All In Sequence

Today is November 12, 2013.  Or, in calendar/shorthand-speak, it’s 11/12/13.

It’s a numerologist’s dream, of course, but lots of ordinary people also think the numerical sequence is pretty cool.  After all, it’s one of only 12 sequential calendar dates this century.  As a result, today was a surprisingly popular day for weddings. No one is sure exactly why some brides want to get married on sequential dates.  (And we know it’s brides making the decision, don’t we, because what guy is going to pick the day for his wedding?)  Do brides think the date is lucky?  Do they think it is unique?  Or, do desperate but farsighted brides hope that their hapless husbands-to-be might actually remember their freaking anniversary if the guys just have to remember 11/12/13?

Any happy couples that missed 11/12/13 will have their shot at sequentialism next year, on December 13, 2014 — or 12/13/14.  After that, they’ll have to wait for almost 90 years, until 1/2/03, to tie the knot.

 

The Flats

IMG_5406“The Flats.”  It’s been the name for the heavy industrial area around the Cuyahoga River, next to downtown Cleveland, since time immemorial.

“The Flats.”  The moniker is apt.  The topography is low and level, perfect for unloading barges and freighters and running railroad track to haul the ore and coal and other raw materials off to Lorain and Youngstown, Akron and Dayton.

IMG_5410It once must have been an extraordinary, crowded bustling place, one of the engines of the American industrial age, chock full of shouting men and whistles, pallets being hoisted into the sky and swung wide, carts and rail cars rolling ponderously past, pellets and cinders and smoke and dust.

“The Flats.”  It’s an area that has been squashed and crushed by countless heavy loads and heavy machines.  Now it’s been left prostrate and depressed by economic forces beyond its control, empty and desolate on a Sunday afternoon, with only seagulls circling overhead, crying out to the scudding clouds.

The Flats.  It’s still there, with its many special bridges that lift far above the water to allow the freighters to glide slowly by, its rusting railroad spurs, its loading areas and piles of slag and cracked, weedy concrete and brick and highway overpasses that loom far overhead.  It served before, and it could serve again.

If you want to get a sense of how the wheels of commerce turned back at the turn of the 20th century and how things have changed since those long ago days, the Flats is a good place to visit.IMG_5412