Here’s What You Missed in Wisconsin This Week: May 13

Cruise ships, French food and an unnecessarily passionate defense of the meteorological profession.

A Big Ol’ Cruise Ship Scoots Right Under the Hoan

This week the Viking Octanis cruise ship docked at Port Milwaukee for the first time. The ship is kicking off the season, and will be coming in and out of Milwaukee all summer. But if it was just a couple of feet taller, this would have been a totally different story. The ship just barely cleared the Hoan Bridge by about four to six feet, according to the Port Milwaukee director. That was a closer call than my last traffic stop. 

Viking Octantis; Photo by Rich Rovito

Lupi and Iris Is Opening Next Week

Ah, France. The Arc de Triomphe, The Louvre, Notre Dame, the 120 Days of Sodom. A place of beauty and culture. And now the cuisine of that lovely country is coming to downtown Milwaukee with Lupi & Iris, a new restaurant from James Beard Award-winning chef Adam Siegel. The new spot opens on May 17, serving cuisine of the French and Italian rivieras.

You may notice that I left Italy out of the little joke above. Not because I favor Italy over France, but because I’m half-Italian and my uncle Luigi doesn’t have the best sense of humor and last time I made a joke about my heritage, he sent Vinny and the boys around my place for a “chat.”

Rendering courtesy of Lupi & Iris Restaurant

A New Documentary From a Local Journalist

Mary Louise Schumacher, former art critic for the Journal Sentinel and and occasional writer for MilMag, is nearly done with a documentary that’s been 10 years in the making. She started the film in the midst of local newspapers cutting budgets and laying off critics. It’s meant to explore what the loss of art criticism means for communities by following five art critics over a decade. Schumacher is now fundraising to finish up the film and is planning to release it for the 2023 festival circuit. It sounds like a great movie, and we all wish her success with it.

But frankly, I must admit that I have a serious beef with the entire criticism industrial complex stemming from my time as a public performance artist. They take a young, handsome, talented artist with bold new ideas and just tear him down with totally baseless critiques like, “This is obscene,” or “Frankly, I don’t understand why the police haven’t stepped in,” or “Can someone please just put someone pants on him, for God’s sake?” Pedants and charlatans.

Filming ‘Out of the Picture’ with Jen Graves; Photo courtesy of Mary Louise Schumacher

The Severe Weather That Didn’t Happen

On Tuesday, it looked like southeastern Wisconsin was in the path of some serious tornadic activity. But then, by the evening, it turned out that it was just a warm, sunny, extremely pleasant day. Which was nice. I have to say I’m happy that all the weather folks were wrong again.

Now I actually included this story here because I believe that our reaction to incorrect weather predictions says something about human nature and gratitude. And, being the foremost philosopher of my time, I’d like to share these thoughts.

For millennia, human beings suffered under unpredictable, random and catastrophic weather. You might have a minute’s warning before a tornado. Or maybe you were miles from home, nowhere near shelter, when a vicious thunder storm hit. You had no idea how long a snowfall would last, or how bad it would be, until you were trapped without enough supplies. Lots of people died. And then, by an abject miracle of human ingenuity, we developed technological means of predicting the weather to a remarkable degree. We know that a tornado might be coming hours in advance. A severe storms is predicted a week before it hits. We can tell roughly how bad the snowfall will be and plan accordingly. And, as a result, we don’t die. And yet, when the weatherman on the TV says there’s going to be a storm and it turns out he’s wrong, we feel it acceptable – nay, morally correct – to righteously complain about it from our crumb-covered couches. Do you see what I mean about human nature and gratitude?

Ok, that’s all for this rant. Shout out to all my meteorologists.



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Titanic Shows Canceled

This week, the Milwaukee Rep was forced to cancel the remaining 15 showings of Titanic: The Musical due to multiple COVID cases among the cast. The canceled shows add up to an estimated $255,000 in lost revenue and concessions. This show was one of the Rep’s biggest productions ever and started as a triumphant return to live theater, so this one hurts.

Titanic: The Musical at the Milwaukee Rep; Photo by Brianna Schubert



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.