Our Quaint Spirits

A 1yr-old tiger cub is racing around the lobby.  He bounds and leaps down the main hallway, creeps by the lobby tables and pounces on the stair steps.  With his muted “Rawwwwrrr,” he terrorizes the guests – terrorizes them with his cuteness.

It’s Halloween and this adorable nipper is…

31 Oct 9:47 PM 3 Read More...

The Fuel of Magnificence

“When I first decided to be a professional artist, I wanted that fishbowl experience, so I got a storefront studio,” Reggie says.

“It’s not intimidating to discover an artist in public space,” adds Caitlin.

A group of us are seated in the Lobby Lounge, discussing the two residency programs…

29 Oct 5:52 PM 0 Read More...

Words in Blu

An artist, a summer camp director, a theatre operations manager, a board member, and two poets walk into a bar.  There is no punchline, this is something that happened a few weeks ago.

“Hello sir,” the bartender greets them as they arrive, setting a napkin on the bar, “what can…

25 Oct 4:10 PM 0 Read More...

Letter to a New Narrator

As the proverbial pen is about to passed to the next Pfister Narrator, recently chosen through hours and hours of deliberation by a committee of writers, editors, marketers and businessfolk, and soon to be announced, I wanted to pass the pen not only to my successor, but also extend it…

20 Oct 10:08 PM 1 Read More...

Not Everyone has a Story

And sometimes not having a story is the story.

Let me give you an example.

Today was a day so busy – everyone moving to or from something, and even the gathered groups in waiting are in stasis, with any outsider’s approach treated as an interruption – that the person most…

15 Oct 9:08 PM 0 Read More...

A Knock at the Door

Knocking once, Blake calmly sings out, “Rooooom ser-vice.”

Silence.  Through the door, we can hear the sound of a television.  Blake raises his hand slightly, the one that isn’t balancing a tray, considers knocking again when a voice comes from within, “Just a minute.”

The door opens.  “Evening…

12 Oct 8:09 PM 0 Read More...

Finding Your Roots in Milwaukee

Joe, the newest addition to the lobby bartending staff, is standing behind the green marble countertop, polishing a glass; his black pants, stiff white tuxedo shirt and black vest with gold-threaded “ThePfister” monogram crisp in its newness.  “I just had the best calamari in the city,” he says, “at…

08 Oct 10:00 PM 0 Read More...

Clap, Clap, Clap-Clap-Clap

Milwaukee is hot with Brewers fever right now. Skyscrapers have windows lit up in a pattern that reads “GO MB!” and the scrolling signs on the fronts of the city buses stream route numbers alternating with “Go Milwaukee Brewers!” Sculptured sheep that graze peacefully in empty storefronts now wear team…

06 Oct 3:53 PM 0 Read More...

Dinner for Books

“Life is a bunch of crazy!” interjects the young man seated across from me at a table in one of the back rooms of Mason Street Grill, as he shakes his head with slow acceptance of this fact.  Nate, 14, is the son of one of the dinner guests, herself…

29 Sep 9:01 PM 3 Read More...

Faith, Family and Friends

This Sunday, thousands of women who were breast cancer survivors and fighters, along with their friends, families and supporters, gathered in the rain at the lakefront for the annual Susan G. Komen race for the cure.  Somewhere in that crowd were some folks likely staying the night in one of…

26 Sep 8:10 PM 0 Read More...

Relakin

In Colorado, you have “relatives” and in Kentucky you have “kin.”  So what happens when a group of people from both states work together and play together so often they consider each other family?  Well, the Colorado folk now have kin, and the Kentucky folk now have relatives!  And what…

22 Sep 4:16 PM 1 Read More...

The Turk's Head

Jimmy McManus sits at a table in the lobby bar, having a beer.  He’s heavily bearded, gruff and scruffy, in a t-shirt featuring a skull & crossbones, drinking a nice pint of beer.  His appearance indicate you might not want to run into him in a dark alley…

