Thursday, February 19, 2009

A little bit of Ireland in Brew City

Went to lunch yesterday at County Clare - this is a great Irish Pub and Guesthouse on Milwaukee's downtown eastside near the lakefront. I love the neighborhood in which County Clare is located - it is the oldest part of the city with many beautiful churches and homes that were built in the late 1800's. A great place to walk around at anytime of the year.

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

Legendary Les Paul & Tesla at Discovery World

We went to Discovery World on Saturday to check out the Les Paul Exhibit. Discovery World/Pier Wisconsin is a great addition to the Lake Michigan shoreline and a great tourist attraction in Milwaukee.

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

Winter BBQ Guests

I live in a suburb of Milwaukee that has a population of 50,000 people. Surrounding us is another one-million residents of the Greater Milwaukee area. However, due to our incredible amount of parkland in Milwaukee County, we still have plenty of Wisconsin wildlife roaming around. Every year, the young deer tend to wander away from the woods and get a bit curious. We now have six deer who have decided to set-up camp in our backyard.

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!