Best Of 2000

Best View of Cleveland's Underbelly: Canal Road

If you take a wrong turn at the boarded-up castle in the Flats, you'll end up on Canal, a road at the bottom of a cliff that seems to stretch on and on to nowhere. Tower City's parking ramp looms, ugly and green; the hairpin turn, littered with garbage, hides under a dark overpass; the stern-faced figures that guard the Hope Memorial Bridge tower far above. Weeds and ivy cling to bleak concrete walls, names are fading from the fronts of brick warehouses, and if you take another wrong turn under the Eagle Avenue bridge, you end up in a barren wasteland, weaving your car between 15-foot hills of loose asphalt. Every beautiful landmark needs ugly places nearby for people to park, every city needs a crumbling industrial zone, and you can find both on this spooky street on the forgotten edge of Gateway.