I recently learned about a bit of Brew City humor that the creators of "This is Spinal Tap" would certainly appreciate, and that I'm sure you'll all tell me via talkback that you've known about for years.
And that could be true. I admit that when taking off from and landing at Mitchell Airport, I might be looking at landmarks in other parts of town, or, frankly, just digging my nails into the armrests, my eyelids clamped tightly together.
So, maybe it's for those reasons that I never noticed that photographer Mark Gubin has a sign on the roof of his studio – Bay View's old 970-seat Lake (Bay) Theater, 2893 S. Delaware Ave. – that reads "Welcome to Cleveland."
The sign has reportedly been up there since 1978.
The classical revival theater, incidentally, was designed by architects Urban Peacock and Armin Frank (architects of The Ambassador Hotel and the regrettably lost Venetian movie palace on Center Street) and was in operation from 1926 through 1956.
There was talk of it reopening at the dawn of the 1970s but that did not happen. (Sound familiar, Bay View?!)
It's been home to Gubin and his photography business (as well as his reportedly huge collection of objects) since, well, at least 1978.
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.