LilaTovCocktail: Ingredients: one part NE Ohio; two parts politics; two parts media, and one part each: culture, family & the Jewish community. Directions: Shake well.

One World Day 2007: Sunday, September 30


New link: why the Cleveland Cultural Gardens are a Great Public Spaces nominee.

In a recent post, Write Like She Talks blogger Jill Miller Zimon invites everyone to come to One World Day, Sept. 30:

This year, the Cleveland Jewish Community Federation will host the event in the Hebrew Cultural Garden, one of 23 gardens just off of University Circle that represent the various ethnicities that contribute to our region.
I live practically right in the Cultural Gardens, so I had to comment:

Yes, Jill, I echo your invitation to One World Day!

Did you know that I live on East Blvd., on the edge of the British Cultural Garden? That puts me a few houses away from the Hebrew Garden, in a beautiful neighborhood of old homes, many of them newly renovated and all of them (well, except mine) well-maintained.

Every year around Brunch ‘n’ Bloom time, I usually overhear some of my suburban acquaintances murmuring about the neighborhood isn’t safe. Last year one coworker told another, “well, they always say that they’re going to clean it up and improve it, but it never really lasts.”

So untrue! Please come see how beautiful the gardens are, especially the Hebrew Garden, which is faithfully tended by Jewish Volunteers in Action.

My neighbors are primarily African-American professionals, with a handful of white and Latino residents. Many of my neighbors work in administrative or legislative jobs for the City of Cleveland — my newest neighbor is Cleveland Councilperson Sabra Scott, who with husband Randy (Commissioner of Streets in the city’s Department of Public Service), built a beautiful house on two vacant lots they got from the Cleveland Land bank.

Daryl and Miriam Ortiz Rush have a restored showplace right across the street from the Hebrew garden — this is a neglected old place they completely renovated and restored with the Cleveland Restoration Society. Daryl is the Director of the city’s Department of Community Development, and Miriam is personal bailiff for Judge Ray Pianka in the Municipal Housing Court (where my husband is a magistrate). Read about their house on the Hotel Bruce website.

My neighbors are people who have put their money where their mouths are. They don’t just talk about revitalizing Cleveland’s neighborhoods; they’ve invested in homes and raised families in the city of Cleveland.

Which is why I hate to hear suburbanites talk so cynically about the prospect of improving the city on a long-term basis.

And why I encourage everyone to come to One World Day and see how glorious the Hebrew Gardens and the neighboring gardens are.

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