As we Milwaukeeans travel these great United States, we sometimes stumble upon something that looks very, very familiar, but at the same time, not quite the way we're used to seeing it.
Kinda like that cast George and Jerry hired for their TV show about themselves on "Seinfeld."
Of course, most of the places included here are not actually copying Milwaukee – some, including the first one, predate the similar thing here – so, it's surely better to think of these things, instead, as commonalities we share with other great American places.
1. The Climatron, Missouri Botanical Gardens, St. Louis
(Photo: Missouri Botanical Garden/Flickr)
The Climatron geodesic dome, which opened in 1960, was the first such structure to be used as a conservatory, according to the website of the stellar Missouri Botanical Garden. That's cool, but where are the other two? (Although construction began on Milwaukee's Domes in 1959, the first one didn't open until 1964.)
2. "Iroquois" by Mark Di Suvero, Philadelphia
(Photo: T. Scheid for GPTMC)
I wonder if sculptor Mark di Suvero's "Iroquois" inspires as much angst in Philadelphia – where it sits on Ben Franklin Parkway, the city's excellent "museum row" – as "The Calling" does here.
3. World Trade Center Transportation Hub, New York City
(Photo: Santiago Calatrava)
While Santiago Calatrava's Milwaukee Art Museum addition has given the city a unique building around which we all rally round, New York's response to Calatrava's transit center pavilion has been considerably more controversial. While folks often still ooh and aah whenever they see MAM's brise soleil opening or closing, some in New York have already dubbed Calatrava's over-budget, over-due and (gasp!) rusty contribution to the World Trade Center site a "kitsch stegosaurus."
4. Chase Field, Phoenix
I hope Diamondbacks fans aren't stuck inside with the roof closed on nice days, too.
5. Leo Frigo Bridge, Green Bay
(Photo: Chris Rand/Creative Commons)
6. Bronze Lucille Ball, Celoron, N.Y.
(Photo: 1001portails US)
Eek?! Where's the Bronze Fonz when you need him?
7. Zilwaukee, Michigan
(Photo: Phil Dokas/Flickr)
Founded by Solomon Johnson, who according to Wikipedia – which references a now-removed ZilwaukeeMichigan.gov page – "gave the name Zilwaukee to the town purposely to cause people to confuse it with the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in hopes of luring settlers there to work."
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.