6501 Fleet Ave
Cleveland, OH 44105
by Beau Cadiyo
You know, back in my day when I was growin' up in California, we used to call people like Alaska Representative Don Young "racist." Well, "racist," "fascist" or maybe we'd call 'em "Nazis." "White Supremacists" was a term that also came up occasionally. At lunch, there was a group of them that sat way off to one side of the gym; they wore jeans and suspenders and bomber jackets, no matter how hot it was, and the guys shaved their heads. They were always really nice to me because they thought I was white, too. When they were outside of school, people who knew them - blacks, sometimes, but oftentimes the Mexicans that went to school with us - would call them "racists" to their face, which they'd sneer at. Once, one of the white supremacists was at a punk rock show and got in a shoving match with a black guy, who proceeded to beat him to the ground and stomp on his goddamned racist ribs. It was all the talk at school that Monday; how the racist got beat up by a black guy.
Later, I heard that the white supremacist was at a community college. The last thing he heard before he woke up in the hospital was, "Hey white boy." So I guess "white boy" was another term people used. I didn't, though.
There's a reason that people are running away from the Republican party en masse. It's a big tent, sure, but under that tent are people like Alaska Representative Don Young, and Todd Akin, and the other people under that tent seem to be clapping for them mighty loudly.
I was pleasantly surprised by Red Chimney; I'd been meaning to go there for a while, but just kept forgetting. It's owned by an incredibly friendly Greek man with a thick accent. In a different era, he'd be sitting behind the counter, chain smoking cigarettes and watching the waitresses as they shuttle back and forth with plates; now, though, he can't smoke inside and he treats the staff as if they were his family (which, of course, they might be). We asked him where a local bar was at which we could get a drink, and he had no idea; it was endearing, as when I looked at my phone, there were clearly five bars in close proximity to his restaurant.
That sort of clean living is respectable.
Red Chimney is cheap - I think my patty melt with fries was about six dollars. The patties were clearly hand-formed - irregular edges and shapes were the clear giveaway - and the bread was fried in butter. The fries were crisp, and the waitress quickly accommodated my request for mayo, indicating that she was cosmopolitan. They thanked us profusely while we were paying; it was nice to be in a place where they seem to appreciate your custom. Then we left.