Here’s What You Missed in Milwaukee This Week: June 18

A burglar is brought to justice, statues land in Lake Park, Summerfest goes cashless this week in MKE.

Cookies of Justice

The law, it’s like a baby. Easy to break. Just ask the “middle-aged man” who busted his way into Bay View’s Lakeside Bakery on April 19. He stole $200 in cash, but he didn’t steal any cookies, which seems weird because if you’ve gone that far, why not just snatch up a cookie too? But anyway, the man disappeared into the night, the only trace left behind being a blurry surveillance photo taken from over his shoulder. But Lakeside’s owner, Karen Krieg, wasn’t going to let this thuggery go unpunished. In the words of the caped crusader Bruce Wayne: “Crime. I wanna fight it.” So she printed out the surveillance photo of the burglar onto cookies, which she gave away for free. Krieg told Urban Milwaukee that Bay View Town Hall members had the guy identified within about 18 minutes, and he was subsequently arrested. To celebrate, Lakeside gave away even more free cookies with the guy’s mugshot on it. And there’s another tale of crime fought and criminals caught.

The Lakeshore Park Birds

There are a bunch of little colorful bird statues in Lakeshore Park. Honestly, I kinda went back and forth on whether this was an Up or a Down. I find them unnerving, but art is cool, I guess, so in the spirit of positivity, we’re gonna say they’re an Up! If you take a stroll down by the park, you’ll see the statues littered around a field – they’re hard to miss. The birds are bright red, green, yellow and blue, and while I wish Cracking Art, the collective who put them up, had gone with shoebill storks instead, these swallows are pretty cool. Plus, if you can’t get enough, there are two purple ones across from the public market to check out. 

NOTE: I was attacked by a bird once. No joke. I wrote a column about it, linked here, if you’re interested in knowing more.

 
 
 
 
 
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A Bay View Bar Is for Sale

If you don’t consistently read every single article I write word for word, taking careful notes to determine the coded messages within, then you may have missed this story. A Bay View bar, formerly Swigs Pub and Grill, went up for sale recently. The listing is for $260,000, which is relatively cheap for the bonkers expensive world of Bay View, and it’s not just a bar – there’s a house attached. If you want, you could just buy it and turn the whole thing into a living space. Or if you feel like getting yourself a liquor license and start pouring, that’s an option too. Also, there’s a pool table. 

Rain

Rain is so great. The past few weeks of sunshine and warmth have been fun, sure, but we welcomed that Thursday rain for several reasons:

  1. Crops. Nothing better than a good crop, and Wisco crop lovers were saying the drought was bad, so we’re glad to see a little relief.
  2. The smell. Rain smell is the best smell ever. Clean, earthy, nostalgic, it’s phenomenal.
  3. The sound. Rain pattering on a roof. 10/10.
  4. Grayness. Name me a color better than gray. You can’t do it.
  5. An excuse not to go outside. You don’t have to leave the house, and you don’t have to feel bad about not leaving the house. What are you gonna do? It’s raining.

Cashless Summerfest

Summerfest announced that every purchase will be card-based at the upcoming 2021 festival. They promise a safer customer experience, faster service and options to convert cash to card on site for no charge. Ok, cool. I’m not trying to hate on Summerfest, but just here me out: The gradual destruction of cash money is a tragedy, both aesthetically and functionally. No more crumpled dollar bills, the feel of paper between your fingers – the embodied reality of handing over something of value. Now it’s just a spinning circle. A swipe of the card, and a few numbers change on your bank app. Plus, cash can’t be tracked. Which is great. Because, you know, I’m not saying that I’m being surveilled by hostile actors intent on implementing a new world order, but heck, I’m also not not saying that. With all your purchases compiled neatly on your credit card, all your data, your info, your places and interests and deviant prurience are on display for the world to see and exploit. Oh, and what about the mafia, I ask you? What are they supposed to do? I remember the ’90s, when I used to meet Paulie down at the boardwalk and slip him an envelope with my weekly take. No more. Paulie only takes Venmo now.  And my last point on this—what about the $wag. I want to swing stacks of cash around to flex on my many haters. I want to take a picture with a wad of money held up to my ear like it’s a phone. I want to fill a bathtub with cash and post it to Instagram with a clever caption, such as “Big Money” to demonstrate my financial superiority over the unwashed masses. What am I gonna do without any cash? Hold my phone up to the camera and show off my bank account information? That will never win the respect of the haters. 

Long story short: Cash, we will miss you.

No Summerfest Buses

Man, I’m really ragging on Summerfest here. My apologies. It’s nothing personal (although there was that one time when I was just a little kid and an entire cold beer was dumped on me from the sky glider, and I looked up, my eyes wide and innocent, brimming with tears above my chubby cheeks, and I saw the evil, twisted face of a cackling witch woman, and I knew then that the world was cruel and empty and that purpose and meaning were simply illusions and in the final calculation there is nothing real, save pain and malevolence, and no one can save you, and so I hardened my little heart to the world and grew cold and bitter with age, transforming into the a shell of a human, soulless, hollowed-out, devoid of love and goodness, dragged through existence by the sheer force of a survival instinct that refuses to accept the hopelessness of this charade of being – but heck, no hard feelings on that one, Summerfest. I still love ya.) This story isn’t Summerfest’s fault, anyway. The Milwaukee County Transit System announced this week that they won’t be providing bus service to and from Summerfest, the State Fair, or any other festival, like they have for years now. They don’t have enough drivers. Urban Milwaukee obtained an email from Dan Boehm, the MCTS managing director, that said “Despite nearly non-stop hiring and training of new bus operators in the past 12 months, our bus operator count has declined to a five-year low.” So them’s the breaks. Best start walking.

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Archer is the managing editor at Milwaukee Magazine. Some say he is a great warrior and prophet, a man of boundless sight in a world gone blind, a denizen of truth and goodness, a beacon of hope shining bright in this dark world. Others say he smells like cheese.