16 Sep 6:50 PM 0 Read More...

Feeling Famous

When hearing a front desk employee greet a savvily dressed guest, it’s hard not to wonder, “who is that?” and lunge for a newspaper, cross-referencing  to see if it might be a celebrity.  It’s no secret that the Pfister is one of the hotels of distinction for…

10 Sep 9:37 PM 0 Read More...

Made in Milwaukee, Found in the Pfister

A foursome of guests was querying Roc, the concierge, about what to check out nearby the Pfister today.  He shared with them a few restaurants and then suggested they check out a little festival in its third year, called “Made in Milwaukee.”  Featuring local bands, local food and libations, as…

03 Sep 10:46 PM 0 Read More...

Honor

The sort of gentleman who would be described as “distinguished,” John Harris is 67 years old, though I told him he doesn’t look a day over 61. Straight-backed, and impeccably dressed in a tailored suit for the wedding he’s here to attend, John drapes both his hands…

31 Aug 11:20 PM 0 Read More...

Fall Right Through

Gwen and Adam are seeing their daughter off to college at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. They’re in town to help their daughter settle in to her new life here, as well as renovate a cottage near Oconomowoc for future visits.  Originally from Waukesha, Gwen met Adam, an Ohio…

26 Aug 9:38 AM 0 Read More...

Who Let the Dogs In?

One morning as I enjoyed breakfast with a writer friend in the Café, talking books and playing cribbage, I watched a compact car pull up to the valet; hanging out the back window was the enormous, shaggy, tri-color head that’s signature to the Bernese Mountain Dog. A little…

23 Aug 5:36 PM 0 Read More...

To Walk or To Ride?

There was a steaming mist in all the hollows, and it had roamed in its forlornness up the hill, like an evil spirit, seeking rest and finding none. A clammy and intensely cold mist, it made its slow way through the air in ripples that visibly followed and overspread one…

19 Aug 2:53 AM 2 Read More...

Something borrowed, something blue

Summers in Milwaukee are made for weddings, with blue skies, light lake breezes and sunshine peering through drifting white, fluffy clouds.  Any picturesque historic locale books up far in advance, even in a mid-size city like Milwaukee.  There’s a lot of competition  options for weddings in this town…

15 Aug 6:25 PM 0 Read More...

Something Old, Something New

I recently got to get acquainted with a freelance marketer, sports journalist and travel blogger from Texas named Jayme Lamm, who I met at the Pfister because Jayme was connected with the Astros and had heard about how wonderful it was from both the tour and booking managers for the…

12 Aug 1:43 AM 2 Read More...

History in the Air (Pt. 2)

<continued from Part 1>

“Every Sunday – it was a must – they’d take walks together, down to the lake.  There wasn’t a house or building there, it was all grass.  Just imagine how beautiful that was.  One time they were walking through an alley together, as a…

06 Aug 3:16 PM 4 Read More...

History in the Air (Pt. 1)

“Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.”  -Theodore Roosevelt
I park in front of the Bay View home of Eleanore Hinich, admiring…

05 Aug 3:18 PM 2 Read More...

9 o'clock on a Saturday

While the evening was waning for most of Gallery Night attendees in the Third Ward — and elsewhere around the city — in the main ballroom off the Pfister lobby, Rouge, the party was just beginning.  In the center of the room, quite literally taking main stage, was a set-up ready…

30 Jul 11:20 PM 1 Read More...

Games People Play

There’s a clattering sound that breaks into the still, Sunday afternoon quiet of the lobby lounge.  It’s startling, but muted enough that nobody else turns to look.  When I do look, I see wooden blocks, scattered over the top of one of the lobby tables, as three young…

29 Jul 5:44 PM 0 Read More...

Things That Make You Go "Mmmm!"

I’m standing with one of the bellmen at the main entrance when a hotel events coordinator approaches to let the young man know about an important arrival: 30 boxes of cookies that will need to go immediately into a refrigerator, so she needs to be notified as soon as…

23 Jul 9:32 PM 2 Read More...
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