The Votes Are In…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your votes are in and tabulated. On behalf of all the Artist in Residence candidates we want to thank the community for there overwhelming support via the online and paper voting.

Voting is just one of the final steps to becoming Artist in Residence at the Pfister Hotel.  Today the Artist in Residence Committee will convene to deliberate the votes and discuss the candidates. “I am very excited to see the committees conclusion on deciding who our next Artist will be, seek ” says Joe Kurth, General Manager of the Pfister Hotel.  “It’s really great to see all of the community involvement in this annual campaign.”

The final votes from the online campaign were as follows…

Pamela Anderson – 1,359

Brandon Minga – 764

Timothy Westbrook – 588

Hal Koenig – 398

Matt Duckett – 321

Albin Erhart – 100

Again, we wish the best of luck to all candidates. The committee will announce the next Artist in Residence, on or after February 14th, 2012.

Please feel free to cheer on your favorite Artist in Residence candidate by visiting the Pfister facebook at www.facebook.com/PfisterHotel

The Next Pfister in Residence Finalists

Gallery M in the Intercontinental. Patrons get to know the finalists and their work.

This January’s gallery night tested the courage of every driver. The six finalists for the Pfister Hotel’s next Artist in Residence displayed their work in Gallery M at the Intercontinental. I braved the seven block walk from my Wisconsin Avenue home base and spent an evening taking in the feel of a different hotel in the Marcus family. Please help us by voting for our next resident artist on our Facebook Page. For anyone not on Facebook, you can enter your ballot in person at Gallery M, or email amyhansen@marcuscorp.com with your selection. Below is what I was able to briefly glean about the artists and their work, feel free to click their names and see more. For larger views of any photo, click on the picture and then click the image again after the photo opens by itself. Vote early, vote often!

 

Hal Koenig

Hal Koenig's wall display at Gallery M.

Hal is an architect who studied at North Dakota State University and with further study at UW-Madison. He grew up on a North Dakota farm and now lives in Bay View. Hal enjoys highlighting the juxtaposition of nature in urban environments, of which Milwaukee has an unending supply.

Hal Koenig's painting Dusk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pamela Anderson

Works on display by Pamela Anderson.

In Pamela’s paintings she utilizes acrylic, oil, and watercolor to represent emotion. Her work can be classified as abstract expressionism. Ms. Anderson has studied at the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts and MIAD. She previously curated the Underwood Gallery in Wauwatosa. Pamela has since taken the plunge and is working as a full-time artist.

Two works by Pamela Anderson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matt Duckett

 

Examples of Matt Duckett's work.

Matt’s trip from LaCrosse took 6 hours in the snow but he did make it to Milwaukee. Unfortunately I’d already taken off for the night so the following information comes from his webpage.  Matt studied both Art and English at UW LaCrosse and UW Stout. His work has been shown and commissioned all over Wisconsin and Minnesota. Matt is the founder and director of Vitamin Studio, a standout in LaCrosse’s developing arts district.

My favorite of Matt Duckett's portraits, The Turn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Albin Erhart

Albin Erhart's display chronicles his experience applying for the Artist in Residence position.

Albin is an exuberant ball of energy. His works on display chronicle his attempt at becoming the Pfister’s next resident artist. Each work represents his experience and emotion throughout the process of applying all the way up to being selected as a finalist. His toolbox is not limited to paint and brushes, for example he explores with markers and sometimes even re-purposing thrift store canvasses. Albin is originally from Southern Germany but now lives in Hartland.

Detail of one of Albin Erhart's marker-based works

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brandon Minga

Brandon Minga's work relaxing with champagne.

Brandon is a designer by trade. Web design, clothing design, footwear, tattoos, album covers. The guy keeps busy. Brandon is a graduate of MIAD. His work on display in Gallery M features paint, digital prints, found objects, drawing, and most works are encompassed within unique custom frames. He works in a collage style, which is sometimes three dimensional.

Detail of one of Brandon's 3-D collage pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Timothy Westbrook

Two of Timothy Wesbrook's creations.

