Wonderland | Marisa Riley | Public Relations Team Leader at Bader Rutter

Posted by on Sep 29, 2017



While I tried on the narrator hat this week, I was amused at what the role entailed. Stepping out of the day-to-day hustle and bustle to stop and observe changes perspective. And as I sat down at the narrator desk, one of the first things that caught my eye was a flyer for the upcoming Alice in Wonderland tea party that the current Pfister Narrator is hosting.

Do you remember how Alice follows a rabbit down the hole? She tumbles out of the embrace of reality into a land of wonder. I’m pleased to report this land of wonder is alive and well at the Pfister Hotel.

In order to go down the rabbit hole, we must start at the top. I hope you are not afraid of heights. We are at Floor 23. With the clouds hanging low, it’s hard to tell, though. They make Lake Michigan seem like a distant friend.

I’m greeted on Floor 23 by overly friendly faces. To my surprise, mixologists were replaced with bartenders from Baird. Blutender had taken over Blu bar. Proceeds were going to a good cause — United Way — so I had to partake. My usual dirty martini order went out the window, though, when I learned Jacob Block turned in his HR day job for his first stint at bartending. Instead, he poured me a bountiful glass of Pinot Grigio.

blutender bartender

I sat down to enjoy the view. As the clouds cleared, music began to float in the air. I looked over at the man behind the black and white piano keys. The woman next me leaned over to say, “That’s the owner of the hotel.” I’m told he plays most Tuesdays. You certainly must see it for yourself.

Down the rabbit hole we go. It’s amazing how the 7th floor ballrooms can transform. If it weren’t for the exquisite décor, I may not have recognized where I was. I’ve been to elegant weddings, zealous ballroom dancing competitions and cheerful charity benefit dinners here. On this Tuesday, I’ve stumbled across a business meeting. Men in fancy suits of every shade of blue and gray and wingtip shoes file out and say farewell in unison.

Finally, I land at the mezzanine level adjacent to the lobby. Like Alice as she goes further into Wonderland, here I find something I can only dream of — a world ruled by women!

The smell of sweet perfume and an energetic buzz fills the room. More than 150 women representing local nonprofits and women-run businesses are gathered to celebrate those who lead, inspire and serve the community. (See #BMOforWomen for more on this event.)

And just like that, the bells in the lobby go off. It’s 6:30 p.m. and I’m late to an important date.

It’s back to reality.

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