Sunday, July 30, 2006

Brady Street Festival--Joel McNally, Call Home

The Brady Street Festival was held today.

Having been a dissolute yout' when Brady Street was the epitome of Milwaukee Dissolutism, I can tell you that things have changed, a bit.

First of all, somebody actually put some money into a few of the buildings. Not many, but a few. Secondly, a number of the businesses are no longer Italian owned and/or operated. Sadly, a number of good restaurants are gone; others have materialized in their place.

And, of course, there is the Fashion, which was a centerpiece of this year's Festival.

Back in the REAL Brady Street day, young'uns, there was "fashion" for societal outliers of the WASP sort--the emphasis was largely on Cheap and Durable--you know, stuff you could snarf from Goodwill or St Vincent dePaul, or buy over at Irv's Footwear. That's because cashflow (such as it was) was largely devoted to purchasing incense, candles, and maryjane. (Not necessarily in that order.)

THESE days, Fashion costs Money. So they actually had a This-Costs-Money FASHION show on Brady Street. Runway, curtains, mirrors, and audience-in-CHAIRS!!

Friggin' corrupt capitalist pigs took over, I tell you. Where's McNally when you need him?

And, of course, people showed up. There were distinct groups:

GAWKERS/WANNABEES: really, two groups here--middle-class sorts who were voyeuring their way into 'the culture' but rather gingerly, pushing Expensive Strollers and wearing their Door County souvenir tees--and then the 16-year-olds who were considering this as a place to be.

OLD HANDS: The folks who obviously had over-revved their engines for quite a while. In some, the results were obvious: cracked blocks, blown engines; in others, less evident--just excessive ring-wear.

STREET REGULARS: They live here because their parents don't want them to, or because that's where they think they can still find action (even at 40++ years of age, heh...) or because they are really working on becoming Poncho Ladies (see below) or whatever the masculine variant of that species is...

THE PROFESSARIAT: You know who I mean. They teach at UW-M, Madison, and Lawrence College and can run lines of BS past those impressionable young, delicious, (place an 'X' after your choice:) male female mix neither

Noticeably absent: Wigderson, Owen, and McBride. Sykes COULDA been there, as could have Asian Badger and the Shark.

Noticeably present: Anti-Bush stickers, tees, and pins.


Anonymous said...

What happened to you?
Where do you fit in now?
Old hand?

Anonymous said...

It has been rumored Shark is going to move there.

Dad29 said...


I was there on a family mission, believe it or not. My uncle lives nearby.

Helluva mess for parking.

James Wigderson said...

I was at German Fest with Mrs. Wigderson for a performance of Carmina Burana.

If I want to visit Brady Street, I just put on the Grateful Dead.

Dad29 said...

Wiggy--you just went to Carmina to get the lyrics to the Tavern Scene--thus multiplying your list of toasts by, say, 30 or so.

In taberna, quando sumus
Non curamus quid sed humus,
Sed ad ludum propeamur,
Cui semper in sudamur...

Anonymous said...

It's east of 60th Street and I couldn't find my visa.