Timothy is the first artist to apply from outside of the immediate Milwaukee area. Having recently graduated from Syracuse University, Tim is looking to stretch out to new locales to further his form. Tim’s work can be most easily described as costume design. His garments are created from a combination of common fabrics (wool, for example) mingling with uncommon threads such as cassette tape. Tim discussed his work with gallery attendees while dressed in a tuxedo of his own creation.

Two more of Timothy Westbrook's works.

 

 

 

 

 

Detail of one of Timothy's garments. This piece was commissioned for a theatrical production.

Pfister Art: Ninon De Lenclos

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by: Keia Wegner, Hotel Assistant Manager

Mademoiselle Georges Achille-Fould worked in the studio of Rosa Bonheur, check who was one of the best known French female artists of her time.  A book on the Pfister Art Collection written in the 1940’s mistakenly labeled Ms. Achille-Fould as a male painter.  She has three paintings in the Pfister collection and there is also one by her sister Consuelo Fould; as far as we are aware these are the only pieces in our Victorian collection that were painted by female artists.   Their mother, nurse Wilhelmina Simonin was also an artist but painted under the pseudonym Gustave Haller. The girls were adopted by their stepfather, Prince George Stirbey and from him inherited the castle and park Becon; they later turned this into the Museum de Roybet Fould.

Achille-Fould is best known for her paintings of fanciful women.  This painting is an imaginative study of Ninon de Lenclos, the famous French beauty and wit of the 17th century. Lenclos was made famous due to her numerous amours at court. There is a brilliance and elegance in this painting, as well as skillful drawing and a sensitive feeling for texture.  Well known throughout France, Anne “Ninon” de l’Enclos (“Ninon de Lenclos”), was a French author, courtesan and patron of the arts who lived from 1620-1705.  After her father was exiled and her mother passed away she entered a convent for a year since she was determined to stay single and independent.  She achieved this throughout her life even though she had a string of wealthy and powerful lovers, including two of the King’s cousins.  Upon her death Lenclos left a considerable sum to the son of her accountant, 9 year old Francois Marie Arouet.  In her will the boy was instructed to use the money to “purchase books”.  Later, he would become better known as Voltaire.

Historically, during this time women were expected to live not such an independent lifestyle.  She was not only thought of as beautiful, but as intelligent and was seen as a peer to her male counterparts.  This would have been especially pertinent to a woman living in the Victorian age, since that was a time when women were supposed to be “seen and not heard”.  It would only be a natural choice for Achille-Fould, a woman in a field dominated by males, to use an independent woman such as Ninon as an inspiration for one of her paintings.

The Harvard Krokodiloes come to The Rouge

Join us on Friday, unhealthy January 13 for a once in a lifetime experience when the world famous Harvard Krokodiloes come to The Rouge for a special evening of fine dining and entertainment.

See the Kroks in actions.

You’ll enjoy a three course gourmet dinner while being treated to the music and humor of Harvard University’s oldest acapella singing group. The Kroks bring a new energy to popular music selections from the 1920’s to the 1960’s, covering everything from classic American standards to rock and roll in a way the great Maestro Leonard Bernstein described as “warming one’s soul and enriching one’s day.”

Milwaukee is one of three US cities they will be playing before embarking on a 60 city world tour, making this evening one you certainly won’t want to miss.

Tickets are available at $49 per person. Call (414) 273-8222 for reservations.

Take your grandmother out for Afternoon Tea

Tea butler Juan Rodriguez assists patrons. Outside sun sets on the Federal Building.

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 wear for such an occasion, what is appropriate attire for tea? “We didn’t go out for tea when I was a girl. Am I supposed to wear her long white gloves? I would if I had them.” Fear not, we found that beautiful silver can be placed in front of you in an environment that isn’t stuffy.

My grandmother, Phyllis, grew up in rural North Dakota. People have asked for years why her skin looks so fantastic and she attributes this to never smoking or suntanning. Like everyone in her hometown she worked on the farm before and after school and despite the fact that all the kids worked on a farm they did their best to not look like farmers. She’d work in the field wearing a long dress or slacks (her word), a long sleeved shirt, gloves, and a big floppy hat. When Hollywood started producing suntanned movie stars the population of Minot, ND decided the west was a bunch of fools.

