There was a time, after I'd starting earning an adult wage but before there was the pitter-patter of little feet in our house, when we had something akin to "disposable" income.
We'd eat at restaurants and buy things for our apartment and, later, for our own home. We'd visit Chicago and also make an annual or twice-annual journey to Schaumburg to tour the shops we didn't have here.
We'd order a desk from Crate & Barrel at Clybourn and North – and stop at Sam's for wine – buy matching sets of espresso cups and saucers at CB2. I got a great pair of green Doc Martens at Nordstrom at Woodfield Mall, and deals on Ben Sherman shirts at the Rack, on Golf Road.
We'd visit Valli's, our favorite Italian grocery and produce store, and make a stop at Trader Joe's once in a while to get a specific wine. We'd buy build-our-own bookshelves and household ephemera at IKEA.
"Wouldn't it be nice if we had these stores in Milwaukee," we'd say, wistfully. "How can they not see the demand," we'd ask.
Slowly, these places did start to see the allure of Milwaukee – or, of Wauwatosa, more accurately.
Crate and Barrel opened at Mayfair in 2005. But by then, we'd pretty much done all the furnishing we could for our no-longer-new home. Sure, we pop in once in a while, and we make a purchase maybe once or twice a year. Really, our Crate and Barrel moment has passed for now.
With all the chatter about the Nordstrom Rack, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH and other shops at the Mayfair Collection, which opens this week, I'm feeling much the same way. I'm excited to see a moribund site come alive but my Nordstrom moment, too, has passed. It's been years since I gave up hope for a Milwaukee Nordstrom (one of which will open next year at Mayfair Mall) and canceled my "charge-a-plate."
But, I think this is probably a phase. At some point, much as I refuse and, really, don't want to believe it, some day the children will move out and we will be back to, hopefully, having the time and and the money to buy things beyond child care, groceries and little sneakers that fit.
So, welcome to Milwaukee, retailers. I'll see you, but don't wait up; it might be a while.
No Talkbacks for 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 Bobby Tanzilo
Published July 31, 2015
Last week, I got a message from Paul Walter, a co-facilitator at the Slinger Authors' Camp, a youth program that's part of the Fox Valley Writing Project (which is, in turn, affiliated with the National Writing Project). The 17 kids in the program are suburban spelunking in their town.
Published July 30, 2015
There's no need to massage the statistics: men are hitting spas across the country - and right here in Milwaukee - in bigger numbers than ever before.
Published July 28, 2015
Some details of the plan for the new development in the trio of National Ace Hardware buildings on 4th and McKinley have emerged, right as plans for a new arena and entertainment district across the street have taken steps forward.
Published July 25, 2015
One of the Milwaukee area's most interesting parks is a bit off the beaten path, but it's worth making tracks to Lizard Mound County Park in Farmington, just north of West Bend in Washington County. A wooded path twists and turns through 28 Native American effigy mounds, including the one shaped like a huge lizard which gives the park its name.
Published July 24, 2015
Green Lake is a place of superlatives. Here are eight of the many reasons to fall in love with Green Lake, which is an easy 90-minute drive from Milwaukee.
Published July 24, 2015
What a long strange trip it was. While theaters like the Downer and Oriental have venerable histories as long-running cinema houses, consider, if you will, the the more varied history of the now-dilapidated State Theater, 2616 W. State St. Originally a movie theater, the State has served a number of purposes - rock venue, prudish dance hall and strip club - in its nearly 100-year history.
Published July 22, 2015
There were about 500 people on hand to watch U2 at The Palms on April 15, 1981. The show was part of the Irish band's first U.S. tour. Here's a look back...
Published July 21, 2015
Come with me to see the progress on the restoration of The Pabst Mansion's third floor and also peek into the basement and attic, and experience the view from the roof of this Milwaukee landmark.
Published July 17, 2015
Milwaukee neighborhoods were once awash in movie theaters, as hard as that may be to imagine these days when you can count the number of non-googleplex cinemas in the city limits on one hand. While many are lost, a few remain. At 3804 W. Vliet St. is a former longtime carpet store that's been closed the past few years. But, originally, the building was home to The Lyric Theater, which operated from 1917 to 1952.
Published July 14, 2015
In 2012, I toured the surviving Alexander Eschweiler-designed Agricultural College buildings on the County Grounds, when their roofs gaped open to the stars - and the elements - and weeds encircled their exteriors. Despite talk of tearing them down, and an ongoing battle to save them from demolition, four of the buildings survive, even as six new apartment buildings are rising around them.