Divisiveness defined life in 2018, and Cleveland was far from impervious. In an effort to make things a little less hostile going into 2019, we attempt to get beyond a few local feuds.
Cleveland Restaurants vs. Plastic Straws
Since Amercians use between 200 and 400 million plastic straws per day, depending on the estimate, the switch to biodegradable paper by Market Garden Brewery, Melt Bar & Grilled and Momocho may be just a drop in Lake Erie. But the all-out attack on these suckers raised awareness about the issue like never before.
Verdict: We’ll call this one a win for the environment and these Cleveland eateries.
Machine Gun Kelly vs. Eminem
September’s trash-rap feud exploded when MGK jabbed Eminem in “Rap Devil,” a dis track that amassed 150 million views and marked a peak in the Cleveland rapper’s career. Slim Shady quickly hit back with “Killshot,” reminding Kells who he was messing with in lines such as “I’d rather be an 80-year-old me than 20-year-old you.” But meeting the pig in the mud did little for Em, one of rap’s greats, while MGK failed in his obvious attempt to hype his Binge EP, which sold dismally.
Verdict: We’ll call it a draw and stop “talking about it.”
Chris Quinn vs. Cleveland Reporters
In a scathing September letter to staffers about recent defections, the editor and president of Advance Ohio called The Athletic Cleveland “bloated ... unedited wheezing” with “the feeling of desperation.” Then on Ideastream’s Sound of Ideas in October, he called backlash to Cleveland’s restrictive “Rules of Engagement” for the annual State of the City speech “shoddy journalism” — even though The Plain Dealer’s Rachel Dissell (whose journalism is the polar opposite of “shoddy”) sparked the debate.
Verdict: We’re always on the side of good journalism and hope one of the region’s top media executives would be, too.
Cleveland vs. Bird Scooters
In August, a fleet of e-scooters dropped onto the streets of Cleveland. Cheap, environmentally friendly, easy to ride — the future of multimodal downtown transportation seemed to be afoot. It took less than a day for the city to get its feathers ruffled and ban the scooters for safety concerns. After a woman riding a non-Bird scooter was struck and killed by a car, the company suspended operations here.
Verdict: Bird Scooters flew the coop, but the controversy revealed the city’s resistance to innovation and lack of bike and scooter infrastructure. So once again, we all took an L.
Commuters vs. Construction Workers
This October, Cleveland commuters got a taste of life in Los Angeles when they woke up to nightmarish traffic jams. The culprit: contracted construction companies working on I-480 missed the ODOT-determined 6 a.m. work cut-off time.
Verdict: With ODOT announcing it plans to up fines for companies that refuse to recognize this policy, commuters seem to have won this battle — at least for now.
Say goodbye to the Cleveland institutions, stores, restaurants and more that were lost in 2018.
Hot Sauce Williams’
Carnegie location (1994-March 2018)
Coquette Patisserie (2014-March 2018)
Latitude 41N (2007-April 2018)
Jeff Johnson’s Mayoral Aspirations (1984-May 2018)
Cork & Cleaver Social Kitchen (2013-June 2018)
The LeBron Banner (2014-July 2018)
Bird Scooters (August 2018-August 2018)
Prospect Music (1941-September 2018)
Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery (2012-September 2018)
Otto Moser’s (1893-September 2018)
QB Controversies (1999-September 2018)
Chief Wahoo Uniforms (1947-October 2018)
WoW Air Flights to Iceland (May 2018-October 2018)
The Plain Dealer’s Downtown Office (1842-October 2018)
Our Championship Hopes (2014-October 2018)
Tyronn Lue’s Job (2016-October 2018)
Hue Jackson’s Job (2016-October 2018)
Tremont General Store (2016-October 2018)
Poison Berry Bakery (2017-December 2018)