Could Cleveland Really Be the Next Mars? You Bet!


About a month ago, Slate economics blogger Matthew Yglesias wrote a piece suggesting that Silicon Valley's major techno-corporate entities should migrate en masse to Cleveland — Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Farmers Only, the whole gang. Northeast Ohio could be the "Next Silicon Valley," he opined, largely because of available housing stock and a populace who'd appreciate the economic boon, (to say nothing of the catered sushi lunches). Local housing investment would be "a win-win rather than an engine of displacement," Yglesias wrote.

His story was just one in what appears to be an eternally ongoing series, originating both in- and outside of Northeast Ohio, which like to coin Cleveland the next… something.

Last week, for instance, in one of the dumber stories in the urban-facelift ilk, CNN's Fortune Magazine said Cleveland had a 63-percent chance (WTF?) of becoming “The Next Brooklyn,” this due to the emergence of three "Williamsburg-esque" neighborhoods on the Near West Side. Cleveland was grouped with likes of Louisville, Detroit, Chattanooga (excuse me?) and Newark as cities with the most imminent potential.

Turns out Scene's not above this type of anthropological soothsaying ourselves. We've hit the data hard, spoken with a handful of relevant professors at international universities and even a few dignitaries in the geopolitical circles we hold in highest esteem to predict what Cleveland might resemble in a few years' time. The answers may surprise you:

AMSTERDAM — Due to positively bustling drug market (heroin, anybody?) and likelihood that hipster 'hoods become Bohemian red-light districts;
BEIJING — Due to buildings downtown of varying heights;
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — Due to friendly citizens, cheap beer, and several auto mechanics all named Chuck;
SOLON, but back when Solon got its first McDonald's and spirits were high and the nation gazed and cooed upon its burgeoning culinary scene;
HIROSHIMA, c. 1946 — Due to can-do attitude and ruin-porn appeal;
HINGETOWN (Cleveland, OH) — Due to artsy coffee shops, flea markets, and plucky self-promotion;
MARS — Due to suspicions about water quality and a morning show hosted by a guy named "Rover."

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Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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