Monday, 4 October 2010

Pivo across America - Cleveland

Cleveland, for those of you who don't know, is a city in the Midwest. More accurately, it is a city in the Rustbelt, a swathe of the country that used to manufacture nearly everything the US consumed. The US (and most of the developed world) now consumes mostly stuff manufactured in other parts of the world. This means that lots of people haven't had jobs for a long time and many cities and people have been left to fend for themselves. 

Across the country, we saw entire towns that had partly or completely failed. They are a dime a dozen along the railroad tracks in a nation that no longer has enough passengers to run the trains more than once a day. 

I pasted this up in west Cleveland on one of four houses in a row that had been condemned. There are abandoned houses all over Cleveland in the middle of neighborhoods where people are trying to live. These invite all sorts of problems; some get turned into crack houses and/or set on fire. Needless to say, a burning house is a serious threat to any nearby timber buildings that happen to be people's homes. 

But people do fend for themselves. My friends live in this neighborhood and have worked with their neighbors to turn some derelict land into a beautiful community garden. The local brewery has donated their spent ingredients for them to use as mulch. They are currently using cinnamon sticks that release their aroma when you crunch them underfoot. They also share a brood of hens, their eggs and one noisy rooster with seven of their neighbors so everyone takes care of them one day a week. 

When I mentioned where I was planning on pasting this up, my friend's neighbor (and helpful lookout) said that it was right across from a school where they were hoping to start another community garden. My hope is that whatever happens to this house (and my art), the future owners will take part in turning these city blocks into a thriving neighborhood again. 

Pasted up on the front porch of 1909 W. 57th Street, Cleveland, Ohio

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