Issue #348 Dec. 27, 2017

Function Over Fashion

the onset of winter allows Wisconsinites to forego stylishness in favor of staying warm

Caroline Akervik

One of the very best things about winter is winter clothes. Winter allows one to liberate one’s inner fashion outlaw. Cold weather eliminates or overrules the dictates of style all in the name of keeping warm ...

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Issue #347 Dec. 13, 2017

Oh Come, Little Children

a dirt-brown bus, a bearded man, and a simple gift form an indelible Christmas memory

Johannes Strohschann

As soon as he reached the mile-long dining table, the little boy spotted a place setting with steel utensils, quickly grabbed spoon and fork and licked them, spending a generous amount of spit. No one was going to steal ...

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Issue #341 Sept. 20, 2017

Sandpipers in the Gallery

art appreciation can require changing your perspective – literally and figuratively

Katie Venit, photos by Andrea Paulseth

‘I like to look at a piece far away, I like to look at it close up, and the last thing I look at after a piece has grabbed me is the title,” said Amy, as we pendulate in front of a painting like two sandpipers in the ...

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Issue #340 Sept. 6, 2017

An Old Story and a New Story

we can’t pretend the Chippewa Valley is free of bigotry and racism, but we can decide to be on the right side of history

David Shih, illustrated by Janae Breunig

In 1999, when my wife and I moved to Eau Claire, we arrived knowing almost nothing about the city we now call home. We joked about the inordinate number of large fiberglass animals seemingly lurking around every corner ...

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Issue #336 July 12, 2017

Merging Into the Fast Lane?

arrival of ride-sharing services signifies city’s growth, but it’s not the only tipping point

Luc Anthony, illustrated by Mackenzie Kavanagh

A few months ago in this Opening Letter space, I wrote about what seemed the determining factor in Eau Claire’s ascendance to big-city status: the moment when Uber would choose to establish itself in the city ...

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Issue #334 June 14, 2017

In Defense of the Video Store

you can have your Netflix algorithms; I’ll rely on a clerk named Keith

BJ Hollars, illustrated by Janae Breunig

I walk into the video store on a Tuesday in May, and there, stretched before me, is the exact same scene I’ve enjoyed for decades: shelves chock full of eye-catching DVDs amid bins of microwave popcorn, yardsticks’ worth of licorice, and goo-candy ...

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Issue #333 May 31, 2017

Chronic Senioritis

planning Senior Skip Day gives high school students a taste of ‘real world’ complexity

Eric Rasmussen

For proof of how local young people have grown during their years in the Eau Claire Area School District, we only need to look at one piece of evidence: the planning of the annual Senior Skip Day ...

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Issue #331 May 2, 2017

How to Win the Eastside Hill Thrift Sale

a step-by-step, yard-by-yard guide to treasure hunting

Katie Venit, photos by Andrea Paulseth

2. Wear comfortable shoes, for you do not live in the Eastside Hill, and you will get lost and spend hours searching for your car in the hot sun. You will be reminded of Sir Henry Morton Stanley searching the Congo for Dr. Livingstone except you are carrying someone else’s Crock-Pot ...

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Issue #330 April 19, 2017

Oddball? No, V Ball

I always wondered what the fuss was about the Viennese Ball – now I understand

by Katie Vagnino, photos by Luong Huynh

‘So, what’s the deal with the Vietnamese Ball?” “VIENNESE Ball. It’s the Viennese Ball.” At the time, this made no more or less sense to me. This was back in the spring of 2014, when I was teaching my second semester at UW-Eau Claire, and had heard rumblings about some kind of adult prom ...

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Issue #329 March 22, 2017

Crocuses in Snow

in Wisconsin, the arrival of spring can be a slow process

Katie Venit

Sometime around Easter, the cherry trees lining both sides of my mother’s street in Maryland create a gauzy cathedral, easing her from winter into summer. When I was little, I would waltz ...

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Issue #324 January 11, 2017

Getting out of the Burrow

why we should fight the urge to withdraw during the Chippewa Valley’s cold season

Katie Venit, photos by Timothy Mather

I become more introverted in the winter. Something about the cold makes me want to badger up in a burrow until the sun comes back. Which was fine for Wisconsin’s early miners and, you know ...

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Issue #322 December 14, 2016

The Couple That Shops Together

Christmas shopping with our mates isn’t always the wisest decision, but we do it anyway

Dan Ingersoll

After 39 years of marriage, my wife and I know better than to shop together – most of the time. Once a year or so she makes the proposal: “Honey, I know you don’t want to do this, but do you think just ...

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