Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Madison, Wisconsin in August

I flew to Madison, Wisconsin on Friday to attend a workshop at the University of Wisconsin. The workshop was called "Reading at the Lake", and it was about leading book discussions. I loved what we saw of Madison in August. It was just beautiful. I can see why people retire to university towns. Independent bookstores, farmers' markets, concerts on the lake at the university, lots of restaurants and little shops. I wouldn't want to be there in winter (and a cab driver told me they still have snow in May), but in August, Madison is wonderful.

My cab driver when I arrived told me about Madison being an isthmus between two lakes. Friday afternoon, I went to find my classroom for Saturday, and stumbled across one of the favorite spots in town, Memorial Union Terrace. I had ice cream on the terrace that night, ice cream from the campus dairy, and enjoyed a jazz concert. Lake Mendota is beautiful, and I went back Saturday morning, and Sunday morning and afternoon and sat by the lake.

Lake Mendota

Memorial Union Terrace

Memorial Union Terrace on Lake Mendota
 Very interesting buildings on campus. Here's the "Red Gym".




Saturday morning before the workshop, I went to the Farmers' Market. I walked down State Street. The Farmers' Market is held all around the State Capitol on Saturdays. I was there by 7 a.m. There's even a people's garden of peppers in front of the Capitol that's going to be made into beer by a local microbrewery. I bought a Holstein cookie while I was there.








Terrific workshop. Really enjoyed talking books with the other women in the group. Check out the view from our classroom.








Saturday, we took a break and walked down to A Room of One's Own, the independent bookstore. Check out their window display, cheese books in Wisconsin.




I also couldn't resist pictures of Sacred Feather, the hat shop. Unfortunately, I never had a chance to get there. I loved the building, and I would have loved to have seen the hats.



Saturday night, we went to a book release party. Susanna Daniel is the author of Stiltsville. Her second book, Sea Creatures, was just out on Saturday.


Terrific trip to Madison, Wisconsin. So, I wanted to end with something that meant a lot to me. There is an Outstanding Alumni wall in the School of Library Science at the university. Ray Von Dran's picture was there. Ray was Assistant Dean at Catholic University when I was there, a wonderful man. He went on to be Dean of the Library School at Catholic, and later Dean of the Library School at Syracuse. Ray is dead now, but it meant a lot to be to see him honored on that wall.


It was a wonderful trip to Madison and a terrific workshop. I'm so glad I had the chance to go, and to see Madison in August.

18 comments:

Jane R said...

Oh Lesa, our son went to graduate school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and he still lives and works there. We love to visit him and Madison is a terrific place (since we're yankees we even like the winters). I could go on and on about all the things to see and do there. Thanks for taking me on a virtual visit to one of my favorite places!

Lesa said...

I'd never like the winters, Jane, but August was a wonderful time to visit Madison. I just loved what I saw! You're welcome.

Beth Hoffman said...

Oh my goodness, the architecture of the "Red Gym" is fabulous, and I would love, love, love to visit the Sacred Feather hat shop!

Thank you for sharing, Lesa.

Karen C said...

Great pictures, Lesa. Back in the '90s I went to the University of Wisconsin at Madison for two weeks for three consecutive years for my job - program sponsored by Bank Administration Institute. It was a lot of work but we had a lot of fun, too. Great to see it again.

Lesa said...

I couldn't get back far enough, Beth, to get really good pictures of the "Red Gym", but it is terrific. I think we should make a road trip to Madison together. Loved that town!

Lesa said...

Thanks, Karen! I'd love to go back sometime, again in the summer. Beautiful place.

Reine said...

Lesa— how wonderful to see these beautiful photos of Madison! My husband went to college there. A portrait of his grandfather was installed several years ago, and we visited the capitol building. He grew up there and, I gather, annoyed the government by rollerskating through the marble halls. I was amazed by how many people recalled that so many years later.

I have often regretted not buying the Eat Cheese or Die pistol-packing Holstein tee shirt. You didn't happen to pick one up—did you?

Lovely blog. So glad you enjoyed Madison.

Lesa said...

I'm afraid I didn't even see the tee shirt, Reine. Now, I've been told by more than one person that I should have toured the Capitol. No time for that, but I did enjoy Madison. Thank you!

Reine said...

Next time you're there, there's a small civil war museum in the Capitol building worth a visit. Excellent art too—but most is a little hard to find, and you have to sort through the stuffy portraits sections. If you like old portraits there's a nice gallery just inside the vestibule of the Supreme Court.

Reine said...

The rotunda art is gorgeous—and not hard to find.

Melissa Bo said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip!
Thanks for the photos!

Lesa said...

Reine,

I love your passion for Madison and the Capitol. My cab driver was the same way.

Lesa said...

Loved it, Melissa. It was fun to share!

Reine said...

...and I don't even come from there. xo

Karen Russell said...

I lived there for 5 years while attending grad school, and you just gave me the biggest case of homesickness (for a time as much as a place). I can't even tell you how many hours I spent sitting on the famous terrace chairs. I lived half a block from the red gym for the first 2 years. It sounds like you were on the east end of campus/downtown so maybe you didn't make it to Camp Randall? It's the football stadium on the site of a Civil War camp. Also worth seeing.

Now, excuse me while I figure out how I can get back there. Soon.

Lesa said...

No, Karen. I didn't get to Camp Randall. I was on the east side, staying at Lowell. My workshop was in White Hall, and that's as far as I went on the campus. You can see where else I went. I'd go back anytime, anytime in August.

Liz said...

This posting made me so happy, Lesa. Your pix are stunning & your comments mean the world to me. I will save this one.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Liz! I had a terrific time at the workshop and in Madison.