Monday, October 5, 2015

Hard Times

While Cleveland's Public Square is fenced off and under construction until 2016, there's no place for people to congregate, and downtown feels less cohesive and more sinister than usual.

Panhandlers are using ever more abstruse gambits ("Hey, I know where you got those shoes, Big Man!" a man calls out to every passing gent. Another walks down Euclid Avenue holding a small cardboard sign that reads, with admirable candor, "WHY LIE NEED BEER."

Above, a Dickensian scene befitting the old-fashioned carriage-ride business. As loud cheers emanated from a local bar where patrons were watching a Cleveland Browns game, the man in the clerical collar, who was holding the horse's bridle, asked the driver if he could go check the score.

The driver, cigarette dangling from his lips, barked "No, you're not checking the score. You'll do your job!"

"I'm not checking the score," the driver continued, with the puffed pride that comes of being boss. "I'm doing my job!"