2 Extreme

No, it’s de rigueur.

Is it becoming strange to get excited about what’s local in our world? To celebrate our neighbors and community instead of wannabe national heroes who have no connection to your world? To attend a concert around the corner for a few bucks, rather than pay a ticket broker an outrageous upcharge to see a national act? To encourage the career of a kid of friend of a friend, and learn something about ourselves, rather than catch a predictable act by the same person everyone else is seeing? To lift our gaze to the amazement around us rather than bury our heads in our phones? To hear the stories of ourselves, told by our children and regional masters instead of staring bug-eyed at a screen that can only regurgitate mass produced plotlines? Or have you heard this all before? Am I being too intense, too irrational, too severe?

Is it too extreme to think about stretching your ears at an experimental music festival at Convivium 33 or to attend a lunch talk about restoring endangered species at CMNH? Too unusual to visit the African American Doll & Quilt Guild in Warrensville Hts or to hear a third-generation Black architect share her story at Karamu House? Too busy to join Alex Bevan and the Akron Symphony sing his Watersongs or to participate in an alternative prom benefit at Near West Theater? Too jaded to sample a dozen Asian cultures (and their food & music) at Cleveland Asian Festival? Too cool to stroll the hallways at the Tower Press artist open house. Too unseemly to explore unique small businesses at the Downtown Lakewood Spring Stroll?

Surprised at the size of this week’s issue of CoolCleveland? Don’t be. Because this is the time of year when this town goes to extremes.

–Thomas Mulready

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