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Sunday, May 17, 2009
It's been bad news lately on the business pages, and the surly mood is heard in the least likely of places. When the clerk at an exclusive Milwaukee men's store, with custom-tailored suits and shirts and normally nothing on the rack for less than $500, goes on about greedy Wall Street investors and those damn CEOs (i.e. his customers), you know business is down. The Great Recession doesn't mean that looking bad should be an option. And while Milwaukee guys have a reputation as schlubs, there have always been enough sharp-dressed men to keep menswear alive...
Sunday, May 17, 2009
If you're sick of the cookie-cutter fashion styles found in Milwaukee's shopping centers, there are alternatives. Although several fashion boutiques have succumbed to the falling economy, a number of survivors remain and feature original designs by Wisconsin natives and people from all over the world. Bay View's charming Paper Boat Boutique & Gallery is housed in beautiful surroundings, with tin ceilings, original artwork and doilies dancing from above. The T-shirts, thermals and sweatshirts give off an enchanted nature vibe, decorated with colorful rainbows, insects, whales, giant octopuses...
Sunday, May 17, 2009
John Gurda created the landmark Making of Milwaukee documentary and the Milwaukee Public Museum offers the beloved Streets of Old Milwaukee. But our city's historic legacy is best experienced up close and personal: on a walking tour. For example, in the warmer months, the nonprofit Historic Milwaukee Inc. offers walking tours of Downtown, the Third Ward, East Town and the Lake Drive mansions, plus a bike tour of Walker's Point and, in the wintertime, a tour through Downtown's skywalks. But why not try something more offbeat...
Sunday, May 17, 2009
...Inspiration can always be found on a tour of Will Allen's Growing Power, through the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, at the Urban Ecology Center, at a meeting of the Milwaukee Urban Agriculture Network (MUAN), or by connecting to the Shorewood Victory Garden Initiative, Alice's Garden in Johnson's Park, or the Bay View Garden and Yard Society. To learn more about renting a plot from the county, contact the UW-Extension program. (Space is limited, so you may have to wait a year for some land.)...
Sunday, May 17, 2009
As summer approaches, what better way to get in shape than by hitting one of Milwaukee's pristine bike trails? Whether on bike, foot, skates or skateboard, Milwaukee gives you more than 100 miles of paved, scenic trails to choose from. You can start off your exercise routine on the East Side, where the Oak Leaf Trail will take you along Lake Michigan by the Milwaukee Art Museum and Alterra. Make sure to take a gander at Milwaukee's serene skyline while you're there. The Oak Leaf Trail winds through many other parts of the city as well. If you're feeling adventurous...
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Milwaukee walkers are lucky to have easy access to the Lake Michigan shore and our incredible park system. But there are days when dedicated walkers just have to put on their hiking boots and try something a little more challenging. Fortunately, there are more hiking options than the much-loved Kettle Moraine State Forest in the western suburbs and beyond. The Urban Ecology Center on the East Side is a great place to start reconnecting with the Milwaukee River corridor, which is becoming Milwaukee's Central Park. Once on the trail, it's hard to believe that you're just steps from...
Sunday, May 17, 2009

(What to Do With Them?)

Milwaukee's drastic seasonal changes are both a blessing and a curse when it comes to keeping kids entertained. Summer and fall are idyllic, with inviting parks and pools spread across the city and hiking trails along the area's rivers. And although the long winter months can drive many of us indoors, they also offer great opportunities for sledding, snowshoeing and ice skating. The gentle slopes of Bay View's Humboldt Park provide perfect spots for young sledders, and Red Arrow Park's outdoor ice rink is an inexpensive, lively skating venue...
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Milwaukee's independent pet stores mirror the nature of the neighborhoods that house them. Gary's Pet Jungle in Bay View is small-town friendly but big-city quirky. Like the small reptiles he stocks, owner Gary Johnson will occasionally munch on a cricket if a customer asks. In Riverwest, Glass Aquatics is vibrant and urban. The store specializes in aquariums and all manner of saltwater fish, though no doubt students from the nearby UW-Milwaukee dorms have wandered in, confused by the bright sign and disappointed to find clown fish and coral instead of blown glass and "tobacco accessories"...
Sunday, May 17, 2009
The UW-Milwaukee Union Theatre maintains an ambitious program of recent and older feature films and documentaries in fall and spring, and hosts such events as the Festival of Films in French, the Latin-American Film Series, the LGBT Film/Video Festival and the Milwaukee Italian Film Festival. Although the Landmark Oriental and Downer cinemas have devoted increasing blocks of time to blockbusters, they can still be counted on for presenting major independent and foreign films. The Times and Rosebud are a pair of old neighborhood houses running an eclectic mix of...
Sunday, May 17, 2009
At the risk of sounding cliche, Milwaukee's lively art scene really does have something to suit everyone's tastes. For serious connoisseurs of European painting and American folk, decorative and fine arts traditions through the 20th century. the Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) and Marquette University's Haggerty Museum of Art boast impressive permanent holdings as well as several temporary exhibitions each year. If you'd rather see European oils, fine porcelain or the work of 19thcentury American craftsmen in a historic setting, head over to the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum...

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