October 14, 2011

From 1947 Book Inside USA by John Gunther

Next to New York, [Cleveland] is probably the best-run big city in the country.

Cleveland has about as much charm as an automobile cemetery; Cincinnati is packed with charm. Like all the river cities partly German in origin (Louisville, St.
Louis, Milwaukee), [Cincinnati] has a certain stately and also sleepy quality, a flavor of detachment, soundness and je m'en fiche-ism....Cleveland lives in the competitive orbit of Detroit, Buffalo and Pittsburgh more than with the rest of Ohio. I asked Cleveland friends what they thought of Cincinnati. Answer: "We're quite friendly to Cincinnati, when we happen to think about it."...I asked some Cincinnati friends what they thought of Cleveland. Reply: "Cleveland is contentious, introspective, and not really part of the United States!"

The capital of Ohio, Columbus, does not think of itself as a metropolis; it is in transition from what Cincinnati was to what Cleveland is...Columbus today is a spacious and friendly town; a big issue is apt to be whether or not to cut down the trees and so make a street broader. It is a fanatic and frenzied football town; if you don't go to football games on Saturday, people think you're an odd fish and a pariah. It is a strong religious town; there are more Methodist, I hear, within a hundred-mile radius of Columbus than any other city in the world. Roman Catholic influence;, though not nearly so weighty as in Cincinnati, is also considerable; for instance the film Mission to Moscow was withdrawn from exhibition after one day's showing...As to politics, the "Catholics can nominate, but not elect," I heard it put.


dylan said...

Am liking this summary of Ohio's cities!

Kevin Hammer said...

The Cleveland remarks are amusing. Reminds me of a column that runs in the Plain Dealer each Sunday, "My Cleveland" -- it's supposed to be an interview with a prominent community member, but always consists of, "Tell us why Cleveland is the best place in the world," as if to reassure everyone.


TS said...

Perhaps Lebron James should've read the "My Cleveland" column more avidly.