I’m sitting at the cafe in Open Book Co-op, every table full, looking at some of the same faces I used to see at Schwartz Bookshop, in the place Schwartz once was. Never thought I’d see tables, chairs, and coffee-sippers sitting in this spot again, thought I’d see a parking lot. Or a mega-Pick ‘n Save. Still could.
Now a friend walks in, and we pick up where we left off last year when we ran into each other at Sendiks. Except that things have changed since then. Hollywood Video, China Palace, the Mexican incarnation of Jean Pierre’s (was it called Juan Pedro’s?), the Chiropractic Clinic, all are gone. Last time we chatted about the streetscaping, my friend was afraid he’d trip on the concrete frames. This time he said to me, “All that fancy streetscaping, it doesn’t bring in businesses.”
Lots of blow up Santas coming out around here. The holidays are feeling weird without the cold wind blowing through the coat you thought was warm enough for the weather but wasn't. It's odd to see decorations stuck in rock and gravel front yards dotted with lemons thrown out of the nests by their lemon mothers. It's also disorienting not to have to insulate anything to shield myself from nature. I actually use my patio as another room and leave the big, sliding walldoor open all the time.
On my soon-approaching graduation with a Masters of Science in Nonprofit Management and Consulting for Life (I jest), I have begun to be sensitive to what I will call Consultant Work Options. As more and more people are trying to make a life out of doing things for people who will pay them, in a nonstructured setting, it becomes impossible to just work from home. Often there are kids there, or noise, or poor connections to the internet. In looking for solutions for myself, I have rated the offerings around town. Tell me if I'm wrong, these are just (unpaid) (unsolicited) observations, from two perspectives: As a potential user of the space as a consultant, and as a who needs a break and some happy chatter.
Ground Rules for Consultant types: So what is a person to do who needs to conduct business, likes *real* coffee, and has no shame in digging for an outlet like a goose foraging for a crust of bread?
I gaze at the lawns as I walk along Jarvis and, hey, the grass isn’t supposed to be this green, this is December 5! It’s time for holiday parties, not garden parties. Holiday parties, that’s what I’m supposed to be contemplating, not blades of grass.
This Friday, December 11th, all three floors at 181 North Broadway should be jumping. There’s an opening reception for a photography show at Rosenblatt Gallery, and there’s the Artasia and Cuvee holiday party. The new show, Five Wise Men, is five different views of the world by five men between the ages of fifty and eighty-two, Art Elkon, Ted Friedman, Keith Knox, Steve Plamann, and Bill Tennessen. There are, as always in Rosenblatt Gallery, sculptures by Adolph, who keeps adding, and occasionally subtracting, pieces in our show and paintings and drawings by me. And in the rear of Artasia there's an exhibit of paintings by Eli Rosenblatt.
" Common sense, although common may not always make sense. "
What are our community development objectives?
Oh, man. I've become one of those old ladies scammers take advantage of. Be on the lookout for two lively, funny, warm, young adults who come to your door and say they are trying to get points so they can go to college. My two were young ladies, older versions of the little kids I taught for years at Lake Bluff. I liked them immediately and was impressed by how quick they were with quips and charm. I should have known when one of them told me I reminded her of her mom and how awesome her mother was, that I was being taken for an idiot. Appropriately so, unfortnately.
I mean, these kids were great. Did I want to donate to their scholarship by purchasing a magazine subscription? "No." I said, "I hate magazines." Without skipping a beat, she pulled out a sheet of agencies I could contribute to instead. It included children living in shelters, teens who are unable to read and every other sob story subject you could think of. I was going to donate to the teens until I saw the sorry sight of a booklist they had to choose from. I said, "No teenager would want to read this crap." I asked them if they would read anything from that sorry list and the quiet one told me she really liked the books about ancient Egypt. "Yeah, right. I thought wisely." But did I take note of the red flags? No, I actually flipped the booklist over to see what they had for the little kids, then. That was even worse. I know children's literature and knew those books were chosen by someone without a clue. They were so bad, I went back to the magazine list and decided to become a vegetarian cook via a rag called Vegetarian Times or some such thing. Okay, so that one was self-deception.
Shorewood's vibrant business district is pleased to welcome a variety of new businesses to the community.
News from Open Book: YOUR Community Bookstore!
Shorewood's new bookstore, Open Book, officially opened its doors in early November at the former site of Harry Schwartz Bookshop, 4093 N. Oakland Ave. As of December 14, the State of Wisconsin has granted recognition to Open Book as an official cooperative. Think of what has been accomplished in a short six months! When Harry Schwartz Bookshop closed last spring, the store was stripped to the bare walls, leaving nothing behind but two fire extinguishers. Today, Shorewood can proudly boast a new, full-service bookstore and cafe - all community owned!
Stop by Open Book soon to finish off your holiday shopping, or sip a cup of coffee in the cafe, a great spot to meet friends or business colleagues. Open Book’s new private coffee blend is now available by cup or bag. Open Book also offers gift certificates - let them choose their own special gift!
Your Card Is Waiting for You
Many Open Book members have not yet picked up their membership cards. Stop by any time, get your card and start enjoying the benefits of membership while completing your holiday shopping. Of course, you can still sign up to be a member if you have yet to do so! Visit the website at www.openbookcoop.com for more information.
Open Book's hours are Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can call the store at 414.431.3170.
New Print Publication Calls Shorewood Home
Shorewood welcomes the Wisconsin Gazette, a new LGBT newspaper that is headquartered at 3956 N. Murray Ave. The mission of this free publication is to inform, engage and empower Wisconsin's LGBT community by providing a professional, independent print and online source for news and commentary, as well as coverage of political and cultural issues. The Wisconsin Gazette can be reached at 414.961.3240 or visit www.wisconsingazette.com.
Anytime Fitness Opening Soon
Anytime Fitness will be opening its doors at 4009 N. Oakland Ave. (in the former site of Harleys: The Store for Men) early in 2010. This new Anytime Fitness franchise offers a schedule that meets anyone's busy lifestyle, offering a quick, low-cost and effective workout. Anytime Fitness is the world's largest and fastest-growing co-ed fitness chain, with more than 1,200 clubs worldwide. For more information, call 414.350.3196 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.