The Bum Path: plan your downtown jog for maximum homeless cheerleading!

by

1 comment
Unlike better-planned cities like, say, Baltimore—God that’s sad—Cleveland doesn’t much utilize its waterfront for parks or trails. And since the closest thing to a significantly sized park in the city center is a West Bank gravel factory, treadmill-wary joggers living downtown are forced to take to their neighborhood’s streets. Which, if you plan your route right, can make for some excellent motivation. ... The prison-like men’s shelter at 2100 Lakeside Avenue is the largest in the Midwest, and in the entire area from E. 10th to E. 30th, you’d be hard-pressed to spot a pedestrian that’s not homeless. And as I recently discovered, bums, for some reason, love joggers. There seems to be a citywide Bum Ordinance that calls on them to loudly hail every runner that passes by. So whenever I run in the vicinity of the shelter, I’m buoyed by the support of all I pass. It’s a gauntlet of high-fives, and on every block, there’s a new cheer: “There we go now!”; How many miles ya done, Champ?” I even get “Looking good!” though in fact, I really look like a young Rodney Dangerfield in a sweatsuit. For maximum vagrant huzzahs, the best route from the Warehouse District is heading east on St. Clair, and then somewhere between 26th and 30th Streets, turn around and head back via Lakeside. You won’t pass the same bum twice, and at the moment when you’re in the greatest need of motivation—just beyond the half-way point—you’ll pass the shelter fence, where you’ll be greeted like Zydrunas Ilgauskas returning to Lithuania. The Bum Path doesn’t have the natural beauty of, say, a Metropark; in fact, it’s a dismal, half-developed industrial wasteland, strewn with broken beer bottles. But with all the cheering, you’ll run harder, farther—and if you scare easily, faster—than you ever have before. – Gus Garcia-Roberts

Tags

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.