Milwaukee, Wis. By Joey Salvucci

Sarah and I visited Milwaukee on our last, much shorter jaunt around the U.S. Just from looking around, here is my impression: the place is built like a fortress.  The large numbers of brick buildings give an impression of strength and permanence and an industrial spirit without need of excess or frivolity. 
I like cultures like this. People take care of themselves, but don’t feel the need to compete for the most updated fashion or the most expensive handbag.  Maybe this whole impression is just a result of visiting in an especially stormy patch of winter, when all of the designer attire was safely packed away in closets.  I am excited to see if my perception is changed this time around.

Miller High Life is the most underrated beer in the American market. It beats the pants off of any comparably priced beer, and many more expensive ones. This will be my beer of choice when we visit the Miller Brewing Company factory (at right) on Monday morning. 
Milwaukee is home to the—drum roll, please—largest music festival in the world: Summerfest. Of course, we'rll be missing it by a month or so. But during our visit another event is going on the same lakefront grounds - the 32nd annual Festa Italiana.  This is billed as “America’s premiere Italian cultural event,” a chance for me to see some my own people in the midst of an unfamiliar territory. I couldn’t hope for a better venue or cultural event to experience.

We’ll be dragging along the hairiest man I know: a college friend named Wes. Here’s a picture.
And here are some places we might visit in the meanwhile.

-Milwaukee Art Museum (at right)

-Miller Park

-Harley-Davidson Museum

-Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservancy

-Charles Allis Art Museum

-Oak Leaf Trail

-Brady Street

-Lakefront Brewery

-Milwaukee Public Market

(From top) Photo by magrolino courtesy; photo by Hometown Invasion Tour courtesy; photo courtesy Wes Givens; photo by Nathan Umstead courtesy