August 2015


Win Byers

Photo by Winthrop Byers

In 1973, Win Byers moved from New York to Madison to study for a PhD in economics. His wife, Sandra, came alongshe was growing her ceramics studio and practicing porcelain sculpture. Two years into the program, it struck Win. I realized Sandy was having a lot more fun than I was. Sandra introduced Win to pottery years earlier, and the urge to return to it nagged him. Win left the PhD program. We bought a second wheel; bought our building, an old six-room grade school; and the rest is persistence, Win says.

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Walking with Madison Audubon Society

Photo by Arlene Koziol

On a cool Saturday morning in early April, a group of us meet in the parking lot of the University of Wisconsin Arboretum. There are a few puddles left from an overnight shower, and its chilly enough that some of us are still wearing gloves. A rolling suitcase is opened flat, revealing three rows of carefully packed binoculars. After everyone is properly equipped, Carolyn Byers, Education and Operations Specialist at Madison Audubon Society, runs through a few quick binocular tips, and we chat about bird guide books.

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Discovering Belgian Beer at Brasserie V

Photo by Eric Tadsen

Listen up, ladies: if youve been drinking wine your whole life, thinking beer was just for the boys, Matt and Andrea Van Nest at Brasserie V in Madison are about to change your mind with a small-batch Belgian brew.

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Sa-Bai Thong

Photo by Eric Tadsen

For more than 20 years, customers have driven from near and far to eat at one of Madisons most authentic Thai restaurants, Sa-Bai Thong. With locations on Odana Road and University Avenue, owner Arom Wichitchu takes pride in featuring creative monthly specials so popular that hundreds of customers come back to eat two or three times a week before the special changes.

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Improve Your Homes Storage

Photo by Closets by Techline

Coveting closets is a fairly recent development. Until the middle of the last century, even the wealthy had fewer belongings and only a few changes of clothing, so built-in storage was much less abundant. From colonial times into the early twentieth century, people hung clothing on pegs along the wall or placed garments in a freestanding wardrobe.

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Respect, Remove, Repurpose: Keys for Landscape Renovations

Photo by ZDA, Inc.

More space, more parking, a garage, or a fresh look? When you make major changes to your home or landscape, take advantage of the disturbance and make your outside spaces more functional and enjoyable. Before you begin, analyze what you love about your current spaces and what things you find are persistent annoyances. Then look at how your desired improvements will fit into the site and relate to existing features.

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Fermentation Fest

Photo by Jeremy Mundth

On a fall drive through the beautiful hills and farmland north of Madison, you find a tractor with a trailer and musicians playing to anyone who stops. Welcome to Fermentation Fest! Those in the know converge on Sauk County to experience this festivals eclectic blending of food, music, art, farming, and ecology.

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The Laws of Small Business: Five Legal Mistakes to Avoid

Photo by Stafford Rosenbaum

Small businesses enhance the charm of places like Madison. They absorb their surroundings and reflect back the goodness of home. The role they play is rewarding, but keeping them running is no easy feat. Their owners are masters in multitasking, overseeing every detail from crafting a brand to hiring an employee. While big companies can rely on entire legal departments to plan for risks, small-business owners must manage this task themselves.

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Waiting for the Buses

Photo by Metro Transit

Metro Transit provided over 15 million bus rides in the Madison area during 2014, and despite lower gas prices, ridership continues to grow. Mick Rusch, Metro Transits marketing and customer services manager, attributes the popularity to the fact that more and more people are choosing to use public transit in place of owning a car.

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Baraboo Woodworks

Photo by Eric Tadsen

Located on Madisons east side, Baraboo Woodworks is helping redefine the local wood economy in South Central Wisconsin. Opened just one year ago, Baraboo Woodworks is at the forefront of the new urban wood movement. Its still very typical for people to go to a lumberyard and have no idea where the wood they are buying came from, says owner Fred Clark. We offer the choice to buy local wood and support the area forest owners and infrastructure with lumber that comes from trees that grew in this community. With an infectious can-do mentality, Baraboo Woodworks supports this new economy as a working sawmill, retail lumber outlet, and crafter of custom wood furniture.

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Little Luxuries

Photo by Eric Tadsen

While wandering State Street in downtown Madison, few stores elicit more fun and laughter than Little Luxuries. Located on the 200 block, this independently owned shop is a colorful destination for unique gifts and accessories. Stocking everything from gadgets to baby gifts, books, fashion accessories, games, stationery, and more, it is no surprise Little Luxuries has been a State Street staple for more than 25 years.

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