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Edited by Ann Christenson Tosa Resurgence Wauwatosa’s freeways are getting face-lifts to match the new business park on the County Grounds. The Mayfair Collection is reinventing retail in western Tosa. Even restaurateurs are expanding to this happening ’burb. hyde park mke (6738 W. Wells St.), a fixture since the 1930s, has evolved, too – to […]

Edited by Ann Christenson

Hyde Park MKE by Cate Hrobsky

Hyde Park MKE by Cate Hrobsky.

Tosa Resurgence

Wauwatosa’s freeways are getting face-lifts to match the new business park on the County Grounds. The Mayfair Collection is reinventing retail in western Tosa. Even restaurateurs are expanding to this happening ’burb. hyde park mke (6738 W. Wells St.), a fixture since the 1930s, has evolved, too – to a tailor/cleaners-cum-boutique. Third-generation owner Sydney Deutsch, has folded in an array of sweaters, feathered skirts, locally made Madam Chino dresses, and sparkling accessories, buffing the space into an on-trend women’s retail spot that takes dressing smartly to another level. The shop still offers tailoring and dry cleaning, as if straddling the line between tradition and innovation. That’s a good place to be. (Claire Hanan)

Dogma Discarded

Daniel C. Maguire’s Christianity without god (SUNY Press) encircles a number of unfashionable conclusions. After dismantling Christian dogmas across 125 pages, sprinting through their political, economical and historical conveniences, the Marquette University ethics professor gives the book over to “retrieving the epic moral narrative.” Secularists, he warns, might be embarrassed. The wily apostate is at his most unconventional when illustrating the influence of Judaism and Jesus’ story on how humans conceive of themselves and society. Spiritual immortality, he argues memorably, in an afterlife, or as an extension of God, served as an early egalitarian counter to perceiving the state as paramount. (Matt Hrodey)

House of 1,000 Paintings,  courtesy of Sanford Darling

House of 1,000 Paintings, courtesy of Sanford Darling.

No Place Like Home

Of the 12 artists whose work comprises this must be the place (through Feb. 22 at John Michael Kohler Arts Center), it is the humble that lingers. Beverly Buchanan’s ticky-tacky houses emanate the splintered and desperately patched conditions of our “little boxes.” These visionary, hand-hewn abodes underlie the essence of “home,” reminding us that it’s the idiosyncratic or flawed that lodges in memory. Her doll house-sized shacks carry a sensitivity to the found materials used to make them. Each feels like a dreamy notion of shelter standing bravely against the forces of decay and abandonment. (Debra Brehmer)

Distilled Destination

I don’t head to Muskego often. But a tasty Founders Breakfast Stout at The Suburban Bourbon (S76 W17745 Janesville Rd., Muskego) makes a trip to the suburb worth it. The bar-restaurant next to Little Muskego Lake has an exterior that exudes nondescript roadhouse, but once inside, the impression changes. The sleek, welcoming interior features a long bar surrounded by a smattering of candlelit tables – perfect places to enjoy a solid beer list of 12 taps and more than 30 bottles, or a sample from the expansive list of brown elixirs. True to its name, the menu includes 20-plus bourbons, close to a dozen single-malt Scotch options, and a few rye and whiskey choices. These pours don’t just come neat. A list of cocktails includes an Old Fashioned, expertly made with Bulleit bourbon. That’s a good call in the suburbs or the city. (Dan Murphy)

East Branch Library by Scott Paulus

East Branch Library by Scott Paulus.

Pulp Reverence

Remnants of the old 1968 East Library are folded into the new 2014 East Library (2340 N. Cramer St.). Artist Kathryn E. Martin crafted a topographical map of the East Side out of trees from the site. And HGA Architects found an inventive way to display the stained-glass panels nearly hidden in the former building. But additional artistic flourishes inside and out (by artists Ray Chi and Santiago Cucullu) combined with floor-to-ceiling windows and a gas-burning fireplace shatter any preconceived notions of dusty old stacks. Your book club just found a new, hip home. (Tim McCormick)

This story appears in the January, 2015, issue of Milwaukee Magazine.
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