Friday, October 1, 2010

Amber Ambrosia

Cleveland is uniquely beautiful in many ways; Cleveland is also beautifully typical in as many ways.

Ohio, the heart of it all. The mid-west, where the vast majority of Americans live.
Cleveland has been used as a testing town for new music because its listeners are indicative of the country as a whole. It has been the location of many an “any town USA” story from the Wonder Years to the Drew Carey Show.

Then there are the things that have made it stand out: Alan Freed coined the term Rock n Roll here, and John D. Rockefeller began Standard Oil Company in the city’s flats in 1870.  The city has given birth to President Garfield, Paul Newman, Bob Hope, Wes Craven, and Halle Berry.

I often look around, and appreciate things I assume to be uniquely Cleveland. 
Are we the only city who commandeers school buses to shuttle people to bowling alleys? Probably.
The Polka Hall of Fame? There can only be one.

But recently a co-worker brought to my attention that WE are also the keepers of the stadium mustard.

Really? States elsewhere don’t have stadium mustard?

I quickly searched my memory banks- the countless cities I’ve visited in the 45 states I’ve traveled- had I never eaten stadium mustard in any of them? Had it not been offered to me in Boston? Chicago? Did Nathan’s not present it as the crème de la crème to top their world famous hot dogs?

Baseball is this country’s national past-time, and somehow all its fans don’t pass their time with a crisp juicy dog slathered with the spicy brown indulgence?

How could this be?

I’ll take a foot long, please.
Ketchup or mustard?
Yellow or stadium?

Was this not the most natural progression of words in the recreational world?

Had I not heard them across the country?

But, alas, I had not, for only in the hard-working rust belt where people are proud to drink their beer out of cans can such simple perfection be truly appreciated. 
Make fun of our burning river all you want, but only in C-town do citizens recognize the glory of a softly smoldering pulp on a boiled dog.

How could this golden concoction have remained within our city limits all these years?
How have we kept this sacred secret from leaking?
How had we prevented this magical genie from escaping?

I didn’t care how.
It is ours, and we’ll keep it where people know how to appreciate a decent frankfurter.

Miami, you can have Lebron James; we have stadium mustard.
Can any other city even attempt to call itself a sports town without it?

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