Glittery. That's how I'd describe 2014 in a single word.
After waiting-for-next-years have piled up like a dumping of lake-effect snow, these past months have been pretty great. Against odds, we landed the Republican National Convention, LeBron James returned home in the most affectionate of ways and the Gay Games revealed our most welcoming selves. Heck, after 10 weeks, the Cleveland Browns were even in first place for the first time in 20 years.
It was "Our Super-Awesome Spectacular Year" as we declare in one of this month's features. Is it a bit over the top? Of course. There's a huge rainbow, LeBron is riding a unicorn and yes, that's Lego Morgan Freeman looking down approvingly.
Around here it became a bit of a joke. We wanted one of those greeting card glitter packs to explode when you opened the magazine. Compare it to "Our Miserable Year" feature four years ago — the year LeBron left, Harvey Pekar died, political scandals unfolded and we led the country in misery — and it's practically giddy.
In general, the magazine likes to point out the positive things happening in town, but this year we didn't have to look very far. Signs of civic momentum are more abundant than Michael
Symon restaurants: Construction is underway on the Convention Center Hotel, Public Square is ready for its makeover, Edgewater Beach is finally clean and there are enough people living downtown that the neighborhood needed a dog park. Not even the loss of our status as a hub for United Airlines could shake our good vibes.
Something else seems different too. Maybe we've learned from our comebacks of the past, no longer blinded by stadiums and entertainment districts. As Richey Piiparinen argues in this month's Talking Points: "To buy a pint or pay the rent, you need a job." Focusing on strategies that capitalize on our health care and manufacturing strengths, plus having an affordable place to start a business must be a part of any city's success.
Is there a lot left to do? Absolutely. But people around the country are starting to look at Cleveland differently. And we should do the same. It's the only way we're going to get beyond our fatalistic, jinxed selves. Like Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm."
I feel like we've entered a post-#HappyInCLE era. We've moved past the reactionary hashtag started as a remedy to that miserable year. We're on to something better. We don't need a placebo anymore. It's time to be #GlitteryInCLE.