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Tower of Power | Christian McBride | Dianne Reeves and the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra Béla Fleck & The Flecktones featuring Victor Wooten, Roy “Futureman” Wooten and Howard Levy John Scofield’s Combo 66 with Gerald Clayton, Vicente Archer and Bill  Stewart Jazz Funk Soul with Jeff   Lorber, Everette Harp and Paul Jackson Jr. Sax to the Max with Michael Lington, Vincent Ingala and Paul Taylor Ernie Krivda/Matthew Whitaker | Jamey Haddad’s Under One Sun | Helen Sung and Michela Marino Lerman Regina Carter and Xavier Davis | Akiko/Hamilton/Dechter B-3 Trio


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Dedicated to Free Times founder Richard H. Siegel (1935-1993) and Scene founder Richard Kabat

CONTENTS

Group Publisher Chris Keating Publisher Andrew Zelman Associate Publisher Angela Nagal

Upfront

Editor Vince Grzegorek Editorial Music Editor Jeff Niesel Senior Writer Sam Allard Staff Writer Brett Zelman Web Editor Laura Morrison Dining Editor Douglas Trattner Visual Arts Writer Dott von Schneider Copy Editor Elaine Cicora Interns Preeya Shankar, Alana Whelan

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Could professional soccer be returning to Cleveland?

Feature

Advertising Senior Multimedia Account Executive John Crobar, Shayne Rose Multimedia Account Executive Kiara Davis Creative Services Production Manager Steve Miluch Staff Photographer Emanuel Wallace Business Sales Assistant/Receptionist Megan Stimac Controller Kristy Dotson

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Will Cleveland actually design streets with pedestrians and bicyclists in mind?

Euclid Media Group Chief Executive OfďŹ cer Andrew Zelman Chief Operating OfďŹ cers Chris Keating, Michael Wagner VP Digital Services Stacy Volhein Digital Operations Coordinator Jaime Monzon

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Could A Dark Place be a worse movie?

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UPFRONT HERITAGE, NOT HATE: ‘KENT STATE GUN GIRL’ EXPOSES RACISM AND PARTISAN VAPIDITY OF CHIEF WAHOO SUPPORT Illustration by Aaron Sechrist

LOCAL CHIEF WAHOO SUPPORTERS of a non-alt-right stripe might be uncomfortable to learn that the racist caricature they hold so dear, the image that they say is inextricable from Cleveland’s civic identity and soul, has been co-opted by the likes of InfoWars. That’s the Alex Jones website and radio outfit known principally for conspiratorial hate-mongering and repeated claims that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax. “Kent State Gun Girl” Kaitlin Bennett is a correspondent for the show, to give you an idea of its seriousness. Last Wednesday, armed with InfoWars mic and what she called “facts,” Bennett prowled the perimeter of Progressive Field to interview Cleveland Indians fans about Chief Wahoo on the occasion of its official retirement. As local fans know, reports of Chief Wahoo’s death have been greatly exaggerated. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred made Cleveland’s 2019 All-Star Game bid contingent on the logo’s removal from team caps and jerseys. But Wahoo gear is still sold in the team shop and it smiles from team Tweets, Fox Sports Ohio commercials and private signage across town. Among other things, a “Keep the Chief” campaign has been merchandised by a local T-shirt company (whose apparel is “not meant to offend anyone”). The logo is everywhere, year ’round, and many fans revel in what they like to interpret as its defiant display. This defiance is sometimes expressly linked to the anti-political correctness of Donald Trump. Bennett’s “facts” pointed in this direction too. To her, this year’s Wahoo development signified the conquest of lefty millennials over “white, God-fearing Caucasians.” Her interviews, which you can watch at clevescene.com, contain little of value. But they do expose, quite by accident, the partisan vapidity and racism of Chief Wahoo support. Those interested in examining their support honestly are likely to discover that the very

same logic they use to defend the logo — or at least the logic evidenced in Bennett’s conversations — is identical to the logic used by defenders of the Confederate Flag. For Wahoo supporters, just like Confederate Flag supporters, it’s about “heritage, not hate.”

“We’re at Progressive Field,” Bennett says, setting the stage, “where ironically, progressives have chased Chief Wahoo out of the stadium, out of the Cleveland Indians baseball team.” She proceeds to accost anyone she can find. Unlike Monday’s sold-

out home opener, the Wednesday afternoon crowd is sparse, and a few folks have no interest in speaking to her on the subject. But the interviews she does conduct illustrate various ways in which Wahoo can be, and has been, weaponized. Asking unprepared Northeast Ohioans to expound upon themes like “tradition” and “political correctness” in this context is an easy way to foment antipathy. Some folks express disagreement with the decision to remove the logo, but resignation at the prevailing sensitivities of the world. One guy is asked whether the taking down of Confederate statues is okay with him — taking down statues is also a gross infringement on “tradition” in Bennett’s view — and he says no, but recognizes that he “[doesn’t] exactly have the say-so” about whether they come down. That’s a step in the right direction. But Bennett routinely goads her subjects, asking humdingers on the order of: “What’s going on in today’s society where millennials can go out and scream in the streets, and then a whole entire baseball team just changes tradition?” In one perfect sound bite, a fan actually says: “The minority should not be running the majority.” When and if this segment is ever broadcast to InfoWars’ huge national audience — the site was attracting 10 million unique visitors per month in 2017 — Chief Wahoo will become (or continue to function as) a wedge issue, the sole purpose of which is to rile up a constituency known to be socially and politically rabid, one whose perceived victimization at the hands of women, minorities and young people is central to their world view. (FWIW, this pernicious imperative to rile up is also one of the dominant legislative forces at the Ohio statehouse.) It’s no surprise that Bennett and her ilk view Chief Wahoo’s demise as a thread in the grander fabric of an impending race war. And while it’s crucial to discuss issues like | clevescene.com | April 10 - 16, 2019

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this with those who disagree with us, it’s dicey to do so with someone like Bennett — it’s honestly not even worth mocking her — because she’s so gleeful in her stupidity and so thirsty for meaningless confrontation. In her one interview with a Native woman, she doesn’t even listen to the sincerely expressed ambivalence about the logo. For Bennett, it’s all about scoring cheap points. The woman, who identifies herself as Native, says, “I get that [Chief Wahoo] is honoring [Sockalexis]. I get it. The first Native baseball player. I get it. But there are ways of honoring people without offending people. My skin is not red. I am not red. I’m brown.” And Bennett responds to this generous explanation with scripted mindless glibness: “Well, I’m so sorry that your feelings are hurt.” Yuck. (That Chief Wahoo “honors Sockalexis,” incidentally, is a total myth propagated by the team. Sockalexis’ Penobscot Nation, in Maine, has denounced the logo.) It’s difficult to discuss issues like Chief Wahoo with InfoWars zealots too, because they’re on such a lunatic fringe. But to reiterate: Most Chief Wahoo supporters are not unhinged Alex Jones zealots (or even garden variety Trump supporters!). And it’s important to keep hashing out this issue and the implications of Chief Wahoo support for those skeptical of casting their lot with these unsavory characters. This is not just beating a dead horse. Despite Manfred’s mandate and Wahoo’s official departure, the logo is still everywhere. The issue is not dead. My hunch, then, is that there are a whole lot of Wahoo supporters out there who would deeply object to the Confederate Flag comparison here being explored. Clevelanders tend to have a blind spot for Wahoo because so many of us have personal attachments to the team and its imagery. We associate Wahoo with fond family memories as seen in our treasured photo albums; with our favorite local bars and restaurants, where Wahoo humongously presides; with gifts and heirlooms from parents and grandparents, many of whom might have passed away. These are all positive things. Beautiful things! They couldn’t possibly be associated with racism, which is a horrible thing. This is our

local team! Our local tradition! (i.e., “heritage, not hate.”) This is the standard Confederate Flag defense. It’s a conflation of systemic racism with individual racism. To deny the latter is not to dismantle the former. Bennett hammers this point home repeatedly by asking all of her subjects whether or not they, personally, have any hatred for Native Americans. “Of course not!” they all reply. “Hell no!” one shouts, confident that she is now fully absolved. Some claim even to be especially sensitive to the plight of Natives. “I used to live in an area that was highly populated by Native Americans,” one woman says, “and I treasure their history.” Much in the way, no doubt, that some wavers of the Confederate Flag treasure the history of AfricanAmericans, or have black friends. It’s important to be clear about the distinctions. While the defenses of these two “traditions” are in some cases indistinguishable, there is one major difference between the traditions themselves: One of them (Chief Wahoo) is an explicitly racist image, while the other (the Confederate Flag) is a racist symbol. Someone unfamiliar with American history or current white supremacist symbology would not, by looking at the Confederate Flag, immediately recognize that the flag is racist. It stands for something racist. Chief Wahoo, on the other hand, was meant to be a symbol of joy. It doesn’t stand for hate. It stands for a baseball team. But the image itself is strikingly racist, created during a time when “white supremacy was just pop-culture in the U.S.” and modified over the years. That local fans refuse to acknowledge this history is the height of selfabsorption, though sadly consistent with American treatment of indigenous peoples. Indeed, when local fans talk about “honoring history,” they’re talking about honoring the history and legacy of the team, not the atrocious American history that included the slaughter and forced relocation of millions of human beings. Part of what I mean when I say “partisan vapidity” is that beyond personal emotional attachment, there is no justification for Chief Wahoo support. None. But supporters have chosen their side — this is a fiercely partisan issue — and now cling to it with defenses that make one’s head spin. “[Chief Wahoo] is the mascot of the Indians,” one fan tells Bennett, “and that’s why he should be here.” These tautologies don’t mean


anything, other than: I like the cartoon that’s on the products I’ve purchased over many years. And I don’t like feeling bad about owning them and wearing them. Counterpoint: Chief Wahoo is racist, pure and simple. That doesn’t mean your dad is a racist, or that your grandma is burning in hell because she was wearing a Wahoo broach in the casket, or that you personally hate Native Americans. What it does mean — this is not complicated — is that the image is a grotesque caricature of a race of people, a race that, because of their virtual extermination, now has almost zero political or economic power to defend themselves from their ongoing dehumanization. Local Native American organizations and their allies have nevertheless been protesting Chief Wahoo and the Cleveland Indians organization for more than 40 years on opening day, enduring verbal abuse from fans every year. Meanwhile, local fans elevate their individual histories and associations with the team. Look at this comment from an article about Chief Wahoo in 2014, which is emblematic: “I’m so tired of these critics who are offended by just about everything that does not conform to what they

think is acceptable. I grew up in Canton, Ohio loving that baseball team win or lose. My father played pro ball and passed away last year at his home in Massillon. History is tied to this team and those who lived and died with each season. Indians are warriors. They have fought for their very lives throughout American history. Perhaps then some may resent the adaption (sic) of their bravery as an insult, to them I apologize but ask no forgiveness. We mean no disrespect but honor for a franchise that has entertained us for decades. Changing

paragraph describing black people. Imagine “adapting” the courage and fleet-footedness of escaping slaves. Imagine saying, “to them I apologize but ask no forgiveness.” This is not adaptation, but appropriation — an overused word that nevertheless describes, perhaps more accurately than any other single word, the Native American experience. It is outrageous that this sort of rhetoric isn’t decried by all thinking people, in the same way that we would decry language defending the exploitation and

colonized an ever-expanding frontier. It’s precisely because so few object — because so few are left — that those who remain must be defended and supported at all costs. The appropriation of Native imagery and culture, to say nothing of the appropriation of Native lands, must be strenuously opposed until there is broader recognition of the damage wrought. This is a heritage that must not be honored. In the first place, it must be understood. And then it must be atoned for. — Sam Allard

For Wahoo supporters, just like Confederate Flag supporters, it’s about ‘heritage, not hate.’ a name when only a few object is foolish. Honoring history is much more important.” (Emphasis added) This is a wholly sincere, wholly barbaric, comment. And sentiments like this are still the norm in Northeast Ohio. They must be called out. Imagine this exact same

appropriation of former slaves or descendants of Holocaust victims. Conveniently unmentioned in this comment, by the way, is what and whom Indians were fighting as they fought for their lives. The answer, of course, is American settlers, who nearly wiped them from the continent as they ruthlessly

Group Looking to Bring Pro Soccer Back to Cleveland May Be Interested in Downtown Land for Stadium A slice of ODOT-owned land near the Inner Belt — from the Fire Museum to the USPS facility, and from the Cuyahoga River to Ontario Street — is rumored to be a target location for a 5,000-seat USL soccer stadium, according to various rumors and reporting by NEOTrans. Crain’s reported last year that brothers Shaw and Greg Abrams, who own the Force Sports facilities

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DIGIT WIDGET 105,839 Total reported attendance at this year’s Cleveland International Film Festival. It’s the fi fth straight year topping 100,000 attendees and roughly 200 more than last year’s fest.

