88Nine Radio Milwaukee

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RadioMilwaukee's Community Stories Best of 2010 - The Neighborhood Project!

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Listen: We continue our week-long look back at some highlights from RadioMilwaukee's 2010 community stories! After the long Wisconsin winter, as the city begins to thaw, we get out and explore our communities during The Neighborhood Project. In 2010, we met 7 geographically diverse neighborhoods in Milwaukee, where we found both profound differences and similarities. Our neighborhoods were Martin Drive, Walker's Point, Lindsay Heights, East Tosa, Clarke Square, Havenwoods, and Harambee.

For me, there were so many fascinating people and moments and conversation -- this city is teeming with stories! It was a huge challenge, but I spent some time picking out a handful of particularly memorable pieces.

I've had a lot of life-firsts while holding a microphone, but none can surpass the first time I'd ever gotten a straight razor shave at Handsome Barbers. Welcome to the T-Side indeed:

[audio=http://www.radiomilwaukee.org/sites/default/files/mp3/podcast/08039%20NP...(Handsome%20Barbers%20II)_0.mp3]

Sometimes during an interview, I will hear the piece coming to life on the air. Sitting at a table in East Tosa, everything locked into place. A great storyteller telling a great story -- how Cranky Al's Bakery and Pizza on 69th and North came to be:

[audio=1]

As I listen back to this story from Manni Marquez of the Zilber Neighborhood Initiative, I still get goosebumps -- an amazing story of transformation for an individual and community:

[audio=2]

When I was in Harambee, I asked around for folks who I should talk to in the neighborhood -- as soon as I heard the name "Momma Donna," I knew there was something wonderful behind that name. A phone call, a short bike ride and there I was sitting next to Momma Donna on her porch:

[audio=3]

This piece came together in an unusual way -- normally, when I'm sifting back through an interview, I'll cut out my questions. For this interview, 88Nine Production Assistant Benjamin Wick did the first review of the audio and put a flag by the long comment I make towards the end of the piece. I would have never thought of leaving in my part of that conversation, but it just seemed to fit in the final piece. Together, Julia and I pull together some of the large themes we go after in the Neighborhood Project:

[audio=4]

It's hard to just pick 5, but those are some of my favorites. Explore the rest yourself! And come back tomorrow for our recap of Safe Streets, Healthy Kids in 2010.