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My observations on how Cleveland has been negatively impacted two years after major lockdowns and business closings

Francesco Abbruzzino, The Uncensored Report, LLC


I lived in Cleveland for about 1.5 years, while working with Verizon.  We lived in the Beachwood suburb and my office was located out of Solon.  That was some 24 years ago.  I was only there for a short period of time before I was promoted and transferred back to Florida.


During this visit we booked an Airbnb in Edgewater, which is a impoverished neighborhood just west of the city.  At the bottom of this posting is a video from the neighborhood where the home is that we are staying at until I fly home on Monday.  Most of the homes are abandoned, along with many of the businesses.  There is some gentrification taking place, but any revitalization is a long way off.   Here is a picture from an area that they are trying to revitalize, with some great coffee shops and bakeries.



When we lived here, the flats and warehouse district were the hip up and coming areas.  I guess those days are long gone.  They are trying to make their way back, but as the Airbnb host tells me, they are taking an approach that many do not believe will lead to a successful revitalization.


Our home was in the Beachwood area, so I decided to drive by it yesterday.  Boy, talk about change.  It used to be a very nice area and it looks like it has taken a turn for the worse.  One thing I did notice is that deer were wondering around.  I talked to my old neighbor and he told me that it has become a huge problem with all the over development.  The development has cleared out all of the woods and driven the deer into the neighborhoods, much like we are seeing with coyotes on the Suncoast.  He said they are mostly fine to be around, unless there is a new born deer.  Then the deer motherly instincts kick in, when dogs get to close.



The Cleveland downtown area use to be bustling.  Well, those days are gone.  We went to the rock and roll hall of fame on Thursday afternoon, which is right downtown.  Basically, the streets were empty and not thriving as they were when I lived here 24 years ago.  I asked my accountant what happened and he said that with the pandemic everyone moved to remote work stations and they have not made the shift back.  He doubts they will ever make that shift back, especially downtown where most of the offices are empty.


I see this degradation throughout the different cities from Parma to Edgewater.  Some areas like Shaker Heights and Chagrin Falls have managed the downturn better than others, but these were and still are the wealthier neighborhoods, which can sustain economic downturns a bit better than the impoverished areas.  Below is a video of Chagrin Falls and the area looks great.



So far it has been a fun trip and it was great meeting with my accountant, business interest, and seeing my daughter who is a month away from finishing up her trip around the US for one year.  I did attend a Cleveland Indians (now the Guardians) game last night and it was great, with the Guardians pulling out a seventh inning rally to beat the Sox.  Today we are catching a preseason Brown’s game, prior to heading home tomorrow morning.


So, the bottom line is that many areas are not like Sarasota County, which came through the pandemic with issues like business closing, people losing jobs, losing homes and much more.  However, the impact is mild compared to the impact I am seeing up here in Cleveland.  As one store owner told me, you guys in Florida had it lucky and were not locked down like animals and forced to give up so much.  Below is a video from the a suburb in Cleveland that I rented my Airbnb in for the the weekend.



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