Usually the debate about how to get about town in Milwaukee is a decent conversation piece. In the worst cases, it’s the way to find the poles of people’s outlook on life in the city. Wait what’s that? Milwaukee has Zipcar! Now there is even more to talk about, and they’re giving away a Zipcertificate worth $100 to get a worthy Milwaukeean moving (details below).
Get a Move On
As Milwaukee tussles with plowing towards becoming full fledged metropolis or remaining a fragmented mid-sized city of suburbs and enclaves, many urbanists vie for a more robust public transit system by adding variety to available modes. From buses, street cars, to bike shares multiple transportation options decrease reliance on cars and increase urban viability as a matter of public policy. Urban Milwaukee, has provided an ongoing commentary on the Downtown Street Car plan and other transit innovations that have made their way through the wringer a few times, some set to see the pavement in 2014.
Other Milwaukeeans make a conscientious lifestyle or personal finance choice to live car-less relying on any of the above, and in certain fits of principled defiance (read: “fun”) take “pedicabs” and pedal pubs. Others who come to the city from smaller towns, or who are just prideful locals, may swear by nothing other than a personal vehicle for transportation, lest they have their own personal Jim Anchower moment on the bus. It’s quite possible that with Zipcar, Milwaukeeans can now travel the middle ground about town when and how they choose.
Did you know? Zipcars survived the Polar Vortex of 2014
If You Didn’t Know…
Zipcar is a car sharing business that has served Milwaukee for the past five years. This University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus got them first in 2007, and soon after Marquette University added the Zipcar option. This past August, Zipcar expanded its presence in Milwaukee to serve nearly 20 locations. Zipcar works like a monthly subscription to awesome cars that you can use by the day or hour, accessible right in your neighborhood.
What about insurance? It’s included. What about gas? It’s included, if you follow the very reasonable guidelines. What about the hassle, sounds like a rental car? Leave that to the concierge at the airport, with the deposits, and mandatory rental periods and every changing pricing. You sign up for Zipcar and use the mobile web (iOS or Android) or conventional internet to make a reservation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Modern technology allows you to access the car and drive off without having to talk to a person. Even in an middle of the night emergency you can get to where you have to go, as long as it’s not to Kalamazoo.
Getting the Picture
Have you a friend that’s coming in town on the Hiyawatha or by coach bus from a city like Minneapolis or Chicago that has Zipcar? Say on an occasion your schedules don’t match. If they are signed up they can arrange a Zipcar here, they can explore Milwaukee for an afternoon until you can connect.
If you live around downtown Zipcars are stashed about several neighborhoods for your shopping, business, or personal convenience. Juneau Town on Kilbourn and Van Buren, Eastown on Jefferson and Wisconsin, US Bank Center on Michigan and Cass, Public Market on Broadway and Clybourn, Third Ward at Buffalo and Jefferson all have Zipcars.
Some people need car for an afternoon once or twice a month, why go $15,000 in debt or get a hooptie that’s going to break down when you need it. For many people, Zipcar is a practical way to save money and abide by a low-car diet. You’ll probably be able to enjoy the luxuries of a much nicer car that you can afford while you’re at it.
You’re a responsible adult, so why shouldn’t you be able to drive an Audi Q5, Mini Cooper or Toyota Prius?
To Zipcar affordable does not mean economy. Each of these cars are available in the Milwaukee market in select locations. Other Zipcar makes include Mazda, Ford and Hyundai.
Hybrid City Dwellers
Using Zipcar doesn’t mean you have sold out public transit. Zipcar represents the shared option, which is the next most civil thing to the public option, without the nerve racking of lending or borrowing and bumming rides in someone else’s car. Matter of fact, it’s basically like a bike share but with cars. Well almost. Although our wildest dreams as kids were to put some coins in the kiddy horsey ride and ride off, you’ll actually have to sign up and get your Zip Card in the mail before using Zipcar.
Services like Zipcar are huge steps in the right direction and show the surge in vitality Milwaukee has recently experienced in its city center, so it’s at least worth knowing about. RadioMilwaukee has a spot with Zipcar’s Milwaukee marketing rep, and she’s got a great radio voice you can hear behind the “Love’s Gonna Get Ya”/”Plug Tuning” and “So Watcha Saying”/”Jackin’ for Beats” instrumentals.
To make their 2014 expansion a little more fun, the good people at Zipcar have decided to offer one lucky Milwaukeean, and Local Trolley reader, a $100 Zipcertificate to put towards a Zipcar membership and driving credit, and the folks at Local Trolley are honored to do the honors. To get a shot at starting your low-car diet on the house, “Like” Local Trolley’s Facebook page by January 15, 2014 to cast your lot.
When you’re incoherently ambling around ready for that crucial first sip of the day, though taste and quality does matter, hard pressed coffee enthusiasts know that how you prep the brew rarely has consequence. Contrary to conventional habits, the crude, yet noble, preparation technique of hand drip has gained popularity in cupping communities in recent years, bringing a whole new meaning to delayed gratification to coffee drinkers. In a fortunate twist of enterprise, the hand drip mavins of Valentine Coffee give us a new cause to care.
Washington Heights’, Valentine Coffee has shared its own distinctive, globally sourced crop and small batch roasts geared toward discerning tastes for about a year now. You won’t find any large plastic buttons pumping coffee through a thermos, Valentine Coffee employs the hand drip method to every regular cup, without exception.
