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Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011

Boris and Doris On the Town

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Earning a Nod: Kochanski's Concertina Beer Hall was packed with awardees, awarders and others for the announcement of 15 finalists in the 13th annual Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation (MANDI). The awards are sponsored by U.S. Bank in partnership with Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC). Representing finalists were Melissa Tashjian from the 53rd Street Community Garden; Beth Haskovec of the Layton Boulevard West Neighbors; Mary Beth Driscoll, Dave Mangin and Antoine Carter from Groundwork Milwaukee; and 88Nine Radio Milwaukee's Mary Louise Mussoline; as well as Teri Sullivan, founder and co-director of Arts@Large; Laura Bray with the Menomonee Valley Partners; and Workforce Funding Alliance's Gil Llanas.

LISC-ers included Financial Services Director Jack West, Communications Director Dawn Hutchinson-Weiss and sustainable communities chief Chris Boston. Executive Director Leo Ries was doing a mean polka with U.S. Bank's Barbara Markoff to the syncopation of Vern and the Originals. MANDI winners will be announced in March.

Picture Perfect:
The Portrait Society Gallery in the Marshall Building, one of the busiest art spaces during Christmas in the Ward, showcased Jean Roberts Guequierre's exquisite oils in “Giotto's Eyes.” Circulating was her husband, writer Nathan, as were fellow artists Stanley Ryan Jones and Demetra Copoulos, Melanie Ariens, Paula Schultz and Laj Waghray. Other admirers included Caren Gregg, the Revs. Paul Overvold and Noreen Smith, Mary Jean and Ward Fowler, Tina Campbell, Ellen Moran, Lisa Kuznicki, Julie and Steve Spadafora, and Sean and Kelly Ronayne.

In the hall space, artist Fred Bell presented his portraits of the building's tenants, including Shepherders Louis Fortis, Art Kumbalek and Dave Luhrssen. Other subjects stopped by, including Ron Merkel, Cindy Milner and Pat Gilman Graham.

Down the street, William Waldren, wife Shannon Safar and 2-year-old daughter Zuzu hosted an open house/grand preview of his Hudson Business Lounge. Checking the site were attorney Dan Cooper, social media guru Phil Gerbyshak and Chris Zielinski, owner of Transfer Pizzeria. H2D/Chiselled Grape's Al Haas and wife Kris Jensen were there with pals Patty Blommer and Tim Wallis.

Holiday Antiques:
Farm Girl Art & Antiques in Walker's Point, one of Doris' favorite haunts, just celebrated its one-year anniversary. Throughout the day, friends and consigners of owner Lisa Goldner stopped by for holiday cheer. Among the revelers were Nancy Wade, Cindy Anderson, Viv Rad, Jean Elliott, Sanja Glisic and Kathy Lueneburg, one of Goldner's first customers. Goldner's husband, Tony, and children Nick, Chris, Alex and Ben, plus in-laws Roberta and Fred Goldner, helped during the event. Janice Bratel won a basket chock full of treats.

Merry Melodies:
Christmas lights twinkled as the John Schneider Orchestra presented its annual holiday revue at O'Donoghue's Irish Pub, backed by Rip Tenor's radio play “Live From O'Donoghue's: 1949 Christmas Radio Broadcast.” The irrepressible Schneider crooned, danced and even performed a cartwheel. The mellifluous Claire Morkin, Schneider's singing partner since 1986, made for a nostalgic duo. They were helped along by Tenor on sax, plus Mrs. Fun and Tim Stemper, a sixth-generation Milwaukeean. Josie, Morkin's adorably talented daughter, sang and tapped to “Jingle Bells.”

Applauding were Schneider's former Marquette students, Studio Gear's Liam O'Callaghan and his wife, costumer Kim; David and Donna Thome, fans since the old Café Melange days; Jane Brooks Reilly with Richard Yahr; Joseph Lustig, now with Oceania Cruises; Claire's sister Kaleen Morkin and her husband, Bill Radtke; Carl and Debbie Carran; Rip's mom Beverly Torner; and Lynn and Jim Maas. Bar owner Jamie O'Donoghue and staff were scurrying because of the crowd.

Beer Lovers Unite:
Supporters of the Museum of Beer & Brewing gathered for holiday cheer at the Miller Inn, led by board President Lorraine Hoffmann. Sipping froth were board members Fred Gettelman, Best Place owner Jim Haertel, Karri John Fritz-Klaus, Steven Koski, John Kretsch, Gary Luther, Erik Peterson, Darrell Smith and Kyle Wasserman. Also partaking at the tappers were writer and tour guide Bob Giese, Schlitz/Uihlein historians Leonard P. Jurgensen and E.J. Brumder, Tom Volke of The Brewers Bulletin, and Miller archivist Dave Herrewig.

On the Town:
B&D bumped into consultant Paul Nannis and pal Lisa Boyd at Eddie Martini's. The two were celebrating her last day as the YWCA's COO, with Boyd heading to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD).

Friday nights at Hamburger Mary's, an “open-air bar and grille for open-minded people” is not only the place for a Big Kahuna Hawaiian or a Spicy Mary, but also some lively “MaryOke” singing, emceed by Jacob. B&D lucked into an evening there with the City of Festivals Men's Chorus, as Spencer Fretschel, Drew Martin, Dan Santos and Peter Konrath soloed. Also belting out a tune was “Mary” herself (aka Shannon Wallace aka VyNell Grits), flouncy in a cute kilt, and singer Sarai Anzaldua, who celebrated Mia Crom's 32nd birthday with song. Women's Voices Milwaukee—including President Kathy Thackham, Winnie Sartoris, Sharon Megna, Diane Gregory and Brenda Hanus—were in the crowd, preparing for a holiday concert at Wauwatosa's Unity Church.

If you have any tips for Boris and Doris, contact them at borisanddorisott@aol.com. Their next column will appear in the Dec. 29 issue of the Shepherd.n
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