Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Finding the Best of Milwaukee

My personal experiment has wound down. Truthfully, I haven't been that diligent with it recently, as I discovered I am naturally inclined to being somewhat adventurous. This is probably pretty obvious to people who know me. I like to explore new places and I'm willing to order anything off the menu. I am, however, trying to be me consciencious when it comes to compulsively accomplish tasks that don't need to be done (i.e. visiting the post office twice a day).

I am also trying to do things I often consider doing, but never quite get around to. I think many people, myself included, like the idea of something and imagine ourselves one day doing it, yet we never quite get around to it. I also think we so often take for granted the sites and quirks of the cities in which we live and I would like to take full advantage of what Milwaukee has to offer--which includes more than one may realize. Therefore, still on my 'to do' list, with less than a week left in Wisconsin, is to visit the Tripoli Shrine (http://www.tripolishrine.com). It's a building I've often heard mentioned, but only recently discovered to be a mini replica of the Taj Mahal. Perhaps a trip to the Harley Davidson Museum (http://harley-davidson.com) or Sprecher Brewer Tour (http://www.sprecherbrewery.com) is in store. Provided the weather clears up, as it hindered my visit today, a trip to the Milwaukee Public Museum's Dead Sea Scrolls (http://mpm.edu) exhibit is in order.

I have already managed to experience a few of Milwaukee's tourist gems. I took a tour of the city's very own distillery (http://greatlakesdistillery.com), which is tiny enough that you can sit at the distillery's bar slamming vodka cranberries while overhearing the tour guide (free tour, samples $4). I can't remember much, but I did learn that juniper is what gives gin its destinctively pine taste. Slightly educational, very smooth vodka--I recommend it.

I have also been lucky enough to be introduced to time travel. Please visit Milwaukee's At Random specialty cocktail lounge (2501 S Deleware Street, Bayview) and you will have the pleasure of being transported back in time or perhaps even to another dimension. Though it's hard to see in such dim lighting, the walls are wooden panelled and strung with Christmas lights; creepy owls knick knacks lurk in the corner. The booths are duct-taped and jazz music fills the air. The waitress/owner is pushing 90, using lingo so outmoded communication becomes a struggle. Every seat is taken and the clientele is varied, from older couples to young Latino gangsters. The specialty drinks are pricey ($6-18) but filling and delicious. A great place to venture for a drink after dinner, but be warned, this place fills up fast, hours are scanty, and service is slooooow.

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