The Best Things to Do This Week, According to Our Editors: Aug. 22

Seester’s Mexican Cantina, At Random, Live @ the Lakefront and more make the list.

1. Live @ the Lakefront


It’s no secret that I love Milwaukee’s many free live music events. I’ve written about them in a number of times including these picks, these picks and these picks, too. But here’s a little-known secret: I have a favorite, and it’s Live @ the Lakefront. This is largely because of the venue. The Wednesday-night series is right in Discovery World’s backyard with a cozy deck where you can pop a lawn chair or a blanket to chill. The lack of grass makes it less buggy, and you always catch a stunning sunset. There are only two weeks left of this series, so catch it before it’s gone. This week it’s Reverend Raven & the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys and next week Natty Nation. 

Live @ the Lakefront; Photo by Chris Winters, Discovery World

2. See Joe Pera at the Pabst Theater


Joe Pera is one of the best comedians working right now. His polite, timid, Midwestern character is a delight to behold, and his television show “Joe Pera Talks With You” was the best thing on TV for three years. This week, the man himself is coming to the Pabst to perform, and as of this writing, there are still tickets available. I highly recommend catching Pera’s act. 



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3. Enjoy an Ice Cream Drink at At Random


I (finally) went to At Random in Bay View (2501 S. Delaware Ave.) last Thursday with a couple of friends, and I immediately understood what the hype was about. The dim red lighting inside, the adorable “Ice Cream Social” patio out back, the fabulous ice cream drinks all added up to a lovely little evening. I ordered a boozy cookies and cream milkshake, and it was delicious. If you’re looking for a casual, fun and unique place to grab a drink and catch up with friends, I’d definitely recommend going here. 

At Random Ice Cream Social patio; Photo by Brianna Schubert

4. Watch Dennis Lehane’s “Black Bird” on Apple TV+


Dennis Lehane changed the course of my writing life. The crime novelist, best known for Mystic River and Shutter Island, wrote a phenomenal detective novel called Gone, Baby, Gone. I won’t spoil it, but in the end the detective is forced to make a difficult moral choice, does what he thinks is the right thing and then spends the last twenty, painful pages of the book realizing that he may have made a horrible mistake. For a snot-nosed prepubescent, it blew my mind that an ending could stick with you longer than the time it takes to close the book – that it could make you question your values and ponder what’s right. That novel made me want to write, and it still sticks with me. So long story short, Lehane is a great writer, and he helmed a new television show that’s airing on Apple TV+ right now, “Black Bird.” It follows an imprisoned drug dealer who takes a deal with the government – if he can get a suspected serial killer to confess to him, his sentence will be suspended. Based on a true story, the show is riveting, particularly the disturbing performance by Paul Walter Hauser, who plays the killer. Highly recommend. 

5. Sit Out On the Patio at Seester’s Mexican Cantina


Whatever the calendar says, don’t say goodbye to summer just yet. Get thee to a patio and soak up the last days of this season. My most recent alfresco experience – at Seester’s Mexican Cantina (161 W. Wisconsin Ave.), across the street from the little beach at Pewaukee Lake – was a weekend high point. I mean, that view! Lots of baskets of chips and plates of tacos were finding a home on the high-top tables at Seester’s. The food was decent, though a little pricey. If in doubt, just order a drink and some chips and guac and hang.

Seester’s Mexican Cantina; Photo by Ann Christenson