The Pfister Narrator

Meeting "The Captive"

One morning I was having breakfast in the lobby lounge and ended up speaking with a young lady. She was enjoying a Healthy Start Frittata and I’d ordered my favorite, The Vegetable Omelet. This young woman’s name was Jessica and we spoke about many things including art, cuisine…

07 Jan 11:10 AM 0 Read More...

Details, in photographs

So much of the Pfister Hotel is about details. See if you can pick out where I took some of these photos. A cheat list is included at the end. Happy Hunting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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03 Jan 4:11 PM 0 Read More...

Take your grandmother out for Afternoon Tea

Last weekend my grandma and I decided to go out for afternoon tea. I don’t believe anyone’s ever taken tea with my grandmother, aside from a bag she dropped in a mug above her stove. When my mom called to remind her, my grandma asked what she should…

23 Dec 6:43 PM 0 Read More...

A brief history of Spring Street, Grand Avenue, Wisconsin Avenue

The Pfister Hotel is located on Wisconsin Avenue and sandwiched between Jefferson, Milwaukee, and Mason Streets. 424 East Wisconsin Avenue to be exact. That may seem like a simple enough fact; Wisconsin Avenue is a main street through the heart of downtown Milwaukee, a city not coincidentally located in the…

20 Dec 6:38 AM 0 Read More...

My favorite lady lives on the 2nd floor

My mother has always had portraits of women around the house. Her taste for paintings and sculpture spans the 1870’s up to early art deco. Overall she’d probably list Monet as her favorite painter. I grew up with these ladies hanging around so they’ve probably influenced which…

13 Dec 12:49 AM 0 Read More...

The Good Life in Blu (is a cocktail too)

Last night I was able to listen to a concert with pianist Dr. Jeffrey Hollander. The good doctor plays every first Thursday of the month on the 23rd floor at Blu, the cocktail lounge which looks east over Lake Michigan. Patrons sat at tables which radiated from the piano. Couples…

03 Dec 2:12 AM 1 Read More...

Your City Through Visiting Eyes- "Absolutely Gobsmacked!"

 

The other night I was sitting in the lobby lounge editing photographs on my computer. Something a bar patron said caught my ear and made me laugh. I don’t remember what exactly he said, but the gentleman’s tone and volume invited anybody within earshot to join. Hearing…

28 Nov 10:43 PM 2 Read More...

Holiday Season Begins

Last year I took a seasonal job selling Christmas trees in Florida. Why Christmas trees? Why Florida? Because it’s seasonal and the job is over soon. It’s nice to spend a month in the warmth. They paid for my travel, a house we shared on the beach, and…

27 Nov 2:35 AM 0 Read More...

Generations of Serendipity Swirl Through the Pfister

It’s not every day a person informs you the place you work probably had a hand in their family escaping the Holocaust.

This past weekend the Pfister was blessed to host the wedding of Mr. Wiley Norden and Ms. Marissa Mullen. Marissa recently followed her career to Chicago but…

24 Nov 5:53 AM 3 Read More...

The Unexpectedness of Travel

One can plan all the details of a trip but one can never plan the end result. I spoke with this fella in the Pfister’s Lobby Lounge. His name is Joon and he’s a Chicago native who moonlighted in Milwaukee before moving back home to th’Windy.

This…

18 Nov 11:29 PM 2 Read More...

Veterans Day at the Pfister

This past Saturday I asked Pfister Chef Concierge Peter Mortensen (found out chef translates to “chief,” and not strictly the cuisine variety. Yep, I asked.) to grant me a tour of a few rooms and unique suites. The Pfister is actually two buildings, the initial 1893 Wisconsin Avenue building and…

14 Nov 9:58 PM 0 Read More...

The Pfister Hotel and Johnson Controls grew up together

Did you know the first building to (ever!) have temperature controls in each room was the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin? During the Industrial Revolution Johnson Controls and the Pfister Hotel grew up like two kids on the same block. Both also grew to garner international recognition in their chosen…

02 Nov 11:00 PM 0 Read More...

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...
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