May 2, 2008

Was it Racine or New Orleans Friday night?

David Figge of the Racine Kilties played on Main Street

It was the second First Friday of the year, and it couldn't have started out on a better note

Sixth Street merchants were smiling -- no, absolutely beaming -- at having gotten their street back again on Thursday, the first phase of this year's construction work completed. Not just on time, but almost a week early.

The afternoon's nasty weather was barely a memory. The streets were dry, the sky was the bluest of blues and the sun was shining. Music came from everywhere: jazz from a pick-up twosome the far end of Sixth, bluesy tunes from Monument Square, heavy metal at the lower end of Main; Irish folk, blues -- even a lone trumpet! -- and who knows what else inbetween. (Would you believe some Civil War soldiers?) Racine was a poor name for downtown; for a while it felt more like New Orleans.

Shoppers and music lovers wandered around, into this store, listening to that music. Mothers with sleepy kids; a dad showing his three-year-old what an orange 1957 (I'm guessing) BelAir hardtop Chevrolet in mint condition looks like. (Very, very sharp!) It wasn't a large crowd at the start, but it was an enthusiastic one.

Unfortunately, it was cut short by a little rain after not quite two hours. The smart browsers went inside to continue enjoying the music. The wimps -- me, in other words -- headed home on the Vespa, hoping to avoid the wife's "I told you it was going to rain."

Some scenes from the evening:

Gary and DeAnn Lekas in Monument Square

Jim Bednarek filling in for the babysitting Bennett Carl on Sixth

Paul Kaye in JavaVino's courtyard

Cheryl McCrary and the Heir-Born Praise Band, from Nesting

Jeff Ward, inside Molly MaGruder

Kids made pottery keepsakes at Fired Up!

Dad found the car of his dreams parked on Main Street;
( daughter unimpressed)

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War at the Racine Heritage Museum


  1. As bad as New Orleans is with crime and and the devistation left behind from Katrina. It is foolish for anyone to compare Racine to New Orleans. Racine is still much worse of a city the New Orleans ever could be.

  2. wow your attitude is really what racine need. How could we ever become something if people like you have such neagtive attitudes like this?