From 32nd to 60th Streets, there are more than 75 small businesses located along Center Street, and on Saturday, June 30, the Center Street Marketplace Business Improvement District (BID) 39 is inviting all of Milwaukee to come and visit.
Shop Small on Center Street runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and, in addition to shopping, there will also be a block party at 37th and Center (alas, you won't find the gorgeous Venetian movie palace at that intersection anymore), promoting non-violence.
Ten blocks west, at the Sherman Park Rising Mural on 47th and Center, there will be a food and networking event called Stand Up for Small Business.
Neighborhood block clubs, churches and nonprofits will also be in the day's events.
Shoppers and diners can check out the Sistah Cafe at 3715 W. Center St., and Ronnie's Barber Shop across the street at 3712. Philip's Apparel is at 3812. Center Street Nail Bar is across the street at 3817, and Fast, Fresh & Delicious restaurant is next door at 3821.
Learn martial arts at Sabir's Karate and Fitness, 4813 W. Center St., and then get a haircut at 4935. Tune up your ride at JR's Auto Service, 5302 W. Center St., and then gas it up at the Citgo down the street at 5758 W. Appleton.
The all-day event is being promoted by the three Milwaukee aldermen in whose district that stretch of Center Street is located.
"All too often the focus is on major development and mega businesses around Milwaukee so here is an opportunity to celebrate and patronize small businesses," said Ald. Russell W. Stamper, II, in a statement.
"With this commercial corridor adjacent to many homes, we’d really like local residents to come explore or revisit a small business right in their own neighborhood," added Ald. Michael J. Murphy.
"We look at this not only as a shopping event but also an opportunity for the community to come together," said Ald. Khalif J. Rainey.
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.