Pendant fixtures by Davide Groppi bring continuity to architect Marco Vido’s 2,900 square foot loft in a 1920’s textile factory. Photography by Nathalie Krag/Taverne Agency.

BJ’s daily beer review!

Brewer: Three Floyds / @3floyds
Arctic Panzer Wolf
Imperial IPA
 Groppi’s (22oz/$9.99)
 Bottle into pint glass
Day consumed: Jan 8, 2010

My hometown of Racine, WI is sometimes referred to as “Little Denmark” because of the influx of Danish immigrants after the Civil War.  The Danes brought with them a penchant for delicious pastries which slowly morphed into Racine’s renown, regional delicacy, kringle.  Kringle is a sweet oval-shaped pastry that can be filled with wide array of jams, creams & cheeses.  It is staple of all things social in Racine; family gatherings, sporting events and parties.  It’s super decadent & tasty and  I can’t imagine life without it.

I found this bottle of Arctic Panzer Wolf hidden in the way-back of Groppi’s cooler (which has Bay View’s best beer selection thanks to buyer, Enjoli Duval).  I was quite surprised to find one as I was under the impression that our fair city was completely out of stock.  I greedily loaded it into my basket on one of my bottle-shopping excursions.

I pour the light-bodied, kinda thin liquid into my glass and with my first sniff I was flooded with memories; fresh raspberry kringle!  I can smell the raspberry tartness rolled into the flaky buttery phyllo dough, topped with a wildly sweet frosting. I feel as if I am sitting in my parent’s kitchen, sipping coffee, waiting for the kringle to be cut and served.  So, anxiously, I dive right in.

The raspberry-kringle aroma turns into a sugar-on-grapefruit bittersweetness once it hits my tongue.  It’s not overly sweet like many other versions of the style, but it keeps the citrus rind tang in check with a pleasing and subtle tropical fruit perfume.  The alcohol is masked in it’s own drinkability. There is an easy-goingness about this monster that I was not expecting.  

Then, it hits me: this hop monster is not of the scaring kind!  It’s a friendly beast!  It’s welcoming like those nordic people who settled on our shores of Lake Michigan so many generations ago, the offspring of vikings, who seemed so large and unruly at the time, but instead of slaying us; invited us over for coffee and sweet kringle.  


Edison’s Nightmare lamp by Harry Thaler for Davide Groppi marks the phasing out of the incandescent light bulb by literally nailing it to the wall 

Details: In borosilicate glass with halogen bulb. Davide Groppi, based in Piacenza, Italy, has been designing, manufacturing and selling lamps since 1988. Part of Groppi’s Light My Fire exhibit for Milan Design Week, April 8 to 13, 2014. 

Designer: Product designer Harry Thaler, based in London, is a 2010 graduate of Royal College of Art, and has a background in goldsmithing.

via MocoLoco

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Alderwoman Vel Phillips began the fight for open housing in 1962 when she introduced the Phillips Housing Ordinance–a bill that outlawed housing discrimination–to her peers in the Milwaukee Common Council. Milwaukee already had a fair housing law, but it was very weak and it did not cover all housing within the city. The council, however, defeated the bill 18-1 with Phillips’ vote being the only one in favor. After three more failed attempts at getting the bill passed, the Milwaukee NAACP Youth Council offered their help to Phillips. In the spring of 1967, the Youth Council began picketing the homes of some of the aldermen who had voted against the fair housing bill.

In the summer of 1967, the Youth Council planned a major event that would dramatize the open housing issue in Milwaukee. In August, the group announced a march across the 16th Street Viaduct from Milwaukee’s North Side to Kosciuszko Park on the city’s South Side. The crossing of the viaduct symbolized the division between the predominately African American North Side of the city and the exclusively white South Side. In fact, the 16th Street Bridge was considered the “Mason- Dixon Line” of Milwaukee. A joke at the time claimed that the bridge was the longest in the world because it separated “Africa from Poland.”

On Monday, August 28, 1967, close to 200 Youth Council members and supporters marched to the South Side. Upon reaching the South Side of the bridge, marchers were greeted by a hostile crowd of thousands. The crowd screamed and jeered at the marchers while hurling eggs, bricks, rocks, and bottles. The following night the Youth Council marched again to the South Side. This time they were confronted by even more hecklers. These hecklers held up signs and posters with racist and derogatory messages on them while others continuously pelted the marchers with objects. Despite the hostility they encountered, the Youth Council would not be deterred from its mission. Youth Council members and their supporters ended up marching for 200 consecutive nights between August 1967 and March 1968 to get an open housing law enacted. The group also supplemented its open housing marches with other campaigns aimed at hurting the city fiscally. At the recommendation of black comedian/civil rights activist Dick Gregory, they launched a boycott of Schlitz beer and also a “Black Christmas” campaign.

Shortly after the assassination of civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the federal government passed an open housing law. A few days thereafter, on April 30, 1968, the Milwaukee Common Council finally moved to pass a city-wide open housing ordinance stronger than the federal law.

