Trinity, the Fonz and me
I wish that Milwaukee would utilize the downtown area better. I do have to admit it's much better than it was just a few years ago, though. It's not that there isn't stuff to do, I just wish it were more balanced. For example, there are lots of dining establisments, if you want to have a sit down dinner, but beyond the nearly identical menus at Subway, Cousins and Jimmy John's, there are few places to grab a quick bite to eat. If you want a burger, you're either waiting a half hour for a waiter and a bill, or you're going to Culver's, inside the Grand Avenue Mall food court. What it needs more than anything is ICE CREAM! There are only four places I know of to get a simple ice cream cone, and two are inside the mall. Still, I want Milwaukee to have an amazing downtown so bad that I spend most of my money and time there.
Flyer for the dedication of the Fonzie statue
On this particular day, we headed downtown for the opening of the Wisconsin Obama campaign office, but knew we had to make a somewhat out of the way stop. The day before, Milwaukee unveiled a new statue downtown on the Riverwalk. It's a bronze likeness of none other than Arthur Fonzarelli, otherwise known as Fonzie/the Fonz, from the classic TV series Happy Days, which took place in Milwaukee. Some people have said this is ridiculous, that the city should be embarrassed to have such a thing. Frankly, it might be ridiculous in some ways, but it's nothing that residents should be ashamed of (we have plenty of other things for that!). It's FUN! Happy Days was a great TV show, and who can deny Fonzie's coolness, when he would smack his fist on the jukebox to turn it on.
Hands with the initials HW and SW
There are several cities that have statues of fictional characters. Minneapolis has Mary Tyler Moore, Philadelphia has Rocky... and our rival city Chicago has a statue of Bob Newhart. Chicago may have taller buildings and bigger museums and at least one more popular baseball team, but Milwaukee clearly wins in the fictional character statue department. I kind of feel sorry for the Fonzie statue. People who pose with him in a photograph will get a nice picture of the river in the background, but for the rest of his life, Fonzie will have to stare at the enclosed patio of a Chinese restaurant. It's not exactly the Reflecting Pool. Fonzie is obviously not as respected as Abraham Lincoln. There was a crowd gathered around the Bronz Fonz, and we had to wait to get pictures of him.
There was an older teenage boy there who attempted to put a Yankees hat on Fonzie and I quickly called blasphemy and told him that Fonzie simply cannot have that on his head. But we quickly called a truce after we realized we were both wearing Obama t-shirts. Milwaukee has these ambassadors who work for the city and sort of walk around and give out information about the city and spread good will and cheer to people, I don't know what they are actually called, but one of them was standing there taking pictures of people. She told me that on the statues hands are the initials HW and SW, which she said were for Henry Winkler and his kids, but both hands had the same initials so maybe it was just him and his wife, I'm not entirely sure. Anyway, I think the Fonzie statue is just a fun thing and a cool photo opportunity for Milwaukeans and anyone who visits the area.