Lake Effect

We go to museums to look at art. We might love the Impressionists, or the Pre-Raphaelites. Or maybe Andy Warhol or some kind of mixed media conceptual installation makes our hearts sing.

Ex Fabula: Taking Risks

Aug 27, 2016
Ex Fabula

As our city continues to sift through the rubble and tries to address the issues that caused the unrest in Sherman Park, Ex Fabula shares stories from people who have taken action.

Blanche Brown tells the first story. She left her corporate career and became certified as an art therapist who specialized in working with children with autism. The work came naturally to her and she found herself connecting with the children and receiving high praise from her supervisors. What could possibly go wrong?

Zablocki Veteran's Administration Medical Center

The United States Department of Veteran’s Affairs provides government-run benefits for veterans and their families.

While the VA in its current form has only been around since 1930, the country’s history of providing for disabled veterans goes back to before the U.S. was even a country.

In 1636, the European settlers in the Massachusetts Bay Colony were at war with the Pequot tribe. The colony passed a law then that stated it would support any disabled soldiers from that war. And we have provided for our veterans in some form ever since.

Courtesy of Stone Creek Coffee

Stone Creek Coffee has been brewing coffee in Milwaukee since 1993, but it wasn’t until 2012 that the Stone Creek Kitchen was born.

You can find the Stone Creek kitchen on the second floor of their factory cafe on 5th Street in downtown Milwaukee. This building also houses their roasting facility and corporate offices – making it the heart of their operations.

Audrey Nowakowski

When it comes to coffee staples in Milwaukee, many locals would not hesitate to name Stone Creek Coffee. They have been making and sipping their coffee slowly since opening their first cafe in 1993. 

Susan Bence

As Kris McCoy sets up at the Saturday Mineral Point Market in Water Tower Park, she is surrounded by her artfully arranged wooden creations – a large buffet, numerous candle holders, decorative ladders, to name a few.

Mineral Point is home.

McCoy and her husband have lived here 23 years and raised their four children here.

number1son, flickr

For more than a hundred years, the Basilica of St. Josaphat has been a landmark on Milwaukee’s South Side.

The building has been central to the spiritual life of the largest Polish Catholic parish in Wisconsin. But it has also been a tourist destination – drawing tens of thousands of visitors each year.

But as the years have passed, time and weather have deteriorated the Basilica's unique architecture. And this summer, an ambitious restoration project got underway on the building’s exterior.

Wisconsin LGBT History Project

For decades, LGBT culture was – out of necessity - hidden and unspoken of in daylight. But three-quarters of a century has brought a lot of social change in America.

For a smaller industrial city with German roots, you may not have expected Milwaukee to be a spot for gay and lesbian culture to thrive; but it did.

Brian Smith/U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Northeast Region / American Bird Conservancy/Flickr

“Bird-friendly” coffee might sound like coffee brewed and developed for our feathered friends, but it’s actually a certification for what is more commonly referred to as shade grown coffee. It’s coffee grown using agroforestry, which encourages more biodiversity, including a variety of trees, small mammals and birds.

Maayan Silver

If you frequent a coffee shop, you probably recognize some familiar faces: people you notice every day who stop in for their coffee and who chat with other patrons and the staff.  You know, the regulars.

For Lake Effect's coffee series, we wanted to know why these people become regulars at a coffee shop and what this says about the role of coffee shops in our lives.

David Mendoza

Texas singer-songwriter Trevor Borden has always been at home on the road and in wide open spaces. The only catch is that those wide open spaces were once the Masai Mara and the Serengeti Plain, places that exist only in the imaginations of most of us.

Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

For parts of four baseball seasons, John Axford made his way to the pitcher's mound from the bullpen, heavy metal music blasting from the speakers at Miller Park.  Axford was the Brewers' closer, the relief pitcher brought in at the end of games to try to preserve a victory. 

Audrey Nowakowski

When you step into the Alderaan Coffee, you find yourself not on a planet in a galaxy far, far away, but in an intimate gathering place. The shop is industrial in its design with elements of concrete, steel and wood integrated in everything from the tables to the barista countertop.

"I'm a huge Star Wars fan so I thought I'd have a little fun with the name," says owner David Neumann. And in case you were wondering, it is legal to use the name according to his attorney.

Joy Powers

For decades, mah jongg has been the signature game of Jewish grandmothers across the U.S. In the digital age, the game has taken on a new life in the form of mah jongg solitaire.

Mt. Meru Coffee Project

How far would you go to get a good cup of coffee? Would you drive down the street? Would you go across town? How about jetting off to Tanzania?

The organizers of the Mt. Meru Coffee Project believe it's worth the trip. Of course, they're not buying their coffee one cup at a time. They're working with farmers in the country to ensure they receive a fair price for their labor. And they think the results are as refreshing as the drink that ends up in their customers' mugs.

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