Thursday, February 19, 2009
Milwaukee has a fairly sizeable Irish population with many immigrants moving to the city when it was first incorporated in 1846. Milwaukee's Irish Fest, which takes place in August, is the the largest Irish Fest outside of Dublin. And of course, there is fabulous music, dancing and food. Everyone is Irish during Irish Fest as well as St Patrick's Day when this city explodes with lots of fun and green beer!
There are many Irish Pubs in Milwaukee. They seem to be the most popular new style of bar/restaurant probably because they always have a welcoming and comfortable feel.
Milwaukee has a very active Irish community with three different schools teaching Irish dancing. The Irish Fest Center has an amazing collection of Irish music in the Ward Music Archives as well as an Irish Fest Music School. This is a great city to learn, perform and hear Irish music.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
In the round building is the Great Lakes exhibit as well as a fantastic aquarium. There is a huge tank with fish indigneous to Lake Michigan. There are also tanks dedicated to salt water fish, sea horses and jelly fish. My favorite is a tank one that you can walk through as the fish swim above your head and surrounding you. Another great feature is a tank where you can actually pet a sturgeon. Several large sturgeon swim around the tank and I actually think the biggest one enjoys the attention.
On the upper level of the round building is the Pilot House where special events take place. I was just at the City Birthday Party here. Great views of the lake, harbor area and Art Museum.
In the longer rectangular section of the building is Discovery World, a museum dedicated to science and industry. There are many wonderful exhibits with a lot of support from local Milwaukee industries such as Allen-Bradley, Johnson Controls, Briggs & Stratton, etc.
We enjoyed a show in the Lubar Auditorium focusing on Tesla (the inventor, not the 90's rock band). The presenter was witty and entertaining and I learned (or relearned) a ton.
The Les Paul Exhibit is in Discovery World. They did a phenomenal job of putting it all together. Les Paul grew up in Waukesha, Wisconsin so we feel he is "one of us". He is absolutely brilliant as well as extremely talented. It was very interesting to see his inventions and the amazing things he did for the music industry. The Gibson Les Paul has been and continues to be the choice of many musicians.
Great day at one of Milwaukee's gems!
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
It has been a very cold winter and I am sure with the snow cover it has been tough finding food. I've thrown out some corn cobs and our neighbor puts out apples once in a while. I realize we shouldn't be doing this, but they are so darn cute!
This guy (or gal, not sure) is getting a bit more curious and is getting really close to the backdoor. Looks like he/she is looking to join us for a BBQ!
Monday, January 26, 2009
Next we headed to the Todd Wehr Theater within the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts to see First Stage Children's Theater performance of "Witness". The play centered around a small Vermont town in 1924 and the hatred towards non-whites and the involvement of the KKK. Very well done - I truly think the child actors upstaged the adults. First Stage provides children the opportunity to learn the art of theater and performance. It is one of the top five children's theaters in the US. Milwaukee is very lucky to have such a great place not only for children to learn but for residents and visitors to enjoy quality performances. Bravo!
We moved on to Rudy's for a couple of Dos Equis with Chips/Salsa and Guacamole and then to Leff's Lucky Town in our neighborhood. Leff's is a gold mine - I don't think I've ever been in that bar when it hasn't been wall-to-wall people. And everyone is having a good time.
Saturday was a bit mellower in the morning - we had a very nice lunch at City Market in Wauwatosa and then I had to make an appetizer for our neighborhood winter party at the Kneeland-Walker House. We have a fairly active neighborhood association in the Damon-Woods neighborhood with almost half of the residents belonging to it. We tend to see the same faces at the events, however there is always someone new to meet. The Kneeland-Walker house is a Victorian mansion that was purchased by the Wauwatosa Historical Society in 1987 and is used primarily for events, tours and education. It is an amazing house with beautiful woodwork, leaded and stained glass and nice furnishings. And it is huge! The gardens are beautiful in the summer. The Firefly Art Fair takes place here each year in August. Really a neat place to hold a neighborhood get-together. We had fun chatting with neighbors and meeting newcomers.
Sunday was movie day - the AMC Theater in Mayfair Mall has a great early morning matinee price of just $5 and we see alot of movies on Sunday mornings. We saw Slumdog Millionaire which was fabulous! We've been hearing so many accolades and seeing the award nominations and I agree whole heartedly. Such an interesting story, wonderful acting and amazing visuals - especially in India. Wow, the way some people live.
After the movie we had Mike's sister and her boyfriend over for lunch. Mike and I made a Tortellini Spinach Soup and Panini Sandwiches. A very nice lunch and good company. All in all a very nice weekend in the Mil.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
This is how I started the New Year. Finally did the Polar Plunge! Every time I drive by Lake Michigan with a tour group I tell them about the crazy people that jump into the lake on New Year's Day - now I can say I was one of them! I had no problem convincing myself that this was the year to do it. But I do have to say, I was a little reluctant when I got to the lakefront as the winds were much stronger than they were at home, making it a little bit chillier and the waves looked daunting.
My feet were really cold and my shins were pretty beat up and bloody which made the long walk back up the bluff to our car seem like an eternity. I kind of look like "The Jerk" in this picture with my robe and thermos - just don't have my pants around my ankles like Steve Martin! Well, I did it and that's that - I am now a true Polar Bear and can scratch that off my "100 things to do before I die" list. Next time I think I'd add a little "liquid courage" before going in and hopefully can convince some friends to join me for a dip!