Dressed in stylishly rough finished interior design, located in a modest storefront on Vliet Street just east of 60th Street, Valentine Coffee offers a contemplative atmosphere for casual conversation or task mastering. Although hand dripped, optimally scalding temperature water awaits its chance to run over carefully measured coffee grounds, awakening the full character of the coffee within three minutes.
Valentine’s current selection stretches vast for a roastery its size and arrives from Brazil, Indonesia, New Guinea, Peru, and Uganda, each with their own unique flavor profiles. Sweet and savory light baked goods present themselves for the taking courtesy of Blue’s Egg and other local establishments.
Valentine Coffee now opens daily from 6am to 2pm.
The weather will break just in time for the dedication of Three Bridges Park tomorrow, an endeavor that culminates a 15-year rebirth of the Menomonee Valley. In the not so distant past of the previous decade the Valley was in pretty rough shape, with brownfields, under utilization, and livestock busting out of slaughterhouse pens stopping traffic in the stretch of industrial corridor between 6th and 35th Streets.
Coming a long way in land use terms, currently 4 Seasons Skate Park, Zimmerman Architectural Studios (a tremendous rehabilitation of the old gas streetlight fueling plant), Marquette Sports Fields, a newer riverfront cantina called the Twisted Fisherman, a host of traditional industrial businesses like the City Fleet and high tech ones like Helios call the Valley home. The Valley will even have its first high-rise courtesy of Potawatomi Casino, a miraculous 15-story hotel built atop marshlands; And now move over Bioswale, there’s a 24-acre park.
More Ways to Go
Three Bridges Park connects the lower parts of Clark Square and Silver City to the eastern end of Hank Aaron Trail, and adds several miles of trail through the park that spans from 27th Street to 35th Street. Three Bridges will have several notable passages, one of which connects Three Bridges to the Mitchell Park, an excellent siting choice to bring access to the Domes from the Hank Aaron. With an emphasis on multi-modal transportation, the park will also feature canoe portages.
The original passage to the Valley from Silver City sits in the shadows of Miller Park, a narrow tunnel (with a checkered past) connecting Canal Street to Pierce Street. Today, murals coat the Valley Passage’s once forlorn and neglected concrete surface, opening to a winding path leading to the Menomonee Valley branch of the Urban Ecology Center.
Doesn’t look like much now, but these will soon be rolling hills lined with trees.
Building a New Past
July 20th marks the opening of Three Bridges Park, a crowning achievement among many to spring from the From the Ground Up initiative. Menomonee Valley Partners and the Urban Ecology Center have teamed up to weave collaborative projects that support access to jobs, environmental education and outdoor recreation. Some have heralded the opening of Three Bridges Park as Milwaukee’s Central Park moment, a point in time that marks when generations to come will no longer know that blight gripped the land there.
At dusk Thursday, a miraculous scene accumulated in Milwaukee’s corner of our Earth’s atmosphere. It rained on one side of the street and not the other. Ten distinct clouds types formed simultaneously, as varying levels of pressure agitated water molecules aided by thermal fluctuations from the heat of light. A sight to behold, each cardinal direction projecting a range of emotive countenances.
In a final awe inspiring act, a bank of clouds swept across the Northern sky like the minute hand of a watch anchored over the breakwaters of Lake Michigan, countering the wisdom of time.
I like the idea of a one block tour, it’s the next best thing to traveling all over the country chasing your favorite bands! Keepers of the local ART Milwaukee are making it happen this Saturday on Brady Street all day with the Eastside Music Tour. They strung together an all day line up of shows to benefit the Cass Street School playground, which may soon be the grounds of Maryland Montessori. The overgrown and cuddly beasts calling the playground home need a new paint job.
The shows start at 4p and there are many. The entire line-up is pretty extreme, each hour will have a different band at up to 11 different locations simultaneously around the Brady Street Area. There are some obvious dinner time starts like Joe Wray (Cempazuchi at 4p) and Evan Christian (Casablanca at 5p), both solo crooners of the Rock, Blues and Blues and Soul persuasion.
Trocadero will have Fresh Cut Collective and Kane Place Record Club back to back starting at 7p in the Redlight, where they used to show soft romantic videos after hours (not to be confused with the now burned out Red Room). Roxie Beane, an extremely popular local rocker, also has a 7p slot (at Hybrid).
No Praise Required
If you’re in the mood for potentially new-to-you music, a couple of acts come to mind. The Thriftones mixes cocktail of rock and roll genres having all the ingredients that will give you plenty ambiance to day-drink to. I saw their recent Frank’s Power Plant show and they left quite an impression. More here… Birth of a Buzz, Thriftones, http://wp.me/p1hPwN-1y3
On a whole different wavelength at 9p, Crisp will have Albydamned and Demix a duo that master party time like no other. They collaborate on a electronic music showcase called Beyond Awesome, and it is just that. Beyond Awesome recently collaborated with local beat-makers Deletah and special guest Team Bayside High to put on a ridiculous show. Don’t even try to sample this music on your computer speakers. More here… Miramar Theatre, Beyond Awesome, http://wp.me/p1hPwN-1zI
Tickets to the Eastside Music Tour are available in advance only! If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, only “Procrastinator Tickets” are available. Sucking for you they don’t come with a Fanny Pack or T-Shirt. For $15 you can get into whatever shows have room for you, and you also get exclusive Milwaukee deals and specials.