So again, my day starts off relatively early because breakfast is served at 8.30. This morning it’s a breakfast hash, served with a praline French toast. This morning, we were dining with other guests who were staying at the B&B. I don’t like chatting in the morning, especially with strangers, but the proprietress sat down with us, because the other guests were sitting together at a table. So, swallowing my general grumpiness of the morning, I listened as she regaled us with tales of the neighborhood’s history.
We overheard the folks at the other table, talking excitedly about the Harley Davidson Museum – something I was warned against visiting. Anyways, the dude that was planning on visiting the Harley Davidson Museum had a black sleeveless shirt with the Harley Davidson logo, and his meaty arms were covered in tatoos. I’m not sure what he did, but I believe he was in the army, because an old guy he was dining with thanked him for “his service to our country.”
We went back to our room to get dressed, and while dressing, I turned on the local PBS channel and watched a woman named Caroline Carter and her daughter, Dr. Shenita Ray on Cooking Raw. The show was pretty awful - firstly, Both Carter and Ray have zero television presence, and they were very awkward on the show – they seemed badly prepared and unsure of themselves. But that would all be forgivable if their food was great, but the ladies presented a recipe for raw pizza, that included probably the most disgusting-looking dough, I’ve ever seen. As a debit-bonus, the women instructed their viewers to throw the dough into a dehydrator for – are you ready for this? 18 to 22 hours…What comes out after throwing in mushed up grain and beans in a dehydrator for almost a whole day is a round, gray disc that looks like the cardboard round real pizza comes on from the freezer. Oh, and then the women threw everything they could get their hands on, on this pizza, but interestingly enough, they never tucked into the pizza in front of a camera….very telling…
After watching this ridiculous show – in fact, I finished getting ready before the show’s end, but I was so fascinated (in a freaked out way) by the show, that I had to finish watching, to see if they would actually eat the pizza, that we were delayed a half hour or so before embarking on our second day in the city.
We stopped by the Pabst Mansion, but did not take the tour. I was warned by many that it was a boring, lame-o tourist trap, so we didn’t feel the $9 admission fee was worth it. Then we tried the Haggerty Art Museum on the Marquette University campus – but that was a wash because installations were being put in, so the museum was closed.
Finally, we settled on the Milwaukee Public Library. What attracted me first to the library was the fact that it’s a gorgeous building.
As you can see, it looks very Washington, DC – a bit like the White House….
So the inside was gorgeous – a wonderful entrance – very grand. We walked through the shelves – an interesting note: I’m used to libraries having their books shelved according to either Dewey or the Library of Congress; in the Milwaukee Public Library, a lot of the books are shelved by genre. There was an unfortunate book in the Urban Fiction section, which had a cover of a woman wearing lingerie with chains and shackles, but it was a potboiler/romance novel.
We moved onto the foreign language section, where I saw some Harry Potters in Polish, as well as a shelf-ful of John Grishams in Polish. I saw the sequel to Gone with the Wind, Scarlett in Polish and read a bit, and as we walked through the library, my partner clued me in on the dittos of the Scarlett O’Hara after Gone with the Wind.
We also found that the Milwaukee Public Library has a bookstore for its withdrawn books – with very good prices – I’ll do a separate post for that. Only a quick side note, the bookstore only took cash so I had to run to the ATM, the only one available was at a Wells Fargo, so holding my nose, I grabbed some cash. The lady at the store was very nice, and very chatty. She was with a gentleman who was very indifferent to his surroundings, only responding with monotonous, terse answers when necessary – he reminded me of Stanley from The Office. So the old lady was very nice and decided that because I was such a nice person, she’d teach me a new word: fusby - an antiquated word that means squat. I’m going to try and use the word.
After the library, we walked to the historic Third Ward in Downtown and had lunch at Palms Bistro and Bar. The food was good - I ordered a Buffalo chicken sandwich – it was made well, but impossible to eat. I was covered in neon red sauce and the waitress gaily trilled, “I’ll have to get you some more napkins!” I then quickly responded, “I’ll need a bib.” Still, the food was pretty good and the prices were reasonable.
We moved on, walking around, looking through the shops. We saw a Design within Reach – a furniture store I go into, whenever my head feels too swollen with self-confidence. Immediately I feel like an impoverished pauper, walking through and seeing all the designer furniture I could never afford, nor could I find a close facsimile at Ikea. The lady who worked there was super nice and offered me a bottled water; as I wasn’t planning on buying anything, I felt it would be churlish to take her water.
Because we were in a fancy part of Milwaukee (before coming here, I never though I’d be able to say “fancy part of Milwaukee), even the Goodwill had a fancy name – Retique on Broadway.
Tired, we decided to go back to the lake front. We must’ve gone on a special day because we counted like six weddings taking place. It was fun to see the hideousness of the bridesmaids’ dresses. Every time we turned around we saw another bride marching on the lawn, dragging her husband and a hapless photographer. One little girl walking with her mom, huffed, “Is there another wedding?”
We walked some more on the lake front, people watching, enjoying the weather. Finally we hopped into cab and went back to our B&B.
Oh, and a huge P.S. – we were walking to a convenience store – a note about Downtown Milwaukee, no convenience stores or drug stores open late. So we were heading toward a convenience store and a guy was chasing a rat. He saw us and he warned us about the rat and then pointed at some Africans and said, “If they saw the rat, they could just catch it and eat, but I couldn’t catch it.” We walked past and weren’t sure what was more fucked up:
- That a grown-ass man was chasing a rat down the street
- That he was so ignorant about Africans that he could say something so ugly about them.
- That there was a rat – the size of a small cat – running around the vicinity of a convenience store.