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Lake Effect On-Site: Bay View

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Audrey Nowakowski
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On February 20, Lake Effect recorded its live Lake Effect On-Site in Bay View.

Editor's note: This piece was originally published Feb. 26, 2018.

For WUWM's second Lake Effect On-Site, the team headed to Bay View and paid special attention to one of the most distinctive neighborhoods in Milwaukee.

In front of a sold-out crowd at Enlightened Brewery and Twisted Path Distillery, Lake Effect's Mitch Teich and Bonnie North dug into some of what makes Bay View so great - its history, its vibrant dining and brewing scene, and its culture:

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Credit Audrey Nowakowski
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Ron Winkler with Lake Effect's Mitch Teich and Bonnie North.

Ron Winkler, member of the Bay View Historical Society and the author of Images of America: Bay View, started the event with some historical perspective: "In 1879, Bay View became a village. So it became a political entity," he explains. "It was really separate, and no longer under the jurisdiction of the Milwaukee Iron Company."

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Lake Effect's Mitch Teich and Bonnie North with Ron Winkler.

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Credit Audrey Nowakowski
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Kathy Flanigan up on stage.

Kathy Flanigan covers beer and beer culture for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and her latest book is called Beer Lovers Wisconsin - so it was only natural to speak with her about the role of beer and brewing in Bay View.

"We’re the only state that our church festivals are based on beer - it’s just a part of your life. Beer festivals aren’t only summer, they’re all year - there were just two last weekend. It’s what we do, it’s what we drink, it’s part of our heritage," she says.

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Lake Effect's Mitch Teich and Bonnie North with Kathy Flanigan.

READ: 'Beer Lover's Wisconsin Author Shares Four Milwaukee Area Breweries To Try

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Credit Audrey Nowakowski
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AJ Dixon (middle)

AJ Dixon, owner and head chef of Lazy Susan, expanded the conversation to Bay View's dining scene. Her restaurant is just behind Kinnickinnic Avenue, which is considered the hub of Bay View dining with over 20 restaurants on that street alone.

"I think the restaurant boom in Bay View, and in Milwaukee in general, is a great thing," she says. "It's great to see that we are becoming such a culinary city. We're finally putting ourselves on the map."

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Lake Effect's Mitch Teich and Bonnie North with AJ Dixon.

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Credit Audrey Nowakowski
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Jenny Benjamin reading a poem.

Bay View is, above all, a neighborhood of people, and a lot of the Milwaukee area’s creative community calls Bay View home. Novelist, poet and regular Lake Effect contributor Jenny Benjamin is one of Bay View's resident artists.

"I walk near the lake or I walk to the library and there are so many things going on. It's such a great neighborhood in feeling," she says. "[Bay View] influences images and lines in my poems - it just can't stay away."

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Lake Effect's Mitch Teich and Bonnie North with poet Jenny Benjamin.

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Credit Audrey Nowakowski
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Musician Willy Porter

Musician Willy Porter has been playing music around town and the world for decades, and recording it since 1990, or ‘88, if you count his self-released cassette.  You hear him every day on Lake Effect, since he wrote our theme music.

In addition to playing our guests on and off the stage during the entire show, Porter shared some songs and stories of his own. "I wrote [The Tasty Freeze] about a bicycle accident I had one day as a kid. There was a business called The Fudge Pump at the Bayside Shopping Mall, and The Fudge Pump was kind of a tragic name for a business, as you can imagine," he jokes.

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Lake Effect's Mitch Teich and Bonnie North with musician Willy Porter.

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(Left to right) Willy Porter, Bonnie North, Mitch Teich, Kathy Flanigan, AJ Dixon, Ron Winkler, & Jenny Benjamin.

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Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.
Audrey is a producer, host and reporter for Lake Effect. She is involved with every aspect of the show — from conducting interviews, editing audio, posting web stories and mixing the show together.
Joy Powers hosts and produces Lake Effect. She joined WUWM January 2016 as a producer for Lake Effect.