Our tea date happened on one of the last sunny days of autumn. I decided we should take our time and drive through the Miller Valley en route to the hotel. Somewhere near Hart Park I could feel her looking at the side of my face. After a few moments she announced, “Eddie- you’ve got white hairs in your beard. How old are you anyway?” We’ve reached ages where it’s now the younger person’s job to remember details. She’s 86 now and as a mother of 7 has recently acquired the title of great-great-grandmother.

Mary Keppeler’s harp pairs perfectly with afternoon tea.

A sidebar reason behind our afternoon date was to record my grandma recounting some of the stories our family has heard many times over. When I was offered the position of Pfister Hotel Narrator I immediately purchased the professional-grade audio recorder I’d been lusting after (Instead of replacing the clutch on the Subaru. What can I say, art uber alles) and I’m still getting acquainted with my new toy. Seemed like a perfect opportunity to record Grandma’s stories for our family archive.

No need to conclude your evening with tea. This is the Wisconsin Gas Building as seen through a glass of red. The flame changes according to the weather forecast. A blue flame means unchanging skies ahead.

After parking we rode the elevator to the 23rd floor. Straight out of the elevator my grandmother wrapped her arm inside of mine. This is not something often done by ladies of my generation. It caught my attention akin to aftershave.

My grandmother wore a lovely sequined blouse and pant combination and I had on some variety of tweed poet/1920’s iron worker juxtaposition. Once inside Blu we walked past the harpist, Mary Keppeler and sat across from the ceiling to floor windows overlooking Lake Michigan. Assistant Manager Juan Rodriguez brought over the tea cart to explain our tea options for the afternoon. Juan explained the ingredients and offered scent samples of all the teas. During his explanations we’d look at one another from time to time and grin. We’re announced simpletons when it comes to tea. Juan was patient and concise in explaining the origin and nuance of every leaf and spice and how flavors interact. Grandma went for Earl Grey and I opted for the same but with mango thrown in.

Our tea arrived and shortly after our food also arrived. Crab cakes, fresh baked scones with lemon curd and strawberry preserves, curried quail eggs, smoked salmon, herb roasted turkey. Oh, and there were just as many desserts too. Chocolate dipped strawberries, pumpkin muffins, opera torte, savory crepes.

My grandmother and I sat next to one another watching as Lake Michigan whitecaps tickled the breakwater. Cars the size of ants entered and exited 794, which was once “The Bridge to Nowhere.” Grandma told me about the tiny convertible that looked like it was smiling; the one her dad drove after all the kids were grown up. From time to time we’d raise our teacups and tilt the pot until our cup filled steaming once again. There was a table of young ladies seated with their mothers and aunts near us. My grandma told me about the aunt and uncle I’d never met, the twins whose monument she visits annually. She told me about her brother Kenny, who my brother Kenny is named after. How Kenny and my grandma and my great aunt Shirley were like the Three Musketeers. The skyscrapers began reflecting the west golden sunset. She talked about the time my uncle got sprayed by a skunk. The time her uncle was accused (Falsely, darn it all to heck!) of being a horse thief. We watched the sun fade while a woman played the harp. My grandma has the stomach of a bird, I finished both of our food trays. Suddenly the Wisconsin Gas Building’s blue light brightened the Milwaukee skyline sparkle. We kept talking and enjoying our remaining Earl Grey after the sun went to bed, even after the bartenders began pouring cocktails. She told me part of the reason she married my grandfather was because his father was such a nice man. I didn’t record any of it. Why interrupt a perfectly perfect afternoon?

The Pfister Hotel Names Six Finalists for Next Artist in Residence

Home to more Victorian Art than any other hotel in the world, the historic Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee for the past three years has hosted a nationally recognized artist-in-residence program. A selection committee, consisting of members of the local art community, has announced the six finalists for the 2011—2012 term of the program. This year’s finalists are Pamela Anderson; Matt Duckett; Albin Erhart; Hal Koenig; Brandon Minga; and Timothy Westbrook.

“Each year of this program we are astounded by the amazing talent seen in the applicants,” says Joe Kurth, general manager of The Pfister Hotel. “With great consideration, the selection committee has chosen six outstanding artists who remain in the running. Now it’s time for the public to help us decide who will be moving into The Pfister come spring.”

