Terror In Tremont?

The following e-mail has been hitting inboxes all around Cleveland. I’m comparing it to a viral video. This isn’t an urban legend, it happened but I don’t know if I totally agree with the sender’s advice. I’ve removed their name but read for yourself.

Dear Friends & Family,

You all know that I am the first person to encourage others to visit
restaurants, venues, and bars in the city of Cleveland. However, I have to
urge all of you to STAY OUT OF TREMONT. Friday night I had dinner at the
South Side restaurant in Tremont. As I was walking back to my car with two
friends, we were approached by 4 young men. They robbed us at gunpoint
with a sawed off shotgun and another handgun.

The three of us are fine and not hurt – thank God. However, we were almost
standing directly in front of Parallax on the main street (W.11th) at 10pm –
never thinking that this would be dangerous. The police are all over the
case and have one person in custody. They also acquired the guns involved.
They know who the other three men are and are very confident that they
will be arrested soon. There has been 6 armed robberies in this area (by
Parallax and South Side restaurants) since October 10th.

We are working with the detectives and they have been great but until they
catch these guys you should all stay out of that area. These guys are gang
members and are not messing around. Please forward this on to anyone you
think would visit this area.

Anyone who knows me knows what I think of The South Side. The Restore Tremont organization calls the neighborhood, dynamic with a fascinating past and an exciting future. It has a tremendous nightlife anchored by The South Side, Parallax, The Treehouse and Lolita. People living around the area have their choice of no less than 20 churches. There are also about a dozen places to do some shopping. The neighborhood was once named University Heights because it hosted the city’s first institution of higher learning, Cleveland University. You’ll notice street names “Professor,” “College,” “University” and “Literary” reflect that history.

I’ve been going to the South Side after work for food and fun for months and I’ve never had a problem down in this area. Police should step up patrols and more streetlights need to be installed.

With the opening of Wal-Mart and the rest of the stores in Steelyard Commons down the street from Tremont, now is crucial time for the Cleveland neighborhood to get together against this sort of crime. Cleveland needs to use this opportunity to start attracting younger and older suburbanites, not scaring them away.

Tremont is no different from downtown Cleveland. Look what happened outside of Spy Bar in the Warehouse District. A man was shot in the street. It’s not out of the question to find a fight on the streets of West Sixth on a Friday or Saturday night. Are the actions of what happens there any different than any other entertainment district in any city of the country?

Look what happened in the Flats. It was once the entertainment destination in Cleveland. Often times when I tell people on flights where I’m from, they often mention the Flats and wonder if it’s still a good time. Sadly, I have to tell them no and what happened to cause its collapse. Hopefully, the redevelopment of the area will happen and bring another rebirth to Cleveland.

So is staying away the answer? I think the way to get rid of this violence is quite the opposite. Why should we let great businesses, like Parallax, Lolita and The South Side, die? Why should we allow an area that shows signs of life to decay? So is staying away the right idea? No! Is being alert of your surroundings a better one? Yes! We shouldn’t allow criminals to pull the plug on what many people have invested their time, money and sweat to create.