I don’t often have two free hours to myself sans kids. But when I do, I rarely leave my neighborhood. I know there are great reasons to get around town, but everything I love about Milwaukee is right here on the East Side. Should you find yourself with some precious (and wonderful) alone-time between drop offs and pick ups, here are a few suggestions.
(Caveat: This author reserves the right to remove this article if she can no longer get a seat or a reservation at her favorite places, listed below)
- Sure we have Colectivo, Stone Creek (Shorewood), and Starbucks – but why not try out somewhere new and hyper-local? Grab a window seat and warm your body and soul in the sun at Pleasant Kafe on the corner of Pleasant and Jackson with a cup of smooth Valentino coffee. The baristas are incredibly friendly, they play great music and they’ve an interesting selection of food too!
- After that, treat your feet to a pedicure at Nail Bar MKE on Downer (impeccable service!) or Q-ticles Nail Salon (OK, this is Shorewood, but their comfortable Laz-E-Boy chairs will actually have you laying horizontal for your polish, and worth an honorable close-enough mention!).
- If you happen to have those two hours on a Thursday night, ease your way into savasana at an Urban Sprawl Yin class at Urban Om on Farwell. Slower than regular yoga, this class will let you relax into a single pose for up to five minutes at a time. Five. Whole. Minutes. Alone and quiet with dimmed lights and calming music, what could be better? (Sidenote: the hipsters who yoga here are also fond of Jazz in the Park, so the class is on hiatus until the fall, but they assure me it will return!)
- If the words linger, browse, peruse, sit and quiet are not a part of your daily vocabulary, Get Thee To A Bookery! Boswell Books on Downer is the perfect place to wander aimlessly (and then go ahead and support local and buy a book or two while you’re there!) They have plenty of books on parenting, but indulge in something you loved pre-kids and plant yourself on a leather sofa and enjoy your ME-time! (And Starbucks is right next door if you need more coffee!)
- If you’re hungry for lunch, treat yourself to a delicious crepe (sweet or savory) at the new Beerline Café just across the river. Soak in even more natural light under what feels like an indoor greenhouse with plants climbing towards the sun. Spoil yourself with a Nutella and berry crepe drizzled in whip cream and chocolate. Or go healthy with a tofu scramble. It’s all tasty at The Beerline Cafe.
- If you haven’t been to the new Waxwing store on the corner of Oakland and North, give yourself at least forty-five minutes to an hour to explore. It’s not that big (though certainly much bigger than its previous location in Shorewood) but you’ll want inch your way slowly around the local art and novelty gifts.