What does Downtown Milwaukee’s new Deer District entertainment block at Fiserv Forum have in common with Eero Saarinen’s iconic TWA terminal at JFK Airport, which recently re-opened as a hotel? Or with St. Louis’ Gateway Arch National Park (the centerpiece of which is another Saarinen masterwork)?
Well, according to Thrillist, it’s one of "America’s Best New Attractions Worth Traveling For," along with those sites, a sprawling Kansas City distillery, the much-ballyhooed new Star Wars experience at Disney and the Shinola Hotel in Detroit, among other places.
Writer Erik Helin raves that Deer District – with a beer garden, summer fountains, Good City Brewing, Drink Wisconsinbly, Punch Bowl Social, The MECCA sports bar, a full slate of festivals and other events, plus the Brewery District nearby – is "a prime example of downtown revitalization done right."
"This being the City of Festivals, Deer District will act as an epicenter for tourists and the hometown crowd alike to drink and gather before enjoying the multitude of outdoor events that define Milwaukee summers," he continues.
If folks aren’t already traveling to Milwaukee to check out Deer District, they soon will be.
And next summer, when the Democratic National Convention lands in Milwaukee, the district will draw in many of the tens of thousands of visitors for a look and surely a great craft beer and a Brandy Old Fashioned dispensed from a bubbler.
What they won't find is the one thing that's missing: a Saarinen building. For that, they'll have to go to the lakefront, to see the Finnish-American architect's War Memorial Center.
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.