Holidays are about traditions … ways of celebration that gain meaning over years of repetition. We wondered what traditions the natives of Riverwest hold dear. Whatever they were, we knew they would be unique and colorful, like Riverwesters themselves. We put out a request for brief descriptions of holiday routines, and here, in no particular order, are what we received …
People of all sorts wander through, ogling potential valuables from baseball cards and Star Wars figurines to vinyl records and bar taps.
Gary John Gresl, 62, knows many of these patrons of the Milwaukee Antique Center at 341 N. Milwaukee St., and greets them all with soft tones and a smile even though Wisconsin’s oldest antique mall is closing the doors for good Dec. 31.
Chuck Stebelton, who became literary pro-gramming manager of Woodland Pattern in August, recently moved to Milwaukee from Chicago where he had been curating the Poetry Series at Myopic Books. Stebelton replaces Stacy Szymaszek, who is now the programming manager at the St. Mark’s Poetry Project in New York City. Stebelton is the winner of the 2004 Jack Spicer Award for Circulation Flowers, a poetry volume recently published by Tougher Disguises.
When Mary Bennett moved from Brewers Hill to Riverwest last year, she brought her own business with her. Bennett’s Party Wizards, incorporated as an LLC this year, provides bartending and wait staff service for private parties.
“I’m totally entertained by the whole thing,” says Frank between chuckles. He’s talking about the Center Street Daze Annual Cart Race, which he’s emceed for the last five years. “I enjoy the ‘Born Losers’ who always lose.”