Yeah, humans are social creatures
you know, we see faces
inside clouds, fungus and tea stains.
Children conduct full-length conversations
with “pet” rocks and plush dinosaurs,
then as adults, they still try to assign meaning
to their frighteningly mysterious days
through science, philosophy, religion,
art, astrology or psychology.
Barbara has been giving tours for the Milwaukee Art Museum over a half century.
“When I first came to the museum, there were eight employees.”
This January I started my fifty-second year.
I retired when I was 50,
but I’m still going in,
teaching and working
We ate our last lunch together at the Pfister,
my Grandma and I
I wrote a story about it the other week,
except then I did not know it would be our last meal
when I sat next to Grandma
and we both ordered the salmon salad
Two of my second cousins are in town
so my Grandma and Mom take us all out
to a Monday noon lunch at the Pfister café.
My cousin Courtney, lifelong Texas resident
introduces us to her new husband, Michael
who, to our collective delight is as Wisconsin as
There is a couple from Madison that comes here every year. They spend the week after thanksgiving sitting quietly side by side in the Pfister café, the wife with an unidentified electronic contraption, the husband with a book of games to solve. It is a docile, wintry afternoon, one in…
The day after Thanksgiving, Santa makes an appearance at the Pfister Hotel the same evening as the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. That’s great, kids love the opportunity to tell the man direct what it is they wish for. But what about everyone else? Once you grow up you still…
The following people shared their Thanksgiving Plans:
Location: Artist studio
Context: One Pfister Artist Niki’s interns, Arianna spent her day crocheting condoms into upholstery for Niki’s fainting couch.
“I’m going to my fake aunt’s house. I actually met her on the bus…
I am sitting in Blu by myself so that no one will distract me as I eavesdrop in on the conversations. Some old ladies are giggling about martinis. An old man is taking all the plush chairs away from my table to build a nest for all his companions. One…
Until today, I hadn’t seen my friend Kiera in nine years. The last time I saw her we were having one last group sleepover at my house the week before we each moved out of Milwaukee to seek our higher educations in other cities. I went to Missouri for…
I weighed one pound fourteen ounces,
carried four and a half months.
I was the record until 1971.
I was the size of a big tomato,
except I was long
you could put me in a shoebox.
They put five months on my birth certificate
but it was really four…
This hotel is rife with whiz-bang creators. At any hour someone with an opinion on Salavador Dali is likely to state it from behind a counter, since so much of the staff identifies with being an artist of some sort. Certainly, there is an official resident artist and an…
I am walking outside along the outdoor customers of the Mason Street Grill when I witness a woman in her thirties fly up from her seat to stand before her friends and wildly gesture with her whole body. Her four friends shriek and howl with laughter so I stop to…
A yoga instructor and a fashion designer walk into the Pfister. They are from Portland. This is not a joke. Well, maybe it is. Kimberlee and Ashley pose with baby Quinn in front of the painting of kittens in a basket. Quinn wants to hold my hand (and her mother…
The woman does not want to be identified.
The woman can make you an iced coffee.
The woman frequently makes me an earl grey
with a side of questions concerning Harry Potter.
She first read Harry Potter as a high school student
back in her homeland, the third major…
I am at my typewriter when a woman comes up to me with a request for a love letter. The reason for her love letter being ordered: the two of them are apart while her partner goes on an extended trip to Boston, Winnipeg and Lake Forest to pursue the…
Ranachith “Ronnie” Yimsut is a genocide survivor, an orphan and a refugee. He is also a brother, husband, father, architect, author, teacher and social justice activist.
But more than anything, Ronnie is an inspiration.
I met Ronnie in the Cafe at the Pfister and I don’t think I have…
John Miller has been coming to brunch at the Pfister Café every Sunday with his family for the past eight years. It’s a post-church tradition that has continued to grow, along with with his family.
Henry Miller (the superhero-in-training, not the author) is 16 months old…
Winter is knocking, and the temperature is dropping. What better way to keep the pulse going at the Pfister than introducing a new menu in the Café. With over a dozen new delicious options, we’re hoping we can please any palette that stops for lunch at the Café this…
When people wax poetic about “the good old days,” it’s not often that they’re referring to the 15th century.
“Artists had it best during the Medici period,” my table mate says to me. She’s referring to the Italian dynasty famously credited for ushering forth the Renaissance. Their…
Sure, summer is coming to an end, but while they’re available, you can still enjoy the delicious tastes of summer that Chef Brian has put together for the Cafe Pfister’s menu. Including two of Chef Brian’s favorites, the WELLspa Caprese Salad and the incredible Floribbean Panini.
Who doesn’t love a cinnamon roll? For generations they have been a staple in kitchens in Northern Europe and North America.
There are few things that can beat the wonderful aroma of cinnamon and freshly baked, buttery bread. Then you finally get to taste the warm, sweet and gooey…
I sensed them before I saw them. A carbonated excitement that pushed aside the steady hum of the front lobby. It was a gaggle of girls, perhaps 10 or 11 years old. They had tote bags on their shoulders and duffle bags dropped to their feet. Their small group, roughly…
“I’m going to be 22.”
That was Joe’s answer when I asked how old he was. His response was shared with a grin in that adorable way that only people up to a certain age are excited to tell you how old they’re going to be.
A young girl
tells her grandfather
she’s learning to write.
the yellow pencils
and blue lined paper
She tells him she’s learned
how to write her name.
“Well that’s magnificent!”
“I’d love to read your handwriting.
Travelers. Travelers everywhere. Transient folks of every stripe walking, running, sitting, working, swimming, eating. Carrying luggage. Grabbing a cup of coffee. Adding sugar to their tea. En route toward somewhere. Arriving from someplace else.
Ah, airports. All of humanity distilled to a small area becoming a sudden, immediate culture…