14 July 2006

Old Money Living in Milwaukee

I meant to make this post yesterday, but simply ran out of time. I find myself looking for an apartment--that's what I did this past Wednesday and Thursday. Soooo, since I currently live in the coolness-challenged enclave of Shorewood, I have only now realized Yankee Hill existed. It's positively patrician!

I laid eyes on the Plaza Hotel on Cass Street and fell in love. When I saw that it was apartments as well as a hotel--oh, my, just like in the old days!--my mouth watered. Ok, so it's been established that I'm a history nerd--or, if it hasn't, I suppose now it has. I walked into the lobby. I had the strangest feeling. I felt like I stepped into another era; the ambiance simply felt different. It was impossible to stand in the lobby--terrazzo! moldings! vestibule!--and not imagine oneself as a marcelled chorine in all her feathered and fringed glory. Well, at least for me it was...

I kept walking and came upon not one church, but two. Undeniably, one was grander than the other, perhaps overbearingly so. I was meandering around wondering how I could have possibly missed all this gorgeousness. Oh, the Deco! the Deco!

I discovered the next day when I viewed the apartment that it was, erm, a bit too tiny for me. So, I repaired to the restaurant for breakfast. There was a semi-circular lunch counter. I almost wept. I've never seen a lunch counter I have not loved. I had a yummy breakfast and caught a bit of an older couple's conversation. Listening, I realized they were talking about June Allyson's recent passing--and joined their conversation. "She's a little bit before your time," said the old gentleman. Ah, but, he was talking to the woman who had been the Old Hollywood-obsessed 12-year-old in Parsons, KS. Somehow, we got around to talking about Angelina and Brad and Christie Brinkley's most recent divorce. The lady at the desk indicated that the hotel's first building had been built in 1925, and the other in 1926. So, I was right about the marcel and fringe.