I was all set to cover the Fire on Ice festival for today’s entry but I ended up quickly having a look and then leaving. It was much smaller compared to last year due to the absence of the ice skating rink on account of the temperature being 35 degrees. I had also eaten lunch before hand, forgetting that there would be food trucks at the event. That said, the event had some very quaint, well constructed ice sculptures including a griffin, a squirrel, and a valentines themed depiction of two penguins. There was a very humble but active turnout with families gathered around the fire pits, children playing on a giant snow mound, and people cheering on a young local church singer.
On Sunday, I went down to Milwaukee’s Brady Street to check out what was going on at Exclusive Company. It was a pretty busy morning for a January day, people were outside vaping and chatting in puffy coats. The store was After getting a few cds and a 45 single from the record store, I went down to the Rochambo Coffee bar for the very first time. The yellow and purple interior along with the local characters gave it a very European feel. There was a young man doing card tricks at one end of the bar while students poured over their studies across the room at another table. Even the Baristas were characters; one wore an abstract Japanese t shirt that complemented her emerald green hair. The other donned a purple checkered shirt and had an “All cops are bastards” tattoo. The interesting irony was that they were chatting with a policeman who had come to discuss some incident or another. Overall, it was a a very nice experience with excellent coffee. If you are in the area, I would suggest stopping in.
My final stop was Glorioso’s, the legendary Milwaukee Italian market. This market is rooted in the history of Brady Street as a refuge for immigrants. The market along with street’s Peter Sciortino Bakery was founded by immigrating Italian families in the late 1940s. Glorioso’s is the perfect place to admire the rainbow of flavored pastas, sample a hot sandwich, or take in the comforting ambiance of a family run market. The store has everything from Italian Christmas treats to authentic cans of sardines. They even have an Italian deli where you can order sandwiches with a variety of Italian meats. This visit, I chose to try an Eggplant and Parmesan sandwich. It was very good but also very saucy. Nonetheless, I highly recommend Gloriosos for a taste of Italian food beyond typical spaghetti and pizza.
Brady Street has been having a bit of a rough patch these past few years. The lack of customers in the area meaning many of the vintage clothing stores that dominated the area have closed up shop. Even Uncommon Items recently announced they are moving to Walker’s Point. This makes a visit to Brady Street more important than ever: it has a rich history of immigration along with a strong bohemian character that make it worth knowing and protecting.