February 2016


Richard Jones: Engaging Questions and Conversation

Photo by Studio Paran

I have become familiar with Richard Jones work over the past several years and always admired it. I think glass is like the magicians mediumnot something everyone knows how to do or can do, and requiring such specialized equipment and training that its creation and manipulation remains somewhat mysterious. After speaking with Richard at his studio, Studio Paran in Madison, I am further convinced of this notion.

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Classic Food with a Twist: Bonfyre Grille

Photo by Eric Tadsen

When it opened in 2009, just about no one expected a restaurant on the first floor of a six-story office building adjacent to the busy, not-so-scenic West Beltline to be particularly successful. That was then. Today, Bonfyre Grille is one of the hottest lunch and dinner tickets in town, evidenced by a steady stream of cars circling for a coveted parking space and an almost-always-packed dining room.

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Secret Gem: The University Club

Photo by Eric Tadsen

In a city full of award-winning restaurants and acclaimed chefs, The University Club at the bottom of Bascom Hill at 803 State Street in Madison might just be the longest-running and most highly regarded restaurant youve never heard of.

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Drama in the Old Firehouse

Photo by Dan MyersLumi Photography

Anyone whose morning commute includes driving down Monroe Street probably has noticed an old brick building with two garage doors and a metal staircase along one side. But they might not know whats inside. The Madison Theatre Guild (MTG) was founded in 1946 and has occupied the historic firehouse across from the entrance to Wingra Park since 1969. It is the oldest theatre group in Madison.

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Art of the Perfect Hash Brown

Photo by Uriah Carpenter

Like a lot of farm kids who grew up in middle-of-nowhere, Wisconsin, I grew up eating meat and potatoes for every meal. Of course, there were vegetables from the garden, homemade apple pie on Sundays, and the occasional Jell-O salad thrown in for good measure. But despite eating potatoes, baked, mashed, boiled, scalloped, or fried, for most every meal, I never ate hash browns until I went to my first supper club.

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Cambridge Winery

Photo by Eric Tadsen

Frank Peregrine wanted to build a winery. The Village of Cambridge wanted a winery. Thanks to an article in The Capital Times , the two found each other in 2013, and today the Cambridge Winery is a reality.

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Culture Through Beer Goggles: Porters, Scottish Ales, and Wee Heavies

Photo by Kyle Jacobson

What do William Shakespeare, Anne Sexton, Martin Luther, Ray Bradbury, Winston Churchill, Henry David Thoreau, and Thomas Jefferson have in common? An admiration for beer, of course. Beer is a drink in which many great minds from all facets of culture find reason and stability. When used with consideration, beer brings about an exploration of the mind often barred by cultural norms and common courtesy. The flow of ideas and rush of heated debates allowed by this freer of the tongue have brought upon the world great writings, music, ideas, and sciences. Not only has our culture found great inspiration through beer, but we continue the tradition of injecting ourselves into evolving brewing styles and traditions. By infusing todays beers with past cultures, the significance of the microbrewery stretches demand for experiences beyond the American Adjunct Lager.

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The Psychology of Bullying (And Why Sixth Grade is the Worst)

Sixth graders like to call each other names. Most of us know this from personal experience or from watching a child endure it. Research also supports it, according to Amy Bellmore, PhD, a professor and researcher at the University of WisconsinMadison.

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Creative Garage Space

Photo by Architectural Building Arts

In choosing a home, the garage is typically an afterthought. Most prospective buyers check to make sure theres a garage large enough to store their main vehicles, then they go back to thinking about the house itself. If this is your approach, you may be overlooking a valuable home asset.

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The Essence of Fire

Photo by ZDA, Inc.

In the stark winter landscape, our minds often turn to the warmth and energy of the summer sun. Capturing its essence and elongating our outdoor season can be done through fire features, a growing trend in residential landscapes. Fire pits are easily acquired at any home supply store, but fire can be encapsulated in the backyard in a number of ways, including gas-operated features, moveable fire pits, and the increasingly popular pizza oven.

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Wisconsin Historical Society Building

Photo by Wisconsin Historical Society

Two buildings bookend Madisons State Street in the neoclassical revival architectural style. The Capitol building, at the top of State, and the Wisconsin Historical Society, at 816 State Street on the University of WisconsinMadison Library Mall, were constructed in the early 1900s and late 1890s respectively. The style is strongly associated with civic designbanks, courthouses, government buildingsand was a style popularized by the Chicago Columbian Exposition of 1893. Proponents of neoclassical architecture believed good design could educate and uplift people. So it was that the Wisconsin Historical Society building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, housed two libraries when it was first constructed.

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Book Shopping, Part II: Arcadia Blends Past and Present

Photo by Eric Tadsen

Many great ideas start with a simple question. For example, Why doesnt this town have a bookstore?

The brick edifice at the corner of East Jefferson and North Lexington Streets in downtown Spring Green was built in 1870 and has been home to various merchants, including a grocer, a florist, and a post office. The earlier question led to its becoming a bookstore, and readers throughout the region are pleased with the results.

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Tiffany Esser and Her Floral Momentum

Photo by Momentum Floral and Dcor

When I arrive at Momentum Floral and Dcor on Parmenter Street in Middleton, owner Tiffany Esser greets me. She introduces her husband, who is leaving with bouquets in hand to deliver. He doesnt work here regularly, but my normal delivery driver is on vacation. Its a family business, Tiffany says.

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Hidden Gems at the University of WisconsinMadison

Photo by Green Concierge Travel

When I set out to discover hidden gems on the University of WisconsinMadison campus, I found a variety of experiences, places, and objects, which with my limited exploration means there is more here than meets the eye.

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