Here’s What You Missed in Milwaukee This Week: May 14

COVID restrictions loosen, the Third Ward gets a new store, and gas prices head in the wrong direction this week in MKE.

Milwaukee’s Re-Opening

On Thursday, Mayor Tom Barrett, whom I will refer to from here on out as Big B-Money, and Commissioner of Health Kirsten Johnson (Healthy Homie KJ) announced that starting on June 15, COVID restrictions are loosening up in Milwaukee. Capacity limits are going away, and any event hosted after June 15 won’t need to submit a safety plan to the city. Mask wearing will still be enforced indoors, and social distancing will be recommended, but otherwise, things are opening up. “We are moving in the right direction,” said Big B-Money, at the press conference. But unfortunately, this could always be reversed. “If at any point it starts to look like what occurred last fall, we will have to put restrictions back in place,” said Healthy Homie KJ.

A New Wine Tasting Store

I was super into this new wine tasting store when I first learned about it, but then someone told me that it’s “inappropriate” and “reprehensible” to glug an entire bottle of wine and then sing “Danny Boy,” whilst weeping and crawling around the floor. You’re supposed to take sips. Ok, I guess? Kinda takes the fun out of the wine experience. But whatever. The folks at 2A Wine Merchants are opening up this new Third Ward store at the end of June. It’ll have a tasting bar, charcuterie boards, and a selection of wine from the affordable to the rare.

Renderings by Three Sixty

The Milwaukee Film Festival

One semi-positive thing about COVID is that it opened the Milwaukee Film Festival up to virtual streaming. So now you can now munch on Funyuns and Fritos while enjoying their lineup of movies. The festival’s still going until the 20th, so you can grab a ticket and stream a film right now, if it tickles your fancy.

Photo via Milwaukee Film Festival

Fan Capacity Increases at American Family Field

There’s something undeniably pathetic about two of this week’s Ups being about less restrictive capacity limits. Imagine getting excited about a stadium allowing people to fill 50% of the seats in 2019. I remember going to a packed Bucks game in February 2020, just as COVID was starting to become a concern in America, not even realizing that I was witnessing a spectacular, mask-less event not to be replicated again for God knows how long. But this week marked a step in a good direction – The Brewers and the Bucks both announced that they’re increasing capacity from 25% to 50%.

Photo by Rich Rovito

Anna Grace Lost

Our hometown hero, Anna Grace, was voted off “The Voice” on Tuesday. She had made it this far off a couple killer performances, including one that made Snoop Dogg tear up, but her performance of “Let It Go” lost out to those non-Milwaukeean scumbag liars, cheaters and frauds competing against her. So here’s a salute to her – she did our city proud.

NOTE: Oh, and does anyone else think “The Voice” marks a major cultural shift in America? “American Idol” was the first major singing competition show in the 2000s, and the entire point of that show was the embarrassing early rounds. It was all about viciously mocking the poor untalented rejects who showed up to auditions trying to chase their dreams – HA! What a loser, hoping he could achieve in his life! B flat? More like be gone, you ugly sad sack! – and this was evidenced by the early episodes of each season, when the people who didn’t have a chance of winning were auditioning, getting higher ratings than the real competition between good singers later on. Then comes April 26th, 2011 – the first episode of “The Voice,” and the shift in culture begins. “The Voice” doesn’t have a Simon Cowell. The YouTube clips that rack up big views aren’t of some poor, misshapen person desperately trying to sing “Oops … I Did it Again.” That show is gushingly positive. Judges pour out compliments like syrup over waffles, and then when they have to let someone go, it’s sickeningly sentimental. “You’re the best, most beloved, most talented little ice cream buttercup this nation has ever known. But unfortunately, you gotta go, sweetheart.” This shift in focus mirrors a rejection of the cynical, ironic, mocking Gen X ethos toward the  fake positivity and pseudo-kindness of the millennials. What will follow, as my own Gen Z rises to cultural prominence? A singing show in which neo-monks, sadist internet babies, and e-girls scream random lines from ancient Gnostic texts at each other, while an angel of death hovers overhead, waiting to bring sweet relief to the best screamer? Who knows?

Rising Gas Prices

Gas prices in Wisconsin rose 11 cents over the past month, according to Patrick De Haan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy, told Urban Milwaukee that it was due to increasing demand – the corollary of last year’s post-lockdown dip in prices – and added that the recent cyberattack that disrupted the U.S. gas supply chain shouldn’t affect Wisco prices. This comes the same week that the US Consumer Product Safety Commission tweeted, “Do not fill plastic bags with gasoline” in response to gas hoarding. What are people thinking, panicking and filling plastic bags with gasoline? When the raiders come, they’ll just take the bags, idiots. What you have to do is build a concealed underground bunker, in which you can store your gasoline containers for later use. Obviously this should be separate from the underground bunker in which you will be living, as you want to ensure that the discovery of one does not mean the loss of the other. Amateurs.



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.