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Brady Street’s Gateway to the River

Brady Bus Shelter

Brady Street folks know how to promote and celebrate even the little things, like a new bus shelter on the west end of Brady. There is a larger picture here that they hope we’re getting. The vision is to provide city links by foot, bus, and bicycle to Commerce Street, Riverwest, and beyond. The bus shelter at the west end of Brady is the starting point for the walkway/bikeway down to the River. Earlier construction of the walkway/bikeway included benches, lighting, and a natural plant landscape on the slope, with finishing touches including installation of the bus shelter with informational panels that show what’s coming. What’s coming next spring is the construction of a “marsupial” bike/foot bridge to be hung under the Holton Street bridge. Grace La and her husband James Dallman of La Dallman Architects have designed the snappy looking bridge, which will have dramatic uplighting to enhance your experience as you walk or bike across. The La Dallmans were there with a crowd of about 50 residents, business district folks, politicians, and friends braving a chilly evening, with rain turning to sleet, to dedicate the shelter. Mayor John Norquist, as one of his final official acts as mayor, cut the ribbon with the help of Ald. Mike D’Amato and Brady Street leaders. The “marsupial” bridge will land on the west bank of the River (passing over Commerce Street to a trail at mid point on the hill) and connect to an already constructed 10-foot concrete walkway/bikeway along Commerce Street. Additional connections include trails up the Kilbourn Park Hill, a new stairway down the Kilbourn Park Hill at the junction of Booth and Glover Streets, and trails continuing north along Commerce to Riverboat Road where the walkway/bikeway will join the Beerline Bike Trail under the North Avenue bridge and up to Gordon Park. At the site of the old dam a foot bridge will link to Caesar’s Park with stairs back up the hill towards Brady Street and a trail upstream along the east bank to Riverside Park. The footbridge at the dam should be installed next spring as well. After the bus shelter dedication, the crowd found refuge a few steps away at Rudolph Valentino’s, 728 E. Brady St. The restaurant and lounge recently opened with the spirit of the romantic silent film star and the guidance of owners Dominic DiSlavo, Mary Browning, and Rudy Valentino — whose grandmother was a cousin of the film star. There is a piano in the dining area; call 727-1779 to find out when someone might be tickling the keys. The menu includes a wide range of appetizers and it seems like a perfect place for a romantic cocktail. There’s a new specialty store on Brady Street: Vieux et Nouveau, 1688 N. Franklin Place. Owner Heidi Calaway describes her store as “an eclectic mix of art, fashion, and furnishings of unique, one-of-a-kind items.” Art includes acrylics, oils, pastels, photography, sculpture, digital imaging, and prints. Clothing includes ZOE, SK, and Hidee Ho Designs. There’s plenty of vintage clothing to be found, including an assortment of variations on the little black dress. Furnishings include vintage and antiques such as lamps, glassware, giftware, furniture, and tables. Store hours are Monday – Thursday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.