A Cleveland of the mind

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Karmaraffo

New Member
Italian
Just found this in a Crumb comic: cleveland of the mind

I've also found this on a Baseball blog "That leaves Swish deciding whether to play one more year with the Yankees or spend the rest of his life in a Cleveland of the mind."

what does this mean?
 

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  • kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Cleveland in the U.S. doesn't have the best reputation in certain ways. So it could be a bad thing. But without more context it's hard to tell.
     

    fiercediva

    Senior Member
    American English
    Addressing your cited examples - R. Crumb spent the early part of his career honing his craft at a greeting card company in Cleveland in the 1960s, when that "Rust Belt" industrial city was in economic decline; it was when he became part of the counterculture and moved to San Francisco that he was free to express the creativity that made him an icon. Baseball outfielder Nick Swisher, a cheerful guy with a big personality, won a World Series championship while with the New York Yankees, but turned them down the following year for a 4-year contract with the Cleveland Indians, who have not won a championship since 1948. He started off well there, but had to have season-ending surgery on both knees, and was never the same player after that.

    What do these things have in common? Well, until recently Cleveland has always has an image in the U.S. as a generic, depressing, unlovely gray city with polluted rivers, high unemployment, mediocre sports teams and racial tensions. In Crumb's time, it would have been somewhere one would want to flee, the "armpit of America" as one joke would have it. in Swisher's time there (2-5 years ago) things had improved markedly on many fronts, but the city was not a powerhouse in the U.S. pro sports world until the Cavaliers won last year's basketball title. So "a Cleveland of the mind" conjures up a person who is mentally trapped in a place that is not second-best, but perhaps the fourteenth-best place to be.
     

    Karmaraffo

    New Member
    Italian
    Here's the full sentence from the blog (written in 2012)

    "The Dodgers and Angels don't need another OF. That leaves Swish deciding whether to play one more year with the Tankees or spend the rest of his life in a Cleveland of the mind. Frankly, I think he'd rather get himself a new pair of Pradas."

    and also the Crumb image (from 1991)
     

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    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Perhaps the phrase is influenced by Lawrence Ferlinghetti's reasonably famous A Coney Island of the Mind. A Coney Island of the Mind - Wikipedia Sports writers are always the best. :) Crumb and Ferlinghetti probably hung out in the same places in North Beach, San Francisco back in the 60s.
    So "a Cleveland of the mind" conjures up a person who is mentally trapped in a place that is not second-best, but perhaps the fourteenth-best place to be.
    :thumbsup:
     
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