35,006,764 RTA ridership in 2018, an all-time low, and down nearly 5 percent from 2017’s total (36,672,559). This is the fourth straight year of ridership decline, due largely to increased fares and decreased service.

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in the area and who acquired the rights to the Force name from Scott Wolstein, have been working diligently behind the scenes to bring professional soccer back to Cleveland. That would hypothetically be with a new United Soccer League franchise that would pay homage to the indoor soccer legacy of the Cleveland Force. The USL is a second-tier league below the MLS, and the Force would follow the forlorn Cleveland City Stars, the city’s short-lived USL franchise that lasted just three seasons from 2006 to 2009. Everyone involved held off on commenting or confirming any specifics for now, likely because there is nothing final to announce — the Abrams brothers told NEOTrans they hope to announce a stadium site soon; ODOT told the website that it had received interest in the land from prospective buyers but would not reveal anything more and noted no sales agreements have been reached. Development and construction of a soccer-specific stadium is just one part of the financial puzzle — expansion fees in the USL run about $7 million. ODOT’s land in question used to be part of the Norfolk Southern rail yards. The site is also bordered by an RTA rail line, which could hypothetically mean a future station there to accommodate the development’s employees and visitors. The site has been the subject of varying degrees of interest for proposed pro sports facilities since the Browns left for Baltimore.

days before, Icelandair announced that it would scale back its direct flights from the U.S. in a cost-cutting move that execs blamed, in part, on the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircrafts. The underperformance of the Cleveland-toIceland route has not been disclosed, but Cleveland was among the cities that Icelandair axed. A Cleveland spokesperson said that Icelandair spent $200,000 of the money Hopkins made available, and WOW spent only $38,000. The airport will not be reimbursed for these expenditures, but the $1.8 million in unspent funds will be folded back into the airport’s marketing budget. This year, the mayor’s budget allocated $170 million for operating costs at both Hopkins and Burke

clevescene.com

| clevescene.com | April 10 - 16, 2019

A city of Cleveland spokesperson has informed Scene that only $238,000 of a budgeted $2 million was provided to Icelandair and WOW Airlines to promote travel from Cleveland Hopkins Airport to Reykjavik, Iceland. In 2017, when the direct flights by both carriers were announced, the airport said it would commit $500,000 per airline for two years to help market the flights. Now, both routes have been canceled. WOW Airlines has financially collapsed and suspended all of its flights two weeks ago. Only

13 Buildings in Cleveland, including City Hall and FirstEnergy Stadium, that have agreed to follow Lights Out Cleveland’s initiative by turning off bright signs, decorative outdoor lighting and workspace lights at night to decrease bird deaths.


Lakefront airports. The Greater Cleveland Partnership, the region’s chamber of commerce, also contributed funds to promote the Iceland routes. While GCP wouldn’t say how much it contributed — they do not speak publicly about their conversations with private companies — Sarah Johnson, GCP’s VP of marketing and communications, told Scene that continuing to attract direct international carriers to Hopkins would remain a priority. “Other cities are seeing the benefits that accrue from those kinds of direct connections,” Johnson wrote in an email, “provided that they serve scores of other cities across the globe where Cleveland companies do business.” — Allard

Former Hopkins Airport Honcho Fred Szabo Had a History of Security Violations According to the TSA Public records obtained by WEWS show that former Hopkins airport No. 2 honcho Fred Szabo — who was suspended and reassigned after being caught last year shepherding Darnell Brown, city of Cleveland’s

chief of operations, to bypass airport security — had a history of security violations. In a letter to the city, the TSA noted it was Szabo’s third violation in two years. “TSA believes that subject Szabo’s airport issued access media should be permanently revoked as a result of his egregious actions which negatively impacted the security of our nation’s air transportation system, the misleading statement(s) made by him to TSA within his Letter of Response (LOR) to our investigation against him and, the use of his position at the airport to dissuade proper security measures on the date of the incident,” the letter read. The news reinforces a few welltrod and disappointing trends when it comes to how the city conducts itself. The first: That the city lies and obfuscates. As Cleveland.com and others sought records and information on the security violation last year, City Hall communications team members told reporters that the records could not be provided because the TSA would not authorize their release. The TSA, naturally, told reporters that was an outright lie.

The second: That deference to and protection of Jackson’s top officials, to the detriment of public transparency and equal application of the rules, continues to rule the day. According to the records, a security manager who verified the violation was told not to report it to TSA until they had talked to Szabo directly. “If it had been different players, it would have been done right away,” the person told investigators, according to the report. Szabo and Brown spent nearly a month on paid leave while an initial investigation proceeded. Each received a minor slap on the wrist afterward while the administration made every effort to protect them: At the time the incident was revealed and the paid leaves ordered, the city wouldn’t even name the two officials involved or describe the offending events. If you’re curious as to how Szabo explained away what he admitted to knowing was a violation of protocols, the internal report showed he told investigators that it was “part of his DNA to help people.” The entirety of Frank Jackson’s administration’s DNA, meanwhile, is to lie and keep everything secret. — Grzegorek

The Terminal Tower Observation Deck is Now Open to the Public On a lighter note after all that heaviness … The Terminal Tower observation deck opened once again to the public over the weekend. The $5 self-guided tours, which are only available on Saturdays and Sundays, require visitors to first sign up for the pleasure of experiencing the bird’s-eye view from the 42nd floor of the 52-floor building. The self-guided tour is available from noon to 3:30 p.m. and no walk-up ticket sales are available. Sign up for a tour date and time now through May 26 by searching “Terminal Tower” on EventBrite. com and purchasing tickets there. On a clear day — not that anyone can guarantee such a thing during spring in Ohio — observers can see for 30 miles in every direction. — LAURA MORRISON

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FEATURE

Cleveland needs more than painted bike lanes to create safe streets for pedestrians and cyclists. Is Vision Zero the answer? By Lee Chilcote TWO YEARS AGO, ASHLEY SHAW suffered a tragic accident when a distracted driver turned into her as she was heading west on Lorain at Fulton, a notoriously confusing and crash-prone intersection for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike. She fell off her bike, which landed on her back and gave her a concussion. Although Shaw didn’t know it until a few days later, when she collapsed on her kitchen floor, her injuries were quite serious. “I had a subdural hematoma — a brain bleed,” says the 34-year-old. “I had a year where I thought it would never go away, where I had headaches, would lose my train of thought, got words in the wrong order, and had extreme fatigue. I also had PTSD from the accident.” Two years later, Shaw still has lingering health issues from the crash. Although she’s remained resolutely car free, she doesn’t bike nearly as much as she used to because she’s apprehensive about getting on the road unless there’s a protected bike lane, something that doesn’t yet exist widely in Cleveland. The Ohio City resident now advocates for safer streets as director of neighborhood planning and economic development for Ohio City Incorporated (OCI). She’s also co-chair of the enforcement subcommittee for Vision Zero, an ambitious new effort helmed by Ward 15 councilman Matt

Zone and city operations chief Darnell Brown that aims to “eliminate all traffic fatalities and serious injuries, while creating safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all,” according to the website. Shaw’s accident is hardly an isolated case. In fact, crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists are up from east to west, from deaths to more minor collisions. In September, British singer Gary Numan’s tour bus struck and killed a 91-year-old man crossing the street at East Ninth and Superior, prompting a “devastated” Numan to cancel his show at the House of Blues. An RTA driver struck and killed a pedestrian at Public Square in December. More recently, a man was killed in a hit-and-run crash while crossing in a crosswalk in Cleveland’s Clark-Fulton neighborhood. And those are just the most tragic and publicized incidents in recent memory. A quick search of a local Twitter police scanner account lays out dozens more instances in just the past six months, and 2017 Ohio Department of Public Safety data, which only tracks accidents that result injury, death or property damage of more than $1,000, shows about 100 hits touching every corner of Cleveland. For many, that’s not a surprise at all. Transportation design and policy has long favored cars over everything else, and Shaw and others point out

that safer streets in Cleveland are quite literally a public health issue. “I come from the viewpoint of using all these modes of transportation and also someone who was in a close to fatal accident,” she says. “I look at it from an equity standpoint. We can’t just be designing streets to move people as fast as possible through neighborhoods. We have to make sure it’s safe, convenient and accessible to everyone, and we don’t want those people to be in danger getting around.” Across town in the BuckeyeShaker neighborhood, former school crossing guard Lucille White has similar concerns. A few years ago, after witnessing cars speeding heedlessly through school zones on East 116th Street at Larchmere and Shaker Boulevards while she was crossing youngsters, she whipped out her phone and began filming them. She complained to police, who sent out a car but didn’t have the resources for ongoing enforcement. When her boss threatened to fire her for filming reckless drivers, she says she quit out of frustration. “You know how many things I had thrown at me; how many people spit at me?” says the 30-year neighborhood resident who lives on nearby Cromwell Avenue. “I would let them know that this is a school zone, this is not a freeway. There are people who live here, kids trying to get to school.”

And in University Circle, Lakewood resident Sophie RousselKochheiser commutes by bicycle to her administrative job at Case Western Reserve University’s School of Medicine. Or at least she did, until she was knocked off her bike last year by a hit-and-run driver who turned left into her as she was traveling west at Superior and West Sixth Street, yelled at her out the window, and then kept driving. “I’ve never been that terrified in my life — I’m a commuter, so I go next to trucks and whatnot, but this was truly terrifying,” says the 56-yearold. Despite video from security cameras, the police never found the culprit. Unfortunately, the accident destroyed her bike. Zone says that while the city of Cleveland has made impressive progress towards implementing its Complete and Green Streets Ordinance — adding more than 70 miles of bike lanes from 2013 to 2017 as well as over 60 crosswalk enhancements in 2016 alone — it is not clear that ordinance is being properly enforced and more must be done to create safe, multi-modal streets for everyone in Cleveland. “Over the past three to four years I’ve seen more and more cyclists on city streets, and there’s real frustration among people who live in the city of Cleveland that there isn’t true equitable mobility,” says Zone. “A few cities are moving ambitious | clevescene.com | April 10 - 16, 2019

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FEATURE goals forward. They’re declaring their commitment to a goal of zero fatalities while ensuring safe, equitable mobility for all.” Zone’s vision for Vision Zero is to create a plan that will be adopted by the mayor and city council. “We need to make a bold statement by passing an ordinance that will mandate change at city hall and how we function as a city,” he says. An Alarming Rise in Crashes Vision Zero began 20 years ago in Sweden, which now has one of the lowest annual rates of road deaths in the world (three out of 100,000 as compared to 12.3 in the U.S.). Based on the idea that loss of life is not an acceptable price to pay for mobility, it places the responsibility for accidents on system design, infrastructure design, vehicle technology, and enforcement. Through managing speed, traffic calming measures on high-accident roadways, pedestrian and bike infrastructure, and public engagement, eliminating deaths and serious injuries from traffic crashes can be possible, advocates say.

