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"Drinking fountain?" I don't think so.
"Drinking fountain?" I don't think so.

Bostonians say "bubbler," too

Earlier this week, I was in Boston -- for the first time in my life -- doing research for an upcoming article in conjunction with the Recession Buster Getaway contest.

Overall, I felt Boston and Milwaukee are very different cities, but I found a few things we have in common: weather patterns, endearing / annoying accents and use of the word "bubbler."

I was under the ASSumption that "bubbler" was a term signature to Brew City, but no. My friend, former Milwaukeean and fab painter Amy O’Neill, enlightened me to this fact. Later, I learned through Wikipedia that "bubbler" is used in Portland, too.

I’m slightly disappointed this word isn’t strictly Milwaukee, but at least we still have "viaduck."

Crime happens everywhere. Stay alert and trust your gut.
Crime happens everywhere. Stay alert and trust your gut.

Listening to intuition

I was at a popular Milwaukee bar this week, sitting on the patio with friends and enjoying a Mojito when I saw three men walking towards us. Immediately, I got an unsettled feeling, so I looked at their faces and body language. I thought it was strange that they were not saying a word to one another. They were glancing at all of the tables. Plus, one guy had on a bulky hooded sweatshirt despite the fact it was a warm evening.

Casually, I moved my purse from the back of my chair to my lap. One of my friends saw me do this, and for a second, I felt a little embarrassed. I didn’t want her to think I was being ageist based on the appearance of the three guys.

"I got a bad feeling from them," I said quickly. "I am trying to trust my intuition more."

She nodded. I wasn't sure what she thought, but I felt like I did the right thing. I took a sip of my drink and thought about the fine line between intuitively sensing that something is not right and letting fear take over your thoughts. Before I could think about it any further, one of the young men grabbed the purse of the woman sitting at a table next to me.

Her purse, like mine had been, was slung over the back of her chair. If I had not moved my purse, they probably would have grabbed my purse because they walked past me first.

The bag snatchers booked down the street while the woman yelled, "They stole my purse!"  My friend turned to me and said, "You called it."

I wanted to say, "I felt it," but I didn't. That's a bit much to declare aloud, even though it was true. But maybe, finally, I am realizing that I truly know what's best for myself and that my gut is telling me what to do all the time. I just need to keep listening.

Do people really call Boston "Beantown?"
Do people really call Boston "Beantown?"

Whirlwind trip to Boston: What should I do?

As you might have gleaned, the editorial staff is in jet-set mode this summer. As part of our Free Recession Buster Getaways blog contest -- with AirTran and giving away two tickets and a netbook -- we’re checking out some major U.S. cities for two days of fun-filled article research.

Drew Olson went to St. Louis, Julie Lawrence went to Los Angeles, Andy Tarnoff went to Washington D.C., Bobby Tanzilo went to San Diego and on Monday, I’m going to Boston. I have never been there and I’m really looking forward to exploring the city and meeting up with a couple of former Milwaukeeans who are going to show me around the Hub.

Now, I’m compiling my itinerary and trying to load up as many experiences as I can during my short stay. So far, I have the Freedom Trail, a Harpoon or Sam Adams Brewery Tour, the Gardner Museum and Harvard Square on the list. But where else should I go?

There’s no way I will be able to see all -- or even a portion -- of what this amazing city has to offer in my 48-hour time frame, but I’m going to try.

What's your favorite flava?
What's your favorite flava?

Give me custard or give me death

Sunday’s Sound-off article asked if custard was overrated and, according to the majority of Talkbackers, it’s not. In fact, people wrote in declaring their love for very specific custard flavors, including Kopp’s grasshopper fudge.

I remember the first time I went to Kopp’s on Port Washington Road, back when it was adorned with plants and an indoor waterfall. I got a dish of cookies ‘n’ cream and I was instantly smitten. Today, my personal favorite custard flavor is the hyper decadent caramel cashew, but I have high expectations for Kopp’s red velvet cake custard that’s featured again on Wednesday, Aug. 19.

And it's not just Kopp's that dispensing the good stuff. Bella's and Leon's get a shout out, too, along with many other neighborhood custard stands. As a kid, Pig 'N' Whistle on Capitol Drive was another top custard spot for me and my Shorewood-based family.

What are your favorite custard flavors? Tiramisu? Mint chip? Straight up vanilla? Might I see you later in line at Kopp’s or Bella’s? Thought so.