The weather was still gorgeous but we didn’t want to miss going inside the Milwaukee Art Museum . With the sun shining, making the lake a shimmering blue and the trees a shimmering green, the museum was all the more spectacular, a soaring white skeleton of a building with lots of glass, including a cavernous great hall entry and long white curving halls that feel like magic tunnels. Every which way, the building dazzles, offering selective views of the water and greenery outside. I forgot how interesting the art collection is too, although the architecture is the main attraction. We enjoyed the folk art, the modern homewares design, a special exhibition on the work of the late 19th century French artist Jules Cheret, “father of the Modern poster” whose work advertised the Folies Bergere among other things. (One of my favorite posters depicts a performer catching cannon balls shot from a cannon in his bare hands.) The museum café food looked good but we were still stuffed from our complimentary breakfast with omelet at our hotel, The County Claire so we just had coffee/ice tea on the cafe’s patio overlooking the lake.
We returned to the Third Ward to quickly visit ModGen, a fun plant and home goods store, then walked along the Riverwalk past cool loft apartments in old brick industrial buildings, with boats parked in the water out front. The Bronze Fonz, a statue of Fonzie from the TV show Happy Days was smaller than I remembered. (But perhaps fitting: I met the Fonz, aka Henry Winkler, decades ago in a Montana grocery store oddly, and he’s a small guy.)
Several tour boats set off from the river and looked like fun, less populated than the Chicago boats. At the famous Usingers sausage store we found a great old interior with old murals and marble counters but no grilled brats to eat but a kind butcher recommended one of several restaurants across the street, Buck Bradley’s Saloon (Not the next door Milwaukee Brat house, surprisingly), where we got a delicious grilled brat heaped with sauerkraut and grilled onions.