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Although Vision Zero may sound like a fantastically unrealistic moonshot of an idea in car-centric Cleveland, the city needs to act now to prevent more crashes, advocates say. In recent years, Cleveland and other cities have seen a rise in walking and cycling, higher rates of distracted driving, and more cars and especially more lethal SUVs on the road due to low gas prices, and this has created a kind of perfect storm that has caused the number of crashes to rise dramatically. From 2015 to 2017, the most recent statistics available, the city of Cleveland had an 82 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities and injuries compared to 2012 to 2014. Bike injuries and fatalities were down 28.7 percent in the same period. Across Northeast Ohio, crashes involving bikes and pedestrians are also on the rise. According to the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), a transportation and environmental planning agency serving Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain and Medina counties, pedestrian fatalities are up 67 percent in 2015 to 2017 compared to 2012 to 2014, while pedestrian injuries are up 23 percent in the same period. While bicycle fatalities are up 400 percent (from two to eight), bike injuries are actually down 25 percent.

| clevescene.com | April 10 - 16, 2019

Ohio also saw an increase in pedestrian related fatalities (35 percent) from 2016 to 2018 compared with 2013 to 2015, while serious injuries remained basically the same, according to statistics from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). Nationally, pedestrian fatalities are at a 25-year high, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Statistics also show that while the overall number of bicycle accidents in the country is declining, the number of fatal bike accidents is on the rise. Speed is one reason crashes are on the rise, according to ODOT; in fact, studies have shown that nine out of 10 pedestrians will survive when hit by a vehicle traveling 20 miles per hour, whereas only one out of 10 will survive when the vehicle is traveling 40 miles per hour. The agency also cites lack of safe, separated infrastructure for people walking and biking; alcohol and drug impairment; a rise in distracted driving; increases in vehicle traffic; and an increase in the number of bicyclists and pedestrians on the roads, whether because of choice or economic necessity. Seventy-seven percent of pedestrian fatalities occur in Ohio’s urban communities, meaning cities like Cleveland are most affected. “While

traffic deaths impact every community in Ohio, it’s been shown nationally that older adults, people of color, and people walking in low-income communities bear a higher share of this harm,” according to ODOT’s 2018 end-of-year safety review. “They are disproportionately represented in fatal crashes involving people walking.” Can Vision Zero Work in Cleveland? Zone introduced a resolution creating the Vision Zero task force in January 2018. It has been meeting since last year and has five active subcommittees, all co-chaired by a citizen and city official, except for design/engineering which (ironically) is arguably the most important one. Specifically, enforcement is being co-chaired by Department of Safety traffic commissioner James Muhic and OCI’s Ashley Shaw; education and engagement is being co-chaired by the Department of Health’s Jessica Jurcak and Wayne Mortenson of Cleveland Neighborhood Progress; maintenance and vehicle fleet is being co-chaired by Terrell Cole from the mayor’s office and bike attorney Ken Knabe; data and evaluation is being cochaired by Jacob VanSickle, executive director of Bike Cleveland, and Ward 3 councilman Kerry McCormack;


and design and engineering is being co-chaired by traffic engineering commissioner Rob Mavec and planning director Freddie Collier. Other agencies like Bike Cleveland and NOACA are also involved, indicating a broad-based, collaborative process, and meetings are apparently open to the public. About 20 to 25 people have been showing up at regular task force meetings. In recent years, more than 40 U.S. cities have publicly signed on to Vision Zero, according to the Vision Zero Network. Vision Zero cities must have a clear goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and severe injuries; a mayor who publicly, officially commits to Vision Zero; a Vision Zero plan or strategy in place; and key city departments (police, transportation, public health) that are fully engaged. Leading cities include Seattle, San Diego, Boston, Washington, D.C. and Chicago. New York City is the shining example. Last year, the city completed 138 street improvement projects and added more than 20 miles of protected bike lanes. Queens Boulevard in Queens, once nicknamed the “Boulevard of Death,” was given a road diet by eliminating some lanes and lengthening the timing of walk signals. There have been no pedestrian fatalities there since 2014, and the number of traffic deaths in New York dropped in 2018 to the lowest level in more than a century. Still, it’s not all good news. The number of pedestrians killed in New York actually increased last year. Yet even so, the number of bicyclist deaths dropped last year to 10, from 24 in 2017. Other cities that have adopted Vision Zero have taken similarly bold moves. For example, in January 2018, Portland, Oregon, reduced its speed limit on residential streets to 20 miles per hour. Boston reduced its default speed limit to 25 miles per hour and implemented a “slow streets” program to calm traffic to 15 miles per hour in some residential areas. Philadelphia targeted high-injury network streets that produce 50 percent of traffic deaths and severe injuries. Of course, Cleveland isn’t generally included with those cities when it comes to progressive street design and policy, and the city is sometimes slow to adopt cutting-edge trends. We’ve also built some really dumb bike lanes in recent years, including ones where the buffer is between the rider and the curb and not the rider and the cars. However, there are hopeful signs that Vision Zero can force the city to make changes earlier than it typically does. Veronica Vanterpool, deputy director of the Vision Zero Network, a

national organization that advocates for Vision Zero policies around the country, says that the fact that so many key city staff are involved suggests that the effort should be taken seriously. “That’s one of the strongest elements of Cleveland’s Vision Zero approach, that you have a task force and subcommittees meeting regularly, and it’s comprised of the same group of people,” she says. “You’re making sure you have that level of accountability.” Vanterpool says that cities that adopt successful Vision Zero plans put significant fiscal resources toward implementation, show strong leadership behind the Vision Zero commitment, and use a data-driven approach. “Vision Zero is not meant to be intersection by intersection but a look at the system of mobility and the influencers of that system,” she says. Yet despite the obvious need for traffic calming in Cleveland — speed-limit enforcement has almost disappeared since the city’s traffic cameras were eliminated, pedestrians have to play frogger when crossing many busy roads, and many kids walk to school on unsafe streets — transportation advocates report that the city isn’t implementing its own Complete and Green Streets legislation. For example, the city regularly repaves streets rather than adding bike and pedestrian enhancements, and even when bike lanes are added, they’re not protected. “We still run into barriers at the city when it comes to physical separations between bikes and cars, a treatment seen in many cities across the country,” says Bike Cleveland’s VanSickle. “Through Vision Zero, we’re hoping we can make progress toward physically separated bike lanes.” It’s also unusual that Cleveland’s Vision Zero effort is being led by a councilperson and staff from the mayor’s office. “In my opinion, we’re doing it a little backwards,” he says. “In a lot of cities, the mayor makes a declaration to get to zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries by a set date, and departments and the community develop a plan to get there. Here, we’re moving forward as a committee to develop a plan and then will declare a year we aim to get to zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries. I’m pleased by the number of directors and chiefs that are involved, and that’s a good sign that they’re taking it seriously. The mayor doesn’t come out publicly with very much, but I do wish a declaration was coming from the very top.” “But, in a lot of ways, this is how things get done in Cleveland, from the bottom up.”

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FEATURE Vanterpool counsels those participating in Cleveland’s Vision Zero efforts not to be discouraged, but rather to hold leaders’ feet to the fire to make sure that they truly support bold, ambitious change. “It isn’t really enough to say, ‘We believe in Vision Zero,’ or to support and adopt a Vision Zero resolution or policy,” she says. “It really does have to be supported by key elected officials.” Looking Ahead Although we placed a predictably ignored phone call to the mayor’s press office, the city continued its impressive track record of ignoring our interview requests. Instead, we went to councilpersons, committee co-chairs and transportation activists and asked the question, “What would a successful Vision Zero initiative look like in Cleveland?” Zone says planning and design are key, and that the city must consider bold changes if it wants to change the status quo. These include aggressively adding protected bike lanes, slowing down cars in the city’s neighborhoods, and making sure that city planning reviews all infrastructure changes using “clear predictable guidelines that allow all users to benefit from the investment,” which he says must meet “21st century design standards.” According to subcommittee meeting minutes, the design/engineering subcommittee is considering shortterm solutions such as traffic signal timing and leading pedestrian intervals (where the crosswalk gives pedestrians a head-start over traffic); midterm solutions like re-striping plans, low-cost traffic calming, and on-street parking changes; and finally, long-term solutions like complete street overhauls. Yet everyone is frustrated with the city’s implementation of its Complete and Green Streets ordinance, designed to create a network of streets for all users while incorporating green infrastructure. Councilmen Zone and McCormack are currently working with Bike Cleveland and others to update it and remove loopholes. As it stands now, on a routine paving job, the city often “mills and fills” without adding pedestrian and bike enhancements. The Capital Improvements Office also hasn’t provided an update on the Complete and Green Streets ordinance implementation since 2016, even though the ordinance says they’re supposed to. In terms of enforcement, many

observers note that neighborhood speed enforcement is not a priority. To be fair, resources are an issue. The enforcement subcommittee is developing a new close-call form and database on Bike Cleveland’s website that allows people to log where accidents nearly occurred or where dangerous intersections or roadway conditions may exist. Traffic enforcement could take action after receiving repeated calls about trouble areas. Any comprehensive Vision Zero effort will require lots of public engagement and conversation, yet look no further than the now-public Amazon Q2 bid — which the city went to the mat to keep secret — to observe how a culture of concealment permeates city hall. “We’re lacking in robust public engagement,” says VanSickle. “When the city organizes public meetings, they bring plans with them. They don’t typically want to make changes, but if they’re pressured, they will.” The education/engagement subcommittee is currently working to develop a brand or logo for the Vision Zero webpage on Bike Cleveland’s website. There are at least 26 education programs about roadway safety in Northeast Ohio, Mortenson says, some of which may be duplicative. They “want to streamline and reinforce investment in education programs that are working,” he says. The city’s bike lanes are not well maintained in the off-season, and the maintenance/vehicle fleet subcommittee is working with the Metroparks and the city to try to fix this. Finally, the data/evaluation subcommittee is working to map fatal crashes from 2013 to 2017 and to collect supplemental reports detailing age and race. From there, they’ll identify hotspots that need additional enforcement, public engagement, and roadway redesign. Ward 6 councilman Blaine Griffin, who represents Buckeye and surrounding areas, is supportive. “Some of these streets were created to help people get through them, not to them,” he says, noting the prevalence of unsafe commuter roads on the east side. “Now we’re trying to be intentional about how we develop those areas and make them more attractive.” Rough Road Ahead Redoing intersections and other larger-scale interventions may be tough to do given the city’s limited means, some advocates say. “The cities that are leading and innovating some of these traffic calming measures at intersections have a lot more money, larger staff, and ideologically are a bit different than


ours,” says Angie Schmitt, a Clevelandbased writer for the national website Streetsblog. “From what I know, the city hasn’t set aside money to do traffic calming.” Look to Franklin Boulevard, which has a 35-mile-per-hour speed limit that residents say encourages speeding, for how Vision Zero might play out. The proposed re-do that was unveiled this fall includes curb extensions, raised crosswalks, neighborhood traffic circles and rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFB) or pedestrian crosswalk signs. Although this project is not yet funded, the recently adopted NOACA plan makes it much more likely that it will eventually become a reality. Yet during a three-week test period last summer when the city diverted cars at three different intersections to test how it could “reduce the number and speed of cars using Franklin Boulevard as a cut-through route,” confused and angry drivers diverted onto side streets and turned them into freeways. A post by the city’s bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, Calley Mersmann, to the Detroit Shoreway Community Facebook page generated lots of support but also snippy comments like this one: “I sort of like going fast on Franklin … I need to get places on time.” Fulton Road is being redone this year from Clark to Lorain, and there are plans to add a new traffic circle at Franklin as well as RRFB crosswalks and bike lanes. Yet it still doesn’t include a continuous protected bike lane, even though advocates say there’s enough room for one. According to VanSickle, the city’s excuse for not adding protected bike lanes include the long-held notion that cars will “right hook” cyclists and therefore endanger them. However, cities from New York to San Francisco have addressed these concerns by educating motorists, providing adequate signage and markings, and ensuring a clear line of sight for drivers. At a recent Fulton Road meeting, city staff stressed that the $8 million in funding comes from highly competitive grant funding from the Ohio Public Works Commission and can’t be stretched further. Yet Vanterpool says it’s exactly in projects like Fulton that the city needs to push the envelope and experiment a little bit. After all, adding bike-protected lanes is probably a tiny fraction of that amount. “You go for the low hanging fruit and plan longer term,” she says. “When you have a budget for street improvements, that’s when you can add a sidewalk or other infrastructure, as opposed to going for a street that’s not being redone [which may be more

expensive]. You have to prioritize Vision Zero changes based on what’s in the pipeline and makes fiscal sense at the time.” Traffic calming doesn’t have to be a budget buster. “There’s a large range of how much you can spend: On the high end, you can tear up an intersection and do a full traffic circle, but on the low end you can use paint and concrete features set on the ground,” Schmitt says. “A lot of cities have done that.” In a recent Streetsblog post entitled “Midwest Will Raise Gas Taxes — And Make Everything Worse,” Schmitt points out that governors and state legislatures in Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin — three no-growth or slowgrowth states — are considering gas taxes that will largely go to widening or maintaining highways. “The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Rich Exner recently listed 10 projects that would be scaled back or cancelled if Dewine doesn’t get his way,” she writes. “They are all sprawl-widening projects serving the sprawl suburbs, with the exception of one urban highway project.” If it happens, Vision Zero could have tremendous long-term benefits for Cleveland, Schmitt says. “If we could make it safer to walk and bike, then we could make it cheaper to live here, make communities healthier, children could have more freedom, and we’d have more equality. It’s a virtuous cycle because there’s all these spinoff benefits. The more people you have walking and biking, the safer people feel, the less pollution there is, and the more hospitable it is to pedestrians and cyclists.” Mortenson is optimistic and says the city’s approach may be pragmatic, but it’s not close minded. “By making it an inclusive process, they’re signaling that they’re open to progressive ideas,” he says. For all the optimism, Mayor Jackson isn’t exactly jumping on board, clearly. But perhaps the table is being set for the city’s next leader, who will hopefully be openly committed to making the city’s streets safer for everybody, no matter how they get around. Zone — whose name is being mentioned as a possible mayoral candidate in 2020 — says that it will take time and counsels residents’ patience. “When I floated Vision Zero, half the people in city hall didn’t know what the hell I was talking about … it’s like turning the Titanic,” he says.

