Madison, You Thunderbird
What can I say about Madison? That it has been my favorite part of my trip so far? Not fair to Chicago. That it surpassed my expectations in every way imaginable? That’s getting closer. That if I won the lottery I would buy an apartment on the Capitol square and visit it every August? Indeed.
5 Reasons Madison Is Better Than:
1- Couch surfing! My host Kai was welcoming and friendly and cooked “curry”. Then a bunch of us went out to Madison Pride, which was smoky and technoy and came with free goodie bags.
2- Twin lakes! You probably had no idea that Madison sits on a thin little band-aid of land between two enormous, windy lakes. Memorial Union on the UW Madison campus has a terrace that overlooks Lake Mendota and makes for one hell of a sunset. In the winter those lakes freeze and people ride their bikes across. WHAAAA?
3- Wide streets! Coming from Chicago where people don’t give a shit if your blinker is on or not, Madison feels like Rainbow Road. The lanes are spacious and sun-dappled. Plus there were virtually no other cars on the road (Madison being a primarily biking town), so I was in hog heaven.
4- Cheese curds! Holy omg. I don’t even know what they are, or how they are prepared, or how much they cost (thank you Matt!) but that was a basket of delicious little golden balls of cheese. The Old Fashioned on the square is the place to go.
5- Chazen Museum! I have been to a lot of museums in my day (and I mean A LOT), but Chaze Museum on the UW campus is probably the best I’ve ever been to. Completely free, packed with exhibits ranging from 18th c. parlor furniture to Victorian and Chinese chinaware to Renaissance paintings to Rothko and Warhol, the museum has the best of everything. I could have stayed three hours longer.
OK 6- My most successful open mic night of the trip so far! Great crowd, really responsive, sold a couple of CD’s, good times had by all.
Yes I was sad indeed to hit the road again, but Madison, while great, is not where I’m looking to settle down, and so the search must continue.