Posts Tagged ‘Downtown Milwaukee’



A long time ago, Milwaukee used to have streetcars that ran up to about 1958. Then as we know the Busses took over a lot of years due to the interest. With so much in between with politics and other karma of bad blood, the idea of rail continued to be of an idea. Yes, the idea seemed controversial and it seemed to butt heads, and it seemed opinionated, the future of rail in Milwaukee seemed to be of a sharp interest. After 25+ plus years of storing the cash and hyper-political battles, and the FAILURE of securing a High-Speed Rail that would have linked Milwaukee and Madison, this Streetcar won! And personally, to me is because of JOBS! That’s it!

So I hope this so-called controversial project for many becomes very interesting to be marketable and donate some of these dollars back into the community like education and other needs. And plus one of my late grandmothers had a thought about this when she was living. At first, was the rail on Sherman Boulevard. Too much protesting way back! Then she thought, they should be built by the lake! And look where we at!

All of my life I looked at Streetcars in books and museums. Now after all of this, I can ride one!

2018 marked the 60th Anniversary of the last streetcar operated in Milwaukee. For the first time this year, we’ve seen test results after test results. We’ve seen and heard about how this would benefit the area of downtown that was habited for a long time. And of course, we also noticed that the problem or the ongoing trolling about how the streetcar would be disastrous in all with dumb confusion. Personally, it’s an attack. That’s all there is. Whenever anything new comes about, it’s likely that it will be tested and analyzed. However, in all of this, it would have the perks to improve the mobility of support in Milwaukee.

Some may call it a controversial thing, but usually, controversy creates cash.  And the first weekend proved that the ridership was a genuine interest. I took the opportunity to ride the so-called boondoggle that many despised on November 2nd, and let me tell you, the streetcar is not that bad. No problems, not too much.  It was just right. And even though the route seemed long, it wasn’t that bad at all. From the Intermodel Station to the Milwaukee County’s Burns Commons Area, the whole 2.1 miles was just a way to get out and explore the city. Yet many feel “jaded” about the streetcar being a disaster, speaking for folks who live the burbs or here in the city, but I did say that many need jobs right?

So I say this: give this a chance. Of course, there might be the naysayers being negative in all, but give it a chance. No one didn’t force us to give the County Buses a chance and we rode those! Just saying.


It’s officially open for business. The new $550,000.000 plus something Fiserv.Forum is now available. It’s now available for every Bucks game, Golden Eagles game, Concert, Monster Truck rally, WWE Live Event, and potentially a 2020 Democratic National Convention. This was in the making little over two years ago in a process of keeping “the Milwaukee Bucks as the Milwaukee Bucks”. There was a speculation about the city losing the team to other cities like Seattle and others needing a NBA team. Just to recap a little, that Milwaukee has been in this position before; in terms with the Brewers with the building of Miller Park. What was that slogan? “BUILD IT NOW!” Remember that? Hope so. So with this thing with the new Bucks playhouse, not everyone wasn’t happy about “oh this is going to cost us taxpayers yet again.” And yes it wasn’t a glorious decision to create, design and build it from the ground up, but it’s here. The new arena sits near 6th Street and Juneau in the Area of MATC (my old tech college), the Brewery Housing Complex that used to brew Pabst Beer back in the day, a Hyatt Hotel, additional housing near the Hillside Area, and next area of land that used to be the Park East Freeway.
And yet while it’s still standing, the 30-year-old Bradley Center will be dust in general. Let me recap this: The first time I saw it under construction was 1988 at age 11. I was getting out of Grade School then and my older sibling was getting out of High School. I remember going to a Ninja Turtle Concert, a couple of Bucks Games, Job Fairs, and even WWE Wrestling Matches. The first one I went to was in 1992 along with my late uncle and living cousins. We had a ball! And most importantly, attending the first MPS Alumni Reunion in 2016. Oh yes, I remember the Bradley. And plus the Bradley Center was a gift by Jane and Lloyd Pettit to the city for extra entertainment and sports. And extra room for those attending. The Bradley Center’s seating capacity can hold up to at least 18,000 plus.
But let’s go forward with the new thing. This new arena took about two years to build. And when it was under construction, the architecture along with the jobs was on point. And when I looked and visited the arena this past Sunday, along with those of us coming out of the church, I knew it was going to be jammed packed. Long lines of cars, parking lots almost full, etc. When I got to the arena, at least to the outside portion many of us had to be checked through Security, which is a common thing in Arenas now. After that, I like many proceeded to the main entrance of the Vel R. Phillips Avenue side to gain entry into the building. Oh when I walked into the structure: I was amazed. I was amazed at the texture of the building’s walls, designs, entryway and access to the side restaurants to the building. The Bucks Pro Shop is in the Arena. So like many others with cameras, I had to bust out my Nikon and started snapping. But with my Cell Phone Camera, at first: I had to restart the blasted thing because when I tried to use it, there were security features in the arena that popped up like this:

I’m like, come on now. NOT TODAY!