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101 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall 115 N. Willow St. 8:30-10:30p Bethany Joy and Dan Socha 157 Lounge 157 S. Water St. 7:30-9:30p Tom Evanchuck Belleria Pizza & Italian Restaurant 135 E. Erie St. #202 7-9p Randy Horvath Bricco 210 S. Depeyster St. 7-9:30p Jen Maurer and Anthony Papaleo Buffalo Wild Wings 176 E. Main St. 6:30-9:30p Box Of Squirrels Burnside Barbecue 154 E. Main St. Suite B 6-8p Ben Gage Trio Dominick's Pub 147 Franklin Ave. 8-11p Rachel Brown and the Beatnik Playboys Franklin Hotel Bar 176 E. Main St. 7-10p Crooked River Stompers Duo

Kent State University Hotel & Conference Center 215 S. Depeyster St. 6:30-8:30p Hey Mavis Duo

Tree City Coffee & Pastry 135 E. Erie St. 5:30-7:30p Gretchen Pleuss 8-9:30p Emily Keener

Last Exit Books and Cafe 124 E. Main St. 5-7p Open Mic hosted by Ryan Gavalier 7:30-9:30p Dale Galgozy

Treno Ristorante 152 Franklin Ave. 6-9p Bonnis and The King

Laziza 195 E. Erie St. 6-9p Jon Mosey The Loft 112 W. Main St. 8-11p Thor Platter Band Pacific East 100 E. Main St. 8-10p The Moonshiners The Pub 401 Franklin Ave 8-10p Josh Ferro Ray's Place 135 Franklin Ave. 9:30p-12:30a Southern Cross Band

Venice Cafe 163 W. Erie St. 7-10p Cory Grinder Band 10:30p-1a Roger Hoover’s Hootenanny Water Street Tavern 132 S. Water St. 7-9p The Shootouts 9:30p-12:30a The Jack Fords Zephyr Pub 106 W. Main St. 8-11p JP And The Chatfield Boys

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GET OUT everything you should do this week

The Boys From the County Hell play a special Roots of American Music event at Terrestrial Brewing. See: Sunday.

WED

04/10

MUSIC

Avi Avital with Omer Avital Mandolinist Avi Avital comes from a classical tradition while bass and oud player Omer Avital is an acclaimed jazz performer and composer. When the two perform together tonight at 7:30 at the Cleveland Museum of Art, pianist Omer Klein and percussionist Itamer Doari will join them to deliver some “world-music inflected jazz.” They’re from the Moroccan Jewish diaspora, so the music has all the flavors of Middle Eastern jazz. Tickets start at $30. (Jeff Niesel) 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350, clevelandart.org. SPOKEN WORD

Cleveland Stories Dinner Party Cleveland Stories Dinner Party is a weekly series that pairs fine food with storytelling. Through it, the folks at Music Box Supper Club hope to raise awareness of the mission of the Western Reserve Historical Society’s Cleveland History Center. The goal of the Cleveland Stories Dinner Party is to “bring to life some of the fun, interesting stories about Cleveland’s past — from sports, to rock ’n’ roll,

to Millionaires’ Row,” as it’s put in a press release. Admission is free, with no cover charge, although a prix fixe dinner, designed to complement the night’s theme, is $20. Tonight, Kelly Falcone Hall, president and CEO of the Western Reserve Historical Society, will discuss how Cleveland has often come out on the wrong side of history. Doors open at 5 p.m., dinner is served at 6, and the storytelling starts at 7. (Niesel) 1148 Main Ave., 216-242-1250, musicboxcle.com. COMEDY

Pete Correale Comedian Peter Correale has a good marriage. This was recently proven by the fact that he and his wife put together a piece of Ikea furniture — and didn’t get divorced! In fact, he thinks this could be the next great reality show of our times: assembling Ikea furniture and letting the drama unfold. Other yuks involve parties without alcohol (he calls those “meetings”), drunken Irish mothers and his wife’s sighs. Tonight’s curtain at Hilarities is at 7; he performs at the club through Friday. Tickets range from $18 to 25. (Liz Trenholme) 2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com.

THEATER

Phantom of the Opera Hailed by critics as “bigger and better than before,” Cameron Mackintosh’s incredible new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s phenomenal musical success, The Phantom of the Opera, comes to Playhouse Square as part of its North American tour. With exciting special effects, along with new scenic and lighting designs, and refreshed staging and choreography, this production pulls out all the stops. Tonight’s performance takes place at 7:30 at the State Theatre, where performances continue through April 20. Tickets start at $40. (Niesel) 1519 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org. THEATER

Tiny Houses A Cleveland Play House production, Tiny Houses focuses on a woman who quits her finance job to move across the country with her boyfriend and build a 200-square-foot tiny house. What could possibly go wrong? Tonight’s performance is at 7:30 at the Outcalt Theatre; the show runs through April 14. Tickets start at $25. (Niesel) 1407 Euclid Ave, 216-241-6000, clevelandplayhouse.com.

THU

04/11

FILM

Hotel by the River Hotel by the River, the latest film from South Korean director Hong Sang-soo, centers on an aging poet who fears his death is imminent, and a beautiful young woman who struggles to overcome a failed relationship. The film makes its Cleveland premiere tonight at 8:45 at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque, where it screens again at 7:15 tomorrow night. Tickets cost $10, or $7 for Cinematheque members and students. (Niesel) 11610 Euclid Ave., 216-421-7450, cia.edu. SPORTS

Monsters vs. Charlotte Checkers The Cleveland Monsters wrap up their regular season with a twogame series at the Q against the Charlotte Checkers. Tonight’s game features Monsters’ Hockey Hoppy Hour; tickets include a lowerlevel seat and a beverage for $11. Tomorrow night’s game is Fan Salute Night, and there will be special giveaways. Both games begin | clevescene.com | April 10 - 16, 2019

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GET OUT at 7 p.m. at Quicken Loans Arena. (Niesel) 1 Center Court, 216-420-2000, theqarena.com. MUSIC

The New Soft Shoe Nine years ago, on what local singer-songwriter Brent Kirby calls a drunken dare, a group of Cleveland friends and musicians showed up at the Happy Dog to play a couple sets of tunes by the late, great Gram Parsons. Dubbed the New Soft Shoe, the group has been at it ever since. Anything that Parsons played, the New Soft Shoe covers. As a result, the group plays tunes from the International Submarine Band, the Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers. It also plays songs from Parsons’ solo album GP/Grievous Angel. Tonight at 8, the band performs in the Waldorf Hall at Forest City Brewery. Admission is free, but a donation is requested. (Niesel) 2135 Columbus Rd., 216-228-9116, forestcitybrewery.com.

in Athens, Greece, gets its American — and Englishlanguage — premiere here in Cleveland. The play follows the lineage of Oedipus and chronicles his fall and redemption. Compiled from several ancient Greek tragedies, including The Phoenicians, Oedipus Tyrannus, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone and Seven Against Thebes, the play

3/20 3/27 4/17 4/24 5/22 5/29 6/5

Open Mic Night/Live Band Karaoke Every Thursday, Stella’s Music Club hosts a night of music, poetry and comedy. The club’s doors open at 5 p.m., and performances begin at 8 p.m. Artists can sign up at stellasmusic.com/open-mic to secure a 15-minute time slot. Signups will be available at the club as well. Meanwhile, happy hour takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. Admission is free. (Niesel) 2217 East Ninth St., 216-272-3377, stellasmusic.com. THEATER

THEATER

Tree of Oedipus Tree of Oedipus, a new play developed by the Idea Theatre

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04/12

Tickets are $26. (Patrick Stoops) 1501 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

THEATER

Flanagan’s Wake Flanagan’s Wake transports the audience to an Irish wake where villagers tell tales and sing songs for their dearly departed Flanagan. Finding the humor in life and death, the wake acts as a dark

FILM

An Injury to One In the early 1900s, shortly after he organized dock workers in a strike for better safety conditions and wages, activist Frank Little was kidnapped, severely beaten and mock hanged. He’s the subject of An Injury to One, a 2002 documentary film that shows today at 7 p.m. at the Cleveland Museum of Art. A screening of I Am Somebody, a film about black female hospital workers who go on strike in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1969, precedes the screening of An Injury to One. Tickets cost $10, or $7 for cardcarrying union members or members of CMA. (Niesel) 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350, clevelandart.org. ART

MUSIC

The Taming of the Shrew Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew feels particularly modern, with its old-school examination of power dynamics. The plot centers on a “beguiling battle of wits and wills between the sexes which ultimately reveals an unlikely romance.” Great Lakes Theater’s production of the play continues tonight at 7:30 at the Hanna; performances continue through April 14. Tickets cost $15 to $75. (Niesel) 2067 East 14th St., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

FRI

Joni Mitchell: Both Sides Now: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 2017 • R • 106 minutes • Courtesy of Eagle Rock Entertainment

Miss Sharon Jones! 2015 • not rated • 93 minutes

Horn from the Heart: The Paul Butterfield Story 2017 • not rated • 104 minutes • DCP Format

Turn It Around: The Story Of East Bay Punk 2017 • not rated • 155 minutes • DCP Format

Tommy 1975 • PG • 111 minutes • DCP Format

ART

Boy Howdy!: The Story of Creem Magazine 2019 • not rated • 75 minutes • DCP format

Gimme Shelter 1970 • R • 91 minutes Criterion Collection Edition • DCP Format

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features an English translation by current CSU theater major Christina Katsaras. Tonight’s performance takes place at 7:30 at Helen Rosenfeld Lewis Bialosky Lab Theatre, where the play runs through April 14. Tickets cost $15. (Niesel) 1407 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

| clevescene.com | April 10 - 16, 2019

Nicole Schneider Opening at BAYarts From 7 to 9 tonight, BAYarts hosts an opening party for a new exhibit featuring paintings by Nicole Schneider. Schneider employs “overlapping gestural marks” and blocks of color to “explore relationships between order and chaos.” The artist has long been interested in developmental and behavioral psychology and creates what she calls “abstract landscapes of the mind.” Admission to the opening is free. The exhibit, titled Nicole Schneider: The Color of Walls, is up until May 3. (Niesel) 28795 Lake Rd., Bay Village, 440-871-6543, bayarts.net.

backdrop to an otherwise hilarious show in which alcohol fuels the humorous reminiscing. Sort of like a tragic Tony ’n’ Tina’s Wedding, the interactive and improvised show engages the entire audience. Tonight’s show starts at 8 and repeats tomorrow night at 8 at Kennedy’s Theatre. Performances continue weekends through April 27.

Walkabout Tremont During this month’s Walkabout Tremont, you can stop by any of the Tremont art galleries to see their current and/or new exhibits, drop in at the plentiful bars, restaurants and specialty shops that participate in the art stroll, and even nab a free ride on Lolly the Trolley. The walk takes place from 5 to 10 tonight. Check out the website for a schedule, maps and a listing of entertainment and food and drink specials. (Niesel) walkabouttremont.com. COMEDY

Kountry Wayne Wayne Colley, better known by his stage name Kountry Wayne, became a viral social-media sensation overnight on account of his hilarious videos. In one skit, he makes fun of a couple of thugs who attempt to rob him. “If you’re homeless, that’s all


you had to say,” he tells the guys. “I would have put something in your pocket.” He eventually talks them out of robbing him. Wayne performs tonight at 7:30 and 10 at the Improv, where he has shows scheduled through Sunday. Tickets are $30 to $50. (Niesel) 1148 Main Ave., 216-696-IMPROV, clevelandimprov.com.

