The Pfister Narrator

We Are The Larvae Eaters

“Next year we we’ll have 120 pounds of honey coming outta the two hives,” says Brian Frakes, Pfister head chef and as of this year, beekeeper. He takes me up to the roof; where 24 stories above the ground the bees await their sugar water refill. He lights the…

02 Jul 10:03 PM 0 Read More...

The Godfathers

The first time I ever went into the Pfister was when my godfathers (I have two) spontaneously invited me for a hamburger in the café. I didn’t know regular people from the local population could do that sort of thing, and I was nervous to be dining at an…

29 Jun 10:54 PM 0 Read More...

For You, For You, I Skitter-Skatter In The Dark

At my desk I get a good view of the lobby flowers that get changed regularly. Two weeks ago they were a purple irises. Back in the day there used to be a whole courtship code that was communicated by flower arrangements. If a suitor gave me a bouquet of…

26 Jun 11:52 PM 0 Read More...

Ambassadors of Rugby

Do you remember the poet who died at age 25? The famous one named Rupert Brooke who wrote during world war one? Rugby. Salman Rushdie, Lewis Carroll, Rugby School. Yes, we know Rugby is a sport, but it is a place with roads and soil too. Val and her husband…

21 Jun 11:11 PM 0 Read More...

"We are staying here for the junk mail conference."

Some days I’ll consult the hotel’s itinerary and try out other people’s conferences. Recently, I attended the Printing and Mailing Conference. They had “dimensional packaging sessions,” and forums on why LinkedIn is important. Though I have a profile on there I still don’t know why LinkedIn…

19 Jun 12:24 PM 0 Read More...

Without Getting Even Slightly Frazzled

Dr. Hollander likes to talk and play at the same time. This afternoon he invites me to pull up a chair and keep him company.   He hasn’t any sheet music with him but there’s no song he can’t play on the lobby piano. Aware of this, I…

12 Jun 11:09 PM 0 Read More...

Recent Occurrences

 

Nik Kovac, Milwaukee’s east side alderman

emerges out a lobby elevator in his usual blazer

but a pair of swim trunks are peeking out of his pocket.

He says he came to swim in the highest pool in town,

“It defies physics to have a pool on the…

08 Jun 10:11 PM 1 Read More...

They Seem Very Busy

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…

05 Jun 11:20 AM 0 Read More...

25 Pedestrians of Milwaukee on a Friday at 4:30p.m.

On the twenty-third floor I go to the windows to learn about the pedestrians of Milwaukee.

A man is just off work from a job where they blast air conditioning, see his long sleeves? This man is free now but carries the burden of his day and his backpack…

31 May 2:20 PM 2 Read More...

"The Painting" By Joe

Mr. Joe Charney, Pfister lobby lounge frequent visitor, has already been written about by the two hotel narrators before me. And much of what he told me was also accurately described in those blog posts. But not everything! Here you will see why Mr. Charney needs a third story, my…

30 May 1:23 PM 0 Read More...

Hey Historians Of The Future, READ THIS!!!

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…

24 May 5:11 PM 0 Read More...

Breakfast

“Breakfast,” by: Léon Francois Comerre (born 1850, died 1916), Oil on canvas, 48” x 28”

There is a woman who continually offers me breakfast as I type at my desk. She always hangs behind my chair, oblivious to my working status.  She is confident that I have just finished…

18 May 11:19 PM 2 Read More...

Under the Pfister Sky

In the lounge I spy a woman with two screens: a glowing tablet in her lap and a texting device in her hand.  I decide I must approach this woman of information. All at the same time she is reading, texting someone and telling me, “I’m not actually all…

15 May 11:05 AM 0 Read More...

Math Guy

What the heck am I doing at the 23rd floor bar as a solo woman in her 20’s with no intention to drink anything stronger than tonic water?  It’s 10 p.m., all lights are mostly out, the voices are quiet, ice clinks.  I am sober as a…

10 May 10:16 AM 1 Read More...

Tuesday Afternoon Reverie

It is 2:21 p.m. and here’s what is going down:  a recording of violin music saturates the air.  Someone walks past hauling a 2.88 (or so) foot long camcorder.  The fronds of a palm tree sensuously caress the south column.  A security guard carefully explains how…

06 May 11:03 PM 0 Read More...

Promenade?

Today at the Pfister there were five marvelous maidens and two dapper dandies preparing to promenade. I observed much fluffing and adjusting of sequined petticoats that resemble floor-length tutus.  Their parents were there too, but in a separate camera flash filled cluster.  Initially, I was planning on just walking…

04 May 9:00 AM 0 Read More...

Renée

This is my last blog as the Pfister Narrator. I have been thinking a long time about how I want to end this magickal year, and suddenly, it came to me – strongly and clearly like the light of the moon through a bedroom window.

I will document my recent hotel…

30 Apr 8:27 PM 0 Read More...

Five signs it’s time for me to leave the Pfister

Truth be told, my year as the Pfister Narrator flew by and I really don’t want to leave the position. However, the eloquent, wise words of Robert Frost once again filter through my brain: nothing gold can stay.

And really, there are five signs that make me think the…

29 Apr 5:00 PM 0 Read More...

Announcing the 7th Pfister Narrator - Anja Notanja Sieger

We are absolutely elated to name Anja Notanja Sieger as our seventh “Pfister Narrator.” In this role, she will spend time in the hotel’s lobby and public spaces, typing letters and poems on site, speaking with visitors and guests and sharing their stories right here on our award-winning…

29 Apr 10:45 AM 1 Read More...

Dancing through life

Dressed in their “Sunday best,” three sixth grade students from Hartford Avenue School perched on the edge of a sofa in the Pfister Lobby Bar – all with gold trophies in their laps.

“How did you get those?” I asked.

“For dancing!” They said in unison.

They were there with their…

27 Apr 2:30 PM 0 Read More...

Unusual collection makes fine recipe for life satisfaction

When Shari and Al asked Pfister executive chef Brian Frakes to sign a toque (chef’s hat), he was honored.

“I was truly honored and requested to be displayed between (celebrated Chicago-based chef) Charlie Trotter and Julia Childs, both heroes in the business,” says Frakes.

Shari and Al obliged…

19 Apr 12:53 PM 0 Read More...

Pfister familiar faces

As the Pfister Narrator, I’ve had the chance to meet people from all over the world including Cambodia, Germany and California. One of my favorite things to do is watch guests from afar and wonder where they are from and why they are at the Pfister before I approach…

16 Apr 8:23 PM 0 Read More...

Luckily, he has a sense of humor

When I found out that Brian was staying at the Pfister on business from Nashville – a place I’ve never been but have on my Bucket List – I was full of questions. Unfortunately, the majority of them were, accidentally, stereotypes.

Whoops.

I start by asking him if he likes music…

15 Apr 12:55 PM 0 Read More...

Blu on blue

I never knew much about Denim Day until this year when I interviewed a woman for OnMilwaukee.com named Dawn Helmrich, a sexual abuse survivor who is responsible for launching Denim Day in Milwaukee.

Denim Day was started after a woman in Italy was raped by her driving instructor. The…

11 Apr 1:07 PM 0 Read More...

So many strings attached: chatting with violinists

The first time Pat stepped foot in the Pfister Hotel was in 1968, and she was immediately smitten.

She came to Milwaukee from Cleveland to audition to be a violinist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the auditions took place in the space which is now Blu on the top…

05 Apr 5:20 PM 0 Read More...
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