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Friday, January 25, 2019

All Aboard!


Did they say that on Cleveland’s streetcars? Probably not. I was born after the city’s streetcar era, but for several years I lived in New Orleans, where the streetcars have been running for more than 150 years. I don’t recall ever hearing an “All aboard” call on those cars.

My parents used to talk about riding Cleveland’s streetcars, which made their last trip in the early 1950s. As the population moved to the suburbs and more people began driving, the streetcars became obsolete. I liked riding the streetcars in New Orleans and I think I would have liked riding them here.

Although I’ll never get that chance, I can take a trip back in time Saturday, Feb. 2, at Cleveland Public Library’s downtown branch. The library is showing a 2017 documentary called “Moving Places: Streetcar City” and presenting a talk with the film’s director, Brad Masi. The free program will be from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Louis Stokes Wing Auditorium.

The film will reveal the dark side of the streetcars’ history and their continuing influence on Greater Cleveland. Maybe you can watch the film elsewhere, but seeing it for free and hearing from the director sounds like quite an opportunity.

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