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Growing up in the Tanzilo household was perfect practice for being in a working band.
We never flew â€“ always drove â€“ when weâ€™d visit family in North Carolina or Milwaukee. And we never stayed in hotels. Once in a while, weâ€™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 Iâ€™m proud of that. And, like I said, it was perfect practice for the years Iâ€™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 Iâ€™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 canâ€™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 Iâ€™ve stayed in hotels in America, Canada, England, France and Italy, I still feel a bit like an outsider â€“ like the kind of person who doesnâ€™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, Iâ€™m excited to be there â€“ a kid in a candy store â€“ 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 July 28, 2016
For decades, St. Mary's Academy was an all-girls Catholic school housed in a striking 1904 cream city brick building. However, once nearby Thomas More High School went co-ed, the death knell arrived for St. Mary's, which closed in 1991. Come with us to see inside.
Published July 26, 2016
It's been 11 years since Commission Row gasped its last breath. Now, the building at 322 N. Broadway that hung on until the end of the street's run as a produce hub is being redeveloped into retail and office space. We go inside and take a look.
Published July 22, 2016
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Published July 21, 2016
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Published July 21, 2016
One of many breweries on tap for Milwaukee this year, City Lights is perhaps the most exciting for me. But not necessarily for the beer - though I'm eager to try that, too, of course - as much as for its Alexander Eschweiler-designed home.
Published July 20, 2016
When folks dig, I always hope something turns up. Except, that is, when excavation began in June for a new addition to Maryland Avenue Montessori School on the East Side, where I am a member of the School Governance Council and also served on the building addition team.
Published July 20, 2016
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Published July 19, 2016
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