I’m sure that Cleveland is a nice city. Peel away the grime and there’s probably a nice coffee shop or something. Even Detroit would make for a pretty nice flaming hole in the ground if you peel away all the Detroit parts. Los Angeles would make a wonderful desert, and Boston would be a great swamp. You just have to dig deep enough to find the bits that you like.
It’s like when you pick up a drifter. At first it’s hard to get past his open sores, oozing scabs, and obvious lack of oral hygiene, but what really matters is deep down. You’re only picking him up to harvest his organs, so what does the exterior matter anyways.
What we have to do is find the organs of the city, and get to harvesting them. Take all the cool shops, businesses, and houses, and leave all the methadone clinics, 7-Elevens, and public restrooms. Dismember the useless bits and sweep them off to where no one will find them — just like the drifter.