The Pfister Narrator

Oh, the people you meet when riding the elevator all evening

Sometimes I like to play a little game in my life called “Crazy Person.” A couple of months ago I played this game and interviewed the Pfister lion. Then I played a round last Friday night and rode the hotel elevators for a couple of hours, asking anyone who got…

19 Sep 7:02 PM 2 Read More...

Newlyweds at 90

Sure, lots of brides and grooms stay at the Pfister Hotel, but as 90-year-old newlyweds, Ernie and Harriet are quite special.

Their unique situation was apparent to their families who lovingly helped plan their wedding – and it was also recognized by every guest in the Lobby Lounge on…

16 Sep 11:57 AM 2 Read More...

Stealing sips from drinks and other stories

Since I started my narratorship at the Pfister in May, I have become a master eavesdropper. It’s true: I can be sitting on the other side of the lounge or the cafe and if someone starts to tell a good story, I swear my ears double in size.

This…

08 Sep 1:02 PM 0 Read More...

In search of Uncle Sigurd's story

It was research and the love of family that brought Norwegian genealogist Egil Johannessen to the Pfister.

Egil visited the hotel with his wife, Jeanne Marie, and their 12-year-old son, Trygve Johann. The family lives in Larvik, Norway, a small town in the southern part of the country…

28 Aug 12:16 PM 0 Read More...

Unexpectedly rolling through life

Like many Pfister guests during the summer months, Chris and Jan were in Milwaukee to attend a festival.

For the ninth year in a row, the St. Louis-based couple came into town for Irish Fest. And this was their second year staying at the Pfister.

“We walked by the…

23 Aug 3:51 PM 0 Read More...

350 pairs of shoes

She told me she had 350 pairs of shoes.

I believed her. The pair she was wearing looked brand new. Everything she was wearing looked brand new. (She would later disclose to me that when I first approached her at the bar of the Mason Street Grill she thought I…

20 Aug 12:51 PM 0 Read More...

Some talk trash, Timothy Westbrook picks it up

I finally met and spent time with Timothy Westbrook yesterday. Timothy is the former Artist-In-Residence at the Pfister and was a contestant on this season’s “Project Runway.”

Timothy is a sustainability-focused fiber artist which means almost all of his work – his fashions – are constructed from recycled…

14 Aug 8:41 PM 0 Read More...

Pfister art inspires spontaneous haiku writing

I am finally writing about a wonderful evening.

On Friday, July 26, I participated in my first Gallery Night at the Pfister. My vintage Royal typewriter and I plunked down in Pfister artist-in-resident Stephanie Barenz’s studio and offered up free, spontaneous haiku on any subject to anyone…

12 Aug 2:45 PM 1 Read More...

More beer for Milwaukee

It’s rare that when I approach a Pfister guest they open with a smile and the line, “We have an interesting story for you!” But this is exactly what happened on a recent Monday night in the Lobby Lounge when I sat down to chat with Peter, Vicky and…

09 Aug 3:30 AM 0 Read More...

An uncanny coincidence

When I first started chatting with Chicago’s Steve and Sonya, it seemed like we had a couple of things in common.

They were at the Pfister with their adorable and articulate 8-year-old daughter, Lauren. I, too, have a child this age, who likes many of the same…

05 Aug 1:31 PM 0 Read More...

Olivia turns 11 at the Pfister

The diversity of the guests at the Pfister always amazes me. I knew there were visitors from all over the world, but prior to becoming the Pfister Narrator and spending so much time in the hotel, I didn’t realize how many guests were of different styles and ages, including…

30 Jul 12:55 PM 1 Read More...

Interview with a Pfister lion

A couple of years ago, I interviewed the Bronz Fonz statue on Milwaukee’s Riverwalk for OnMilwaukee.com. As usual, the Fonz was super cool. So cool, he did not offer up a single word. Not even one “Ayyyyy.”

Tonight, I interviewed one of the regal Pfister lion statues in…

24 Jul 5:30 PM 0 Read More...

Baseball, bratwurst and coincidence

Life can be uncanny. The coincidences are unbelievable at times.