But when I restarted the Cell Phone, it was normal as usual.

Anyway, after all that, the main portion of the arena I wanted to see was the basketball court itself. The inside portion was at more spaced out than I thought. The scoreboard was legit with state of the art technology. And according to one of the workers, there are cameras underneath the scoreboard if you are sitting near center court. How awesome! As I got near to the upper mezzanine area, the view began to be more interesting as I went further. And I got to the point of the arena that it was almost like this:


And I thought this was the spot. It was good for the Mezzanine view. But I heard also that the Arena has a “Panoramic Level” in which you get to see everything! All around! I know that many that seen it, probably have been in the area, but the fact of the matter is, it’s the real spot of the area that many photo hogs need not miss. I didn’t get the chance to see that part, but I’ve heard from others, it’s a good spot in the Arena! I’m just saying. Put that on your Facebook Photos or Instagram Pics or whatever. Put that on your blog postings. Not mine, YOURS! Don’t copy anyone’s pics from Facebook or Google photos. Get your camera, or your smartphone, go to the arena and get to an event and put up your Panoramic Views on and credit YOUR WORK! I’m just saying.

Towards the ending of the tour, I like everyone else, saw some of the entertainment that was part of the City’s first ever Hip Hop Week Events, and also some of the local vendors like Sconnie, Palmetto’s My World Images: the company that make the Milwaukee State of Mind Shirts, Harley-Davidson, and many others that most are locally based in the city to check out. So yes, it’s a good start of the “christening” of the Fiserv Forum for this year. Now many are asking, why the name Fiserv? Actually, Fiserv is a local company that is in Wisconsin; Mainly in Brookfield. Its main connection is with IT Financial Services that is generally known in different parts of the world. So when the naming of the arena was floating around, we thought about Miller, Harley-Davidson, Northwestern Mutual and others that we know that are well known around Milwaukee. But Fiserv? That was not thought about, but it is what it is. So if anyone is still curious what Fiserv does, the company has websites and social media pages.

Yesterday in Milwaukee, our long waited talk about the Milwaukee Streetcar is over. The vehicle came in from Pennsylvania via a truck and it was parked downtown near the Post Office at around 11:30am . And yes, the interest “per se” was building due to a fight that lasted for over 2 decades in an idea to connect means of transportation in the city. It really started with former Mayor John Norquist.

Just to think, as of the newslinks, it’s been 60 years this month of March since a Streetcar last appeared in Milwaukee, and it’s here. Many of us under 60 years old only saw Milwaukee Streetcars in museums, books, displays of the past when Milwaukee was coming up. And yes after that, the buses came in for MCTS.

Now after all the debate, after all the madness, after all the protesting, after all the ideas that Potawatomi Hotel & Casino would pay for the first year and nicknamed the vehicle “The Hop” if you will, and many others: even my “letter” to the City of Milwaukee Common Council of making that big decision on this blog of the need of jobs in the city, NOW IT’S HERE! Lock it up with an iron clad and let it operate. And speaking of that, The Streetcar needs folks to work!

Now since it’s here, word is that the testing will continue for the rest of the year to make sure that it’s in place starting in April. We just can’t ride the thing out of the gate. And yes of course the naysayers will have their continued say. But like many things: it will all come around in time. In my view.

The Streetcar or The Hop may seem controversial, but like the book by Eric Bischoff which it titled promptly to a point: “Controversy Creates Cash.”

So let’s give this thing a chance. After all, is this a country of opportunity? Plus this should be some sort of small victory in Wisconsin after the blown coverage of the High Speed Rail being faulted by Scott Walker.

Follow the continued momentum via the streetcar website:

There will be more commentary to come.

For the last couple of years or so, the City of Milwaukee, the brew city as everyone knows, that the debate about having a streetcar system has been passed around like a hot potato. It’s been a topic since Mayor John Norquist has been in effect, and also in the last couple of weeks of hot button topics and personal opinions, the StreetCar (not the Trolley thing) project has been put on the table yet again. In the more recent months before the start of the Christmas season, there has been alot of talk about the 833 Building and the potential building of the Couture site near the lakefront. The Couture is slated to be near or at the site of the Milwaukee County Downtown Transit Center near Lincoln Memorial Drive. There was a rendering of the building in which from an artist perspective of different sites of walkways, pathways, intermodal-like stations, and many others. Plus also, this idea has endured the idea of a potential StreetCar project within that area in terms of a route. All of that in my opinion is seeming to pick up of interest. The MAIN thing I am concerned with the Streetcar Project is one thing and one thing only: JOBS!

