The Pfister Narrator

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 2 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...

Forever a Pfister family

I have one month left as the Pfister Narrator, and so, I am enjoying the final days, looking ahead to my future endeavors and reflecting on the beauty of what’s passed.

One of my favorite aspects of this year is how deeply and richly my family was touched by…

31 Mar 10:45 PM 0 Read More...

A book, a goodbye and a letter to Guido

Last night was the official release of the book created by resident artists Stephanie Barenz and I. Called “The Carriers,” the book features 28 of Steph’s gorgeous paintings and the stories I wrote about each. It is available at the Pfister Hotel gift shop.

The evening was also a…

27 Mar 7:35 PM 0 Read More...

Repartee with a librarian

I always wanted to be a librarian. It started when I was a kid, going to the East Side Library in Milwaukee, and enviously watching the librarians stamp book after book. It looked like so much fun: pressing the stamper with the raised backwards letters and numbers on the ink…

19 Mar 12:57 PM 0 Read More...

Tea time with steampunks

The Pfister Hotel is a natural setting – both aesthetically and historically – for a Milwaukee Steampunk Society outing. Hence, when 36 members of the group spent last Sunday afternoon at the hotel, it was a perfect fit and a visual feast.

The group, all of whom were dressed in elaborate steampunk…

14 Mar 8:32 PM 3 Read More...

A blog within a blog

My full-time job is as a writer for OnMilwaukee.com. This week is Hotel Week on OnMilwaukee.com and so, aptly, I wrote a blog about my experiences as the Pfister Narrator. Here it is.

Last spring, I was selected as the Pfister Hotel’s sixth Pfister Narrator. Prior…

14 Mar 1:19 PM 0 Read More...

Mason Street's most loyal customer

Pam stops in at Mason Street Grill for a meal twice a month – sometimes more – often for the Happy Hour specials, but not always. She loves the flat bread, the steak forks and the mushroom forks – which are on the $5 happy hour menu – as well as the steak and…

04 Mar 5:08 PM 0 Read More...

Happiness is a human connection

Whether or not life is a series of coincidences, random happenings or something even more divine is the biggest existential question people have contemplated since the beginning of time.

I have pondered this on and off my entire adult life and recently, I’ve been in this phase of questioning…

24 Feb 1:47 PM 0 Read More...

Schnitzel and Pfister friendships

Recently, I wrote about a unique evening I hosted with Pfister artist Stephanie Barenz and the hotel’s executive chef, Brian Frakes, called “The Gathering Of The Senses.”

The event invited the public to sign up for an evening of paint instruction, travel stories and a five-course, travel-inspired…

18 Feb 12:58 PM 0 Read More...

Soaring through happy hour with flight attendants

As flight attendants, Jamie and Quin land all over the country. Including, recently, in Milwaukee.

I met them during Happy Hour at Mason Street Grill and asked them what, if anything, they like about Brew City.

“The Public Market,” Quin says immediately. “I love it. Love the gourmet food. I…

14 Feb 11:05 AM 0 Read More...

Channeling Elvis

On June 28, 1974, the legendary Elvis Presley performed at the Arena in Milwaukee (which is now the U.S. Cellular Arena). That night, after the concert, Elvis stayed at the Pfister Hotel.

The story behind his visit is amusing. On April 25, a little more than two months prior…

04 Feb 4:42 PM 1 Read More...

Strangers become friends over food, paint and travel stories

Last week, artist-in-residence Stephanie Barenz, executive chef Brian Frakes and I hosted an evening of painting, eating and travel story telling. Nine people attended the event, called “Gathering Of The Senses,” which took place in Stephanie’s studio.

Each participant submitted a photo from a recent vacation to…

30 Jan 12:21 PM 4 Read More...
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