The New York Times has released its annual list of 52 Places for Travelers to visit for 2022 and atop the list is Italy’s island town of Chioggia in the Venetian lagoon.
At No. 52 is the Daintree Rainforest in Australia.
But, look, nestled just below Monaco and just above Thaidene Nëné National Park Reseve in Canada’s Northwest Territories, at number 49, is “Bronzeville, Milwaukee!”
Not just Milwaukee. But Bronzeville.
The year’s list has taken a slightly different approach, called “52 Places for a Changed World,” the TImes says, “The 2022 list highlights places around the globe where travelers can be part of the solution.”
What a coup, especially for the many Milwaukeeans – business owners, residents, local leaders, visitors – who have helped spark a renaissance there.
From the good news over at America’s Black Holocaust Museum – which recently received a generous donation and will soon open its doors to the public – to the thriving Gee’s Clippers and Skybox Sports Bar – to name but two businesses – to the in-progress build-outs at the new homes on King Drive of the Dohmen Foundation and the Thrive On Collaboration in the former Schuster’s/Gimbels to the recently expanded Milwaukee Youth Arts Center and on and on, Bronzeville is notching win after win these days.
And the nation’s newspaper of record has taken notice.
Here’s some of what Washington D.C.-based writer Shayla Martin said about Bronzeville (alongside a great photo by Milwaukee’s Kevin Miyazaki):
“At times overshadowed by its namesake neighborhood in Chicago, Milwaukee’s Bronzeville district is again distinguishing itself as a center of African American culture. ... Today’s Bronzeville is supported by about $400 million of redevelopment funds from organizations like the Historic King Drive BID, P3 Development Group and Maures Development Group (all led by people of color). Symbolic of this reinvigoration is the reopening next year of America’s Black Holocaust Museum. ... Nearby, businesses like Gee’s Clippers (a barbershop housed in a 1930s bank) and the Bronzeville Collective (a retail space featuring local Black brands) elevate African American artistry, while the newly opened Maranta Plant Shop, Sam’s Place Jazz Cafe and soon-to-open Niche Book Bar prove that Bronzeville is back.”
Speaking of Sam’s Place, here’s a story I wrote that happens to be running today at OnMilwaukee.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.