I recently had an experience like this in the Lobby Lounge at the Pfister. I was hanging out, reading a random article posted in my Facebook feed about the actress Jenny McCarthy and her latest thoughts on autism (her son…

22 Jul 1:05 PM 0 Read More...

Pfister pianist unearths memories through his music

On a recent Saturday evening, Cardinal Lemoine brought her children, Iris and Griffin, to the Pfister’s Lobby Bar to listen to Dr. Jeffrey Hollander play the piano.

Both of her children take piano lessons, but the main reason she wanted them to experience Hollander’s playing was because of…

19 Jul 11:12 AM 0 Read More...

"Project Runway" party planners rally for Timothy

When I saw Elyse Cizek, Megan Zarnott and Alexis Rose sitting at the Lobby Lounge, I instantly knew they were up to something great. Not only were they dressed in fashionable and inspired attire, but there was a magnetic energy about them that I was immediately drawn to.

I quickly…

15 Jul 10:05 AM 0 Read More...

Partyin' with the boss

Imagine seeing your coworkers only once a year. Such is the case for Sue, Nancy and Missy, who work in the banking industry from their homes in three different states.

Once a year they meet in Milwaukee, at the Pfister’s Lobby Lounge, to connect in person. Nancy lives in…

10 Jul 1:08 AM 0 Read More...

Talking belly dancing and a second chance at love with a beautiful bride-to-be

We all know life doesn’t come with an instruction manual. We can make plans and decisions, but sometimes we still don’t have control over what happens. Sometimes we have to throw away our maps and charts, unfurl our sails and go with the flow.

Sophia gets this.

For…

08 Jul 11:21 AM 0 Read More...

Pfister artist paints Pfister bartender's life story

Joe D’Acquisto – who has tended bar in the Pfister’s Lobby Lounge for six years – has deep roots in Milwaukee. He travels often, but has lived in the city his entire life and plans to stay in Brew City forever.

Although only in his early 20s, Joe recently bought…

06 Jul 8:40 PM 0 Read More...

Talking homebrewing and craft beer with Memphis attorneys

I could tell from across the Lobby Lounge that Rob and Stephanie were on vacation. They looked relaxed, a little tired and were drinking beer during the day. My kind of folk.

I approached them, and after a few minutes, I learned they were attorneys from Memphis, Tenn., who had…

29 Jun 10:44 PM 0 Read More...

Visiting the grave of Guido Pfister

I grew up going on drives with my grandparents that sometimes involved stopping off for custard and always included a spin through the cemetery. Sometimes we would get out of my grandpa’s Buick and put flowers on graves, other times we would just ride around in silence. A few…

26 Jun 10:00 AM 0 Read More...

Virginia loves painting

Recently, I tagged along on a tour of the Pfister’s incredible Victorian art collection led by artist-in-residence, Stephanie Barenz. Also on the tour was Virginia Shirley, an artist from Madison, Mississippi who was at the Pfister with her husband, who was in town for business.

Viriginia is…

24 Jun 12:05 PM 0 Read More...

Minnesotans, motorcycles and the Mall of America

A few years ago, I went to the Mall of America in Minnesota for the first time. I was surprised to see a kiosk featuring shirts that read “friends don’t let friends drive to Wisconsin” and merchandise embossed with other playful-but-rivalrous messages.

I turned to my partner…

20 Jun 5:32 PM 0 Read More...

The dancer, the drag queen and the mystery woman

Recently, I had my first mohawk spotting at the Pfister Lobby Bar, and so, naturally, I had to chat with the man rocking the spiky hairdo.

“So how long have you had a mohawk?” I ask him.

“For forever,” he says. “I just got it redone yesterday. I’m a…

18 Jun 1:25 PM 0 Read More...

Talking art, storytelling and friendship

They weren’t sure if they wanted to talk to me and I don’t blame them. Their lives are busy and consequently they get to spend so little time together. And they don’t know me.

But slowly, carefully, Muriel and Susan opened up to me.

We talked about…

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

How to be a lady

Elyse is only four years old and she’s sitting in the Pfister lobby with her grandparents, Irene and Keith Wells, learning “how to be a lady.” (Some of us are 40 and may or may not be clear on the details of lady-dom, but that’s another blog…

05 Jun 6:35 PM 0 Read More...
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