Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Barista of the Opera

The lovely Doreen from Waukesha and I went out this evening for our anniversary to Alterra Coffee to enjoy a little hot chocolate, some french silk pie and a little Florentine Opera. The Florentine Opera sent four soloists over to sing selections from different operas including The Marriage of Figaro, Abduction from the Seraglio and Don Giovanni. It was a fun and relatively cheap evening.

The weather was nice and they drew a nice crowd. A couple of observations:

  • I felt sorry for the joggers running past with their ears full of their Ipods. Stop. Rest a while. Enrich the soul. Have a brownie.

  • Can you imagine less ideal conditions for singing? Near 100% humidity and honking cars and trucks driving past? Okay, I've seen worse. But the singers tonight gave their best and the audience was rewarded.

  • Why doesn't Milwaukee County have more venues like this at the lakefront? Why is Milwaukee so reluctant to exploit its best resource?

  • What is that ugly building just south of Alterra, and why isn't something done with that?

  • I said it before, I was not alone, and I'll say it again. The "art" next to the Brady Street pedestrian bridge was the biggest rip-off of the public since "The Calling" was put at the end of Wisconsin Avenue. I was once rather libertarian about the public funding of art. I've since changed my mind a little. But then I see those stupid leftover rocks and I can't help but wonder if Milwaukee County would be better off using them to reinforce a breakwater. Fortunately, erosion will someday render its editorial criticism.
  • The McKinley Marina is where I formally proposed to my wife. One knee and everything. I was looking for a romantic spot along the lakefront to propose but there was no moon and and everything was pitch black (or worse, no parking).
  • I think the audience member who enjoyed the performance the most was a big lazy Mastiff laying in the grass with his owner.
  • Finally, Alterra needs to boost their wi-fi a bit so I can check my e-mail while sitting outside.

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