By Andy Tarnoff Publisher Published Mar 17, 2009 at 1:18 PM

I wrote almost this exact blog about a year ago, so I apologize in advance if you're experiencing the online equivalent of déjà vu by reading this.

But I just had one of those wonderful Milwaukee experiences that reminds me why I live here, and I just feel like sharing (again).

For lunch today, I briefly pondered walking from my office to any one of the nearby bars offering some variation on corned beef and cabbage. I say I only thought about it for a moment, because first, I'm not Irish. And second, I'm heading back out this afternoon to report on the East Side St. Patty's scene. That should be enough hooplah for a weekday.

Soaking in this unseasonably warm and beautiful day, I remembered that the weather is agreeable to my favorite summertime lunch tradition, albeit a little early this year: a sandwich from Koppa's, enjoyed in the solitude of Back Bay Park.

I zipped over to Koppa's Fulbeli Deli, 1940 N. Farwell Ave., and ordered the only thing I've ever tried there, the Strawkowski. It's shaved chicken breast, mozzarella cheese, red onion, alfalfa sprouts, cranberry mustard, horseradish and a "secret spice" on a grilled pita. And it's delicious.

Then I took the very short drive to Back Bay Park, 2315 E. Back Bay St. I love this little park. It overlooks the lake and McKinley Marina, and it's such a nice slice of peace and quiet no matter what else is happening in Milwaukee (which today is drunken bedlam on the East Side).

I live just a few blocks from Lake Michigan and work equally close to it. Hardly a day goes by without seeing our Great Lake. And sometimes I think I take it for granted.

But not today. I know this little burst of spring will be over by tomorrow, but for today, I had a little time to appreciate our city's natural beauty.

For 15 minutes -- I'm a fast eater -- I sat in the warm wind, gathering my thoughts, happy, quiet and alone. And again, I wondered why I don't do this more often.

Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.

Before launching in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.

Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.