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15 June 2011

Headed to Madison today for work Anyone live there and want to hang out? Any tips on what to do/see? I've never been.
I have been trying to move to Madison for years. Now it looks like I won't ever make it. It should be a great place to live.
posted by Ardiril 15 June | 08:35
I'm here, and I'm having one hell of a depressing day, so I could use a pep-up.

You're welcome to come out to pub quiz with us tonight; the food is reasonably good (and possibly free if we win).

I'll email you.
posted by Madamina 15 June | 09:32
I don't live there anymore, but it's a great place to visit.

I hear that the protests against Walker are still going on so I'd probably head up to the capital to see them because I wish I could support the folks protest. Before Walker was governor, you could walk through the capital which is really nice inside. I still would want to walk around the capital.

If you get hungry or thirsty as you walk around the capital, there's lots of places to stop. One that we had fun going to was the Old Fashioned whose menu is based on Wisconsin supper clubs, but more modern.

Walk down State Street and browse shops that catch your eye. There are a few funky ones interesting and really worth checking out. Also more than a few bars / coffeeshops / restaurants in case you are in need of that. Keep going down State St until you get to campus. If it's lunch time there will be food carts and a fruit stand. Walk through that area to the Union (on the lake. Next to the red castle looking thing called The Armory or alternately The Red Gym).

Go inside, get an ice cream cone that is made from the milk of the cows on campus, and check out the Rathskellar. Go outside and sit on the Terrace with everyone else. Admire the lake (Lake Mendota) and if it's night, there may be a free outdoor movie or a few bands. You have to have a student or faculty ID to get beer, but I've never had any problem asking someone if they'd mind getting one for me.

Hmm...if you are in the mood for music at night, my favorite place when I moved was the High Noon Saloon. It's on E Washington about six blocks from the capital.

The zoo is very small but free. There's a great walking path on Lake Monona not far from the capital (look for Monona Terrace). I liked walking around there too and watching people / the lake.

I'll see what else I can think of after I have a cup of coffee. I really like Madison, I can't imagine having lived anywhere else in Wisconsin for that long.
posted by Sil 15 June | 09:34
The weather is pretty crappy today, and although the recs of the Old Fashioned, etc. are good, I'd steer away from the Square at peak times (or at least call ahead to check out the wait). The Old Fashioned is ALWAYS full.

One of my fa-a-a-vorite new places is a dumpling and ramen bar called Umami, and today is a perfect day to try it. They're in the 900 block of Williamson St. (aka Willy St.), which is currently torn up and only goes eastbound, but it's still got parking. The menu is small but great, and the cocktails are so tasty. Good service and nice atmosphere, too.

I'll wait for your email; I could go on foreverrrrrr.
posted by Madamina 15 June | 09:47
Yeah, my suggestions were based on it being a sunny summer day rather than a stormy one.

I'm hoping to make it Madison for a visit next month! I had hoped to get a good three or four days but it is looking more like a day due to a new job. A dumpling and ramen bar? Yum. Will have to check it out.
posted by Sil 15 June | 09:54
Thanks guys! Just got on the plane. Can't wait to meet you, madamina!
posted by rmless2 15 June | 10:12
Just had a fun lunch with my colleague and Madamina at the place that is catering Madamina's wedding! The sandwich I had included a great garlicky romesco sauce.

I walked around the capitol yesterday and there were protesters camped out even in the rain.

Madison is a cute town and more walkable than I'd expected. The capitol building is really pretty.
I am taking a tour of campus soon and going to the ice cream making dairy facility there.
posted by rmless2 16 June | 14:04
I walked straight off the plane and into this || Conan O'Brien's commencement speech at Dartmouth.