The Best Things to Do This Week, According to Our Editors: April 24

This week, we recommend “Native America: In Translation” at Milwaukee Art Museum, Lebnani House and more.

1. Check Out MIAD’s Senior Exhibition 


Last Friday, I had the chance to pop into this amazing exhibition at MIAD. It featured work from all the 2023 seniors – a massive amount of talent scattered throughout the school. I also had the chance to talk to a few of the artists while I wandered around the rooms (so many rooms!) full of different types of art, from product design to sculpture to interior architecture design. It was so cool to hear about all the hard work they put into the projects they had on view. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see but half of it, so I’ll definitely be going back before it closes on May 6. And if you like seeing new and upcoming artistic talent, I recommend you head on over too!

MIAD Senior Exhibition 2023; Photo by Brianna Schubert

2. Enjoy a Meal at Lebnani House


It’s Sunday night – which I expect to be a quiet night at Lebnani House (5051 S. 27th St., Greenfield) – man, am I wrong. Families with babies, celebration cakes, voracious appetites and booming voices inundate the dining room. I expect the service to be slow and chaotic and the kitchen bottlenecked, but it’s not. Or if it is, I’m not aware of it. And goodness, is our table ever lucky – a windfall. The hummus with pockets of fresh-from-the-oven pita; arugula salad loaded with whole walnuts, fried apricots, beets and a pomegranate-molasses dressing I can’t get enough of; a flatbread topped with minced beef which they call mashrouha; and this wowsa production – chicken maqlouba, a chicken, eggplant and rice dish which comes to the table in a covered pot. The server removes the lid, places a dinner plate over the top, flips it and plunks the plate right in front of me. This thing is a steaming-hot, cardamom-coursing dream. Now, some words to the wise: If you come to Lebnani without a reservation, good luck – be prepared for a wait. And oh, yeah: maybe this story has a little something to do with it. 

Lebnani House; Photo by Ann Christenson



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3. Read The Look of the Book by David J. Alworth and Peter Mendelsund


When I look back on college, the thing I miss most is long afternoon breaks between classes, during which I had hours to escape to the library and read. I read more during college than ever before or after, devoting many hours of my free time to literature, and after four years I feel as though I developed an appreciation for the best that books have to offer. (FYI: The thing I miss second-most about college is all the free beer.) I bring up my obsessive love of reading because The Look of the Book, which I read last week, cracks something I’ve thought about for many years, but never seen put into words – how crucial a good cover can be for a novel. The two authors, one of whom designs covers himself, decode the meaning behind great covers, the strategies, the concerns, the approaches, and it’s genuinely fascinating. Also, it answered a question I’ve had for some time – why does every mediocre popular novel written in the past four years have a nearly identical cover design? Turns out the answer is Amazon. If you want to learn why, read this book. 

4. Check Out Vennture’s Bake Juice 


Vennture Brew Co.’s (5519 W. North Ave.) release of its annual Doughnut Don collaboration beer with Cranky Al’s is always a good reason to stop by the brewery-coffeehouse on North Avenue, and the four versions of the coffee cruller imperial stout are all typically excellent – sweet and pastry-ish without going so over the top a full glass is undrinkable. But the highlight of my visit this weekend was Bake Juice, a hazy IPA also released Saturday – 4/22, it should be noted – that features some dank hops and Pinapple Express terpenes. These aromatic oils are found in hops and their botanical cousin, cannabis, and in Bake Juice they are expressive and delicious. The Don and Bake Juice should be on tap well into this week, but come early to ensure maximum selection. 

5. Check Out “Native America: In Transition”


Over the weekend I stopped by the Milwaukee Art Museum for “Art in Bloom,” which was wonderful, but is also over now so it can’t be my pick for the week. What I can recommend is an exhibition that I checked out while I was there, “Native America in Translation.” The show, curated by Apsáalooke artist Wendy Red Star, features photographs from 10 Indigenous artists. The images are captivating. Catch the show while it’s still running, through June 25.

“Native America: In Translation” at Milwaukee Art Museum; Photo by Alli Watters