[image-1]We are less than 100 days away from the Republican National Convention, which means that anxiety about the convention is rising faster than the price of a studio Airbnb in Tremont.
From July 18-21, over 50,000 folks will descend upon Cleveland to marvel at our amazing restaurants, that brand-new concrete smell, and how cheap the drinks are — unless, that is, downtown businesses get wise and increase the price of a drink just for that week. (Note to downtown businesses: get wise and increase the price of a drink just for that week, but only charge the inflated price to non-locals.)
Of the 50,000 expected attendees, 15,000 will be credentialed media, which means that the ratio of Republicans to media will be almost 2:1. So if you’re a Republican delegate and you are not interviewed by the media during the convention then you are really, very boring and should enroll in some enrichment classes, like ceramics, or Snapchat, before the next convention.
Those who live and work downtown are being reassured that the convention will not hold them up at all. They’re being told that the convention won’t cause great amounts of traffic, and rioters have promised to avoid lighting fires during rush hour. But people who live in Cleveland are also being given reason to worry about the convention, what with Donald Trump still being a person and the city’s purchase of aggressive crowd-control items. The city is planning to purchase 2,000 “Elite Defense” riot-control suits, 3 miles’ worth of interlocking steel barrels, and 300 bicycles. The head of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association has pointed out that, while 300 bicycles for security at the convention is a good idea in theory, it is also pointless in reality because police haven’t yet been trained in bicycle-patrol techniques. So we’ll have 300 cops on bikes riding back and forth in front of rioters, yelling, “Please stop rioting!” Or, if it gets real, the cops could scoot the bikes along with their feet while attempting to gently push rioters back with their front tires.
On the official Cleveland Republican National Convention website there is a two minute video promoting our fair city in anticipation of the convention. I watched it and spent the first minute and thirty seconds making fun of it because it’s so earnest - “Construction! Industry! Men in orange vests and hard hats thinking about construction! Buzzing saws cutting into cement for good reasons! Gay Games! LeBron James! A chandelier outside just for the hell of it! A shot Lake Erie which will likely be the only time you see it during your visit! The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame continues to be here! Unspecified cultural events occur! More construction! For real we’ll have this hotel done by July 18th I promise!” But then the video shows Cleveland winning the bid for the 2016 RNC and there’s a shot of the Cleveland Orchestra and I don’t know if it’s the beautiful aerial photography or the compilation of positive statistics about Cleveland listed in a lovely cursive font, but I had to stop making fun of the promotional video because I was getting goosebumps. Because hope is real and Cleveland is, in fact, amazing and, in July, 50,000+ people are going to come to our city and look around and say, “Hey - this is nice. Did you know this was so nice?” and our answer will be “YES.”
Pro-tip: Rent out your bathtub on Airbnb for $500 a night. Say that the constant faucet drip is included at no extra charge, but you have to bring your own pillow. Also, for a $50 fee, you’ll provide your weed dealer’s cell number.
Rating: 5 out of 5 asking your boss if you can work from home during the convention, being told “no”, driving to work, not finding parking due to overcrowding/a riot/cops crashing their bicycles, driving back home, calling in sick.