Tag Archives: Milwaukee

Where do white people, cheddar cheese, waxing and a noise machine meet? Milwaukee Airport.

16 Jan

I flew out of Milwaukee for the first time Friday morning, and do you know what I learned?

Where was THIS guy? Probably already in Florida.

First, I learned that the Milwaukee airport has a unique population of travelers.

I don’t think I’ve ever stood in line at 6:30am with a whiter, more senior,  more leisure-seeking crowd. And this is including the cruise docks in south Florida.

I wasn’t really paying attention until I noticed the number of people around me publicly clutching their boarding passes and photo IDs. There’s something about that move that smacks of novice. Business travelers have a routine and need their hands free to check email, so they can retrieve key documents in the nick of time, but they aren’t standing in line as if they’re about to undergo immigration.

Once I noticed that detail, I looked up at the faces and was surprised by how, um, WHITE they were. The line was ridiculously long (but fast moving, presumably because of everyone’s diligent preparedness?) so I had a fair population to sample. Using rudimentary physical characteristics, I was only able to easily identify 3 minorities in a line that included at least 100 travelers.

Coming from DC, which really is a melting pot, this struck me as odd. Then I dialed in and realized that most of those pasty faces were paired with white/blue/no hair. Snowbirds, indeed.

Second, I learned a few details about one specific passenger.

Behind me in line were three women in their early forties who were clearly getting away for a girl’s weekend, and they were beyond excited about it. Since they spoke loudly (at a fast clip with a midwestern accent that was more Fargo than Chicago), in the five minutes they were behind me, I learned a few more things.

For starters, one woman is apparently a real jokester. At least, she and her friends think so, but her husband apparently does not. In fact, there is speculation that he doesn’t “get” her sense of humor because he is “anal retentive” and a “real stick in the mud.” (Quotation marks are standing in for the air quotes they used when sharing this information.)

I also learned that someone in that group is hoping NOT for a spa treatment, but a bikini wax, because things have gotten, ahem, unruly. I’m curious to know if any other passengers in the line threw up a little bit of their Starbucks upon learning this detail. I might have, if I had been drinking anything.

I felt close to another discovery about this group, but they happened to look up and realize they were in the wrong line, so they peeled away and went cackling through the airport looking for the other terminal, presumably to bring joy and nausea into the lives of other passengers.

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Where the strangers are friendly… and pogo sticks are helpful?

13 Jan

Today my work brought me from Chicago up to Milwaukee. I’ve been here two other times, and each time, it has left me wanting.

Not because there’s anything inherently wrong with Milwaukee, it’s just that I expect to see two people (specifically Laverne & Shirley) dancing down the streets on their way to work at a bottling plant. And it hasn’t happened. Yet. (I remain hopeful.)

This morning I was debating between the 6am or 8:30am train from Union Station in Chicago. I harkened back to my last visit, and remembered the odd desolation of Union Station at 6am. I arrived at 5:30am and the place was DESERTED until 5:55. If memory serves, I went so far as to take off my belt in case I needed to clock someone in the head with the buckle.

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