SAT

04/13

WRITTEN WORD

Northcoast Writers’ Showcase Imbolo Mbue, author of the critically acclaimed new book Behold the Dreamers, will be the keynote speaker for the second annual Northcoast Writers’ Showcase that takes place today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Lakeland Community College in Kirtland. During the showcase, readers and aspiring writers can interact with published authors, ask questions about the writing journey and attend workshops about the craft of writing. Authors will have their books available for sale and signing, as well. The showcase begins at 11 a.m. in Lakeland’s H-Building. Breakout sessions will be held at noon, 1 and 2 p.m. Mbue’s talk begins at 3 p.m. at the Dr. Wayne L. Rodehorst Performing Arts Center. She will be available for book signing and photo opportunities following her presentation. Attendance is free, but registration is requested. (Niesel) 7700 Clocktower Dr., Kirtland, 440-525-7000, mentorpl.org/ northcoastwritersshowcase2019. MUSIC

Cleveland Pops Orchestra Tonight at 8 at Severance Hall, the Cleveland Pops Orchestra presents a special program of music inspired by Italy. “From pop to opera to romantic Neapolitan ballads, Italian music has topped the charts for centuries,” reads a press release about the concert. Expect to hear tunes “familiar to everyone and beloved by all.” Consult the Cleveland Orchestra website for ticket prices. (Niesel) 11001 Euclid Ave., 216-231-1111, clevelandorchestra.com. FILM

The Room Thanks to The Disaster Artist, the James Franco movie about the making of the cult classic, the popularity of The Room has soared. The film that features writer, director and star Tommy Wiseau screens at 10 tonight — and the second Saturday

of every month — at the Cedar Lee Theatre. Tickets are $6. (Niesel) 2163 Lee Rd., Cleveland Heights, 440-528-0355, clevelandcinemas.com. COMEDY

Andrew Shulz Comedian Andrew Schulz likes to challenge conventions in routines that often verge on being offensive. “It’s time to bring back the flagrancy,” he says in one bit promoting a podcast. Known for The Brilliant Idiots podcast and the independent comedy special 4:4:1, Shulz has earned a rep as a comedian who doesn’t adhere to PC guidelines. He performs tonight at 7 and 9:30 at Hilarities. Tickets cost $28. (Niesel) 2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com.

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COMEDY

Jonathan Van Ness Yassssss, queen! Hairstylist Jonathan Van Ness brings his Road to Beijing tour to the Masonic Auditorium tonight. Van Ness, the breakout star of the Netflix Queer Eye reboot, is planning on making you laugh all night long — rather than cry, as the show is wont to do. The fun begins at 7, and tickets start at $45; get them on the website. (Laura Morrison) 3615 Euclid Ave., 216-431-7370, masoniccleveland.com. FUNDRAISER

Spring Out of Hibernation with WASF The Warren A. Sill Fund (WASF) provides funding solutions to address issues in the greater Cleveland public education space. Its goal is to create “an education system that works in partnership with philanthropy to deliver creative, lifechanging experiences.” Tonight at 6:30 at the 78th Street Studios, the organization holds its sixth annual WASF Spring Out of Hibernation fundraiser. The price of admission includes craft beer, wine and catered appetizers, and there will be a raffle, silent auction prizes and plenty of entertainment. General admission is $40 in advance; get tickets through the website, below. (Niesel) 1300 West 78th St., warrenasillfund.org.

SUN

Visit rockhall.com/careers for more information

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Black Violin Classically-trained violist Wil B., and violinist Kev Marcus, combine their classical training and hip-hop | clevescene.com | April 10 - 16, 2019

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GET OUT influences to create Black Violin, with a “distinctive multi-genre sound often described as ‘classical boom.’” The group has performed with acts such as Kanye West, Aerosmith and Tom Petty, and has collaborated with Wu-Tang Clan, Wyclef Jean and Alicia Keys. They perform tonight at 7 at Connor Palace. Tickets start at $10. (Niesel) 1615 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

a New York Times at the store, you’ll receive a free cup of coffee or tea and a Jim Alesci’s Place pastry. An added bonus: A jazz, Americana, samba or bossa nova band will perform from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Anyone who shows a Sunday receipt from Music Box, Prosperity Social Club or any of the Tremont restaurants that offer brunch can enter a same-day drawing for a $30 Visible Voice gift certificate and a $25 Visible Voice Loyalty Card. They’ll also receive 10 percent off any Visible Voice book purchase. The bookstore is open today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Niesel) 2258 Professor Ave., 216-961-0084, visiblevoicebooks.com.

MUSIC + HISTORY

Emigrate! Bound for Cleveland Roots of American Music (ROAM) is a non-profit organization created in 1999 to provide arts programming to the Northeast Ohio community using traditional American music as a way to connect students to our past. Today from 5 to 9 p.m., the ROAM folks will present a program dubbed Emigrate! Bound for Cleveland! at Terrestrial Brewing Company. The program aims to explore how immigration impacted Northeast Ohio. Specifically, it will tell the story of boxer Johnny Kilbane, a child of Irish immigrants who went on to hold the title of featherweight champion from 1912 to 1923. The program will also address the challenges faced by Cleveland’s Irish immigrant community in the early 1900s. The local Irish punk band the Boys from the County Hell will perform, along with traditional Irish musician Ruairi Hurley and local singersongwriter Ray Flanagan. Admission is free. (Niesel) 7524 Father Frascati Dr., 216-465-9999, rootsofamericanmusic.org. BOOKS

Sunday Beat As part of a Sunday Beat promotion at Visible Voice Books, if you purchase

FILM

Tracking Edith Edith Tudor-Hart, an AustrianBritish photographer who was also a spy for the KGB, is the subject of the documentary film Tracking Edith. The movie makes its local theatrical debut today at 1:30 p.m. at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Tickets cost $10, or $7 for CMA members. (Niesel) 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350, clevelandart.org.

MON

04/15

NIGHTLIFE

Shit Show Karaoke Local rapper/promoter Dirty Jones and Scene’s own Manny Wallace host Shit Show Karaoke, a weekly event at the B-Side Liquor Lounge wherein patrons choose from “an unlimited selection of jams from hip-hop to hard rock,” and are encouraged to “be as bad as you want.” Fueled by drink and shot specials, it all goes down tonight at 10 p.m. (Niesel) 2785 Euclid Hts. Blvd., Cleveland Heights, 216-932-1966, bsideliquorlounge.com.

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| clevescene.com | April 10 - 16, 2019

Call 216-241-7550 for more information.

FOOD

Wing Dang Doodle Blues icon Howlin’ Wolf famously covered “Wang Dang Doodle,” the old blues tune penned by Willie Dixon. Prosperity Social Club in Tremont has adopted that slogan, calling its wing night Wing Dang Doodle. The weekly event features specials on Buffalo wings and cold brews. Prosperity will not only serve up substantial, $1 whole wings, but it’ll also offer meatless Monday “wing” baskets for vegans. Discounted drafts and a playlist of vintage-electric blues and soulful R&B curated by local musician Clint Holley will be on tap as well. Wing Dang Doodle takes place every Monday from 6 p.m. to midnight. (Niesel) 1109 Starkweather Ave., 216-9371938, prosperitysocialclub.com.

TUE

04/16

MUSIC

Classical Revolution Cleveland Today, and the first Tuesday of every month, Classical Revolution Cleveland brings chamber music to the Happy Dog. Performers like the Trepanning Trio, Anime Duo, students of Cleveland Institute of Music and even Cleveland Orchestra members grace the stage in these exciting concerts. Tonight’s free, all-ages performance starts at 8. (Stoops) 5801 Detroit Ave., 216-651-9474, happydogcleveland.com. FILM

The Learning Tree In conjunction with an exhibit featuring photos by Gordon Parks, the Cleveland Museum of Art will screen Parks’ directorial debut, The Learning Tree. Based on his semiautobiographical novel about two black teens living in Kansas in the

1920s, it’s one of the first 25 movies selected for the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry. It shows at 1:45 tonight. Tickets cost $12, or $9 for CMA members. CMA curator Barbara Tannenbaum will answer questions after the screening. (Niesel) 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350, clevelandart.org. MUSIC

Open Turntable Tuesday Tonight from 6 to 9, the Winchester hosts its weekly Open Turntable Tuesday. Jason Gokorsch will book guest DJs and offer slots to people who want to bring their own vinyl and spin their favorite songs or deep tracks. First time DJs are encouraged, and equipment is provided. Patrons can also bring records for the night’s DJ to add to their set. Sign up on Northeast Ohio Vinyl Club’s Facebook page. (Niesel) 12112 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216600-5338, facebook.com/ TheWinchesterMusicTavern. MUSIC

Vinyl Night Jukebox owner Alex Budin has described his 1,350-square-foot music-focused bar in the Hingetown ‘hood as “a place where people can expect to hear and learn about music of multiple genres, all of which is concentrated in a constantly evolving jukebox.” The club hosts a vinyl night every Tuesday that serves as a listening party for new releases, partnering with Loop in Tremont, so patrons can hear a new album on vinyl. You can bring your own vinyl and spin it too. It all starts at 5 p.m. (Niesel) 1404 West 29th St., 216-206-7699, jukeboxcle.com.

scene@clevescene.com t@clevelandscene


MOVIES HUMP! DAY Erotic film festival returns to the Capitol Theatre By Jeff Niesel Photo courtesy of the HUMP! Film Festival

IN THE INTERVENING MONTHS since last year’s HUMP! Festival came to town, the film festival promoters tell us that Facebook has deactivated their business page for “explicit content” even though they show nothing explicit in their advertising. That has made it very challenging to bring HUMP! to new markets, and to grow the festival in general. That’s too bad, because this unique collection of amateur sex-positive films has much to offer. Without any help from Facebook, the 14th annual festival still hit the road earlier this year. It comes to Cleveland this week and screens at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Capitol Theatre. Sex columnist Dan Savage, the creator of the Savage Love sex advice column that runs each week in this paper and in alt-weeklies around the country, curates HUMP!, and he definitely keeps things inclusive. The festival features people of all body sizes, shapes, ages, colors, sexualities and genders. It aims to be a “unique celebration of creative sexual expression,” and it certainly accomplishes that. Some of the highlights include

Paint Party, a short that comes across as a sexually explicit Blue Man Group performance. It features nude actors covered in all sorts of body paint. They splatter each other with paint to the sounds of a techno beat. You can still make out breasts, buttocks and penises, but the short doesn’t feature any penetration. The same can’t be said for Jump Start My Love, a feature on a loving interracial couple who experiment with all sorts of sexual positions.

Shorts such as The Punishment and Please center on dominance and rough sex but do so in such a way that they never become exploitative. Campground, one of the edgier clips, focuses on a sexual encounter with a “horny Boy Scout,” and the very odd fetish flick Whatever Floats Your Goat finds a woman dressing up as a goat to be “milked” by another woman. The festival even includes a funny song-and-dance number that emphasizes the lighter side of sex.

