New York Media Loves Writing about Cleveland's "Revival"


Bright and early this morning, our friends at the New York Post posted this story to their website. "Cleveland is Seeing a Revival," reads the headline.

The miniature travel-style piece is basically a rundown of the Ohio City, Tremont and University Circle neighborhoods, highlighting their trendiest new joints and a few iconic landmarks — the West Side Market, St. Theodosius, etc. — with little commentary other than the hackneyed, wide-eyed "dying industrial town gets hip" angle.

It's not like I'm completely over that angle. I mean I still dig the postindustrial aesthetics and the fact that I feel entitled, by birth, to compensatory grit. It's just that I've seen so many stories celebrating this "renaissance" — Cool chefs! Unlimited microbrews! Arts out the wazoo! — that, in the first place, I think media peeps can stop peddling this "revival" as something new and unexplored.

"Hold your horses," a chorus of pundits interjects on what feels like a quarterly basis. "Cleveland — You heard right, Cleveland — is cooler than you always thought."

Plus, there's definitely been an emotional shift, at least from a native's perspective (i.e. mine). There was a time when seeing stories like these in national media outlets was exciting, almost validating. We have been acknowledged by the New York Times; therefore we are.

Now it's like, I don't know, we get it already. Nothing feels unique or worthwhile about this genre of "Cleveland-as-Phoenix" finger-pointing, especially because we've seen replicas of these stories (featuring the exact same content) a hundred times before.

And is there anything to be gained from this coverage, other than a potentially modest boost in regional tourism? Are New Yorkers suddenly flocking to get their paws on the goods from "Cupcake Wars" winner Bon Bon Pastry & Cafe?

I doubt it.

I don't get the sense that "cosmopolitan" folks on the coasts suddenly respect us or something. I feel like Cleveland is the fat kid who got fit ten years ago, and New York (as a symbol for bigger, more established cool cities) are the popular kids who approach us every month announcing, "Oh my God, you've lost weight!"

About The Author

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...
Scroll to read more Cleveland News articles
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.