Sunday, July 22, 2012

Milwakee Dances Outdoors volume 2: Washington Park

Michael and Tory dancing at the Emil Blatz Temple of Music, circa August 2011. 
Thanks to Sabrina Price and Justin Raibolt for the photo!

I moved to Milwaukee several years ago in late August.  During my first year here, people would ask how I was liking the city thus far; no matter what I'd answer, they always seemed to assure me "You'll LOVE Milwaukee in the summer."  I thought it was a little weird to hear this same statement from so many people...I mean, isn't it the same city all year round??  

 When summer finally rolled around, I understood what they meant.  I finally enjoyed glass of wine at the Joe Table--before it even had a name--at Jazz in the Park, Chilled on the Hill, and canoed to River Rhythms with the Urban Ecology Center Urban Adventures crew.  (And swam in Lake Michigan, ate a ton of custard and enjoyed many of the other finer points of MKE, but that has little to do with dancing....)  Fast forward several years, and I still love picnicking and dancing with friends all over Milwaukee, and there's a lot I'm looking to forward to over the next few weeks. 

The "At the Shell" concert series in Washington Park has a great lineup this year, and I'm planning to camp out there the next two weeks.  Here's the top 5 reasons you should too:

1. The South End Blues Band is playing 6:00-8:30 on July 25th.  Their singer Julie has been to several BCH classes and is a great swing dancer, so hopefully she'll have a few songs away from the band to dance!

2. The Mood Swing Orchestra is playing 6:00-8:30 on August 1st.  I haven't heard this band before but it comes recommended.  Check out some of the tracks on their website and then check them out live on the 1st. 

3.  You can use all the fun stuff you learn at this Monday night's class: "It's too damned hot to touch each other: partner movement in open"  7-9, Summerfield Methodist, Tory and Henry's last class till after Labor Day.  We're concentrating on swingout variations in open, solo movement incorporated into partner dancing, and generally not dying while still dancing in the crazy heat.  (Don't forget, no class on July 30th....tailgate with us at the Brewer's game instead!

Remember When...'Music Under the Stars' was young?
Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Public Library

4.  "Music Under the Stars" concerts in the late 30's and 40's were THE place to be; they're still the place to be as far as I'm concerned, but there's more room for picnicking these days.  (Also, the parking situation is much better than JitP.)

5. The bandshell is actually called the Emil Blatz Temple of Music.   Emil Blatz Temple of Music!  I can't think of a better name for a Milwaukee summer music venue.  (I'm pretty sure you can drink beverages other than Blatz, if that's an issue.)

---Tory for Brew City Hops

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