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          City boasts unusual outdoor spaces for observing Cleveland in springtime

          Michelle Udem

          Issue date: 4/16/10 Section: Opinion
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          The Detroit-Superior bridge (right) is a great place to take in beautiful views of the Cleveland cityscape during the spring and summer months.
          The Detroit-Superior bridge (right) is a great place to take in beautiful views of the Cleveland cityscape during the spring and summer months.
          [Click to enlarge]
          I, like most Case students and Clevelanders in general, spend a lot of time indoors. Can you blame me? Most of the year it's slushy and grey out there - weather conducive to slipping, hypothermia, and sloth-like behavior. However, now that the weather's over 40 degrees, I can acknowledge that I am out of excuses to mope around in bed, watching hours of music videos while eating half-price Easter candy. It is officially time to ditch this weather-resistant nest and take an ambitious measure by stepping out my door, where I can still embrace my laziness while taking in fresh air.

          Since I already took the first step of prepping myself for outdoor activities by prioritizing the spots which interest me, checking them out seemed necessary. After all the unfamiliar feeling of being outdoors by pure free will is a new sensation that could dissipate at any moment.

          I chose Lake View Cemetery for my first outdoor activity. Make all the assumptions you want, but Lake View Cemetery, just steps away from campus, is one of the premier picnic spots in Cleveland. Surrounded by several acres of gothic tombstones, trees, and greenery, the Cemetery is gated, blocking off the hordes of students traversing the chaos of Mayfield Road. Benches are found throughout the cemetery (addressing the needs of the wary who require more than six feet between themselves and the deceased), and since it's a cemetery, seclusion and peace are guaranteed. The only person I've run into while strolling or laying about was a landscaper, who was more interested in tackling the weeds than me. As I sat around the cemetery's pond, watching geese fight and flirt provided some amusement and tranquility in between sleeping and snacking. Despite the name, however, the cemetery doesn't boast much of a view, much to my dismay.

          When I find myself in the mood for classic Cleveland scenes, the Detroit-Superior Bridge exposes it all. The bridge connects East Cleveland to West Cleveland over the Cuyahoga River, and, as I peered over its rather short length (just 3112 feet long), downtown Cleveland and its abandoned steel mills felt within arms reach. Though cars zoom by throughout the day, I find it's still worthwhile to linger around since the view is perfect for observing the river, the steel mills, and downtown. Hanging around this bridge during the wintertime is definitely borderline-suicidal on many levels, but in the spring or summer, I find that it's a unique spot for fully taking in this multi-dimensional city.

          I admit Cleveland's gray, wet weather definitely puts a damper on my own mood for most of the school year. But Case isn't out of the doghouse, either - the demanding academic curriculum here doesn't really leave room for embracing activities which don't carry me closer to graduation and the path to a successful life. Finals are approaching swiftly, but now that the temperature has risen above a survivable level, I have a better excuse to accidentally miss a class or put off homework for another couple hours. Finals are in about a week, and I really do care about maintaining (and even enhancing) my GPA, but can't I have my strolls and relaxation and graduate too?
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