I don’t care if any Milwaukeean is an antagonist or feel that the Streetcar may not get to the farther side of the city in terms of jobs. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel TODAY published a story about potential jobs for the upcoming year of 2015. Pay attention, job seekers and media. I don’t know what types of jobs will be available in the upcoming year, but if it has something to do with the Northwestern Mutual Tower Project, the Couture Building Project, and or the 833 Building, or maybe the new home of the Milwaukee Bucks, this does count in my view. Plus also, if it goes all well, why not include the Streetcar? I know that many and Alderman Joe Davis, and even Robert Donovan and many others are opposing it due to luxury, or something that many feel may not ride or being too much spending. On not getting to where the jobs are per say. With all due respect to them, and those who support the opposition, I say this and this only: BUILD THE DARN THING!

Why do I feel this way? I want all those to pay attention. Antagonists, Black Milwaukee, Millennials, Gen X’ers who don’t drive, Baby Boomers, Downtown Milwaukee Workers and Residents, and others to listen up! Here is my GENERAL reason. Over the last couple of years from blogging on MyFoxMilwaukee to now, I have highlighted that Milwaukee and/or Wisconsin is a tail-end city and state. Right? Over the course of the years, I have commented about being behind in transportation, and many other things as well. Mainly with transportation. I talked about the KRM terminal route that would have linked Kenosha, Racine and Milwaukee, but apparently is that working? No. Why? Due to politics. And most recently, we had a thing called the High Speed Rail Project that would have linked Madison and Milwaukee for not only transportation, but also for getting to where the jobs are. Similar to my opinion, to the KRM Route. Did that worked out? NO! Why? Again politics. And those who felt that having a HSR train was a boondoggle, obviously don’t know the facts or just want to keep it segregated. Speaking of that: on the ballot from last month, remember when the question about the Transportation Fund? In which the state should go get it’s own Transpiration account for infrastructure only which leads to roads and bridges repair, and many other factors? Let’s see: How did we voted on that? According to the Milwaukee Election Commission, the results ended in which 77.45% of us Milwaukee folks voted Yes. And 22.55% voted no. So many of us who voted yes, to have this Transportation Account thing, for the use of Transportation related issues, there is your answer. And I don’t think that it’s not really all segregated. In lieu of all this, there might be funds or income in your accounts right now in a business stand point that you can’t use. Why? its reserved of a particular use and use only for that objective! Does that make sense? I studied this when the question came out and understood it towards the end.

State Referendum Question 1 Vote For 1

Yes . . . . . . . . . . . . 122,161   77.45  

No. . . . . . . . . . . . . 35,578     22.55

Next week, on December 16th, which is about 9 days before you unwrap those mystery gifts and talk about Jesus’ birth. The Common Council will decide to see if the Streetcar project would move forward to approve.  And also before that happens,  there is a support page per say on the Urban Milwaukee Website in which you the citizen can voice your opinion. Basically, you fill out the form in all, and write a message in supporting the idea of having this project to move forward officially. And in fairness, concerns as well and etc.

Like I said,  I know many don’t like this idea. BUT if it matters on a verge of getting jobs here in Milwaukee that many preached so many times, then what’s the hold up? I hear this on Milwaukee black radio, I read this in the newspapers, Social Media, and word of mouth from those of many sources. But like many said before, you need something! Not many are not to go into construction work, but willing to work for construction in many other areas. Same with finance. Same with safety. Same with other forms of occupations. EVEN trying to get to where the jobs are. But in order to do that, start from within. Which means start from Wisconsin Avenue Downtown and work out to the next county line.

I’ve been on the stories in Milwaukee and national lately. Really I have.

First, about Downtown Milwaukee. Recently, a vote for the proposed for a strip club has been shot down via the City of Milwaukee License Committee. The place is called Silk Exotic. Yes, for clarification it’s a strip club. A place where, oh heck, it’s a strip club! For the record, I have never been to a strip club in Milwaukee. NEVER. And I’m saying this as an resident of soon to be 37 years of life. Expect the age change by December 5th. Anyway, there has been this against thing against the club being downtown in general. Personally, I really don’t have much to say about it. But hey, whom I am to judge?

Already, there is a location of the club near Highway 45 and SilverSpring Dr. Which is near the Jokerz Comedy Club, and a Harley-Davidson Dealership. Plus there are other locations within the state. Already part of the no’s that don’t want the club have included the Milwaukee Bucks, The Marquette Golden Eagles, the Milwaukee Admirals (IHL Hockey Team here) and the BMO Harris Bradley Center Board all said negative that the club should not be downtown. Today, I read a column in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and writer James Causey (an alum of my old High School)  commetned that Silk Exotic shouldn’t be a dilemma.

To deny a club just because a few people don’t like what it represents is wrong. If Silk wanted to open a club in the central city, I don’t think we would have the same outcry.

