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Milwaukee, we're not an "irritation prone city"

Milwaukee, I love ya. And, for a number of number of reasons. You know them all.

And, a new poll confirms one reason why so many love Milwaukee -- we're not irritating. Atlanta, however, is. So are Houston, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and L.A.

The poll conducted by Sperling's BestPlaces and paid for by Edge Shave Zone was based on 11 "irritation factors," including pest control, traffic congestion, heat index and others.

It's no surprise Milwaukee finished 49th (only Rochester is less irritating). Milwaukee's easy. Little traffic, nice people, an amazing Lakefront and wonderful media like

See the full list here. And, have a wonderful and non irritating day!

The first 40 get this East Side T-shirt tonight at Von Trier.
The first 40 get this East Side T-shirt tonight at Von Trier.

A sinkhole update tonight at Von Trier

On Thursday night, Milwaukee's East Side proves it's indeed open (wide open, some may say) for business by hosting a sinkhole Tweetup at Von Trier, 2235 N. Farwell Ave.

From 6:30 to 8 p.m., you'll have a chance to get the latest information on just what happened and is now happening on the corner of Oakland and North Avenues.

Of course, work continues at the sinkhole (just steps away from and should last at least five more weeks.  And while the entire area near the sinkhole is closed to the public, it's become one of those things that people want to see. Bronze Fonz, we love ya, but the sinkhole is the new you.

Anyway, the East Side is full of new stuff. And, since we're located in the heart of the neighborhood it's our civic duty to let you know how much we love it here.

From Beans and Barley to Hooligan's to Ian's Pizza (which will serve special sinkhole pizza tonight) to Alterra, we love the East Side. And, don't forget the East Side is home to the area's only Whole Foods Market -- free parking there, too (even if you're just going to a movie at the Oriental).

So, if friends are telling you that the East Side is closed tell them otherwise and get to Von Trier Thursday night for the definitive sinkhole update from Ald. Nik Kovac and business owners in the area.

The first 40 people get a limited edition and somewhat edgy T-shirt from the East Side Association (see photo). Ian's Pizza and Sil's will have food for sampling (while supplies last).  

When you get to Von Trier, tweet away and use the hashtag #sinkholetweetup.

An Applebee's closes and an alderman responds

The Applebee's at Midtown Center, 5712 W. Capitol Dr., has closed.

Today, the neighborhood's alderman Joe Davis, Sr. issued a statement with details.  I thought I'd share it with you as it includes not only Davis' assessment of the closing but his thoughts on the state of Midtown Center. 

"Today, we learned that despite their best strategies and solid customer service, Applebee's at Midtown Center has been forced to close permanently on Wednesday, July 28, 2010. In a statement to me, Applebee's Chief Development Officer explained that they have proudly served in the area for more than six years, but despite attempts to innovate and operate through our current economic crisis, the restaurant has been forced to close.

"Earlier this year, Applebee's in Sturgeon Bay area was closed due to the same circumstances.

"The company is offering its Applebee's Midtown employees positions at a number of its other Applebee's restaurants around the Milwaukee area.

"Applebee's would like to thank their restaurant team, their guests and the Midtown neighborhood for allowing them to be part of the community over the years.

"I am confident that space at Midtown Center will be filled with a thriving business promptly and am constantly pleased with how the area around the center continues to develop and sustain a vibrant shopping district. I am confident this progress will continue and though I am disappointed Applebee's can no longer be our partner in this center, I must thank each proprietor in Midtown Center for their commitment to our residents and I welcome the next business to join the shopping district."

Applebee's has 16 other locations in the greater Milwaukee area.

The red team: 2-0 and champions at the Bucks media game.
The red team: 2-0 and champions at the Bucks media game. (Photo: Betsy Golomski)
Coach Dave Babcock leads the red team.
Coach Dave Babcock leads the red team. (Photo: Betsy Golomski)
The white team finished 1-1.
The white team finished 1-1. (Photo: Betsy Golomski)
Andy Kendeigh claimed the league's Lifetime Achievement award.
Andy Kendeigh claimed the league's Lifetime Achievement award. (Photo: Betsy Golomski)
The green team played hard, but didn't win a single game.
The green team played hard, but didn't win a single game. (Photo: Betsy Golomski)
Mitch Nelles from ESPN Radio warms up.
Mitch Nelles from ESPN Radio warms up. (Photo: Betsy Golomski)
Bucks media got a chance to play on Saturday.
Bucks media got a chance to play on Saturday. (Photo: Betsy Golomski)
The author, No. 4, watches Todd Rosiak of the Journal Sentinel at the line.
The author, No. 4, watches Todd Rosiak of the Journal Sentinel at the line. (Photo: Betsy Golomski)

My play peaked in eighth grade, but on Saturday my team won

With a starting back-court of Channel 12's Stephanie Sutton and yours truly, how can a basketball team lose? Well, it can't. And, that was the case Saturday at the fourth annual Milwaukee Bucks media game held at the Bucks training facility in St. Francis.

It was my third year playing. I missed the first year, although our own Drew Olson made it memorable. Click here for the memory. And while I didn't suffer an injury of Olson-like proportions, I am dealing with a blistered lip (somehow I smacked down on my lower lip and it still frickin' hurts), a bruised pinkie, a tight knee and a sore ankle. It may not be violent like football, but basketball has its contact.

Anyway, it was great morning and a lot of fun.

I don't "cover" the Bucks on a daily basis like many of the other 39 media members who played on Saturday. Nonetheless, the Bucks are gracious enough to offer me (a huge fan, occasional blogger/Twitterer (is that a word?) and media partner of the team) a roster spot. And while my 5-foot-10 frame doesn't bang and jump with the big boys, I can still run, shoot, play defense and distribute the ball a bit.

But, it was hard play and great play from our entire "red team" that helped us take the title on Saturday. And, not to brag, but the teams I've been lucky enough to be on in the past three years have yet to lose a single game.  I'm 6-0 in media day games.  

I'll be the first to admit that my basketball ability peaked in the eighth grade, but I still love sport and thank the Bucks for holding this annual event. It's special when a pro team donates its time and resources to thank the people who cover them by letting us run around like the pros. It also says a lot about the Bucks organization, its people and its leadership.

Here's are highlights from the games:

The Kendeigh man can:¬† Playing in what may be his final Milwaukee Media League Championship Series, Andy Kendeigh went out with a bang, claiming t…