Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Oriental

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Patricia and I went to see Mistress America, the new movie written by and starring Greta Gerwig, at this gorgeous old time movie theater last night.  The movie was good, but the experience of being in a movie theater like this really made it special.  Even the pop corn was like it used to be, before screens shrunk and popcorn was made according to a corporate recipe.  

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We didn't, but you can order cocktails, wine, and delicious food for consumption during the movie.  The Oriental is one of the venues for the annual Milwaukee Film Festival (http://mkefilm.org/festival) taking place in a few weeks. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

TGIF - Milwaukee

Friday, August 28, 2015

I love finding my way around Milwaukee.  I think i could be very happy here.  Patricia and Charlie assured me last night that if i wanted to travel for a while, and then come back in the winter, to see if i could endure the cold, they would put me up.  They are fun to spend time with, so smart, interesting, and so kind to me. 

On Wednesday, I discovered the Milwaukee Public Market and Anodyne Coffee Roasters. Had a really good latte, sitting at the counter, and watched people stream in for lunch.

Thursday night, we went to a place in the Walker's Point neighborhood, called La Merenda.  Small plates are big here in Milwaukee, and this place served some amazing selections.  We ordered a cheese plate, salad greens garnished with pistachios, mouthwatering empanadas, butter chicken, and a goat dish that was delicious.

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Image result for la merenda milwaukee empanadas

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Butter Chicken                                                            Moroccan Goat


This morning, I woke up late and ventured out for breakfast. Lucky for me, I found Ma Fischer's, a real diner owned by a Greek family, open 24 hours a day.  I scarfed down the most delicious breakfast - a skillet full of potatoes, topped with gyro meat, tomatoes, onions, feta cheese, and served with a side of tzitiki and sourdough toast.

Even though i was full from breakfast, it did not deter me from enjoying lunch at a lovely French restaurant for a late lunch in the Third Ward called Coquette.


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 It was delightful.  Patricia had a delectable looking burger and I had moules et frites, mussels in the most delicious white wine sauce, along with crispy potatoes served with aioli mayonnaise.



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After lunch, we stepped inside Indulgence, a chocolate shop next door, and got high on the scent of just made chocolate.  Patricia got dark chocolate covered salted toffee for dessert, and it was truly and ridiculously amazing.  The dark chocolate samples were also amazing. 

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My hair was desperately needing some attention, and Patricia made an appointment for me with Sandy, the woman who does her hair.  I feel so much better since she toned down my sun bleached Florida hair and cut away much of the weight.   Not only was i happy with the way she did my hair (with instructions from my dear friend, Trish ...), but i was thrilled because i found my way back to the house without needing to use my GPS.

Tonight, Monica, a colleague of Patricia's who teaches Spanish at the Carmen south campus, and her husband, Omero, came for dinner, and we had raclette. Raclette has two meanings, as Omero explained to me.  In Switzerland, raclette is cheese melted and scraped up and eaten with bread and wine.  Raclette here is actually meats, egg, vegetables, potatoes, and cheeses cooked on a small table top grill, with little dishes assembled by each person, and cooked further under the grill.  The raclette is the little scraper used to maneuver everything onto the dinner plate.

We ate, drank wine, and talked. Omero and Monica came from Ecuador several years ago, when Omero got his PhD in mechanical engineering at the University of Texas in Austin.  They just returned from an incredible adventure in Bangkok, where they toured the country and volunteered at an elephant sanctuary.  Their photos were amazing, especially the ones where they were making food and feeding the elephants.

For dessert, we had our choice of three kinds of incredibly delicious ice cream (Brandy Alexander, Salted Caramel, and Blueberry Buckle)  from a local place called The Purple Door, known for its unusual and delicious creamy ice cream flavors.

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Image result for milwaukee purple door ice cream



Needless to say, I went to bed, once again, happy ...

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Brew City

Thursday, August 27, 2015
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

I've been in Milwaukee, staying with my friends Patricia Hoben and Charlie Carter, since last Saturday, and I really have fallen in love with this city.  The people are friendly; the weather is gorgeous; and Lake Michigan is spectacular.  Patricia convinced me to stay awhile and settle in, and I am so glad she did, because the road weariness was hitting me hard.

I've been sleeping and exploring the area while she and Charlie are at work, and taking their cockapoos, Snickers and Allie, for walks around their tree-lined neigborhood that sits on the bluff of Lake Michigan.  I've found cool, local coffee shops, museums, and walking trails.  Patricia and Charlie have been so kind, feeding me, taking me out to dinner, plying me with good wine, and urging me to make myself totally at home.

Sunday night, Patricia and Charlie had a party for the faculty of the Carmen Schools, charter schools that Patricia started.  What an amazing and energetic group of people. And what a fun night.  Charlie grilled brats that he'd soaked in beer, along with chicken thighs and legs, and everyone brought side dishes.

The teachers are already working, orienting the students to the Carmen way.  On Monday, Patricia took me to see the northside campus, and my opinion of charters, at least in Carmen's case, has changed somewhat (http://www.carmenhighschool.org/).


(this park is close to where i am staying.  The statue was put there because this was a prime spot for people who wanted to kill themselves by driving off the cliff into Lake Michigan, according to my hosts) 

Tuesday night, Patrick, Patricia and Charlie's son, and his friend, Chris, came for dinner, so that we could finish up the chicken left over from the party.  Charlie made the most delicious brussel sprouts an bacon, and afterwards,  Charlie, Patrick, and Chris introduced me to Kopp's Frozen Custard (https://www.kopps.com).

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Omigod, it was so worth waiting for!  I had a waffle cone with peppermint patty ice cream.