Shopping, eating, & people watching in downtown MKE
Last week was the second Newaukee Night Market of the summer. Basically they shut down the stretch of Wisconsin Ave along Grand Avenue Mall and bring in food vendors, local artists, and all kinds of entertainment for a pop-up market in the heart of downtown.
First order of business: Bring cash. Adam and I went home hungry because every food vendor we approached was cash only. I don't know that they are all necessarily cash only — maybe we just had bad luck. But the cash-only food looked and smelled absolutely amazing, so we will for sure be bringing bills and pigging out next time.
If you're a shopper, make sure you get there earlier. I found that as it got darker, it got harder to shop (some booths didn't have the best lighting). And the shopping is so worth it. Handmade Milwaukee merch, soaps, candles, jewelry, drawings, paintings... The list goes on. As we walked around, all I could think was "I wish I had gobs of money to support all you local geniuses!" Alas, no gobs of money here.
Beyond food and shopping, there's entertainment throughout the market. We passed a giant game of chess, an ice sculptor, and breakdancers turning flips and handstands to a DJ's beat. There were a lot of people — and a great mix of people. The entire scene felt like a coming together to support local businesses, celebrate summer in Milwaukee, and breathe some life into an otherwise sad stretch of this downtown street. Here's hoping this effort by Newaukee leads to more great things for city center — I know the Night Market certainly shined a spotlight on all its potential. This year's final two Newaukee Night Markets are August 19th and September 16th.