Piiparinen describes the two worlds of oldtimers and newcomers that he inhabits in Cleveland. Oldtimers (not necessarily old) were born and raised in the city, many have moved out to the suburbs and beyond, and can be found, "naysaying about how Cleveland has fallen (though they only knew it on its knees)." Newcomers are often transplants to the city, from diverse backgrounds, who "appreciate the city's past, especially it's built past" and find value in Cleveland's "tangibility and ruggedness in an age of sprawl, sanitization, and display."
As a Cleveland native and planning blogger, Piiparinen inhabits both of these worlds, but rarely sees them meet, and he observes similar phenomenon articulated in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.
Although he initially intended only to document the divergence of these two worlds, he ends his column having reached a conclusion as which group suffers more from their distance: "the world of the indigenous Clevelander has been less a world than it has been a fish tank-and we have been suffocating in our exclusion of fresh air and ideas for too long."