It might not always feel like it, but from now until the third week of June, it’s springtime in Milwaukee. Sure, we might still get a few flakes or a big ol’ blizzard before the Big Gig rolls around, but there are, undoubtedly, signs that spring is alive and well in Brew City.
OnMilwaukee.com publisher Andy Tarnoff recently blogged what he sees as signs of springtime in Milwaukee and now, the rest of the editors weigh in as well. Feel free to contribute what signature Milwaukee happening says "spring" to you via the Talkback feature.
Milwaukeeans are a hardy bunch when it comes to our fleeting warm weather, so it makes sense that area businesses waste no time in making their patios patron-ready. Personally, I go out of my way to
sit outside when it's nice, which means it really only needs to be sunny and at least in the mid-50s. Once the chairs are out and the table umbrellas are ready to go, there's no reason not to fully embrace spring -- or a mental denial about a lingering winter.
For me, it’s a variety of sights and smells that remind me that winter is finally over. The first Saturday morning that I can open my windows while cleaning my house is always a refreshing occurrence and the feeling of the fresh air mixed with the smell of Murphy Oil Soap brings back memories of so many houses and apartments from the past. I might sounds strange, but I also really like going through all of my kids’ clothing, and figuring out what still fits and what doesn’t, and then bagging up the rejects and dropping them off at Goodwill. Most of all, I like seeing all the garden supplies and flowers for sale in stores as well as the sights of peoples’ gardens and flower boxes starting to liven up.
Baseball is the easy answer, but really baseball shouldn't start until May (my opinion). Sure signs of spring in Milwaukee, for me? Meaningful, passionate and hard fought basketball, Lenten fish fries at area churches, the melting of ice on the Milwaukee River and students in shorts (even when it's 50 degrees). The surest sign of spring in Milwaukee, though? Patio furniture being returned to local bars, restaurants and cafes.
Sure, there's the start of baseball -- which I love the most about the arrival of spring -- but what really SAYS spring most to me is the change outside. I mean more than just the temperature. I love the later sunset (which gets a much appreciated boost from Daylight Saving Time), the sound of birds chirping, that hard to describe spring freshness in the air -- a little brisk, but a little warm, a little breezy, a little crisp -- and when the tulips start to poke through the mulch. Also, I love taking the kids to the zoo in spring, when everything seems to be waking up again after a long winter.
Senior staff writer
Normally, I'd say the sound of running water in the streets and alleys signifies the start of spring, but the constant deluge outside my window after blizzards destroyed my gutters has turned me off from the sound. This year, spring begins for me when the giant, disgusting snow pile next to my house has finally melted and when I can kick back on my patio with a beer and actually worrying about finishing it before it gets too warm.
I have a scattering of crocuses in my front lawn and when they pop up, I know it's definitely spring. They're not here yet, but should arrive in the next couple days. After this long, tough winter, I'm not waiting as patiently as I usually do. C'mon guys.