Saturday, September 20, 2008

Latvian Lass

I had another charming conversation with Isabella, my young friend who knows how to finger knit. Isabella is a kindred spirit. She loves texture and color, and so when she saw me wearing a colorful novelty yarn scarf the other day she stared at me and then started a conversation.

Isabella: I like your scarf. Did you make it?

Me: Yes, I did. I like your hat. Did you make it? (Did I mention that she was wearing a darling crocheted beret that turned her school uniform into an haute-couture ensemble?)

Isabella: No, I bought it in Riga.

Me: Riga? Isn't that in Latvia? Did you go to Latvia?

Isabella: We went there this summer. My mom is from there.

Me: Oh! How wonderful. I've always wanted to go to Latvia because of the knitting. Did you know that Latvia is really famous for their knitting?
You should see their knitting, it's very pretty with lots of colors.

Isabella: (excitedly) I know! You should see their hats!

Together: You should see their mittens! (giggles)

Isabella and I have decided that we will knit together after school. I can't wait to knit and giggle some more.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Great Place on A Great Lake

Friends and I enjoyed a "River Brewery Cruise" along the Milwaukee River this weekend. We enjoyed brewery tours at Lakefront brewery, the Ale House, and Rockbottom, but mostly we enjoyed the art and architecture on Milwaukee's River Walk and the absolutely perfect weather. We also discovered Grohmann's Labor Museum on the MSOE campus and had an incredible dinner with city view at Roots.

I love my hometown. We have a world class Art Museum, Public Museum, and Zoo, a beautiful lakefront, great county parks and bike paths, an incredible number of great restaurants at reasonable prices, a symphony, ballet, and repertory theatre. We have comedy clubs and Comedy Sportz. We also have smaller theater groups--Chamber theater, children's theater, and not just one, but two opera companies.

We're known for our summer festivals. We celebrate Festa Italiana, Polishfest, Germanfest, Fiesta Mexicana, Irishfest, and the grand daddy of them all Summer Fest.

We have several small museums that are absolute gems--The Betty Brinn children's museum, the Discovery World Museum, the Eisner Advertising museum, the Pabst Mansion, and the Labor Museum (pictured above).

Oh yeah, we also have a major league baseball team and basketball team.

So why is it that more people don't think of Milwaukee as a tourist destination?
I think a major reason is that most Milwaukeeans don't realize how good we've got it, and people who've never been here just don't know.

Milwaukee is a best kept secret. This last weekend we let 100,000 or so Harley riders in on our little secret. I hope they don't keep the secret, but spread it around. Milwaukee is a great place on a Great Lake.