Sunday, September 25, 2011

Doors Open Milwaukee and Lunch at Water Buffalo

This morning, I kind of threw my Sunday plans out the window and went with being spontaneous instead. I can always grocery shop and read books and magazines anyway.

After telling Craig about the Doors Open Milwaukee event going on today and reading info about it to him from the newspaper, we decided to check it out.

Our favorite local historian nailed the experience on the head with this quote:

“Milwaukeeans spend most of our lives in a built environment that has been evolving for 175 years, but we rarely see more than the facades. Once a year, beginning in 2011, the doors will open, and the treasures in our midst will be available for all to enjoy.”
—John Gurda, Milwaukee historian

Our first stop was the US Bank building where we headed up to the 41st floor for spectacular views of Milwaukee. After having gone up in tall buildings like the Empire State building, the Sears tower, and the Eiffel Tower, it probably sounds weird, but I really appreciated seeing my hometown from up high and being able to take these shots. According to the Doors Open site, the US Bank building is the tallest in the state of Wisconsin, so I guess this was pretty special!

Picnik collage US Bank building

I can see my friend's condo in this photo!

The Milwaukee Art Museum (with a pink fountain for the Breast Cancer Walk that occurred today).

The next stop was the Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center.

Picnik collage Scottish Masonic building

We were getting hungry so we ventured over to the Third Ward to Water Buffalo restaurant.

I had a Turkey and Brie sandwich--it had spinach, apples, tomatoes, the turkey and brie all on a focaccia bread and some fruit on the side. I loved it!

Water Buffalo

Water Buffalo Miwaukee

I'll try not to bore you with so many photos of our next stops, but they were cool too. We went downtown to the City Hall and the Pabst Theater.

At City Hall, we arrived at a perfect time as we made the 2:30 tour of the Common Council chamber.

City Hall Milwaukee

Milwaukee City Hall

Don't I look like a natural?

A Natural Politician?

I'm not so sure about Craig though!

The evil politician?

The last place we went to was the Pabst Theater. I hadn't been there since I was a little girl and saw Peter Pan with my mom. I clearly need to get out more! Too bad I just missed one of my favorite comedians, Michael Ian Black, when he was in town at the Pabst.

Pabst Theater Chandelier

Pabst Theater

The best part was that we got to go backstage! My pictures of that experience didn't turn out, but it was pretty cool to be up there.

We did have to deal with some pretty bad rain today, but that's what umbrellas are for. As we exited on the freeway on the way home, we saw a huge rainbow that made us smile.

I was happy to see downtown packed for this event. The restaurants all benefited from it too, which is great.

It was fun being tourists in our own city! If this event happens next year, I would highly recommend it to locals and tourists.


  1. Water Buffalo is my favorite!!! Next time we meet up, let's go there!! :)

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  3. I didn't know Milwaukee offered such a thing! What a lovely event. I have to tell you - I went to high school with Mr. Gurda's son, and Mr. Gurda is one of the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure of talking to; he's so smart and kind. I also have to tell you that I love City Hall and have spent a lot of time in the council chambers; my high school held its annual student congress tournament there in January, and I actually won first place at that meet my senior year and accepted my award from Tom Barrett. :) And finally, I will tell you that I adore the Pabst. I've seen lots of concerts and plays there, and it's perhaps the best place to see a show. Glad you got to explore a bit. Sounds like it was fun!