KatieV

Recent Activity

KatieV

Reviewed: The Nucleus Café

The food is really good, but a bit pricey for me for breakfast. they have always seated us really quickly, but service does take a while, and then the food seems to take a while too. So in other words, a great place for a lazy weekend if you have extra cash in your pocket.

Any body else besides the Eau CLaire…

KatieV

That's Adorable storytime is so much fun! I had a pleasure of reading last week. It was a handful of kids, we read stories (they listened so well!) and then we did a craft. So much fun!

New downtown Eau Claire redesign plans…

KatieV

Just looking at the designs, I can't see that there's actual comfortable seating being provided at Haymarket that would encourage it as a place to hang out and watch the river. Is that right, or is it just not in the picture? It would be great to have our own little Union Terrace a la Madison, with the metal picnic tables right up by the water, something that encourages lingering rather than just walking or biking through the space. I mean, seat blocks are well and good, but you can't get sit around and play cards with your friends on seat blocks. Are there plans for tables on the overlooks or lower plaza, or is that standing room only? Honestly, if seating like that wasn't included in the plans, I'd wonder what the point was of redoing Haymarket at all. I suppose you could get picnic blankets, but we've already got that space in Phoenix Park. Maybe I'm missing the point of the Haymarket design?

KatieV

Reviewed: The Fire House

Terrific bar with a really nice selection of craft beers that gets better every time we go back. Definitely our favorite bar in Eau Claire. I respectfully disagree that it's expensive; for the type of beer they serve it's a steal. Don't go there to get a Bud Light. I'm holding back a star just to be picky: beers this fine shouldn't be served ice cold.

Running Away from Home

KatieV

If I may, I'd like to offer up an analogy. My sister and I were planning a visit to Charleston, SC. We wanted to visit a plantation with a garden, and there were two gardens listed high on the travel website. The comments were polarizing, which made it hard to decide. People would say the loved Magnolia and hated Middleton, and others would say Magnolia was a complete [bleep] waste of time, and only idiots would go to it when they could visit Middleton, but no one really said WHY. Beth and I ended up going to both, and it was immediately clear why the comments were so polarizing --the gardens could not have been more different. One was an informal romantic garden (messy, jungle-y, dynamic). The other was formal and English-y, with box hedges and closely clipped green lawns. Of course the same person wouldn't love both. My sister, who lives in downtown DC, would be bored to tears in Eau Claire if she lived here, whereas I can't find the time to fit in all the (to me) awesome and appealing local events that come up that I'd love to go to, and I'm way more involved and outgoing here than I would be in DC. So, anyway. Different fish for different ponds, I guess.

Running Away from Home

KatieV

I'm a little surprised at the comment that people aren't "nice" here. I've lived here for a year, and I have been completely bowled over by the unexpected and genuine kindness I've experienced from co-workers, neighbors, acquaintances, new friends, and complete strangers. Having grown up just outside of DC and spent the last 5 years in Indiana, I guess I'm fairly used to UNfriendliness, so maybe it's all a question of relativity. Every time I go back to DC to visit family, coming back to Eau Claire feels like a breath of fresh air.

Chippewa Falls doggies to engage in…

KatieV

Love it. The valley is so dog friendly, and not just structurally. People's attitudes couldn't be better. I'm saying this mostly because everyone we meet on walks loves my dog and kids will run after us to pet her. I will say though that I considered the south side to be a little more dog friendly before bears moved into Fairfax Park. As far as dog parks, the one in Eau Claire is big, but I think it would be nicer with more shade trees.

Magic and Logic in Iowa City

KatieV

Kinzy, nice article. For the record, I would love if Barstow was converted to a pedestrian street. State Street in Madison was my favorite place to be when I lived there. When we moved to Bloomington, IN, their equivalent street (Kirkwood) is not pedestrian-only and it definitely didn't have the same charm. One was a place to take visitors to, the other was much less pleasant. HOWEVER, I'm wondering how close the university was to the ped mall in Iowa City? If it was very close, I'm just not sure if we could really draw a one-to-one comparison between Iowa City and Eau Claire. It still sounds like an awesome idea, I'm just not sure if the results would be the same, is all.

Delayed Culture Shock

KatieV

Nice article, Kinzy. As a recent transplant, I can tell you that Wisconsin has a different drinking culture than what I've experienced other states. Rather than celebrating it as a craft or a thing to be enjoyed socially (as I feel it is often done here), alcohol tends to be near-demonized in some other states (eg Indiana) as a socially destructive element. In my opinion, this actually motivates people to imbibe more irresponsibly and enjoy it less. So yes, I think Wisconsin has a "drinking culture," if by that you mean it's part of the customs and culture of the state, like the blues is to Chicago, barbecue is to Carolina, and being snotty with their so-called "happy cows" is to California.

Creepy stuff at Banbury Place

KatieV

I heard on the radio that it was some guy trying to turn salt into gold for a business venture. Is that what they're calling alchemy these days?

TONIGHT: Winter After Hours Kick Off Party

KatieV

Kubb was awesome! Please invite them back next year. Other suggestions may not be possible: beer allowed and/or sold, and a longer snowshoe track.
This was a really awesome event, thanks V1!

Re-branding Winter

KatieV

Nick, if nude male pole beatings don't soar in popularity the way I think we all hope they do, another possibility would be a sort of Chalkfest-like event for snow sculptures, possibly in a city park or possibly on a frozen pond. It would probably take more prep work than Chalkfest to get the snow packed into sculpting-ready forms, or whatever, but it could still be awesome.

Re-branding Winter

KatieV

For a year, I lived in one of the coldest and snowiest places in Japan (albeit, not as cold as Eau Claire), and I was so impressed at how there were festivals celebrating the seasons throughout the year. The most amazing ones were the winter festivals that made use of all that snow and long nights to create sculptures throughout town, illuminated by lights or candles. Yes, it was cold, but it felt so magical that we looked forward to getting out and freezing our butts off.

There were also winter festivals that involved nearly naked men hitting each other with giant bamboo poles. I'm not exactly suggesting we do that. Unless people would be into it.

Hot Plots

KatieV

Coconut, thanks for the additional points. I tried to make the article more about the group than the garden/park, and there were (as always) space constraints. Luckily there are no space constraints for comments. Cheers.

Here and There

KatieV

Inquiring minds whose mothers are visiting next week want to know: what are the other top places to impress out-of-town guests?

I Did Not Grow Up Taking Walks

KatieV

You need a dog. Unlike wives, doggies won't love you just as you are (contrary to popular belief). They will only love you just as you are if that you includes daily walks. Otherwise they'll either chew their legs bloody or stare at you, as if wondering why you hate them so much that you're not on a walk with them. Now that is motivational guilt.