Fair housing demonstration, 1967 :: March on Milwaukee


BJ’s daily beer review!

Brewer: Central Waters 
 Flanders Red Ale
sample at CW’s 13th Anniversary 
Served: a sip from a plastic split among 7 of us!
Day consumed: January 29th 2011

I was lucky enough to visit the Central Waters Brewery for their 13th Anniversary party. I would like to thank the guys at Milwaukee’s Great Brewers for getting the bus and buying me beer. It was a small crew (down from 15 to just 7), but we had a great time as we celebrated 13 years of great beer from Amherst, Wisconsin.

We arrived too early (about 2 hours before our private tour) so we bellied-up to the bar and got  drinking while the brewery staff busily set-up tables & chairs for the day’s festivities. I started with an old standby, Ouiconsing Red, then a Shine On! until I settled into an endless cup of nitro-Mudpuppy Porter.

After a really informative tour (read this link for more information about CW’s green brewery status) lead by the very kind and extremely modest brewer & owner Anello Mollica, the flood gates opened and the party began. 

First up for the special tappings was their fantastic Bourbon Barrel Stout (which I had previously reviewed here) which coincided with my need for a grilled brat with extra onions, kraut & mustard; great pairing by the way.

Next up was the Exodus. I was quite excited about this mythical sour being brewed in a “Green” brewery in the middle-of-nowhere Wisconsin. Unfortunately it seemed like Anello was having some tapping issues and it took us a solid 25 minute wait for a single cup filled only ¼ of the way and then split between the 7 of us in our party. It was worth the wait for the experience, but my tongue was pretty-well spent on sweet malty-goodness by the time of the Exodus. If it had been up to me I would have put Exodus after The Cherry Bourbon Stout so that our tongues could have transitioned easier into the sour via the tart Door County cherries. That being said, I got loads of sour goodness, mostly of fruit & wine-vinegars with an explosive taste-bud tickling carbonation. I look forward to sober re-review as soon as I can get my hands on some more of that stuff.

We had to leave for home before they cracked into the Peruvian Morning or Barrel-aged Barely Wine, but I didn’t leave without grabbing myself a 4-pack of each. I have had the Peruvian Morning previously (aged an additional year & poured on tap at the Bomb Shelter early this winter) and can readily admit that it was probably the best beer I tried in all of 2010.

With a few growlers of Mudpuppy and the Glacial Trail IPA we piled back into our freezing bus and slugged back pint-after-plastic pint as we killed the two & a half hour drive back to Milwaukee with full bladders and silly drinking games.

#جروبي ١٩٦٠ م #Groppi

جروبى أسطورة حية في وسط القاهرة ولا يزال حتى اليوم وجهة زوار المدينة ،
هو تجسيد لزمن لن يعود ، زمن الثروات والتباهي بها ، زمن ملوك مصر وأمرائها وباشواتها ، حين كان الجنيه المصري يفوق في قيمته الجنيه الإسترليني والدولار.

#مصر #زمان #egypt

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Questi ragazzi abbandonati a se stessi con i groppi in gola e le lacrime in bocca, non si rendono conto che la vita è una sola. Non combattono se amano, si lasciano scappare le persone, fanno spazio all'odio e all'orgoglio mettendo da parte l'amore.
—  malvagiokarma

This just in! 

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Archives has relaunched the award-winning March on Milwaukee Civil Rights History Project. The updated digital collection, which provides online access to primary sources telling the story of the Milwaukee civil rights movement, has been entirely redesigned. New content includes over 500 pages from the papers of Vel Phillips, the first woman and first African-American to serve on the Common Council, who fought actively for open housing during the late 1960s. Papers shed light on Phillips’ political career, her role in the open housing campaigns, and Common Council debates. The digital collection also includes nearly two hours of WTMJ-TV news footage; twenty-eight hours of oral history interviews, providing eyewitness recollections of the movement; and over 2,000 documents and photographs.

As context for the primary sources, the digital collection includes a full-length essay by Margaret Rozga, a participant in the 1960s civil rights movement and professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha; a list of over 60 key terms providing detailed information about significant people, places, and events; an illustrated timeline; and an interactive map showing important sites and march routes.

The digital collection supports historical understanding of civil rights movements in the North and beyond the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March and passage of the Voting Rights Bill. In the late 1960s, Milwaukee was known as the “Selma of the North” due to its hyper-segregation by race and violent attacks by counterdemonstrators against individuals fighting for social justice in employment, housing, and education.

The March on Milwaukee digital collection has received awards from the American Association of State and Local History, the Society of American Archivists, and the Wisconsin Historical Records Advisory Board and the Wisconsin Historical Society.

The March on Milwaukee digital collection is a collaborative effort of the UWM Archives, the UWM Digital Collections & Initiatives, and the Wisconsin Historical Society, which owns many of the physical collections related to the civil rights movement.