Last week I spent about 24 hours in Milwaukee, Wisconsin visiting old friends. My first stop was Rare Steakhouse visiting the Executive Chef who I used to work with in Skokie, IL. I had one of my favorite go-t0 dishes– a steak salad. This one, called the Pittsburgh Salad, was conventionally covered in delicious steak of course but also duck fat frites which was an interesting change. The decor inside was very dark and extravagant, similar to a high-society Godfather setting. The only thing that brought me back to my laid-back way of life was that I had one of my favorite soccer players Lewandowski playing on the TV in the background.
After that I met with one of my closest and oldest friends at her place of business, Walzak Marketing Communications. Their office was very “Milwaukee” in my opinion because it appeared to be in a house-turned-office-building. (The other way a building can be
“Milwaukee” in my opinion is when they turn a factory into an office or residential space.) The office was filled with design magazines going years back and I would have spent hours going through them all if I could.
We went back to her apartment– which is priced jealously low compared to Chicago apartments– and drank (a new favorite) Kringle Cream and Stella Cidre and talked about highly classified things (mainly our families, cats and our place in the design community). Towards the end of the evening we went to Cafe Hollander which reminded me of Amsterdam with the menu and bicycle-inspired decor. I had the Cajun Shrimp Roll, which had coleslaw I actually enjoyed, as well as traditional frites with a healthy portion of chipotle aioli. (I swear I don’t eat frites this often usually.)
The following morning I went to do some work at one of my favorite coffeeshops– Colectivo— in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood. I had a good (largest size possible) cup of coffee and a smoke salmon sandwich with scrumptiously salty capers. There’s just something about a coffeeshop setting when it comes to doing any kind of creative work. It might be the people or the music playing the background but it fuels me with creative energy. I’m definitely not one to have headphones on when I’m at one.
Right before I left for Chicago, I went around and shot some pictures a few blocks down from Colectivo. While Milwaukee may not be on the top of my list of places to live, I can appreciate the industrial history and the sense of hard work portrayed by people who live there.
To see more pictures of “Industrial City” go here.