OK, I'm not including the cost of gas or the coin I dropped at Tenuta's grocery store, but a trip to see the dinosaur eggs exhibit at the Kenosha Public Museum and ride the streetcar loop cost me a total of 75 cents for three people.
Considering my son loved the ride, enjoyed seeing not one, but two lighthouses and also enjoyed uncovering dinosaur eggs with little paintbrushes in the museum, it's the best 75 cents I've spent in a long time.
The Kenosha Public Museum is pretty small, but in a lovely building, with interesting natural history exhibits and a collection of cool dioramas of ancient Greek and Renaissance Italian artists' studios. It's also got a great view of the lake, has free parking and free admission. And the streetcar stops practically at the front door.
The vintage streetcar loops downtown Kenosha, so a single ride around the circle doesn't last very long, but no one says you've got to get off after one loop. The driver is friendly, the bell clangs to the delight of children and it's a good way to see Kenosha's nice city center. And it costs 25 cents per person. (And I'm not even sure I needed to pay for the little one. I didn't ask, just tossed in three quarters.)
Like great American small towns, Kenosha has a town square with a fountain that's surrounded by the court house, the post office and other municipal buildings. But, these days, it looks like Kenoshans are focused more on the lake -- where there is a lot of residential development and a new Civil War museum opening soon -- than the old town square.
There's also the Institute of Paleontology and Dinosaur Discovery Museum and run by the Carthage College paleontology department, but we didn't get there this time. Mysteriously, even though it appears to be aimed at kids, that museum doesn't open until noon, even on weekends, which means we've got to return another time.
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 can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.