Hey, There’s a Bird in This Mirror!

Diversion Enthusiast Society, est. 2007

and if the snow buries my, my neighborhood

with 2 comments

Prospect Avenue, looking southI went out for a walk during the snowstorm-that- wasn’t-an-icestorm yesterday and spent the whole trip wishing I had my camera. So I did it again today, camera and Funeral (required listening when it’s less than 32 degrees outside) in tow. A lot of the snow has fallen off the branches and the streets and sidewalks are mostly clear (or as clear as they’re going to get), but the sun is out, which makes everything look incredible. It may get dark at 4:30, but the snow makes up for it.

Church icePrior to this year, Dave and I had made some big, big plans to leave Milwaukee. These plans have changed drastically in the past year, for a million different reasons. Between school(s), me playing musical jobs, random illnesses, new bands, and new friends, Milwaukee has presented us with all of the reasons why we should stay. So now this shiny new librarian is digging her heels in and doing her absolute best to land a job in a city that’s simultaneously doing its absolute best to smother its public library system.

And then, just to affirm the decision we’ve made, winter arrived and froze the whole city solid.

Lake Michigan in winter

I think one probably has to spend some time living where gets this cold, snowy, and dark to fully understand how fantastic it can be. It’s soup weather, tea weather, knitting weather, candlelight, and heavy blanket weather. It makes covering one’s house in tiny lights make perfect sense. It’s the kind of weather where you go outside just come back inside and make something warm and lovely; the kind of weather that separates the women from the girls. Midwesterners who complain about the snow in December have gone astray – real midwesterners know that it’s gauche to complain about snow before March.

Lake Park lionsSo I walked around and took some pictures of the neighborhood I’m trying hard to keep. I spent most of my time in Lake Park, a few blocks from my apartment. Lake Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed Central Park and the midway for the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 (do read Devil in the White City if you haven’t already). These are the lions on the southern end of the park.


This is the south end of the park that you pass through to get to Mr. Lions. If you look closely, you can see the pieces of an excessively ambitious snowman in the center of the picture. In the background are the crushingly gorgeous houses that border the park.

Near the lions, I found this fresh bit of graffiti (see the footprints in the snow?), which made me realize that I hadn’t seen another person in the park.


The hipsters and their little stencils would have succeeded in creeping me out, had a plow truck not rolled by 30 seconds later. Note to graffiti artists – I prefer your little clusters of the “One Fish” fish and Judy Garland heads. Stick to those.


Two p.m., and the shadows are already long. But let’s just pretend that I’m 6’5″. Just for a little while. Please?


Written by Raina

December 12, 2007 at 4:00 pm

Posted in Milwaukee

Tagged with , ,

2 Responses

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  1. Well, you guys coulda mentioned you had started posting your thoughts online.


    December 15, 2007 at 5:08 pm

  2. Urban planners should have made a fetish out of Olmsted a long time ago; the professional body should elect one to sit as the Olmsted, and they might sacrifice a kitten, or make offerings of coffe cups to this incarnated diety.

    Milwaukee looks like a nice city — I wound up googling the place and getting lost on Wikipedia. French Canadian founders, three socialist mayors, and Germans; oh my.

    I like snow.

    Adam Warren

    December 17, 2007 at 12:24 am

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