We have heard about this human trafficking talk in various forms before. But he does hit a nail on the head about the same style clubs per say, that are in or near the black neighborhoods also. Ever heard of the Cheetah Club in Milwaukee? Yes there is a strip club in that name on the North Side. Also, there is a Gold Diggers Gentlemen’s Club near Hopkins and Hampton. And  usually with these clubs, you really never hear nothing about them. And they are, once again in the black areas of Milwaukee. Oh and they are on Facebook too. Should point that out.
Plus on this hair thing: I think that some schools are WAY OVER Sensitive! According to TheGrio Website and many other outlets, a young African-American Girl is facing expulsion in her school all because of her hair being natural. And the girl is only 12 years old in Florida. Keep in mind also that the school is a Christian School. Uh-oh! Really?! And if the hair is not cut nor straighten, her days as a student would be over. Oh Really?!!!
Ask me this, how is a “puffy hair style” a distraction? Explain that to me. If the puffy hair is shaped or in this case in good taste with harm, I don’t see it as a distraction. I mean have we been here before? With braids, dreads, heck at one time, High Top Box Fades were a distraction. But they were all inherited in African-related styles. Even AFROS! A lot of us have heard of Ezperanda Spaulding. The jazz singer who plays bass cello, but her hair is big! I mean I know she’s grown, but hey she’s rocking her fro. Now what does that have to do with this young girl, Vanessa VanDyke that faced her school’s rules about her hair? Personally, this is not the only hair story in school that was talked about this year. Another girl this year, a biracial child in Georgia was teased in her school, because of her hair was in a weave form. And she was 8 years old. That is shameful!
I see this. It’s different. Not everyone is not going to school with straight hair. Some might go curly, braided, etc. If those don’t like it can kick rocks. The schools or some schools today are just one again “WAY OVER SENSITIVE!” All because some see things are Afrocentric is not them. Personally, it’s all hate. No, it’s more of misunderstanding just as equal as hate. Over some hair. Just last year, Gabby Douglas was ranted with her hair was pressed back in the Olympics. And who had the nerve to go on Twitter and rant? Young black girls, in saying “oh, her hair looks terrible, I feel sorry for her.” They ain’t helping nothing! Miss me with that mess. Please.
Just recently, in regarding Vanessa VanDyke, her “criticism” of her natural hair with her school was lifted. So yes, it was a victory. And I hope that victory should send a message that we send our kids to school to get an education, participate in activities and events.
But not being sent for some mess like HAIR!!!!

December 28, 2008
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On Friday, the day after Christmas I was on a special trip downtown to the 311 Restaurant. Now in case you don’t know, that site used to be the old Meauers Bakery on East Wisconsin Avenue. The event was special because, it marked a class reunion of catching up with my high school classmates.  If you looked at my about me section, I am a 1995 graduateof John Marshall High School. Yes, Marshall High School. And the theme was entitled “It’s been way too long”.  Also, this was the first timethat I went to a downtown nightspot, ever! Plus, I also meet some classmates that I didn’t knew at Marshall, but they only remembered faces.

The food was southern style of course, and it was good. I had a four chicken wing dinner with fries and southern biscuits. The drinks they served was by choice, such as a martini, sodas, juice, and other alcoholic drink on the menu. Just for the record, I had one featured on the menu to clarify!

What my impression of the club in general was not bad at all. I mean, I’ve heard stories previously about certain Milwaukee clubs are too segregated at times (remember Decibel Deepbar?), rowdy, wild, and etc. But this club, changed my perspectives a little bit because this establishment wanted to make the patrons feel welcome. When I got to the club, already there was band playing jazz music, some were at the bar and pool table having conversations while watching TV,  and the area that I was in, was all more of the same. The dinner time segments were served between 5pm-2am, and for the record, I did stay about 2:00am with my former classmates. The reason, like the theme said, It’s been way too long!

After 10:00pm the staging area was turned into a dance area, along with a DJ in the background playing music. Now this was Hip Hop/R&B music. Most of my classmates did have fun dancing to the beats. I on the other hand danced later on, and I got some rhythm, ya’ll! Other than that, it was a time reconnect with my classmates from 1995, as well as otherclasses like 1996, 1997, and 1994. Most I knew and remember werethrough old collaborations, you know, the same chatter as way back. But it was fun getting back in the saddle.

Like I said earlier, the 311 Restaurant deserves an A in book. Not only because of the music, bar and atmosphere, but because of the service it provides to each patron. Even if you’re a first timer like me. So if you need a place to go after work just to relax (like I did most of the evening), or get together for a special event , try the 311 downtown. It may not be the Water Street Brewery, or Mo’s Irish Pub, or any other club or bar, but this one, I think  has great expectations for creating a great

And on a side note, go to your reunions! Family or Class, just go and catch up.

This is my take, Right or Wrong. Just my thought.