My day in Milwaukee

I begin with a bit of bad news: I lost my camera the day I wrote this post, I believe in the Greyhound station in either Chicago or Milwaukee. I’d been holding on to hope it would turn up for quite some time, but now it appears to be gone for good, so in the places I was hoping to have visual aids, I will instead have to provide “word paintings.”

I write from St. Louis, where I’ve just gotten settled in at my motel. I can convey everything of note about my 10-hour bus trip in a single sentence:

The Midwest is flat.

So I’m going to write about my day in Milwaukee yesterday. I actually gave myself two days to see a game and explore the town. The plan was to arrive Friday afternoon and then see the town in order to devote most of the day yesterday to see the game. But, because I wore myself out cycling around Minneapolis on Thursday, I simply crashed when I got to the hotel.

I got up early, stepped outside and made it one block from the hotel before turning around to grab my sweater (which I had actually packed in case I needed it in the Twin Cities). It was overcast and it was windy. I zigzagged my way through downtown and eventually wound up at the Milwaukee Art Museum around 9:30.

I’d learned that it is a museum with wings, which open during operating hours. I’d also learned that the admission was cost-prohibitive for someone who wanted to be at the ballpark in an hour and a half. But I wanted to catch the spectacle of the opening of the wings, so I walked a little ways along the lakefront before heading back. Not only does the museum have wings, it also has an “opening the wings” fanfare which is played quite loudly. I’m afraid that spoiled the effect for me, the building seems too dignified for such showiness.

After the game, when I did have time to look around, I went back to the museum. I’m glad I did, the individual galleries are small, but it seemed to be a very well rounded collection, and not overwhelming like many larger art museums I’ve been to. The most fascinating exhibit was an installation—as you approach a two-story wall you are confronted with what appears to be a wall of clouds or soap suds. It is only when you get closer that you see it is actually thousands upon thousands of drinking straws.

I left the museum right before they closed (and played the “closing the wings” fanfare). By then, it was gorgeous outside and the thought of anyone besides my mother¹ needing a sweater seemed ludicrous. A mite peckish, I headed over to the historic Third Ward, a district of converted warehouses that are now retail space. I got my dinner there, but found the place a bit too gentrified for my tastes. However, I did see something tacked up by a cash register that I found amusing, and which I’ll leave you with:

A reasonable facsimile

¹By the way, happy Mother’s Day, Mom!


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