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MARCH 31, 2009     More below:  FOOTES MARKET

Sunning ourselves

View north along Towpath Trail and canalIt was a beautiful—glorious, even—day today, with blue sky and lots of sun. I had to make a trip to the Welker-McKee plumbing supply showroom which fortunately is off I-77 near the northern entrance to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park with its Towpath Trail.

After looking at stainless steel kitchen sinks (can you believe a list price of $973 for a pretty ordinary one?) I got an ice cream cone at the Carvel store on Rockside Road and walked south along the Towpath until I got to the grassy area surrounding Lock 39.

Group of turtles sunning themselves on log in canal.I parked myself on the grass with my rolled-up jacket for a pillow and soaked in the sunshine for about a half hour. If I didn't have more sinks to look at I'd have stayed longer, but our kitchen rehab will grind to a halt if I don't have a sink in the house by Thursday morning.

Walking back to the car I noticed lots of kindred spirits: turtles with the same idea as I had, they just picked a log in the canal instead of a grassy spot. Two years ago, almost to the day, the turtles were on the same log, but the area looked a bit greener than this year.

Old friend gone

Footes greenhouse surrounded by piles of dirtNear the park is the last of the greenhouses that used to be common in this area, a family business called Foote's. Last year I used an aerial photo to show how it was surrounded by development.

This year it's essentially gone. One piece of the old building remains, an empty shell, nearly covered by huge piles of dirt on three sides. The sign in front is like those that appear on the doors of failed restaurants. They always say "Closed for remodeling."

I don't know where I'll buy my seedlings for the garden this year, let alone wonderful fresh-baked peach and apple-walnut pies and fantastic sweet corn in August. It makes me angry and sad to see a real piece of Cleveland life pushed out by goddamn franchise restaurants selling bullshit "experiences," like the nearby Quaker Steak & Lube and Hoggies. Yet another victory for corporate greed.

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2009 MARCH