Spring Break 2016: 36 Hours in Milwaukee

The New York Times has a travel feature called 36 Hours. The schtick is that they lay out a core set of things to do in 36 hours of real time. This year the kids’ Spring Break snuck up on us and I had nothing planned. So I put together a short jaunt to Milwaukee with some (planned and unplanned) stops along the way. S-L added the meal components. Here’s our report:

Racine: Trump Rally

We had to drop off Kitteh early on Saturday morning and then got donuts at Stan’s. This still left some goodly time to get to SC Johnson by 10AM, so we decided to detour to downtown Racine and take some pics at around 9AM. We saw a bunch of cops and people standing in line, then some Trump-oriented vehicles. We quickly realized we stumbled on a Trump rally. Fuck that guy. So we got out to take some pics.

Trump Rally Racine

We talked to this guy, who sold us a Trump flag:

Trump Rally Racine
SC Johnson Campus by Frank Lloyd Wright 

This was a joy. We love Frank Lloyd Wright. What a genius. What a crank. What a creator of impractical places. The Research Tower, which was designed to be  a building of the future, is unusable because it has only one way to get in or out.

SC Johnson Frank Lloyd Wright

Still: pure genius. We did the tour— which is the only way to see the place. They get slightly corporate cult-like about their products and ancestor -worshippy on their founders— I could do without that. But a great, great place to see.

I especially loved the claustrophobic parking lot:

SC Johnson Parking Lot

And the laboratory, drawers, which met the color palette perfectly:

SC Johnson Research Tower

Brewhouse Suites

Circa 1PM we got to our hotel, the Brewhouse Suites. Notwithstanding the fact that I am an alcoholic and try to stay away from alcohol-oriented things, this place looked mint online and it definitely came through.

Brewhouse Suites

We stayed in a huge two-bedroom suite. Good for doing homework, of which there was much.

Brewhouse Suites

Lounge-y living room was a bonus:

Brewhouse Suites Milwaukee

Marquette University

Since we have teenagers, we try to swing by a local university whenever we travel, even if it is for a self-guided tour. We went to Marquette, which is a beautiful campus. Since it was so unseasonably cold and windy, we stayed in the car, checked Wikipedia, and decided that maybe we might take a closer look at another date.

Church at Marquette

Third Ward

Next we hung out in the Historic Third Ward. Did some shopping at Shoo and had a coffee at Hudson, which is a coffee-d up coworking space with a fireplace.



Nice buildings:

Jennaro Brothers

But it was, again, cold + rainy:

Dinner at Hinterland

Perfectly nice place.


Milwaukee Public Market

This was a really cool place, and very similar to one I went to in Cleveland. We tried to go to a regular breakfast somewhere, but the wait was 45 minutes, so we went down the street here. We were able to all get something we liked from different stalls.

Milwaukee Public Market

Milwaukee Art Museum

Then we headed over to this gem.

Milwaukee Art Museum

Playful architecture is fun.

Milwaukee Art Museum

Saw Nature and American Vision: The Hudson School. Never been a fan of this kind of art. I just think photography does it better. Add to that the general Manifest Destiny bullshit. But there was some great stuff in there, including this nice Lichtenstein.

Nice Lichtenstrein

With teenagers, it’s often not the direct “YOU WILL LOOK AT ART AND UNDERSTAND THE VISION OF THE CURATOR” type of moment. Mostly it’s about *being* in front of art, together. It can be enough.

Caleb and CXO in Milwaukee Art Museum.

SL and I bought the book for the show, as usual. Our goal is to write a book of joint essays about every show we’ve seen. We buy the books and mark them up with Sharpies. make the books ours, and make sure we keep a record of what we thought when we were younger.

Bulls v. Bucks

Lastly, we caught a Bulls game at the Bradley Center. We had tickets right behind the visitor bench, so that was fun. We got all of the classic pics one would want at such an event:


We were even on TV:

On Tv

Also: by 9PM— our 36th hour— we won:

Bulls Win

All hail Milwaukee.

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