Jean Baptiste Point du Sable Settles at the Mouth of the Cuyahoga River 

Michael Czyzniejewski

Imagine a skyline with buildings so tall, you could see them from Buffalo. Imagine the captains of industry centered in the downtown, USG and McDonald's and Kraft, Motorola and Boeing and United. Think halls of fame—of blues and jazz and gospel—forming a mall with rock 'n roll. Picture the parks, lush and expansive, safe and inviting, a bushy green beard for Erie's chin. Envision the Flats, only larger, sporting better restaurants, more famous celebrities, music flowing out of every door. See history, Olympics and World's Fairs and Conventions, assassinations and parades and news reels. Visualize University Circle, the Nobel Prizes, the Manhattan Project, the first Heisman Trophy. Perceive the river green on St. Patty's Day, on fire not at all. Forget “Mistake by the Lake,” unless you're talking about someplace else. Imagine the lights, lit all night, never a reason to turn them out. Imagine the sky, a bit clearer and bluer, a bit easier to breathe. Imagine the state quarter, the state symbol, the state slogan. Most of all, imagine Jordan getting that inbounds pass, changing direction, pulling the ball off the dribble and erecting his body into perfect verticality. Chicago Stadium holds its breath as the ball rolls off Michael's fingers, trajecting in a perfect arc, swishing home, Michael jumping in elation, pounding his fist into the air, his jersey white instead of red, his chest emblazoned with an orange CAVS, glowing like a miracle on an already-bright horizon.