A press release for the festival promises that the festival’s audience features “diverse, sex-positive people” and that watching the movies with that type of crowd is a “fun, unforgettable, and liberating experience.” The diverse lineup of films in this year’s festival suggests that will once again be the case.

jniesel@clevescene.com t@jniesel

SPOTLIGHT: A DARK PLACE OPENING AT TOWER CITY FRIDAY and destined to hit the road after a limited engagement, A Dark Place is an undistinguished murder mystery that can’t quite do for the Alleghenies what Winter’s Bone did for the Ozarks. Though it’s clearly trying. Just take a look at the posters. The bewhiskered face of Andrew Scott (Moriarty, from the BBC’s Sherlock) gazes out over the trees and dappled lake/river of his sylvan locale, just as Jennifer Lawrence, in 2011, gazed out over the trees and dappled lake/river of her sylvan locale. The double exposure, the composition of the image, even the title font — they’re all virtually identical. The only difference is, A Dark Place sucks. The film doesn’t seem like much more than a vehicle for Scott, a gifted character actor, to

experiment with ways to portray a socially and mentally stunted man. He’s Donald Devlin, a garbage man in Harburg, Pennsylvania. The Steelers and Penguins merchandise in his 11-year-old daughter’s bedroom hint at the nearest metro. In the opening scene, Devlin notices that a young boy on his route, who usually waves from his bedroom window, is missing. He soon learns that the boy drowned in a nearby creek. But after a conversation with the boy’s mother, Devlin is convinced that there’s more to the story and sets off on a personal quest to solve what he believes is a murder. The script’s flaws are abundant, but chief among them is the fact that the mystery just isn’t all that interesting. There are two or three characters who might’ve committed the crime, and screenwriter Brendan Higgins doesn’t even bother fleshing

out a red herring. Furthermore, for a man of Devlin’s abilities — he is at times vaguely autistic, at other times more conventionally “slow” — the investigation goes off without a hitch. He rarely chases down the wrong scent and even conducts an interrogation he seems wholly unequipped for. Both the unique history and dynamics of the small town and the motivations for Devlin’s pursuit — i.e., beyond “he was just an innocent kid” — are unexplored. Unfortunately for A Dark Place — a title that, while we’re on the subject, ought to have been workshopped — the likes of True Detective and other prestige crime TV have upped the ante on quality storytelling. Viewers these days are more sophisticated. They expect depth and originality in the genre. And while it’s difficult to orchestrate

an edge-of-your-seat whodunnit in the confines of a 100- or even 120-minute movie, it can be done. But a creditable performance can’t salvage a poorly written character, and lush nature shots can’t compensate for a story uninterested in what makes a murder in the Alleghenies distinct from a murder in West Texas (No Country for Old Men), in San Francisco (Zodiac), or on an Indian Reservation (Wind River). There are ways to evoke and exploit a landscape for narrative economy, ways to communicate character and setting and tension in a single frame. Look no further than Winter’s Bone. — Sam Allard

sallard@clevescene.com t@scenesallard | clevescene.com | April 10 - 16, 2019

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EAT SAVE ROOM FOR PIE Rood Food turns the humble slider into a star, and nails those pies too By Douglas Trattner Photo by Emanuel Wallace

GIMMICKY, UNORIGINAL, DOOMED to fail. These were a few of the carseat conclusions uttered en route to Rood Food, a restaurant that obediently devotes itself to sliders. In a long, often tedious-to-the-point-oftears line of single-purpose concepts, sliders engender about as much culinary anticipation as an all-day cereal cafe. But color us converts of the highest order. We left that meal with the impression that sliders, at least those served here, deserved a level of respect that until that moment we were unwilling to grant them. If I’m being honest, that viewpoint is precisely why I’ve avoided the restaurant for the six months it has been open in Lakewood. The only way this concept rises above the level of novelty is by offering not just delicious food, but by presenting it in a way that transforms it into a convivial, communal experience, much like Korean barbecue without all the splatter. That’s the vision owner Brian Ruthsatz had in mind when he pitched the formula to friends, who all told him to expand the menu or suffer the consequences. “This was always the plan, but everybody I mentioned it to thought I was absolutely crazy,” Ruthsatz explains. “Everybody told me that it wouldn’t work even though they had no idea what I planned to do with this.” What he planned to do was elevate the slider experience in a few very significant ways. Naturally, the chef-driven fillings are the heart of the matter. But it’s the process that sets Rood Food apart from typical slider slingers. Menu items are served family-style in deep bowls, along with brown paper bags full of unsliced buns. At first the arrangement feels contrived, but that misses the mark completely. For starters, the just-baked buns stay warmer and fresher this way. Secondly, it puts the diner in control of the build, free to adjust the portion size as he or she chooses. Thumb open a bun and you release a poof of aromatic steam redolent of curry or cardamom, the subtle but unmistakable flavors the

two varieties possess. Spoon in some smoky, spicy ancho-slicked pulled chicken ($12), layer on some cool, crisp jicama slaw, and you have some very happy eating in your hands. All told there are 14 various options, five of which are vegan. Only two arrive in patty form, a wagyu beef burger and a goat/lamb blend. For that dish ($20), three expertly

unreasonable to stick one’s nose deep into a bag for some quiet self-care. Given that all but one filling is served loose, there’s the concern that everything will arrive with the same “pulled pork” texture. That’s not what we experienced. A shredded 10-hour beef brisket ($14) isn’t saucy at all, but neither was it dry. The shredded meat is beefy,

ROOD FOOD AND PIE 17001 MADISON AVE., LAKEWOOD, 216-712-4506 rfpie.com

grilled, seductively gamey sliders are accompanied by tapenade, slick roasted red peppers, and cucumber slaw. Prices range from $10 to $20, with most landing firmly in the $12 to $14 zone. Those fees net enough meat or vedge to build at least three sandwiches, enough complementary slaw to do likewise, and bottomless bags of rolls to eat to your heart’s content. The rolls — those heavenly, airy, flaky, spice-scented rolls — are baked hourly to assure that they’re at peak freshness. It’s not

tender and assertively flavored. The matching apple and pear slaw added crunch and a tropical top note. We passed on a pair of vegan dishes employing jackfruit in favor of one starring sauteed mushrooms ($12). To my taste, the dish goes overboard on the umami, akin to making a whole meal out of a steak topping. A cinnamon and sour cherry slaw only complicates matters. There is one lone appetizer, a bowl of wafer-thin, uber-crispy, pleasantly salty yucca chips ($4). Before you cry foul, know that the arrangement

is designed to encourage (shrewdly coerce?) diners to save room for pie. And you must. In place of clunky wedges of cloyingly sweet Betty Crocker classics, pastry chef Katie Ruthsatz plates up slices of lightas-clouds caramel-drizzled banana cream ($5.75), whisky-spiked, cookie-crusted chocolate and toffee custard ($5.75) and gooey, brownbuttery Salt and Honey ($5.50), with its addictive yin-yang pull. This pie comes with a small vial of crunchy bee pollen to sprinkle on top. Ruthsatz put as much thoughtful consideration into the space as he did the food, resulting in an attractive, flexible and fun environment. The two rooms strike completely different attitudes, with one seemingly airlifted from artsy South Beach thanks to hot-pink neon, midcentury modern furniture and a retro camper that doubles as the bar. The rear dining room, in contrast, is a dimly lit den with warm brick walls, tufted leather banquettes and candlelight, perfect for a quiet night of sliders, cocktails and pie. Or just pie.

dtrattner@clevescene.com t@dougtrattner | clevescene.com | April 10 - 16, 2019

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EAT BITES New owners of Paragon in Euclid will introduce ‘Map Room’ style pizzas By Douglas Trattner Photo courtesy of Paragon

IN JANUARY, CHRIS HAMMER sold his 5-year-old Collinwood bistro the Standard, and now he’s unloading his nearly 10-year-old Euclid restaurant Paragon (21920 Lake Shore Blvd., 216-731-9463). The moves will allow Hammer to join the family business, a long-standing importer and distributor of fine wines. “This is going to be a really good transition for the business,” Hammer says of the handover. New owners Jackie Morere and Nick Burdock have little planned in way of changes for the popular eastside tavern except for the introduction of “Map Room pizzas.” The pair has business ties to that Warehouse District mainstay, which has developed a bit of a cult following for its pizza. “We’re going to keep the menu that they have, but we’re going to get

rib sliders, club sandwiches, meatloaf and mac and cheese. April Fool’s Day marked the official transfer of ownership. The pizzas should begin flying out of the kitchen soon.

Date, Chefs Announced for this Year’s Five Star Sensation rid of the flatbread pizzas that they currently have and bring in Map Room pizzas,” explains Burdock, adding that the change involves bringing in new ovens. The contemporary two-room, 86-seat tavern with bar and patio offers an appealing selection of American snacks, salads, burgers, sandwiches and entrees. Items include housemade chips and dip, corned beef and kraut eggrolls, short

In 2015, long-standing honorary chair Wolfgang Puck ceded the reins of Five Star Sensation, a biennial fundraiser for University Hospitals’ Seidman Cancer Center, to Cleveland native Michael Symon, owner of numerous restaurants including Lola and Mabel’s BBQ in Cleveland, Roast in Detroit, Angeline in Atlantic City, and Mabel’s BBQ and Sara’s in Las Vegas. This year marks the Iron Chef’s third time hosting the glitzy event.

Since its inception in 1987, Five Star Sensation has raised more than $20 million for the cancer center. This year’s event will take place at Cuyahoga Community College in Highland Hills on Saturday, June 15, and feature more than 60 chefs and winemakers from around the world. “I am thrilled for my continued participation in this culinary extravaganza in my hometown benefitting University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center,” Symon states. “It raises vital funds for such an important cause in our community, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve as Host Chef of this truly sensational evening.” Notable chefs who will be participating in this year’s gala include Brad Lettau and Frank Ostini (The Hitching Post, Napa), Celina Tio (The Belfry, Kansas City, Missouri), Charles Voudrous (iPic

| clevescene.com | April 10 - 16, 2019

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| clevescene.com | April 10 - 16, 2019

Entertainment, Los Angeles), John Alers, (Flour & Barley, Las Vegas), Jonathon Sawyer (Greenhouse Tavern), Kelly English (Restaurant Iris, Memphis), Sam Choy (Poke to the Max, Hawaii) and Stephen Lewandowski (Harlan Social, Miami). Funds from the benefit, which includes live music, dancing and a silent auction, support UH Seidman Cancer Center physicianscientists’ innovative work to identify promising new therapies as well as community cancer screenings, cancer information services and public education programs. For more information or to purchase sponsorships and tickets, email FiveStar@UHhospitals.org or call 216-844-0416.

Now Open: Cosmic Dave’s Rock Club in Former Barking Spider Tavern on Case Campus For 30 years, the Barking Spider Tavern drew scores of live music lovers to a charming carriage house on the campus of Case Western Reserve University. That brilliant chapter of Cleveland nightlife closed for good in September of 2016, when the legendary watering hole ceased operations. After months of construction, that iconic club’s replacement has opened its doors. Cosmic Dave’s Rock Club (11310 Juniper Rd.) combines the foods customers have become familiar with since the original Dave’s Cosmic Subs shop opened in Chagrin Falls in 1997 with a live music component. Live acts will take to the stage on Friday and Saturday nights, paired with other programming like open mic nights. The location is operated by North Coast Cosmic Subs, a franchisee that operates Dave’s shops in Cleveland Heights, Berea, Mentor and Oberlin. “It’s going to be quality- and experienced-driven,” explains Paul Sidhu, president of North Coast Cosmic Subs. The revamped business now features a full bar with craft and domestic beers, plus that charming patio. On the bill for this weekend are Master TC and the Visitors on Friday, April 5, with the Props booked for Saturday, April 6. Gone are the pay-as-you-wish days of the circulating tip jar for performers; these days, a cover will be charged at the door. “You had the Barking Spider, which everyone in the local community adored, and we want to

pick up where they left off,” adds Sidhu. “This location really pays homage to fulfilling part of that legacy.”

