The Best Things to Do This Week, According to Our Editors: Sept. 6

Exploring tunnels, a world without email and more this week in Milwaukee.

1. Drive the Refreshed Kilbourn Tunnels


As a kid, I always used to love using the tunnels connecting Kilbourn Avenue to I-43. Tunnels are inherently cool. But lately, I’d often go out of my way to avoid them. Dank, dreary, run-down… they were like a location for one of those movies from the ’80s and ’90s when the director really wanted to emphasize to the audience that this was a tired city in the full grips of urban decay. Well, no more! After a few months of work, the tunnels reopened last week and oh baby, they are looking crisp, with new pavement, fresh paint and upgraded lighting. I feel like a kid again.

2. Go For a Morning Stroll


Recently, I started a new healthy habit. Every day, before I open my email – that’s important – I go for a walk around the neighborhood. It’s new, but has had such a positive impact on my morning routine. I see neighbors out and about, wave to familiar faces by my local coffee shop and get a moment of peace before I start my daily to dos. The walk isn’t long, maybe a mile, but it starts my day off right. Often, I’ll go for a walk over lunch and after I close out my day, too, but the morning stroll is always the most fulfilling. Try it. 




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3. Check Out the Updated Oriental Theatre


I’ve always considered the Oriental Theatre one of the seven wonders of Milwaukee. So blinded by its beauty was I that it never occurred to me that it was in need of a little restoration. But having paid a recent visit to the newly spruced-up venue, all I can say is wow! From the comfy new seats to the dramatic new lighting, it’s even more amazing than ever. Milwaukee Film, the owner of the venue, invested over a million dollars tackling projects that include an improved sound system and a revamped concession stand.  The work enhances what was already there in subtle yet significant ways. My advice: Go see for yourself!

Photo by Carole Nicksin
Photo by Carole Nicksin

4. Read A World Without Email by Cal Newport


If your reaction to that title is, “Oh my God, Paradise,” then this book is definitely for you. Newport dives into everything that’s wrong with email. In essence, it fractures our attention, forcing us to task-switch constantly between our actual work and talking about work. He calls it the “hyperactive hive mind.” Low-effort, high-volume communications force everyone to be plugged in constantly, way past normal work hours, and detract from actual, meaningful efforts. I’m not sure I 100% buy into some of the solutions he presents in the later half the book, but felt very vindicated by his takedown of this all pervasive communication tool.

5. Bake Cookies!


It’s gotten a little cooler outside, about which I have mixed feelings. I’m not ready for fall by any stretch, but on the flip side, I’m feeling much more like baking – a task that generally turns my kitchen into a hot box. Not now! And lately I’ve been missing the cookies Sarah Marx Feldner made when she ran Treat Bake Shop in the Third Ward several years ago. Every week Marx Feldner did a thing called Cookie Fridays, when she offered a heavenly assortment of fresh-baked cookies for sale. It was Fridays only so they were very special and we, at MilMag, went bananas for them. While she no longer runs that business, Marx Feldner has a website where she posts some of her recipes. I started by making her fudgy chocolate brownie cookies, which are utterly divine.

Photo by of Getty Images