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Finding a Belt in Cleveland…Learning to Pack a Suitcase Again. A Strange Little Odyssey.

In the past week I posted on Linkedin about, “The REAL ESTATE LIMITED PARTNER INSTITUTE's RELPI ROAD-TRIP August 16-19: Destination Ohio with stops on Day One in Cleveland, and Day Two in Columbus, and Findlay,” and all of the meetings and calls along the way. It was my first actual business trip with a series of overnight stays in over a year and half and it incredibly rewarding having actual real-life interactions with Grant Berlin, Cerberus Capital Management; Todd S. Davis, Hemisphere Brownfield Group; Jay Morgan, StepStone Group ; Edward Schwartz, ORG Portfolio Management and Matt Purdy, Nationwide, Jennifer Stevens, Alliance Global Advisors, and Andy Carr, White Oak Partners.

How wonderful it was to be on the road again! However, there were a couple of aspects of this type of travel that will definitely need some “retraining”. First, at the end of these two days I didn’t realize how much energy one puts out into being with people after such a long hiatus. After these meetings I made a major face plant on my hotel room bed at the Ritz Carlton in Cleveland. Or perhaps and more to the point, maybe we’ve always expended such amounts of energy but didn’t realize it because we were doing it so frequently and it never occurred to me?

Another aspect of travel and just as important is that I was out of practice in terms of packing a suitcase. Having been the trusty road warrior for the better part of my career, the idea that I didn’t bring a belt with me was a surprise but one I thought would be easy to overcome. However, it wasn’t that simple, especially in downtown Cleveland in August.

Having gone to the front desk at hotel I asked where I could buy a belt since there’s no gift shop at the Hotel. The lovely concierge mentioned that Brooks Brothers along most of the other shops at the adjoining mall at Tower City Center was closed or shut down during the pandemic and going through a renovation. She mentioned the “A Shop for Men” on East 2nd Street should have them, which was only a five-minute walk away, and so I went.

Upon arriving the shop owner asked, “What did you forget?” After explaining that I needed a belt he said he didn’t have any because he hasn’t ordered them in two years and won’t be until the world opens again. He suggested I go back to Tower City Center and go to the “A Dollar” store which should have what I need. After much skepticism I once again held up my pants and made my way over and it was true…a black belt in my size was hanging on a rack and I scooped it up immediately should another out of practice business traveler amble in and purchase it.

The best advice I can give at this moment as we all begin the process of travel again is to bring multivitamins and to develop a checklist for clothing and accessories before leaving.

Have a wonderful Labor Day!


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