Now Open: Lindey’s Lake House to Open in Former Coastal Taco The transformation from Coastal Taco to Lindey’s Lake House is complete in the Flats. Starting this week, diners can observe the changes — both in terms of decor and food — themselves as the doors officially opened to the public on Monday. Coastal Taco quietly closed on the last day of 2018. Since opening the beachy taqueria almost three years ago, owner Rick Doody came to the realization that there’s more to life than just tacos. This past November, Doody opened Lindey’s Lake House next door to his popular Beachwood restaurant Cedar Creek Grille, and he has been so pleased with the reception that he decided to expand the concept downtown. “We’re trying to build a brand in Cleveland,” he says. “People love the vibe of Coastal Taco, the barcentricness of the place, but you’ve got to have more than just tacos these days.” When the paper comes off the windows, diners will discover a casual but fashionable setting that conjures images of the Hamptons, Cape Cod or Michigan’s Walloon Lake, a destination that holds a special place in Doody’s heart. The new Lake House decor ups the comfort factor with more booths, roomier furniture, enhanced lighting and a fresh coat of paint. “We’re trying to kick it up a notch, to get rid of some of the hokeyness,” Doody says. “A place where you’re willing to spend $20 instead of $3 for a taco.” Like the original in Beachwood, this Lindey’s Lake House will offer a wide range of approachable, appealing American foods. Starters include guac and chips, skillet cornbread, spicy calamari and hot crab dip. Taco platters and thincrusted brick oven pizzas share top billing with popular Lake House items, as well as some plucked from Cedar Creek Grille. On offer will be fried chicken, fish and chips, lobster rolls, cedar-planked salmon and steak frites. “It’s like the best of both worlds,” Doody notes.

dtrattner@clevescene.com t@dougtrattner


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| clevescene.com | April 10 - 16, 2019

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| clevescene.com | April 10 - 16, 2019


I

F NORTHEAST OHIO HAS AN answer to Joni Mitchell, it’s gotta be singer-songwriter Gretchen Pleuss. With her upper-register vocals and beautifully poetic lyrics, Pleuss regularly draws comparisons to the great songsmith. “I’ll take that comparison,” Pleuss says one afternoon from Nature’s Oasis, the Lakewood grocery store and coffee shop where she often performs. “I love how she writes. She has songs that are similar to mine because they have that stream of consciousness element and tend to be observational.” Pleuss’s latest album, Daughter of the Broader Skies, serves as another good example of her talent, and Pleuss plays three special shows next week to celebrate its release. She’ll perform at 8 p.m. on Friday at the Rialto Theatre in Akron, at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Lucky Records in Wooster, and at 7 p.m. on Sunday at the Music Box Supper Club. Singer-songwriter Emily Keener will open for her on Sunday. Originally from Cincinnati, Pleuss moved to the Akron area when she was in grade school. She picked up guitar when she was only 11 and immediately took to the thing. “It was actually a gift from an aunt,” she says when asked about that first guitar. “Up until then, I hadn’t thought about playing; but once I had it, it was a matter of getting lessons and falling in love with it. At that time, I listened to Lilith Fair-era music — Indigo Girls and Sheryl Crow. Naturally, I listened to Avril Lavigne and the popular music at the time too.” A mere six months after learning to play the guitar, Pleuss began writing her own material and playing the coffeehouse circuit. “I played a lot in the Orville and Wooster area,” she says. “I eventually moved up to Akron and started playing bars before I was able to drink.” In addition to writing songs, she writes short stories and novellas. “It wasn’t very good initially,” she says of her creative writing endeavors. “It was unpolished. The older I got, the more I honed in on those skills.”

Pleuss started recording when she was still a teenager. Her first record, Innocence, features a mix of covers and originals. With 2013’s Out of Dreams, she worked with a legitimate producer for the first time. Locally based Jim Wirt (Incubus) worked with her on the album and helped shape her sound. Wirt even played bass on the album too. “That was a good experience,” Pleuss says of making Out of Dreams. “I had never worked with a producer. I had only worked with engineers. I hadn’t worked with someone who was willing to look at a song and say what it needed. Everything was really professionally done too. If you don’t

have a producer on hand, you get stuck in your artistic vision. We all have our own bubbles we live in as artists. That’s not the best for a song. [Wirt] helped me view things as a big picture. Before that, it was just me playing my songs the way I wrote them, and that was the way it was going to be.” She worked with Wirt again on Daughter of the Broader Skies. The album features some songs that are a few years old and some that were just written last year. “I had about 20 songs, and we narrowed it down to 12 that fit together and make the most sense as a whole,” she says. “I didn’t necessarily try to do anything differently with this album. There’s always that sense when you’re done that you think about what you would have also done. I’m really happy with how it turned out. It’s ironic that when you’re working on an album, you polish the songs and it takes a year or so to finish the album, and by the time you’re done with

it, you have to play them for another year or two years. By that time, you’re tired of the songs, but I’m really happy with these songs.” Album opener “If You Saw Me Now” features a catchy melody buttressed by echoing vocals and a tempered guitar riff. During the song’s bridge, Pleuss capably hits the high notes as she croons the track’s refrain. With its soft, cooing vocals and gentle guitars, “Songbird” comes off as a particularly tender meditation on love. The inspiration for the album’s first single, “Everybody’s Pretty,” a song that recalls singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco’s folkier side, came from a trip she took to New York with local singersongwriter Michelle Gaw. “There was a day or two during that trip where we parted ways to do our own thing,” says Pleuss. “I met up with some old friends and made new acquaintances. I explored on my own. It was another opportunity to people watch. I observed the way people present themselves versus the way they might be. I think that’s something we do in general, but in a big city, it’s more obvious that everyone is wearing a façade. I started thinking about how it can make us feel misunderstood or lonely. It’s escalated by social media. On the internet, we can be one person, but we’re totally different in real life. I was trying to present it like it could be anywhere, even though there is a lot of New York imagery there.” Pleuss says each of the upcoming release shows will be a little different from the others. “I’m playing with my band, and every show is a little bit different,” she says. “We leave room for improvisation. At the Rialto, I’ll have a projector and videos and that will be a different sort of all-sensory performance. The Music Box show will be more intimate and a little more raw. I’ll have a sax player with me, so that will add a new element as well. The Wooster show will just be solo, and that will be an intimate and acoustic show for Record Store Day and hopefully will encourage people to come to the store and buy actually records.”

scene@clevescene.com t@clevelandscene | clevescene.com | April 10 - 16, 2019

29


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MASONIC CLEVELAND: 3615 Euclid Ave, Cleveland OH 44115 HOUSE OF BLUES: 308 Euclid Ave, Cleveland OH 44114 masoniccleveland.com / houseofblues.com | clevescene.com | April 10 - 16, 2019

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| clevescene.com | April 10 - 16, 2019


LIVEWIRE

all the live music you should see this week Photo courtesy of Polars

WED

04/10

Accent: 8 p.m., $15. Bop Stop. East Central Jazz Educators Band “Mad for Tadd”: 7 p.m., $20. Nighttown. Emo Nite Presented by Emo Nite LA: 9 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Grog Shop. Scott Mulvahill: 7:30 p.m., $15. Nighttown. Old Sea Brigade/Madeline Finn: 8 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Mahall’s 20 Lanes. Okilly Dokilly/Playboy Manbaby/ Hot Ham & Cheese: 8 p.m., $15. Beachland Tavern. Xeno and Oakland/Kiernan Paradise/Plastic Ivy (in the Locker Room): 8 p.m., $8 ADV, $10 DOS. Mahall’s 20 Lanes.

THU

04/11 The local indie rock band Polars plays a release party at the Beachland. See: Saturday.

Boys of Fall/Oh, Weatherly/Never Loved/Taylor Scott (in the Locker Room): 7 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Mahall’s 20 Lanes. Cleveland Sessions: Doc Robinson (in the Supper Club): 7:30 p.m., $8. Music Box Supper Club. Deaf Poets: 8 p.m., $12. Beachland Tavern. Ruth Moody Band: 8 p.m., $25. Nighttown. The Scientists/Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments/The Missed: 8:30 p.m., $15 ADV, $20 DOS. Now That’s Class. The Telescopes/Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts/Cult of Lip: 8 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Mahall’s 20 Lanes. Robin Trower: 7:30 p.m., $37.50-$65. Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park.

FRI

04/12

Baby Gramps (in the Apartment): 8 p.m., $10. Mahall’s 20 Lanes. Blossom Reynolds/Seth Hasan/ Somedaysoon/Grain/Sapphire/ ISO: 7 p.m., $10. Mahall’s 20 Lanes. The Coathangers/Big Bite/Xanny Stars: 9 p.m., $12 ADV, $15 DOS. Grog Shop. Norman Connors: 7 p.m., $40. Nighttown. Travis Haddix Blues Band (in the Supper Club): 7:30 p.m., $10. Music Box Supper Club. Lil Mosey/Lil Tjay/C Glizzy/ Bandkids/Lil Loski: 8 p.m. Agora Theatre.

Bobby Selvaggio Live CD Recording: 8 p.m., $15. Bop Stop. Show Me the Body/En Love: 8 p.m., $12 ADV, $15 DOS. Now That’s Class. Slug Fest/Zip-Zapp/Port Lucian: 9 p.m., $6. Happy Dog. Michael Stanley/Chris Allen: 8 p.m. Music Box Supper Club. Straight On (A Tribute To Heart)/ The Fleetwood Mac Experience: 8 p.m., $12 ADV, $15 DOS. House of Blues. Umojah Nation: 8 p.m., $10. Beachland Tavern. Jackie Warren: 10:30 p.m., free. Nighttown. Matt Waters/Daniel Rylander: 8 p.m., $5 ADV, $7 DOS. CODA.

SAT

04/13

Adult/Void Vision/Prostitutes/DJ Textbeak: 8 p.m., $8. Now That’s Class. Eric Andersen Trio featuring Scarlet Rivera: 8:30 p.m., $25. Nighttown. Basic Printer/Summer School/ Prithee: 8 p.m., $5 ADV, $7 DOS. CODA. Beachland Record Store Day with Sunshine Daydream: 1 p.m., free. Beachland Tavern. Cereal Banter/TIGER SEX/The Venus Flytrap/The Pizza Creeps: Cereal Banter’s Joseph Joseph, the leader of the highly prolific local experimental indie rock

act Cereal Banter, didn’t play on stage until he was 24. But he’s made up for lost time: The group regularly releases new material and plays locally. Tonight the band celebrates the release of its latest album, Wonderful Quest. Another collection of psychedelic indie rock tunes that make the band come across as a noisier Guided by Voices, it commences with the rollicking (and surprisingly accessible) ’60s-inspired song “Nepotism Prism.” (Jeff Niesel) 8:30 p.m., $7 ADV, $10 DOS. Beachland Tavern. Cleveland Unites! with Carlos Jones/The Sublets/DJ B/The Whiskey Hollow: 8 p.m. Agora Theatre. Integrity/Devil Master/State of Conviction/In Cold Blood/ Outline/Subtype Zero: 7 p.m. Phantasy Theater. Carol Leslie: 8 p.m., $15. Bop Stop. McStarkatz/C-Level: 9 p.m., $15. Grog Shop. Polars/Poro/Mimi Arden: A local indie/art rock group, Polars features songwriters Justin Miller and Kurt Eyman. The two independently recorded the group’s debut EP, Into the Pines, in 2015 in a home studio just off the shores of Lake Erie. Last year, the group began the writing process for Native Carbon Bloom. Miller and Eyman teamed up with local orchestrator/ composer Etienne Massicotte on the album, which features more than

20 musicians and utilizes a wide array of instrumentation, including various string, brass and woodwind orchestral arrangements. Lyrics touch on themes such as the impacts of global warming, terraform/space exploration, the media influence on race relations and the “politically disenfranchised.” The sonically rich album opener “Harvest” sets the tone for the terrific collection of tunes. (Niesel) 8 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Beachland Ballroom. Sinatra Night with Michael Sonata (in the Supper Club): 7 p.m., $10. Music Box Supper Club. Michael Stanley/Chris Allen: 8 p.m. Music Box Supper Club. Tropical Cleveland (in the Supper Club): 11 p.m., $10 ADV, $15 DOS. Music Box Supper Club. Jackie Warren: 10:30 p.m., free. Nighttown.

SUN

04/14

Craig Brown Band/Red Devil Ryders/Joey Nix & His Band: 8:30 p.m., $6. Happy Dog. FAVX/Hexum/Who Hit Me: 8 p.m., $7 ADV, $10 DOS. CODA. Freddie Gibbs: 8:30 p.m., $22 ADV, $25 DOS. Grog Shop. Andy Milne Trio: 7 p.m., $15. Bop Stop. The Movielife/Travis Shuttle/Light Years: 8 p.m., $20. Mahall’s 20 Lanes. Jon Mueller/Forest Management/ | clevescene.com | April 10 - 16, 2019

33


KentStage =HGÍMFBLLMA>L>@K>:MLAHPLMB<D>MLHGL:E>GHP

Kent Paranormal Weekend 2019 Friday Night Sessions

Ana Popovic

Carbon Leaf

Sun April 21

Sat. April 20

Fri April 12 & Sat. April 13

Squirrel Nut Zippers Sat. April 27

Red Wanting Blue

Pete Seeger 100th birthday party

Fri. May 3

featuring

John McCutcheon Sat. May 4

Four Bitchin Babes Wed May 8

Martin Barre

Uriah Heep May 9, 10 & 11

Celebrates 50 Years of Jethro Tull May 14 & 15

LIVEWIRE Bbob Drake/Sam Goldberg (in the Apartment): 8 p.m., $10. Mahall’s 20 Lanes. Neyla Pekarek: 8 p.m., $18 ADV, $20 DOS. Beachland Ballroom. Gretchen Pleuss/Emily Keener (in the Supper Club): 7 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Music Box Supper Club. Second Sundays with Key to the Mint: 4 p.m., free. Now That’s Class. SMD/Decomp/Cider/Lacerate: 9 p.m., $8. Now That’s Class. Aaron Lee Tasjan/Smooth Hound Smith: 8 p.m., $13 ADV, $15 DOS. Beachland Tavern. Yacht Rock Revue: 8 p.m., $15 ADV, $20 DOS. House of Blues.

