“Checking In With” Carol, Our Sunday Brunch Host
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“Checking In With” Carol, Our Sunday Brunch Host

“Checking In With” Carol, Sunday Brunch Host Here at The Pfister, I treat everyone the same.  I know they’re human beings: they all put their pants legs on one leg at a time. I have been in hospitality for thirty years–I started out in banquets here at the Hotel–but I also have a huge theater background.  I […]

“It Doesn’t Cost a Lot of Money to Be Nice”
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“It Doesn’t Cost a Lot of Money to Be Nice”

For their 60th wedding anniversary, they went to Bora Bora. For their 61st, Niagara Falls. For their 62nd, Nashville, their 63rd Dallas. They had a staycation in a Kauai Hilton last year. And for this, their 65th anniversary, Joanne told Jim to surprise her.   Even a couple of hours before her anniversary dinner at […]

Jazz Virgin
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Jazz Virgin

I admit it.  I’m a jazz virgin. But The Pfister Hotel is going to initiate me. At the Mason Street Grill on Wednesday evening, after listening to part of a set by the Jamie Breiwick/Mark Davis Duo, I snuck up to a table where a woman was sitting alone. Her companion had just temporarily vacated his […]

“You Can’t Take My Bones”
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“You Can’t Take My Bones”

Last Thursday evening, I had an hour to kill before I met a good friend and colleague for dinner in Bay View.  Dressed in my “Pfister casual,” as I’m calling it–dark denim and an almost black-blue and silver short-sleeved shirt–I settled into one of the sofas in the lobby, ordered an Old Fashioned from Ellie, […]

Under the Spreading Chestnut: Mother’s Day Brunch, Part IV
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Under the Spreading Chestnut: Mother’s Day Brunch, Part IV

In this final installment of lunch with Mercedes’ clan, we write a poem together, inspired by Nick and Liza’s story about the loss of the stack of love poems decades ago.  Or was the flurry of words that were floating and flinging across the table seeking a resting place?  Whatever the reason, I pulled a […]

My Door Was Always Open: Mother’s Day Brunch, Part III
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My Door Was Always Open: Mother’s Day Brunch, Part III

Continued from the previous post entitled “We Are a Corporation”: MERCEDES, who now lives on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, has been coming to the Pfister for many years since her daughter MARIA moved to Milwaukee from the South Bronx almost twenty years ago.  This winter, she came to Milwaukee to support MARIA through back surgery, […]

We Are a Corporation: Mother’s Day Brunch, Part II
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We Are a Corporation: Mother’s Day Brunch, Part II

Set in the Grand Ballroom of the historic Pfister Hotel, in present day Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Two gigantic chandeliers divide the room, which is framed in gold, with walls covered in Victorian art.  A Puerto Rican family with American roots in the South Bronx and Manhattan’s Lower East Side dominates a table toward the back of […]

Thirteen Blackbirds: Mother’s Day Brunch, Part I
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Thirteen Blackbirds: Mother’s Day Brunch, Part I

In the days leading up to the Pfister’s famous Mother’s Day brunch this past Sunday, I began wondering why we brunch in the first place. I knew that the word was a portmanteau of “breakfast” and “lunch.”  And I remembered gorging (I mean, feasting) on scrumptious delights in Las Vegas–filling plates with eggs benedict, haricot […]

An Introduction: Prequel No. 1
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An Introduction: Prequel No. 1

Greetings, Milwaukee! While Narrator Emeritus Jonathan West’s photograph and bio still linger on the sidebar–it’s no wonder, since he has become such a presence and voice at the Pfister over the past year–I offer you two “prequels” to my first official post as Pfister Hotel Narrator, in which I will formally introduce myself and give […]