Join Waukesha resident Brien Lee and his blog, Sir Fido, as they explore the city and report on the interesting things they find.
Email Brien at email@example.com.
I'm 100% in favor of opening downtown to bikes by closing streets to cars. Of course I'd probably feel different if I lived downtown or if I hated loud music or bikes. But while listening to last night's Common Council meeting, all my questions were answered and I actually let my mind imagine what a wonderful thing this party could be. The alderpeople asked a lot of difficult questions and I always heard good responses. I could feel the enthusiasm from here. The only person to vote against it was Ald. Payne, who incorrectly thought he wouldn't have a voice in determining street closures.
The only business owner to speak against the Labor Day Harley party was a lawyer from the Nelson House, adjacent to Cutler Park where most of the music and drinking will be centered. She complained she'd have to pay her staff for the four days they'd have to close because they couldn't park nice and close to the building. I guess I must be really out of touch because I thought most lawyers had Labor Day weekend off.
I'm surprised more residents of downtown didn't speak up against it -- I can just imagine trying to sleep! But maybe they're like me and just want to wander around town with an open intoxicant while listening to free music.
This party will happen whether Harley endorses it or not. They say that if it is endorsed it would give our city global exposure. Did I mention I saw Japanese bikers at the Expo Center campground during the 100th?
You might think it all seems so rushed. That it takes a year to prepare for an event like this. Actually, the organizers are experienced promoters who seem to work well with the many important people and large companies like Miller Brewing and Kirk Topel, owner of Hal's Harley, that things like this require. They know their limitations and are willing to take the financial risk that will ultimately benefit the city as a whole more than it will themselves.
New people in town think they can come here and not only turn a condemned dump of a building into a high class hotel and restaurant, but have the vision of something more for the city? And do it all at the same time? Their's isn't the only construction that has to be done by the 105th. I walk past the Harley Museum every day on my way to work. They don't have to work hard to attract people. People would come if the old bikes and memorabilia were stored in a tent on an old soccer field. Instead, a beautiful black building surrounded by water on three sides, with the majestic white 6th St. Viaduct suspension bridge on the fouth, is within months of welcoming visitors.
So it could be with our own museum and The Les Paul Experience. Time is running short. It should be a priority to get it done while Les can still come and see it's completion, and he's over 90 now! We could avoid town at all costs when the Harley enthusiasts come, but that would be a big mistake. We should promote our museum, we already know music will attract people downtown. Let's run raffles and promotions. (don't tell my wife, but I once bought a $100.00 raffle ticket for the chance to win a Harley V-Rod. I didn't win.) Let's get this Les Paul exhibit built!