Saturday, November 30, 2013
Good News: One of Appleton's Most Unsavory Businesses To Close
For those of you oppose the sexual exploitation of women for profit, you might be pleased to find that one of Appleton's most unsavory establishments will be closing soon and converted to a less objectionable enterprise. According to The Post-Crescent,
the infamous Paradise Club, a strip joint at a prominent location next to the Fox River Mall, has been purchased by Bob Gregorski (kudos, Bob!), who will convert it for a different purpose, one that Bob intends to be helpful to the community.
The unsavory exploitation of women at the Paradise Club will continue until Dec. 31. A similar club may then open up elsewhere in this or a nearby community, if local citizens allow it. But unless you're the kind who welcomes new garbage dumps in your backyard, I suggest you speak out and keep this as far away as possible.
Labels: Appleton, exploitation, Paradise Club, sleaze, strip clubs
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Josh Damigo Headlines in Appleton, Sept. 13, 2013
Josh Damigo will be headlining at Copper Rock Coffee Co. on September 13, 2013. The San Diego based singer and songwriter just released his new album, “Live at Lestats” on August 30. In 2013 so far, he has played over 80 shows in listening rooms and festivals all around the country and opened for Andy Grammer, Eric Hutchinson, and Matt Nathanson, all as an independent artist. Not bad!
Josh Damigo became a household name after the HBO Film “Wartorn: 1861-2010” was released in 2010 featuring his brother, Nathan Damigo, and his struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The flim which was produced by the late James Gandolfini told the story of the military families and their struggles with loved ones coming home with PTSD. This is an important topic to me personally, as my father struggles with devastating PTSD from the Korean War, and many good men have had it even worse. The devastating effects of war need to be better understood and our vets given the support and help they need, not abandoned by bureaucrats as often happens. But I digress.
You can see a clip from the movie featuring Josh and Nathan Damigo here, with Josh’s song, “Never Gonna Let You Go”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JV9WXRs9_20. Readers of this blog can download his song “How Am I Not Supposed to Fall."
Labels: entertainment, music, singers
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Wisconsin State Fair, Milwaukee, 2013: A Few Photos
Monday, August 05, 2013
Bella Vita: One of the Valley's Best Restaurants
Bella Vita is a marvelous Italian restaurant in the Copper Leaf Hotel in downtown Appleton, across from the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel (300 West College Avenue). I went there for my first time tonight in a group of four people, taking advantage of a Groupon promotion. I was not just impressed, but frequently inspired
by the food.
We started with appetizers, bruschetta and fried olives with dipping sauces. The bruschetta was genuinely the best I have tasted. Perfectly toasted bread with a thick, hearty topping with roasted cherry tomatoes, cheese, and other ingredients that made it much heartier and more interesting than the typical bruschetta of Italian restaurants. The olives were a surprise--large green olives lightly breaded and fried without being too oily, and served with a plate of several different dipping sauces. Delicious. Also the standard bread, oil, and balsamic vinegar was memorable, with a pleasantly aged, fruity vinegar and warm, fresh bread.
The entrees impressed as well. For me, the Mediterranean pasta dish with shrimp, artichoke hearts, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes and other ingredients in a tart, savory sauce was one of the best pasta dishes I can remember. My wife's lobster ravioli was also surprisingly good, with a bercy sauce that left us puzzled as to how it could be so delicious and yet so light.
We also sampled some desserts and again found outstanding quality and creativity. My frozen custard with strawberries was delicious, and the chocolate mousse shared by the other couple with us was rich and nearly perfect.
Given the classy setting and high-end quality of the food, one would expect this place to be rather pricey, but it was surprisingly inexpensive. With appetizers and desserts, the four of us had a bill of $111 plus tax and tip. Not bad! This is now one of my favorite restaurants in town. Delicious. The service was also excellent.
Labels: Appleton, College Avenue, dining, Italian restaurant
Friday, July 05, 2013
The Mile of Music: Coming to Appleton, Wisconsin in Early August
From August 8 to August 11, 2013, Appleton will experience a remarkable musical event, the Mile of Music.
During this landmark event, a mile-long stretch of College Avenue will offer diverse musical experiences from numerous artists. Singers, songwriters, combos and multi-piece bands and related offerings will be available, with genres covering a broad spectrum. You'll need tickets
The event is the brainchild of the popular singer and songwriter, Cory Chisel
, who is from Appleton. Kudos, Cory! Cory discusses the event in a video story with the Post-Crescent
, where he mentions that Appleton's beautiful downtown is one of the inspiring factors behind the Mile of Music.
