by Nick deMarsh, photo by Janice Christensen Jessica Vega Gonzalez hails from Los Angeles. She arrived in Milwaukee after signing up to work with the Capuchin Franciscan Volunteer Corps. When she was assigned to work in Milwaukee, she could not have located Milwaukee on a map. She had never been to the Midwest and as […]
by Jackie Reid Dettloff When Tom Tolan wrote his community history of Riverwest, he began by focusing on the Milwaukee River: Today, many people think of it as little more than a boundary between neighborhoods, a basement for bridges but I want to give the river its proper due as the most important constant in the […]
23,000 vehicles per day drive along North Avenue near I-43. Another 137,000 zip by along the freeway itself. However, if the high number of vacant lots and buildings – especially between 5th and 7th Streets – are any indication, not many of those cars stop so that their drivers can shop.
Inside Fuel Cafe one May afternoon hipsters guzzle java in the smoky din to the whirr of the coffee grinder. Down the street, shoppers peruse naughty trinkets on the shelves of The Tool Shed, a female-friendly erotic boutique. A few blocks down the street, Riverwesters chow down on spicy African cuisine at Club Timbuktu. What do all of these businesses have in common? All are small, locally owned enterprises located on Center Street in Riverwest.
Alderman Michael McGee, Jr. is cutting his teeth on the hard tack of city politics in a district that is as diverse as Riverwest, but may be even more challenging.