Public Voting

Beginning mid-January 2012, members of the public will be able visit The Pfister’s Facebook page and website to vote for the artist they’d like to see as the next artist in residence. Votes also can be cast via Twitter. The selection committee will announce the next artist in residence mid-February.

Work by the six finalists will be displayed at Gallerie M, inside InterContinental Milwaukee, for January Gallery Night, Friday, Jan. 20, 2011, where the public will be able to vote via ballet box, in addition to the other methods.

The Pfister’s Artist-In-Residence Program

Entering its fourth year, The Pfister’s Artist-in-Residence program features a working art studio and gallery that is open to hotel guests and visitors. The program encourages the public to interact with the artist and witness the evolution of each piece first-hand. The artist chosen for the 2011—2012 term will move into the studio space in April 2012.

Over the past few years, The Pfister has received national attention for its Artist-in-Residence program. Since 2009, the hotel has been a member of the Alliance of Artist Communities, www.artistcommunities.org, an international association of artists’ communities and residencies featuring a diverse field of more than 1,000 programs worldwide. In 2011, The Pfister’s residency program was highlighted at the organization’s annual international conference.

The program’s current artist is Shelby Keefe (2010-2011), www.studioshelby.com. Past artists include Katie Musolff (2009-2010), www.katiemusolff.com; and Reginald Baylor (2008-2009), www.reginaldbaylor.com.

For more information on The Pfister’s Artist-In-Residence program, visit www.ThePfisterHotel.com/Artist-In-Residence. The Pfister can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thePfisterHotel and on Twitter @PfisterHotel.

12 Drinks of Christmas in Blu

Blu and the Pfister Hotel are proud to be participating in the Hunger Task Force’s 12 Drinks of Christmas this holiday season and donating a portion of our proceeds to the cause.

Stop by Blu and try one of our tasty holiday libations this season and don’t forget to vote for us online.

 

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

Bridges crossing the Milwaukee River in Downtown Milwaukee

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 state of Wisconsin. However the history of Wisconsin Avenue is not as simple as one might guess. It’s actually a tale of Spring Street and Grand Avenue. To understand the story we actually have to delve into a tale of two cities. (Technically three considering George Walker and Walker’s Point, but for our immediate purposes only two are necessary to reference.)

Solomon Juneau relaxing for the camera.
Byron Kilbourn sported quite the beard.

Solomon Juneau was born in Quebec, Canada and arrived in Milwaukee in 1818. Juneau made his fortune as an employee of the American Fur Company. The American Fur Company was named by another man also imprinted in Milwaukee, John Jacob Astor. Upon moving to what we now call Milwaukee Mr. Juneau learned to speak fluent Menominee and Potawatomi before learning English. In the 1830’s the fur business was starting to appear less fruitful compared with real estate and Solomon had a ground floor opportunity to begin developing. The place where three rivers converge upon an enormous lake is not bad positioning for the start of a city. His portion of land was between the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan and he opened an outpost store. Shortly after Juneau became the city’s first postmaster. He went on to be Milwaukee’s first elected mayor.

Byron Kilbourn arrived later than Solomon Juneau. He didn’t show up on our shores until the 1830’s. Kilbourn had already been involved with real estate in Sheboygan and Manitowoc and from the start seemed to have a much wider scope than Solomon Juneau. By comparison Kilbourn had more of a “fat cat” scope for his Milwaukee plans. Even though Chicago holds the title of the Windy City, Byron Kilbourn’s town was pretty liberal with bribes and corruption. Eventually Kilbourn’s railroad company was exposed for bribery relating to railroad land acquisition.

Looking west on Wisconsin Avenue. Notice the angle of the bridge across the Milwaukee River; crooked to accommodate for the angle of the two streets. This was taken during a 1919 parade.

