Posts Tagged ‘Travel Milwaukee’

Pecha Kucha Milwaukee

May 12, 2010

Twenty slides, 20 seconds each. That’s all you get to explain your idea when it’s Pecha Kucha night.

Now happening in more than 300 cities across the globe, Pecha Kucha (Japanese for “chatter”) is a hot, swirling current of ideas and new approaches to life and work. The process unleashes the minds of innovative thinkers and provides a non-threatening stage for emerging artists and other original types to showcase their work. From taverns to trade shows, presenters—each with 20 slides and 6 minutes, 40 seconds of talk-time—speak on virtually any topic. Simple idea…but very compelling.

The process was dreamed up in Tokyo in 2003 by architects Mark Dytham and Astrid Klein, to facilitate concise presentations for their designers. The events, now held worldwide, provide a setting for intelligent people to present their ideas—for free—to an audience. To watch ten presentations in Milwaukee, audience members each pay $10–the money goes toward the Pecha Kucha non-profit organization, for website upkeep and such.

Last night’s set of presentations at the Sugar Maple bar in Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood was an artsy mix of creative exploration, cultural celebration and seemingly impossible mathematical equations. Topics ranged from building out-of-this world bicycles with disadvantaged kids to exploring Puerto Rican heritage to creating an architectural masterpiece out of clothespins and electrical wire. The audience leaned forward intently, laughed, shook their heads and learned. Oh, and they drank beer. Then they networked with presenters afterward to discover more about their ideas.  Here’s the website–check out a Pecha Kucha night near you:


Milwaukee Hotels

December 22, 2009

Twenty years ago, you could roll a bowling ball down Wisconsin Avenue on a Saturday afternoon and never see a strike—a pedestrian, that is—unless, of course, it was the week of Summerfest. Now, plenty of visitor-friendly things to see and do make this little city a gem: Great Lakes Distillery, Discovery World, the Third Ward and the Riverwalk, for example.

Following suit, several classic hotels have been polished to a new luster, while the newest addition, The Iron Horse Hotel, is revved up and rolling, just across from the brand new Harley-Davidson Museum.

For the best in Milwaukee lodging, try one of these properties on your next visit:

At the InterContinental, you can be one of the Beautiful People, sipping an Orange Lychee Martini at the Zen Den, the sexiest, most elegant cocktail lounge in town. The only lights in the place come from the alabaster bar and tabletops, which glow mysteriously from within.

Hotel Metro is a sleek, contemporary sleep-spot, listed on Travel & Leisure’s Top 500. Splurging on a Master Suite means you’ll have extras like a wet bar, a towel heater and spa jets in the oversized tub. The best part, though, is the rooftop spa, with its relaxing waterfall and outdoor fireplace.

The Ambassador Hotel, a lovely art-deco style property, was built in 1927 and refurbished, top to bottom, in 2005. The lobby gleams with stunning period fixtures, and most oversized rooms have flat-screen TVs, complimentary Aveda products and plush robes. The on-site gourmet restaurant and lounge, Envoy, offers terrific food and drinks under the glow of sparkling glass chandeliers.

County Clare offers 4-poster beds in charming green and ivory rooms, and a filling Irish breakfast each morning. The pub on the main floor has lovely stained glass windows and specialty tap beers such as Black Velvet (Guinness and Strongbow). The menu, meanwhile, offers help for the hungry with country classics like shepherd’s pie and meatloaf. There’s live Irish entertainment most weekends.

The newest—and quite possibly coolest—lodging is The Iron Horse Hotel, right across the river from the Harley-Davidson Museum. They cater to bikers—with underground cycle parking and boot benches in the rooms—and to anyone else who wants a boutique hotel with a sexy, sophisticated edge. Here’s a peek at the artsy minibar in one of the rooms:

Start your evening at the two-story cocktail lounge, Branded, and then move the party to recently opened Smythe, the on-site restaurant, for some upscale comfort food. 2010 promises the opening of the downstairs Boiler Room, which will  provide an adults-only hot-tubbing experience, complete with a lounge for relaxing with cocktails and conversation.

The Brumder Mansion is a beautifully restored Wisconsin Avenue mansion-turned-bed-and-breakfast, with seven working fireplaces–and a live-performance theatre in the basement, which was completely restored by new owners this year.

Finally, the 115-year-old Pfister Hotel, a downtown Victorian masterpiece, continually self-renews; the latest improvement is WELL Spa, on the ground floor. This most luxurious spa in Milwaukee offers treatments with enticing names such as Marine Extreme, Orient Express and Hammam Shower Experience.