One of the best parts of moving to a new city is exploring it – taking in all the little details that too soon will become part of a commonplace background. My mom came to visit me in Milwaukee for the first time since I moved up here (yay!). We spent a lot of time wandering around indoors and out yesterday, avoiding the rain and taking advantage of the bursts of amazing fall weather. Windy, crisp, and just right for taking pictures!
When I was a little child, it was one of the highlights of the year to take the “long” drive to Milwaukee and go shopping at the Grand Avenue Mall. As a kid growing up in a town of 15,000, a trip to a multiple story, bustling, first-food-court-in-the-state having; fancy shopping mall was an incredible experience. My most vivid memory (besides clinging to my mom’s hand) is of the candy store. I remember a store decorated with dark green walls and dark wood shelves. I remember feeling surrounded by those huge clear glass jars filled with all kinds of colorful treats. Most of all, I remember a large clawfoot bathtub filled with saltwater taffy.
The sun came out in the afternoon, and we took a ride north along the lake. We looked at the amazing mansions on the lake front, and stopped to take some more pictures at the North Point Lighthouse. The many unique designs of the different homes makes me wonder – at what point did we as a culture abandon unique, ornate, and beautiful as design elements in favor of brown plastic siding? Houses that probably took over a year to construct, for cheap gimcrack nonsense that goes up in a few weeks? This is the architectural legacy for future generations? Lame. But the weather was great, the sky unbelievable.
After a leisurely brunch at Sven’s Coffee House, we’ll head back to the lakefront to the art museum and Labor Fest! Maybe with a side trip to Groppi’s for a pick up supper.