Sunday, May 4, 2008
A child fed on a steady diet of Milwaukee sitcoms (Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley), I've always had a distant respect for the Lake Michigan city. But even during my grad studies at UW-Madison, I didn't really get to know the illustrious beer paradise. This weekend I discovered that Milwaukee lives up to all my expectations and more. We planned a trip around a Lila Downs concert at the Latino Arts Center (4th and National) on Friday night, then the rest of the weekend found a plethora of activities to entertain us. Before the concern on Friday night we had vegan sweet potato casserole, fried okra and fried tofu sandwiches at Palomino in Bayview. We stayed the night at County Clare, an Irish pub-themed B & B downtown on Astor St. right on the lake. A jolly, friendly place with decent curry french fries and a free pint for every guest, with a variety of Wisconsin and even Bell's Oberon from Kalamazoo, Michigan. On Saturday we opened our eyes to Eastern European Photography at the Milwaukee Arts Museum, but then were so surprised by the variety of lesser-known Georgia O'Keefe, Ferdinand Leger, Jasper Johns and Haitian art that we left dizzied before heading to Classic Slice Pizza for some Mediterranean vegan pizza. A rummage sale on the way to Outpost Natural Foods (I'm looking forward to sipping the Alterra Nicaraguan blend tomorrow morning), shopping before dinner at the 3-month-old Mediterranean restaurant Yaffa. Our final stop on Sunday before departure at Anodyne Cafe on Brady Street, where we scored a sweet potato burrito and drinks. Milwaukee is a happening place - not yet as gentrified as Chicago and many hidden treasures to discover!