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Happy New Year (and once again, where have I been?)

I rang in the New Year with friends in Milwaukee. Garrett and I drove up the 30th, and stayed with our friend Jeanie. New Year’s Eve Jeanie and Rich showed us a slice of Milwaukee, starting with the amazing Alterra coffee shop and concluding with a tour of the Milwaukee Art Museam .

Alterra is located in the former Lake Michigan Pump Station, which the signage helpfully informs was used to pump raw sewage out of Lake Michigan. Whatever its former use, the atmosphere is amazing inside: exposed brick, huge windows, and an almost library-like feel (in the best way possible). It probably helped that it was a clear, Midwest winter day, but I still felt an immediate connection.

The Milwaukee Museum of Art was also a really nice surprise. Rich said they’d recently renovated it, and I was very impressed with the modern and contemporary art collections. Not that I’m an expert, it just was more than I expected (for whatever reason).

That evening watched Hedwig and the Angry Inch . Once again I’m apparently the last to know about something good (witness my ignorant disdain for REM’s Automatic for the People in high school, only to discover it a couple years ago). Suffice to say, Hedwig is an amazing film. Visually, musically, everything. I wish I had followed up on Mark’s recommendation of over a year ago and watched it then.

So that leads me to my single New Year’s resolution. This year, I will live more. I’ll stop waiting to feel comfortable before putting myself out there: I’ll do it just because it is uncomfortable. I’ll go to the Avante Garde gallery openings, not in spite of not knowing “the crowd” but because I don’t know them — and because I want to know them. I’ll let you know how it goes.