By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Jan 07, 2014 at 6:46 PM

I somehow keep hoping against hope for something wonderful to happen at Grand Avenue, or whatever they are calling it now. But my hopes keep getting dashed.

Thursday night, I reviewed "Who Killed Santa" at the Underground Collaborative, a great creative space under T. J. Maxx in the Grand Avenue.

I was early so I pulled into the parking lot around 6 for the 7:30 show. I went to Jake's for a pastrami and swiss on rye. The guy behind the counter stamped my parking ticket.

I went to the show and got out about 9:30. I got to my car and drove out, only to be blocked at the parking gate.

"Pay first," this disembodied voice announced. I looked at the machine. Ten dollars. I mean TEN DOLLARS. On a frigid Thursday night. The attendant showed up and said that my stamp didn’t mean crap since I had been there over three hours.

I paid the TEN DOLLARS and wondered again if they try to make visiting Downtown and the Not-So-Grand Avenue difficult or if it just happens naturally.

TEN FRIGGIN’ DOLLARS. On a Thursday night.

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.