One of the favorite pastimes of Madison folk is to go to New York; NYC, that is, where, along with tens of thousands of others from many other places, they go to the museums and theaters and dine and shop. That's what the wife and I did last weekend - sort of a grand birthday tour.
Wherever you go, you never seem to leave Wisconsin far behind. While strolling the High Line, a mile or so of elevated linear park, cleverly repurposed from an abandoned rail spur, we ran into Wisconsin people. Later in the trip we set out to find some Badger expatriates on purpose. A Jan. 26 New York Times article described a budding Wisconsin-based restaurant scene in the West Village.
The article identified Gabriel Stulman as a UW graduate who had tended bar at the late, lamented Café Montmartre and who squired three somewhat Wisconsin-vibed eateries (cum bars) near Sheridan Square that the Times article dubbed "Little Wisco."
We found that 13 Wisconsinites worked at the establishments, Joseph Leonard, Jeffery's Grocery and Fedora, including Adam Benedetto, whom you might recognize from the former Restaurant Magnus, or from his run for Dane County sheriff a few years back.
Spending an afternoon at the bar and coming back for dinner in the evening was a little like visiting relatives. We moved on from there. After all, we would be back to the real thing in a few days, and there's a lot that can be done in the city. We did some.
In "Making Movies Here," our arts feature by staff writer David Medaris, we meet another Wisconsinite who spends major time in New York. Nicholas Langholff makes movies all over the place. But he comes back often and is the cofounder of the Driftless Film Festival, which aims to celebrate small-town Wisconsin and independent film.
Who said you can't go home again?