The Best Things to Do This Week, According to Our Editors: Nov. 7

Bagels, art shows and more this week in Milwaukee

1. Check Out the “Grounded” Exhibition at Villa Terrace


As a man of Italian heritage, I feel a certain calling in my blood whenever I stroll the Mediterranean-esque corridors of the Villa Terrace Art Museum. I sense the spirit of my great-great-grandfather Rodolfo Bologna, calling me to return to my ancestral home on the sea. That place is so striking, it’s a joy just to walk around, so last week, I was happy to check out its latest exhibition, “Grounded,” which opened at the end of October. The exhibition showcases the work, primarily sculptures, of three Midwestern artists: Nick Drain, Sydnie Jimenez and Z Moralez. Their pieces are captivating, and I’d recommend a visit to the show for any art-lovers out there.

2. Watch All Quiet on the Western Front (or don’t!) 


The boy and I settled in for a movie Saturday night. Popcorn was popped. With All Quiet on the Western Front, I expected some heavy watching, but I wasn’t quite prepared for its nearly 2½ hours of bleak exploration of the horrors of war, large and small. It strikes me as an exceptional movie – centered on likeable characters, immaculately staged and shot beautifully. My caveat: It is brutal. It does not flinch from the violence of World War I’s trench warfare, graphic in a lot of the same ways as Saving Private Ryan‘s portrayal of World War II. But the big message in All Quiet on the Western Front is how pointless all of it is. Most of the movie is set in the war’s closing days and even minutes, and its last several minutes in particular drive home the futility of what occurred over the previous four years. Twelve-year-old Louie, by the way, gave it a 9.5 out of 10.



Join Milwaukee Magazine and Quad for the third-annual Unity Awards Event on March 8 from 6:30-9 p.m. at GATHER in the Deer District.

3. Read Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport


My cell phone makes me sad. There are many reasons for this – too many messages, not enough messages, an endless void of stupid videos that sap my productivity, the constant promise of connection being usurped by a feeling of relentless isolation somewhat akin to being trapped in a glass cage watching the world fly by you. Other people, it seems, share a version of this feeling, although perhaps they would use slightly less purple prose to describe it. Cal Newport wrote Digital Minimalism for these people. It’s a short, relatively simple book that describes how the digital world has hijacked our minds, exploited our insecurities, and is ultimately hurting us – and more importantly, it suggests ways to break that hold on us. I’ve implemented several strategies from this book, and while I’m still painfully attached to my phone, it’s gotten better. If you’re looking to do the same, this book is a good first step.

4. Get a Bagel at Allie Boy’s Bagelry & Luncheonette


I can’t think of a better way to start the day than a delicious bagel, and Allie Boy’s Bagelry & Luncheonette is the best bagel I’ve had in a while. Over the weekend, I decided to check the place out, and I ordered an everything bagel with a garden veggie schmear. It was just *chef’s kiss* perfect. The bagel to cream cheese ratio was just right, the everything on the bagel was everywhere and the flavors all just came together in a beautiful little circle of delight. The inside of the Walker’s Point space was adorable too – I ordered my bagel to-go last time around, but I have plans to go back and hang out in the space while I enjoy my next bite.

Allie Boy’s Bagelry & Luncheonette; Photo by Brianna Schubert

5. Start Poking at Your Holiday Gift Shopping


Find gift shopping overwhelming? Me too. But this year I’ve decided to start early so that at least I’ll be a little less stressed the week before Christmas. Plus, I have a new approach. In the past I’ve made spreadsheets and tried to come up with the gift concept before ever hitting the store. This year, I’m going to the store first and looking for things that make me think of my loved ones. It’s much more fun! Especially since, I’ve been focusing on local shops. My first stop this past week was at Il Bosco, and while I’m keeping my specific find under wraps – I can report that I found the perfect thing for my mother-in-law.