All posts tagged: W. National Ave.

“I’m ready to settle down and just be who I am”

Kevin Carlton stands just outside a cluttered garage south of National Avenue in an alley off of 47th Street. Carlton, who displays tattoos from under a cut-off white shirt, has only been in Milwaukee for two years, but it’s been a long road here. “I grew up in a rough family; my dad died when I was 2 — he got hit by a drunk driver on the freeway and mom raised five of us,” he says. “I was the youngest one out of the clan, so, I really didn’t have a chance to miss him. But, you know, earthquakes and the beaches — I love the beaches; that’s all I miss. California is full of people, too crowded.”

“The best job I had was the military”

Christopher Lee looks out on a cold, rainy day from the top step of the Dryhootch cafe on West National Avenue. Lee, who’s missing his three front teeth and has a bloodshot eye, holds a white cup in his right hand; the Milwaukee VA Medical Center, 5000 W. National Ave., sprawls behind him. “I joined the military comin’ out of Bay View high School back in ‘89 and, uh, I was still in high school,” Christopher says. “I’m just hangin’ out — they’ve got weekend hours, which is good. Right now, I am currently homeless — been that way for a little while, technically. But, for the most part, everything is halfway good.”

“You had to learn how to take care of yourself”

Jared Lazarevich pawns his wares from the front yard of 827 Shea Ave. in Silver City. A man walks up with an offer, pointing. “I’ll give you a hundred twenty bucks for the…” “For the PA system?” asks Lazarevich. “Yeah.” “You’ll take it?” “Yup,” he confirms. Lazarevich, who grew up on Mitchell Street in a single-parent household, says he’s simply accumulated the impressive selection over time. “A lot of the stuff came from––the jerseys came from me and my brother just growin’ up. A lot of the glassware came from out of my grandfather’s bar and stuff like that; stuff given away, given to us, you know, in the past. Some of this stuff came from my uncle’s estate who just passed away. So, you know, here and there it just adds up.”