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Be a Tourist

Posted on 10/24/23 by Kate in A Note from Kate Borders

Be a Tourist

Being new to a place is a gift. You don’t have dispositions towards the building on the corner or the open green space down the street or the walking path connecting the district. If you do have an opinion, it is without reference to what was. I can walk through University Circle and see the opportunity without retracing the history of the controversy that surrounded any given project. Pretty quickly the stories are shared. You learn why something happened a certain way, or what was preferred by others. You learn how things were funded and who was driving the initiative. You hear about agendas and politics. But before the knowledge takes hold, you have a window of opportunity to see the place - in this moment - without others coloring the view. It’s a gift, but it doesn’t last long.

I’m embracing this moment. While I want to know all the stories, they say “ignorance is bliss” and so I’m utilizing this period of ignorance to catalog my unbiased view.

What if we could all engage in that exercise for just one walk? Whether you have lived here for a month or 32 years … whether you grew up taking piano lessons at The Music Settlement or just had your first coffee at The Coffee House … Walk out your front door, step out of your car, lock up your bicycle, shake off your history and just be a tourist. What do you like? What would you want to be different? Which paths draw you in and which have little to offer? Are there beautiful buildings or landscaping or intersections that pique your interests? Do you love a certain sculpture or water feature?

I’d love to know what you see. I challenge you to be a tourist in Cleveland’s living room, and if there’s something you’d like to share, feel free to send me an email: Kate.Borders@universitycircle.org. Enjoy the visit!

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