Milwaukee doesn’t necessarily rank among the top holiday destinations but it’s a good city to spend a couple of days in. Whenever I go to new places I always look for famous people from there. With Milwaukee I was struggling to find anyone of note. There’s loads of baseball players and gridiron exponents, all of whom I’ve never heard of. One of the lists has a serial killer in the top ten! The best I could come up with is Heather Graham and Liberace! That said, two of my favourite telly programmes as a youngster were set here, Happy Days and the underrated That ‘70s Show, which initially put Milwaukee on my radar.
I had a wander around Milwaukee this afternoon. As with many Midwest US cities, there’s plenty of grand old buildings around from an era when these places were perhaps a bit more prosperous. Some of the more impressive were the Milwaukee Courthouse which wouldn’t look amiss in ancient Athens, and the beautiful City Hall that still looks impressive today, never mind when it was built in 1895.
Milwaukee has a nice pedestrianised walkway along the river, unimaginatively named the Riverwalk. This goes for a couple of miles around the city centre and is a pleasant way to spend a summer evening. The bit of the Riverwalk that I was most interested in seeing was the Bronze Fonz, a statue tribute to the Happy Days character, Arthur Fonzarelli.
I think I mentioned that Salt Lake City is probably not the best place for a night out. Well the opposite could be said about Milwaukee. Back before the days of globalisation, Milwaukee was perhaps the beer capital of the USA, if not the world. They had the Miller Brewery, the Pabst Brewery and some others that I can’t recall and can’t check due to the limited WiFi on the bus where I’m writing this. I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. It’s usually the cheapest beer on sale and although it’s generic lager, quality-wise I’d put it mid-table. Anyhow, there’s a section of Water Street that is chockablock with bars. During the afternoon happy hours they’re virtually giving their food and drink away here. At Monday teatime you shouldn’t be paying more than $1 a pint. I spotted two places on the same block that proudly advertise featuring on the television show, Man vs Food. I opted for the Red Rock Saloon for the only reason being that it claims to be the only country bar in Milwaukee. Normally I’d avoid chicken wings as you usually get fried bones with a bit of skin on them but the ones here are top notch.