By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Apr 19, 2005 at 5:44 AM Photography: Andy Tarnoff

{image1} We've all got our shortcuts, secret parking spots and little tricks that we use to make life a little easier every day. We've decided to share a few of ours with you, beloved readers. And we hope that you'll share, too, by using the talkback feature at the bottom.

  1. Getting the good seats at Miller Park
    You're working people, like us, and you may not always be able to afford the best seats in the house. But you can be patient for three innings, can't you? Buy the seats you can afford (be fair, the Brewers need the dough if they're to be contenders) and wait it out for the first 18 outs. Meanwhile, scope out a good seat below. Waiting three innings pretty much lets you know an empty seat will remain so (avoiding later unpleasantness). Head to the concessions and load up with drinks and food. That way, when you head down to your box seat, the friendly usher can't make you show your ticket. And, remember the first rule of being backstage or sneaking in ... "look like you belong." Works like a charm.
  2. Oriental etiquette
    Gents, are you taking a first date to the Oriental for a fine film, before or after dinner? Do yourself a big favor when you visit the men's room. Only use the sink closest to the door to wash your hands (you will wash your hands even if you're not sharing the popcorn). It's the only sink that doesn't spray a wild jet of water that will leave marks suggesting to your date that you have bladder control issues.
  3. Cheap buzz
    Sure, you could buy a 12-pack of some off-brand beer, but why do that in Brew City? Instead, get a designated driver and hit all of the brewery tours -- Sprecher, Lakefront, Miller -- in succession.
  4. Beating the cold, cost for the Bucks
    Don't wanna freeze your feet walking from a distant parking spot to a Bucks game next season? Park in the Shops of Grand Avenue lot, where a $5 purchase gets you a parking validation -- why not a hot Stone Creek Coffee, for example. Then, you can skywalk it all the way to the Hyatt, leaving a single block's walk in the cold. But do it before the mall closes, of course. Cheap and warm. Sadly, you may have to walk back in the cold if it's late. But by then, you'll have had a beer and hopefully a heart-warming Bucks' win to savor. Also works for MU, UWM , Wave, Admirals games, and Milwaukee Theatre, Pabst Theater, etc. events -- you get the idea.
  5. Avoiding the snarl
    Headed west after work and can't bear the thought of sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic getting through the Marquette Interchange? Now that the 17th Street on-ramp is closed, what's a driver to do? Hop onto St. Paul Avenue at 5th and Clybourn and there's just one stop light and almost no traffic between you and 27th Street. Things open up a bit by then and, if you're hungry, they'll have opened up even more by the time you eat your yummy Sobelman's burger.

  6. Free art
    The days when you could swing a Calder without hitting a soul in the Milwaukee Art Museum are gone, thanks mostly to a Spanish architect with a flair for the soaring and dramatic. But you don't have to pay an admission fee, a parking fee or battle crowds to visit the Haggerty Museum on the Marquette Campus (at 13th Street, just north of Clybourn, which offers ample free parking; although that might be temporarily unavailable due to Interchange reconstruction). Oddly, the place seems like it's still a secret, well over a decade after its construction. There's a great permanent collection that has works by old masters, German expressionists and the likes of Marc Chagall, and the changing exhibitions are among the best in town. Admission is free, but leave a bit in the donations box because it's the right thing to do.

  7. Summer festival parking
    If you're headed to one of the summer festivals, why not arrive 30 minutes before the gate opening time? You'll have the pick of the street parking in the Third Ward (no meters to plug on weekends!) and the fest is a short walk away. In the meantime, check out the shops popping up all over the neighborhood.

  8. Blu Vue
    We offered a restroom tip for the fellas, so gals, get the best bathroom view in town with a visit to the Blu loo. The third stall offers a view of downtown, including City Hall. While you're there (at Blu, that is, not in the WC), have a fancy martini and load up on addictive cashews.

  9. Addicted to Java?
    A great way to save money and help the environment is to buy those travel mugs from you favorite local joe purveyor. They're reusable and it's usually cheaper to get them refilled than to buy a regular coffee.

  10. Healthy pretzels
    Many yoga studios in Milwaukee have a free class once a month, allowing you to twist yourself into shape. For example, Yogashala, 731 E. Locust St., has a free yoga class the third Sunday of every month from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.