Bay View visits – feeling safe brings back the community
Went with my sister on a walk around the old neighborhood.  Things have improved a lot since the time when we were kids.  I am starting to think we may have been young during some of the bad times of our neighborhood.   A lot of the trouble was due to crime and disorder that grew in the 1960s anon and has been declining again since 1992.
When people feel reasonably safe in their persons and property, they take care of their businesses and lives.  There is a kind of Maslow’s hierarchy at work.  I remember that we felt insecure after dark up around Lincoln Avenue, so we didn’t go there as much and it became more dangerous in a downward spiral.  Feeling safer brings it an upward spiral.  Security first. Nothing else good happens until people feel secure and once they feel secure they start to do good things.
Anyway, I was very encouraged to see how much better things are getting in my old neighborhood.  It used to be “blighted” but now is becoming again a good place to be.
My top picture is the Avalon Theater.  We went there as kids to watch movies.  It had a special ambiance.  Inside was made to look like an outside courtyard with stars in the artificial firmament.  I hope they can restore it.
Next is the former Medusa Cement Company, where my father worked for 32 years and I worked for 4 years.  There used to be dozens of men working there. We did 12-hour shifts loading bags.  Today there are a few guys with machines that do our work in a few hours.  It used to be hard physical work, throwing bags that weighed 94lbs. Today they don’t pick up or lay down anything really heavy.
The third picture is the Kinnickinnic River and the dock where the cement boat comes in to deliver the product.  We used to just call it KK. In the 1960s it was horribly polluted and smelled bad. Today it is reasonably clean with lots of pleasure boats.
The church in the 4th picture is St Lucas Lutheran Church on Kinnickinnic Avenue.  It is made of cream city brick, the local Milwaukee product from the 19th Century.
Finally, the second last is a picture of the new beer garden at Humboldt Park.  It is about time.  A beer garden in the park is a good idea.  I think we had these kinds of things in Milwaukee before prohibition. Prohibition dealt a severe blow to beer culture and it only now, generations later, is really recovering.  The last picture is a mystery to me. The path goes directly into the pond.  It is a relatively new path.  Maybe it is for the beer drinkers wandering over from the new beer garden, kind of a sobriety test.

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