When our office was on the East Side, unless I had a meeting, I rarely drove anywhere during the day. I could step outside my office and be at Whole Foods in two minutes, Qdoba in three and Beans in Barley in about one.
Now that our office is Downtown, I have even more walkable options, which is good, since parking in a garage really cuts down one's spontaneity for driving around for lunch.
However, when it's really cold out, walking anywhere is a pain, and only now am I coming to appreciate Downtown's extensive skywalk system.
For example, from the moment I left my desk until I set foot in the Grand Avenue Mall's food court (review on the new Jake's Deli coming soon), I was outside for a mere 38 seconds. That's barely enough time to get cold.
I entered through the 100 East Wisconsin building, walked up the stairs, crossed the skywalk over the Milwaukee River, then took the one south over Wisconsin Avenue, and finally west into the mall.
On the way back, I wanted to deposit a check in a US Bank ATM, so I took the skywalk east to the ASQ building, then stepped outside only because the bank had already closed. Couldn't be easier.
Of course, our skywalk pales in comparison to the one in Minneapolis, which spans eight miles and connects 69 blocks. Best I can tell, ours connects eight blocks with two links over the Milwaukee River, and there are a few links to the east, as well. According to an old article I found, the city had set aside some money in the '80s to connect them all, but then Mayor John Norquist killed that plan in 1988.
Still, I'm becoming a big fan of the skywalk system, and I'd like to see it expanded, both in length and usage. How about a happy hour bar crawl, or organized themed parties on each span?
Because even critics who say skywalks keep customers out of the shops on street level have to admit that walking when it's so cold outside isn't fun, either. At least this way, you can get a nice walk in without freezing your butt off, too.
The folks at UrbanMilwaukee did a nice job mapping out the skywalk. Take a look below.
View Milwaukee Skywalk Map in a larger map
Yes andy, the skywalks are handy and much warmer than walking the cold, concrete canyons of Milwaukee. They are so handy that Historic Milwaukee has conducted a winter walking tour of downtown Milwaukee from them for years. Starting at the statue in the Plankington building on Saturday morning, one of our volunteers will show visitors the highlights of downtown architecture and relay some of her history. Check our website for times and other winter events. www.historicmilwaukee.org
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published May 7, 2016
I won't lie to you: I know nothing about the current state of professional wrestling. But from 1983 to 1989, from about age 9 to 15, I was a huge fan. So big, in fact, that I wrote a fan letter to WWF announcer "Mean" Gene Okerlund.
Published April 28, 2016
Angry readers, self-righteous writers and surly social media speculators are in a tizzy about an uptick in "clickbait," and in many respects, they have every right to be. In lots of cases, it's a bogus attempt to lure gullible readers, and ultimately, it won't and doesn't work.
Published April 25, 2016
I've known about Mel Brooks' upcoming June 11 visit to Milwaukee for a little while now. Make no mistake, this is a "bucket list" show for me: Brooks is one of my all-time favorites in Hollywood, and "Blazing Saddles" has sat atop my favorite movie list forever.
Published April 15, 2016
For the many dozens of times I've visited the historic Pfister Hotel - for meetings, meals, weddings and drinks - until prepping for OnMilwaukee Hotel Week, I never spent an overnight at this Victorian masterpiece. Cross that off my bucket list - and I didn't even have to meet a ghost to do it.
Published April 14, 2016
As today's the wonderfully-made up "414 Day," or "Milwaukee Day," depending on who you talk to - it's a sexy day to look back at this excellent video from 2014 by the Five Card Studs.
Published April 11, 2016
I've been binge-watching HBO's "Vinyl." During a scene at an L.A. beach party, the camera panned to a sideburned record executive, smoking a joint and talking about Elvis. Even 25 years since I saw him last, I knew immediately that was my friend from high school, Dave Shalansky. I'd recognize that guy anywhere.
Published April 4, 2016
I'm sitting here on Opening Day, in the first row of the press box at Miller Park, and it's quiet. Too quiet. I mean, I can hear the fans in the ventilation over the sound of stands in this not-sold-out stadium. Apparently, other people here are either rolling their eyes in the fifth inning (or they're passed out).
Published April 2, 2016
It's been a long while since we interviewed FOX6 meteorologist Vince Condella for a personal profile, but with the long-time weather man's upcoming retirement, it was time to catch up.
Published March 15, 2016
I'm a big fan of Atlas Obscura, a website that calls itself "the definitive guide to the world's wondrous and curious places." And it does a good job. Yesterday, it took a look at Milwaukee and its 12 quirky treasures.
Published March 3, 2016
Sometimes, the `90s in Milwaukee feel like a distant memory; other times I can't believe they're so long gone. But then I looked at some of the photos I took while building the shell of what would eventually become OnMilwaukee, and these scenes seem ancient, indeed.