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Uptick in Bedbugs: Beware
Appleton and Wisconsin in general has been facing an uptick in bedbug infestations. Part of this may be due to increased awareness, but increased international travel may be a bigger factor. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a report, "Bedbugs on the Rise in Wisconsin
," which is still relevant, though published in 2010. Closer to home, the Appleton City Government has a page on their website, Bedbugs in Appleton, with some useful resources for dealing with the problem.
In modern homes, exterminators can apply chemicals to fumigate a home and kill the bedbugs while people are away. But in older homes that are drafty, the chemical method may not be possible. Instead, the recommended treatment method may involve waiting until summer heat is present, and then adding electrical heaters to bring the internal temperature of the house to around 130 degrees Fahrenheit or so.
Labels: bedbugs, home care
Friday, June 14, 2013
Weekend of Paddling Explores Upper Fox
One of the greatest things about Appleton is the Fox River, a source of so much beauty and fun. Not many people have done much on the Fox River, though. Here's a chance to change that and to experience some delightful scenery that you could never see from your car. I've been asked to share the following press release about a weekend of canoeing along the upper regions of the Fox. Looks like a terrific event.
PRINCETON, Wis. -- One of the most scenic stretches of the Fox River and the convergence of the Wolf River with the Fox will be explored for the next Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Paddle, the weekend of June 22-23.
The weekend of paddling also marks the return of the 28-foot Fox of the River (www.foxoftheriver.weebly.com) voyageur canoe and the addition of the 10-person canoe Nature Current (naturecurrent.com), offering rides to those who feel uncomfortable paddling on there own or don't have a boat. Information is available by firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Saturday trip launches from the White River Dam near Princeton at 9:30 a.m. and covers the 12.5-mile route to Berlin. Sunday's 11.5-mile trip starts from Lake Winneconne Park, crosses Lake Butte des Morts and follows around the wildlife impoundment at Terrell Island, with a lunch break at the Lake Butte des Morts Landing. Paddlers may end the trip there at 6 miles or continue on to Rainbow Park in Oshkosh.
For both trips, paddlers should arrive between 8 and 9 a.m. to have time to unload and shuttle vehicles. A bus will return drivers to the launch.
Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Paddle 2013 also includes the 12th annual Park-to-Park Paddle out of Neenah July 20, an Aug. 17 paddle among the historic tall ships that will be visiting Green Bay and a tour of the four historic hand-operated locks in Appleton on Sept. 28. Schedule details and contact information are available atwww.wisconsinpaddlers.org.
The Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Paddle series is organized by North East Wisconsin Paddlers and the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway. It showcases the beauty, variety and historic and environmental importance of the river corridor that served as the route of exploration for Fr. Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet and inspiration for such notables as naturalists Aldo Leopold and John Muir and architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Labels: canoeing, Fox River, water
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Asian Food in Appleton
My long stay in China has given me whole new vistas on the wonders of Chinese food. One of the things I've learned is that my Chinese guests weren't just being polite when they raved about the custom banquet the owners of Confucius in Appleton prepared for us. These were items not off the menu but especially prepared for a group of visitors. Less Americanized, more foreign, and amazingly delicious. If you need a full-scale multi-courrse banquet of authentic Chinese dishes, they can really wow your Chinese guests and hopefully you. But they will need at least a day in advance to be prepared.
A couple weeks ago while taking family to lunch in Appleton, I was also surprised at how much I enjoyed an old favorite of mine before my recent journeys in China. That old favorite is Noodles. Yes, it's a chain, but they've got a surprisingly good Asian menu. Add extra veggies is my recommendation. Noodle and sauce quality is good. And not nearly as oily as many noodle dishes I've enjoyed in China.
Chinese food in China has increasingly been influenced by the West, so you'll see Chinese menus with lots of non-traditional ingredients from the West like broccoli, peanuts, watermelon and corn. Be grateful for that. Chinese cooking is great at adapting to use whatever ingredients are available and it's fine, in my opinion, for US Chinese restaurants to do the same with readily available US ingredients. Except cheese. That one riles me. Cheese rangoon--ugh. Who came up with that fatty monstrosity? Yes, it can taste good--but so can deep fried eyeballs, entrails, and newspaper (sports section especially, depending on the batter).
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Some "Typical" Homes in Appleton and the Fox Valley
Here are some photos of homes from around the Fox Valley that I took a couple years ago just to show people what living looks like in the Valley. Most are from Appleton. This area is a peaceful, beautiful place to live, even in winter with snow and cold untempered by hopes of global warming. Maybe someday that tempering will come. For now, chill.
Labels: Appleton, Appleton homes, Fox Valley, homes, housing, neighborhoods, photos