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Cleveland Rocks

July 15, 2011

This is going to be short, partly because sundown is approaching and partly because there’s just not a whole lot to say.

We had some fun today: a guided tour of Progressive Field, where the Indians play (they’re currently in Baltimore so we couldn’t catch an actual game), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the hotel pool. The best part, though, was that I didn’t even see my car today. Our hotel, the Embassy Suites Cleveland Downtown, is roughly equidistant between both attractions, and within easy walking distance of both, so we walked everywhere today. It was nice to get a tiny bit of exercise, and the weather was a bit overcast and thus not too hot, so it all worked out nicely.

We started with Progressive Field, where our tour was just us and one other small family, so they took us into the visitors’ clubhouse, which they don’t normally do. The tour was a bit short and cursory by ballpark tour standards (I’ve taken five or six of these by now), but I’d never been in a team clubhouse before, so that was pretty cool.

The Hamster was as amazed as I was. He was wowed by the huge leather sectional and the 52-inch TV and the XBox, but i was more impressed with the original Nintendo Entertainment System, which we were told is there because some of the players grew up playing it and thus like it better than the XBox.

Another particularly cool part of the tour was the indoor batting cages. There were two regular cages and two that blew me away. One was a computerized pitching machine for which the batting coach can enter an opposing pitcher and a sequence and then video of that pitcher throwing those pitches will be shown on a giant screen on the pitcher’s mound while the ball comes flying out of a hole in the screen. The last cage had a tennis ball cannon, which was not too exciting except that our tour guide showed us these:

The batters are supposed to not only hit the ball but also identify the number drawn on the ball and the color of the ink used to draw it. At 95 mph.

Anyway, after the stadium tour we walked back to the hotel, ate cold cuts for lunch, and then headed to the Rock Hall, as the locals call it. On the way we bumped into the giant FREE stamp in front of city hall.

That’s The Hamster standing under the crook of the stamp handle, in case you can’t tell.

The Rock Hall itself, our third hall of fame in four days, was a big disappointment. But that wasn’t the Hall’s fault. I think Sam was just a bit too young for it. I’ve already mentioned his deplorable, commercialized taste in music, and since Jason Derulo and Justin Bieber and whoever sings that annoying Hamster Dance song aren’t enshrined in the Hall, Sam didn’t recognize 99% of the artists and thus was uninterested in just about every exhibit and rushed me through the whole seven-story building in about an hour. It’s too bad, because I would have enjoyed spending a little more time there and looking at some of the stuff for which he had no appreciation. We did, once again, linger in the part of the building where all the inductees are honored. It was done in a very unusual and cool way: a circular theater played a short movie composed of clips of performances from and/or interviews with all the inductees, organized by year of induction. Circling the theater concentrically was a narrow, ramped corridor that was completely dark. One wall of this dark corridor (the outer one) was covered in glass or some glass-like substance, into which the signatures of every inductee were etched and backlighted, so that the only light in this rounded corridor was from the signatures of the inductees. And rather than being organized by year of induction they were organized alphabetically, so it was super easy to find anyone we were interested in. Photos are not allowed in most of the museum but I snuck a few anyway.

Next to the Rock Hall is the Science Center, a kids’ science museum that has been recommended to us by many people. But after checking it out online The Hamster and I decided he might be a little old for it, and we can always go to the excellent science museum in Queens. So we headed back to the hotel, changed, and went swimming in the hotel’s indoor pool. It was a lot of fun but I found myself looking longingly at the well-stocked fitness center in the next room. I’m determined to get some actual excercise on this trip, but I have yet to figure out when to squeeze it in without abandoning or boring Sam.

This is my second trip to Cleveland, and my overall impression of the city is that it’s clean and pretty but oddly empty of both people and cars, even downtown, and even during rush hour.

Sundown approaches. Tomorrow night I hope to post an explanation of what we’ve been doing for food. See you then.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Jeremy Chwat permalink
    July 18, 2011 8:36 am

    What?!? No Weezer or Replacements shout-outs?!? HURTFULL!

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