In my City of Milwaukee neighborhood, I've noticed that Department of Public Works crews have been out painting fire hydrants. Some of them have been getting green tops. I didn't know why. So, I asked.
There are books I keep on my desk because they are not only fascinating - with every page you flip to offering some sort of interesting detail on Milwaukee history - but because they're also encyclopedic. Jim Ley's new book has now become one of them.
There's something about an old fire house. Even a crumbling one. Thirty years ago, the old Engine Co. No. 3 house at 217 W. National Ave. was already rough around the edges and sitting unused for the intervening decades did little to improve things. But, still, the place held an allure for restaurateur Peter Sandroni, whose acclaimed La Merenda sits just a block and a half east.