Monday, January 14, 2008

New Year is here....ok so its been here for 2 weeks now!

Its been a while since I last blogged. January's Crawl was a good was a smaller turn out, but we had a great day to draw in Downtown. The Christmas decorations and lights were in the process of coming down and as we starting our crawl in 200 Public Square, the large Christmas Tree was still prominently displaying in the center of the court. That "lobby" (i put it in quotes because its really more of a grand atrium) is an impressive space if you take time to appreciate it. There is an interesting public art installment in the center that depicts a progressive history of garden fountains and the greenery of the planters really does make you feel like you are in someplace other than Cleveland in January.

From there we hopped over to the Soldier's Sailors monument again. There is so much in that little quadrant...we just had to head back there. As always, the reliable curator was there with his pot of coffee and stories ready for anyone who asked.

*time for a side note: on Saturdays, Downtown feels like an explorer's paradise. The monday-friday workers are gone and the pace is much more relaxed. You can take time to appreciate the architecture, notice things that you've probably passed thousands of times, but have never had time to check out. In the case of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, you get far more than just a sense of get a sense of pride, heritage and intrigue. You realize the enormity of the Civil War, but as a Clevelander, you realize that the monument represents much more than just that. It represents an era of opportunity and progress. You realize that Cleveland, no matter how amazing it was.....was at its core a city built by people, the same as it is today. Therefore, no matter what the situation, we have the same opportunity to rise up and push our city forward past its dark days, just like they did over 120 years ago. I see monuments like the Soldiers and Sailors Monument and even other great buildings in our city as milemarkers that our city laid long ago to remind future citizens to push forward towards greatness and not mediocrity...that civic pride matters...and that involvement matters.

--- I know...a lot to get out of a sketch crawl! But hey, you never know what you'll discover down here!

Next Sketch Crawl: On February 2nd, we'll be meeting at the Arcade as usual at 10am. From there we will head over to the Public Library. We'll start in the old building and then work our way over to the newer branch if we have time. There is so much to see in the old building. I'm going to try and see if we can arrange a small tour of the library. That way we can see somethings we may have never discovered on our own.

For those of you that haven't come before...we'd love to have you. The Arcade is along Superior (Enter through the Hyatt Hotel entrances on 420 Superior Ave). We meet at 10am, on the first floor near all the old shops. We usually are seating in a small group in the center of the long stretch of stores. I you see a small group, don't be shy....come up and ask if you have the right group...we don't want to miss anybody. Important: We usually wait till 10:15 am and then we're off to draw. If you miss us at the arcade try to make it to the destination we've chosen for that month.

Look forward to seeing you all there! If you have any questions...feel free to email me at