In 1837 both men officially dug in their heels and named their plots, predictably, Juneautown and Kilbourntown (come on guys, a little creativity?). Competition between the two cities eventually came to a head during the Bridge Wars of 1845. Milwaukee’s east side is effectively an island between Lake Michigan and the Milwaukee River. Bridges are a necessity to get to the larger mainland. Byron Kilbourn and the residents of Kilbourntown hoped to freeze Juneautown out of access to the mainland. A resolution was reached to build a new bridge as the current network of bridges was deemed inadequate. But Kilbourntown refused to share in payment for the bridge’s construction. Residents of each side spent weeks voicing their opinions. Eventually violence erupted and in protest residents smashed and burned two of the existing bridges. Eventually each side concluded they needed one another and merged to become the City of Milwaukee in 1846.

What does this have to do with street names? While each side of town operated independently they developed their own road system. They even laid their roads at different angles so their streets wouldn’t easily meet with one another.

Painting "Bridge War" by Clarence Monegar.

Spring Street was called such due to the luck of a spring that existed on the street prior to indoor plumbing. The street also came to be called Grand Avenue. The Grand had, and still does possess many theatres, department stores, and other entertainment. It’s likely the name was also a result of the grand mansions built farther West on the street (such as the Pabst Mansion). Eventually everyone agreed on Wisconsin Avenue and the Pfister has it’s current home at 424. Voila!

A Great Milwaukee’s Favorite Cookie Contest Entry

Here at the Pfister, we love a great story. When we received this great story from Jill Drury who entered our Marcus Resturant’s Milwaukee’s Best Cookie Contest.

Nothing says tradition like a grandma passing great recipes, techniques, and a few special secrets to the next generation. Great story Jill, thanks for sharing…

It was a crisp Fall afternoon and I had just gotten home from another rough day of first grade. I sat down in my bedroom, unzipped my backpack, and pulled out my homework. Just as I was about to open up my math book, the smell of fresh baked goods vented into my room and drew me to the kitchen. Unnoticed, I watched my Grandma from the hallway. She rolled cookie dough with her hands, filled up a cookie sheet with perfectly round circles, and paced around the oven listening to the oven timer click away. When the bell went off and she went to retrieve her batch, I slowly crept into the kitchen on my tiptoes. Very quietly, I slid under the table with the bowl of remaining cookie dough in my hands. Just as I was about to feast on dough, I looked up and could see my Grandma’s feet in front of me. She was standing over me. Just as I tried to creep away in the other direction, she reached down, grabbed the bowl from my hands, pulled me up, and told me that if I wanted a cookie, I had to bake one!

Living with my Grandma motivated me at an early age to cook, bake and eat everything on my plate. Baking easily became a bond that we shared. Besides having fun in the kitchen, my Grandma was a great teacher and if anything,
she always had a recipe that would cure my killer sweet tooth!

Making holiday cookies became a favorite tradition of ours. After all, it was the only way she could stop me from eating half the dough!

Everyone in my family had their favorite. From sugar to ginger to good old-fashioned chocolate chip, every cookie was promised and delivered on time for the holiday season. No one had to worry that their favorite wouldn’t be waiting for them on the famous cookie platter.

Unfortunately, for the longest time I had a problem finding my favorite. I liked them all but I never loved or craved a single one. Until one day when my Grandma started having me mix my favorite flavors: chocolate and orange. We came up with a unique cookie that I can now call my favorite every holiday season.

I thank my Grandma for her patience with me in the kitchen. Without her, I’d still be eating dough! And…everyone else’s’ favorite cookie.

– By Jill Drury, Guest Blogger for The Pfister Hotel 

Valencia Delights

Cookie 



  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup butter
  • Softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange peel

 

Glaze


  • 6-oz pkg. (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • Heat oven to 375.

In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg; blend well. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off.

Stir in flour, baking powder, salt and orange 
peel. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Flatten with bottom of glass dipped in sugar to 1/8 to
1/4-inch thickness. Bake at 375 for 6-8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. In small saucepan over low heat, combine glaze ingredients, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat.

Pour glaze into glass measuring cup; set in pan of hot water.

Dip ½ of each cookie into glaze; shake off excess chocolate. Place dipped cookies on waxed paper-lined cookie sheets. Chill until glaze is set, about 10 minutes.

Makes about 6 Dozen cookies.

