today I had a nice little day o' culture that perfectly encapsulates why this place makes me so happy.

It was a day off, so I was able to sleep in, then after I woke to a perfectly temperate morning I sat with the windows open and did some work. Then it was off to the CMA to check out the Friedlander exhibit before it closes on Sunday (more on this below). After that, I hit up Music Saves for some serious scores, including EPs by Suckers, Trouble Books, and Unsparing Sea, used copies of the last Black Diamond Heavies album and the new Jason Lytle solo album (already), a Black Moth Super Rainbow re-release (to whet my appetite for their live show here later in the summer), and a special order treat the Team was kind enough to get in for me, The Shackeltons' eponymous album. I spent a lot more time there than I expected, in part because there was a constant flow of interesting and good-natured folks that all had interesting things to say.

After that, I crossed town for a lunch at Melt to try out this month's specialty, The Godfather, before it leaves the menu, and then came back eastward in time to catch the new Jim Jarmusch flick at the Cedar-Lee. Now I'm home, and the weather is still terrific, and the day is winding down as it started, with me typing at my dining room table, the windows open, and an acute awareness of how much I like living here.

Before I close out, let me offer you, once again, some unsolicited advice: Go see the Lee Friedlander exhibit before it closes down on Sunday. Friedlander is an eminently interesting photographer, and the exhibit was both well curated and well designed. I'm not an art historian by any stretch, so this'll sound amateurish as hell, but Friedlander's work is at once an ironic and empathetic chronicle of urban and industrial life, capturing phenomena both in the moment and consistently showing decay - something incredible considering the time-bound nature of the photographic medium. In my humble opinion, the best aspects of the exhibit are the "Factory Valleys" and "New Camera" selections. The latter showcases several interesting parallels between key rectangular shots Friedlander took in the 70s with his 35mm camera and again in the 90s with his newly adopted Hasselblad superwide. The photos possess an interesting social commentary, from the constancy of family relations showing the same man, photographed over a twenty year gap, holding first his son and then his grandson, to the dynamics of community and commerce with some moving shots of a surprising subject: paid parking lots.

Some aspects are far more interesting than others. Personally, I found the naturalistic photos (i.e., cherry blossoms, desert scapes, stems in a vase) in the exhibit less stimulating simply because they didn't possess the human interest and humor of his social and personal subjects (though I should note the nature photos in which his "shadow" work appears are a clear exception to this criticism).


Kristen Marie said...

so weird. I was at melt on friday get the godfather before it was gone. it was the first time I had it and I wish I would have tried it earlier! So delicious...I even sprung for the meat version...a whole buck-fifty extra :)

I guess the lasagna is from Ohio City Pasta. they are in the West Side Market, so you could technically go get a piece, garlic up some bread and throw that bad boy in the middle. I'm sure it wouldn't be as good as the Melt version, but it might hold me over until next May :)

CB said...

Nice! That is an excellent idea.

This month's sandwich sounds good, too (of course): pulled pork bbq. Yum.