MON

Friends & Neighbors: 8 p.m., $15. Bop Stop. Lady Lamb/Renata Geiger/Alex Schaaf: 8 p.m., $16 ADV, $18 DOS. Grog Shop. Of Montreal/Yip Deceiver: 8 p.m., $20 ADV, $22 DOS. Beachland Ballroom. Rempis/Lopez/Packart Trio: 8 p.m., $15. Bop Stop. Tulip/Yellowstone Apocalypse/ N6664: 9 p.m., $15. Now That’s Class.

TUE Nils Lofgren Band Thu May 16

Alex Bevan & David J. Young

An Evening with John Waite

Fri May 17

Sun May 19

JUST ANNOUNCED Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

AJ Croce plays Croce

Thu June 13

Sat June 15

Marc Broussard Sat Aug 10

Tickets available at thekentstage.com or 877-987-6487 GMK[w‰Šcw„iŠˆ{{Š©a{„ŠBe~…JJHJF

34

| clevescene.com | April 10 - 16, 2019

APR 11,18, 25

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04/16

Crumb/Corridor/ITEM: 8 p.m., $15 ADV, $18 DOS. Mahall’s 20 Lanes. Dance Gavin Dance/Periphery/Don Broco/Hail the Sun/CoVet: 6:30 p.m. Agora Theatre. Forever Came Calling Acoustic/ Chase Hugin/Safe Bet (in the Locker Room): 7 p.m., $10. Mahall’s 20 Lanes. Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers/Mercy Union/Control Top: 7:30 p.m., $22 ADV, $25 DOS. Grog Shop. Kitchen Dwellers/JP & The Chatfield Boys: 8:30 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Beachland Tavern. Tropical Trash/The Cowboy/ Charlie Dams/South Reach: 8 p.m., $8. Now That’s Class. Ben Winkelman Trio: 7 p.m., $15. Bop Stop.

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04/15

MURDER MYSTERY DINNER

...HOT OFF THE INTERNET PRESS. O N LY AT C L E V E S C E N E . C O M

scene@clevescene.com t@clevelandscene


| clevescene.com m | April 10 - 16, 2019

35


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MEET THE BAND: Dwid Hellion (vocals), Dom Romeo (guitar), Lord Long Cape (bass), Sean Garwood (drums), Justin “Sexman” Ethem (rhythm guitar) METALCORE BEFORE IT WAS COOL TO BE METALCORE: When Integrity formed

in 1988, the term “metalcore” had yet to be coined. The band would come to be seen as one of the earliest acts to combine metal and hardcore. “Obviously, I had no idea that something like metalcore would one day exist,” says Hellion. “Integrity started as a result of having a wide range of musical influences — not just confined to metal and hardcore punk, but also Goth, blues, jazz, rock, industrial, noise and on and on. Basically, it was combining various elements from all of the music that I enjoyed and fusing that into one band. At the time, I thought that approach was the way that people made their songs, by combining their tastes into new creations. I did not know that this approach was actually rather uncommon until after the first album was released, Those Who Fear Tomorrow.” That album would be met with mixed reviews, but Hellion says many critics acknowledged it as “the dawn of a new style of music.” AN OVERSEAS ENTITY: About 15 years ago, Hellion moved to Belgium. He’s continued to keep the group going from overseas and still collaborates

| clevescene.com | April 10 - 16, 2019

with Cleveland-based musicians. “I live in a small village outside of a medieval city named Ghent,” he says. “It is a very scenic and inspiring place to live. I am isolated to a degree, so that affords me the luxury of recording and working on artwork without the interruption of big-city life.” A PHANTASY-FILLED ADVENTURE: Initially,

Integrity embarked on an East Coast tour in 1989 with the hardcore group Judge. A few months later, the group would play its very first Cleveland show at the Phantasy on Jan. 6, 1990, with the local bands False Hope and Outface. Hellion still has the original flyer for that gig. The group returns to the Phantasy this week, and the significance isn’t lost on Hellion. “Returning to The Phantasy niteclub 29 years later is quite an interesting event on many levels,” he says. “It’s mainly because the club is now operated by my childhood friend, who also happens to be my ex-wife, Lisa Covelli. We share three amazing children together and an unlimited amount of memories of concerts and tours.” WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: The band’s

latest album, 2017’s Howling, For the Nightmare Shall Consume, might be its most sophisticated recording to date. “I wanted to employ a concept album approach to the writing,” says Hellion. “There is an underlying storyline that ties the songs together,

although the songs can stand alone without relying on the concept. This was the first recording that I did with [guitarist] Domenic Romeo. He understands the Integrity universe, and he has also a masterful knowledge of the band’s catalog.” One highlight, the haunting “7 Reece Mews,” features menacing vocals and tempered guitars. It references the artist Francis Bacon. “It is an interpretative song about how Bacon might have come to be able to see the world through his uniquely brutal and horrific vision,” says Hellion. “The storyline offers the possibility of ‘what if’ Bacon had a successful seance one drunken evening which left him impaired with the ability to see the demons that lurk within mankind. To cope with this affliction, he would paint humanity from his perspective and eventually gain great notoriety for doing so.” Hellion’s vocals have never sounded better on the disc; he describes his voice as “a roaring, end-of-the-world sermon.” WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM: facebook.

com/INTEGRITY.HT WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: Integrity performs with Devil Master, State of Conviction, In Cold Blood, Outline and Subtype Zero at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, at the Phantasy.

jniesel@clevescene.com t@jniesel


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SAVAGE LOVE OVERFISHED by Dan Savage I’m a heteroflexible married cis woman in my 40s. I’m also a POS cheater and a catfish. I really fucked up. One year ago, I met an older man in an online fetish forum. He sent me an unsolicited PM, and we have talked for hours every day since then. My husband, whom I’ve been married to for more than 20 years, does not know that I am having an emotional affair. I have no intention of telling my husband what I’ve done. I have been honest with my online boyfriend about everything except my name, my age, and the fact that I have a husband. (I know those are all really big things to lie about.) My boyfriend lied to me early on about his name, age, and relationship status, but came clean out of guilt. So I had the opportunity to say that I lied too, but I didn’t take it. I know what I’m doing is wrong. My husband would be very hurt if he knew. And my boyfriend, who wants to make a life together, would be very hurt as well. I’m in love with both men, but I’m not leaving my husband. I know the only right thing to do is break things off with my boyfriend. I’ve tried multiple times: I’ve told him that he is better off without me, that I’m a bad person, and that he shouldn’t trust me. Each time, he convinces me to stay. We have not been physical. We have never even been in the same room, much to his dismay. I have thought about telling him the truth, but I am worried about my safety, and I do not want to hurt him any worse than I already have. Plus, I’m a fucking coward. I am in treatment for PTSD. My therapist believes that my actions are a coping mechanism, i.e., it is easier to pretend to be someone else than it is to be me. I don’t think she’s wrong, but I also don’t think it excuses what I’ve done. How do I end this relationship without doing any more damage to my two partners? — Conning And Tricking For Intensely Selfish Haven Far be it from me to question your therapist’s assessment — she’s spoken with you on multiple occasions, and her insights are doubtless more informed — but I think her framing falls short. She describes your actions as a coping mechanism: You told

a stranger lies and abused your husband’s trust to escape your miserable life. If you weren’t so fucking miserable — if other people and/or circumstances hadn’t conspired to make you so fucking miserable — you wouldn’t have done this. You wouldn’t be doing this still. But despite your therapist’s efforts to help you down off that hook, CATFISH, you seem determined to hang there. She’s offering you absolution, in whole or in part, while you stand around flagellating yourself (“POS cheater,” “fucking coward,” “bad person,” etc.). Personally, I think you’re entitled to your feelings. Go ahead and feel terrible. You did a bad thing. It’s not the worst thing someone’s ever done online, and most people know not to take what a stranger tells them on the internet at face value. But if feeling terrible doesn’t motivate you

because you’re miserable. You did this because it was fun. We call it “play” when children pretend to be someone or something they’re not; child’s play is also, yes, a coping mechanism. Vulnerable children pretend to be big and powerful superheroes and/or monsters to cope with and momentarily escape their relative powerlessness. And nothing makes a child’s playful fantasy feel more real than a good friend who plays along. Most adults don’t make time for play — most of us aren’t LARPers or kinksters — but even adults need play, and some adults need play more than others. You found a space where you could play (that online fetish forum), and you found a playmate who helped make your fantasies feel real (a guy you’ve never actually met and who could still be lying to you about all sorts of things). It got

... some people think it’s okay to do terrible things so long as they have the decency to feel terrible about having done them. to make changes … well, it’s not for me to question your sincerity. But some people think it’s okay to do terrible things so long as they have the decency to feel terrible about having done them. If you’re not one of those people — if you actually feel bad — doing something about it and learning something from it will alleviate your misery. Here’s what you need to do: End things with your boyfriend. Write him an email, tell him the truth about your age, marital status, and unavailability. Don’t share your real name with him; you’re under no obligation to do so, and if he turns out to be the vindictive type, CATFISH, you don’t want him to have your real identity. Apologize for not coming clean when he did — he lied to you too at the start — and thank him for the pleasure of his virtual company and the joy he brought to your life. Then block him. Here’s what you need to learn: You didn’t do this because you’re miserable — or you didn’t do it just

out of hand when arousal, orgasms, oxytocin, and promises you couldn’t keep got stirred into the mix. The play made you feel better at first, but the dishonesty and stress of deceiving two people eventually wiped out the benefits you were getting. You need to find a way to build some play into your life, sexual and/ or nonsexual, that doesn’t require you to lie or hide. It would be great if you could do that with your husband, CATFISH, but if he’s not willing or able to play with you, get his okay to play on your own.

I am a 70-year-old straight woman, and I haven’t been in an intimate relationship for seven years. I feel deprived of physical contact, but I also have some obstacles to pursuing intimacy at this point in my life. My vagina is seriously out of shape. In fact, it was a challenge to have sex with my last partner, because he was rather well-endowed. I had to work up to it, but it finally

worked. My libido is on the low side, but it still flares up now and then. I also have herpes, plus I’m taking an antidepressant that makes it hard for me to orgasm. But even with all that, I’ve enjoyed sex in the past. Would it make sense for me to look for a man who may also have some sexual issues and/or be willing to work with/around mine? Someone who enjoys all the other aspects of sexual intimacy besides penis in vagina? How would I find such a man? I’m not necessarily just looking for sex — a compatible companion would be great. — Need Fresh Input “NFI can have it all — sex, companionship, orgasms,” said Joan Price, author of Naked at Our Age and The Ultimate Guide to Sex After 50. “She just needs to find someone who realizes that partnered sex does not have to mean PIV.” Your best bet for finding a man these days? Dating apps and websites, including dating apps for seniors. And don’t be shy about taking PIV off the menu, NFI, at least at the start. “As we age, many of us find nonpenetrative sex with hands, mouth, and vibrator more comfortable, sexier, and an easier path to orgasm,” said Price. “And that includes men with erectile difficulties or decreased sensation. In her discussions with a potential new partner, NFI should explain that she’d like to get sexual in stages — and then explore and delight each other sexually, including orgasms, without PIV as the goal. But if she might enjoy PIV in the future, she should keep her vagina active with solo sex including a dildo or penetrative vibrator. Don’t wait until the right penis comes along.” Joan Price’s new book, Sex After Grief: Navigating Your Sexuality After the Loss of Your Beloved, will be released soon. Follow her on Twitter @JoanPrice. On the Lovecast, science says, weed = better orgasms: savagelovecast.com.

mail@savagelove.net t@fakedansavage | clevescene.com | April 10 - 16, 2019

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