Check in early and stay late during OnMilwaukee.com's "Hotel Week" sponsored by VISIT Milwaukee. The next seven days will be packed with stories about historic area hotels, reviews, famous guests, food and drink, overnights with kids and more. Find out what it's like to be a tourist in this town. (Chocolate on your pillow not included.)
Growing up in the Tanzilo household was perfect practice for being in a working band.
We never flew – always drove – when we’d visit family in North Carolina or Milwaukee. And we never stayed in hotels. Once in a while, we’d stay in a motel, but even that was pretty rare. More often we pitched a tent or slept anywhere there was space at the home of the folks we visited.
That was fine. I know that despite working hard, my parents had to be careful with money. We were a working class family and I’m proud of that. And, like I said, it was perfect practice for the years I’d spend riding around the Midwest in a van on the way to gigs, crashing on floors along the way.
Picking up my grandparents at the airport was an amazing adventure ... as if I was growing up in the 1930s, not the '70s.
I can remember my first flight. I was going back to New York City to visit for the first time since I’d moved here a couple years before. I was probably 18 or 19. It was winter and the slippery touch-down set me on track to forever dislike the landing process.
What I can’t really remember is the first time I stayed in a hotel, but I suspect it was at a Hyatt, either in New York City or Chicago, and I can assure you I was already an adult.
Even now that I’ve stayed in hotels in America, Canada, England, France and Italy, I still feel a bit like an outsider – like the kind of person who doesn’t stay in hotels.
When I stay at a place like The Peninsula Chicago or The American Club in Kohler, I half expect a knock on the door and an eviction notice for being an imposter.
My kids are getting a much different experience. Sure, we sleep in a spare bedroom or whatever when we visit family, but we also stay in hotels of all shapes and sizes and star-ratings, from former Italian castles to luxury Chicago digs to waterpark properties around the state.
They enjoy them all, and I can relate. Like them, I’m excited to be there – a kid in a candy store – spending a day or two or three away from the pressures, just lounging around and enjoying life and the amenities that seem better than home.
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Recent Articles & Blogs by Bobby Tanzilo
Published Oct. 18, 2014
It seems to always happen in a farm field. A kid sees the mother of God, a white buffalo is born, an astonishing cave full of prehistoric paintings is accidentally uncovered. That's where Wisconsin and the world stumbled upon one of the state's most stunning natural attractions, Cave of the Mounds, too, in 1939.
Published Oct. 17, 2014
This week, Karl Paloucek is one of a number of Milwaukee musicians taking part in Betty Blexrud-Strigens' Patti Smith tribute -- "Smith Uncovered" -- at Alverno College on Saturday, Oct. 18, at 8 p.m. He's also riding high after the release of his second record, "Sail," recorded over 20 years and issued by Brew City's Latest Flame imprint. As he preps his contribution to "Smith Uncovered," we asked Paloucek about "Sail" and what comes next.
Published Oct. 16, 2014
A locally produced book featuring the writings of local teens is certainly notable, but what's even more noteworthy about "Milwaukee: A Collection of Work by Local Teens," published in a small run by Hidden Color Press, is that it was also edited, designed and produced by an area teenager. Hidden Color Press is the work of 14-year-old Jack Hietpas, a student at St. Robert School in Shorewood. He started the press as a means to publish art and writing by area teens from all backgrounds.
Published Oct. 14, 2014
For a mere $40, you can get a silhouette of the Milwaukee skyline immortalized in wax. In PVC that is.
Published Oct. 13, 2014
Though Jack Pettey's name isn't the biggest graffiti in the attic at Maryland Avenue School, for some reason it -- and the date, 1946 -- jumps out at you. When I snapped some photographs, Pettey's distinctive scrawl made it into the frame and his name was etched in my memory. Last week, I snapped another photo of it. This time, Pettey himself was in the picture.
Published Oct. 9, 2014
Looking for a quick and easy getaway? Chicago's just a short, smooth train ride south and whether you're traveling with kids, as a couple or on your own, the possibilities are endless. So endless that it might seem a little daunting to plan. Don't you worry, sit back and let us do the work. Here are three quick and easy Windy City overnights that will make for memorable little getaways.
Published Oct. 8, 2014
In the same spirit as my post earlier this year listing my favorite Milwaukee pizzas, here are my go-to wings places in town, so far. I'm sure as I continue my (informal) quest, I'll find others. And, this month, we're off in search of the best wings on the West Side, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, in no particular order...
Published Oct. 8, 2014
A group of Milwaukee Public Schools officials appeared before the Common Council's Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee at City Hall Tuesday morning to offer updates on the plan to open an International Baccalaureate Middle School at the former Malcolm X Academy, 2760 N. 1st St.
Published Oct. 7, 2014
Since March, there's a new executive chef in the kitchen at The Iron Horse Hotel. Bradford Shovlin arrives from Chicago, where he spent time at Crofton on Wells which earned a Michelin star during his tenure. Since his arrival, Shovlin has re-written all the hotel's menus and is fostering a partnership with his former boss Suzy Crofton. We caught up with him to learn more about him, his food and what makes him tick.
Published Oct. 6, 2014
Schnetzy and Liebert's four-domed classic revival masterpiece at 135 E. Wells St., is getting a new lease on life.