When our office was on the East Side, unless I had a meeting, I rarely drove anywhere during the day. I could step outside my office and be at Whole Foods in two minutes, Qdoba in three and Beans in Barley in about one.
Now that our office is Downtown, I have even more walkable options, which is good, since parking in a garage really cuts down one's spontaneity for driving around for lunch.
However, when it's really cold out, walking anywhere is a pain, and only now am I coming to appreciate Downtown's extensive skywalk system.
For example, from the moment I left my desk until I set foot in the Grand Avenue Mall's food court (review on the new Jake's Deli coming soon), I was outside for a mere 38 seconds. That's barely enough time to get cold.
I entered through the 100 East Wisconsin building, walked up the stairs, crossed the skywalk over the Milwaukee River, then took the one south over Wisconsin Avenue, and finally west into the mall.
On the way back, I wanted to deposit a check in a US Bank ATM, so I took the skywalk east to the ASQ building, then stepped outside only because the bank had already closed. Couldn't be easier.
Of course, our skywalk pales in comparison to the one in Minneapolis, which spans eight miles and connects 69 blocks. Best I can tell, ours connects eight blocks with two links over the Milwaukee River, and there are a few links to the east, as well. According to an old article I found, the city had set aside some money in the '80s to connect them all, but then Mayor John Norquist killed that plan in 1988.
Still, I'm becoming a big fan of the skywalk system, and I'd like to see it expanded, both in length and usage. How about a happy hour bar crawl, or organized themed parties on each span?
Because even critics who say skywalks keep customers out of the shops on street level have to admit that walking when it's so cold outside isn't fun, either. At least this way, you can get a nice walk in without freezing your butt off, too.
The folks at UrbanMilwaukee did a nice job mapping out the skywalk. Take a look below.
View Milwaukee Skywalk Map in a larger map
Yes andy, the skywalks are handy and much warmer than walking the cold, concrete canyons of Milwaukee. They are so handy that Historic Milwaukee has conducted a winter walking tour of downtown Milwaukee from them for years. Starting at the statue in the Plankington building on Saturday morning, one of our volunteers will show visitors the highlights of downtown architecture and relay some of her history. Check our website for times and other winter events. www.historicmilwaukee.org
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published Dec. 17, 2014
Yesterday, I walked around Packard Avenue in Cudahy for the first time in a long time. I mean, I drive through or around Cudahy all the time, but yesterday was different. I stopped to smell the roses. Every real Milwaukeeans should pay a visit to downtown Cudahy every now and then. It's like a window into our past, and it's still alive and kicking today.
Published Dec. 11, 2014
We all had a good laugh when the word spilled that Scott Walker substituted "Molotov" for "Mazel Tov" in his Hanukkah letter to Frank Gimbel. But you know that Gov. Walker didn't write that letter, right? He didn't even sign it.
Published Dec. 2, 2014
Black Friday and Cyber Monday were good fun, but Giving Tuesday is all about giving back to our community. It's a relatively new concept, but several Milwaukee nonprofits participate, including Discovery World, UPAF and Pathfinders. One local organization, Penfield Children's Center, is making Giving Tuesday work through crowdsourcing.
Published Dec. 1, 2014
I'm going to beat the Milwaukee winter. I will not be cold again. I will laugh in the face of Snowmageddon. I will be toasty warm when the temperatures drop well below zero. Here's how.
Published Nov. 18, 2014
Take it for what its worth, but Playboy Magazine has Blue's Egg as one of its 101 best breakfasts in America (don't worry, the link is reasonably safe for work). The restaurant at 317 N. 76th St. came in 21st place out of 23 Midwest selections, just behind Mickie's Dairy Bar in Madison.
Published Nov. 11, 2014
Can you imagine how social media would've melted down exactly 101 years ago? Nov. 11, 2013 was the end of the "Big Blow," the "Freshwater Fury" or the "White Hurricane," a hurricane-force blizzard that killed more than 250 people and and destroyed 19 ships.
Published Oct. 28, 2014
I really didn't have any hope left after 25 days. As we entered the fourth week without our sweet, kind, missing cat, Jabie, I was beginning to come to peace with the reality that I'd never see her again. Then, yesterday, less than four blocks from home, a woman called my wife and said she had cajoled a black cat into her basement. My wife bolted home from work and immediately recognized Jabie coming up the stairs. Just to be sure, she took her to the closest vet to scan her microchip. And it came back as a match from Elmbrook Humane Society.
Published Oct. 22, 2014
Apple's new killer app, Apple Pay, may indeed someday change global commerce for good. That day isn't here yet, however. Three days after launch, my experiences with the NFC-based payment / tap to pay system show that Apple Pay is still very, very beta. At this point, you may find yourself using it barely at all.
Published Oct. 21, 2014
Mazen Muna, the owner of the Dogg Haus group of restaurants, shared his plans today to launch PhantomBar this spring at 780 N. Jefferson St. in Cathedral Square. The bar is under the umbrella of his new 12AM Management Group, which Muna says he founded to house "the new wave of businesses being added to the portfolio."
Published Oct. 16, 2014
Well before the Chinese eCommerce company Alibaba began making IPO rumblings in America, I was familiar with its offerings. I'd never bought anything from it ... until this month.