Bubbler Talk

Lauren Sigfusson

A fire truck making its way to a scene, sirens blazing, is a common sight in cities and towns across America. But within the Milwaukee Fire Department (MFD), there's a support staff responsible for maintaining all the equipment firefighters depend on.

For this week's Bubbler Talk — our series that allows you to ask WUWM questions about Milwaukee —questioner Jay Blanchett wanted to know about a special kind of fire truck:

miller-park-milwaukee-open-roof-brewers
Tom Lynn/Stringer, Getty Images

The Milwaukee Brewers' Miller Park has a roof hotline – 414-902-4636 – that tells callers the weather and if the roof is open or closed. That way fans know what to expect when they head to a ball game. But how do the Brewers decide whether the Miller Park roof is open or closed at game time?

That’s a question Bubbler Talk received from listener Lila Johnson.

Lauren Sigfusson

For this week’s Bubbler Talk, we tackled a request from Kathy Yanoff of Shorewood to provide an update on the Brady Street Beasts. The beasts Kathy refers to are actually part of a sculpture featuring fanciful creatures on Milwaukee’s east side, called Cavorting Critters. 

It’s tucked away near the corner of Brady and Holton streets north of downtown, and you can get the best view while walking or driving over the Holton Street Bridge.

civil-rights-eagles-club-milwaukee-protest-history
Courtesy of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

What was the Eagles Ballroom before it became The Rave? That’s a question we’ve heard a lot at Bubbler Talk and it turns out there are a lot of answers.

The Eagles Club on Wisconsin Avenue was first completed in 1926. It was the headquarters for the Milwaukee Aerie of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles – a national social organization with a rather illustrious history.

koi-fish-paintings-milwaukee-black-cat-alley
Lauren Sigfusson

If you do much walking through Milwaukee neighborhoods, say in the Historic Third Ward or Bay View, you’ve probably stumbled across vibrant schools of fish painted on the sidewalks.

They're koi, the large decorative fish some people keep in outdoor ponds.

I spotted a few of the paintings on the East Side, where several clusters of koi are depicted in orange, black and white patterns. 

Maayan Silver

This story originally aired September 8, 2017. According to TMJ4, At Random closed on May 19, 2018 and is up for sale.

Pink Squirrel, Grasshopper, Brandy Alexander, Banshee... Is there something uniquely Milwaukee about ice cream cocktails? 

Audrey Nowakowski

If you live, work, or drive through downtown Milwaukee, chances are your route has been interrupted by the sound of a dinging bell and the bellow of a horn as a bridge prepares to allow a boat pass.

After all, Milwaukee is home to 21 movable bridges, which cross the Menomonee, Kinnickinnic, and Milwaukee rivers.

Courtesy of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Summer is the favorite time of year for most beach-goers. But Milwaukee once was home to a unique fellow who tanned year-round at the lakefront. Our Bubbler Talk questioner wanted to know: Who was that guy?

Many people who lived in Milwaukee before 2000, like Cynthia Hoffman, know the answer. The man was the late Dick Bacon.

Susan Bence

A Bubbler Talk listener was curious about Milwaukee's breakwater, wondering where the rocks came from, and how they ended up standing in the middle of the harbor. WUWM Environmental Reporter Susan Bence explored the subject for this week's segment.

To kick off our sixth season of Bubbler Talk, Susan turned to Larry Sullivan, chief engineer with Milwaukee’s Port Authority. She asked him about the history of the breakwater structure.

“It was built by the federal government to create a harbor of refuge, for boats to get away from the storm,” Sullivan says.

Chuck Cooper Foundation

When you think of the NBA in Milwaukee - of course, the Milwaukee Bucks come to mind. We’ve got Giannis, Jabari, and a new arena in the works. But what was pro basketball like here before the Bucks?

Bonnie North

Raise your hand if this is how your typical Friday night goes: If you aren’t ill or out of town, you are probably somewhere like the North Shore American Legion Post 331 in Shorewood. You might be meeting friends after a long week at work. You’re probably there for a beer or an old fashioned (make mine a brandy sour, please). And, you are definitely there enjoying a fish fry.

Our beloved fish fry is what makes Friday nights extra special in Milwaukee – and around the entire state of Wisconsin.

The meal most likely consists of cabbage, rye bread, potato, and fish.

WUWM

Our latest Bubbler Talk report involves the large metal tower at the entrance to Estabrook Park, near the border of Milwaukee and Shorewood. The listener asked: "What is the giant ugly metal tower used for?"

He might be surprised to learn that the tower houses WUWM's antenna, along with that of WITI Channel 6, and a couple other radio stations.

Mitch Teich

When was the last time you went to the Milwaukee County Zoo? Did you see the polar bear? You didn't feed it anything, right? Well, Bubbler Talk question asker Jessica Ols has been wondering about her trips to the zoo in the early 1980s...

What's The Story With Milwaukee's Police Call Boxes?

Mar 23, 2018
Kristine Hinrichs

Even if you’ve spent only a little time in Milwaukee, you’ve likely noticed some unusual figures lurking on city sidewalks. They’re big and blue, dotting street corners across Milwaukee. 

One sits right outside Kristine Hinrichs’ condo downtown, on the corner of 3rd Street and St. Paul Avenue.

“I’ve lived downtown almost 25 years, and they’re everywhere,” Hinrichs remarks.

Joy Powers

Bowling. It’s as Wisconsin as cheese curds and Packers gear. Some have even called Milwaukee "America’s 10-pin Capital" in reference to ten-pin bowling, the most common form of the sport. But there’s another kind of bowling that’s also popular in the area, and it’s a little quacky. 

Listener Shelley Peters reached out to Bubbler Talk because she wanted to know more about it.

Pages