Three years after its failed bid at a merger with Cleveland, the poorest city in the state of Ohio ventures a comeback
EAST CLEVELAND — After dropping off a “wet one” (a man high on PCP) at University Hospitals Emergency Room, the ambulance pulled northeast onto Euclid Avenue near Cleveland’s border with East Cleveland. The mirror-finish of The Museum of Contemporary Art reflected trees in full summer bloom as the two East Cleveland firefighters made their way back to their engine house. They cruised by fast-casual restaurants in gleaming new buildings and the Case Western Reserve University Bookstore and the Cleveland Institute of Art building named for George Gund — the mid-20th-century Cleveland banker and philanthropist — before barreling under the concrete and wrought iron railroad bridge that separates Cleveland’s booming University Circle neighborhood from the broken-down streets of East Cleveland. “The scenery sure does change,” said Kyle Soca, the rookie piloting the squad, as the bridge shrank in the rearview mirror and the sidewalks became populated with boarded up storefronts and crumbling apartment buildings. State Sen. Kenny Yuko, who represents both sides of the bridge in the Ohio legislature, stated it more bluntly.