Don’t forget to submit your submission to Marcus Hotels Milwaukee’s Favorite Cookie Contest. The winning baker will be chosen by culinary experts from Marcus Restaurants and will receive a special overnight stay and dinner for two at The Pfister, InterContinental Milwaukee or Hilton Milwaukee City Center. Plus, the winning cookie will be baked by Marcus culinary and donated to Hope House on December 22, 2011.

HURRY! THE DEADLINE TO ENTER IS SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2011. 

What’s your favorite story about your grandmother? Please share it below. We’d love to hear it.

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 my chuckle he turned around, delighted that another was entertained by his observation. As he approached my table with a glass of beer in hand I closed the screen on my laptop and returned the machine to it’s case.

See that white whale tail in the distance? It's a piece of artwork masquerading as a museum.

Wayne was this fellow’s name and he was in Milwaukee for a very brief stay. Wayne is the director of a company called SMAC Technologies and they’re located just outside of Adelaide, South Australia. SMAC is an acronym for Shaw Method of Air Conditioning. Wayne’s company recently won the Australian Clean Technologies Ideas Competition and he was in the U.S. to spread word of his company’s innovative take on the cooling process. As you might guess air conditioning in Australia isn’t a mere creature comfort; when living there it’s something closer to necessity. Imagine grandparents retiring to Florida without air conditioning. Not likely.

Straightaway Wayne told me he was “absolutely gobsmacked” with Milwaukee. Throughout our conversation it amazed me the sort of reverence Wayne had for the opportunity to visit our part of the world. He remarked, “With Johnson Controls in Milwaukee, Honeywell in Minneapolis, Carrier a bit farther in Syracuse, it’s very exciting for me to visit what can be considered the birthplace of my field of study.” I’d never quite thought about our region that way, that far back. I suppose the Midwest was a vital epicenter of the industrial revolution. One’s definition of hometown is specific to their experience. Milwaukee’s always been where I’m from and to hear someone so impressed made me think more critically about the prominence of this city.

My new acquaintance told me that he’d walked five blocks east on Wisconsin Avenue to see the moving sculpture we call an art museum. Strolled his feet in the sand on the public shores of Lake Michigan, the 5th largest body of fresh water in the world. Came back and sat at a bar sampling beer that was brewed within walking distance. He then traveled in an elevator and slept in history’s first building to feature individualized temperature controls in each room. Ensconced in indigenous Cream City Brick. Absolutely gobsmacked indeed.

I suppose living in the same place for a long time can be like marriage. You wake up in the morning and consider your sleeping wife’s adorable curl above her right temple. You go about the morning routine and while in the shower think of how the relationship has evolved but you still love those dimples on the small of her back and admire her stubbornness (most of the time). After toweling off you walk down the hallway to mention her haircut, but her words arrive first. She asks how one of the kids is getting home from soccer practice. In your mind you envision the soccer schedule and forget about her hair, her dimples, her cleft chin. Her calf muscles’ perfect taper toward the ankle. You imagine sitting in the car while driving to soccer practice. That car should have the transmission fluid changed. Before winter. Better buy a snow shovel by December, the old favorite’s blade is too curled to be of use any longer (but shall remain lovingly displayed in corner of the garage). Do the gutters need to be cleaned of autumn leaves before snow and ice? We have to remember to go ice skating at Brown Deer Park this winter… “Oh, yes, sure I can pick them up from soccer.”

I was born in Milwaukee, my parents too. My dad graduated from Granville High School, my mom Brown Deer. Same school, but the town’s name had been changed from Granville to Brown Deer. Brown Deer Park is one of 9 public golf courses in Milwaukee. At nearly 750 square feet per person our city ranks 8th for park acreage in the United States. Lake Michigan is free, public, and welcoming your presence. Olympians train at the Pettit. We host the world’s largest music festival. We offered electric temperature control to the world.  We invented the typewriter and consequently the QWERTY keyboard. From a list of 30, Milwaukee claims 3 of the country’s top restaurants. Wayne is right, there are no shortage of reasons to be absolutely gobsmacked with Milwaukee, regardless if you call it home.

I suggest spending some time at the lakefront- because you can, because it’s yours. It’s even more lovely in winter. Or visit a new park you’ve yet to see. There are 136 in Milwaukee.  And go tell your spouse something. The something only you know.