Here’s What You Missed in Milwaukee This Week: April 30

The Weekly Ups and Downs: We lost yet another restaurant, and birds were plummeting from the sky, in this cold, gray week in Wisconsin.

Skyline Bar + Lounge

Everything’s better on a roof. Except, I guess, finding out your husband’s actually your long-lost dad. Being on a roof probably wouldn’t make that all that much better. Also, ficus plants. They shouldn’t be in direct sunlight, just indirect. So they’d be worse off on a roof. But, uh … yeah … where the hell was this going? Oh yeah – bars are even better when they’re on rooftops, and Milwaukee just got a brand-new rooftop bar, courtesy of John Ridley. What’s so great about Ridley is that, when he won his Oscar for 12 Years a Slave, he could have said, “Wisconsin? More like Assconsin. I’m outta here. It’s the LA life for Mr. Ridley – fast cars, tan models and an increasingly disastrous homeless problem. Hell yeah!” But he didn’t. He started Nō Studios in Milwaukee, which has been a major player in promoting the arts in the city. And now, staring on May 8, you can head up to the studio’s rooftop and stop by Skyline Bar + Lounge for a beautiful view of the city and a shot of sake.

Photo by Lisa Caesar (No Studios)

Mitchell Airport Going Bananas

What the heck’s happening at Mitchell? Within the last few months, they’ve added three new airlines – Jet Blue, Spirit, and just this week, Sun Country. Plus a Spanx store, the first ever in Wisconsin. What’s with this sudden triple-airline expansion all at once? I thought air travel was in trouble? Don’t get me wrong, I like to see Milwaukee getting new stuff – that’s why this is in the Ups category – but I’m just a little bit wary. Three airlines would be one thing, but you’re going to sit there with a straight face and tell me they got a Spanx store too. That’s heavy. I’m thinking CIA, NSA, real global elite-type stuff. Backroom deals, man. They’re trying to manipulate Milwaukeeans with body shaping active wear and cheap flights. Well I for one won’t be a part of the brain-washing, man. No Spanx around these hips!

Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport

Soup House Closed

There’s a scene in “Twin Peaks: The Return,” in which Big Ed Hurley is sitting alone in his gas station late at night eating soup. It’s one of my favorite scenes ever. Big Ed has been rejected by the woman he’s loved for 50 years. Now we’re left with the loneliness and stoicism of an old man and some soup. It breaks the heart. You know what else breaks the heart? Another restaurant closing. This Thursday we lost The Soup House after 21 years of service. We’re reporting on new closings just about every week, and it’s a sad sight to see.

Loons Falling

If a lonely wanderer raised his gaze over Antigo Monday to take in the afternoon sky and contemplate why that cheating, lying backstabbing harlot that he just can’t stop loving had to leave him for Dave (Dave!? Of all people!), he might have seen something more than just the clouds.  He might have seen Wisconsin’s beloved loons plummeting from the sky. Around this time of year, the loons return up north after their southern winter, but this time around Wisconsin’s wacky weather took a turn for the worse. The Antigo area was hit with one inch of snow along with some hail Monday, and the icy atmosphere coated the loon’s feathers and caused many to fall from the sky. Now the fall isn’t the problem – they can survive that – but once they’re on the ground, they’re essentially defenseless. They can barely walk on land, can’t really find food, and are unable to continue the migration with their loon brethren. This Monday’s massive loon falling prompted a rash of calls reporting downed loons waddling around, and the rescues began. The Raptor Education Group had saved 13 loons by Tuesday, according to the Journal Sentinel, and they encouraged folks in the north-central region to keep watch for the stranded creatures. But if you spot one keep in mind – their beaks are extremely sharp. Before you go chasing after one, thinking you can just scoop it up and save it, imagine this obituary:

“’[Insert your name here] lived a full and joyous life and will be missed by many. They passed away due to wounds sustained during a brave attempt to rescue a fallen loon. Their last words were, ‘Dude, it’s fine, look, I’m just gonna grab it.’ A closed casket service will be held at St. Dingleberry’s Church of the Angels.”

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Archer is the managing editor at Milwaukee Magazine. Some say he is a great warrior and prophet, a man of boundless sight in a world gone blind, a denizen of truth and goodness, a beacon of hope shining bright in this dark world. Others say he smells like cheese.